A hub where modern design mixes with traditional crafts, one can never run out of places to visit in Bogota, Colombia’s capital city. Planning on the perfect summer? Here’s all that you need to know about Bogota, straight from the best time to travel, sightseeing and nightlife right up to the best places to stay in!
Best Time to Visit Bogota
There is no best time to visit Bogota- its weather remains pleasant throughout the year, so at any given point, the trip is sure to be a success! However, during the New Year period (December 24- January 15) the city comes to a halt, with no parties being hosted, and a lack of both foreigners and citizens. This period is best for those looking to travel with their families or looking for a quiet getaway, because in spite of a drop in footfall, the city is still up and running, and can be quite a delight to visit.
Things to do in Bogota
Out of all the fun things one can do in Bogota, the highlights remain their famous tours, most of which are also linked to certain social causes. Check these out below-
1. Take the Bogota Graffiti Tour
The Bogota Graffiti Tour is sure to leave one with a memorable experience, with the tour guides not only helping you dwell into a world of street art, but also sharing the rich history of Columbia and Bogota. The tour lasts for 2-3 hours, and is free of cost- if you choose to pay any tips to the guide, all of these go as proceeds to charities. The tour can be taken in all kinds of weather, so one most be equipped with sunscreen, an umbrella or an extra coat, as per the climate! Keeping your camera handy is essential, for not capturing the beautiful tour would be nothing short of a crime.
2. Take the Bogota Bike Tour
This three-hour tour begins at 10:30 in the morning and ends at 1:30 in the afternoon, with an added advantage- visiting multiple places in a short duration of time. Safety is definitely not an issue, as this tour is a strong favorite for both 17 and 70 year olds. On this tour, one also gets to taste some of Colombia’s special delicious fruits.
3. Visit Monserrate
Monserrate is the most iconic point of the entire city of Bogota, and one of the most famous tourist attractions. This mountain is a must-visit for those looking for adventure, though one must remain prepared for thin air and high altitude. Two types of cable cars are available for transporting visitors to the top of the mountain. There is also an option to travel through a 45-90 minute trail, but it’s capacity to exhaust must not be underestimated.
4. Take the Bogota Food Tour
The Bogota Food Tour is a firm favourite amongst both culinary experts and curious foreigners who visit Bogota for its delicious traditional dishes. Another highlight is their world-famous fruits, said to just melt in the mouth.
Nightlife in Bogota
Nightlife in Bogota comes alive especially on Fridays and Saturdays, with all bars and pubs extremely safe due to the high traffic of people. Famous places to hang out at night are divided into two parts of the city- Zona Rose and Zona T, and Chapinero.
Zona Rose and Zona T are located near the Andino Shopping Mall, which is extremely popular amongst tourists. In this area, famous clubs and bars include Armando, Moreno, Andre Carne de Res and 440. These are amazing options to let your hair down, grab a few drinks and enjoy the night.
Chapinero, on the other hand, is a middle-upper class neighbourhood, and hosts one of the most famous gay bars in the area, ‘Theatron’, which is a huge space, extremely fun.
EDM fans must definitely check out Baum and Cinema Club for some awesome tracks to jam to.
Places to Visit in Bogota
One can simply not count the number of attractions in Bogota- every part of the city is bursting with an interesting history and gorgeous architecture! However, some highlights that count as must-visits are as follows:
1. La Candelaria
This is the City Central for Bogota. It houses all the main attractions that must be seen in Bogota. Culturally rich, it offers both affordable hotels and restaurants that serve delicious food for as cheap as $2. One must stay in La Candelaria if they visit Bogota with the intention to know about the culture and history and go sightseeing.
2. Gold Museum
The Gold Museum is only a 10-minute walk from La Candelaria, and offers the best views for those curious about Columbian history and culture. It remains closed on Tuesdays, and entry is free every Sunday.
3. Botero Museum
An art fanatic? More specifically, a fan of Fernando Botero’s art? Botero Museum is the right place for you! Along with his very own art present in the form of a wide, beautiful display, the Botero Museum also houses the work of some extremely famous European artists. Addition advantage: entry is free for all.
4. National Museum
Once a prison, the National Museum has an interesting history, being the oldest museum in Colombia. It is a historic, archeologic and ethnographic museum, with a temporary art exhibition which changes periodically. It is located right next to La Macarena, which is a hub for brilliant restaurants. Thus, set out a day just for visiting the famous museums!
Places to Stay in Bogota
Bogota offers a wide range of friendly, warm neighbourhoods with places to stay in Bogota for tourists. One issue with Bogota is its high traffic, so one should ensure staying in an area which does not require you to take a car or taxi. This purpose is best solved if one resides in La Candelaria, from where most tourist spots are within walking distance. 90% of the good hotels are also located here.
Better hotels can be found further north. Those interested in the nightlife, golf or a trip to Villa de Leyva, staying close to Zona T or G is a good option.