10 Free activities to discover Bogotá
For several years now, many tourists come to visit the Colombian capital. Its many museums, theaters, libraries, but also its walls covered with graffiti and its architecture make Bogotá a place of high interest, attracting history and culture enthusiasts. In addition, big festivals nationally and internationally renowned are organized and attract a public from all over the world. Except that sometimes our budget doesn’t allow us to do everything… Fortunately, Bogotá is full of activities completely free, to make the most of your stay!
- Hike up to Monserrate
When you arrive in Bogotá, you can’t miss the Monserrate Church, sitting on a mountain looking down on the Colombian capital, offering one spectacular viewpoint over the city. If you’re looking for doing something for free, you can reach the Monserrate by hiking the trail up. A distance of 2350m, 1605 steps, 1 hour… Ready to take up the challenge?
- Visit the Botero Museum…
The museum consecrated to the paintings and sculptures of Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero, is located in the heart of La Candelaria, a very popular and cultural neighborhood of Bogotá. 123 pieces of his works of art are exhibited in this museum, and were donated to the Bank of the Republic by the artist when he died so the public could access his work for free permanently. Without spending a peso, you will also get to enjoy the work of other international artists, exhibited in the museum as well.
Credit: Comisión Fílmica Colombiana
- …And the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
On Sundays, the entrance to the Gold Museum is free. You will discover tens of thousands of gold artefacts from Colombia when visiting this museum. Tools, jewellery… you will be immersed in Colombia’s rich History.
- Go on a Free Walking Tour to explore La Candelaria
The Candelaria is the lively centre of Bogotá. It has various monuments, such as the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the National Capitol located on Bolívar Square. The narrow streets lined with shops selling emeralds and artisanal creations lead to cultural sites such as the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum (see above). If you want to know more about the history of La Candelaria, sign up for the Free Walking Tour with Masaya and immerse yourself in the depths of this famous neighborhood.
- Go on a Free Graffiti Tour
One thing you will notice when you arrive in Bogotá is its powerful street art and graffiti. The Graffiti Tour is a tour around La Candelaria where it is possible to meet the main local, national and international artists of the urban art that have performed in this town. You will understand the phenomenon of graffiti in Colombia and the world, as well as its techniques, styles and history. Bogotá is considered one of the graffiti capitals in the world and this tour gives visibility to the artists who transform the city. In the end, you will have the opportunity to leave your own marks in a space provided. Sign up here for the Graffiti Tour with Masaya.
- Relax in Simon Bolivar Park
Simon Bolivar Park, Bogotá’s largest park, is a great place to spend a day relaxing and enjoying some fresh air and nature in the heart of the city. There’s a large lake, nice walks to do in the woods and large gardens where you can have a picnic.
- Book (in advance) the Casa de Nariño tour
The Nariño Palace is the official residence of the President of the Republic and the seat of the Colombian Government. Located in the historic centre of Bogotá, Casa de Nariño is named after Antonio Nariño, the translator of the human rights and former inhabitant of this place. You can visit it on free tours organized by the palace administration. You have to apply early in advance to book the Casa de Nariño Tour.
- Enjoy the atmosphere of a Sunday Market in Usaquen
The pretty north Bogotá neighborhood of Usaquen hosts a weekly craft market every Sunday and it’s an extremely popular place for tourists to go for lunch or to buy souvenirs. If you don’t plan to spend more money, there are also loads of live music in the streets, and lovely stands to enjoy the great atmosphere of a Sunday market.
Credit: Revista Compensar
- Get to attend a music festival
There are many free music festivals organized in Bogotá throughout the year: Rock en el Parque, Jazz en el Parque, Hip-Hop en el Parque, Opera en el Parque, and Colombia en el Parque (which puts the spotlight on traditional Colombian music). They are all totally free and attract a great number of local and international artists. Let’s dance!
- Go cycling the Sunday Ciclovia
Every Sunday, the main roads are closed so that runners and cyclists can enjoy their outdoor activities without pollution. You can walk, jog or rent a bike. The streets are lined with food carts, bike repair carts and street entertainers. Good for your health, good for your wallet!