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.

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