Explore Bogotá for Outstanding Street Art

This post has turned out to be a much larger Bogota street art gallery than I had expected, despite the fact that I have only included pieces from outside Candelaria, the old part of Colombia’s Capital. I will leave this more popular historic centre for a second street art gallery from Bogotá.

You can find outstanding street art all over Bogotá, Colombia's capital. This gallery concentrates on murals we explored outside of the city centre.

You can find outstanding street art all over Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. This gallery concentrates on murals we explored outside of the city centre.

The street art scene in Colombia is very alive and diverse. Street art has been de-criminalised in Colombia and Bogotá, in particular, attracts a quite a lot of international street artists, who leave their mark on the city’s walls.

The reason I am concentrating on murals outside the tourist part of the city is simple: I want to encourage you to venture out and keep your eyes open! To give you an orientation, I have included specific locations in each street art photo description.

But you will be forgiven if you cannot find each and every piece shown in this gallery. First of all, some pieces won’t be around indefinitely, as they are on walls surrounding sites destined for new construction work.

Other murals will have deteriorated and lost their appeal, so street artists might simply paint over them. In the very short time we spent in Bogota, we witnessed five new pieces in the making and one being completely repainted – and we didn’t even go out that frequently!

The bright colours of this new piece on Avenida Medellin (south side, somewhere between Carrera 86 and 72) caught our attention the day we arrived in Bogotá. Here it's still very unfinished, but a week later we came past it again.

The bright colours of this new piece on Avenida Medellin (south side, somewhere between Carrera 86 and 72) caught our attention the day we arrived in Bogotá. Here it’s still very unfinished, but a week later we came past it again.

Please click thumbnails below for a larger photo with description.

It's a shame that we never got to see the fully completed picture!

It’s a shame that we never got to see the fully completed picture!

Please click thumbnails below for a larger photo with description.

But that’s all part of the fun when you go out to explore a city for its street art! It’s an ever evolving scene, with new outstanding murals popping up in the most unexpected locations.

A little Spanish knowledge might help you to understand the messages included in many murals. Often they refer back to Colombia’s violent past or the current state of government. The more you know about the country’s politics the better you will understand the messages told through street art.

Please click thumbnails below for a larger photo with description.

 


One place to visit for street art is Avenida 26, the main road towards the airport. Be cautious in some places – it’s not the most salubrious part of Bogota.

 


Another new piece of street art on Avenida 26, which wasn’t quite finished when we were staying in Bogotá:

 


To the north of Av.26 is the suburb of Armenia, where we rented an apartment. It’s an old suburb, slightly run down, but considered safe.


Or, if you are really interested in street art, you could hire a car with a driver and a knowledgeable guide to drive you around the outer suburbs of Bogotá. With the right people it should be worth it! We joined a bicycle tour, that gets you out of the main centre and to Avenida 26 (more in our next post). A Sunday or pubic holiday might be the best choice for such a trip, as there will be less parked vehicles blocking murals. It should be a more relaxing trip too.

Whichever way you chose to see Bogotá’s street art, on foot or with a tour, it will be memorable experience for anybody who appreciates this form of public art.

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In recent years Bogotá has gained a reputation as an international hotspot for outstanding street art. Since this form of public art has been de-criminalised in Colombia, artists can work freely and spend more time on intricate details. In this post, I have collected a wide spectrum of colourful murals, which I found outside the main tourist area of Bogotá. Still, these 45 photos only scrape the surface of what you can expect to find.

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Juergen

webmaster, main photographer & driver, second cook and only husband at dare2go.com. Freelance web designer with 20 years of experience at webbeetle.com.au

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18 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    I’m obsessed with Street Art and I had no idea that Bogota was such an amazing destination for that. I love the wall with all the foxes on it. So cute!

    • Juergen says:

      If your into street art Bogota is THE destination! Just don’t ever expect to see all the murals – impossible! By the time you’d be finished at one end of the city there will be new pieces at the other end (or in between). :D

  2. Street art has always fascinated me. It is so representative of a place, its culture, its people, its angst and the times. The street art in Bogota looks so vibrant and colourful. A silent ode to so many known and unknown artists who have poured their creative souls into these works of art.

  3. Last time I was in Bogotá (2015) I took some cool pictures of Street Art. It is great to know that Street Art is evolving in Colombia, that it is now de-criminalised (I did not know this . . ) and that citizens and visitors have more choice of new murals and areas to explore. I agree with you that a tour could be a great way to explore Street Art in Bogotá.

  4. Indrani says:

    Street art defines the character of a city so I believe! And the walls of Bogota has conveyed wonderful messages.
    This is an ideal theme for photo shoot. Hope I get a chance to photograph them some day.

  5. Jody Robbins says:

    What a great tip to hire a car with a driver to tour you around. I love all the pics especially the vivid purple murals.

    • Juergen says:

      That’s why I have included locations (as far as I could remember, our camera doesn’t have GPS): to make it easier to find these.

  6. Carolina Colborn says:

    What strong creative expressions and lots of them are faces! They are indications of the pulse on the streets, politics even economy, definitely culture.

  7. Medha Verma says:

    The street art in Bogota looks amazing ! I do not understand why certain countries have criminalized street art, it brings out such lovely colours in the place, totally enhancing the mood, at least that’s how I personally feel! I love the purple hues in the street art, in your first few pictures. I have seen a lot of street art in Georgetown (Penang, Malaysia) and I wish there was street art here in Dubai too but from what I know, it’s illegal. What a pity!

    • Juergen says:

      It took a number of unjust deaths of street artist in Bogota, and a lot of loud and expressive protests, to decriminalise street art in Colombia. As it stands now it’s not legal to spray or paint any wall unless you have the permission from the building’s owner = a fair compromise!

  8. Claire says:

    I loved the street art in Bogota! I saw plenty when we were driving around – I love that leopard you have the photo of – we didn’t stop for photos there though. I took the Bogota Graffiti tour in the Candelaria and that was fascinating to learn more about the history of street art in Bogota.

  9. Anu says:

    Stay Healthy & Harvest your ideas – what a beautiful message to paint on the city walls. It seems Bogota is full of street art. I believe this kind of artworks keeps the city alive – they make the whole city an art gallery. Beautiful Post.

    • Juergen says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment – glad you liked our gallery. It only scratches the surface of all street art in Bogota.

  10. Brianna says:

    I love searching for street art during my travels. Bogota looks like its creative pulse is strong. I agree that learning more about how a city’s politics shape it’s culture gives you a deeper understanding.

    • Juergen says:

      Well, if only I would know all the time where to start gathering information about the local politics (from the view of street artists, which is different to official media).

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