is a city bustling with culture; from the historical museums and galleries of La Candelaria to the bohemian neighborhood of La Macarena and further, in the trendy, artistic bars of Chapinero and the numerous galleries in the north of the city. Art even follows you as you travel; impressive graffiti murals, often politically-charged, dot the city and give the art lover plenty to discuss without even leaving the city’s Transmilenio.
Fernando Botero's depiction of Pablo Escobar's death
Discovering everything the city has to offer the world of arts in one day is impossible; however I’ve tried to devise a tour that allows you to take in as much as possible in a meager 24 hours. Here goes…
Start in La Candelaria
. If you position yourself in Plaza Bolivar you’ll find the Museum of Religious Art just opposite the Embassy buildings. Here you can see some of Colombia’s grandest religious paintings, and learn a little about the history of the country. From this museum, take the short walk to the Botero Museum (passing the Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Cultural Centre) and get lost among the ‘proportionally exaggerated’ figures that populate the walls downstairs. Botero’s paintings are Colombia’s most famous artistic export, so be sure to take your time.
The Botero Museum also hosts two temporary exhibitions that are well worth checking out. Often full with wild, confusing modern art, the two exhibitions housed on these floors are usually some of the most interesting Colombia has to offer.
From the Botero Museum head towards La Macarena
towards Galeria MU. There’s normally work on show from photography’s brightest lights in Bogotá (and elsewhere). Pick up some lunch in one of the area’s numerous bohemian cafes before walking towards the Septima. On your way you’ll see Bogotá’s bull ring and Torres Del Parque. These buildings are built by Colombia’s most famous architect, Rogelio Salmona; the man responsible for transforming Bogotá from a closed-in, sky-less city to the big, open place we know today.
The garden of Bogotá's National Museum
On the Septima you’ll find the National Museum. Of course you can spend a while exploring the historical exhibitions, but if it’s art you’re interested in then get yourself to the top floor where you’ll find more of Botero’s work (including early work showing how he developed his unique style) and work from some of Colombia’s other top artists. It’s a must-see and, in my opinion, even better for understanding Botero than the Botero Museum.
Head north towards the MOMA and enjoy the superb exhibitions on display. You’ll find a series of exciting temporary exhibitions and, should you have time, a series of excellent international films on show.
Finally, to end your day, hop on a Chiva towards Andres Carne de Res with some friends. Not only is the food exceptional, but the place itself is like a work of art. Full to the brim with kitsch decoration, it’s a must see for anyone wanting to understand the color and life that’s so prominent in Colombia.
Graffiti in Bogotá
If you want to check out Bogotá graffiti in more detail, Bogotá Graffiti Tours
offer excellent, informative tours around the city explaining the significance of some of Bogotá’s most important graffiti artists and their works.