Given the number of places that Spanish is spoken, differences are bound to emerge, but what makes Colombian Spanish different?
Imagine a city that offers you beautiful landscapes, vibrant a modern architecture, world-class museums and art galleries and a story to tell.
We love our city and we like to show it off to visitors! From La Candelaria to Monserrate there are so many awesome things to do in Bogotá, you’ll wish you could stay longer.
These are the things to do in Bogota that should be at the very top of your list. Go on, get out there.
1. Learn Spanish, of course!
Learn More than Spanish School offers a variety of courses in General Spanish or Spanish for Business to help you boost your education and increase career prospects. One of the best things about learning Spanish in Bogota is that you’ll make friends and memories to last a lifetime!
2. Visit “El Cerro de Monserrate”
3,152 metres above the sea level, Monserrate is a mountain that you can’t ignore.
Monserrate dominates the city center of Bogotá, it is a pilgrim destination, as well as a tourist attraction.
You can take the regular teleférico (cable car), funicular or walk up Cerro de Monserrate, visit its church, built in the 17th century, take a look at its jaw-dropping panoramic view and eat and drink typical Colombian food.
3. Take a Graffiti Walking Tour
What happens when a city let graffiti artists do their thing? Well, the city evolves, you see colour, self-expression and thoughtful pieces of art everywhere. This is a must try tour!
4. Visit “La Candelaria”
With an Spanish Colonial architecture of houses, churches and buildings, La Candelaria is the historic neighborhood in downtown Bogotá.
La Candelaria is home to the La Candelaria top museums, the government and beautiful colonial buildings along narrow cobblestone streets.
5. Visit “La Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá”
about an hour outside of Bogota, The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine, 200 meters underground.
Built by miners as a place for their daily prayers, now It is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture.
Spanish is one of the richest languages in vocabulary in the world. Also, it has a good number of long words. The RAE (Real Academia de la Lengua Española/Spanish Royal Academy) has determined a list of the Spanish longest words; here you will find six of longest and well-known Spanish words :
1. Esternocleidomastoideo (22 letters)
Meaning: Sternocleidomastoid, muscle of the neck.
2. Interdisciplinariedad (21 letters)
Meaning:Interdisciplinary, combining or involving two or more academic disciplines or fields of study.
3. Internacionalización (20 letters):
Meaning: Internationalization, to make something international.
4. Desvergonzadamente (18 letters)
Meaning: Shamelessly, lacking any sense of shame.
5. Desconsoladamente (17 letters)
Meaning: Inconsolably, that cannot be comforted
6. Electrodoméstico (16 letters)
Meaning: Home Appliance, electrical or mechanical machines which accomplish some household functions
Paralelepípedo (14 letters)
Meaning: Parallelepiped, a three-dimensional figure formed by six parallelograms
Caleidoscopio: (13 letters)
Meaning: Kaleidoscope, a toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of colored glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns.
As you can see, most of them are compound words (adverbs or two based-words). It could be a good exercise you try to practice their pronunciation!
Bogota has plenty of possibilities to get great cultural enrichment. Every day there are 35 to 45 cultural public and private events along with the city, from street theater, concerts, and workshops to art expositions and free exchanges events at cafes and bars.
Here you will find a list of the activities that will help you learn Spanish and enjoy the culture at the same time.
1. Free Dance Lessons:
You can enjoy salsa, tango and milonga free lessons every Sunday morning at Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez, in La Candelaria, in the centre of the city.
More info: Fondo de Cultura Económica
2. Language exchange and international party:
Gringo Tuesdays at bar La Villa, in Chicó, in the north of the city, is a language exchange and international party event that takes places every Tuesday from 5 pm to 3 am. This is an excellent opportunity to meet local and foreign people, to practice Spanish and to share experiences.
