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Bogota Graffiti Tour – The BEST Thing to do in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota Graffiti Tour – The BEST Thing to do in Bogota, Colombia

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If you’re headed to Bogota, Colombia then there is one tour you absolutely need to do – a Bogota graffiti tour! In this blog, we’ll tell you why a graffiti tour in Bogota is a must-do, what to expect, which one to book, how to book, and more!

Bogota, Colombia is a city rich in culture and history. And the best way to learn about all of this for yourself is actually on a Bogota graffiti tour.

But why?

Well, the graffiti in Bogota is actually more than what meets the eye. The images represent significant historical and political events in Bogota and really do tell the city’s stories in the most artistic way. To us, a graffiti tour in Bogota is also one of the absolute best things to do in all of Colombia!

Since I think a graffiti tour in Bogota is the best thing you can do in the city, in the post, I’m going to tell you all about it including what tours are the best, what to expect, and a whole lot more!

Don’t have time to read the full article? We think this private walking tour is an excellent choice to get an understanding of the culture in Bogota. Your guide will take you to see famous street art and describe the importance of these murals for the community. There are also stops at a few bars and vintage stores too!

A Little Bit About Street Art in Bogota

Bogota graffiti tour artworks
One of the many political murals around Bogota!

First of all, it’s not actually “graffiti” but rather “street art.” The people who paint these massive murals on the walls around Bogota are artists and most are paid as professionals to do so.

These words are often used interchangeably but just to clarify, when you go on a graffiti tour in Bogota, you’re actually touring the professional street art murals as opposed to illegal graffiti tags of vandalism.

The interesting thing is that while these murals often cost a lot of money, many of the locals in Bogota think that the graffiti that covers the city’s walls are an eyesore. Many even want it to be removed.

However, to some, it’s the only way to express their true feelings to the people and spread a message without censorship from the government.

Graffiti is Bogota is so much more than just a pretty picture and it actually tells stories of history, politics, and even addresses current issues facing the city today. It’s more than just a painting and is something that many people in Bogota are proud to show off to tourists!

Related Read: If you’re planning on visiting Colombia’s capital city check out this Medellin itinerary on how to spend 1 to 5 days in the city and make sure you check out Comuna 13 for the incredible graffiti art there!

Types of Graffiti Tours in Bogota

Bogota street art of a mans face
You can find all the different styles of street art around Bogota!

While spending a few days in Bogota, you could go off on your own to look for the murals yourself, you won’t get any of the backstories to go along with what you are seeing. Plus, it will be way more time efficient to be guided around by a local who knows where they all are.

There are a few different graffiti tours you can join in Bogota, and below I’ll explain all of your options to help you to make a decision on which one you should book!

FREE Bogota Graffiti Walking Tour

This is the most popular graffiti tour in Bogota. It is free (tip-based) and a really well-run tour that I’ve personally done. Most of the time I find free tours to be very average, but not this one. It is exceptional with a ton of information and passionate guides.

The only downside to it is that because of its popularity, the tour groups are very large. Don’t expect a personal experience at all and be prepared to share your guide with 20+ people.

You can find more information about the free Bogota graffiti tour on their Facebook. Also, note that there are other companies offering a similar tour, but I can only speak for this one in particular that I did and liked!

Bogota Graffiti Bike Tour

If you want to see more graffiti and cover more ground then a bike tour is the way to go! On a bike tour, you’ll be able to visit murals that many people don’t get to see on a walking tour as well as explore more of the city!

This particular graffiti bike tour is one of the more expensive options at $99 USD but it is private and very extensive as you can quickly cover ground. On top of that, it lasts 5 hours and includes bottled water and snacks along the way.

Private Bogota Graffiti Tour

If the large crowds on the free graffiti tour don’t sound super appealing to you, then you can actually book a private Bogota graffiti tour instead! Sure, these are more costly but they do offer a much more personal experience and also last longer than the cheaper tours!

This 3-hour graffiti walking tour costs $49 USD and besides the graffiti sections, there is also allotted time for you to be able to go into vintage stores, trendy bars, and alternative retailers around Bogota.

Combination Tour

If you’re really short on time in Bogota and want to do more than just a graffiti tour, you can actually do a combination city tour that will show you some graffiti as well as lots more!

This particular tour hits some cool street art and most of the tourist highlights in Bogota. Some of what you can expect to see and do are admire historical buildings in and around the Plaza de Bolivar, see the colorful and cute La Candelaria neighborhood and nearby graffiti, play Colombia’s national sport of Tejo, try the fruity salpicón drink, and admire the elegant architecture of the Teusaquillo neighborhood.

It lasts 5 hours and only costs $29 USD – the price really doesn’t get better than this for everything that it includes!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Related Read: Find out what you need to know before visiting Salento, Colombia.

How Much Does a Graffiti Tour in Bogota Cost?

The Bogota Graffiti Tour that I joined was free! It was a tip-based tour and you could contribute what you thought the tour was worth when it finished. To me, 20,000 – 25,000 COP ($4 – $5 USD) per person would be a great place to start.

As I have mentioned above though, there are also paid graffiti tours in Bogota available. These tours range in price but expect to pay between $10-75 USD depending on the group size, what’s included, and the tour length.

Related Read: Discover all the fun things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia that will make you love this city!

Bogota Graffiti Tour FAQs

Bogota street art
This piece tells the story of an artist who came to Bogota and fell in love!

Is Graffiti Legal in Bogota?

Bogota Graffiti tour

In Bogota, street graffiti is decriminalized but that’s not to say the police don’t ever dish out their own types of punishment (but you’ll hear more about that in the tour).

