21 Awesome Things To Do in Bogotá, Colombia

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Excessive up within the Andes Mountains, you’ll discover Bogotá. The sprawling capital metropolis of Colombia is residence to over Eight million individuals, making it the fifth largest metropolis within the Americas.

For a few years, travellers averted Bogotá (and Colombia at giant) just like the plague. Whereas a sure TV present has glorified this darkish time in Colombia’s previous, the nation has spent the final 20 years making an attempt to shed its adverse status as a hotbed of medicine and violence. 

Lately, increasingly curious travellers are heading to Colombia. Whilst you could also be tempted to easily breeze by the large metropolis, there are many superior issues to do in Bogotá to warrant spending a couple of days there. 

On this information, we’ll check out among the high actions in Bogotá, from mountaineering within the mountains and taking within the superb road artwork, to ingesting beer and blowing stuff up!

1. Be a part of a Free Strolling Tour

If you’re new in a metropolis, the easiest way to get your bearings is by becoming a member of a free strolling tour. These appear to be in every single place nowadays, and Bogotá is not any totally different. 

One of the best strolling tour of the town is run by the oldsters at Beyond Colombia. They really run a couple of totally different free excursions, however you’ll wish to begin out with their free strolling tour of downtown Bogotá to get an introduction to the town.

walking tour Bogotá colombia

Excursions run daily at each 10:00am and a pair of:00pm and go for about three hours. It’s a very enjoyable and informative tour, the place you’ll study in regards to the metropolis’s historical past, structure, gastronomy, and extra. They’ve glorious guides who actually try to point out you the town from a neighborhood’s perspective. When you benefit from the tour (which I’m certain you’ll), be sure you tip your information accordingly. 

One factor I really like in regards to the free strolling excursions is getting suggestions out of your information on the very best locations to eat and drink within the metropolis. It’s additionally a good way to make associates with fellow travellers. That’s why taking a free strolling tour sits atop our checklist of the very best issues to do in Bogotá.

2. Discover La Candelaria

Whereas the free strolling tour covers some stable floor, you’ll nonetheless wish to take a while to discover the town centre by yourself. Generally known as La Candelaria, this space is residence to an array of historic and cultural sights. When you’re undecided what to do in Bogotá, simply head to La Candelaria and discover all that it has to supply.

That is the place Bogotá was based again in 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada y Rivera. A lot has modified in Bogotá since then, however this space has been very well-preserved.

Strolling alongside the cobblestone streets previous the various colonial buildings, you may assume you stepped again in time. That’s till you flip a nook and see the large Colpatria Tower stretching as much as the sky. Bogotá is a metropolis that manages to carry on to its previous whereas nonetheless transferring full pace forward into the long run. 

Bogotá square bolivar

A few of the highlights of La Candeleria embody the central Bolivar Sq., which is surrounded by essential landmarks like Metropolis Corridor and the attractive Cathedral of Colombia. The realm can also be residence to a number of museums, so there’s a lot to see and do right here to maintain you busy for a brief keep. 

3. Take In The Views From Cerro Monserrate

One of the vital widespread issues to do in Bogotá is certainly heading to the highest of Cerro Monserrate. From right here, you’ll get some unimaginable panoramic views of the town. There’s additionally a church up right here and some eating places, so you possibly can take your time and actually savor the incredible view. 

You will have a couple of totally different choices for attending to the highest of Cerro Monserrate. When you’re feeling up for it, you possibly can hike all the best way there alongside a well-marked path. Whereas the hike isn’t too strenuous, the excessive altitude can undoubtedly get to you. The church atop the hill sits at a whopping 3,150 meters!

If you wish to hike up the hill, you’ll must get to the trailhead earlier than 1:00 pm, as that’s once they cease permitting individuals in. For coming down, they maintain the path open till 4:00 pm. The path is closed on Tuesdays, so be sure you don’t come then for those who’re actually hoping to hike.

For individuals who would somewhat take the straightforward method out, you will have two choices. There’s each a funicular and a cable automotive operating right here now. A well-liked selection is taking one up and the opposite down.

