Is Sapa Worth Visiting? Everything You Need to Know

Is Sapa Worth Visiting? Everything You Need to Know

Planning your visit to Vietnam and wondering, “Is Sapa worth visiting?” Here’s everything you need to know about planning your trip to Sapa.

Located in the lush mountains of Northern Vietnam is Sapa. Here you will find mountain views and rice paddy fields that cover the stunning landscape.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Sapa Essentials

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Where to Stay in Sapa

Basing yourself in Sapa Town is ideal so that you’ll be within walking distance of most restaurants and tour departures.

$ – Lustig Hostel

$$ – Sapa Unique Hotel

$$$ – Hôtel de la Coupole – MGallery

Why Sapa is Worth Visiting – Best Things to Do in Sapa

To give you the super short answer, yes – Sapa is 100% worth visiting and was actually my favorite part of my 1-month trip to Vietnam (and yes I did the Ha Giang Loop!) Sapa still topped the charts, though motorbiking in northern Vietnam was truly fantastic.

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find Sapa is worth visiting because there are loads of interesting activities to do.

Here are some of the top things to do in Sapa, and what makes this beautiful region a must-do on your Vietnam itinerary.

1. Go Trekking

is sapa worth visiting

Going on an overnight trek and staying in a homestay a traditional village is one of the main reasons why travelers go out of their way to visit Sapa. And let me tell you, it is truly amazing!

Expert hikers and adventure travelers can take trekking and planning homestays into their own hands – which is very easy to do upon arrival to Sapa town. You’ll have loads of options. This is best option for anyone staying around 3 days.

Planners or anyone short on time (like me) should book a tour in advance. Since I only had 2 days in Sapa, I booked this tour here and would highly recommend it.

2. Ride the Cable Car to Fansipan

On a clear day, see spectacular views from one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia – Fansipan Mountain.

This activity is quite pricey, roundtrip cable car tickets are around 800,000 VND (34 USD) so check the weather before booking, otherwise the view may not be worth the cost.

3. Visit Sapa Town

Sapa Town may seem like a stark difference from its serene outskirts. The town is a major tourist hub, but it’s nice to walk around and visit some shops and see the evening festivities in the main square.

4. Visit the Waterfalls

While there are many waterfalls in Sapa and the surrounding area, Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall are the two most popular. You can arrange transport or rent a motorbike to get to the falls.

5. Cat Cat Village

If you’ve already done a Sapa trek, you can skip Cat Cat if you’ve had your dose of a Sapa authentic village experience. Cat Cat is a great option if you are staying in Sapa Town and aren’t trekking as it’s only a 15-minute walk and will give you a small taste of what the Sapa villages are like.

Cat Cat is very touristy, so take it with a grain of salt and prepare to be surrounded by locals selling their goods!

6. Visit the Sapa Museum (closed often, check before)

If you’re especially interested in the history and traditions of Sapa tribes, visit the Sapa Museum. Although this museum tends to operate on its own terms, so consider calling before going.

7. Try Hot Pot

Salmon Hot Pot is one of the most known meals to have in Sapa. Try some out at Viet Deli or Moment Romantic Restaurant Sapa.

Weather in Sapa.. It can be an issue.

is sapa worth visiting

Your trip to Sapa, and how much you’ll enjoy it, may, unfortunately, be completely dependent on the weather.

This isn’t exactly helpful information, because when I was in Hanoi and looking at the weather in Sapa, it said it would rain every day – and it barely rained at all. I would have been so upset if I didn’t plan my trip to Sapa based on this incredibly inaccurate weather forecast.

Much like anything in Vietnam, it’s a gamble. But let me help you narrow down your options.

Northern Vietnam’s rainy season is from mid-May to mid-September. If you’re traveling to Vietnam during this time, I would consider not booking a Sapa trek. If it’s pouring down rain the entire trek, you’re simply just not going to enjoy it.

The best time to visit Sapa is March-May and September-November.

Alternatively, you could book a trip to Sapa town, assess the weather situation, and book a trek for the next day. That’s the great thing about Vietnam is you can (almost) travel the entire country booking things only a day or two in advance.

Sapa town is full of nice restaurants, hotels, shopping, and local events. Worst case scenario you get there and won’t get to trek but will get to see the lovely town.

How to Get to Sapa

Book your transportation to Sapa here.

Personally, I took an overnight sleeper bus and it was very nice. Pay close attention as the trains to Sapa take longer and I’ve heard are not as nice as the buses!

