Bogota Shopping Tour, Bogota

Bogota Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Bogota

Bogota is so rich in authentic shopping that it's almost mind-boggling when trying to decide what to buy first! Colombia is famous for gold and emerald products, very specifically and recognizably designed national clothes, pottery, accessories and other crafts. Bogota's historic district, La Candelaria, has many markets, shopping galleries and little shops, so be prepared to do some serious shopping! Enjoy!
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Bogota Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Bogota Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Colombia » Bogota (See other walking tours in Bogota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: ChristineT
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Pasaje Rivas
  • Museo del Cobre
  • Plaza de Santander
  • Galeria Artesanal de Colombia
  • La Casona del Museo
  • Distrito de Esmeralda
  • Artesanias de Colombia
  • Centro Colombiano de Artesanias
  • Galeria Artesanal Colombia Linda
  • Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo
Pasaje Rivas

1) Pasaje Rivas (must see)

The Pasaje Rivas is the oldest marketplace in Bogota, with more than 120 years of history. Not actually a centre, it is rather a labyrinth of narrow passageways and crooked corridors, where you can find loads of crafts, handmade furniture, dishes, hammocks, ruanas, leather clothes and pieces made of bamboo, all at really low prices. Pasaje Rivas is not considered very touristy, but it is very authentic to Bogota, where bargaining is acceptable. The Passage is located in the middle of the block, at the intersection of Carrera 10 and Calle 10.
Museo del Cobre

2) Museo del Cobre

There is a tiny and independent Museum, Cooper Museum, located in the basement of a building that faces Plazoleta del Rosario. In this museum of two rooms you can find over 1,500 pieces of copper representing arts and popular traditions of Colombia, some of them archaeological. The ground floor, right above the museum, is an artworks shop, where all traditional crafts made of bronze and copper are for sale.
Plaza de Santander

3) Plaza de Santander (must see)

The Santander Plaza is more of a flea market in the centre of the business city. There are street stalls selling traditional souvenirs, pottery, art crafts, coffee bags, chivas, models of patios of typical Colombian houses, ponchos and even some replicas of "gold" artifacts. The prices aren't high and you can buy almost anything for under $5. As it is surrounded by midsize highrises and various colonial buildings, the park itself is always very crowded and busy with tourists and office workers. The Santander Plaza is located right across the Gold Museum and is middled by the statue of Francisco de Paula Santander, a Colombian political leader during the War of Independence.
Galeria Artesanal de Colombia

4) Galeria Artesanal de Colombia

The Galeria Artesanal de Colombia is the best shopping gallery in Bogota, with more than 80 shops, all dedicated to Colombian souvenirs and handicrafts. Located right across the Gold Museum, this red-wall gallery has very attractive shop windows. Everything here bears an authentic and recognizable design. You might find traditional Colombian clothes and accessories, original pottery from souvenirs to ready-to-use in the kitchen, various home decorations, leather items and even some local delicacies such as coffee, honey and cane sugar products and various Colombian sweets.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
La Casona del Museo

5) La Casona del Museo

La Casona del Museo is the most famous treasure shop in Bogota. Located in front of the Gold Museum, it is situated in an old, two-storey colonial building, recently renovated, which is now part of a cultural and architectural heritage. On the first floor of this mini-mall you can buy gold, silver and emerald items, golden replicas of pre-Columbian golden artifacts exposed in a nearby museum, jewelry and other precious souvenirs. On the second floor there are more paintings, pottery, ceramics, leather clothing and wood artwork. The house has a very pleasant patio that houses le Café de la Fuente, with a very friendly atmosphere and always fresh, delicious coffee and chocolate. It is open Monday through Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm.
Distrito de Esmeralda

6) Distrito de Esmeralda

Colombia is one of the biggest producers of emeralds and there is an entire district in the very heart of Bogota where the trade of emeralds is mostly active, from the finest luxury store to sometimes illegal street merchants. The Emerald district is located along Avenida Jimenez, between Carrera 5 and 7. The district is very crowded and has many resellers, trading the green gems cheaply and buying from the street; this might be tricky and unsafe, as it is possible to buy a fake. At least, make sure you have an emerald expert with you. Their informal trading point is at the intersection of Avenida Jimenez and Carrera 7. But it's always safer to buy in the nearby stores, where they provide you with a certificate of authentication. There is an Emerald Trade Center located at the intersection of Avenida Jimenez and Carrera 5, where emerald "brokers" gather for everyday deals, and where several certificated emerald boutiques are located.
Artesanias de Colombia

