Bogota Travel Guide
Bogota is a beautiful city located between the mountains of the Andes. Its neighborhoods give off positive energy and maximum appeal.
Take a culinary tour of it to the farmers’ market in Paloquemao, taste locally grown coffee and try the empanadas of the street vendors in Usaquén. You can also enjoy the many museums. You’ll find sublime gold ornaments and terrifying ancient mummies in the Museo Nacional and an incredible art collection in the Museo Botero.
And at night, you can move between quiet bars and lively clubs, dancing to cumbia, rock or techno, depending on your musical preferences.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Bogotá
- What to do in Bogotá
- When to visit Bogotá
- How to get to Bogotá
- Where to stay in Bogotá
- How to get around Bogotá
- Cost of living in Bogotá
- Where to eat in Bogotá
Top 5 reasons to visit Bogotá
A magnificent environment
There are few capitals as beautiful as Bogotá. The Andes rise up around it creating an impressive setting. We suggest you take the cable car to the top of Monserrate hill for magnificent views. In the city, the colonial architecture offers an extraordinary visual scenery.
Museums of world impact
Bogotá’s museum variety defies any American capital. From the captivating Gold Museum and the labyrinthine National Museum to the scientific exhibits at the Maloka Museum and the planetarium in Independence Park.
Charming colonial neighborhoods
In the center of Bogota is located La Candelaria, a beautiful neighborhood with architecture that covers the 450 years of history of the city. The cavernous Primada Cathedral, the frescoes of the elegant Colon Theatre and the empanadas and hot chocolate of La Puerta Falsa are unforgettable.
Colombia has a vast creative community, whose epicentre is Bogotá. The Botero Museum is extremely attractive, as are smaller galleries such as Casas Riegner. The ArtBo art festival, held annually, concentrates spectacular works of the latest generation. In addition, in the secondary streets of La Candelaria you will find striking displays of street art.
Food, night and fun
Bogota is a lively city where people eat very well. For many, it is one of the world’s most emerging gourmet destinations. It is home to the New Colombian Movement, which masterfully combines fruit, coffee and chocolate. The night is equally tempting. Salsa, reggaeton, cumbia, rock and other musical genres will accompany you in the dance halls.
What to do in Bogotá
Exploring La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the old city of Bogota. It is lined with cobblestone streets of colonial essence with a unique atmosphere. It is home to the Plaza de Bolívar, the most important square in the city, where the National Capitol is located. From here you can visit the Teatro Nacional Colón and the Museo Botero, before continuing on to the Museo del Oro and the church of San Francisco, which dates from the 17th century.
Going up to Monserrate
Monserrate rises over Bogota, imperial, at more than 3000 meters. This hill can be crowned by an aerial tramway, a funicular railway and walking. Don’t miss visiting the Sanctuary, dated in the 17th century, appreciate the spectacular views and try some of its restaurants.
Get into Colombian archaeology
The National Museum of Colombia is north of Independence Park. It is one of the oldest institutions of art and culture in the Americas. Its galleries present local artifacts that reflect the archaeological findings and historical evolution of the city. You will find pre-Columbian mummies, indigenous crafts and diverse tools that will draw before you an attractive outline of the past. In contrast, you will also enjoy admirable contemporary collections.
Rest in the Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park
Simon Bolivar Park invites tourists to feel free. It includes large green areas and trails to walk through to places like the Sports Palace, the Children’s Museum and El Salitre. A regenerating enclosure for all ages, where you can organize a picnic, go boating on the lake or listen to an exciting concert.
Walk to La Chorrera waterfall
On the outskirts of Bogota, among the mountains, is the epic waterfall La Chorrera. Disconnect from the city by going into its well-marked path. At the end of the beautiful hike, at about 600 meters above sea level, you’ll hear the thunderous sound of the water falling over the falls.