While the buses can range dramatically, I got one that was so awesome – just look at it!

Many travelers also book a complete guided tour from Hanoi with all transportation included (this is what I did!)

I booked this tour here doing option #2 (sleeper bus) and arriving in SaPa at 6 am and beginning my hike that day. This is the best option for maximizing your time.

What to Pack for Sapa Trekking

Some of the trekking tours aren’t totally clear about what you actually need for trekking in Sapa. Lots of people were either not prepared or over-prepared on my trek.

1. Bug Spray

Hands down the number one thing you will need is bug spray! You will be trekking deep in the rice fields and forests, those mosquitos will eat you alive!

2. Good tennis shoes/ trekking shoes

My asics tennis shoes barely got me by on this trek, and I wasn’t alone! As touristy as Sapa treks can be, they are actually quite tough. I was slipping and sliding left and right. I was kicking myself for not bringing a better pair of hiking shoes.

3. Small Backpack

Do NOT bring your suitcase or big backpacking bag on your Sapa trek. You’ll need to leave most of your luggage behind at your accommodation and just bring a small backpack filled with your essentials for your Sapa trek.

4. Sunscreen

If you’re trekking in sunny weather, you’ll want to pack sunscreen to protect your skin.

5. Cash

Everything on Sapa treks is cash only, so be sure to bring cash – especially small bills for water and snacks. Most restaurants and accommodations in Sapa Town accept cards, but once you leave the town you are in cash-only territory.

6. Rain Jacket & Protection

As I’ve mentioned – rain in SaPa can be tricky! You’ll want to bring a rain jacket & a trash bag or plastic protection to put over your bag.

7. Baby Wipes

The trek can be pretty muddy or you might be one of the (many) unlucky ones who slide in Buffalo poop! Having a pack of baby wipes will keep you fresh throughout your hike.

8. Swimsuit

Throughout your hike, you may find a few rivers to take a dip in, so you’ll want to pack your swimsuit,

9. Basic Essentials

However long your hike is, you’ll want to pack just the very basics you’ll need for your trek and your overnight homestays.

Is Sapa Worth Visiting – YES!

As you can see I clearly think Sapa is worth visiting and making the time for in your Vietnam itinerary.

Sapa is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and can be a stop along the way on your Ha Giang Loop tour.

I hope this Sapa travel guide has completely prepared you for your epic scenic adventure in northern Vietnam.

is sapa worth visiting

Planning Your Trip to Hanoi?

Don’t forget your FREE Hanoi checklist so you don’t miss a thing! Also, read all about my favorite things to do in Hanoi.

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Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Looking for the best value Rosario Island Day trip from Cartagena? Here’s everything you need to know about booking your relaxing catamaran voyage.

rosario island day trip

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

If you’re researching the best Rosario island day trip, I’m specifically viewing a tour I booked on GetYourGuide.

After researching the depths of the web and searching for any insight on the best day trips from Cartagena – I kept seeing this Rosario island boat tour come highly recommended.

I was very hesitant about booking this excursion because, well, it’s not exactly cheap (especially if you’re on a backpacker’s budget).

At nearly $80 USD in a country where prices are usually affordable, I was skeptical. However, I can confidently say I am SO happy I booked it and it was one of my favorite days in Cartagena.

Here’s everything you need to know about booking the tour Cartagena: Rosario Islands Catamaran with Lunch and Snorkel.

What You Should Know About the Rosario Island Day Trip

Perhaps a common misconception on this tour is that you actually get to explore the islands. This is not true! You simply spend the day from a boat admiring the islands from nearby in the water.

Granted I knew this ahead of time before booking the tour, but I can easily see how someone could be disappointed if they have different expectations.

Basic Tour Outline

rosario island day trip

While your boat itinerary could change, here’s a rough idea on what to expect:

8:00-8:30 am – Depart from Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

10:30 – Swim at Isla Granda for 1h30

12:30 – Lunch is served on board.

1:30 – Stop near the island of Baru.

4 pm -Arrive back in Cartagena

This Rosario Island Day Trip Catamaran Tour is approximately 7.5 hours, so plan for it to take up most of your day.

Detailed Tour Itinerary

rosario island day trip

You’ll start your morning around 8-8:30 am boarding the catamaran that departs from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

As you step on board, you will be greeted with fresh juice as a welcome treat.

There are plenty of seats for everyone to spread out in the shade or the toasty Colombian sun!

