La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia
Things to do in the La Candelaria neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia (AFTER doing a great bike tour)
By the way, we visit or pass by many of these sites on our bike tours of Bogotá!
La Candelaria is a small, colonial neighborhood in the heart of Colombia’s capital. To its west is downtown, to its east the Andean foothills, providing the barrio a beautiful backdrop. La Candelaria’s hilly, sometimes cobblestone streets, are lined with restaurants, theatres, universities and centuries-old colonial and republican houses. The whole neighbhorhood has a young, artsy atmosphere, and many of the business have colorful, warm interiors. Although tourism has grown greatly in recent years, the neighborhood has retained its charming atmosphere. Walk the streets photographing the old houses, eat in a charming restaurant, visit a museum, go dancing or take a tour – of La Candelaria or on a bike of Bogotá!
Admire the Graffiti!
Bogotá has some of the most colorful (and sometimes the most political) graffiti around. Other stuff near our shop:
The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum)
Lots of artwork, from Colombia and beyond, made from both gold and many other materials. Located by the Transmilenio station of the same name, one block from 7th Ave. and the Eje Ambiental.
La Casa de la Moneda
The Museum of the National Mint. Located on 11th Street, between avenues 3 and 4.
Works by famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero, as well as many works by Picasso, Monet and others donated by him from his personal collection. Located on 11th Street, between avenues 3 and 4.
This is one of the largest public libraries in Latin America. It has free ongoing exhibitions of art and photography. There’s also storytelling, fiction workshops, concerts and many other activities. Besides books, the library also lends movies and has a large collection of historical manuscripts. Located on the north side of 11th Street, between avenues 3 and 4, across the street from the Juan Valdez Cafe. (The underground parking lot also has a bicycle parking area.)
The colonial home/museum where liberator Simon Bolivar lived some of his final years. It has gorgeous gardens and is very beautiful and peaceful. (Located at the upper end of the Eje Ambiental). On our bike tours, we sometimes pass by the Quinta and even stop and walk through the Quinta. It’s a great stop for kids! Museum of Religious Art/Museo de Arte Religioso – 8th Ave., between 8th and 9th Streets (alongside the presidential palace)
Museum of Colonial Art/Museo de Arte Colonial – 9-77 6th Ave. Tel: 3416017 Admission: Adults 2,000 pesos; Students: 1,500 pesos Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Mondays Guided tours in English available with prior arrangement.
Casa del Florero/House of the Flowerpot – 6-94 11th St. (The northeast corner of the Plaza Bolivar.) An argument over a flowerpot played a key part in the region’s rebellion against Spain. Find out why in this museum (or on one of our bike tours of Bogotá!) Tel: 334.6150 / 282-6647
Santa Clara Church-Museum/Museo Iglesia de Santa Clara – 8-91 8th Ave. Mon-Fri: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Sat-Sun: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Closed Mondays Admission: Adults: 2,000 pesos Students: 1,500 pesos Children 1,000 pesos; Tours available in English Tel: 337-6762
Museum of Regional Dress/Museo de Trajes Regionales – 6-20 10th St. (One block from the Plaza Bolivar) Open: Mon-Fri 9:30 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tel: 282-6531, 341-0403 Fax: 281-1903 Admission: Adults 2,000 pesos; Students 1,500 pesos; Children 1,000 pesos
Police Museum – 9th Ave. and 9th St.
Military Museum – 4-92 10th St. If you want to see tanks and helicopters in the only nation in the Americas with an active armed conflict going on, this is the place. But make sure the kids appreciate that war is a tragic, not a glorious thing. Just ask the millions of victims of Colombia’s four-decade-long conflict.
Archeological Museum/Museo Arqueologico – 7-43 6th Ave. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays 10-4 Closed Mondays and holidays Tel: 243-0465 // 243-1048 Fax: 243-0442 Admission: Adults 3,000 pesos; Students 2,000; Children 1,000
International Emerald Museum (Created by the emerald industry) No. 6-66 16th St. (Edificio Avianca) 23rd Floor Tel: 286-4628/283-1248/243-1757 Fax: 286-4259 Open Mon-Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Colombia is the world’s biggest emerald producer. Many emeralds are mined here under terrible conditions, in illegal, unsafe mines which can cave in and turn into tombs for the miners. Be careful yourself when buying the stones – sellers often repair flaws – which is an accepted procedure. However, not all repairs are equal. Buy only if you know what you’re doing, or from a reputed dealer/store. There are many emerald jewelry shops on 7th Ave. and on La Jimenez. Look for the crowd of men on the southwest corner of 7th Ave. and Jimenez – they’re bargaining over emeralds.
Also see the Modern Art Museum and the National Museum, which are located not far from La Candelaria.