Experience the wonder of the old and the magic of the new in Bogota, Colombia's capital city. Here, colorful graffiti murals from outsider artists adorn the walls of antique buildings, and modern skyscrapers rise above cathedrals and well-preserved colonial architecture. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims as you climb the mountain of Monserrate, stroll down cobbled streets in the old town of La Candelaria or dance the night away in one of the city's many nightclubs - there's always something new to discover in Bogota.
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Bogota isn't just the nation's capital - it's also Colombia's capital of art and culture. The country's best museums and galleries can be found here, from the traditional to the avant garde. Make a stroll through the city into a gallery crawl in La Candelaria, famous both for its historical architecture and for its bold street art. Be sure to check out the Museo del Oro, home to the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world, and the Museo Botero, which showcases art by one of Colombia's most famous - and unique - fine artists.
What To Do
Climb Monserrate - Monserrate is hard to miss - this lush green mountain rises high above the city. The church at its peak was a popular pilgrimage destination, and you can make the journey yourself on the well-traveled footpath. (If walking isn't your thing, there's also a cable railway to take you to the top.)
Play a round of Tejo - You've never played anything like Tejo! This popular sport involves throwing a metal disk at a unique target - tiny sachets of gunpowder which explode on impact.
Visit the Gold Museum - The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) is home to thousands of pre-Columbian items to delight history buffs, but the most famous are its golden artifacts. This museum boasts the largest collection of them in the world.
What To See
La Candelaria - This historical district is a popular sightseeing destination in Bogota, where cobblestone streets wind past bold graffiti murals and street art.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá - You won't regret taking a day trip outside of city limits to see this unique church, carved from an underground salt mine.
Plaza Bolivar - This is the place to go to if you're looking for colonial architecture. Home to the country's government buildings, churches and museums, the wide plaza marks the spot where Bogota was founded.
You may have to sort through the usual cheap tourist fare, but the handmade clay dishes and decorations you can find here are worth it. One of Colombia's specialties is emeralds, mined in the country's mountainous regions. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, be sure to bring home some locally produced coffee and chocolate.
For fun after the sun goes down, head to Zona Rosa. This upscale neighborhood is home to some of the city's best restaurants and nightclubs.
Foodies won't leave Bogota disappointed. Start your day with chocolate completo, hot chocolate with a twist - melted cheese.