Spherical-trip tickets for use on both one price 20,000 pesos (about $6.50). The worth is minimize to 11,000 ($3.50) on Sundays, which makes {that a} very talked-about and thus crowded day to go to. The cable automotive runs daily apart from holidays that fall on Monday, and the funicular is all the time closed on Mondays. You’ll find the ticket workplace on the map here

An alternative choice is to hitch a half-day tour which takes in lots of sights in Bogotá, together with Cerro Montserrate. Click here to study extra.

When you love being out in nature, be sure you learn this information on hiking the Valle de Cocora. It’s among the best locations to go mountaineering in all of Colombia, and this information has all you want to plan a visit there.

4. Eat Like a Rolo

Individuals from Bogotá are referred to as Rolos in Spanish. They’re totally different from those that reside on the coast (Costeños) or these from Medellin (Paisas). Every area has its personal distinctive tradition and customs, particularly in relation to meals. Making an attempt totally different dishes and drinks is definitely one of the scrumptious issues to do in Bogotá.

Beginning your time out like a Rolo means arepas and a tinto. Arepas are a staple dish all throughout Colombia. They’re made from floor maize dough or cooked flour, and could be discovered on nearly each road nook in Bogotá. One of the best arepas in my humble opinion are those full of gooey, melted cheese!

A tinto is the Colombian equal of an extended black espresso. Overlook spending $5 on a cup of espresso from a sure American chain, and as an alternative seize one from a neighborhood road vendor for lower than a buck. 

When it’s time for lunch, order up a bowl of ajiaco. This Bogotá traditional is a hen soup with potatoes, corn, and herbs. It’s often served with cream and avocado as nicely, making for a hearty and filling meal. Attempt it at La Puerta Falsa.

Bogotá food what to do in Bogotá

For when you want to fulfill your candy tooth, be sure you attempt a cup of chocolate caliente, Colombian fashion. It’s made by melting chocolate in a jar with milk. As soon as it’s prepared, you then dunk some chunks of cheese into the recent chocolate. It sounds a bit bizarre, but it surely certain is tasty!

5. Go to the Gold Museum

There are many museums in Bogotá, however the cream of the crop is certainly the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). It’s residence to an astounding 55,000 items of gold and different pre-Columbian artifacts. 

The Gold Museum has displays unfold out over three flooring. Along with its huge assortment of gold objects, there’s additionally loads of pottery, stone, wooden, and textile objects. One of the vital well-known objects on show is the Muisca raft, which represents the ceremony of the legend of El Dorado

The Gold Museum is open from Tuesday-Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am – Four pm. Tickets price 4,000 pesos ($1.25), and the museum is free on Sundays. You can too take a free one-hour tour of the museum from Tuesday to Saturday at both 11:00 am or 4:00 pm. You’ll find instructions to the Gold Museum here

For an attention-grabbing and enjoyable strolling tour of the La Candelaria neighbourhood and the Gold Museum, click here.

gold museum Bogotá

6. Grasp Out in Chorro de Quevedo Plaza

When you go on the free strolling tour, you’ll stroll up a vibrant pedestrian road to succeed in toe Chorro de Quevedo Plaza. Because you don’t get to linger an excessive amount of on the tour, it’s value returning to this funky a part of Bogotá by yourself.

Carrera 2 is a cool road that’s full of retailers, cafes, and bars. It’s additionally lined in some fairly superior road artwork and a preferred place for craft distributors to arrange. Strolling alongside this fashionable road is certainly one of the enjoyable issues to do in Bogotá. 

On the finish of the road, you run into the plaza. There’s a fountain within the center and a few colonial buildings that encompass it. The plaza is a well-liked gathering place for younger locals, particularly at evening and on the weekends. Be sure you come again right here to hang around on at the least certainly one of your nights in Bogotá. You’ll find the plaza on the map here

7. Pattern Native Booze

When in Bogotá, you will need to pattern the native hooch. Meaning making an attempt each the standard and modern-day favourites — chicha and aguardiente.

Chicha is a fermented corn drink with a singular and attention-grabbing flavour. There are various totally different recipes for chicha relying on the area, however in Bogotá it’s easy — cooked maize with sugar, fermented for six to eight days. It’s extra widespread in rural areas, however there are many locations in Bogotá that serve it.

The drink of selection for many Colombians nowadays, although, is certainly aguardiente. This Colombian firewater is created from sugarcane and flavoured with anise, giving it type of a licorice style. It’s often 25-30% alcohol and is drank neat.

