Cartagena – a city like a picture book

It was time to travel from Panama City further to Colombia. As mentioned in the article on Panama City and also on the experience report on Copa Airlines, we continued on to Colombia. A country which we both already very long entgegenfiebern. One hears very much positive but also negative things about the country in South America, but of course, as always we wanted to make ourselves a picture of Colombia.

In Cartagena you like to be a model

Arrival to Cartagena

Cartagena has a International Airport which is located just outside the city. This has the advantage that one has no aircraft noise in the city, but also the disadvantage of the one with the cab or UBER from the airport away or to the airport hinmuss.

The price for an official cab at the cab stands to the old town of Cartagena is a fair 15,000 COP which is about 4.30 euros each way. Out of town, cab drivers usually want between 30,000 – 45,000 COP – so here we decided to take the UBER out of the old town of Cartagena to our continued flight to Medellín.

Who would like to travel from Germany to Cartagena has, unfortunately, no direct flights. However, there are flights to the tourist center from Germany relatively cheap. If one investigates something there are the flights already starting from approximately 500 euro there and back per person e.g. from Munich with Eurowings to Miami and from Miami then further with Copa Airlines over Panama city to Cartagena. Admittedly, it is a real adventure for the price but for that you do not pay thousands of euros for your flight.

Accommodations in. Cartagena

Here I think you have to distinguish between two types of tourists or types of vacation in Cartagena distinguish. One has here the possibility similarly as in Cancun to make vacation in a kind of hotel zone or evenly more culturally angehauchten vacation in the old town of Cartagena.

Among the colorful houses and whole flowers, you can always find beautiful and colorful accommodations at a fair price.

We have of course for the culturally touched part decided was we both not really in the mood for Komatrinken and sizzle for hours on the beach had. In the old town of Cartagena there are many hotels and but also countless Airbnb. Unfortunately, here in Cartagena we had the first time a problem with our accommodation via Airbnb, where, however, the Airbnb support had helped us very quickly and competently.

In the old town there are already very nice accommodations from 30$ USD the night – here is then even very often already breakfast included! Who wants an upscale accommodation in the old town of Cartagena pays but then already once gladly up to 200$ USD the night. However, we always recommend an accommodation that is justified price performance. Because for a city trip you hardly need an accommodation with pool, because you have no time to relax in the pool anyway!

Who now of course on party vacation or beach holiday is out has of course also the possibility in the hotel zone of Cartagena to look for an accommodation. Here there are also already hostels in an even cheaper price range. We have found during our stay accommodations from 18$ USD the night. Here you are just then directly for it on the beach and something further away from the culture.

Restaurants in Cartagena

What we noticed very positively in Cartagena after our trip through Central America and the Caribbean was probably the variety of different restaurants and options to get SOMETHING to eat. The restaurants in the old town are not quite cheap but still cheaper than German restaurants. We have mostly per meal between 14 euros – 25 euros for two people including 2 – 3 drinks paid and but were always really good full here and the food was always excellent.

Since we had only a few days to explore the city or the Culinary to explore we want to give you 3 of our highlights on the way if you are looking for delicious food you are definitely right in these 3 restaurants. definitely right.

Restaurant: La Brioche Centro Histórico

Address: calle san Augustin nº 6-14, Cartagena, Bolívar

Information: Da La Brioche in Cartagena is the perfect place for a delicious breakfast. We had a super cereal here, a super delicious breakfast egg and the crowning glory was probably the super delicious chocolate croissaint (watch out here even the chocolate runs out!)

Restaurant:Cafe Central Traveler’s Coffee

Address: Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolívar

Information: In the Cafe Central in Cartagena we were even twice Frühstücken, because the food and the restaurant were a real highlight in terms of taste. Super delicious sandwiches and really good smoothie bowls make the restaurant. You should leave yourself some time here, because the food is freshly prepared but super tasty. Definitely worth a visit!

Restaurant: Di Silvio Trattoria

Address:Cl. 29 ##9A-08, Cartagena, Bolívar

Information: Di Silvio Italian in the Getsemani artists’ district was probably one of the tastiest Italians on our world tour so far (or just as good as the Italian in Wynwood). Here there are mega delicious and also fancy pizza creations which are quite suitable for vegetarians and also vegans (if you do without the cheese).

