La Candelaria is home to some of the most popular museums and attractions in Bogotá. The neighborhood is an eclectic juxtaposition between old and new, historic and modern. The beautiful buildings are typical of Spanish colonial architecture, while the streets boast some of the most unique graffiti murals you’ll ever see.
You can enjoy a fascinating guided walking tour of La Candelaria with our local insider as part of Culture Trip’s epic eight-day Colombian Andes trip.
This cultural and historical arts center has been a national monument since 1963. Today it is a hub for students, tourists and scholars looking to escape the busy city and immerse themselves within a quiet, stimulating environment. The center has a gallery, café, cultural academy, library and hundreds of other resources for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Colombian art, politics, culture and history.
It’s hard to miss the colorful murals of street art that are a stark contrast to the colonial architecture in La Candelaria. The tour will take you to other neighborhoods in Bogotá, but the murals in La Candelaria, are some of the most impressive. Every mural is different, depicting themes that affect the urban environment and the people. The tour guides are very knowledgeable about the artists and the messages portrayed through the art. The tour is free, though a small donation to support the artists and guides is encouraged. If you’re looking for something a little different, this is a great experience.
The Church Museum of Santa Clara is one of the oldest churches in Bogotá and is now a museum run by the government. The small entrance fee often deters visitors, but we definitely recommend seeing the elaborate interior of this church. It was built between 1629 and 1674 and its interior is almost entirely painted in gold. Though the church is quite small, it is an incredible sight, especially when compared to the other cathedrals in the city. Between the golden walls, there are over 147 paintings and sculptures of saints. You won’t see another cathedral like it in the city.
Teatro Colón is Colombia’s national theater and, as expected, is impeccably beautiful. It was built in the neoclassical style by an Italian architect and is reminiscent of the horseshoe shape of the Palais Garnier in Paris. Beautiful and intricate frescoes decorate the dome ceiling, while delicate golden and red details illuminate the stage and balconies. There are always musical and theatrical performances happening in this spectacular venue. Their website is updated frequently and lists all the upcoming shows and events. We recommend getting your tickets a few weeks in advance as they tend to sell out quickly.
If you’re a lover of literature, a writer, or a poet, you have to visit the La Casa de Poesía Silva. The non-profit foundation is located in the old home of José Asunción Silva. He is considered one of the founders of Spanish-American modernism and one of Colombia’s most celebrated names in literature. The house is a haven for anyone with a passion for the literary arts or a desire to explore poetry throughout history and in any genre. The house is structured like a museum. You’ll find original copies of some of his literary work, as well as paintings, furniture and personal belongings that belonged to Silva when he was alive.