On account of its sugary content material, these items could cause some brutal hangovers. Greatest to simply have a shot and transfer on to one thing else…equivalent to craft beer. That’s proper, Bogotá is residence to BBC (Bogotá Beer Firm) and for those who like artisanal brews, you gained’t wish to miss sampling a brew from BBC, or two.

8. Day Journey to the Salt Cathedral

One of many high issues to do in Bogotá is taking a day journey out to the well-known salt cathedral. It’s positioned within the city of Zipaquira, about an hour outdoors of the capital. 

This Roman Catholic church was inbuilt a salt mine, 200 meters underground. The miners had lengthy had a sanctuary right here, however the cathedral was formally inaugurated in 1954. It’s devoted to Our Girl of Rosary, the patron saint of miners. 

On account of security issues, the unique cathedral was closed in 1992. A contest was held to decide on a design for a brand new one, and it was opened a couple of years later in 1995. 

A spotlight of visiting the salt cathedral is seeing the three sections representing the beginning, life, and demise of Jesus. It’s a functioning church and a very talked-about place for pilgrims, drawing in hundreds of individuals each Sunday. Because it doesn’t have a bishop, it really doesn’t have official standing as a cathedral from the Vatican. 

Entrance to the salt cathedral prices 50,000 pesos (about $16). Whereas you will get right here by way of a public bus, most travellers decide to join a tour instead. Some excursions additionally embody a cease on the scenic Lake Guatavita, that means you possibly can cross off two of the very best issues to do in Bogotá in sooner or later. Click here to study extra in regards to the widespread, extremely rated excursions.

Visiting this cathedral is without doubt one of the top things to do in all of Colombia. Don’t miss it!

9. Be a part of the Ciclovia Occasion

When you occur to be in Bogotá on a Sunday, you’ll undoubtedly wish to try the Ciclovia occasion. Lots of the metropolis’s main roads are closed to motorized automobiles on Sunday mornings. As a substitute of the standard site visitors jams, you’ll discover joggers, cyclists, roller-bladers, and canine walkers. 

Ciclovia began again in 1976 due to a peaceable protest from native college students. They demanded extra public areas within the metropolis to do issues like journey bikes, and it paid off. The occasion brings one to 4 million individuals out each week to take again the town streets and revel in a while outside.

There are many locations in Bogotá that lease bikes out. You’ll be able to anticipate to pay about 40,000 pesos ($15) for half a day, or 80,000 ($30) for a full day. One respected store is Bogotravel Tours. You’ll find them on the map here.

Soccer is principally a faith in Latin America. Seeing a recreation reside is an incredible expertise and is definitely among the best issues to do in Bogotá. 

El Champin Stadium is the place to go for soccer in Bogotá. The stadium is residence to the nationwide workforce of Colombia in addition to two totally different membership groups –  Milionarios FC and Independiente Santa Fe

Ticket costs for the video games vary from 16,000 pesos ($5) for seats behind the objective as much as 90,000 ($30) for among the finest seats in the principle stands. It’s potential to purchase tickets on-line or from a couple of totally different distributors, however you possibly can often simply rock up on match day and simply discover one from the field workplace.

Whilst you can simply head to the stadium and seize tickets by yourself, you could wish to think about signing up for the Bogotá Football Tour. You’ll meet up with the remainder of the group for drinks beforehand, have the possibility to select up some merchandise, after which go into the sport to cheer on the native heroes. 

If you end up in Medellin, don’t miss watching a football match there as nicely!

things to do in colombia planning a trip to colombia football game

11. Wine and Dine in Zona G

Whereas La Candelaria is residence to many of the vacationer points of interest in Bogotá, it’s the Chapinero neighborhood the place you’ll wish to go for the very best culinary and nightlife experiences. This vibrant space is simply north of the historic centre, and it’s an more and more widespread selection amongst travellers.

I’m all about consuming native meals from road stalls and market distributors, however infrequently you’ve bought to deal with your self to a pleasant meal. In Bogotá, the place to do this is Zona G (the G stands for Gourment) in Chapinero.

Zona G refers back to the space between Calles 65 and 75 and Carreras Four and seven. Inside these few blocks, you’ll discover cuisines from everywhere in the world. In fact, there’s loads of Colombian fare, however there’s additionally Italian, Peruvian, Chinese language, French, Vietnamese — the checklist goes on and on. 

