City Orientation Walk, Bogota

The capital of Colombia Bogotá is a sprawling, high-altitude metropolis renowned for its rich historical scene. The cobblestoned center of the city, known as La Candelaria, abounds in colonial-era architecture and numerous museums, including Museo Botero, showcasing Fernando Botero's works, Museo del Oro (museum of gold) and others. The most notable sites of Bogotá are included in this orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Colombia » Bogota (See other walking tours in Bogota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Author: Tom
1
Museo del Oro

1) Museo del Oro (must see)

The Gold Museum is a museum located in Bogotá. It displays an extraordinary selection of its pre-Hispanic gold work collection - the biggest in the world - in its exhibition rooms on the second and third floors. Together with other pottery, stone, shell, wood and textile archaeological objects, these items, made of what to indigenous cultures was a sacred metal, testify to the life and thought of different societies which inhabited what is now known as Colombia before contact was made with Europe.

In 1939 the Bank of the Republic began helping to protect the archaeological patrimony of Colombia. The object known as Poporo Quimbaya was the first one in a collection. The museum houses the famous Muisca's golden raft found in Pasca in 1969, that represents the El Dorado ceremony. The heir to the chieftaincy assumed power with a great offering to the gods. The museum has a collection of 55,000 pieces. 6,000 pieces are on display in their expanded building. On the second floor the exposition begins, the Main Room is called People and Gold in prehispanic Colombia. The exposition continues on the third floor, with The Flying Chamanic and The Offering. At the end of the exposition there's a Profunditation Room with artistic videos about the most important gold pieces of the museum.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Plaza de Santander

2) 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.
3
Iglesia de San Francisco

3) Iglesia de San Francisco (must see)

The church of San Francisco is a Catholic temple of worship under the protection of St. Francis of Assisi in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. This church was built between 1550 and 1567 on the right bank of the river Vicachá (later better known as San Francisco River) by the Franciscan brothers. It is currently the oldest church preserved in Bogotá and is nestled on the corner of Avenida Jimenez and Carrera 7.
4
Palacio de San Francisco

4) Palacio de San Francisco (must see)

The San Francisco Palace amazes with a sober and elegant Republican architectural style, and surprises even more with its rich and detailed interior decor. The construction of the building lasted from 1918 until 1933 following the project of the Gaston Lelarge. As of 1984, the palace has been listed as a national monument. Currently the building houses the Rosario school.
5
Casa de la Moneda

5) Casa de la Moneda (must see)

The Numismatic Museum is located in an old, 1753 colonial house, which became a museum in 1996 with one of the most complete numismatic collections of Colombia. In this house in 1622, the first golden coins in all of America were minted. The 10 museum's rooms will take you on a journey through the history of Colombia, highlighting the relevant facts of the national life, the history of the building and the technical processes involved in the production of coins and the historical context in which those circulated. Admission is free and visitors receive tokens – special commemorative "moneda".

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
6
Museo Botero

6) Museo Botero (must see)

Botero Museum is located in a historic colonial house, built in 1724. Opened in 2000, the museum houses a large collection of works donated by artist Fernando Botero with the intention of spreading the arts and culture in his native country. On the display are 87 works coming from his own art collection and 123 works are of the artist himself. Several rooms are devoted to European artists of the late 19th and early 20th century, covering impressionism, surrealism, expressionism, German New Objectivity and works close to Cubism. Another part is devoted to the American avant-garde art of the mid-20th century. Botero's personal works include numerous paintings, drawings, pastels and sculptures, especially during his last twenty years. Within the collection is highlighted Botero's version of the "Mona Lisa" by da Vinci and a part of the series on violence in Colombia. Botero's paintings and sculptures are united in style by their proportionally amplified, or "obese" figures.
7
Luís Ángel Arango Library

7) Luís Ángel Arango Library (must see)

Luis Ángel Arango Library, is a public library located in Bogotá, Colombia. It was founded in 1923 as a small library with a few books on economics. It is currently under the administration of the Bank of the Republic. Today, its collection has grown to the point where it has become the country's premier library and it has come to be considered to be the most important public library in Latin America. It has over 1.1 million books and 1900 reading places; it received 6.7 million visitors in 2008. There is also a bookstore in the first floor of the library. The bookstore specializes in books about Colombia, scientific magazines, and literature related to Colombia and its values. The Botero Museum is part of the library. The main entrance features an Athena or Minerva statue.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Museo de Bogotá

