A city of 8 million, one of the 30th biggest cities in the world, almost always gridlocked with traffic and stretching far beyond the eye can see, Bogotá is big and can be intimidating. So big is it that visitors can feel overwhelmed when they arrive, and certainly as though their chances of discovering anything nice, charming or green are limited. Not so, Señor Traveller!
In fact, Bogotá has over 1000 park areas and its main park, Parque Bolívar, is bigger than Central Park, NYC. There’s a lot about Bogotá that people don’t know, and certainly more than meets the eye, and so with this post fair reader, I’d like to share with you some of the most weird and wonderful of Bogotá’s off the beaten track spots that you won’t find in your dog-eared travel guide currently falling apart at the seams in your backpack.
1. Parque El Chico (Cll 93 # 7)
Parque El Chico in Bogotá is one of the city’s charming little parks. A historical landmark, it comes with a museum and restaurant for you to spend you time in but the main attraction here is just escaping the chaos of the city for a little while and relaxing in the beautifully maintained gardens. Oh, and when you finish up you can head to Parque 93 for a few drinks, sweet.
2. Peña Esquina Del Tango (Cll 59a # 8-05)
I lived in Buenos Aires for a while so I became accustomed to tango and, to be honest, never really thought I’d miss it. Lucky for me, when I did someone pointed me in the direction of the Peña Esquina Del Tango in Bogotá. Quality musicians, dancers and food all come together for that authentic Argentine experience.
3. Parque Jaime Duque
Kitsch personified, Parque Jaime Duque might be a little way out of town but it’s well worth a visit if you’re a) visiting a nearby village such as Chía or b) just really into bizarre parks. Featuring a Taj Mahal, a Caribbean Sea, the 7 Wonders of the World, dinosaurs and more, this is the kind of thing you feel could only happen in Colombia.
4. Calle de Los Mariachis (Cll 53 # 13)
If you’ve never had mariachis playing for you live then, frankly, you’ve never lived. And if you want to live, I’d suggest heading to the Calle de Los Mariachis. Pay them a few thousand pesos and you’ll be serenaded just like you see in the movies! Life doesn’t get much better.
5. Galeria MU (Kr. 4a #26-29)
Galeria MU might not feature men with awesome moustaches singing or massive dinosaur heads, but it does have great selections of photography. Located in the arty area of La Macarena, it’s an easy walk from La Candelaría and, if you’ve had enough of all the obvious museums and galleries on your travels, I’d recommend checking this place out.