the southern beauty beyond belief
I still can’t believe I was there. First of all, I never think of one day I would go there, to a far east Asian girl Colombia is a place in books and TLC shows, I never thought I would have a chance to visit until I met my love who was born and raised in Bogota. And all his family still live there, so it’s time to know our family!
We stayed in Bogota for about a week, we had a good time visiting the old town, lots of museums, lots of nice restaurants, artisan handcraft markets. There are so many I want to talk about but it’s better just point out the highlights, otherwise, it’s probably too long to read 😛
- Museo del Oro (Gold museum)
Since we love museums very much, there is one of the most impressive museum- Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). This gem just right around the corner from the famous Simón Bolívar plaza. A little hidden spot but definitely a must go! the whole museum is full of incredible treasures. a lot of significant gold pieces of tribes are so beyond imaginary. The whole museum is well- planned, they show the pre- Colombian history, different tribes, art craftings, the craftsmanship will blow your mind, literally no kidding! we spend a nice 3 hours there, recommend spend 2-3 hours.
- (Plaza Bolívar, Bogotá) Simón Bolívar plaza
Right after the Gold museum, we walk a little bit to the old town, the Simón Bolívar plaza is such a beautiful place. Named after the most important historical figures, Simón Bolívar, who lead the independence of Colombia from Spanish rule. the church has the Spanish colonial trait collaged with terra and yellow bricks, which is so unique and there are numerous doves at the plaza, and they are kinda fearless. we took few pictures here and didn’t go into the church sadly they were closed at that hour. But the plaza is beautiful enough you will feel score a beauty!
- Museo Botero (Fernando Botero museum)
Another nice museum is Fernando Botero museum, Botero can be said as the most famous artist from Colombia. you may see some of his artworks somewhere, especially the Mona Lisa. His iconic style- play with volume and proportions can be seen in his paintings and sculptures. Also, the collection including some other great painters, you can find the gems of Picasso, Bacon …etc. highly recommend to art lovers!
- Museo Nacional de Colombia (National Museum of Colombia)
This museum is also worth to visit, it’s more about modern history. from 1810 when Colombia and most Latin American countries independent to nowadays. the time we visited was actually had the intention to see the famous painting- Bachue, but it was borrowed by another museum, how pity…oops! however, overall we get to know other painters, such as José María Espinosa is our new favorite.
- Sunset at Monserrate
Monserrate (after Catalan homonym mountain Montserrat) is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogotá. It rises to 3,152 meters (10,341 ft) above the sea level, where there is a church (built in the 17th century) with a shrine, devoted to El Señor Caído (“The Fallen Lord”). The hill, already considered sacred in pre-Columbian times when the area was inhabited by the indigenous Muisca, is a pilgrim destination, as well as a major tourist attraction. You will need to take Teleférico de Monserrate (cable car) to the top, which is quite a fun experience. It’s a very popular tourist attraction plus the church, the waiting line is always pretty long, it takes about 5 mins to ride from bottom to top. you can see the downtown Bogotá, south Bogotá and some sections of the north of the city, making it a popular destination to watch the sunset over the city.
- Just hanging around the city to see graffiti
Truth is, the graffiti is definitely the strongest suit of Colombia contemporary art! when we walk on the streets, the graffiti is very daring and impressive, not only the volume is extremely large, but the ideas are far more fantastic than anywhere else I have seen in other cities. Magical realism influenced by Gabriel garcía márquez.
- Craft market shopping afternoon- A must!
If you happened to visit Botero museum, you are at the neighborhood of my favorite place in Bogota. the neighborhood of Usaquén, where you can browse unique crafts from native Colombians.
Let me tell you, you may need to prepare lots of cash because there are so many good finds you will be so happy to buy with! Literally, I visited the craft market at least 3 times in a week… and every time I have something to buy… from genuine leather rugs, unique jewelry to handmade bags, and yes I did buy a lot, which I will say the most fun and unique souvenirs shopping time was there! It’s also a very friendly shopping experience, personal stalls, meet the artisans and get to know their brilliant work as you browse for unique handmade bags, alpaca wool textiles, wooden utensils, and leather goods that are hard to find outside Colombia. tip: you can always have a little bit bargain with them until you feel the price is nice! discount from 10-30% off.
Where to eat:
In Bogota, there are thousands of new restaurants open, with high scaled interior and high-quality foods, you may think the price will reflect much on foods, but the price is usually very reasonable, which is really a pleasant surprise. There are so many options, you can taste local foods or even other South American foods, Peruvian, Argentinian…etc. We had a great time enjoy the local foods very much, also have to mention even the budget-friendly chain store restaurants are very nice! such as Koko Rico, you can enjoy the roast chicken with ultimatum famous soup- Ajiaco with a very nice budget, and the quality is good!
Before you go tips:
- you may need to know basic Spanish, people there are nice and friendly, but sometimes they are not willing to say English in public, so either you know Spanish or you have a friend who knows Spanish will be a lot of help!
- Please bring an umbrella!! the weather there is changing all the time, especially the afternoon rain may happen just when you walk on one block to the other, and it stops, very unpredictable.
- Always be careful when you take a taxi, it’s said to become safe nowadays, but as a foreigner, you should still pay extra care when you’re alone. Highly recommend downloading the Taxi App TAPSI to help with this.
- It’s pretty nice weather to us, although not much sunshine, it’s not too cold for us even in winter time, still highly suggest to bring hats, scarf, and coat.
- Always be aware the environment, like when you are in the old town, please do not stand in the middle of the road and try to figure out something, better have a company who can keep eyes on any sketchy people coming around, and do not go to a narrow road in dark.
Hope you enjoy the highlights of the Bogota recommendation, please feel free to ask me any question.