7) Artesanias de Colombia

Artesanias de Colombia is the most popular and promoted Colombian craft brand. There are three shops in Bogota, the main one of which is located next door to Iglesia de las Aguas. Artesanias de Colombia offers a spectacular collection of national crafts, with much attention to quality and style, so you won't find any fast-buy, kitch items you might run into in other such places. The range of products covers everything: national garments and modern clothes with an ethnic twist, pottery, baskets, woodwork, bags, belts, hats, bracelets, handmade jewelery, embroideries and many more. Artesanias de Colombia is going international.

What to buy here: Chamba pottery & Mochilas.

- From a village in the department of Tolima, Chamba is black clay pottery. It is simple, rustic, and elegant. Chamba has even caught the attention of stores like Crate and Barrel, bringing Colombian rustic chic to smart dinner tables everywhere. You can go all out with plates, cute tinto cups and saucers, serving dishes, but maybe just a few soup bowls would do. If you ever happen to be in Bogota in December, an excellent place to go to actually get to know the artisans who make their living creating Chamba pottery is Expoartesanías – the massive handicraft fair at the Corferias fairgrounds. While knick-knack shops do sell chamba ware, it may be best to go to an Artesanías de Colombia store which sells top-quality chamba, although for a higher price. Artesanías de Colombia is, by the way, the organizer of the Expoartesanías event. Made of clay, chamba is of course quite fragile, so take care when packing it in your luggage.

- Mochilas are hand-woven, cotton or woolen handbags, some with very colorful designs. The best are made by the Wayuu Indians and are so sturdy and tightly woven that they claim you can carry water in them. No doubt during your visit to Bogotá you will see students, hipsters and even workers in suits with a mochila slung over their shoulder. As with other handicrafts described here, you can spend a little or a lot on mochilas, with the best quality and most original ones costing upwards of $150. To find these, again it is recommended to visit an Artesanías de Colombia store, or go to the Expoartesanías fair in December, when the indigenous craftspeople converge on Bogota to sell their extraordinary wares. Mostly coming from the Caribbean Coast area these artisans can tell you the significance of the geometric designs of the mochilas and you may even be able to meet the person who wove yours. While you can find cheap mochilas in tourist markets downtown it’s best to go for the quality at Artesanías de Colombia.

Artesanías de Colombia is located at Las Aguas church downtown (their main offices): Carrera 2 No. 18A – 58.

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Centro Colombiano de Artesanias

8) Centro Colombiano de Artesanias

Centro Colombiano de Artesanias is a shopping gallery dedicated to Colombian souvenirs and crafts. Located right across the imposing Beaux-Arts Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theater, this is one of the most popular souvenir spots that offers dozens of little boutiques virtually packed with national garments, hats, bags, jewelery, baskets, musical instruments, CDs with national music and many more. Centro Colombiano de Artesanias is a must visit in the San Diego neighbourhood.
Galeria Artesanal Colombia Linda

9) Galeria Artesanal Colombia Linda

Galeria Artesanal Colombia Linda is an another shopping gallery located in the San Diego neighbourhood. Housed on the first floor of a historic building, practically next door to the famous Terazza Pasteur, the shop-spot will surprise with a good selection of Colombian souvenirs and local specialties, like coffee and local sweets. You can discover very good accessories such as bags, hats, belts and a good deal of Colombian craftwork and paintings.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm.
Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo

10) Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo (must see)

The San Anjelo Flea Market is the biggest in Bogota flea marketplace, held every Sunday in the parking lot next to the Modern Art Museum of Bogota and Torre Colpatria. The market is always crowded and usually starts at 7 am and is over around 2 pm. It has many surprises to offer, so be prepared to browse through stalls of antiques, vintage home decorations, bronze crafts, toys, vintage fashions, pottery, collectibles, miniatures, bikes, plates, furniture, uncountable accessories for all possible occasions and even coca leaf products. The prices are good and the bargains enticing, which make it an exceptional "hunting" experience.

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