My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
Markets in Bogota
Bogota is a city of 10 million people and the range of leisure activities and shopping opportunities is correspondingly large. Travelers who spend a few days or even weeks in Bogota should definitely visit at least one market. The markets in Bogota also give an excellent insight into Colombia’s agricultural economy. Personally, I have never seen a market with such diversity.
The Paloquemao market is probably the largest and best-known market in Colombia. I also regularly send tourists there on guided tours. The market is around 20 minutes from the center of Bogota.
You can either just get there by taxi, or you can take the bus or Colectivo at Calle 19. The corresponding vehicles are marked on the windscreen.
Even in front of the large market hall, you will be offered fruits and vegetables by traders. As soon as you enter the market hall, you are overwhelmed by the colors and smells. Although one would not expect that in the somewhat chaotic Colombia, the fruits and vegetables at many stands are sorted by color and sometimes artfully stacked.
It is definitely an advantage if you speak a little Spanish. The dealers are happy to explain the fruits to customers. However, it surely makes sense for interested visitors to have a tourist guide with them. So nothing stands in the way of an interesting tasting.
The majority of the market consists of offers of fruits and vegetables. However, there is also a section with meat. It is hard for North Americans and Europeans to get used to because the smell and the pieces on offer remind one of the animals very strongly.
There is also a section with fish. Although Colombia consists of two coasts, and countless lakes and rivers run through the country, this area is rather small.
There are also countless kitchen accessories and everything you need for food processing.
In the morning there is also a huge flower sale in the large parking lot. It should be mentioned here that Colombia is one of the largest flower producers in the world. So don’t hesitate to get out of bed early and visit the flower shops too, it’s worth it!
Finally, and probably one of the most important offers on the market, there are juicers and small kitchens all over the hall. So you should definitely try a fresh fruit juice. And if you are hungry, you are directly at the source and you can get delicacies prepared everywhere.
Plaza Mercado Perseverancia
The Perseverancia market is located in the La Macarena district, not far from the center. You can either take a comfortable taxi or take the Transmilenio to the Museo Nacional station, but you have to climb the steep slope from there.
This market is a lot smaller than Paloquemao and the range of fruits and vegetables is a lot smaller. It is much cozier because of that. However, the specialty of this market is the culinary offer and I recommend every traveler to visit this market. Inside the building, on a large area, there are various cooking points in the center, where specialties from all over Colombia are prepared.
In any case, many of my Colombian friends agree that the best food in all the markets can be found here and it is also very cheap.
Plaza de la Concordia
This small market in the middle of the historical center was recently renovated. However, there are fruits and vegetables and if you are looking for a cheap and good lunch, there are already offers from COP 8,000. And if you are lucky, you will also see me shopping or lunch and we can have a chat.
Center of Bogota
The center of Bogota is not a real market, but I would assign the market character to it. If you take the Transmilenio Station San Victorino on Carrera 10 as the central starting point, this area extends to the west and north.
You can find countless shops from a wide variety of industries, each organized as a cluster. There is an area for auto parts, clothes, kitchenware, lamps, everything related to electricity, eyewear shops, and much more. I have to say that this area looks a bit chaotic, but is also very interesting. However, you should avoid this area in the evening. In addition, this place should only be explored by experienced travelers on their own.
Flea Markets in Bogota
In Bogota, there are also various flea markets on Sundays and public holidays. These are very different in quality and range from very modest offers to true treasures. The following is a list in ascending quality:
Flea Market Car Park Plaza de los Periodistas
In this parking lot, you can find everything possible and impossible in this world. Some stand operators recycle waste and then sort it. Accordingly, the offer on the flea market is consistent with this.
Universidades Flea Market
This flea market, which also opens on Sundays and public holidays, is actually 2 flea markets that differ in quality very much. However, they are right next to each other and you can find them between the Transmilenio Station Universidades and Carrera 7.
One flea market is public and has about the quality of the Los Periodistas flea market. The neighbor is a private flea market and the offerings are of a higher quality. You will also find a lot of handmade products and a few good food stalls.
San Alejo Flea Market
Countless products are also offered here on Sundays and public holidays. Due to its location directly at Carrera 7, the frequency of people is very high.
Usaquen Flea Market
This flea market also takes place on Sundays and public holidays. You can stroll around in the pretty Usaquen district and indulge in the offers in a fantastic setting. There are many high-quality products on offer. Over the course of the day, however, the number of visitors increases significantly and then it can be difficult to get through.
La Casona del Museo
This market is right next to the Gold Museum, just a few minutes’ walk from the historic center. The market is open every day.
You can find a lot of handmade products here and the quality is generally good. The goods offered not only represent handicrafts from Bogota, but from all over Colombia.
Colombia Travel Guides
There is much more to see in Colombia, you can find everything in my travel guides.
- Colombia Travel Guide
- Bogotá Travel Guide
- Medellin Travel Guide
- Santa Marta Travel Guide
- Cartagena Travel Guide
- La Guajira Travel Guide
- Llanos Travel Guide
- Providencia Travel Guide
- Coffee Triangle Travel Guide
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