Bogotá’s thriving art and culture scene has recently seen an increase in artisan-style products becoming available. Locals and visitors alike can buy products made by indigenous communities all over Colombia using traditional methods, and handcrafted souvenirs can be found at markets all over the country. Here are some of our favourite places to buy genuine artisanal souvenirs in the capital city of Bogotá.
Artesanias de Colombia
Artesanias de Colombia is a company that works with indigenous communities to bring artisanal products to Colombia’s cities, for visitors to buy as souvenirs or for locals to purchase as everyday luxury items. A large number of communities work with the company to produce their products, and the company ensures that at least 70% of the profits goes back to the artisans who made them. Artesanias de Colombia has a large three-storey store in Bogotá, which offers and sells a wide range of traditional and cultural products. The store sells handmade crafts, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, chairs, ornaments, masks and a host of other products. These crafts can be more expensive than others around the city, but customers know that they are buying high-quality goods and that the money they spend is going back to the communities that made them.
Artesanias de Colombia, Calle 86a #13a-10, Bogotá, Colombia +57 (1) 691 7149
La Casona del Museo and Galería Artesanal de Colombia
La Casona del Museo and Galería Artesanal de Colombia are two permanent market structures, located in a building opposite Bogotá’s Gold Museum in the La Candelaria neighbourhood. Both markets offer a large number of artisanal souvenir products; everything from hammocks to traditionally made jewellery can be found here. Again, the prices may be higher than at other places in the city, but the products are good-quality, genuine artisanal craft items.
Centro Artesanal Plaza Bolivar
Centro Artesanal Plaza Bolivar is a purpose-built daily market area with a large number of stalls selling products including artisanal crafts and everyday items. You will find some of the cheapest prices in the city here, and stall owners are willing to negotiate prices by up to 20%. Located close to the popular tourist spot of Plaza Bolivar, this area is a hit with visitors and offers a large number of different products that are perfect for souvenirs.
San Alejo Mercado de Pulgas
San Alejo Mercado de Pulgas is a weekly Sunday flea market with lots of stands selling everything from traditional Colombian artisanal products to quirky secondhand or vintage items. This market is quite an experience, and gives visitors a real sense of a bustling local Colombian market.
Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquen
Usaquen is a colonial neighbourhood in Bogotá where, every Sunday, the plaza turns into a unique market. It has stalls selling a large variety of artisanal products, handmade jewellery, unique items, paintings and clothes. Usaquen also has a large variety of restaurants perfect for Sunday brunch or a traditional lunch while taking a break from shopping. Mercado de las Pulgas is a great place to find a gift or traditional Colombian souvenir, which will often be made right in front of you by the stall owner.
San Victorino is a traditional locals’ market close to Bogotá’s La Candelaria neighbourhood. This market is unlike any other, as locals visit the market to buy and barter for everyday household items, food products, stationery, clothes and every other product imaginable. Visitors who are brave enough to enter the hustle and bustle can find gifts or souvenirs at very low prices, although there are few artisan products here.
Pasaje Rivas is a local craft market located in Bogotá’s historic centre. Relatively unknown to tourists, this market is a great place to purchase unique, cheap souvenirs. Pasaje Rivas is a quiet and relaxed market, with an up-and-coming art scene. The market has an atmosphere all its own, and visitors can feel as if they are stepping back in time.