The Best Markets in Bogotá, Colombia

Stroll through the beating heart of Colombias bohemia paradise and immerse yourself in the local culture of Bogota
Stroll through the beating heart of Colombia's bohemia paradise and immerse yourself in the local culture of Bogota | © Zoonar / Alamy Stock Photo
Rebecca Wilkinson

Bogotá is the exuberant capital of Colombia, oozing with character and framed by the Andes mountains. Among the city’s many points of cultural interest are its most popular markets. Here, we’ve rounded up the must-see markets in Bogotá.

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1. Mercado de las Pulgas de San Alejo

Market

HWAB7N Colombia, Cundinamarca department, Bogota, Centro district, the Sunday flea market of San Alejo
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

A truly authentic flea market – open on Sundays and public holidays – Mercado de las Pulgas de San Alejo fills a large square space in the Santa Fe locality in downtown Bogotá and is an ideal spot to search for all kinds of goodies. A stroll through San Alejo is like a treasure hunt: one day you might leave with bags full of interesting trinkets, and the next you could leave with nothing. You never know exactly what you’ll find – it’s all part of the fun. From vinyl records to movie posters and vintage clothing, this bohemian market is a hipster’s paradise.

2. Paloquemao Market

Market, South American

FDJEX8 Flowers at Paloquemao farmers flower market in Bogota, Colombia, South America
© Jeremy Pembrey / Alamy Stock Photo
Paloquemao Market is one of Bogotá’s most important markets, brimming with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy and flowers. Established in 1946, it moved to its current location – just off Avenida Ciudad de Lima – in 1967. This market is a real treat for the senses, attracting locals and tourists for its eclectic colors, tastes and smells – a fantastic cultural experience, giving visitors the chance to shop like a true Colombian. You’ll be sure to find almost any cooking ingredient you could think of in the Paloquemao market and – with Colombia standing as the leading producer and exporter of flowers in South America – any flower you desire, too. It’s open on weekdays from 5am-4.30pm and on weekends from 5am-2pm. Oh, and be prepared to haggle.

3. Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén

Market

PXKJ41 At the Sunday market of Usaquen
© Federico Tovoli / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo
Another vibrant flea market, Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén boasts a passionate artistic scene, with creative flair evident throughout its many stalls. Established over 20 years ago, it has since been recognized as an icon of cultural heritage by the city council and attracts those who enjoy searching for all manner of handcrafted goods, jewelry and artwork while enjoying live music. Head to this traditional neighborhood in the north of the city on a Sunday afternoon and soak up the jovial atmosphere.

4. Pasaje Rivas Craft Market

Shopping Mall, Market

TC88CX Colorful traditional baskets in the shop at the Art and Craft market at the historic center, Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia, South America
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
A modest yet charming little market in the historic La Candelaria district, Pasaje Rivas features a thriving craft scene and is well worth visiting if you’re looking for cheap and authentic souvenirs. You’ll find everything from artisan homewares to traditional Colombian ponchos here. One of Bogotá’s oldest markets, it’s renowned for its lighthearted ambiance and friendly vendors. It’s not only a great shopping opportunity but a fantastic place to strike up a conversation with the locals and put your Spanish to the test.

5. Galeria Artesanal De Colombia

Market

2ETJN3D The vintage balcony in Bogota, Colombia, South America
© Sergey Strelkov / Alamy Stock Photo

A small, indoor market, Galeria Artesanal is an intimate space in which artists of Bogotá and elsewhere in Colombia promote their creations and establish direct commercial contact with their clients. An effective way to promote independent businesses and artists, it’s a very different experience to the sprawling and somewhat hectic flea markets. Galeria Artesanal is considerably calmer and could almost be described as a very lavishly decorated café where you can peruse delightful souvenirs.

6. La Concordia

Market, South American

Opened in 1934 in La Candelaria, the La Concordia market was recently renovated as part of a project led by the District Institute of Cultural Heritage. Its sleek, modern decor and layout – designed to facilitate a less crowded space in light of the Covid-19 pandemic – contrasts sharply with the more traditional outdoor markets in Bogotá. Strolling through the new La Concordia market, therefore, offers a more laid-back shopping and dining experience – with stalls selling street food, fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, handcrafted souvenirs and more. There’s also an art gallery (Santa Fe) in the same building, showcasing contemporary exhibitions from local artists, which is worth visiting while you’re here.

7. Mercado de Monserrate

Hill Station, Historical Landmark, Church, Shrine

Monserrate – the mountain which overlooks downtown Bogotá – is best known for its 17th-century white church which can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It also has its own market – where you can buy all kinds of handcrafted souvenirs and traditional Colombian street food delicacies. The prices are noticeably higher here compared to the markets in the city center, but there’s usually scope to bargain. It takes around an hour to get here on foot, but if you’d rather save time and avoid the steep ascent, you can take the cable car or funicular instead.

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