If you enjoy indulging in retail therapy, Bogotá has exactly what you want. You may not have heard of Bogotá being a well-renowned shopping destination, but considering the variety and high quality of shopping options on offer in Bogotá, it should be. Put aside some time for shopping in Bogotá until you drop in Colombia’s cosmopolitan capital and you won’t be disappointed.
Before you embark on your shopping in Bogotá adventure, here is an overview of the main shopping areas and malls in Bogotá and what they have to offer.
The city’s northern-most district, Usaquén, is home to a plethora of shopping options. It’s home to several shopping malls such as Unicentro, which was the first large shopping mall in Bogotá that opened in 1976. Unicentro has over 300 shops, a cinema and plentiful dining options available.
However, if you want to break free of the usual shopping mall, whilst having the convenience of all the shops close to hand, head to Hacienda de Santa Barbara. The shopping mall is a 19th century farmhouse that was converted into a mall. It mixes well-known brands with numerous one-off boutique stores.
Further north from Unicentro and Hacienda de Santa Barbara is Centro Comerical Santafé, which is one of the largest malls in Bogotá, which opened in 2006. Santafé has over 420 shops and is reportedly planning a major expansion.
For one-off handicrafts and accessories, Usaquén’s Sunday Flea Market is worth a visit. If you’re on the lookout for local art, artisanal jewelry and crafts, leather goods and more, this is the place you need to go. With the village-like atmosphere, heading to Usaquén’s Flea Market will make you feel like you’ve escaped the city for the afternoon, making for a perfect laid-back Sunday.
Zona Rosa and Zona T
Centro Andino is a sophisticated and popular shopping mall located in Zona Rosa. The mall opened in 1995 and offers both international and national brands, leather goods, clothing and jewelry. The large four-story shopping mall was one of the seeds for development in the Zona Rosa area, which helped transform the neighborhood into a vibrant commercial destination.
If you need to get more of your shopping in Bogotá mall fix while in the area, there are two other popular malls nearby – Atlantis Plaza and Centro Comerical El Retiro. El Retiro is somewhat larger and has three floors jam-packed with shopping options, it will satisfy even the fussiest shopper. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the shopping mall also has a food court, which will cater to all tastes.
Note that Zona T is a pedestrian area of two streets crossing in a T shape, which is part of Zona Rosa.
Every Sunday, you can dig deep and find your own hidden gems at the San Alejo Flea Market. Not only can you find some treasures and antiques, you will also find vendors selling artisanal goods from all over Colombia, vintage clothing and you can sample some tasty Colombian delicacies.
If you’re looking for a gem without having to do all the searching, head to the area around Calles 11 and 14 and Carreras 6 and 7 and you will find jewelry shops upon jewelry shops. There, you will be able to get your hands on one of Colombia’s hottest exports – emeralds, which would be a special souvenir of your trip or a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
West of Usaquén and Chapinero are located some additional large shopping malls including Centro Comerical Gran Estación located in Teusaquillo and Centro Comercial Titán Plaza located in Engativá. Titán Plaza is the newest large mall in Bogotá, which opened in 2012. Both large malls are worth going to, as shops in these malls tend to have prices somewhat lower than the malls in Zona Rosa.
Foreigners typically do not visit the southern neighborhoods of Bogotá very often due to a deserved reputation of being a more dangerous part of Bogotá. The largest mall in Bogotá, Centro Mayor, can be found in the southern locality of Antonio Nariño, with over 400 shops. However, there aren’t really shops to found in Centro Mayor that can’t also be found in the many other malls located in the Northern, Western or Zona Rosa areas of Bogotá. So in our opinion, for most foreigners, it is not really worth a trip to Centro Mayor, even though it is the largest shopping mall in Bogotá.