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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Colombia > Bogotá

Bogotá Weather

20°C

Local time Bogotá

Currency

Col$

Shopping in Bogotá

There are plenty of opportunities for shopping in Bogotá, especially in the centre and the north (usually more expensive). Goods to look out for include gold jewellery, art, antiques and leather products. Colombia produces first-grade precious stones and its emeralds are among the best in the world.

Key areas

High quality clothing and handicrafts can be found in Artesanias of Colombia, Carrera 2 No. 18a-58.

Markets

Bogotá's best known flea markets are Mercado De San Alejo, Carrera 7 between Calles 24 and 26 (Monday to Friday 0800-1800 and 0900-1700 on Sunday), Parque de los Periodistas, on the corner of Avenue Jimenez and Carrera 3 (Sunday from 0900-1700) and Plaza Central de Usaquen in northern Bogotá (Sunday 0900-1700). You'll find all sorts at these markets, from second-hand books to ancient Victrola record players, and maybe even the odd bazooka (no kidding). Pasaje Rivas, on the corner of Carrera 10 and Calle 10, is a craft market that's good for inexpensive items, especially Colombian ponchos.

Shopping centres

San Andresito is a large shopping centre that spreads over several blocks and offers typical Colombian items such as ethnic jewellery and clothing, plus local handicrafts. Bogotá has numerous large shopping malls. Modern Unicentro is one of the city’s biggest and is full of boutiques, banks, bookshops, artisan shops and restaurants. It’s found at Avenida 15 No.127-30 and is open 24 hours.

Opening hours

Shops are generally open Monday to Saturday 0900-2100.

Souvenirs

Bogotá isn't an overly touristic city and there's little in the way of small souvenirs being flogged. However, some women in the streets will try to sell you fabrics derived from indigenous people, as well as jewellery. There are also a few shops selling handicrafts and clothing in La Candelaria.

Tax information

Goods and services receive a value-added tax (known as IVA) of 16%.

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City Highlight: Bogotá

One of the biggest cities in the Americas, Colombia’s vibrant capital Bogotá embraces an outward-looking modernity while still celebrating its rich colonial past.

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Hotel de la Opera

Situated in two buildings next the Teatro Colon, the Hotel de la Opera is probably the best accommodation in La Candelaria. Housed in a wonderfully restored historic building, it has class, charm and character, and its rooftop restaurant offers great views over the old part of town. The hotel has 42 rooms, each decorated with Italian furniture, but the best have views over Plaza de Bolivar. Booking ahead is essential.

Casa Medina

Atmospheric and full of character, this Bogotá hotel offers modern facilities with an Old World atmosphere. Located in a restored historic building, it feels more like a home than a hotel with roaring fires, thick rugs, timber-framed ceilings and leather armchairs. The king-size beds are enough to lose a weekend in, while its La Casa Restaurant offers fine dining in a country cottage setting.

Hotel Augusta

Don't be put off by the aquarium feel of the lobby; Hotel Augusta is a smart, cosy little hotel in the La Candelaria area of the city. The sleeping quarters are light and open, and lead onto a contained living room. Equipped with modern amenities like flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi and desks, the hotel is ideal for tourists or business travellers as well as backpackers with a little more in their pocket.

Hotel Abitare 56

While bedrooms give off a student dormitory vibe, the sleeping quarters at this budget choice are spotless. Rooms are bright and each of the 28 on offer comes with Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a private bathroom. Tucked away from the nearby bars and restaurants, this hotel also offers a little sanctuary from the buzz of central Bogotá.

Celebrities Suites

With contemporary touches and a modern palate of creams, whites and flashes of red, the Celebrities Suites could be modelled on a famous personality's own pad – if it weren't for the huge murals of superstars sitting above each bed. Each individually designed apartment comes themed around a superstar (think Brad Pitt or Beyonce) and is fully equipped with a kitchen, generous lounge area and beautiful bedroom. A flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi come as standard, while breakfast in bed with Brad is available on request.

Wyndham Hotel Bogota

While it may not look like a work of genius from the outside, behind the doors Wyndham Hotel Bogota flexes its creative muscles. Its 261 rooms are well-appointed and spacious with huge windows letting in plenty of light, but it's the blossoming of primary colours, mesmerising carpets and patterned wallpaper that make it such a pleasure to stay in. The steaks from the restaurant are more hearty than arty.