8) Museo de Bogotá

The Bogota Museum is located in a historic colonial house, former residence of Juan Samano, built in 1780. Originally, it was opened in 1969 as the Museum of Urban Development, which lived through several transformations, settling in 2009 in the recently renovated Samano house. The museum traces the history of the development of Bogota, from the time of its foundation to the present megapolis. The museum shows the city's first phase – a small village at the time of the Conquest, including the foundation, the map with the route of the conquerors and the location of the various native tribal settlements. It then leads to the colonial city of the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries, dominated by the spirit of devotion and religiosity, leaving Hispanic buildings, churches, chapels and cloisters. The modern era is exposed through documents, drawings, prints, engravings, models and photographs, depicting the transformation of urban scape, adding new contemporary buildings and environment.
9
Palacio de San Carlos

9) Palacio de San Carlos

The San Carlos Palace, also known as Cancilleria, was built in the XVIth century upon the order of Francisco Porras Mejia, Archdeacon of the Cathedral. The San Carlos Palace has an indisputable and invaluable artistic and cultural legacy accumulated over 400 years of its history. The second floor of the Palace is accessed by a wide corridor of stairs in which a collection of bronze statues sculpted by Italian artist Pietro Tenerani are displayed. The palace is located at the corner of Calle 10 and Carrera 5.
10
Museo de Arte Colonial

10) Museo de Arte Colonial (must see)

The Colonial Art Museum is one of the most refined art museums of Bogota, located in the former Colegio Máximo, a typical two-storey Hispanic building of the 17th century, merging with the next door House of Pastors. It houses the most complete collection of everyday objects, paintings, drawings, sculptures, reliefs and works in gold and silver produced between the 16th and 18th centuries. You might also find here paintings by Miguel de Santiago, Gregorio Vásquez, Bernardo Legarda, various religious sculptures from Mexico and Central America, oil paintings and drawings from Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, and even European antique musical instruments. Colonial Art Museum is also a place for understanding the concept of a civil portrait in 17th-18th century New Granada. The characters depicted on the portraits can take a tour through the symbolic value of power, giving accounts on clothing, jewelry, virtues and other qualities, and most of all, the importance of "earning" a portrait.
11
Palacio de Nariño

11) Palacio de Nariño (must see)

Casa de Nariño (Spanish for House of Nariño) or Palacio de Nariño (Spanish for Palace of Nariño) is the official home and principal workplace of the President of Colombia. It houses the main office of the executive branch and is located in the capital city of Bogotá. In 1908, it was dedicated after being constructed on the site of the house where Antonio Nariño was born. The design was made by architects Gaston Lelarge, a French-born former pupil of Charles Garnier, and Julián Lombana. In 1980, the structure was rededicated after the construction of additions. The palace also houses works of art and furnishings from different years. Its garden houses the Observatorio Astronómico de Bogotá, designed by the Capuchin friar-architect Fray Domingo de Petrés and built in 1802-03.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Museo del Siglo XIX

12) Museo del Siglo XIX (must see)

The XIX Century Museum is located in the historic neighbourhood of La Candelaria. It was founded in 1980 and has a collection of over 2500 pieces including sculptures, drawings, paintings and engravings from the 19th century, as well as other historic objects and decorative arts that allow visitors to get an idea of the popular lifestyle at the time. There are several rooms that house permanent exhibitions, such as the Chamber of Fashion, where you can admire female costumes of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Postal Card Room, the Botica de los Pobres, which reproduces an old pharmacy, the Hall of Portraits, the Red and the Green Rooms and the Room of Miniatures, with pieces of ivory, wood and metal. There is also the French and Art Nouveau Glass Room, where you can see a nice collection of art nouveau vases, as well as the Room of Landscapes, with significant time period city landscapes among them. The most entertaining is the Caricature Hall, with works of Ricardo Rendon.

operation hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm; Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
13
Museo Iglesia de Santa Clara

13) Museo Iglesia de Santa Clara (must see)

Spanish architect Santiago Matias finished the construction of the church convent of Santa Clara in 1647. The old Church of Santa Clara is now Museo de Arte Colonial and contemporary art space. It is located in the Historic Center of Bogotá, in the neighbourhood known as La Candelaria. The space is administered by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 16:45; Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 15:45
14
Capitolio Nacional

14) Capitolio Nacional (must see)

