My name is Frank and I run a travel agency based in Bogota, Colombia. If you have any comments or suggestions, please write them in our comments section below. Thank you, and have a fantastic trip to Colombia!
The museums in Colombia
You would hardly believe it but Colombia is a cultural stronghold and the density of museums is very impressive. Below are around 120 museums in various regions of Colombia, with art at the top.
As a true paradise for art enthusiasts, Colombia not only has local art, but also international grandmasters and you can almost touch them. Most museums have free admission or only require an obolus.
The museums in Bogota
Bogota is not only the center of the country but also has an impressive selection of museums to offer.
Museo de Botero Bogotá
The Botero Museum is home to the Colombian Central Bank and is located in the heart of La Candelaria’s old town. It is one of the most important museums in Colombia and South America and is located in a colonial house that until 1955 served as the city’s archbishopric. Fernando Botero is arguably the most famous Colombian artist and in 2000 he handed over around 208 works of art to the National Bank’s cultural foundation, laying the foundation for the opening of the museum. 123 of them are his own creations and 85 works from his private collection come from international artists such as
- Alberto Giacometti
- Camille Pissarro
- Edgar Degas
- Eugène Louis Boudin
- Francis Bacon
- Gustave Caillebotte
- Henry Moore
- Joan Miró
- Fernand Léger
- Claude Monet
- Pablo Picasso
- Auguste Renoir
- Salvador Dalí
Admission is free and there are temporary exhibitions as well as permanent ones.
Museo del Oro Bogotá
The Gold Museum in Bogota is probably the most visited in Colombia and is right next to the old town of La Candelaria. The museum, which was built in 1939, is now in a modern building and exhibits over 55,000 objects, 30,000 of which are made of gold, from the pre-Columbian and colonial times. The most important exhibit is the 20-centimeter long golden raft of the Muiscas, which was discovered in Pasca in 1969. The valuable witnesses of the pre-Spanish cultures can be found in masks, statuettes, small figures, and jewelry.
There are other exhibitions in local gold museums in different parts of Colombia.
Museo Nacional de Colombia
After holding exhibitions at various locations, the National Museum of Colombia is now in a former prison, a monumental building. It was founded in 1823, making it the oldest museum in Colombia.
It has a permanent collection and there are temporary exhibitions.
Palacio de Nariño
The Casa Nariño is not a classic museum, but the house of the President and is located in the historic center of Bogota, in La Candelaria. However, it can only be visited with an official tour.
The palace was completed in 1908, built in the neoclassical style, and was the birthplace of Antonio Nariño. On a tour, you can see modern Colombian paintings, gifts to the various presidents, and the observatory in the garden that exists from 1803. Furthermore, various rooms are furnished with antique furniture.
Planetario de Bogotá
The planetarium is located in the immediate vicinity of the National Museum and, as a modern museum, offers exhibitions, demonstrations, laser shows, and workshops.
Casa de Moneda de Colombia
The Colombian National Bank’s House of Money (Colombian Mint) is located in La Candelaria, Bogota’s historic district. The building from 1753 houses an exhibition on the history of Colombia’s currency. You can find coins, medals, notes as well as the corresponding machines and accessories.
Museo de Bogotá
The Bogota Museum is also located in La Candelaria, the old town of Bogota. It is dedicated to various aspects of the city, namely architecture, socio-political realities, and local cultures.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá
The Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, also called MAMBO, was founded in 1953. The exhibition area is 5,000 square meters spread over 4 floors. The museum has one of the most valuable collections in Colombia, which contains works from all over the world. Among others, artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Jean (Hans) Arp, Salvador Dali, Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Cristo, Alberto Giacometti, Claes Oldenburg, and numerous other Latin American artists are exhibited.
Museo del 20 de Julio
July 20 is Independence Day and is properly celebrated. The museum is located in the old town of Bogota close to Plaza Bolivar. The included collection consists of documents, paintings, and objects related to the independence of the country or its personalities involved.
