Published on May 30th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut
Street Art & Graffiti in Bogota is Simply Amazing
Colombia’s capital city has emerged as one of the world’s best places to view street art and graffiti. And guided tours are one of the best ways for foreigners to appreciate the creative side of Bogota.
Last year while visiting Colombia, I took one of the free walking tours offered by Bogota Graffiti Tour, a company run by a group of artists and art lovers. That tour, which costs nothing other than what you’d care to donate, features an interesting guided stroll around the historic downtown neighborhood called La Candelaria (click to see some of the impressive artwork that graces the walls downtown).
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This time around, on a press trip organized by ProColombia (the organization that promotes international tourism to Colombia), I took a fascinating street art and graffiti tour led by Federico Ruiz, a local art dealer. By riding around rather than walking, we were able to view original public art in a variety of neighborhoods, and Ruiz’s insight provides details about how the city of Bogota came to allow graffiti and street art to flourish, and the meaning of several of the most important street murals, which range from political and anti-government to social and artistic expression.
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One of the most visually stunning stops on this Bogota tour is in Santa Fe, a once-upscale neighborhood that has in recent decades become a place to avoid at night. Artists have graced countless buildings here with vibrant and beautiful murals, bringing new life to a downtrodden neighborhood. A walk down Calle 24 (24th Street), in particular, is like a visit to an open-air art gallery. You can also stop for some legendary Colombian coffee at Cafe del Fondo, a popular refueling point on street art tours.
With artists from around Colombia and around the world now contributing to the city’s street art scene, a guided tour should be on the itinerary of any art lover looking for enriching things to do in Bogota.