Capitolio Nacional (or The National Capitol) is a building on Bolivar Square in central Bogotá, the construction of which began in 1876, by order of president Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, and was not concluded until 1926. It houses both houses of Congress of Colombia. In 1947, for the Inter American Conference, Master Santiago Martínez Delgado painted a majestic mural under the commission of the then director of the OEA, Honorable Alberto Lleras Camargo and Conference organizer the Honourable Laureano Gómez--two men who later became Presidents of Colombia. This mural of the Elliptic chamber National Congress Building, made in the fresco style, represents Bolivar and Santander exiting the Cucuta congress during the creation of the Great Colombia. The mural is considered the most important fresco in the country and the artist's main masterpiece.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
Pasaje Rivas

15) 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.
16
Bolívar Square

16) Bolívar Square (must see)

The Bolívar Square (Spanish: Plaza de Bolívar) is located in the heart of the historical area of Bogotá. It has a statue of Simón Bolívar sculpted in 1846 by the Italian Pietro Tenerani, which was the first ever public monument in the city. Plaza Bolívar is also the name given to the main square in every city or town of Venezuela, the native country of Simón Bolívar. On the southern side of the square is the Palace of Justice, a big modern building where the Supreme Court works. On the southern side of the square the National Capitol is located, which is the seat of the Colombian Congress. On the west side of the square there is a French style building known as the Liévano building which is the seat for Bogotá's Mayor. On the eastern side of the square is the Primate Cathedral, built between 1807 and 1823, and near it is the Holy Chapel, which was built at the end of the 17th century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
17
Catedral Primada de Colombia

17) Catedral Primada de Colombia (must see)

The Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá is a Roman Catholic cathedral located on the eastern side of Bolívar Square in Bogotá, D.C., Colombia. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bogotá, Cardinal Mon. Pedro Rubiano Saenz. The Cathedral was built between 1807 and 1823. When the Spanish conquerors officially founded the city of Bogotá (changing the original Indian name of the city: Bacata), they were established in 12 huts and a hay-church, that would take the name of Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá after being totally built. Biggest in Colombia and one of the biggest in South America, the cathedral holds the remains of Gonzálo Jiménez de Quesada, founder of Bogota.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bogota, Colombia

Create Your Own Walk in Bogota

Create Your Own Walk in Bogota

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bogota is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bogota Nightlife in Zona Rosa

Bogota Nightlife in Zona Rosa

Zona Rosa is the main essence of Bogota nightlife. Located in the posh north part of the town, Zona Rosa is a huge neighbourhood where all the best clubs, bars, restaurants and shops are concentrated, offering a wide range of entertainment, with the pedestrian Zona T in the very heart of it. There are too many nightspots in which to spend your night out! We're offering a tour though the most popular, trendy and chic night attractions in Zona Rosa, so don't hesitate to join the party!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Bogota Famous Museums, Part 2

Bogota Famous Museums, Part 2

Bogota is quite rich in museums, many of them related to its national cultural heritage. It is worth visiting the Regional Costume Museum to observe Colombian ethnic garments and the Botero Museum in order to appreciate the artist's unique "obese" style. It is also nice to see the Colonial Art Museums to embrace Colombian art diversity, and the Archaeology and Bogota Museums to view the city and the country from their very beginnings. Don't hesitate to see them all!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Bogota without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Bogota, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 km
Bogota Shopping Tour

Bogota Shopping Tour

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!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Religious Tour in Bogota

Religious Tour in Bogota

Religion has always played an important role in the history of Bogota, and Columbia in general. The sumptuous churches of Bogota are true architectural marvels of a great historical value. All in all, they are well worth your attention, so do spare some time to take the religious tour of Colombian capital.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
San Diego Walk in Bogota

San Diego Walk in Bogota

San Diego neighbourhood is one of the oldest settlements in the city of Bogota, yet it has been quite modernized within several decades. Some of the most modern construction marvels are located here, such as the highest building in Colombia, the Planetarium and the eco-conceptual Torres Park. The National Colombian Museum and the Museum of Modern Art are also worth a visit, so make sure you don't miss the opportunity to tour the neighborhood!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Enjoying Onces in Bogota

Enjoying Onces in Bogota

Elevenses, on the surface, seem to be a particularly British tradition, a break for something light and sweet between breakfast and lunch, a time to gossip, a time to catch up, a time just to be. Lo and behold, Colombia somewhere along the line adapted this tradition in a particularly Latin fashion....
18 Uniquely Columbian Things to Buy in Bogota

18 Uniquely Columbian Things to Buy in Bogota

To those who understand Russian, the word "Bogota" sounds very similar to the one translating as "rich". And, indeed, the city does live up to this name connotation in terms of peculiar things worth exploring in addition to coca, coffee and emeralds. Here's the longer list...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bogota for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bogota has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bogota, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.