Most large murals around the city are legal as the artist will have received permission from the building’s owner. It is illegal to paint on somebody’s property without their permission.

In some cases, building owners approach artists and ask for them to paint their walls. This is common because having a well-done mural on your home or business prevents it from being painted with “tags.” Tags are a form of graffiti that is just words or a name of a person that is most often done illegally.

If a beautiful mural is displayed on a wall then most graffiti artists respect that artist and do not paint over it with tags.

What Makes a Bogota Graffiti Tour so Special?

Bogota Graffiti Tour
The homeless man in the piece represents the many missing!

The art scene in Bogota is world-class. The city is actually considered one of the top 10 in the world for street art. Bogota features artists from all around the world who came to paint with other local artists. Artists from all over Europe and the USA are featured on these walls and to them, painting in Bogota is a privilege.

The artwork on Bogota’s walls is completed by artists with true talent and the pieces are simply beautiful to look at. However, to me, it was the political and social motivation behind the art that truly told a story of the city and county that no other tour could.

Instead of reading from history books, we read from the walls of the city by deciphering images that represent some of Colombia’s biggest issues.

My favorite piece of artwork told a story about the lives lost of thousands of homeless people to the army. Then, these harmless, poor men and women of the streets were dressed as soldiers from groups such as FARC (a far left-wing political organization) and handed into the government for a monetary reward. It was stories like this that are told by the people through artwork on the city streets and often left out of history books.

This tragedy is just one of the stories behind one piece of artwork on one wall, and as you venture further on a Bogota graffiti tour, many other stories are told!

Although the message behind the art is important it’s not the only reason this tour is both unique and awesome. With the local guide, you can venture to places you wouldn’t normally on your own and see a lot more of this city. Plus, your guide should be able to give you local tips such as awesome places to eat or things to do in Bogota!

Related Read: Which ones from this list of best places to visit in Colombia have you heard about?

Where to Stay in Bogota

the outside of Click Clack Hotel in Bogota
This hotel is super modern! Photo Credit: Click Clack Hotel
bathtub at a window at Click Clack Hotel
Click Clack Hotel is luxurious too! Photo Credit: Click Clack Hotel

Bogota is a HUGE city, so naturally, there are a ton of options when it comes to picking a place to stay. Plus, where you decide to stay can have a big impact on the activities you want to do – especially if you’re traveling on a budget. I’ll give you my top recommendations for a variety of hotels, so you can find one that fits!

Luxury – $$$

The Click Clack Hotel Bogotá is a luxury pick, but still affordable starting at $123 USD nightly. You’ll be struck by the hotel’s unique and stylish design – both inside and out. The rooms have big windows, high ceilings and feature cool extras like rain showers and electric black-out curtains. The location is awesome too with restaurants, cafes, and bars all nearby. Book Click Clack Hotel here!

For stunning downtown views from every (huge!) room, Tequendama Suites by DOT Premium has value for money down. Every room is a suite, so you have tons of space to lounge in with a seating area and comfy bed. You can easily walk to most of the top attractions and enjoy a rooftop bar! Book a suite online in advance with Booking.com.

Mid-range – $$

You know how much I love the historic La Candelaria neighborhood, so staying at the Selina La Candelaria Bogotá puts you right in the middle of it! Selina is a well-known hostel chain, but honestly, this place feels more like a funky art gallery. Private rooms run around the $55 USD mark and can be booked online with Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

In the central Bogota area, Hotel San Francisco de Asís puts you close to a lot of the top sights and within walking distance of the historic parts of the city. The rooms are around the $40-$50 USD mark (I find the best prices are typically on Booking.com) and have a great city skyline view and the staff is known for being super helpful. Plus, the breakfasts here are so good, there’s always a line!

Budget – $

If you’re traveling on a budget, Bogota has some fantastic hostels that you can stay at for as little as $12 USD per night if you don’t mind a bed in a dorm room or around the $30 USD mark for a private room.

Spotty Bogotá Centro is a great hostel with a rooftop pool! It’s perfect for a working holiday with co-working spaces and an excellent restaurant. You can book on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

Bendito Hostels is another top choice with clean rooms and shared spaces – including some fun hammocks to use while relaxing in the garden. It has stellar reviews that you can read (and book your own room) on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

Best airport option

If you’re not staying long in Bogota and want to stay close to the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn Bogota Airport is only five minutes away. Plus, they offer free shuttles to and from the airport every hour! The rooms are really spacious and the breakfast is amazing. It’s a popular spot for work trips, but also nice for a relaxing stay in the middle of your trip. Book your room here for under $100 USD including breakfast!

Thanks for reading!

Free graffiti tour Bogota
Can you spot the light post??

Aside from visiting some good friends, the Bogota Graffiti Tour was my highlight of visiting Bogota. I found the history and stories behind the art extremely interesting, and well, the artwork is just plain amazing too!

Bogota graffiti tours cater to all types of travelers and in my opinion, have something for everyone to enjoy. It’s a great way to support young local artists and the best way to see another side of the city! I highly recommend joining a Bogota graffiti tour on your visit!

Traveling more in Colombia? Be sure to check out our Colombia Travel Guide, as well as some of our other favorite destinations such as Guatape, Medellin, San Gil, San Andres, and Cartagena!

Otherwise, you can browse all of our (many) Colombia blogs and travel guides or choose from some of our favorites below!

Things to know before visiting Tayrona National Park

Get off the beaten track in Southern Colombia

7 BEST Guatapé Tours from Medellin

Things to do in the Old City of Cartagena, Colombia

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