Been here? Rate It!
Iglesia del Carmen
The first time I visited Bogotá I didn’t see Iglesia del Carmen, but after seeing some photos of it I wanted to have a look during my second visit to the city. Iglesia del Carmen was open to public in 1938. That makes it the youngest church in the historic district Candelaria. It is a different looking church with its white and red stripes. The white and red stripes are not only seen on the exterior but also inside the church. There are many fine stained-glass windows. Unfortunately I couldn’t see this as the church was closed as I came there.
- Religious Travel
- Arts and Culture
On my first night in Bogota, I stayed in the downtown area at the Tequendama Intercontinental and, while the hotel was okay, I really didn't enjoy staying in this area. It's the financial center and there are lots of office buildings, but it's not the safest part of the city (the richer northern suburbs are safer) and after dark, I kind of felt like a prisoner in the hotel. It is a convenient area if you're in town for a convention or other business and it's a short ride from the historic Candelaria area, but other than a few shops and markets, there's not a lot to see here.
Walking La Candelaria and Gold Museum
My guide brought me to walk in La Candelaria, a vibrant section of the city with small shops and ancient churches like the Bogota Cathedral. There were old houses and building of Spanish Colonial and Baroque styles. It was fun walking along the little streets and so I asked my guide if I could explore on my own and I just had him meet me after an hour…FUN!
There was actually some kind of festival at the time – I think it must be the weekend and there was loud music and people everywhere on the Plaza de Bolivar. You also see here The Fundacion Botero, The Religious Art Museum, The Coin House, The Library Luis Angel Arango and of course…The Gold Museum which was unfortunately closed at the time I visited (renovations in 2007). It is one of the most important museums of Colombia owned by the Republic Bank, with more than 36,000 pieces in gold, wood, shell and stone organized in its three floors (located in front of Santander Park).
I also enjoyed buying gifts, small souvenirs in this nice neighborhood....a great walk to better understand the culture of the Bogotenos.
- Family Travel
- Museum Visits
- Hiking and Walking
The city consists of a modern...
The city consists of a modern section with skyscrapers and an older section, known as LA CANDELARIA (Old Bogotá), with narrow streets, balconied buildings, and old churches. This part of the city is really a live monument for everyone to enjoy. Take sometime off and walk around the old part of the city. Some of the best restaurants and coffee shops are located in this area.
The district of LA CANDELARIA is the Old Bogota during the colonial times. Some of the houses are been restored by its owners or private companies.
The most important places you must see when visiting LA CANDELARIA are: The Plaza de Bolivar, The Bogota Cathedral. The Gold Museum, The Fundacion Botero, The Religious Art Museum, The Coin House, The Library Luis Angel Arango.
- Wine Tasting
La Candelaria is the most historic / colonial part of Bogotá. It's adjacent to the main plaza de Bogotá. All its houses are bright colors, its streets narrow, some cobblestone, each place with its own unique door. Lots of educational institutions in that part, so lots of young people in the area, it's full of people in the evenings/at night; do be careful. There's so much to see, cool pics to take, and at the top of some of the steep streets (La C. is at the foot of the big mountain there) you get a breathtaking view of Bogotá from just about La Candelaria housetops. One day I went to the top of 1_th, and it was a pleasant view ~ I got one of my postcard-type pics from up there. There are also theatres and quaint little restaurants in the area, check out some shows, they are part of Colombian culture.
I was staying at my friend's place, which was in La Candelaria, so I had the privelege of living in that area and coming and going from it every day. I wouldn't miss out on a walk-about in this part if I were you :)
- Historical Travel
Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo
According to all the locals I met and talked to about this subject and contrary to what I had read, the city of Bogota was actually founded on this plaza, the first mass held here, and the first church in Bogota erected here, not Plaza Bolivar. While I don't know for surtain what the truth is, I tend to adhere to that beleif, that the city was founded at Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo. It seems more logical to me, the church here is much more rustic and the surrounding areas much more historic in nature than the area around Plaza Bolivar (granted this is also due to tearing down and rebuilding of the original buildings around Plaza Bolivar).
