What to buy: Shopping in Bogota for sure revolves around cow products. This comes as no surprise considering how what an “Alpine” look the whole country has with its green pastures in massive mountain valleys. There is a high concentration of shops specializing in hide spinoffs in an area called Siete de Aogosto. A cab would drive you there and the only word one has to remember is “Cuero”. The prices seem pretty competitive and as added bonus you might be able to claim the VAT back at the airport if purchases have surpassed a set limit. For this purpose the best approach is to put everything on one name and keep the receipts.
Bags and suitcases are quite cheap in Colombia and South America in general. But if you have been ...emotionally attached to your bag or suitcase and you need any kind of repair this is the right thing to do. Go to the ...Clinica de Calzado. They repair shoes actually but they can also fix any kind of damage your favourite bag has. They are fast, reliable and very cheap! You just have to wait for half an hour or so sipping a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop.
The actual name of the shop is 'Remondadora Paisa'.
They also fix clothes next door at Calle 18 #9-23/27 , local 201.
If you are unlucky like me and your camera or video camera has been ..sick or needs an expert eye to get better try this repair shop. Of course don't expect perfect, fast and flawless service but at least it is good for minor damages. It is also useful for color and black&white photocopies, other computer and scanner services and print or copy of files.
Centro comercial Los Cristales Carrera 9 # 18-51
Technician Local 101 – tel 282 7195 – Bogota
Up at Monserrate, behind the church, you'll find a long string of souvenir stands selling everything from the very tacky and cheap to the not bad for a gift for co-workers. I wouldn't call too much of this stuff fine handicrafts, but it's interesting to browse.
The second picture was taken in downtown just across the street from my hotel, where there was a market selling various things from food to cell phones.
San Andresito is an area west of downtown packed full of shops selling everything for super cheap. It is the best place in the city to go if you are looking for anything from clothes to food to kids toys to fabrics to beads to....well anything!
The area encompasses several square blocks and has several 'malls', though not of the western type. The malls are just passageways with shops on all sides selling pretty much everything, it can get very cramped and hot in the 'malls'.
It is also worth noting that this is the area of town were you can buy the cheapest food & alcohol in Bogota. (Of the 'take home' variety, not as in restaurants or bars.)
Every sunday a market is held in a parking lot on septima (carrera 7) at the corner of Calle 24. You can find here a huge range of various completely random stuff, including everything from pirated DVD/CD's to coca tea to 1970's porn mags to tourist trinkets. It's all there!
Also, at noon on the dot, a chiva bus departs the market for a tour around the city (I think that's what it does, I never actually asked or took the ride...), if you are travelling with kids, it would be a fun sunday afternoon activity for them. You just hop on the bus and pay when it leaves, not sure on the price though.
What to pay: Prices are very cheap and you can usually talk it down.
You can buy the most amazing leather goods from golves to suitcases around Colombia. The leather is very soft somewhat like Italian leather only much cheaper. The shop which is called Artesanias de Colombia are located all over Bogota.
What to pay: A lot less then in Europe
This place has about 400 postcards of Colombia. They surround the entrance of the shop. You walk in and feel overwhelmed, and so have to strategize what places you want postcards for first. Ie. look through all the postcards of Bogotá first and choose the ones you want, then the ones of other Colombian cities/places, and then the more general "Colombia" ones.
They have all the postcards numbered, and give you a pencil and paper to write down the numbers of the ones you want. Then they pull them and you pay. An amazing selection and they're quite organized as you can imagine!
The shop does also sell other things Colombian that could do well for gifts/souvenirs.
What to buy: Many postcards :)
What to pay: They were about 900 pesos a piece.
What to buy:
I hadn't seen this anywhere else, I sure it must exist though... Avena is liquid oatmeal, fills you up. You can find it in the supermarkets.
What to pay: I don't rember the price but, I know it was pretty cheap.
Around the old town, you see some street vendor. Actually, you can even buy just a cigerette from them.