Street art in Bogota is highly-prized and it's changing every day. The best way to experience the Colombian capital’s greatest urban artwork is to take a graffiti tour and explore the stories and inspiration behind the art on offer.
Most tours operate on foot in small groups and focus on La Candelaria graffiti, in the city’s historic and bohemian colonial quarter, which is also brimming with world-class museums, restaurants and art galleries. Taking a street art tour is a great opportunity to uncover hidden destinations and discover new areas of the city.
Here are five reasons why you should take advantage of your time in the Colombian capital and head out on a Bogota graffiti tour without delay:
1. Fall in love with Colombian artists
Colombia has a rich artistic pedigree and its most successful artists have taken the world by storm. Whether you admire the subversive brilliance of Fernando Botero, famous for his satirically exaggerated proportions, or the thought-provoking and politically-charged works of sculptor and visual art star Doris Salcedo, winner of the Nomura Art Award, it’s clear Colombian artists are making their mark.
But not everyone wants to exhibit in a gallery or museum and present their work in traditional ways. Colombia’s graffiti artists are ahead of the game when it comes to using unexpected buildings and public spaces to enthuse and inspire a whole new generation of art lovers. Take a graffiti tour in Bogota and you’ll fall in love with the work of Colombian artists you may not see anywhere else.
Discover the most wonderful graffiti art in Bogota
2. Uncover Colombian history
Colombia’s history is as unique as the country itself, full of the kind of passion and pain that inspires truly ground-breaking art. Take a graffiti tour in Bogota and you will find yourself immersed in Colombia’s past as well as its present, as the city’s street artists find new ways to articulate everything the country has experienced.
Graffiti artists and collectives including Stinkfish, Lik Mi, DjLu and Lili Cuca are inspired by the lives of the people they paint for and their work often acts as a giant mirror for society. Your guides will tell you the stories behind the art and artists you’re seeing and leave you with a whole new appreciation for everything Colombia has experienced – and everything it is working towards in future.
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3. Support Colombian art enthusiasts
Street artwork always takes on a life of its own. Sometimes one artist will add to another’s work, or a wall or building will change its use or owner and a previously celebrated work of graffiti will change or disappear within a day.
The best way to experience Bogota’s ephemeral street art is with a fellow art enthusiast in the form of your graffiti tour guide. Many guides are art students, painters and graffiti artists themselves.
Not only will your Bogota graffiti tour guide know where the best and most interesting works in Colombia’s capital are located, they’ll also tell you the stories behind them and shed some light on the artists who created them.
Many tours operate on a pay-what-you-wish basis too, which means you can choose how much you want to support the Colombian art lover leading your tour.
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4. Meet like-minded people
Graffiti in Bogota is both respected and appreciated, which is why the city has become a mecca for street artists, including the international stars who flock to the Andes to paint alongside their Colombian counterparts.
Not everyone appreciates street art, though. Some visitors prefer the comfort of a traditional gallery and the intimacy of an audio guide.
If you are willing to brave the elements to bear witness to this cutting edge art scene, you’re sure to feel right at home on a Bogota street art tour. Whether you bring a friend or loved one with you, or you prefer to immerse yourself with no distractions, you’re certain to meet equally open and interesting people.
Surround yourself with vibrant colors during the graffiti tour.
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5. Experience the Colombian capital
Bogota is a vibrant and fascinating city, filled with complexities and contradictions and the more you can see in a single day, the more you will understand what makes it tick.
A Bogota graffiti tour will immerse you in Colombian art, and will also allow you to experience the beating heart of the Colombian capital.
Look out for eclectic architecture, vendors selling delicious juices made from rare tropical fruits and darkened, mysterious cafés where the city’s literati created some of their most famous books and poems.
You might even find yourself accompanied by the strains of salsa music or discovering tiny shops filled with inexplicable curiosities on the way.
As always with Colombia, you will take a graffiti tour for the street art, insight into history and the chance to meet interesting people, but you will experience so much more.
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