Gold, God, and Glory. That’s what brought Europeans to the Americas. In the territory that became Colombia, the first especially rang true. The indigenous peoples of Colombia were expert gold craftsmen, and Spanish conquistadores stole and looted much of it to fill their own and Spain’s coffers. Fortunately, some it still remains to be seen today. You can see some truly impressive and ornate examples at Bogotá’s Gold Museum, a must see during a visit to Colombia’s capital. Read on for a complete visitors guide to the Bogotá Gold Museum.
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Visitors Guide to the Bogotá Gold Museum – Contents
- Why Visit the Gold Museum
- What to See at the Gold Museum
- How to Get There
- Planning Your Visit
- Tours to the Bogotá Gold Museum
Why You Should Visit the Gold Museum in Bogotá
Bogotá’s Gold Museum is one of the city’s and the country’s best known tourist attractions. Many of Colombia’s indigenous peoples were expert goldsmiths. For years, this prompted Spanish colonists to look for the fabled El Dorado. Of course, it also prompted lots of looting.
Cartagena’s early wealth was fueled by gold looted from the tombs of the Zenú people that lived to its south. Cartagena’s founder Pedro de Heredia led much of this grade robbing himself. You can see examples of the unique Zenú pattern of cross weaving of gold in Cartagena’s Gold Museum.
However, that collection pales in comparison to that of the Bogotá Gold Museum. This is the greatest collection of gold crafts in Colombia and perhaps in the world. With hundreds of pieces on display, it really is very neat and well worth a visit during a trip to Bogotá.
What to See at the Gold Museum in Bogotá
Lots of gold, duh!
The museum is split into several sections over its 3 floors. Each section deals with different aspects of the gold work, from the techniques used to craft it, to the indigenous cultures and their history, to the religious and symbolic importance of gold crafts in those cultures.
Each of the exhibits lie behind massive vaulted doors to protect the priceless artifacts. There is also a great room with a short show that sees different parts of the room light up to reveal gold artifacts along with a voice over about the indigenous cultures and their gold smithing. It is very neat and not to be missed.
On the top floor, there is also a neat archaeological exhibit that discusses how the Muisca indigenous peoples created elaborate irrigation systems. As the exhibit points out, they handled the seasonal rain and flooding of the plains better than we do today.
There are also other temporary exhibits. When we visited, there was one on midwifing. Finally, there is a gift shop, where you can get gold replicas of the original designs and other jewelry and souvenirs.
How to Get to the Bogotá Gold Museum
The Gold Museum in Bogotá is located next to the Parque Santander, 5 blocks up from Bolívar Square along Carrera 6.
If you leave Bolívar Square and walk with your back to the Presidential Palace up the 5 blocks to Parque Santander and then turn right and walk another block to find the museum. It should take you about 10 minutes to get there. You can of course always hop a cab there as well.
From outside La Candelaria, you can take the Transmilenio towards Las Aguas and get off at the Museo del Oro station.
Ready to Plan Your Visit to the Bogotá Gold Museum?
Hours and Admission Fee
- Tuesday-Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm, Admission Fee 4,000 pesos
- Sundays and Holidays: 10 am to 4 pm, Admission Free
- The museum in closed on Mondays
- It is also closed on Good Friday, May Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day.
- Included in the admission fee.
- In English at 11 am and 4 pm Tuesday-Saturday
- In Spanish at 11 am, 3 pm, and 4 pm Tuesday-Friday with an additional 10 am tour on Saturdays.
- No tours on Sundays.
You can confirm the hours, admission fee, days closed, and tour times at the Gold Museum’s Website.
Expect to spend 1-2 hours here, depending on how much time you take to browse and read the exhibits.
There are frequent cultural events, presentations, and special exhibits as well. You can consult this webpage to see upcoming events.
Tours to the Gold Museum in Bogotá
It is not necessary to do a tour to the Gold Museum in Bogotá, but if you are trying to see a number of things in the same day, guided tours can help you maximize your time. Below are a handful of tours that can be booked ahead of time online and include a visit to the Bogotá Gold Museum.
Option 1: Private Gold Museum + Monserrate Private Tour (half day)
This half day tour includes a visit to the Bogotá Gold Museum as well as a a visit to the top of Monserrate Hill. Along the way, you will be accompanied by a private bilingual guide. A great way to see two of Bogotá’s most famous attractions.
Option 2: Gold Museum + Monserrate + La Candelaria (full day)
This full day tour includes a full walking tour of the historic downtown Bogotá neighborhood of La Candelaría as well as visits to the Gold Museum and Monserrate. This tour is limited to 5 people and includes transportation to and from your hotel.
Option 3: Gold Museum + Monserrate + Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá (full day)
If you’re looking for a truly fully packed full day tour, this one takes you to the Gold Museum of Bogotá as well as the Hill of Monserrate, and the Salt Cathedarl outside the city. This tour is a great way to pack a lot into one day.
There you have it, a complete visitors guide to the Bogotá Gold Museum. I highly recommend visiting it during a visit to Bogotá. If you do decide to go, I hope this guide was helpful for your planning, and that you enjoy it.
Cheers and Happy Exploring!
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