When you’re on the lookout for a flowery evening out in town in Bogotá, then Zona G is certainly the place to begin. Some eating places that come extremely really useful on this space are Harry Sasson, Criterion, and Bistecca e Vino Da Trattoria

Things to do in colombia make new friends with the people

12. Take a Road Artwork Tour

When you’re into road artwork, then make sure to enroll in the unimaginable graffiti tour. You’ll certainly discover that there’s road artwork round each nook right here, so why not be part of a tour and study extra in regards to the murals and the artists who created them?

Along with seeing a bunch of fantastic road artwork and studying in regards to the artists themselves, you’ll additionally hear an attention-grabbing story in regards to the turbulent historical past of graffiti in Bogotá and what Justin Bieber has to do with it. I gained’t spoil it for you — you’ll simply must take the tour to seek out out for your self!

The graffiti excursions run daily at each 10AM and 2PM. The assembly level is on the Parque de los Periodistas. There’s no want to enroll upfront; simply present up and discover the information with the blue umbrella. As with most free strolling excursions, this one can also be donation based mostly. 

street art Bogotá

Throughout our week-long keep within the Colombian capital, I’d must say the graffiti tour was my favorite factor we did. It’s undoubtedly one of many coolest issues to do in Bogotá, so be sure you embody it in your itinerary.

13. Play Tejo

Among the many important issues to do in Bogotá is making an attempt your hand at Colombia’s national sport of tejo. It’s a recreation that includes explosives and often quite a few beers as nicely. Seems like a successful mixture, doesn’t it?

All kidding apart, tejo is about rather more than simply gunpowder and alcohol (though these are undoubtedly the important thing elements). Principally, you throw a metallic puck (a tejo) throughout the room at small, triangle-shaped targets which might be full of gunpowder and buried in clay. When you hit one — BOOM! An explosion, cheers out of your teammates, and the clinking of beer bottles. 

Since tejo is a wildly widespread recreation in Colombia, it’s not arduous to discover a place to play. One spot that comes really useful is Membership de Tejo La 76, which could be discovered on the map here. It’s free to play as long as you purchase a crate of beers, so undoubtedly convey some associates alongside! Alternatively, you possibly can join a tour and have another person work out the logistics for you. 

Enjoying tejo isn’t simply one of many high issues to do in Bogotá, it’s one of many best things to do in all of Colombia

things to do in colombia in salento, playing tejo

14. Go to the Botanical Gardens

If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the large metropolis, simply head to the Bogotá Botanical Gardens. It’s the most important botanical backyard in Colombia and options vegetation from each altitude, local weather, and area of the nation.

There’s so much to see on this sprawling inexperienced house. The park covers 20 acres and contains a waterfall, solar clock, a powerful orchid assortment, and a lot extra. In fact, there are additionally a number of greenhouses with all kinds of flora. 

The gardens are open daily of the week and value lower than a greenback to go to. They’re open from 8AM-5PM Monday to Friday and from 9-5 on the weekend. You’ll be able to attain the gardens by bus or catch a cab/order an Uber. You’ll find the gardens on the map here

15. Store in Native Markets

Whether or not you’re trying to choose up some souvenirs or simply take pleasure in a little bit of window procuring, visiting among the native markets is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Bogotá. On this bustling capital metropolis, you’ve bought loads of choices for market hopping.

For meals, a terrific selection is Paloquemao. This genuine market is filled with contemporary produce, spices, seafood, meat, and even some stunning flowers. Come right here within the morning and revel in an affordable and native breakfast. You’ll be able to try the situation of this market on the map here.

On Sundays, the place to be is the Usaquen Flea Market. Stroll alongside the cobblestone streets and peruse the various vibrant stalls promoting a wide selection of handicrafts. That is undoubtedly the very best place to select up some distinctive objects from Colombia to convey residence. 

The Usaquen Flea Market is open from about 10AM to 6PM, give or take an hour. Head there within the afternoon to seek out the market at its busiest. You will get instructions to the market here.

16. Trip a Chiva Bus

Bogotá is a metropolis that likes to have a great time, plain and easy. One of many quintessential nightlife experiences within the Colombian capital is taking a journey on a chiva bus.

