There are several museums in La Candelaria, an area of Bogotá, that are worth visiting. This post features a handful of them, with a few more to be covered when I have a chance to visit them. There are history museums, art museums, and more.
Museo de Botero
First, one of my favorites is the Museo de Botero, featuring several works of art by Fernando Botero, and Casa de Moneda, an old mint founded in 1621 that is now a museum. They are both connected by a courtyard and are free of charge. You can read more about them here. Next to the Museo de Botero is the Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, which houses the art collection of the Banco de la República.
Museo de La Independencia
Across the street from the Cathedral on Plaza de Bolívar is the Museo de La Independencia Casa del Florero. It focuses on the independence of Colombia. The museum is set in a 16th century home where a broken vase started a fistfight, which led to an eventual rebellion against Spanish rule. There are some interesting interactive displays. Admission was COP$2,000 (as of April 2015).
Museo de Trajes Regionales
Also near Plaza de Bolívar is the former home of Manuelita Sáenz, a mistress of Simón Bolívar and revolutionary hero. The home is the location of the Museo de Trajes Regionales (Museum of Regional Clothing). Admission to the museum is COP$2,000 (as of April 2017).
On the ground floor are representations of traditional clothing in different regions of Colombia. On the upper floor are exhibits of indigenous clothing as well as handicrafts such as weaving and needlepoint.
Museo Histórico de la Policía Nacional
The Museo Histórico de la Policía Nacional is located a couple blocks from Plaza de Bolívar. It chronicles the history of Colombia’s national police force, and displays several artifacts and stories related to drug lord Pablo Escobar. Read more about the museum here.
To the east of Palacio de Nariño is the Museo Arqueológico. This archaeology museum features the largest collection of pre-Columbian ceramics in Colombia. It’s housed in the Casa del Marqués de San Jorge, built in the late 18th century. Admission is COP$4,000 (as of April 2017).
Claustro de San Agustín
Just west of Palacio de Nariño is the Claustro de San Agustín. It was part of a monastery and is a good example of ecclesiastical architecture in Bogotá. Built in the mid-18th century, it’s now owned by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Popping in only takes a minute and it’s free.
Casa Museo Francisco José de Caldas
The Bogotá home of Colombian military hero, naturalist, inventor, and mathematician Francisco José de Caldas features exhibits on his life and work. Admission is free.
While the museum is very nicely done, it lacks any information in English and only enthusiasts of Colombian history will find it interesting enough to visit.
A couple more museums that I walked by but didn’t visit are the Museo de Arte Colonial (Colonial Art Museum), which has been closed for renovation, and the Museo Militar (Military Museum), which was closed on the Monday I walked by.