South America travel: Three outstanding museums in Bogota

The city of Bogota dates back to 1538 and it’s no wonder that it houses some of the most interesting museums in Latin America. Some of those exhibits are must-see if you want to get a full experience of Colombia. Step off the beaten path and take a look at the Police Museum, Botero Museum, and Museo Santa Clara when visiting the city.

Best museums in Bogota: three places not to miss

Museo Botero

Museo Botero is one of the most recent additions to the museum map of Latin America. Opened in 2000 today it has one of the best modern art collections on the continent. It all started with Fernando Botero, a renowned Colombian artist, who donated 123 of his own works and 85 art pieces from his personal collection.

Today, everyone can see the beautiful pieces free of charge and over 500,000 a year use this opportunity. Aside from the permanent collection, the museum often hosts exhibits of talented modern artists.

Works of Botero himself are exquisite and haunting. They reflect many of the horrific events that plagued Colombia during the period of drug cartel violence. If you are interested in witnessing and understanding the amazing transformation the country managed to undergo, you definitely need to take a look at Botero’s art and compare it to the sunny Bogota streets of today that are filled with life and laughter.

Museo Historico de la Policia

The Police Museum of Bogota is another must-see place for those who want to learn more about the turbulent history of this country. You will most likely see it during the walking tours in Bogota. The building itself is beautiful and considered one of the best architectural sites in the city. However, you should definitely see it with a guide because it’s the story of the imposing building that makes it truly outstanding.

This museum is one of the most fascinating attractions in Bogota due to both interesting exhibits and guides. The tour will be presented by an 18-year-old on a compulsory police service. It’s true that Bogota has quite the history of violence, especially against the police. The exhibits and stories you will discover in this museum are both horrifying and enlightening. Most importantly, they show the tremendous spirit and dedication of the police force.

The only downside is that the museum isn’t particularly big and the tour only takes about 45 minutes. However, there can be no doubt that those would be some of the most informative 45 minutes you spend in Colombia. The museum is free, so everyone can enjoy it.

Museo Santa Clara

Santa Clara Museum is where you should go to learn about the history of Bogota and Colombia that goes back to the colonial times. The building of the museum is also the oldest church in the city. Its decorations are magnificent and rich, but it’s the art pieces by some of the most talented baroque artists that draw the most attention.

Today the museum does not only have some fascinating historical exhibits. It also hosts many events, including concerts. You should definitely see if you manage to catch one during your visit to Bogota.

Final tips for visiting museums in Bogota: 

There are over a dozen of museums in Bogota and if you have a chance, you should take a look at each. The city has a very interesting history, which you can learn from many exhibits. However, you should also take your time exploring art museums and galleries because this will help you see more of the beauty that Bogota has to offer. Start with Museo Botero, Police Museum, and Santa Clara Museum as they will show you three distinctly different sides of the magnificent city that is Bogota.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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