The Street Art Lovers’ Guide to Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani is one of the coolest neighborhoods in South America and possibly the world! It is full of color and amazing street art. The neighborhood was once a dangerous area known for crime and drugs. But not to worry, today it’s safe and one of the one of the most authentic parts of Cartagena. Attracting backpackers and street art lovers, you’ll quickly see why this neighborhood is so special. It’s a place where you can really immerse yourself with the local culture and it has a vibrant community.

Getsemani is lined with one colorful street after another and full of trendy cafes. Located just outside the walls of Cartagena de Indias, this walkable neighborhood is the perfect place to wander. I fell in love with the creativity this place showcases and hopefully, you will too by the end of this post! Read on for my guide to Getsemani, Cartagena.

Be sure to read my full guide on Cartagena, Colombia

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Is it Safe to Visit Getsemani?

Getsemani is safe to visit and you’ll find many friendly locals hanging around! Its past, however, was not very safe known for crime and even drug dealers. That’s why the street art and vibrantly colored buildings have worked their magic in gentrifying the neighborhood and transforming it into the cool place it is now. That’s not to say there is always a risk in anywhere you travel when it comes to safety. So, don’t walk alone too late at night alone and you should still keep an eye on your belongings in case of pick-pocketing which can still occur here. The neighborhood is thriving in the recent years and is becoming a worldwide hotspot.

How long do you need to explore Getsemani?

Getsemani is a small neighborhood and therefore you could explore it in an hour or two. It really depends on if you like to stop and take your time taking photos or not. And, also if you stop to enjoy lunch there! If the latter, then of course add some time to this estimation.

Best Things to do in Getsemani

1. See all the Street Art

Ok, seriously the Getsemani neighborhood has got to be one of the most creative, vibrant places I’ve visited. You can’t miss finding great graffiti art, because it’s around every single corner. So get lost with your camera in hand to capture the beauty while walking around the narrow streets of Getsemani. You will fall in love with all the bright Caribbean colors. Walking the streets feels like you’re walking in an open-air art gallery. Getsemani’s charm is truly captured by all the art and creativity that explodes everywhere here! The proud locals are proof that this place is something to be excited about.

Read my full guide on the most Instagrammable spots in Cartagena

2. Check out the Umbrella Streets

I LOVE umbrella streets and make it a mission to get a photo in every city that has one. The great thing is that Getsemani has not one, but two umbrella streets!  The really narrow umbrella street is on Callejón Angosto and the other umbrella street is on Calle de la Magdalena.

3. Find your country’s flag on the Flag Street

Calle de la Sierpe is where you’ll find a flag for every country! Go searching for your flag on this picturesque street.

There’s also another street with unmarked colorful flags covering the skyline.

4. Take a free walking tour

The best way to quickly get acquainted with Getsemani and its history is to take a free walking tour. You are expected to still tip (anywhere from 40k-50k COP). I took one that also went to the walled city and ended in Getsemani.

5. Try the Street Food

The street food in Cartagena is like no other. Try the empanadas and arepas for sure. Dunia Express is one of the best street vendors and sells a great empanada. La Cocina de Pepina is hidden down a street and is a great hole-in-the-wall and is family-owned. You have to try delicious coconut rice and other Latin America food while you’re here.

You’ll also find many street stands and locals walking through with carts selling fresh fruit. Anything from papaya to mango and more. They also make for a great photo!

6. Snap a photo with the fruit ladies

This photo was taken in the Old Town but the fruit ladies aka palenqueras also hang out in Getsemani in the Trinidad Plaza.

You will need to tip each of the ladies around 20,000 COP each for a photo. They no longer sell fruit like they did back in the day and now do their posing magic for a photo with expectations of a tip.

7. Visit the lively Trinidad Plaza in the evening

Plaza de la Trinidad is one of the many well-known squares in Cartagena located in the heart of Getsemaní. By day, you’ll find it pretty chill but by night-time it’s a whole different scene. Great for people-watching, it will surely be busy with live performances and is a lively place. Both local people and tourists will be gathered here. You can even grab a rum cocktail in the square before heading out to dinner or other bars in the area. Within this square, is also La Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad, an important church in Cartagena.

8. Go salsa dancing at Cafe Havana

Cafe Havana is the famous spot in Cartagena to experience salsa dancing and even brave the dance floor, a true Latin American experience! It is a great place to visit in the evening with Caribbean music and endless entertainment.

Best Restaurants in Getsemani

There are so many wonderful foodie spots in Getsemani. These are the best places to eat. I either tried them myself or they were recommended by a local!

  • Ooh La La
  • La Cevicheria
  • Café del Mural
  • Di Silvio Trattoria 
  • La Laguna Azul
  • Dunia Express
  • Demente Tapas Bar
  • Café de la Trinidad
  • Restaurante Palenqueras 

Where to Stay in Getsemani

If you choose not to stay in the Old City, then Getsemani is the perfect spot to stay! This is where many backpackers stay too as there are more affordable choices here.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this guide on the colorful area of Getsemani. If you’re looking for more inspo for your trip to Colombia, be sure to check out my 7 Day Colombia Itinerary.

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