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The best neighborhoods to live in Bogotá: meet La Macarena

La Macarena neighborhood
María Montes

María Montes

I'm a social anthropologist working in marketing and I'm passionate about food, traveling to big cities and dogs. I like being that person everyone comes for recommendations especially if it is in Bogotá, a city I love dearly and where I been living intermittently for over 12 years. Instagram: @mariaisaturtle

This buzzing bohemian neighborhood is like no other in Bogotá. Its hip and colorful environment surrounded by lush hills on the west is the favorite housing and meeting spot for artists, students, academics, and young professionals in the city.  Here’s why you should consider visiting La Macarena.

If you want to get a sense of the artistic and hipster scene of Bogotá, look no further than in La Macarena. Once a sketchy part of the city, it’s nowadays frequented by writers, film directors, musicians, comedians and all sorts of creative and academic geniuses. This place is packed with amazing restaurants, beautiful brick buildings and amazing art galleries that give it an amazing multicultural sense. Here is what you need to know about La Macarena.

General Information

Located in Bogotá’s downtown, between Avenida Circunvalar in the east and Carrera 7 and Calle 31 to Calle 26 (Av. El Dorado), this neighborhood is right next to some very important streets and highways like Av. El Dorado where you can reach the airport in 30 minutes via transmilenio. The neighborhood is mostly commercial and residential, surrounded by hotels, cafes, art galleries, bookstores and more! 

Map of La Macarena
© Photograph Google Maps

Demographics and cost of living 

La Macarena is a common pick for students and creative geniuses who are looking to be where everything is happening, the area is filled with some of my favorite restaurants like Anna & Otto (make sure you try their amazing jalapeño pizza), La tapería, and La Juguetería, the neighborhood’s most quirky restaurant.!

Due to its beautiful and iconic architecture, the neighborhood is considered a National Heritage place, which means that most of its areas are categorized as estrato 1, so all utility bills are cheaper in comparison to the other places in the city. Another positive aspect of La Macarena is that because it is located on a steep hill and it’s not a very family-orientated place, it has a very affordable rent. 

Places to visit

La Macarena is not only a place to go to for drinks and food, but this iconic neighbourhood also holds some of the city’s most important cultural and educational places that are worth visiting. Here are some of my top pics:

Planetario de Bogotá, the city’s planetarium was founded back in 1969 and it is a cultural center in the heart of La Macarena. This place hosts some really cool events like concerts and movie projections in its cupola and it also features daily projections of the stars and even outdoor movie screenings when the weather allows it. You can also go to the planetarium and check out their museum or grab a cup of coffee in its modern coffee shop.

Tickets for the events in planetarium can be purchased online on this site and on average, these shows can cost around $3 USD/$10,000 COP.

Planetario de Bogotá (A concert in the dome of the planetarium
© Photograph by www.planetariodebogota.gov.co

Alfonso Garces Galería, Founded back in 1977, this place has been pivotal in the promotion and showcasing of national and international art work. Many artists of different disciplines have featured their work in this gallery. This great place hosts several exhibitions throughout the year and also has a shop that sells small art pieces, books, and jewelry made by local artists. 

Museo Nacional, the national museum is one of Colombia’s most extensive historical and cultural museums. Located at Carrera Septima and Calle 28, this great building, once a jail during the colony times, exhibits amazing pieces dated back to pre-Hispanic times. It also has a room for concerts and plays and rooms to showcase historical pieces from other museums around the world. 

Taller Manual del Cuero, this wonderful shop run by César Giraldo is a leather lover’s heaven! You can buy some of his handmade pieces, commission him to do something for you, or even if you have enough time, you can be part of one of his 12 session classes where you can learn everything you need to know about leather craftsmanship.  

Luvina Libros, is mainly a bookstore, but also a café, art gallery, concert hall, and even a restaurant! It is safe to say that it is La Macarena’s cultural corner! This place is fantastic and is worth the visit.

Like all these places, there are many others in this fantastic neighborhood that are worth the visit. La Macarena is a whimsical place filled with art and a unique atmosphere! You should definitely take some time to visit this fantastic place and if you are looking for a place to live in Bogotá and you are a fan of a chill and bohemian environment, you shouldn’t look anywhere else! If you are living in Bogotá and want to explore other fantastic places, you should visit Colina Campestre and keep visiting Colture for more information on Bogotá’s neighborhoods!

Did you like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for more and less touristy information about Bogotá. Share your thoughts with me and follow my articles on www.colture.com.  Are you a local business? Get in contact with us to be featured on our website!

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