La Candelaria is the historical center of Bogotá. Here, the city was founded back in August 6th, 1538, and the first church was built in the Bolivar Square (Plaza de Bolivar). Most of its buildings conserve the colonial style in which they were built, and in fact, many have been declared properties of historical and cultural interest.
For 18 years I lived in Bogotá and there were very few times in which I visited the city center. In fact, it never really caught my attention. 8 years after, I’m back and honestly, this neighborhood captivated me with all its art, graffiti, history, museums, gastronomic offer, its secrets, and why not, its particular weather. (I say particular weather because when we left the north of Bogotá, there were sunny clear skies with a temperature of 22 degrees, but when we arrived to the city center, there was a huge black cloud covering the sky and pouring down heavy rain, cold air and 15 degrees.)
What to do in La Candelaria?
There’s a lot to do and discover in this neighborhood, from visiting its more than 50 museums, to try a great variety of restaurants and different dishes, from stumbling upon its peculiar characters and inhabitants, to listen to its mysterious urban stories. La Candelaria is definitely a place where there is no room for boredom.
Here are my recommendations:
On the 11th street, in the corner of Plaza de Bolivar, you will find all kinds of typical homemade fast food we call Corrientazos, for example one of the most popular ones is El Secreto del Amor – El Mejor Ajiaco del Mundo.
If you prefer other kind of food, Madre, on the 12th street with 5th avenue, is a delicious Italian restaurant, with a modern design and fresh vibe. But I will tell you more about this place later on.
- Museo de Botero: It counts with a great collection of pieces of art donated by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
- Museo Arqueológico: It counts with a collection of pre-colombine pieces made of clay that belonged to cultures like the Muiscas, the Chimilas, the Calimas and the Guanes.
- Museo de trajes Colombianos: A collection of typical Colombian outfits from different times and regions.
Palacio de Nariño
The official Presidencial Residency
Catedral Primada de Colombia
Teatro de Cristobal Colón
Beautiful theater with a neo-classic style where the best plays of the country have been performed.
Plaza de Bolivar
It is the main square of the city where you can find some of the main buildings in the city like: the Palace of Justice, the National Capitol, the Cathedral of Bogotá and the Liévano Palace, Bogotá’s City Hall.
La Candelaria in photographs
I hope you enjoyed this entry and that you have found this place as interesting and fascinating as I did.