Usaquen Flea Market – Sunday in Bogota
Usaquen Sunday Traditional Market
We got into Bogota late Saturday night and happily slept in on Sunday morning. Once we finally emerged from our slumber in our very comfortable room we decided to see the traditional market in Usaquen. Shopping wasn’t the first thing on my list for our very 1st day in a city but since the market is only open on Sundays so today was the day! We stayed about 15 minutes away at the Hotel El Dorado.
We took a taxi from the hotel for the 2 miles because it was raining. It cost $16,000 COP. Totally worth the money because we walked back. We walk a lot but discounted how we’d feel at such a high elevation. That 1 1/4 mile walk feet 10 times that!
Even if you aren’t big on shopping you’ll enjoy the traditional market.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Be Prepared for Rain
This outdoor market has small vendors at stalls with umbrella covers. It if rains be prepared with a poncho and just keep going. The merchandise is all locally made in Colombia and there is so much color! Ponchos and bags and hammocks and jewelry! We saw shoes and wallets and bowls and countless other unique and interesting items.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Great Prices
The prices are reasonable from a US perspective. Do all the locals spend less? Probably, but so what! Handmade items would cost you so much more elsewhere.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Soak up the local culture
Everyone is warm and welcoming and friendly. While we heard, “Good morning” and “Welcome.” from the vendors it was a very low-pressure environment. Super easy and comfortable.
There are normally street performers and we did see on man dancing but the audience was small because of the noise from futbol! We happened to be in the Usaquen market during the world cup when Colombia was playing!
The Colombian team was playing against Poland in the 2018 World Cup while we were at the market wondering around. This made for an extra fun experience.
Locals were gathered around TVs – inside bars and restaurants and outside in the square on a very large screen.
When we arrived at the market, the score in the game was 0-0 but when Colombia scored the crowd erupted! Cheering and horns going off and vendors leaving their stalls to run to the nearest tv to see the replay. We were delighted for the locals when Colombia won!
Usaquen Sunday Market – Try the food
The food was NOT to be missed. We tried the most heavenly….things. With our extremely limited Spanish vocabulary, we stepped up to a small stand to buy a snack. The owner, an older man, was proud to explain what was inside the breaded empanada type food. We understood a few words like egg, chicken, meat, but one word left us scratching his heads. He didn’t speak English and with our very limited Spanish vocabulary, we were at an impasse.
Then, the man said ‘Birthday cake’. My daughter and I looked at each other. We understood his words but the tread didn’t seem at all like something that would taste like birthday cake. Then, he started to sing, “happy birthday to you” and then we just had to taste it.
It was in a word – delicious. However; it did not taste at all – not even a teeny tiny bit – like birthday cake. We couldn’t believe the price! This delicious and filling treat cost only $1 US. I’m actually back in the hotel room wishing I had another one right now.
We had ice cream, churros, and one of the craziest, couldn’t make it up if I tried, snacks – the ‘big ass ant’. No….. we didn’t try them, but we did take a close look and gave the seller a tip so we could take a photo.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Some English Spoken
**Donde esta la bano?**
You need to know this phrase! It means – ‘Where is the bathroom?’ and you will, at some point daily, need to ask it.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Next to the Mall
Right next to the Usaquen Sunday Traditional Market is the Centro Comercial which is a large maze of shops which includes a modern mall and food court. It also includes a cool playground for the littles!
Inside the mall area is a food court, where we found familiar french fries for one kiddo and a chocolate brownie for the other. As my mom used to say, “A little shot of sugar makes everyone feel better!” and since vacation calories don’t count, we use this advice often on vacation!
The mall had a really cool living wall, which we saw several examples of in Bogota, and a super cool escalator that was a ramp instead of stairs! As soon as I saw this really cool – and very accessible ramp I had to wonder, Why isn’t this a thing everywhere? I mean – it is 2018! I sure could have used this when I had kids in a stroller! I sure could have used this when I was on crutches last year with a broken foot! I sure could have used this at the airport when I was juggling kids and suitcases and the kitchen sink! We need this in the US!!
Overall the Usaqen Sunday Traditional Market is a must see
Usaquen Market Location and Hours
Carrera 5/Calle 120
11:00 – 4:00 Sundays and Monday Holidays
At the Usaquen Traditional Market on Sundays – CASH is KING.
Usaquen Sunday Market – Bring Cash
When you visit any traditional market or flea market, cash is the way to go. Once in a while, you can find someone who will accept credit cards they won’t want to do it for a small purchase anyway. You’ll find it way easier to shop with cash.
Usaquen Flea Market on Sundays – CASH is KING but only Colombian Pesos.
I always find it curious that people from the US visit another country and want to use US dollars. I mean, I know that US dollars are strong right now, but still….what makes you think that the locals want YOUR money instead of their OWN money? It just seems weird.
If they were to accept the US dollars instead of their own currency, they have the added trouble of visiting the bank to exchange them. Maybe they don’t want to have the extra step. Maybe they don’t want to have the record of how much money they receive in US dollars – you know – the tax man watcheth no matter what country you live in.
Just use Colombian Pesos and be done with it.
Using foreign currency is a great way to get the kids using math in the real world! They LOVE using foreign currency!
Usaquen Sunday Market – Expect to Haggle
AND if you want to negotiate at all, you’ll need small bills. For example, if you negotiate like this:
You: I like this purse.
Seller: It costs $50,000 COP.
You: $50,000 COP is too much. I only want to pay $40,000.
NOTE** if you pull out exactly $40,000 COP things are good, but if you pull out a $50,000 COP it will be a) hard to get change and b) just look bad.
So, small bills are valuable. You’ll have more fun and get better deals if you a) shop with cash and b) shop with small bills.
Usaquen Traditional Market – Buy some fun souvenirs
My favorite souvenirs from the day are these cute keyrings. Aren’t they just adorable!
They are exact replicas, in miniature, of the handicrafts you’ll see all over the country. they will be adorable Christmas ornaments son my Christmas Travel Tree! AND they are inexpensive AND they are lightweight and easy to carry around!
Colombia was an amazing adventure! Be sure to get the kids ready with some fun books. You’ll learn along with them!Read books about Colombia for kids!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist