5 of the best museums in Bogotá

5 of the best museums in Bogotá

I’ve given you the 10 best ways to spend 2 weeks in Bogotá and as promised in this blog, I give you the best museums in Bogotá to visit on those bitterly cold days.

1) Museo Nacional de Colombia

This impressive museum is the biggest and oldest one in Colombia. Housing Colombia’s art, political and cultural history and national and international archaeology. You can easily spend over an hour wandering around the 17 rooms exhibiting over 2,500 works and objects. They have a pretty garden area with a fountain and a café. Just in case you need a rest between the Memoría y Nación exhibition and the Ideologías, arte e industria room. It’s free entrance and if you’re in Bogotá for a few days, I would definitely recommend visiting.

Inside the Museo Nacional de Colombia

2) Museo Botero

In 2000 artist Fernando Botero donated to the Banco de la República in Bogotá an art collection of 208 works; 123 of his own and 85 of international artists. With this collection they founded the Museo Botero. This colonial mansion is located in La Candelaria and up until 1955 the Archbishop of Bogotá lived here. Since 2000 the collection has been open to the public for free every day except Tuesdays.

Fernando Botero's fat lady sculpture in Cartagena
Botero’s work seen in Cartagena

If like me, you enjoy and perhaps find yourself smirking at Botero’s voluptuous paintings and sculptures, this is one of the best museums in Bogotá to visit on your own.


The Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá is definitely one of the more contemporary museums in Bogotá. Therefore I would recommend visiting here if you prefer more innovative and modern styles. They host creative workshops, talks with artists and temporary exhibitions of international and national artists.

“It offers a pluricultural, dynamic and innovative space, which gives audiences a meaningful experience around the art world.”


4) Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez

Named after a truly inspiring and unique writer, this cultural and historical arts centre is host to a library of 50,000 books. Primarily dedicated to Colombian art, politics and history. As well as featuring an art gallery showcasing temporary exhibitions. It is located right in the heart of La Candelaria and a perfect place to stop and relax, especially in the rooftop garden.

Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez in Bogotá
Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez

5) One of the best museums in Bogotá: Museo del Oro

Keeping my favourite till last. This museum is probably the most impressive one to see in Bogotá. However, I have a tip for you. Before you come here, I recommend you to take a trip to Laguna de Guatavita. This is so that you can appreciate and envision the story of El Dorado. Showcased in a hidden exhibition on the 3rd floor of the museum.

Behind a secret wall, you will find La Ofrenda Sala. This dark room lights up and reveals the gold objects that were given as an ofrenda (offering) in the Pre-Hispanic times. The majority discovered at Laguna de Guatavita. Your senses are awakened as the lights turn completely off and you are surrounded by the sounds of flowing water. Sharp flashes of light reveal beautiful patterns created by the abundance of gold in this glass walled room.

La Ofrenda Sala in the Gold Museum
La Ofrenda Sala – Museo de Oro

Originally the gold was from the Muisca people who were discovered and colonised by the Spanish in 1537. Many of these offerings were found at Guatavita and donated by those who first excavated the lake up to what has been found there since.

You can learn a lot when you go to Laguna de Guatavita and going to the Museo de Oro afterwards lets you rediscover the legends and history the lagoon is surrounded by. It is 4,000 COP entrance and free on Sundays.

If you are interested in finding out how to get to Guatavita or the Muisca tribe, you must read my post about the legend of ‘El Dorado’ at Laguna de Guatavita.

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