Where to Spend a Sunday Afternoon in Bogota

Even chronic travelers need a day off.

Sunday is my official rest day. I sleep in, keep my laptop closed, and leave the house to explore the city, drink a few coffees, and relax.

One of my favorite spots in Bogotá to spend a Sunday is the Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo, or Pulgas for short. The 28-year-old market is recognized as a heritage site due to its dedication to conserve the city’s history via all the funky old school products they have for sale.

Pulgas isn’t like any other market. They specialize in all things vintage, antique, and strange or rare odds and ends that might tickle your fancy.

On any given weekend, you might find an assortment of dolls’ heads, ancient radios, and ugly lamps you’d only find in your great grandmother’s house. Collectors will have a field day here: records, dated Playboy magazines, and hard-to-find classic books are up for grabs. There are also standard wares here, like scarves, knit hats, and crystals – clear quartz anyone?

Mercado de las Pulgas San Alejo

oooh... shiny

Don’t miss drinking a tinto from the coffee stand directly behind the chiva, or colorfully painted party bus filled with families. Daring to walk and drink could prove to be perilous, as the coffee is scalding hot and the plastic cup overflowing. Add plenty of sugar, because this is REAL Colombia coffee.

Mercado San Alejo

fresh fruit juices

Pulgas is good for a few hours of admiring the creativity of the hand-painted mirrors, personally designed candles, and Beatles pillowcases. It’s kind of like a giant yard sale but cooler and with more or less crap for sale (depending on your perspective).

Essentials: Pulgas is held every Sunday in a large parking lot on Carrera 7 and Calle 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, check out their Facebook page.

  • Please please please go seek out Cafe San Moritz. It’s like a step back in time. All the old men and a few charming women sitting in a secret cafe sipping cafe tintos and cervecitas. Also, the best part is the urinal. You’ll understand when you get there :)

  • Sounds awesome, will definitely have to check it out – thanks for the recommendation :)

  • Karen

    I prefer the market in parque de los periodistas. It is more a real market for locals rather than tourists with heaps of cool vintage stuff to pick through!

  • The new layout looks awesome, BTW :)

  • thank you!!!

  • Eww I don’t like that one… last weekend was the first time I’ve ever seen a tourist in Pulgas but normally no

  • Pvespo

    Hola Jasmine! Like your new “look” and your blog on boredom definitely hit me as the defect I have. After living the expat life for 15 years you would think I would be ready to retire from the road and new living experiences. But I still get itchy feet within six months of my arrival. This is not a good thing at my age. I will work on your suggestions as my therapy. We have returned “home” to Mexico from Ecuador which definitely didn’t live up to my memories of 18 years ago. But then again, nothing stays the same. Buen suerte in Bogota and I will continue enjoying your experiences and insights. Laura

  • Thanks Laura! Looks like my first comment didn’t go through. Maybe some of us just need more stimulus than others, stimulus that only comes from seeing new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different things. Maybe there is no cure except to keep traveling :)

  • Market.Travel

    Great article. It’s so easy to abandon a blog when you return home from a trip because you slip back into everyday life, but people forget that like you said above, blogs are fun and interesting even when they document things from your normal routine or home town. You needn’t put pressure on yourself to only write when you’re in an exotic place.