Museo Militar de Colombia
The military museum is located in the old town of Bogota and the building, which was built in 1913, can be seen from afar because cannons, helicopters, and guns are in the open courtyard. Weapons, machines, uniforms, documents, vehicles related to the Colombian military from the past and today are exhibited in the museum.
Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia
The art museum, also called MAMU, is located in the old town of La Candelaria in Bogota and exhibits works from the collection of the Banco de la República.
Quinta de Bolivar
The former home of the great liberator Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar now serves as a museum and is located near the old town of La Candelaria. The spacious garden and the former living quarters show life at the time of liberation.
Maloka Museo Interactivo
The Maloka is an interactive science museum. The topics are very diverse and offer children and adults interesting experiences.
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Bogotá
The Museum of Contemporary Art is also known as the MAC. National and international contemporary art is exhibited. The company’s collection comprises around 1,600 works. Changing exhibitions take place in the museum.
Museo Colonial de Bogotá
The museum is located in the old town of La Candelaria. Most of the pieces on display come from private individuals, who in the process of confiscating church assets came into their possession around 1860. The collection owned by the museum comprises around 1,600 works and includes sculptures, furniture, silverware, easels, and numismatics.
Museo Aeorespacial de Colombia
The Air Force Museum was founded in 2000 and exhibits a large area of everything related to aviation in Colombia. Airplanes like the Junkers W-34 and Ju-52 can be found here. With a total of 68 aircraft on display, in the future, the museum will have the largest collection of this kind in Latin America.
Museo del Chicó
The museum in Park Chicó shows a typical hacienda in the Sabana de Bogota, a colonial house from the 18th century.
Museo de la Esmeralda
The Emerald Museum is located near the historic center in the Avianca Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Colombia. Emeralds and beryls are exhibited, because in Colombia between 70-90% of the world’s gemstones are mined.
Museo Sociedad de Cirugia de Bogotá
The Surgical Society Museum is private but is open to the public. It shows a collection of permanent medical items and also has current events and exhibitions in the program.
El Museo Arqueológico – Casa del Marqués de San Jorge
The Archaeological Museum, also called MUSA, is located in the old town of Bogota, in the Marqués de San Jorge building, which was built in the 18th century. Pre-Columbian works of art are on display, which, along with the pieces in the Gold Museum, are among the most important in the country.
Museo Instituto de Ciencias Naturales (UN)
The Museum of the Institute of Natural Sciences is located on the campus of the National University. The collection includes over a million objects and includes zoological, botanical, paleontological, geological, archaeological, and ethnographic items. A large part of its collections is only accessible to researchers. A small selection from the collection is displayed in an area in the main lobby.
Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia
The National Museum of Art is located on the university campus. Since 2008, the public has had access to the art museum and to exhibitions by major artists such as Miguel Ángel Ríos, Carlos Amorales, Harold Vásquez-Castañeda, Clemencia Echeverri, Francesco Jodice, Ursula Biemann, Rogelio López-Cuenca, Hannah Collins, Antoni Muntadas, Krzysztof Wodiczko, José Alejandro Restrepo, Ryoji Ikeda and Luis Camnitzer.
Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño
The foundation, also called FUGA, is located in the colonial part of Bogota and exhibits temporary and cinema art.
Museo de Arquitectura Leopoldo Rother
The Leopoldo-Rother Museum of Architecture is both a place for exhibitions and information. It offers space for reflection and criticism of architectural thinking in all its forms. The Architecture Museum focuses on expanding the boundaries of knowledge in the field of architecture and understanding research as a supporting activity.
Casa-Museo Ricardo Gómez Campuzano
In 2000, the Banco de la República received the painter’s collection from Bogotá. Ricardo Gómez Campuzano (1891-1981) was one of the most representative artists of Colombian art in the early 20th century. This collection brings together more than 400 works by the artist and is an important testimony to his extensive career as a painter.
Casa Museo Francisco José de Caldas
The house is located in La Candelaria and was inhabited by Francisco José de Caldas. He was a remarkable scientist, military engineer, and patriot.
Museo Histórico de la Policía Nacional de Colombia
The Historical Police and Culture Museum is located in La Candelaria, the historical center. Weapons, uniforms, and institutional vehicles are on display.
Cementerio Central de Bogotá
The central cemetery of Bogotá is one of the most important and best-known cemeteries in Colombia. The memorial is like an open-air museum.
Museo Art Decó
The museum is located in an apartment in downtown Bogotá, in a building with clear Art Deco inspiration. The exhibition consists of Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces.
Museo Enrique Grau
Enrique Grau’s former studio was converted into a museum. Various works are exhibited, including painting, sculpture, engraving, montage, frescoes, and stage sets.
Museo del vidrio de Bogotá
In the glass museum in Bogota, which is also called MEVIBO, glass crafts are exhibited in a global context.
Colombia Travel Guides
In addition to museums, there is much more to see in Colombia, you can find everything in my travel guides.
The museums in Medellin
Museo de Antioquia
The Antioquia Museum, founded in 1881, has a collection of more than 5,000 works and the exhibitions range from the country’s archaeological history to contemporary art.
Since 2002, there have been a total of 23 Fernando Botero sculptures on the square in front of the Antioquia Museum.
Planetario de Medellín
The planetarium was completely renovated in 2006 and today offers a variety of digital experiences.
Museo Casa de la Memoria
The Museum of Remembrance was launched in 2006. It commemorates the victims of the armed conflict in this city and also commemorates the drug and civil war in Colombia since 1948.
In addition to exhibits, there are interactive screens that report on the fate of individual victims.
El Castillo Museo y Jardines
The castle with a park shows an exhibition of objects made of porcelain, stained glass, sculptures, paintings, and antiques.
Museo del Agua EPM
The Museum of Water offers interactive experiences related to water. Visitors experience science, art, and technology.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin
The Museum of Modern Art in Medellin consists of a collection and changing exhibitions. The museum opened in 2009 in a converted steel mill with a theater.
Cementerio Museo de San Pedro
The San Pedro cemetery is also a museum and was built in 1842 and declared a national monument in 1999.
Casa Museo Pedro Nel Gomez
The museum has 13 exhibition rooms and over 3,200 works. Oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, sculptures, and others are exhibited. The artist founded the museum with his family in 1975.
Casa Museo Gardeliana
The Tango Museum was created in the 1970s and is now considered an important cultural heritage of the city. The focus is on the life of Carlos Gardel.
The foundation houses more than 3,000 exhibits of pre-Hispanic and religious art.
Lokkus Arte Contemporaneo
The museum, founded in 2013, is dedicated to contemporary art. It also serves as a meeting place for current artists.
Museo de la Natividad
The crib museum has a collection of over 1,600 cribs.
The Viztaz Museum developed into Medellin’s memory and shows various festivals, cultural events, landmarks, and tourist attractions of the city.
Palacio de la cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe
The Palace of Culture is the administrative seat of the Antioquia Institute for Culture and Heritage and at the same time a center of cultural services. The striking building houses many valuable typefaces.
Museo Madre Maria Berenice
The museum serves as a memory of Mother Maria Berenice, who founded the religious congregation “de las Hermanitas de la Anunciacion” in 1943 and has an exhibition room.
Museo Etnografico Miguel Angel Builes
The Ethnographic Museum has over 2,000 exhibits from different cultures in 6 permanent exhibition rooms.
Museo Entomologico Piedras Blancas
The Entomological Museum exhibits insects such as beetles, butterflies, ants, bees, wasps, flies, bugs, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and other arthropods such as tarantulas, millipedes, and many other species.
The Parque Explora is an interactive science museum. The topics are very diverse and offer children and adults interesting experiences and experiments.
Museo Etnografico Madre Laura
The museum of the holy mother Laura has exhibits of indigenous cultures such as clothing, fabrics, ceramics, and wicker. Around 1,500 items are exhibited, including musical instruments and ceramics that are typical of indigenous cultures and some Afro-Colombian cultures.
Museo Universitario Universidad de Antioquia
The University Museum of the University of Antioquia, also called MUUA, divides the exhibition into 4 different collections for its visitors. Here you can find fine arts, natural sciences, history, and anthropology.
Area Cultural Banco de la Republica
The National Bank’s philatelic collection has almost 450,000 stamps from Colombia and other countries around the world.
Museo de Ciudad
The city museum shows a model of the city in miniature format and also organizes various temporary exhibitions.
Museo de Geociencias de la Universidad Nacional
The Museum of Geosciences at the University of Nacional has a collection of over 10,000 specimens of stones, minerals, and fossils.
Museums in Cartagena
Museo de Arte Moderno
The Cartagena Museum of Modern Art is located on San Pedro Claver Square, is also called MAMC and was opened in 1979. The museum currently owns over 300 works donated by various artists.
The building that houses the museum is considered one of the oldest in the city and was created in the 17th century.
Museo San Pedro Claver
The former Jesuit monastery has served as a museum since 1950. The monastery was built in 1618. The museum is dedicated to the African slaves who were brought to Colombia at the time.
There are various historical rooms where Father Claver worked with the Africans.
African and Afro-Caribbean works of art will be exhibited, as well as works of art from the colonial period in Latin America and there are also exhibits from Spain, Italy, and France.
Museo Naval del Caribe
The Caribbean Naval Museum exhibits 500 years of sailing history. The huge building that houses the museum was built in 1612.
Museo Histórico de Cartagena
The Cartagena Historical Museum is also known as MUHCA. In various rooms, there are exhibitions on the Inquisition, Independence, Human Rights, and the history of Cartagena.
Museo del Oro Zenú
Cartagena has long been a hub for global gold trading. The museum shows examples of the skills of the goldsmiths of Colombia’s indigenous peoples.
La Presentación Casa Museo Arte y Cultura
The museum shows various exhibitions of pictures and objects, furniture and furnishings, and it has a shady, lush garden with a café.
Museo Casa Rafael Núñez
Rafael Núñez’s former home preserves the historic legacy of the former Colombian president. The president lived from 1825-1894 and was elected in 1880 and 1884.
Caribe Jewelry Museum & Factory
The Caribbean jewel factory and museum is less a museum than a shop with an exhibition. The museum on the upper floor serves as bait to lure tourists into the shop, who can then only leave the house through the salesroom. Local tour operators and taxi drivers get a commission for visitors.
The museum shows various photos and offers explanations about the extraction of emerald in Colombia. The whole lower area is the sales area.
The Choco Museum is more of an experience than a cocoa and chocolate sales shop and holds various workshops on the subject.
The galleon shows life aboard a pirate ship in the 17th century. There is also a cafe, bar, and restaurant.
Museo Un Momento De Fantasía
The museum exhibits over 1,000 dolls and toy cars from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Palacio de la Inquisicion
The Inquisition Palace was the seat of the Inquisition and that is why torture devices are exhibited in the museum. The building is also considered one of the most beautiful and magnificent in the city.
Works by the sculptor and painter Edgardo Carmona are exhibited in the Carmona Museum.
Museums in Santa Marta
Museo del Oro Tairona Casa de la Aduana
The customs house is a colonial building and houses the Tairona Gold Museum. Pieces of goldsmithing from the inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are exhibited and their culture is explained.
Museo del Cacao de Minca
The Museum of the Cocoa is not so much a museum as a gastronomic experience.
La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
The museum is actually a huge park, where the house where Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America, died and another museum (Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporaneo) are located.
Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporáneo
The Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art shows various current artists and is located in La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. So you can kill two birds with one stone and visit Simon Bolivar’s house of death and then make a detour to this museum.
Museo Etnográfico de la Universidad del Magdalena
The Ethnographic Museum, also called MEUM, was inaugurated in 2005. The museum is located in an old hospital that was founded in 1746.
Museo de Arte de la Universidad del Magdalena
The Art Museum of Magdalena University opened in 2003. Above all, art is exhibited by local artists and university graduates.
Museo Etnográfico de Gaira
The history of Santa Marta is told in the Gaira Ethnographic Museum.
Acuario y Museo del Mar
The marine museum and aquarium has 13 pools and 15 glass aquariums. Screenings with dolphins are shown, so I do not recommend visiting.
Museo Minca – Memorial Museum of the Sierra Nevada
The Minca Museum shows and explains the history of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Museums in the coffee triangle
Museo del Oro Quimbaya, Armenia
The Gold Museum in Armenia was opened in 1986. It shows the most important archaeological collection in Colombia’s coffee zone. Parts of the exhibition mainly show gold and ceramic works from pre-Columbian indigenous cultures.
Pereira Art Museum, Pereira
The art museum of the department capital Pereira shows changing exhibitions.
Museo Eliseo Bolivar, Belen de Umbria
Eliseo Bolivar was born in 1883 and collected many items that today are considered relics of the past. The museum was created in 1942 on the initiative of his son. It is located on a hill and displays the testimony of Quimbaya’s past cultures such as the Umbras, Chapatas, Cachibies, and Andicas.
Fonda Museo Hotel, Quindio
You can see the magnificent, sometimes colorful facades of the Bahareque houses (Latin American half-timbered houses of the indigenous peoples), which were formerly built from bamboo and with mud or dung.
In the meantime, they have become a symbol of coffee culture.
Casa Museo Musical del Quindío, Armenia
The Museum of Music Documentation was founded in 1984. The permanent exhibition is dedicated to the musical heritage of the Quindio department.
Museo de Arte de Armenia y del Quindío, Armenia
The Armenia Art Museum, also known as MAQUI, is located in a former central station. In addition to various Colombian artists, 50 exhibits by Duvan Lopez are shown.
Barranquismo o Arte Tierra, Técnica Escultórica en Armenia Quindío, Armenia
Earth art is a typical sculptural technique of the city of Armenia. It shows figures like people and animals.
Museo de Bordados de Cartago, Cartago
In the Cartago Embroidery Museum, you will find everything related to embroidery, one of the oldest artistic skills of mankind.
Casa del Virrey, Cartago
The Virrey house is an architectural jewel from the colonial period and unique in Cartago. Today it houses the music conservatory and a historical archive of the city.
Museums in La Guajira
Casa Museo Diomedes Diaz, San Juan del César
Diomedes Díaz (1957-2013) was the prince of Vallenato, a popular musical style in Colombia. In his former country house, you can find many exhibits from his life.
Centro Cultural de Riohacha, Riohacha
The Center for Culture in Riohacha is a place for knowledge exchange and research of the Guajira community. The local population can use the installations to organize concerts, meetings, or exhibitions.
Museums in Popayan
El Museo Arquidiocesano de Arte Religioso
The museum was founded in 1977 to organize the works of the Archdiocese of Popayán. The building that houses the museum dates from the 18th century and is kept in the old neoclassical style.
The exhibition includes exhibits from the 16th to the 20th centuries and there is a selection of oil carvings, goldsmith’s work, furniture, and ornaments.
El Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad del Cauca
The Natural History Museum of the University of Cauca, also known as MHNUC, was founded in 1936. There is a large collection of birds and mammals.
Casa Museo Guillermo León Valencia
The legacy of the former President (1962-1966) is preserved in the house of Guillermo León Valencia (1909-1971).
Museo Nacional Guillermo Valencia
In the National Museum Guillermo Valencia, you can find objects and documents of the poet and writer.
La Casa Museo Negret
Sculptures from the private collection of the prominent Colombian artist are exhibited in the house of Edgar Negret (1920-2012). The museum borders on the Museo Iberoamericano de Arte Moderno.
Museo Iberoamericano de Arte Moderno de Popayán
The Iberoamerican Museum of Modern Art in Popayán, also known as MIAMP, was opened in 1994. Various modern Latin American artists are exhibited.
Panteón de los Próceres
The building was built for the local authorities in 1928 and has served since 1940 to preserve the ashes of the Popayans who contributed to the founding of the republic.
Casa Museo Mosquera
The house of the important Mosquera family houses the legacy of the great general Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera. He was a veteran of the Wars of Independence from the Bolivar era and was President of Colombia four times. The house itself is also very impressive.
