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8 great markets in Bogotá – and where to find the best prices!

There are a number of markets in Bogotá which are worth visiting, and if you’ll be staying in Bogotá for any length of time, you’ll definitely want to do some souvenir shopping at some point, either for gifts to take home to your family and friends, or because your family and friends are visiting you and THEY want to buy souvenirs! Or you might have developed an obsession with Wayuu mochilas and regularly scout all the markets for the prettiest new designs.. (ahem.. 🙂 ). Before heading out, you might find this post with tips on how to get the best price at a Colombian market useful!

markets in Bogotá

I’ll list a number of the markets below with their locations and some photos. You’ll find all kinds of things at these markets, from coffee to place-mats to poncho-type garments to Wayuu mochila bags and other accessories, jewellery, art and other random gems from Colombia. Most of them are very similar, and what tends to vary are the prices.

La Casona del Museo and Galería Artesanal de Colombia

Museo_del_Oro_market

Location: Calle 16 between Carrera 5 and 6 (next to the Gold Museum)

These two markets are both next to the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) in downtown Bogotá, so you’ll almost certainly come across them at some point. Due to their central location next to one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the prices are much higher in this market, and you won’t be able to negotiate them as low as at the other markets. This is because the stall-owners have to pay a higher rent to be at this market. So by all means, take a look if you’re there, but I guarantee you will find very similar if not the same products cheaper at the other markets.

The market at the top of Monserrate

Monserrate market

Location: At the top of Monserrate mountain

As a trip on the cable car up Monserrate is another popular attraction for tourists, it made sense to have a market up there! But similarly to the markets next to the Gold Museum, the prices at the Monserrate market will be higher, so if your stay in Bogotá isn’t too short, I’d recommend visiting one of the other markets.

Centro Artesanal Plaza Bolivar

Bogota_market_2

Location: Carrera 7 between Calle 12a and 12b

This market is the closest to the attractions of the Candelaria and is just a couple of blocks up Carrera 7 from Plaza de Bolívar (Bolivar Square). Here, as with the next couple of markets, you’ll be able to negotiate prices lower than at the previous ones. In my experience, you can usually negotiate to about 20% lower than the initial asking price, but sometimes I’m cheeky and offer half the price to start with; they’ll then look offended and there’ll be a bit of to-ing and fro-ing until you reach the agreed price. If you don’t speak Spanish, come with a calculator (or use your phone’s calculator) to help you to negotiate. So they’ll say 80,000, then on your calculator you’ll put 50,000, then they’ll change it to $70,000 etc.

Centro Colombiano de Artesanias

Bogota_market

Location: Carrera 7 between Calle 22 and 23

On Carrera 7, from Plaza de Bolívar (on carrera 7 between calle 11 and 12) up to calle 26, the road has been fully pedestrianised and it’s cool to walk along. There’s always food and miscellaneous items being sold, and street entertainers and artists. If you’re at Plaza de Bolívar, I recommend walking ten blocks up the carrera 7 to this market and the next one in this list. As you’re walking up, this market is on the right side of the street, opposite the Teatro Eliécer Gaitán, and the Colombia Linda market will be one block further up on the left side of the street. Again, at these markets the starting prices will be lower than at the ones near the tourist attractions, and you can normally negotiate them to about 20% lower than the initial asking price.

Colombia Linda Feria Artesanal & Comercial

Bogota_market_3

Location: Carrera 7 between Calle 23 and 24

The same advice applies to this one as with the previous market listed. Again, use the calculator on your phone, or a pen and paper to help you to negotiate if you don’t speak Spanish!

Usaquén Market

Usaquen art

Location: Starts at Carrera 7 with Calle 116. On Sunday the flea market is at Carrera 5 with Calle 119

Of all the markets in Bogotá this one is probably my favourite, as the area is nice and the atmosphere is buzzing. The market begins next to the shopping mall Hacienda Santa Barbara and extends up the calle 116 and continues to the left along carrera 6. This market will sell many of the things that you will have seen in the other markets, and will be more costly than the cheapest markets in the centre. However, you’ll also be able to find all kinds of unique items, food, art and bits and bobs, made by the person selling them, that you won’t find anywhere else, so it is well worth a visit.

