The Candelaria is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Bogota. It is packed with historical Colombian culture. The following list includes the top 10 reasons to visit the Candelaria.
1.) Almuerzo (Lunch) - The best, most affordable place to get lunch in Bogota is the Candelaria. Be aware there are some restaurants that are not so good. The best way to find a good restaurant is by looking for one that is packed with people. Don’t worry the turnover is fast. Most restaurants will offer delicious lunch specials.
2.) Great Deals on Clothes - You may not find Armani here, although you will find full suits for under $100 that are decent quality. Shoes are also very affordable here with some dress shoes only costing around $20. The clothes are mostly Latino giving you a true taste of Colombian style.
3.) Music in the Streets – There is a lot of public music during the afternoon in the Candelaria. If you get lucky, you will witness drumming groups on buckets or an epic guitarist. During my time there a girl played a beautiful violin show.
4.) Art Lines the Sidewalks – The Candelaria is considered an artsy, hip part of the city. A lot of artists gather here to show off their art and try to make a living. Along the sidewalks you will see some very interesting pieces and meet even more interesting people.
5.) Museo de Oro- If you like gold, you have to check this place out! The museum has the largest collection of pre Hispanic gold work in the world. Most displays are bilingual to accommodate for foreigners.
6.) Plaza de Bolivar- This is a beautiful, open square next to the president’s house. The architecture surrounding the square is gorgeous. It gives a real taste of Colombia culture while in the square and taking in the beautiful sites surrounding it. You can find some nice restaurants around the square.
7.) The Beautiful Architecture – For anyone that appreciates architecture, the Candelaria is sure to please. In my experience, it was the most beautiful architecture I saw in Colombia. In other cities, everything is newer making it harder to get that same taste of classic Colombian architecture.
8.) The Churches- The churches in the Candelaria are some of the most beautiful I have seen in my life. During my time there, I made sure to visit and say my prayers. It was a very rewarding and feel good experience. For anyone interested in visiting churches make sure to check them out. Even the non-religious will enjoy the classic designs.
9.) The Street Food- This is one of the biggest highlights of Colombia. In most countries, I never eat street food. Colombia changed that for me. Not one time did street food in Colombia make me sick. The one time I was mildly upset was from a restaurant. Don’t forget to try the freshly fried empanadas.
10.) The Fresh Fruit Juices – One of the biggest highlights of Colombia is the fresh, exotic fruit juice. The juice is also incredibly cheap when compared to prices in America. Make sure to try the lulo and guanabana, those two were my favorites. My special was mixing lulo and pineapple juice.
And because there are so many reasons we couldn’t just keep it at 10, so this month you get an extra one:
11.) The Atmosphere – In the afternoon, the Candelaria is always energetic and full of people. It is recommended to go during the day because at nightfall everything closes, and it gets a little dangerous.
Hopefully these 11 reasons get you motivated to check out what the Candelaria has to offer!
Written by: Pete, check him out here.