Restaurant: Novo Kebab Grill

Address: Cl. 39 #9-136, Cartagena, Bolívar

Information: We love kebab or doner kebab – that’s why we always look in the bigger cities right away if there is not a good kebab or doner kebab for a reasonable price. Since we have not found in Panama City we had not given up hope in Cartagena and we were rewarded with a delicious kebab. Novo Kebab Grill is a super tasty snack with a kebab for 19,000 COP (equivalent to about 6 euros). Not cheap but very tasty!

Food and shopping.

Since we had little time we can recommend you the stores ARA (for very cheap food) and EXITO. Here there are two stores quite central in the old town of Cartagena. There you get pretty much everything a backpacker heart desires. International food and great products at fair prices.

Who in Cartagena, however, so right shopping will not find, at least in the old town, here there are only a few boutiques that offer different stuff like bikinis, dresses and shoes. These are very scattered and what we have seen relatively expensive, so here better not store!

Sights in. Cartagena

For a long time we have thought about whether we should list individual sights of Cartagena should enumerate, have us then, nevertheless, for it decided here to call some. We find that the entire old town of Cartagena a is a sight to see. The color, the people and the whole scenery just fits together and and will definitely remain in our memory. But nevertheless we want to go into some highlights of the sights of Cartagena. go into detail.

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

About 1.5 kilometers outside the city walls you will find the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajs. A fort / fortress that towers over Cartagena. On the Internet you can always find the information that the visit on Sundays between March and November is free. So we decided on Sunday to look at the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas a little closer. Unfortunately, however, the entrance for tourists was not free. Only locals get free entry here on Sunday between the above months.

View over the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

Therefore, we then had to pay 25,000 COP each or about 6-7 euros per person entrance fee. The way to the fort is steep and at 35 degrees and burning sun there are probably better activities – but, if you are on top it is worth it! You have a great view over Cartagena and also the possibility to explore the inside of the fort through small corridors. In the corridors it is then also nice and cool and there is a pleasant wind blowing.

It’s nice and cool in the narrow tunnels under the fort!
View over Cartagena

Getsemani the colorful artists’ quarter

One neighborhood of Cartagena that we remember particularly positively is probably the Getsemani artists’ quarter. In this part of the city you can find great graffiti and other street art. Here you will find, for example, the alley with the umbrellas that have now made it through Instagram and Co. to world-famous fame.

A very colorful and colorful district of Cartagena – Getsemani

In between all the great art you can always discover great restaurants that try to lure tourists into the place with delicious ice cream, pizza and pasta. (and it works). Who is looking for the alley with the colored umbrellas and has no desire to search long – here’s a tip from us:

The world famous alley with umbrellas

You just go to Restaurante “EL MANÁ”  (that is found by Google Maps) – diagonally opposite you will find a small alley dthe Calle 27 and here you are already greeted by colorful graffiti and umbrellas at the entrance.

Great drawings on the walls of Getsemani

The old town of Cartagena

As mentioned earlier, the entire Old Town of Cartagena is a real sight to see. Surrounded by meter-thick and meter-high walls, you can see here very nicely that Cartagena in past centuries was a powerful trading center of the Spanish in South America. In the streets you will always find great places and works of art that fit perfectly into the street scenes.

The place where goods used to be inspected and customs cleared

It is really fun to wander for hours through the alleys of Cartagena and always discover great new corners. But you should not only look at the alleys – often you will get new impressions if you look upwards. Here you will find overgrown balconies with flowering plants and meter-high palm trees. A wonderful sight.

Our conclusion to the colorful Colombian city on the Caribbean

Unfortunately, and we really mean it, we only had 2 full days in Cartagena. Since we have heard already during the planning very often that it is a very touristy city and we therefore approached the planning rather more passive than usual.

Therefore we had 1 arrival, 2 full days and one departure day and in retrospect we have to say that the time in Cartagena was almost a bit too short. We would have liked to add another 2-3 days to explore the city with its many different parts even more.

A city that can enchant!

We were totally blown away by Cartagena – we were used to many very dull and less beautiful big cities through our trip in Central America (except Antigua and Holbox) but in Cartagena it finally got color again. The people are beaming, the atmosphere in the alleys is terrific and you can find nice street vendors selling delicious things everywhere. Also the food in restaurants in Cartagena is affordable and super tasty. We would come back and recommend everyone to take a trip to this colorful and lively city.

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