Written by Kieran Proctor

Bogotá Graffiti Tours: Discovering Street Art Treasures

Street art has progressively evolved into a fundamental part of urban culture worldwide and Bogotá the capital city of Colombia, ...

Street art has progressively evolved into a fundamental part of urban culture worldwide and Bogotá the capital city of Colombia, is no exception. The city’s vibrant urban landscape is adorned with a multitude of elaborate murals, earning its reputation as Colombia’s street art capital.

The creative explosion of street art in Bogotá is not only a form of artistic expression. But also serves as a powerful tool for social commentary and political protest.

The Emergence Of Street Art In Bogotá

Street art in Bogotá has its roots in a tumultuous past, mirroring the city’s historical and political evolution. This form of expression was not always warmly received by authorities and the general public. However, a significant event in 2011 sparked a dramatic shift in Bogotá’s perception of street art.

The tragic death of 16-year-old artist Diego Becerra while he was creating graffiti art led to a massive public outcry, prompting the decriminalization of graffiti art in 2013. This policy change was further reinforced when international pop star Justin Bieber was permitted to create a mural in Bogotá, causing an uproar among local artists.

Consequently, the government not only allowed street art but actively began promoting it. A portion of the government budget each year is even allocated to commission street art, further propelling the growth of this art form in Bogotá.

The Rich Tapestry Of Murals In Bogotá

Bogotá’s street art scene is incredibly diverse, featuring a plethora of styles and techniques. From massive murals to intricate stencils, the city’s walls provide a canvas for countless local and international artists. These works, often politically charged and socially relevant, vary greatly and reflect a wide range of voices and perspectives.

Street art in Bogotá is a nuanced form of storytelling, frequently depicting the city’s triumphs and struggles. It serves as a reminder of the city’s complex past, including the ongoing battle for indigenous rights and the repercussions of civil war.

By exploring the city’s murals one can gain a deep understanding of the city’s past and present. Making Bogotá’s street art scene a must-visit tourist attraction for any art lover or history enthusiast.

Street Art in Bogota Colombia
Street art in Centro Internacional Bogotá

The Bustling Neighborhoods Of Street Art In Bogotá

La Candelaria Bogotá

La Candelaria, a historic neighborhood in downtown Bogotá, is one of the prime locations to explore the city’s street art. A walk around this district feels like a guided tour through an open-air gallery, with breathtaking murals adorning the walls of its narrow, cobblestone streets.

La Candelaria is also home to the Bogotá Graffiti Tour, a free walking tour organized by a group of art enthusiasts. This tour offers a fascinating insight into the city’s vibrant street art scene, detailing the evolution of graffiti art in Bogotá and the meaning behind some of the most iconic murals.

Santa Fe Bogotá

Santa Fe, once an upscale neighborhood, is another hotspot for street art lovers. Despite its reputation for being unsafe at night, the area is invigorated by the presence of vibrant murals, breathing new life into this part of the city.

Notably, Calle 24 or 24th Street, is a haven for street art. With numerous buildings adorned with captivating artwork and huge murals.

The Artists Behind The Murals In Bogotá

Bogotá’s street art scene is home to numerous talented artists, each with their own unique style and message. Artists like Federico Ruiz, known for leading engaging street art tours, and DJ Lu, often referred to as the ‘Bogotá Banksy,’ have significantly contributed to the city’s rich artistic landscape.

DJ Lu‘s work focuses on making the invisible visible by drawing attention to anonymous individuals who shape street culture. Similarly, CRISP, an Australian transplant in Bogotá, uses street art as a potent form of expression and protest, drawing inspiration from Colombia’s indigenous cultures, people and history.

Street Art Santa Fe Bogota Colombia
Street art in Santa Fe Bogotá

Commissioned Murals: A Blend Of Art And Heritage

Commissioned murals in Bogotá often celebrate the city’s cultural heritage, featuring beloved local icons such as the Gold Museum, the hummingbirds of San Francisco de Sales church and historical figures like Salavarrieta Rios. These artworks not only add color and beauty to the cityscape but also serve as reminders of Bogotá’s rich cultural history.

Street Art in Bogota
Street art in Santa Fe Bogotá

Street Art Tours In Bogotá: The Art Scene In Bogotá

Several organizations offer guided tours showcasing the city’s street art. These tours provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, learn about the history of street art in Bogotá and gain a deeper understanding of the messages conveyed through these artworks.

The Future Of Street Art In Bogotá

Despite the current popularity of street art in Bogotá, its future largely depends on various factors such as legal issues, trends and socio-political circumstances.

However, given the city’s progressive stance on street art and its deep-rooted culture of artistic expression, it is likely that Bogotá will continue to thrive as a global hotspot for street art.

Street Art in La Candelaria Bogota Colombia
Street art in La Candelaria

The Impact Of Street Art In Bogotá

The vibrant street art of Bogotá not only beautifies the city but also serves as a powerful platform for social and political dialogue. The role of graffiti and street art even feature prominently in the National Museum of Colombia.

Street art in Bogotá and Colombia more generally, offers a way for locals and visitors alike to engage with the city’s history and culture in a unique and immersive way.

Moreover, the street art scene in Bogotá significantly contributes to the city’s tourism industry, attracting art lovers worldwide. It has also inspired other cities globally, showcasing the transformative power of artistic expression in urban spaces.

Final Thoughts On Bogotá Street Art & Graffiti Tours

Bogotá’s street art scene is a testament to the city’s resilience, creativity and cultural richness. A walk around the city of Bogotá is akin to a journey through a colorful storybook. With each mural narrating a unique tale of Bogotá’s past, present and its peoples hopes for the future.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a casual explorer, discovering the street art treasures of Bogotá is an experience not to be missed.

Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?

If you’re planning to visit Bogotá on your next vacation, or you’re simply interested in Colombia in general, you should read my Bogotá City Guide.

My Bogotá City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Bogotá and Colombia in one place. Read my Complete Bogotá City Guide.