Colombia is a country rich in history. While every part of the country has its own historical sites and tourist attractions, Bogota has some of the best. If you’re visiting Bogota make sure to add these top sites to your bucket list.
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Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
This cathedral is actually just outside Bogota, but many people include it as one of the top historical sites in the city because of its rich history and culture. It’s a small historical town famous for salt mines. There’s even a cathedral carved on the inside of one of these salt mines.
It’s one of the most visited religious sites in the country since it’s a museum on weekdays and a functioning church on Sundays.
All the Historic Churches in the City Center
Bogota’s city center is filled with historic churches. Most people say they are some of the most must-see destinations because of the culture and history behind each one. Each church is unique despite being in the same areas of the town.
You can easily wander around downtown and go into any of the cathedrals that seem interesting. If you aren’t sure where to go, start with the Iglesia de la Tercera and the Iglesia de San Francisco. They are right next to one another so you can visit one and then the other.
Although there are a few historic neighborhoods throughout the city, La Candelaria is the most popular one to visit. It’s also walking distance to a few other historical sites so you can visit them all around the same time to make the most use of your time in Bogota.
La Candelaria is home to the Botero Museum, the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center and la Casa de la Moneda. Once you have seen the most popular sites, you can spend hours walking down the narrow cobblestone streets and visiting cafes, museums, and local shops.
The shops are a great place to buy souvenirs to bring home. Many of the small places are also owned by local artists so it’s a nice way to support the local economy.
Casa de Narino
Casa de Narino is known as the White House of Columbia. It’s the president’s palace. Much like the White House in the United States, you can take a guided tour but you will not be allowed into all the rooms and spaces.
They also have a changing of the guard ceremony that happens every day. Make sure to make your reservations in advance so that you don’t have to stand in long lines.
The Cathedral Primada is the largest church in South America and was influenced by the neoclassical architecture movement. The outside is more impressive than the inside, so many people just choose to take photos of the courtyard and the architecture.
You can go inside if you have extra time though. The church interior is simple but it has many different sculptures and paintings you can look at.
Museo Del 20 De Julio
You can find this small museum at the northern corner of the Bolivar Plaza. It’s dedicated to showing visitors the history of the War of Independence between Columbia and Spain. You can tour the museum on your own and look at all the different war memorabilia.
The famous vase is on display also. Little is known about the vase, but it’s apparently what started the war when a Columbian threw it at a Spaniard.
El Cerro Monserrate
Not all historical sites around Bogota are indoors. To get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, check out the mountain top el Cerro Monserrate. It has some of the best views of the city and you can take some awesome photos of the landscape.
The easiest way to get to Monserrate is to take the cable car to the top of the mountain. No hiking or physical activity is required to see the top of the mountain. While most people just come for the view, there are a few other things you can see while on the mountain.
Check out the small market that sells handicrafts where you can find hats, purses, and other items. There are also places where you can buy sweet treats and beverages.
This is one of the top recommendations for any traveler to Bogota. While the museum has many different exhibits and galleries, the gold collection is the most famous and hence why the museum is named the gold museum.
Most of the gold pieces are from the time when Colombia was ruled by Spain. There are also artifacts in the museum from many different time periods. You can easily spend half a day in the Gold Museum, especially if you take a look at all the different exhibits and spend time marveling at the extensive gold collection.
This market is said to be one of the oldest markets in the city. It’s one of the best places to find fruits and vegetables if you’re planning to cook for yourself at some point rather than going out to eat.
They have exotic fruits as well as ones that are native to Colombia. They also have fresh meat in the butcher sections.
The best part of the market is the flower section though. Colombia is home to many different kinds of flowers and you can find bouquets of them in the market. Most are freshly cut. It can make a good gift if you traveled to Bogota with your spouse or significant other.
Bogota is full of historic sites and wonders to check out as you visit this amazing city in Colombia. Even if you only have a few days in the capital city, make sure to check out at least a few of these places before leaving.