Museums in Cali
Colombia owns around 15% of all orchid species worldwide. These are around 3,500 different types. The Orquideorama has an area of 7,400 square meters and is not only home to various plants, but is also a popular venue for various occasions.
Museo Arqueológico La Merced
The archaeological museum La Merced was opened in 1979. The pre-Hispanic heritage of the southwest of the city can be found there.
The Archaeological Museum of Cali, also called MUSA, is located in the La Merced architectural complex.
The museum houses a large collection of ceramics from the pre-Columbian period.
Museo de Arte Colonial y Religioso la Merced
The private Catholic cultural institution exhibits urns, vessels, graters, rollers, anthropomorphic figures, and many other pieces.
Museo Jairo Varela
The heritage of the teacher Jairo Varela is exhibited in the museum. You embark on a journey into the world of salsa.
Museo Departamental de Ciencias Naturales
The Museum of Natural Sciences was founded in 1963. Here you will find over 4,000 exhibits from the animal kingdom. There is ethnographic, archaeological, geological, and bibliographical material.
One of the highlights is definitely the humpback whale skeleton hanging on the ceiling of the museum.
The Caliwood Museum is Colombia’s first cinematography museum and was founded in 2008.
Banco de la República (Exposiciones y Museo del Oro)
The National Bank’s exhibition shows over 450 exhibits made of gold and ceramics.
Museo Libre de Arte Publico de Colombia
The Free Museum of Public Art, also called MULI, is the largest open-air museum in Latin America. One finds over 500 works as objects, paintings, graffiti, mosaics, etc.
Museo de la Salsa
Cali is proven to be the world capital of salsa. An official salsa museum should not be missing, which is 150 square meters full of history and photos. It serves as a cultural location for cinema, music, and dance.
Museo La Tertulia
The small museum La Tertulia shows modern art and exhibitions by American and Colombian artists.
Museo Aereo Fenix
The Fenix Air Museum is a private non-profit foundation and is located at the airport. There are various aircraft from World War II and other exhibits related to aviation.
Museo de la Caña de Azúcar
The area around Cali is known for its sugar cane cultivation and if you are driving, you will regularly see trucks with 5 trailers full of sugar cane. In Australia, such vehicles are typically referred to as the “road train” because their length is considerable.
The “Museum” is located just outside of Cali. It is a tour of a beautiful park with the hacienda, where you can get to know the development of sugar production in individual stations.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of whether you can also try a sugar cane schnapps, but you can certainly try a fresh Agua de Panela with lime. The visit is suitable for a day trip and since the museum has no restaurant, you can enjoy yourself in the nearby Amaime.
It is advantageous to take rain protection and mosquito spray with you, the tour lasts approx. 2-3 hours.
El Palomar Colombia
Handmade ceramics are exhibited in El Palomar, a Spanish mansion.
Centro De Memoria Etnico & Cultural
The Ethics and Culture Memorial Center shows temporary art exhibitions.
Museums in Pasto
Museo del Oro Nariño
The Gold Museum in Pasto reopened in 2016. The museum has over 400 pieces of gold, ceramics made of clay and stone, textiles, etc. and serves as a comparison of the two tribes: the mountains and the coast.
Museo Del Carnaval
The black and white carnival in Pasto is widely known and also recognized by UNESCO. In the corresponding museum, you can find everything related to this special carnival.
Museo Juan Lorenzo Lucero
The Juan Lorenzo Museum was founded in 1974 and was named after a Jesuit priest. It is a museum of religious, archaeological, and historical art.
Museo Caridad Brader
The museum shows archeology, ethnography, bibliography, folklore, mineralogy, botany, zoology, visual arts and is administered by Franciscans.
Museo Casona Taminango
The Taminango Museum, founded in 1970, shows the craftsmanship of the region.
Museum in Yopal
Casa Museo Ocho de Julio
The house museum July 8 shows photographs and documents as well as historical objects of the region.
Museum in Villavicencio
Museo Patrimonial Urbano
The urban state museum shows regional art such as painting, different types of clothing, etc.
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