When to visit Bogotá
Bogotá’s geolocation gives it a more or less temperate climate, but with regular rainfall. Downpours are unusual between December and March, when tourist conditions are ideal. July and August is also a very popular time for travelers who want to enjoy the city’s carnival, which takes place in early August. However, you will need to use your umbrella on more than one occasion during these months.
How to get to Bogotá
El Dorado International Airport (BOG) is 5 kilometers west of downtown Bogotá. It will take you no more than half an hour to get there. To do this, take a taxi for about COL $ 30 000 or move in a bus for only COL $ 2000.
To get by car from the airport to the city, there is a main road that leads directly to La Candelaria. If you are driving from Medellín, take Highway 60 and then Highway 45A. From Cali, the required highways are 23 and 40.
The most popular way to travel among Colombians is by bus. It is cheap and frequent, as companies such as Expreso Bolivariano, Coomotor and Copetran offer regular services. Almost all of them reach the terminal located in the northwest of the Sauzalito neighborhood, about 20 minutes by bus from La Candelaria.
Airports near Bogotá
(BOG) Bogotá El Dorado International Airport
(MZL) Manizales La Nubia
Where to stay in Bogotá
The city centre is full of luxury accommodation, so it’s the best choice to settle in. The Hotel de la Ópera, centrally located and with a spa, is an ideal alternative. Also, the Ibis Bogotá Museo provides a high level of general satisfaction.
A little further away, in Chapinero, there are exclusive alternatives such as the Artisan D. C. Hotel and the Four Seasons Casa Medina. If you are looking for elegance and historical charisma, to the south is the Hotel Casa Deco, located in an elegant 1930s building.
Interesting neighborhoods in Bogotá
La Candelaria constitutes the historical heart of this capital. It offers a beautiful mix of art deco, baroque, colonial and modern architecture. In addition, it has many of the best restaurants and attractions as impressive as the Gold Museum, the Primatial Cathedral and the Botero Museum.
El Chapinero is north of downtown Bogotá. It is a luxurious, attractive neighborhood with inhabitants with great purchasing power. Starting the day in it drinking an authentic Colombian coffee and finishing it in the Zona Rosa, where the best night clubs are located, are two sides of the same coin.
Usaquén is located in the far north. It offers vibrant street markets, superb restaurants like Cadaqués, spas and plenty of second-hand shops.
How to get around Bogotá
The TransMilenio bus system is fast, orderly and economical. Their network covers the city almost completely and they have a unique fare of COL $ 2000. There are also local, slower buses, which cost COL $ 1700 per trip. The code on the front of the vehicle identifies whether it is one or the other service: TransMilenio always start with a letter.
In general, this is a practical service, although it can be dangerous not to use companies with a good reputation. It is best to ask your hotel concierge to get you one. The flag drop is COL $ 4000 and then the cost is COL $ 4500 for each kilometer of travel.
To explore Bogotá’s mountainous and rural environment, rent a car from international companies such as Avis and Budget, both of which are present in the city center. Be careful with traffic in the suburbs and assume that you will suffer delays. In the rest of the city, there are usually no traffic problems. The rates are low: COL $ 15 000 per day.
Cost of living in Bogotá
Luxury boutiques also have their place in Bogotá. Firms like Louis Vuitton, Versace or Cartier are located in luxury shopping centers like Zona T and Hacienda Santa Barbara. In contrast, the flea markets and second-hand stores in Usaquén or the food and flower markets in Paloquemao offer extraordinary shopping experiences.
Groceries and others
Supermarkets such as Mercampo, Éxito and Carulla offer American, European and local food and products. You can buy a dozen eggs for COL $ 4500.
Where to eat in Bogotá
Bogotá is the culinary capital of Colombia, so its gastronomic possibilities are endless. Rafael, directed by chef Rafael Osterling is a perfect start. If you like seafood, be sure to visit the Cevichería Central. If you love Mexican cuisine, Agave Azul is your restaurant. You should also try the street food, especially the toasted sandwiches, arepas and empanadas. A high quality meal will not cost you more than LOC $30,000.
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