This past year when Antonio and I decided to rediscover Bogotá, we chose to stay in the Santa Barbara neighborhood for its safety and convenience. What I didn't know is that our flat would be a short walk from one of the cutest neighborhoods in Bogotá, Usaquén. There are so many things to do in Usaquén, that we never got bored. This was probably the best location we could have chosen, and when you visit Bogotá, you should seriously consider staying in either Santa Barbara or Usaquen proper. Usaquen is located in the North of the city and once was its own separate town. That was until the 1950's when it officially became a part of the city. Lucky for us, it retained all of its charm.
Things to do in Usaquén
Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén
The Usaquén Flea Market was my favorite of the many things to do in Usaquén. I went there almost every weekend. This is no ordinary flea market filled with crap made in China. The stuff here is the real deal. Colombian artisans sell their gorgeous, high quality homemade pieces. This is the place you want to go to to shop for souvenirs. You can get everything from hand knitted sweaters, jewelry, leatherwork, soap, shoes; you want it, they've got it. Bring cash and don't be afraid to bargain, just don't bargain too much.
The Usaquén Flea Market is open every Sunday from 9-5:30pm
Eat at the Restaurants in Usaquén
Usaquén had some of the best restaurants in Bogotá. The best part is that it was not just Colombian restaurants. There were plenty of French (Bistronomy & La Provence de Andrei), Spanish (La Puerta de Alcala), and Italian (Julia) restaurants. One could also find Asian Fusion (Wok - there are multiple locations), Chinese (Madam Tussan) and Indian (Taj Mahal). You can't get bored with all the dining options here. In Usaquén you can find very inexpensive restaurants, as well as very high end restaurants - so there's a choice for every budget.
Obleas are awesome. Think of a comunion wafer filled with Arequipe (a type of Colombian caramel that's just delish). They're delicious. My favorites were sold by an older gentleman in front of Casa Vieja restaurant on Carrera 6.
Go Out For Drinks
Usaquén has plenty of bars for you to choose from. Although this is not a party neighborhood, you can find plenty of places to grab a beer or a glass of wine (although the wine options in Bogotá are better than most of Colombia, wine culture still has plenty of room for growth). Grab a beer at Bogotá Beer Company to experience local brews.
Besides the flea market, boutiques are starting to spring up in the neighborhood (Parque 93 has a better shopping scene). However, Usaquén is home to Hacienda Santa Barbara, an old estate that was converted into a mall. It's pretty interesting to see how the old building was combined with the new. There are plenty of stores, cafes, and restaurants; so this is a very nice shopping spot.
Hacienda Santa Barbara is located at Cra. 7 #115 - 72, Usaquén
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun 10am–8pm
La Sabana Train
If you go to Bogotá, you're probably going to take the trip to Zipaquira. The best way to get there is to take the tourist train on weekends. The train has live music, snacks and makes for a wonderful experience...it conveniently departs from Usaquén.
Santa Barbara de Usaquén church
I was mainly disappointed by the churches in Bogotá, but this one did not disappoint. The church is located right in the town square and is very much used by locals. There are some gorgeous 17th Century paintings by Colombian artists that make it a site to behold.
Usaquén Food Park
If you're with a group of people and you can't decide what to eat, check out the food truck park in Usaquén. There are plenty of choices for food, and there is a BBC truck in case you get thirsty and want a beer. Pretty cheap too!
The Usaquen Food Park is located at Cra. 7 # 11944, Bogotá
Where to Stay in Usaquén
As mentioned, we did not stay in Usaquén, we stayed in Santa Barbara in an awesome (and very affordable) 2 bedroom Airbnb. It was a block away from the Carulla supermarket, on the road for the ciclovia (so much fun to watch on Sundays), and came with an awesome host. If you're curious about this Airbnb, message me. I'll send you the link and if you haven't yet used Airbnb, I'll give you a code so you get a credit towards your first trip
Got Questions on more things to do in Usaquén?
Leave a comment and I'll be glad to answer them for you.