Museums in Bogota
· Museo del Oro (Gold Museum): Recently restored, the Gold Museum is a “must” to visit. It displays one of the most important collections of pre-Hispanic metallurgy in the world.
· Carrera 5, corner of Calle 16 on Parque de Santander (Santander´s Park). We recommend visiting its web page www.banrep.gov.co; in order to confirm opening hours, events and activities for the month.
· Museo Nacional (National Museum): one of the oldest in America, houses the national history collection, as well as the independence and colonial history permanent exhibitions. The museum´s architecture, the “Panoptico”, complements the interesting visit. Centuries ago it functioned as the country`s most important penitentiary. Carrera 7 No. 28-66.
· Casa Museo Quinta de Bolívar (Bolivar`s Estate Museum): Calle 20 No. 2-23 Este. This house was built towards 1800 and in 1820 it was offered to Simon Bolivar in gratitude for the independence victory. Bolivar inhabited the house until 1830. The Quinta was declared National Monument. Recently restored, it offers an interesting visit through its gardens and every day memories of Simon Bolivar´s life.
· Jardin Botanico Jose Celestino Mutis (Jose Celestino Mutis Botanical Gardens): Carrera 66 A No. 56-84. Since 1955 it has been one of the most important research and Colombian flora conservation centers. It has, amongst others, outdoor plant nurseries and different warm weather and Andean forest environment, and many other botanic samples.
· For a complete guide to Bogota`s museums, we recommend exploring at www.cybercol.com where you will find a directory with more than 50 links to Bogota´s museums. Also, at Ministry of Culture`s web site (www.mincultura.gov.co), you will find more detailed information on museums and cultural events in the city and in the rest of the country.
Art and Culture
· Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum): Calle 24 No. 6-00. In its 5,000 square meters, it constantly presents a complete exhibition of modern and contemporary art .Throughout the year national and foreign artists exhibit their art work in a rotational fashion.
· Museo Botero (Botero Museum): Calle 11 No. 4-41. Houses the persona art collection donated to the country by renowned Colombian artist Master Fernando Botero. Exhibited are 85 art works from the most outstanding international artists and 123 of Botero art works in different techniques such as painting, drawing and sculpture. Free entrance.
· Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica (Central Bank`s Art Museum): Calle 11 No. 4-21. Since 2004 a new architectonic complex opened its doors to the public, integrating the two blocks of the Luis Angel Arango Library, located in the historical center of La Candelaria, between Calles 10 and 12 and Carreras 4 and 5. This museum consists of two big rooms that house temporary collections and part of the Banco de la Republica`s art collection.
· Historical La Candelaria District: is the historical and cultural heart of the city. Since its beginnings Bogota`s commercial activity moved down hill and towards the north, allowing for the colonial architecture to be maintained almost intact. The area has attracted artists, writers and intellectuals, thus populating the area with theaters, libraries and universities. Tourists and visitors can enjoy la Candelaria´s colonial houses, carved front doors, red tiled roofs and eaves. Other interesting places to visit are: Iglesia del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmen Sanctuary), Iglesia de San Agustin (San Agustin Church), Plaza de Bolivar (Bolivar Square), Casa del 20 de julio (20th of July Museum), Capitolio (the Capitol), Palacio de Justicia (the Supreme Court), Palacio Antonio Nariño sede de la Presidencia de la República (Antonio Nariño Palace home to the Colombian President), Palacio de San Carlos (San Carlos Palace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Casa de la Moneda (Mint), Museo Botero (Botero Museum), Catedral Primada (Primary Cathedral), Teatro de Colon (Colon Theater) and Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango(Luis Angel Arango Library). This area of the city has a student atmosphere. Many schools and universities have their main offices in this district. The most important are Los Andes University, La Salle University, El Rosario University, Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and Externado University of Colombia.
· Teatro Colon de Bogota (Colon Theater of Bogota): is Colombia`s national theater. The neoclassic construction dates from 1885 and its facade is carved in stone. It is one of the most beautiful theaters in Latin America and has capacity for 900 people. Calle 10 between Carreras 5ª y 6ª.
· Teatro de Bellas Artes of Bogota (Fine Arts Theater of Bogota): the most modern theater of the city offers concerts, operas and theatrical plays. Carrera 68 No 90-88.
· Camarin del Carmen: this colonial construction that dates from 1655 is also located in the historical district of La Candelaria. At present, it is used as a theater, with capacity for 500 people.
· Teatro Libre of Bogotá (Libre Theatre): It displays avant-garde art work and it has an important acting school. Carrera 11 No. 61-80.
· Teatro Nacional (National Theater - Calle 71 No. 10-25) and National La Castellana Theater (Calle 95 No. 47-15): it offers a significant number of classical and modern theatrical plays. They are the promoters of the Theater Festival.
Today, gastronomy in Bogota includes every flavor in the world! During your visit to Bogota, whether you are able to close a business or not, visitors will surely be pleasantly surprised with the wide selection of innovative restaurants. The main areas are located in Usaquen, Zona G (Calles 70-67, Carreras 5 a la 7); Zona T (Calles 80-82, Carreras 11 to 13); the Candelaria and the International Center.
· Traditional Colombian Food: in a beautiful house located on the corner of Carrera 9 with Calle 82. We recommend trying all the delights from each corner of Colombia at the Club Colombia Restaurant. Tel 249 5681.
· Harry `s Bar: located in the Zona G, has an extensive wine menu and exquisite and varied dishes, in a sophisticated and modern atmosphere. We recommend making previous reservations for lunch, as well as for dinner. Tel: 321 3940.
· Astrid and Gaston, also in the Zona G, has the best offer of Peruvian food. Carrera 7 with Calle 66.
· Craving a French Bistro atmosphere? Balzac is really one of the best restaurants in the city. In the corner where the Zona T begins, Carrera 13 with Calle 81, in front of the Andino Shopping Mall`s parking lot.
· Triptico: with its traditional “Best Coast Cuisine”, is an ideal restaurant for having lunch and/or visiting at the end of the day during its “Happy Hour”. Located on Calle 69A No. 10-04, Parque Giordano Bruno in the Quinta Camacho neighborhood. Tel: 321 7307.
· The Brasserie: delicious food and atmosphere for Thursday and Friday nights. Near the Zona T, at Carrera 12 with Calle 84. Tel: 257 6402 or 618 4577.
· For Argentinean food lovers, El Porteño (Calle 70 No. 4-47) is an excellent option. Tel: 249 3900
· For the best Chinese food in Bogota and a perfect “Feng Shui” atmosphere we recommend China Club, located in the Zona T, at the El Retiro shopping mall, 4th floor. Tel: 376 3595
· Very good restaurants can also be found in Usaquen, It is worth trying “80 Sillas” Tel: 619 2471 and 619 2472 and “Café Amarti”, where delicious Italian food can be enjoyed. Tel: 214 9017.
· Pajares Salinas is a traditional Spanish food restaurant located at the World Trade Center on Carrera 10 No. 96-08. Tel: 616 1524
· Another option for Spanish food is “La Barra” on the corner of Calle 69 with Carrera 5ª.
· Without a doubt a city “landmark” is “Andrés Carne de Res” Restaurant. For about 25 years it has been reinvented so many times that each visit is a new adventure. Its head office is in Chia (45 minutes north of Bogota) and as of the month of June it will open its doors in the Zona T of Bogota, in the El Retiro shopping mall and will be called Andrés D.C. (De Corazon - Of Heart). It is worth enjoying the best typical Colombian food, although in such an uncommon and special place, the exquisite food happens to be second place. Tourists say that if you did not go to “Andrés Carne de Res” while visiting Bogota, you were not in Bogota at all.
Night Life and Cultural Activities
Bogota offers many options when it comes to entertainment. Plan B (http://www.planb.com.co/intro ), Vive.in (http://bogota.vive.in/bogota/ ) and Guía del Ocio (http://www.goguiadelocio.com.co/site/ ) have complete listings of galleries, shows, restaurants, bars and nightspots. Another useful source of information is the Bogota Institute of Tourism’s web page: http://www.bogotaturismo.gov.co/ .