Free Things To Do in Cartagena
- #1View all PhotosfreeOld City Walls#1 in CartagenaSightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Cartagena's most famous attraction, the city's historic walls, began construction on the eastern edge of the city in 1586 and finished in 1796. Fast forward to 1984 and the iconic walls were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now, the Walled City of Cartagena draws travelers hoping to explore its colonial architecture and peruse the wares of its numerous street vendors.
Recent travelers appreciated the area's historic charm, complete with horse-drawn carriages. They recommend taking your time in the walled city, as you can easily spend a full day wandering its narrow streets. To make sure you don't miss any of the top sites, sign up for one of the area's many walking tours. The only downside? Recent visitors warn about the street vendors who persistently hawk their wares.
- #3View all Photos#3 in CartagenaMonuments and Memorials, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
The Plaza Santo Domingo is primarily known as the home of the bronze statue La Gorda Gertrudis, which was created by the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The popular square is located in the Old City Walls, and it has a macabre history as a place for execution. Thankfully, the area has transcended its morbid past, and the most notorious interactions you'll experience now are scammers selling fake IDs.
Past travelers appreciated the cultural significance of the Botero statue, as well as the array of souvenirs for purchase. A handful of travelers expressed disappointment that the plaza is so crowded during the day, making it hard to move around.
- #6View all PhotosfreeMuseo del Oro Zenú#6 in CartagenaMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Located in the old city, the Museo del Oro Zenú showcases a collection of gold, silver and ceramic relics. The museum is relatively small, and it focuses on Colombian culture before Spanish colonialism. In total, the museum boasts 902 archaeological objects, in addition to a workshop for kids, a reading room and a movie room.
Past visitors praised the museum, especially for its focus on indigenous people. They were also pleased that the museum is air-conditioned and free, making it exceptionally inviting on a hot Colombian afternoon. Recent travelers also noted that it doesn't take long to go through all of the exhibits, so you won't need to set aside much time to see it.
- #7View all PhotosfreePlaya Blanca#7 in CartagenaBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
This beautiful beach, located south of downtown Cartagena, is one of the best and most budget-friendly beaches in the area. Visitors and locals alike share space on the white sand and in the azure waters of the popular Playa Blanca. But, keep in mind that the beach can get very crowded.
While nearly all past visitors at this beach appreciated the stunning location, many found themselves jaded relatively quickly. Some complained of persistent, intrusive vendors selling massages and food. Meanwhile, others couldn't get over the immense crowd.
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