When you travel on a budget, free activities are a lifesaver. Plus, they're sometimes the best.
It's important to note that the number of foreign tourists in the city is increasing. Fun fact: On all the tours and sites I've been, the majority of people were Colombian.
I have a feeling that as the demand increases, some activities may no longer remain free.
Mercado de las pulgas de Usaquen
It's a flea market (according to the name), but it's more like a mix of crafts, food and a hint of typical flea market stuff (antiques, second hand or repurposed items).
Today, it wasn't crowded. It's Easter Sunday, and most people are still on vacation outside the city. Typically, the place is filled with locals.
Sure, you may need to set aside a few pesos to buy some souvenirs. But the people watching and window shopping are free!
Museo de la Policía
The Colombian police doesn't have a good reputation. As a part of the armed forces, the false positive scandal still casts a heavy shadow on the institution. The stories of bribes and other forms of corruption don't create a climate of trust.
From Tuesdays to Sundays, the museum opens its doors to the public. A policeman serves as a guide and takes the groups through the many exhibition rooms spread across 3 floors.
I enjoyed the tour. Anything that helps me get a better grasp of the country's history. The war on narcotraficantes is front and center. Thanks to Narcos, most of the information wasn't new.
They offer tours in many languages.
My favorite parts of the tour: the mural telling the history of the Colombian police and the view from the roof.
Museo de la Indepedencia
My visit was underwhelming. I'm only encouraging you to go because it's free and because you'll learn something.
Personally, I never realized that in the Spanish world there were so many names for the various shades of Black and Brown. I guess the French were not the only one who created a scale of blackness.
I also became curious as to whether or not these appelations are still in use.
4 Museums (courtesy of Banco Nacional)
I felt like I stroke gold. This added a bounce in my step. 3 art museum plus the mint for free. Gratis! The lady at reception wrote down the word. That's how much disbelief perspired from my face.
I live in Ottawa-Gatineau. I'm not used to museums being free in the middle of the day. (Yes, I'm throwing some shade at my town.)
Out of the 4, the Museo Botero is a must see. I recommend the tour. The guide will place the pieces in context and will link Botero's work to that of other artists and currents.
Graffiti Tour (Donations)
You can take the tour and sneak out towards the end and not donate. But you'd be an a-hole. Don't be like that.
I'm adding this to the list of free activities because the recommended donation (between $8 and $10 US) doesn't even come close to what it's worth.
Sure, you can walk around town and take photos of the murals, tags, stickers, etc. But you'd miss the back story. Don't miss out.
More about this tour.
Day 5 in Bogota. Never a dull moment.