Shopping Lola González

The markets in Bogota you just can’t miss

On a visit to Bogota, don’t miss the opportunity to take a stroll through its market squares, farmers markets and flea markets. They are a fundamental part of Colombian culture and the best way to get to know, from 42,500 Avios (return flight), how the locals live.

  1. 1 Weekly shopping in the market squares

    These are Colombians’ top choice for buying fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to find them, both in small towns as well as in the biggest parts of Bogota.

    One of the best known and most colourful is the Paloquemao market, located in the neighbourhood of the same name. It’s been in operation since 1972 and is ideal for breakfast or an afternoon snack of jugos (fresh juices). The nearly 2,000 stands offer an enormous variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, flowers – and even live chickens – from all over the country.

    Open Monday to Saturday from 4.30am to 4.30pm and on Sundays and holidays from 5am to 2pm. The earlier it is, the more bustling and crowded the market will be.

  2. 2 From the countryside to the shopping basket

    Farmers’ markets are the result of a political and economic agreement by several organisations of farmers that produce food in the area surrounding the capital. They now bring the food to the city themselves. This means that they cut out the middleman, which allows them to offer their products at much lower prices. One of the places to go Monda to Friday (from 8am to 5pm) in search of these products is Bogota’s Plaza de los Artesanos. You’ll find farmers from everywhere at this market. 

    There are also two travelling markets held in the Alcalá parks and the little square on Calle 85.

  3. 3 Flea markets

    Almost anything can be bought or sold at flea markets. In Bogota, they are also a real Sunday tradition. You can find a multitude of things from handcrafted garments, ceramics, to old coins and music boxes and even multicoloured replicas of “chivas” (typical Colombian buses).

    The most traditional one is in San Alejo. It’s been open every Sunday and on public holidays from 9am to 5pm for more than 30 years, and features more than 330 stands. One of the products whose value increases year after year is books that were censored at some time in the past.

    In addition, other flea markets like the one in Usaquén – featuring artisanal products and crafts – are somewhat quieter and also have a wide range of items.

    The San Alejo market attracts some 40,000 people every Sunday and a festive Monday
    The San Alejo market attracts some 40,000 people every Sunday and a festive Monday - Image courtesy of The San Alejo Market Association.