Shortly after the catamaran departs, you’ll receive a bag of delicious empanadas to snack on until lunch.

About 2 hours into your journey, you’ll arrive at your first stop – the waters of Isla Grande.

You’ll have lots of options on how to spend the hour and a half you’ll have in the turquoise Isla Grande waters. Whether you want to snorkel, grab an inflatable noodle, or sip on a margarita and lounge on the boat – the time is yours!

Next up will be a journey to the waters of Baru Island.

On your way, you’ll stop for a prepared lunch on board which will include loads of options like salad, pasta, and seafood or veggie rice. The lunch was actually so delicious, I was stuffed!

After spending another 2 hours enjoying the scenery of Baru, you’ll finally make your way back to Cartagena.

Expect to arrive back at the dock around 4 pm.

Where to Book

You can book this tour on GetYourGuide or Viator.

Both platforms feature a detailed look at the tour in addition to reviews written by real participants.

What to Bring

Lots of sunscreen.

A hat.

Protective Sunglasses.

Bathing Suit.

Towel.

Credit Card & Cash.

Optional: a book & earbuds (there’s lots of relaxing time).

Rosario Island Day Trip Essentials

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What this tour includes

rosario island day trip

Welcome drink
Non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, lemonade, water)
Mid-morning snack
Prepared onboard lunch (seafood or vegetables with rice, a salad buffet, and dessert)
Snorkeling equipment
Noodle floaties

Alcoholic drinks are not included but are available for purchase (and they are actually SO good!)

Transportation to the catamaran is not provided, it is up to you to arrive at the meeting point on time.

Is the tour worth it?

Yes, I would completely recommend this Rosario island boat tour to anyone visiting Cartagena! It was one of the highlights of my Colombia trip.

Still planning your itinerary? Check out my post, the best things to do in Cartagena, and my favorite hostel to stay at in the city.

rosario island day trip

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

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The Ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

The Ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Bordeaux? This post is all about the ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

Ah, Bordeaux! The charming wine-filled city in Southwestern France. If you want to feel like a medieval queen with exquisite taste in everything art, wine, and architecture – Bordeaux is your city.

Bordeaux travel guide

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Why You Should Visit

Bordeaux is worth a visit, just for the whimsical 18th-century architecture alone. Many of the buildings were commissioned by Napoleon I and even inspired several modern buildings in Paris. The city itself is a work of art.

As you meander through the cobblestone streets you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.

Let’s not forget how this majestic city is a world capital for wine. If you’re a wine lover, this is the place to be.

This destination is perfect for anyone interested in architecture, wine tastings, and the arts.

Don’t Forget Your FREE Bordeaux Checklist for your trip


Bordeaux checklist - Bordeaux travel guide
Bordeaux checklist – Bordeaux travel guide

How to Get to Bordeaux

Getting to Bordeaux is simple, just about any type of transportation will lead you there.

Bus – Flix Bus tickets are no doubt one of the cheapest ways to get to Bordeaux.

Train – Browse Rome to Rio for the best train tickets from your city.

Plane – Fly into Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport. A bus runs from the airport to the city center every 30 minutes from the airport from 05:45 am to 8 pm during weekdays and every hour on weekends.

Where to Stay

Whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury traveler, Bordeaux has plenty of options for anyone.

I’ve personally stayed at Hostel 20 and loved my experience in the all-female dorm. It’s in Chartrons district which is one of the most desirable neighborhoods of the City.

$ Hostels – Hostel 20 or Central Hostel.

$$ Budget Hotel – JUST Hotel or IBIS Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint-Jean

$$$ Moderate Hotel – Hotel De Tourny or Villa Victor Louis

$$$$ Luxury Hotel – Hotel Le Palais Gallien or Hotel des Quinconces

Shop my Bordeaux Essentials

Get the “Bordeaux look” with these stylish essentials.

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Bordeaux Travel Guide – Best Things to do in Bordeaux

1. Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux

This fascinating middle-aged grand gate was an entrance to the city dating back all the way to the 15th century. The bell would ring on special occasions or alert the city of an attack.

Nowadays the bell is used only 5 times a year on special holidays to preserve it.

Bordeaux travel guide

2. Place de la Bourse Square & Miroir d’Eau (water mirror)

Place de la Bourse Square symbolizes freedom from the medieval architecture that confined the once-walled city.

You’ll marvel at the glorious 18th-century classical french style square.