The best day to go is Sunday. It will be very crowded, but on Sundays there’s also the flea market at the top of the hill, just above the main market. There you’ll find loads more cool and original gifts, furniture, kitchen equipment and art. There’s also often musicians playing, so it’s a really nice atmosphere up in Usaquén on a Sunday. In my experience it either pours with rain when I’ve been there, or it’s really sunny and I get burnt! Either way, bring an umbrella for protection!

Musical delights at in Usaquén market square

Musical delights at in Usaquén market square

San Alejo Mercado de Pulgas (flea market)

san_alejo_flea_market_collage

Location: Carrera 7 between Calle 24 and 25 on Sundays

This market was a recent discovery, thanks to my good friend Emily! You may or may not find it useful for souvenir shopping, but if you’ve just moved to Bogotá and are perhaps looking for some vintage/antique/quirky furniture, decorations and ornaments for your apartment, you might find a few gems at this market!

 

10 Comments on 8 great markets in Bogotá – and where to find the best prices!

  1. Bogotá is so picturesque! Very colourful and inspirational post!

  2. This is so helpful! What would be the cheapest market for clothes? Leggings, jacket, rain coat etc.

    • Hi Katie,
      You would find cheap clothes in the area called San Victorino (near Avenida Jimenez TransMilenio station) or in San Andresito near the Zona Industrial. You will need to be really careful in these areas as there are lots of dodgy characters around. Don’t wear anything that looks expensive, don’t take out your phone on the street, avoid carrying a backpack (they’ll find a way into it!) or if you must, carry it ‘kangaroo-style’ on the front of your body. Always be alert and watch out for people ‘accidentally’ bumping into you, asking for directions or anything else they might do to distract you while they pick your pocket/bag. I’d say go out with nothing except a bit of money safely tucked away and your TransMilenio card! But otherwise – good places to find cheap clothes etc!

  3. This is so helpful! What would be the cheapest market for clothes? Leggings, jacket, rain coat etc.

  4. Thanks for a nice post! I would like to add the artisanal market on calle 10 between carrera 9 and 10 to the list. It’s the cheapest one, and the goods are often of equal quality to the other markets. You just walk down along calle 10 from Plaza Bolivar, the pretty small entrance is on the right hand side. I would say that this stretch of calle 10 is nowadays more or less as safe as walking along La Septima in downtown. However; the surrounding streets are a bit dodgy, especially from carrera 10 and onwards, so I would recommend visitors to limit their stroll to this small patch of calle 10, and avoid other streets west of Plaza Bolivar.

  5. Be careful when promoting usaquen flea market, one thing is the official market in the upper hill but beware of the street vendors invading the 6a street next to hacienda sta barbara, there are not part of the market, they are thugs disguised as street vendors, some drug dealers among them, the sell over priced stuff to tourist and sometimes scam them.

    Lots of bums, hobos, junkies and ñeros often invade the sidewalks of usaquen making it difficult for both people and cars to get into the zone, the police is complete useless because its bribed.

    The real handycrafts are in the market “Carpe Diem” up in the hill as said in the blog.

    • Thanks for clarifying the location of the flea market – I admit that at first, I also thought that the market was just the bit that you first get to around carrera 6 – it wasn’t until the second or third visit that I realised that the real flea market was further up the hill!
      To respond to some of your points: personally, I have never felt threatened by the unofficial street vendors in Usaquén. Sometimes the police move them on but I don’t see them doing any harm. I haven’t seen any evidence of drug dealers up there either (that’s not to say that you’re wrong, just that I’ve never noticed drug dealers up there).
      I find all of the prices higher in Usaquén – many vendors are selling things that you could find cheaper in the center. But equally, there are also some unique handicrafts on sale that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Plus Usaquen is nice to walk around on a Sunday, so it’s worth a visit.
      As I said in the post, I recommend negotiating market prices down – always. Start from 50% or less of the asking price, and you’ll more likely get a fair price.
      “bums, hobos, junkies and ñeros” are not words I would use to describe anyone I’ve seen up in Usaquen. Yes there are some poorer people up there trying to make a living, and some of these will be dishonest and try to take advantage. I would advise people to take care of their belongings and be aware of the people around them, the same as anywhere in Bogota, or anywhere that you don’t know well. And be a bit cheeky when negotiating prices!