More info: GringoTuesdays
3.Party nights on a Chiva:
If you want to know how “bogotanos rumbean”, you also can enjoy party nights on a “Chiva rumbera”, a traditional bus with no windows, no chairs that is exclusively designed to go dancing and drinking meanwhile you go all over the city. The Chiva finally arrives to La Calera, a natural and touristic zone at northeast of the city with spectacular sightseeing and rumba zones.
4. Bike Tours:
Enjoy the Ciclopaseos through La Candelaria and other traditional zones. In those you rent a bicycle and with a guide, run through key points and places to know the traditional Bogota centre. If you prefer, every week there are also possibilities to run the centre on foot with a guide visit. Besides, every weekend there are outside walks, in which you can know natural runs and places in Bogota hills and some zones around Bogotá.
Amateur photographers meetings:
On the other hand, at Parque Nacional, near the centre and the Planetario, there are amateur photographers meetings at weekends, in which you not also meet new local people but enjoy routes designed to photograph special zones in the city as parks, graffiti and heritage zones, traditional neighbourhoods and buildings, among others. Off course, you could get good memories and images of all over the city.
These are just a few of many different options that are now available to enrich the learning experiences of Spanish language and cultural involvement in Bogotá. These offers get visitors interact with locals to improve their speaking and listening skills, and off course, to enrich cultural and local lifestyle knowledge at the time they provide practice with vocabulary that is inherently more applicable to your interests.
Living in a different country means not only to know basic vocabulary but to get in touch with contextual words and expressions, which are both interesting and very useful. Here you have 6 words to know and use in your visit in Colombia:
it’s a very Colombian expression; you won’t listen to it in other Latin-American countries. It means “cool”. It’s very common y Bogotá and most used by young and adolescents.
this is a very cultural and routine word. Its original meaning refers to a frying pan, but Colombians use it to mean when a person is in trouble and there’s nothing to do. For example, when your boyfriend or girlfriend leaves you out, “paila”, you can do nothing.
it’s another informal and routine word; its meaning is very similar to “chévere”, but it commonly refers to a cool person, for example, you can say “that man is a “bacan””. There’s not real difference if you omit “o” or not.
it´s a very colloquial expression and it’s used in the whole country. It means “to work”. And “El camello” is the job. For example, you can listen “No tengo camello”, that means “I have no job”.
it’s a very Bogotá’s word. It’s a total surprise expression. You use it when you get surprised or even annoyed. For example, “¡Caray!, no puedo ir a la fiesta”, that means “Damn! I can’t go to the party”.
6. !Qué boleta!:
it’s a very Bogotá’s expression and it’s used when you identify an embarrassing person or situation. For example, if you get drunk and fall down, your friends will say “¡Qué boleta!”.
From university courses to private tutoring to chatting up the local next to you in the bar, there are many different great ways to learn Spanish while visiting or living in Bogotá, Colombia.
With the explosive growth in tourism in Colombia in the last decade, as well as the development of new teaching tools over the internet and mobile devices, here are four important trends we have seen here in Bogotá in the Spanish Language learning landscape:
1. Greater Cultural Enrichment.
Salsa lessons in Spanish. Windsurfing in Spanish. Cooking in Spanish. Guitar lessons in Spanish. These are just a few of many different options that are now available to enrich the learning experiences of Spanish language students in Bogotá. These new types of classes get students out of the classroom so that they can interact with locals to improve their speaking and listening skills. And of course, provides practice with vocabulary that is inherently more applicable to your interests.
2. Online Tutoring.
If you find a great tutor, why stop your classes with them when you move? With Skype and other online tools, it is now easier than ever to continue conversational lessons while you are on the move. And with tools like Duolingo and Babbel, there are now even more options than ever for guided self study.
3. Voluntourism Classes.
With it’s 50 year history of conflict in the country, Colombia offers numerous opportunities to get in touch with vulnerable communities at the time you´re practising your Spanish, helping and learning in real context.
4. Business Spanish Classes.
If your interests are on professional growth, language centres take this into account to offer, short, long, specialized, skill focus, individual or group classes, all these in response of students’ needs and intentions, with technical Spanish books and material.