This is a very small plaza (hence Plazoleta, not Plaza) with in the middle a fountain. On one side is a church, on the other two are cafes and a 'bob marley smoke shop' (for any 'special interest' persons reading this, this is the only place I found in Bogota to buy rolling papers). On one side is also Calle del Embudo (next tip). There is also a sort of monument thing of a wall with openings in it that have some statues sitting in them.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Iglesia de San Agustin
This pretty church with a small park in the front looks nice. Just beware that within a couple of blocks south the appearance of the buildings deteriorates greatly, streets become somewhat deserted, and it does not seem that it is a good idea to proceed much further.
Calle del Embudo
Calle del Embudo (street of the funnel), on the left side behind the wall on Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo, is so named because of it's shape. It is wider at one end and gradually narrows, much like a funnel. It is far to narrow for a car.
While the street is only about 80 - 100 metres long, it is lined with many bars and cafes on either side. One of which is one of the better reggae bars in Bogota (of which, beleive it or not, there are many). Perhaps that explains the 'Bob Marley Smoke Shop' around the corner?
- Budget Travel
Bogota Old Town 1
Most of the tourist sights of Bogota are in the historic central neighborhood of La Candelaria. With some modern infill many of the houses are well-preserved in colonial style. Some of the are two storeys and most of them are tiled roofs. Some of them with projecting eaves, wrought ironwork and carved balconies.
Directly to the North of the historic Candelaria lies the financial district. It consists of anonymous concrete 'International style' office buildings, but still retains some nice areas, including a park. The main office/ shopping area is centered on Avenida Jimenez & Carrera 7.
Plaza Santander and Gold museum are located here, as well as Independencia park.
It is easy to reach by Transmilenio (station Juarez).
Bogota Old Town 2 (Plaza Bolivar)
The Plaza Bolivar is at the heart of the city which has a statue of the liberator at its centre. On the northern side of the Plaza Bolivar is Corte Suprema de Justica, wrecked in a guerrilla attack in 1985 and newly built in 1999.
Recommended walk in the downtown area
Start at the Tequendama Intercontinental Hotel and walk south along La Septima avenue. At the corner of Avenida 19 make a left and walk all the way east to the mountain to the cable car station and take a ride to the top of Monserrate. From there you can admire the entire city.
Back on Avenida 19 walk to Avenida La Septima and make a left, continue all the way to the Gold Museum park and the San Francisco Church. You can visit the Gold Museum Collection and also later the church where you can admire the magnificient colonial altar. Then at the corner of Avenida Septima and Avenida Jimenez you can admire the beautiful republican style buildings in this area. Continue along La Septima all the way to the Plaza de Bolivar where you can admire the Congress Building, City Hall, Palace of Justice.
Continue to the east where the La Candelaria colonial district is located, in this area there are many museums, the best is the Donacion Botero Museum and Casa de la Moneda Museum.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
La Candelaria is the historic centre of Bogota, and my favorite area of the city. It's cobble stoned streets, it's cafes, it's theatres, it's libraries and museums...I can't say enough. It is a very bohemian, artsy area, particularily the east and south east areas. There are also several universities in La Candelaria. I lived here for three months and loved it.
My love of La Candelaria aside...it does make pleasant area for a stroll, most of the historic buildings being nicely conserved. They are often painted briliant colours. If you can go in one of the historic buildings in La Candelaria (there are several theatres), you will quickly see that the insides are just as beautiful as the outsides. Often you walk into a courtyard with rooms all around it.
Also you will notice around La Candelaria many statues on roofs and balconies, no one could tell me why that it. But, either way, it adds a certain aire of character.
- Budget Travel
Bogota Old Town 4 (Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango)
Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango is one of the best endowed and arranged in South America with three reading rooms, research rooms, art galleries and a concert hall. There are exhibitions and regular concerts. There is a good cafeteria on the sixth floor. Entrance: free.
Bogota Old Town 8 (Old and New)
Not all parts of the old town is maintained as a uninhibited museum. Since its also an active working and studying area, part of the towns are well-maintained for convenience, destroying a little of museum-taste.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
Bogotá Travel Guide
Explore the World
- Sidcot Hotels
- Natchitoches Hotels
- Cleethorpes Hotels
- Basse-Normandie Hotels