24 Hours in Bogotá, with a Local Street-Art Expert as Guide



January 14, 2019

A recent lively performance at the hotel’s music space. COURTESY OF THE CLICK CLACK HOTEL.

Forget everything you think you know about Colombia. While the capital city of Bogotá (population 8 million) was one of the most violent cities in the world in the ’90s, today’s Bogotá is a vastly different, happier place, with an emphasis on art. We asked locals—including Andrés Quintero, a local journalist and photographer who focuses on street art and culture in the city—for their perfect day in the city, from appreciating vibrant street art to exploring the great outdoors.

Unpack & Snack

Check in at The Click Clack Hotel, where urban boutique lodging meets art gallery-slash-music venue. Once settled, head to breakfast at the greenhouse-inspired Canasto Picnic Bistro, bathed in natural light and just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. It’s also across from the popular Virrey Park if you need to stretch your legs.

Mural aesthetics in the city range from colorful graffiti styles to fine-texture photorealism. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRÉS QUINTERO.

Explore Real Art

Now that you’re full of fresh, local food, take a car (be prepared for traffic) out to explore the art district that is the Puente Aranda neighborhood. There you’ll find murals and graffiti by Colombians and international artists alike, according to Quintero. “In Bogotá you can find many places of alternative culture,” he says.

Event-goers fill the textile-factory-turned show space, which regularly hosts fairs and large-scale AV productions. COURTESY OF CENTRO CREATIVO TEXTURA.

Take in an Event

From there, it’s a short drive to the Centro Creativo Textura for local exhibitions and special events covering everything from visual and performing arts to music and fashion. “Textura gave new life to an old textile factory, giving way to a new creative center,” says Iván García, director of marketing and events. “This is a project that seeks to reactivate a sector of the city traditionally destined for heavy industry.”

There’s often not a whole lot of demarcation between the art-and-culture world and the nightlife scene in Bogotá. COURTESY OF KB.

Break for Food

Just a 15-minute drive from Textura (depending on traffic), Céntrico has the finest in Colombian cuisine, day or night, and also offers up rooftop views. Call ahead for reservations, and put on your dancing shoes if you decide to check it out on a weekend night instead.

The largest mural in Bogota is a vibrant stunner. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRÉS QUINTERO.

Meet the Neighbors

If you’re up for more driving, the Los Puentes neighborhood is an authentic juxtaposition of art and life in the city, where a recent program transformed hundreds of homes to make the largest mural in the city. “There you will see large-scale murals and appreciate how the real people of Bogotá live,” Andrés says.

Art venue KB also hosts live music and DJ gigs. COURTESY OF KB.

DIY Art Crawl

Travel back up to the north central art district of Barrio San Felipe for art galleries, workshops, and bars playing alternative music. “Once a month this place organizes an event called Night of Galleries, involving thousands of people who go to know the galleries and enjoy a beer,” Andrés says. “In general, the San Felipe neighborhood is a good place to visit.” There you’ll also find KB, another contemporary art venue and place to grab a beer.

An art-covered pathway through the otherwise green Quebrada la Vieja mountain area. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRÉS QUINTERO.

Play Outside

Nearby, you can also check out Quebrada la Vieja, a quiet hiking area in the mountains with a waterfall, should you want to get away from the buzz of traffic, bikes, and pedestrians for a spell. “It’s a good place to breathe some fresh air in the city,” Andrés says.

The iconic church and shrine of El Señor Caído, which perches atop Monserrate hill. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA ROTE.

Quintessential Colombia

No trip to Bogotá would be complete without a trek to Monserrate—just be prepared for tons of tourists. Buy tickets in advance, and carve out enough time to explore this centerpiece of Colombia. On your way, stop at Café Origami for a taste of some of the best Colombian coffee against a backdrop of Japanese art and Iranian food.

One of our favorite aspects of public art in Bogotá: how the natural greens and earth tones complement so much bright, popping visual art. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRÉS QUINTERO.

Call It a Night

Head back to The Click Clack for dinner and a nightcap at Apache, the hotel’s rooftop burger bar with unbelievable views of the city and DJs from Wednesdays to Saturdays if you’re in the mood.

Read more travel and explore stories at Sixtysix Magazine.