Just across from the square, you’ll see one of the most iconic modern landmarks of Bordeaux, the Water Mirror.

Bordeaux travel guide - best things to in Bordeaux

3. Wine Tasting

Of course, you can’t go to Bordeaux without drinking a scrumptious glass of wine.

Since Bordeaux is a wine capital, be sure to book a wine-tasting or wine tour on your visit. They book fast so you’ll want to prepare in advance.

4. Walk the Pont de Pierre

200 years ago, the “stone bridge” was the first bridge to be built across the River Garonne.

No trip to Bordeaux is complete without walking across this historic path!

5. Go Shopping on Rue Sainte Catherine

Speaking of iconic places to walk in Bordeaux, you’ll definitely want to check out the famous shopping street in the city.

Just like Barcelona’s La Rambla or New York’s 5th avenue. Rue Saint Catherine is THE place to shop when in Bordeaux.

6. Go to the Opera

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is a beautiful and intricate opera house and a wonderful place to spend an evening in Bordeaux.

Check out shows and prices on their website here. For anyone under the age of 28, you can score a last-minute seat for under $10.

Bordeaux travel guide

7. Monument aux Girondins

Monument aux Girondins is a striking memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Reign of Teror.

Bordeaux travel guide

8. Take a Day Trip to Saint Emilion

Venture close by to Saint Emilion. Many wine tours from Bordeaux will take you to the quaint village, or you can go on your own time.

By train, it’s about 35 minutes to St Emilion. Or if you aren’t on a strict budget and looking for a more inclusive tour, check out these day trip tours below that depart from Bordeaux.

9. Go on a Free Walking Tour

I take a free walking tour in every city I visit. I SWEAR by them! They are undoubtedly the best way to explore a new city in a limited amount of time. Plus you’ll be guided by a local and may even meet some new friends!

The free walking tour I took can be found here.

How Long to Visit Bordeaux

June – August is the best time to visit Bordeaux for the vineyard experience. Although, it’s also hot and filled with tourists.

September is also a great time when vineyards are still open and summer is coming to an end.

Planning the length of your trip to Bordeaux largely depends on your interest. To get a full taste of what the city has to offer, I would recommend staying for 3-4 days.

Is Bordeaux Worth Visiting?

Overall, Bordeaux is a glorious city packed with many things to do and explore. I would definitely recommend visiting this picturesque city,

This post was all about the ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide & the best things to do in Bordeaux.

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21 Important Things to do in Athens You Can’t Leave Greece Without Doing

21 Important Things to do in Athens You Can’t Leave Greece Without Doing

This post is all about things to do in Athens Greece.

It’s no secret that Athens is one of the most exciting cities in the world – and has been for thousands of years.

This ancient city happens to be the oldest capital in all of Europe (even older than Rome!)

 things to do in Athens

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

In the months I’ve spent in Athens, I’ve often found travelers’ most common mistake is only booking 1-2 days.

Athens is big, and it feels like every corner you turn you’re greeted with a historical landmark.

Here are 21 things to do in Athens Greece.

Don’t forget to print your FREE Athens Checklist Printable.

 things to do in Athens

My Athens Essentials

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Top Things to do in Athens Greece


1. Acropolis

One of the most fascinating landmarks of Athens is, of course, the Acropolis.

The Acropolis of Athens is a rocky complex consisting of several buildings of great historical significance. The most complete building still standing today is the famous Parthenon.

This structure sits high in the middle of Athens, dominating the city and illuminating the night.

Be sure to make a visit to the Acropolis your top priority in Athens. Check out this Skip the Line Acropolis tour with a licensed archaeologist.

Acropolis

2. Tour the Ancient Agora of Athens

There are two Agoras of Athens – the Ancient and the Roman.

Once a thriving marketplace for Athenians, the Ancient Agora is a predominant piece of Athens history.

This complex includes the monumental Temple of Hephaestus, Stoa of Attalos, and a small museum.

Read my in-depth post on the Ancient Agora here

agora-of-athens

3. Panathenaic Stadium

Did you know the only stadium in the world built completely of marble resides in Athens? Only representing the most majestic theatrical experience for Athenians, this stadium is one of a kind.

Panathenaic Stadium

4. Watch the Sunset on Lycabettus Hill

Lycabettus hill offers one of the best views in the city.

To get to the top of Lycabettus, you can either climb the 200 steps to the top or take the cable car.

