Bogotá Displays a Sophisticated Blend of Creative Finds
Photo: Museo Botero (left), and graffiti (right) © CARLOS MORA | DREAMSTIME.COM
AS COLOMBIA’S CAPITAL and largest city, Bogotá naturally attracts talent from around the region. That means travelers can find an ever-growing array of possibilities for enjoying art, design and fashion in its most popular neighborhoods.
Bogotá’s most historic neighborhood, La Candelaria, is stop one for most first-time visitors looking to get an overview of the city’s history. But it’s also a rewarding place for art lovers, thanks to the presence of the Museo Botero, which displays the work of Fernando Botero, the nation’s most famous artist. Strolling the historic streets downtown is also a surprisingly good way to enjoy artwork as well as architecture, thanks to the vibrant murals and street art gracing the walls of centuries-old buildings. For a detailed overview of some of the most interesting creations, sign up with Bogotá Graffiti Tour, which leads participants on an ambulatory excursion that highlights the works of some of the city’s most legendary street artists. At the end of the tour, follow the guide back to the organization’s headquarters at Dibs, a tiny urban and contemporary art shop that sells the work of many of those same artists.
Art lovers should also head to La Macarena, a peaceful, hilly district known for its cutting-edge galleries. In spite of its central location a few blocks from busy thoroughfares, La Macarena’s quiet streets make for lovely strolling. Take a peek into the neighborhood’s many galleries, including Galería Valenzuela Klenner, which focuses on contemporary Latin American art, and Galería Alonso Garces, where the gift shop brims with original works and prints as well as jewelry and books.
For upscale shopping, locals and visitors alike flock to the Zona Rosa to pick up international brands like Coach, Calvin Klein and Ermenegildo Zegna at the chic mall called Centro Andino. To refuel, a popular Zona Rosa choice is Andrés DC, the legendary eatery where the lively wait staff draws as much attention as the tasty Colombian cuisine.
For a youthful, more local take on fashion and design, head to the centrally located neighborhood called Chapinero, where tiny shops carry the works of Colombian designers. Top picks include Céfiro Tejido, a collective that stocks colorful creations including men’s and women’s clothing and hats, and Evolta, which features clothing as well as handmade jewelry and home décor.