Getsemaní, Colômbia Guia de Viagem
- Trendy neighborhood on the outskirts of the Walled City
- Incredible street art plus many free, guided walking tours
- Excellent cafes, foodie haunts, and nightlife
- Cool boutique hotels are popping up with greater frequency
- Easy walking access to Walled City from most parts of neighborhood
- Colonial architecture isn’t as well preserved as the Walled City
- Some parts of the neighborhood can feel a little seedy at night
- Gentrification issues and displacement are a concern
What It's Like
If you're looking for Brooklyn -- but with a little Colombian edge -- look no farther than Getsemani. This hipster-heavy neighborhood is just outside of the Walled City and it's definitely booming. No, Getsemani isn't a new neighborhood, like many travel outfits might have you believe. In fact, much like Brooklyn was home to a thriving blend of locals before the tattooed kids with money quote-unquote discovered it, Getsemani has a wild and varied history. The blue collar roots of Getsemani go deep, though -- to be fair -- the barrio was also once a crime-ridden neighborhood known for prostitution and drugs.
As with all gentrifying neighborhoods around the world, that character is quickly being changed by coffeeshops, artsy bars, and everything else that signifies urban cool. Additionally, it's relative proximity to the tourist-packed Walled City means that it's only a matter of time before this becomes a tourist-packed barrio too. These days, Getsemani is home to the city’s young creative class who live -- for now -- alongside families that have been here for decades (if not longer).
On the surface level, the neighborhood still has the Walled City’s stunning colonial architecture, it’s just a little rougher around the edges. Along with hip hotels, trendy bars, and cutting-edge restaurants, Getsemani is particularly known for its street art. No trip to Cartagena is complete without taking a walking tour of the neighborhood’s local artwork. Many tours operate for free -- just look for signs posted around Getsamani for details about when and where to meet.
Though most of Getsamani is completely safe to walk around, we’d recommend being cautious at night, especially around its eastern and southern edges However, walking between Getsamani and the Walled City is fine. As with most up-and-coming neighborhoods, you'll have to exercise just a bit more caution than in the well-policed touristy heart of town. So be aware of your surroundings, and don’t flash expensive goods.
Where to Stay
Like most graffiti-clad neighborhoods filled with trendy cafes, it's all about boutique properties in Getsemani. You'll likely want to stay in the western parts of the neighborhood if you'd like an easy walk into the Walled City. For an upscale stay in the barrio, we love Allure Chocolat Hotel by Karisma Hotels & Resorts for its rooftop pool and awesome views of Bocagrande in the distance. Hotel Casa Carmen is a charming, budget-friendly pick, while Les Lezards Bed & Breakfast wins rave reviews for its quaint style. You can also find a number of vacation rentals in this neighborhood.