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Home to world-class museums, outdoor splendors, inspiring shopping and fantastic markets, Bogota teems with options for travelers. Here are five that should be on the top of your itinerary:
Gold Museum. One of the most famous museums in the city (and the country, really), the Gold Museum (or Museo del Oro) boasts incredible exhibits of pre-Hispanic art, culture and more than 55,000 pieces of gold artifacts. Nearly all of the artifacts were excavated and found in Colombia when the Spanish came in search of El Dorado.
Spend at least two hours perusing the museum. Guided tours and headsets are available to help you get the most out of your visit.
Museo Botero. Paying homage to one of Colombia’s most famous artists, Fernando Botero, the Museo Botero houses one of the most impressive collections of his rather unique artwork. The style, dubbed Boterismo, depicts large, exaggerated or overweight features and people.
Botero’s sculpture provides a whimsical respite to the museum’s more classical art collections from Dalí, Degas and Picasso. Admission is free, and you can also book a guided tour with a Botero expert.
Monserrate. Rising 10,300 feet above sea level, Cerro Monserrate touts the best views of the city and the surrounding Andes mountains than any other spot in Bogota. Atop is a church, which was founded in the 17th century to honor the Fallen Lord and still hosts daily services.
To get up, take the funicular or tram, or hike there. The hike is moderate and can take up to an hour. At the top, you’ll also find a market selling handicrafts and snacks like empanadas and bandeja paisa (a hearty plate of chorizo, chicharrones, steak, egg, fries, beans and rice).
Simón Bolívar Park. Larger than New York’s Central Park, Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park has more than 890 acres of lush green space. Ample walking and biking trails, public libraries, stadiums for concerts and performances, and many lakes make it a great place to enjoy a breath of fresh air in the bustling city.
If you can, plan your visit with the annual Rock al Parque, a free rock concert that brings in more than 120,000 visitors a year.
La Candelaria. Wander the cobblestoned streets of this historic neighborhood to take in its Spanish colonial architecture, wrought-iron balconies, elaborate painted doors and brightly painted homes that date back more than 300 years.
The area is home to restaurants, bars, boutiques, bohemian cafés and quirky art galleries. Plus, it’s home to most of the city’s main attractions, like Museo Botero.