Bogotá: the city of creativity

During all my travels through Colombia almost every traveller told me to spend as little time as possible in Bogotá. “It’s just a big, dirty city with shitty weather”. How wrong are all of them! Let me clear things up… I LOVED Bogotá!

It is indeed a big city, and the weather can be a little bit shitty. But coming from Holland I’m pretty used to grey clouds and drizzling rains. Of course it’s hard to beat the Caribean livin’ la vida loca, always 30 degrees and always cocktail o’clock vibes, but seriously, Bogotá got something pretty amazing going on as well. It is the city of street art, the city of seriously good partying, of beautiful colonial architecture and world-class museums. You can dance the night away, eat amazing food, wander around for days discovering new places and watch the great mix of people running through the streets.

view of bogotá colombia

playground with street art Bastardilla la Candelaria Bogotá
Made by Bastardilla, an artist that puts subjects like women’s rights, poverty, feminism and violence into art

No empty walls in Bogotá…

When visiting Bogotá there’s definitely one thing you shouldn’t miss out on; the street art tour. It’s a free walking tour guided by actual street artists that takes you through the Candelaria and downtown area showing you an amazing collection of street art from artists all over the world. Since every empty wall seems to function as a canvas, you will not only see things that blow you away, but also see how artists use those walls as a way to express themselves. With Colombia having a rather tumultuous past, you’ll notice they got plenty of inspiration, and using street art as a voice results in remarkable and amazing art pieces.

street art Guache in La Candelaria bogotá
Made by Guache
street art in downtown Bogotá
Street art by DJ LU, Guache, Toxicomano, and Lesivo
street art tour la candelaria bogotá
Indigenous woman by Carlos Trilleras

Disneyland for adults

Even before I started my trip through South America I already got heads up about this place called ‘Disneyland for adults’. This might sound a bit doubtful, but got me fascinated straight away. Hoping I wouldn’t end up at some sort of swingers club, I found myself an Aussie friend and a party bus, and off we went. The real name of this place is Andres Carne de Res and it’s basically just a huge steakhouse/restaurant (as in a whole block kind of huge) that turns into a nightclub. And what a rollercoaster of a night it was…
Since they know how to party in Bogotá it doesn’t necessarily have to end here. Not satisfied after a Night at Andres? Top it off with some electronic beats at Baum and stumble back to your bed around noon…

Cafe at the sunday usaquen market bogotá
One of the many many hangouts around the Usaquen market

The perfect tour guide

With probably one of the worst hangovers I got myself together the next morning for the ultimate Sunday activity; strolling around the Usaquen Sunday market. I was lucky to meet an amazing Bogotana (Silvia, you are a legend!) who showed me around a bit and took me to a few places that aren’t necessarily on the travelers radar. Usaquen was one of those places; a beautiful neighborhood in the northern part of Bogotá filled with amazing restaurants (they got a La Mar as well!!) and cozy bars. I guess I could easily spend a day just hopping from restaurant to cafe to bar, trying out all the good things they have to offer. Besides food, the market itself can help you out with all sorts of last minute souvenir shopping for your loved ones at home.

queue restaurant WOK usaquen bogotá
Queuing up for WOK in Usaquen… definitely worth the wait!wayuu bags on the usaquen market bogotá
Usaquen sunday market bogotá
The Usaquen Sunday market

One day…

Oh Bogotá, I wish I had more time to spend around here. So much to do, so little time. I kind of underestimated the beauty of this city, and I so hope I get to experience it again. I guess this means I have to come back, right? So this is only adiós for now, it’s been more than a pleasure!

Marthe

street art stickers mokum surf club bogotá
Joining in on the street art
bogotá street art tour crisp through la candelaria
Crisp, can you please come and paint my house like this?
street art in la candelaria bogotá
Next to this piece of art from Rodez, Nomada and Malegria in La Candelaria might be one of the best bakeries of Bogotá
bogotá street art tour downtown
Downtown Bogotá street art made by Stinkfishstreet art tour through downtown bogotá

cathedral in downtown bogotá

street art volunteering project bogotá la candelaria
These walls were a local community project where street artists and kids worked together on these muralsstreet art tour downtown bogotá colombia

birds street art tour la candelaria bogotábogotá street art tour

street life bogotá la candelaria
The colorful streets of La Candelariastreet art print bogotá colombia
vespa street art tour bogotá
Vespa instructions by Dast
street art on a shop in bogotá
Guache and Rodez in La Candelaria
lion street art tour bogotá
FCO!! de Colombia

Photos by: M. Barends ©

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