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Old Shoes Monument (Los Zapatos Viejos)
Old Shoes Monument (Los Zapatos Viejos)

Old Shoes Monument (Los Zapatos Viejos)

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Calle 31, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

The Basics

A plaque in front of this quirky sculpture features López’s poem in its entirety; the final line compares the poet’s love of his hometown of Cartagena to what he feels for a pair of worn-in but familiar and comfortable shoes. Many sightseeing tours of Cartagena—including trolley, bike, and walking tours—make a stop at the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, where visitors can snap photos with (or inside of) the giant pair of shoes.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Don’t forget your camera; this is one of Cartagena’s top photo ops.

  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat; the monument and the castle don’t offer much in the way of shade.

  • The monument is free to visit, but the castle charges an entrance fee.

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How to Get There

To see the Old Shoes Monument, head to San Felipe Castle (Castillo San Felipe de Barajas) on the hill of San Lázaro, along Avenida Arévalo. The monument is within walking distance of most places in Cartagena’s UNESCO-listed Old Town. If you’re coming from further afield, your best bet is to take a taxi or catch one of a number of public buses that stop nearby.

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When to Get There

Both the castle and the monument are among the city’s most popular attractions, so to avoid large crowds (and long lines to take photos in the shoe), try to arrive early in the day. The castle is open daily throughout the year from morning through early evening.

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Cartagena’s Top Photo Spots

Cartagena is undoubtedly one of the world’s most Instagrammable cities, and camera-toting visitors never lack for excellent photo opportunities. Some of the best spots in town for a selfie or a photo session include Calle 37, a quiet alley on the outskirts of the walled city; Calle San Andres, which boasts colorful banners; and the neighborhood of Getsemani, which offers sparser crowds and charming streets.

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