Lycabettus Hill

5. Take a Day trip to the Temple of Poseidon

Visit the temple dedicated to the “Master of the Sea”. Located on Cape Sounion, it’s just an hour from the center of Athens. This sunset tour includes full roundtrip transportation from the city.

6. See the Roman Agora

Constructed in the 1st century BC, the Roman Agora is another fascinating historical compound to see in Athens. Admire the gate of Athena from afar or pay 2 euros to take a stroll through the agora.

7. Acropolis Museum

After seeing the Acropolis, learn more about the history of the impressive structure at the Acropolis Museum.

Entrance to the museum is 5-10 euros. Additionally, it’s included in many Athens packages and tours like this guided tour here.

things to do in Athens

8. Anafiotika

Anafiotika is the charming neighborhood in Plaka that shows off its island-like architecture. With its white-washed buildings, clay pots, and bright colors, it’s one of the most colorful neighborhoods in Athens.

This neighborhood also offers one of the best viewpoints of the city.

9. Walk around Psiri & Monastiraki

Psiri & Monastiraki district is one of the trendiest areas of Athens. Streets are lined with cute cafes, fun nightlife spots, and stunning rooftop bars.

things to do in Athens

10. Eat chocolate cake at Nancy’s Sweet Home

Since you’ll be in Monastiraki, head to Nancy’s Sweet Home and get in line for one of their famous chocolate cakes.

11. Take a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are the best way to get to a new city without spending a fortune. Plus, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers!

Click here to see the free walking tour I took.

things to do in Athens

12. Have a Cocktail at Clumsies

Rated one of the top 50 best bars in the world, The Clumsies is somewhere you must stop to have a drink.

I ordered a seasonal summer drink that came with a strip of sunscreen! Clumsies isn’t just any ordinary bar, it’s an experience.

things to do in Athens

13. Walk around Plaka

Plaka feels like a secret village in the center of Athens. Being the oldest neighborhood in the capital, a walk through the creaky whimsical streets beneath the Acropolis is a magical to experience.

14. Zappeion

The Zappeion is of the city center’s most well-known landmarks. Once used as the main fencing hall for the 1896 Olympics, the building is now repurposed for important meetings and ceremonies.

things to do in Athens

15. Stroll Through the Little Kook

Step into a fairy tale on one of the most unique streets in Athens! Little Kook is a completely themed street that changes themes every month. Not only is the street just decorated, but all the shops, cafes, and restaurants are too.

Some of my favorite themes have been Halloween, Christmas, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland.

things to do in Athens

16. Visit the Archaeological Museum

Showcasing extensive artifacts from Roman, Egyptian, and Greek history, the Archaeological Museum is yet another museum in Athens that is considered one of the best in the world.

17. See Syntagma Square

Syntagma square is often considered the heart of Athens. It’s one of the most popular spots in the city for shopping, protests, and other public meetings.

things to do in Athens

18. Walk Through the National Gardens

After you’ve seen Syntagma, head over to the beautiful National Gardens. The entrance is free, and it’s a stunning oasis in the center of Athens.

National Gardens Athens

19. Take Advantage of Athen’s Nightlife

What most people don’t know is Athens has a seriously amazing night scene.

S.I.X dogs is one of the most popular bars/clubs in the city. The venue transforms from bar to club depending on the day so be sure to check their schedule.

Other great bars are Juan Rodriguez, Barrett, and Handlebar.

things to do in Athens

20. Go to a Rooftop Bar

Athens is full of rooftop bars with a jaw-dropping view of the Acropolis.

Some of the best rooftop bars are A for Athens, 360 Cocktail Bar, and Couleur Locale.

rooftop bars in Athens Greece

21. Eat Traditional Greek Food

While Greece is full of beauty and history, I must say the best part of this country is the cuisine. Traditional Greek dishes are some of the tastiest in the world.

Don’t forget to try souvlaki, saganaki, a Greek salad, and wash it all down with Ouzo.

A few of my favorite restaurants are Bandiera, Oineas, and Avli.

Have a great trip to Athens and be sure to save this post for your future trip to Greece!

Planning your wardrobe for Athens? Check out my post on the best outfits for Greece.

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13 Bucket List Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

13 Bucket List Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

This post is all about things to do in Cartagena.

best things to do in Cartagena

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Colorful colonial buildings line the streets as a whiff of empanada greets your nose and music echoes all around you. Welcome to Cartagena.

Cartagena is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in Colombia.