      I agree that it’s definitely worth heading up the hill to the flea market, where you’ll find more unique art and handicrafts.

    • Hello Ms HowToBogota. First of all I LOVE YOUR BLOG. I have read all entries and made several comments.
      Just one question. Could you please make an entry about picking up, flirt and love in Bogota??

      Then about the usaquen flea market. Some history. The first market was San pelayo, it started back in 1990. It was located in the 6a avenue in front of the local city hall, front to the park. There were problems about occupancy of public streets so a judge send the market inside a private property, which they did in 2000. By the time, the second market was already in the parking lot, up in the hill. They were the authorized and legal market at the time. in In 2005 the san pelayo market illegally went back to the street backed by the local mayor at the time, a former guerilla member, then the street vendors who where at the place started to invade all the remaining of the 6a avenue and the 119 B street. The Bogota mayor at the time, Lucho, backed completley the street vendors through the city.
      In 2009 San pelayo had an internal fight between associates and the market was transformed into “pulgas de usaquen” which managed to get a support at the city council, but the street vendors never got the support, they ave been invading the place since 2003 and every year the invasion gets bigger and scarier, most of those street vendors, the ones in the 6a avenue and 119 B street, not the tents, are people with obscure backgrounds, former psychaitric patients, locos, alcoholics, etc. Some drug dealers among them, never saw them? ok sure, just spend a whole sunday from 2 pm up to 7 pm in the 6a avenue or in the 119 b street walking around and you would smell something sweet and raw, an is not a fireplace.

      in this 2017, there are 3 markets wich could be identified by the tents: pulgas de usaquen, carpe diem up in the hill, amasut in the plazoleta next to hacienda. The other vendors are illegal and suspicious. Of course they also overprice everything targeting blond, blue eyed tourist. My advice: AVOID STREET VENDORS AT ALL COSTS.

      Quite sad that the mafia control the srteets and the police is backing them up. Some people even called the 6a street the “bronx del norte”.

      TIP: Looking for some good and not so expensive handycrafts? Go to el lago, 15 avenue between 73 and 75, west side. There you will find everything you are looking for.

      • Thanks for letting us know the background history of the Usaquen markets, and for the tips! It’s interesting to know. I will have a think about the love and flirting in Bogota topic! I don’t have much experience with that because I conquered my Colombian boyfriend in London 😉 Thanks again for the tips and suggestions!

  6. One more thing, as you said before, “everything is more expensive in usaquen” yep, because international tourist don’t know the “how to of Bogota” and that is where this blog was made for isnt?

    Those markets in usaquen are usually the most expensive in the whole city just because they are in the north supposedly “the rich side of bogota”, usaquen was not a rich town, but because is picturesque and pretty was transformed into a tourist trap.
    With the exception of only a few vendors which produce their own handycrafts and their workshops and show them in usaquen, most of the vendors re-sell their stuff.

    Wanna go to the source? place of origin of the jewerly sold in usaquen? the cheaper market of “maricaditas que usan las mujeres”…then you have to go to San Victorino, la pajarera and all those “pasajes” and cheap commercial malls in AV 10 next to what was “el cartucho”. Deep Downtown. But bewarned, that is where the devil hangs out, very dangerous place for a blue eyed tourist or a lonely British girl looking for “collarcitos para verse bonita” if you wanna buy something there, only go with someone who already knows the place and where to bargain. Like any big city, isn´t? 😛

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