Nestled in the heart of Colombia on the high plateaus of the Andes, Bogotá has a dynamic and eventful history as well as an extremely rich culture. We’ve created a quick Bogota city guide to show you the best sights and travel tips along with our top recommendations. Bogotá offers plenty to do whatever your interests […]
Nestled in the heart of Colombia on the high plateaus of the Andes, Bogotá has a dynamic and eventful history as well as an extremely rich culture. We’ve created a quick Bogota city guide to show you the best sights and travel tips along with our top recommendations.
Bogotá offers plenty to do whatever your interests are. Learn about its fascinating history from pre-Hispanic times up to modern guerrilla warfare. Explore its eclectic arts scene from classical art to urban graffiti. The city even has its own share of natural attractions from botanical gardens to cascading waterfalls. We recommend you spend at least 5 days here in order to see the city’s top attractions. Make sure you don’t miss out on our top 6 top things to do in Bogota:
La Candelaria is Bogotá’s historical and cultural center which dates back to the colonial era. Spend an afternoon wandering these cobblestone streets to marvel at the beautiful, bohemian architecture. You’ll also find plenty to do as the district is home to many of the city’s top attractions including museums, cultural centers, theaters, and artistic institutions.
In the heart of Bogotá lies the main square, Plaza Bolívar, which is lined with government buildings from the Palace of Justice to Bogotá Cathedral. The square is an ideal place to soak up some of the city’s fascinating history from the city’s founding in 1538 right up to the guerrilla siege of the Palace of Justice in 1985.
This international art museum is named after the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero and was founded when Botero donated 123 pieces of his work to the Banco de la Republica. The collection includes not only Botero’s work but also pieces from his own private collection, including renowned artists such as Picasso, Dalí, Monet, and Freud.
This up-and-coming neighborhood has been re-branded as a creative hub in the city, with many art galleries, cultural centers, and museums alongside an eclectic mix of casual cafés, bars, and restaurants. Take a stroll through the beautiful urban oasis of the Parque La Independencia. Don’t miss the Casa Quinta de Bolívar – a former residence of Simon Bolívar, a founding father of Colombia and many other Latin American countries.
|Bogotá Botanical Garden
The José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden, founded in 1955, is the largest in the country and an urban oasis amidst Bogotá’s bustling city life. The 20-acre site is home to native flora from every climate, altitude, and region of Colombia. The garden also serves as an academic research center and is heavily involved in research linked with local universities.
|Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum)
We’ve all heard of El Dorado, and Colombia’s Gold Museum is a chance to see the legend come to life. The museum showcases over 55,000 pieces of gold artifacts from pre-Hispanic Colombian cultures – the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. A whole room is dedicated to offerings found at the bottom of the Laguna de Guatavita, as well as the famous golden raft, Balsa Muisca.
Popular local specialties include:
If you’re after some home-comforts, one of Bogotá’s top-rated restaurants just happens to be a pizzería: Cenizo a la Leña. This quirky eatery with an industrial yet cozy interior serves fresh wood-fired pizzas, local beers, and brownies with ice cream. What’s more, their most expensive pizza and a beer will only set you back $7 USD. Live music is also a feature on some nights, making it the perfect place to spend an evening.
If a caffeine boost is what you’re after, make sure to visit Amor Perfecto for an authentic taste of Colombian coffee. This place is more than just a coffee shop. The beans are roasted in-house, specialty coffees are crafted using a variety of brewing methods, and the baristas will explain the story behind each roast.
Finally, don’t miss Prudencia in La Candelaria district which offers a high-end dining experience with contemporary cuisine. The restaurant is set in an old colonial house with a bohemian yet elegant interior. A fixed tasting menu is served which is changed daily and features their own garden herbs, home-smoked meats, and pickles. Expect to spend a reasonable $20 – $25 per person.
La Chorrera Waterfall
A hidden gem often missed by travelers is Colombia’s highest waterfall, La Chorrera, which is located 45 minutes outside of Bogotá. The hike to the waterfall itself takes around 1 hour and passes through the lush Andean cloud forest. It’s well worth escaping the city for a day to experience this incredible natural wonder.
Street Art Tour
Bogotá has a fascinating and ever-growing urban art scene. There’s no better way to appreciate it than to take a street art tour. The knowledgeable local guides will take you to see everything from the colonial architecture to the modern street art and explain everything from the history to the artists’ inspirations and methods.
A guided food tour of La Candelaria will take you on a unique and delicious journey of the area’s best eateries, markets, and shops, allowing you to sample some of Colombia’s best culinary delights. You’ll learn about the country’s rich culture and unique history, one bite at a time.
Climb Cerro de Monserrate
The Cerro de Montserrate has been considered sacred since the time of the indigenous Muisca people, and in 1650 the Montserrat Sanctuary was constructed on the summit. The mountain looms over Bogotá’s downtown and has unrivaled views across the entire city, especially at sunset. You can reach it by cable car, funicular railway, or, if you’re up for the challenge, you can hike the trail. It takes roughly an hour and includes 1,312 feet (400 meters) of altitude change, so it’s not for the faint-hearted!