With its picturesque buildings, nearby islands, and ample exquisite culinary options, it’s no wonder why Cartagena is the most popular city in the country.

I’ve compiled a list of 13 things to do in Cartagena that you can’t miss.

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

Packing for your trip to Colombia? Click here for my Colombia packing guide.

Where to Stay in Cartagena

There are so many beautiful and affordable accommodation options in Cartagena. I personally stayed at Life is Good Hostel, and would definitely recommend it for backpackers or budget travelers.

Life is Good Hostel

Here are a few more options if you’re looking for a hotel experience:

$ – Casa Movida Hostel or Life is Good Hostel (read my review here)

$$ – Sophia Hotel

$$$ – Movich Hotel

My Cartagena Essentials

When I traveled to Cartagena at the end of April and it was BLAZING hot.

My essentials were light dresses, lots of sunscreen, and my favorite anti-theft travel backpack.

Check out my Ultimate Colombia Packing list for more essentials for your trip.

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Best Things to do in Cartagena

One can enjoy Cartagena by doing all the touristy things or by just simply walking around admiring the architecture and feasting on spinach and cheese empanadas (my fav!)

Here are 13 bucket-list things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.

1. Explore the Old Town

Waltz through the streets of Cartagena’s historic old city. Closed in with walls and decked out with colonial architecture, the old town is visually stunning.

2. Monumento Torre del Reloj “Clock Tower”

The original main entrance to the historic city is certainly a statement piece. You can find the famous clock tower between Plaza de Independencia and Plaza de Los Coches.

things to do in Cartagena

3. Plaza de la Aduana

After you’ve passed through under the clock tower, turn left to be greeted by the largest open space in Cartagena; Plaza de la Aduana.

While there are several plazas and parks in Cartagena, I thought this one was the most beautiful.

Also, it’s worth mentioning the bank of Colombia is located here, so it’s a secure spot to use the ATMs located inside.

things to do in Cartagena

4. Take a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are my favorite way of getting to know a city.

I signed up the day before my tour here.

Of course, with walking tours, you’re always expected to tip at the end of the tour. In Colombia, it’s customary to tip around $10 for a 2-3 hour tour (40,000 COP cash only).

5. Book a Boat Excursion

I was skeptical about booking this boat excursion because it was quite pricey, but it was highly recommended to me.

So, I decided to try it out and it ended up being one of my favorite days in Cartagena! This boat excursion is well worth the price.

6. Eat at La Cocina de Pepina

Recommended by the locals in the neighborhood of Getsemani, this little restaurant is a must-try.

I had the Posta dish, which is a traditional dish that Cartagena is famous for. During my 1-month in Cartagena, this restaurant was the best. I still catch myself drooling over the rich and saucy Posta.

things to do in Cartagena

7. Party at Alquimico Bar

Rated one of the best clubs in South America, partying at Alquimico is a must!

Featuring 3-levels, including a swanky rooftop, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic night out.

Try to arrive before 10 pm on weekends to avoid the line (you’ll be waiting for hours!)

8. Visit the Getsemani Neighborhood

Venture outside the old city walls to the more authentic (and artistic) side of Cartagena.

In the neighborhood of Getsemani, you’ll see streets lined with food vendors, music, and art murals.

I personally think that the food is better on this side of town!

best things to do in Cartagena

9. Abaco Library Cafe

For a tasty cup of coffee and a studious scene, check out Abaco Library.

There isn’t any wifi at this cafe so prepare to..read!

things to do in Cartagena

10. Visit a Nearby Island

The Rosario Islands make for a great escape from the city. I visited Isla Grande and the beaches were spectacular. Other island getaways close to Cartagena include San Andres or Baru,

best things to do in Cartagena

11. San Felipe Castle

San Felipe Castle was built in 1536 and has been an iconic Cartagena landmark ever since. Seeing this fortress is one of the top things to do in the city.

12. Visit a Rooftop

Cartagena is famous for its rooftop views.

Cafe Del Mar offers one of the best views in the city. However, if you can’t score a spot at the famous cafe, there are many other rooftop options.

Movich Hotel, Sophia Hotel, and Townhouse Boutique Hotel rooftops all offer gorgeous city views.

I took this photo at Sophia Hotel.

things to do in Cartagena

13. Eat Street Food

The street food scene in Cartagena is seriously tasty. Try an empanada or an arepa from a food stall in Getsemani or inside the old city.

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