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One of Colombia’s most prestigious universities, the National University of Colombia boasts 17 buildings that have been named as national monuments. The architecture on the Bogotá campus, which is suffused with green space, spans 60 years of history.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Once a salt mine, this underground cathedral draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The space, first created as a shrine to the patron saint of miners, contains work from celebrated Colombian artists and salt that’s millions of years old.
Virgilio Barco Library
Designed by the luminary architect Rogelio Salmona, the Virgilio Barco library is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 75,000-square-foot library sits in the middle of a park with water canals, and the interior is full of dramatic arcs and ramps.
This historic area boasts colonial architecture and the historic Bolívar Square. It’s also home to some important buildings, including the Teatro de Cristóbal Colón opera house and the Palacio de San Carlos (the foreign ministry made from marble).
Art + Culture
Luis Ángel Arango Library
This library houses more than a million books and rare manuscripts, and offers a panoramic view of the city from the top floor. At the library’s concert hall, local and international musicians perform for up to 367 people.
The Gold Museum
This space showcases more than 34,000 gold objects, and 20,000 other artifacts, from Colombia’s major pre-Hispanic societies. Descriptions and tours are available in both English and Spanish.
This museum displays more than 120 works of art by the distinguished Colombian artist Fernando Botero, as well as 80-plus works from renowned international artists, making it one of the most important public collections in Latin America.
Maloka Interactive Center
This kid-friendly science museum offers eight rooms of playful and interactive exhibits on everything from the solar system to electricity. It also boasts two cinemas—one with a domed ceiling and one that plays 3D movies.
With its peak nearly two miles above sea level, this iconic hill offers stunning views of Bogotá. At the summit, find a famous white church whose altar of the Fallen Christ was created in the 1650s. To get to the top, either hike or take a cable car.
Located in a former railroad warehouse, the sprawling Paloquemao market offers fresh produce, some of it rare.
José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden
Spanning 47 acres, this space promotes conservation and showcases Andean forests, herbs, orchids, greenhouses, and 73 types of roses.
Gran Estación Shopping Center
Pick up souvenirs or necessities at this giant shopping mall, whose dozens of stores include local and international brands like Adidas, Timberland, Nike, and Esprit.