Have you ever heard the word “fritanga”? It’s a dish that ever single visitor in Colombia must try!
“Fritanga” is a typical weekend lunch for Colombians. It is a varied dish served in a basket and enjoyed not with cutlery but your hands. When ordering fritanga you can mix and match, but it’s ingredients are commonly potato criolla (or “papita bogotana”), grilled banana, blood sausage (morcilla), long spicy pork sausage (longaniza), fried cassava (“yuquita frita”), stuffed potato, crackling (chicharrón), chorizo and chunchullo (fried pork small intestine). Nicknamed “the vitamin Ch” plate: chunchullo, chorizo, chicharrón are considered indispensable in it, and normally it is served with a beer, “una fría”.
One of the things that characterizes and differentiates Colombian regions are their different typical dishes. Fritanga is the most tipical dish in Andina region: Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Tolima, among others have Fritanga as the familiar weekend dish. It is very common to enjoy this delicious preparation in “plazas de mercado”, outdoor places where you can find and buy fruits and vegetables or, more typically in “Piqueteaderos” – restaurants specialized in Fritanga. If you’re in Bogota, one of the best well known places to try Fritanga is in “Piqueteadero Doña Segunda” in “Plaza 12 de Octubre”, in the northeast of the city.
But fritanga is so traditional and delicious that you can also find it in more formal restaurants. And while it’s most popular in Andina, people from all over Colombia eat Fritanga. The dish varies in each region, according to particular variations in the preparation of ingredients or even in quantity or variety of them.
No doubt, this is a dish in which takes you on a complete tour of Colombian food culture and traditions, by way of many colors, textures, and tastes. Go talk to your Colombian doctor and get a prescription for vitamin Ch to cure what ails you.
The Museo del Oro of the Bank of Republic is an unmissable stop for every single visitor to Bogotá where you can discover the amazing world of Prehispanic iconography. And gold. Lots and lots of gold. Its collection has been declared a National monument and it is considered the most important Prehispanic collection in the […]
Learn Spanish in Colombia while visiting spectacular landmarks. Here you will find four of the most interesting library designs in Colombia. Enjoy and please let us know what you think!
Virgilio Barco Library in Bogotá
The Virgilio Barco Library building, being one of the four largest libraries of the BIBLORED network in Bogotá, it’s a cultural and recreational staple of the country that has become a reference of contemporary public spaces.
The building, designed by Rogelio Salmona (1929-2007), considered the most important Colombian architect of the 20th century, stands out due to its creative design, a maze of colors featuring red brick walls and and exterior space that makes it, according to its creator, a kind of “ceremonial center”
The inside is as especial and calm as the outside, depicting a colorful labyrinth of books in an area of nearly 7.000 m2
Villanueva Public Library in Casanare
Designed by four young Colombian architects, the Villanueva Public Library in Casanare it’s a 3000 square meters building.
The library is notable for its simple and amazing architecture and for the use of locally sourced materials, including timber and stones from rivers and the help of the locals.
For more information and photos, please visit: De Zeen Magazine
Parque Biblioteca España, in Medellín
Designed by architect Giancarlo Mazzanti, the Parque Biblioteca España is noted for its striking modernist design.
Three buildings that resemble black stones, contrast to the homes in the neighborhood. The library is located at the top of one of the peaks of Medellín and it’s an ideal sightseeing point of the city.
EPM Library, Medellin
Designed like an upside-down pyramid, the EPM Library in Medellin is an iconic building not only for its walls of glass and natural stones and its 107,000 square foot beautiful interior, but for the forest of white columns located just outside: “La plaza de Cisneros”.
Each column of the Plaza has seven reflectors illuminated by 170 floor lamps. The lighting system simulates phases of the moon.
Photo Attribution: By http://www.flickr.com/people/jlascar/ Jorge Láscar (Own work, I took the picture) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
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