In the last few years, Cartagena has become a top destination for tourists, especially for destination weddings. Weddings are always a great excuse to travel and the new frenzy of international weddings has helped to attract more tourists to Cartagena. Especially the areas called the walled city and Getsemani.
As a Colombian, I will provide you with some of my top places in these areas and a few tips to make sure you have a pleasant visit to my country.
Always carry pesos (Colombian currency) since many places do not take cards. Do not exchange money at exchange places, they always take a percentage. Best to use ATMs in secure locations.
Where to stay
It is best to stay within the walled city, it provides the colonial charm, culture, walkability, security and a great time. You can do a hotel or Airbnb. Just do plenty of research with airbnbs to make sure they are located within the wall.
I loved this particular rental Casa del Hobo. It has two pools and four bedrooms, located in a gorgeous street called Cochera del Hobo. Perfect place to stay with a group of friends or family while attending a wedding or just visiting.
Where to eat
One of the top dishes for breakfast is called Arepa de Huevo, cornmeal “cakes” with an egg inside. You can find it literally anywhere, I recommend a street vendor (Cash) or Donde Magola, a family-owned business (cash). They also have other variations with meat like chicharron. Try them all, perhaps not all at once.
For all the Ceviche lovers, you must try La Cevicheria, a cozy small restaurant with friendly staff and bilingual. Be aware that it is always packed and service may be slow. An order of ceviche could cost around 60,000 COP ($20 USD).
The best Italian food in the city
There are a lot of Italian roots in Colombia and we are obsessed with the food. You must go to Di Silvio Trattoria, it is a corner of heaven suit to fit any palate. My personal favorite is the Caprese Salad, Hawaiian Pizza and a Cold Aguila Beer.
Unique Coffee Experience
Érase un café teaches you about the roots of Colombian coffee, how it grows, how it is made and how it ends in our cups. It is a really cute place with snacks and good Photo Op walls.
Maria is a food lover’s dream and a must when in Cartagena. Casual and traditional dishes turned into a gastronomy adventure for each client. My favorite appetizers are Meat Empanadas and Chicharron. For the main course, I highly recommend the Risotto, it is so amazing that you won’t want to share it with anyone. Maria is always packed. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time on their website.
The walled city of Cartagena and its surrounding neighborhoods will show a wonderful time. Take the time to just walk and enjoy all the wonders. Getting lost in the city will help you find your next great adventure.