Historically used to move individuals in rural areas of Colombia, these vibrant buses have been tailored within the cities to function rolling nightclubs. It’s a celebration bus, Colombia fashion! 

Bogotá Chiva Bus
Celebration time! | Photograph by Sasha Savinov

On a chiva bus, you possibly can anticipate an open bar (numerous photographs of aguardiente), audio system blasting salsa and cumbia, and a hard-partying crowd prepared for a wild evening out. 

If that every one appears like a great time to you, make sure to enroll in a Chivas Tour. Using the chiva bus isn’t solely a great time, but it surely’s a terrific likelihood to follow your Spanish and your salsa strikes! Oh wait, you don’t have any? That brings us to the following merchandise on our checklist. 

17. Be taught Salsa Dancing

Salsa dancing is a large a part of Colombian tradition, so tearing up the dance flooring undoubtedly makes our checklist of the very best issues to do in Bogotá. When you’re like me and have two left toes, by no means worry! There are many locations in Bogotá the place you possibly can join salsa classes. 

One nice possibility for studying a little bit of salsa dancing is by contacting the fantastic of us at Salsa Classes Medellin. Whereas they’re really positioned within the Spring Metropolis, additionally they associate with unbiased native lecturers within the capital. By reducing out the necessity for a studio, you pay much less and the instructors earn extra. 

By the best way, for those who’re headed to the Spring Metropolis – and you need to be! – don’t miss out on this put up on the best things to do in Medellin.

When you’re not essentially trying to take courses however nonetheless wish to expertise the phenomenon of salsa in Colombia, look no additional than the Bogotá Salsa Tour. Their epic excursions train you the fundamentals and in addition embody visits to a couple totally different golf equipment with drinks alongside the best way. You won’t be an professional salsa dancer by the tip, however you’ll certain have an superior evening out!

18. Take a Bike Tour

For individuals who would somewhat discover a metropolis on two wheels than two toes, a motorcycle tour is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Bogotá. It could not seem to be it at first look, however Bogotá is definitely a terrific metropolis for biking.

The best choice for seeing the Colombian capital by bike is on a tour with Bogotá Bike Tours. They run excursions of La Candelaria daily at 10:30AM and 1:30PM for round $20 per particular person, which incorporates the bike and a helmet. 

When you’d favor to get out of the concrete jungle, they will additionally organize one or multi-day mountain biking excursions within the countryside. You’ll have to contact them upfront to schedule certainly one of these excursions. 

In fact, you possibly can all the time simply lease your personal bike and discover the town at your leisure. They lease bikes for 9,000 pesos ($3) per hour or 50,000 ($16) for a full day. 

19. Grasp Out in Simon Bolivar Park

What Central Park is to New York, Simon Bolivar Park is to Bogotá. Whereas it might not be fairly as well-known as its Large Apple counterpart, this park is definitely simply barely greater. 

On a pleasant day in Bogotá, there’s no higher place to be than Simon Bolivar Park. This inexperienced oasis within the city sprawl is residence to a number of strolling and biking trails, a lake for boating, a youngsters’s museum, an amusement park, and rather more. 

When you’re the sort who enjoys some peace and quiet within the park, you could wish to keep away from it on the weekends, when it appears as if all the metropolis comes out. That’s, in fact, except you occur to be round throughout the enormous Rock al Parque competition that goes on right here, which is completely free to attend. 

20. Nightlife in Zona Rosa

When you go to Zona G to eat, then you definitely must also go to Zona Rosa to get together. That is the premier nightlife space in Bogotá and is residence to a number of totally different bars, music venues, and nightclubs. 

The central a part of this space is also called Zona T for the t-shaped intersection that’s residence to many eating places and bars. This place is bumping each evening of the week, however it’s particularly full of life from Thursday to Saturday. 

It doesn’t matter what your tastes are, yow will discover one thing you’ll take pleasure in on an evening out in Bogotá’s Zona Rosa. My private suggestion goes to the Bogotá Beer Firm, the place you possibly can attempt some tasty craft beers made proper right here within the Colombian capital and truly be capable of converse with out shouting. 

craft beer in Bogotá

21. Celebration Exhausting at Theatron

If you actually wish to flip it as much as 11 and go wild, the very best place to go in Bogotá is Theatron. Inbuilt an previous film theatre, this huge complicated has a whopping 13 totally different flooring, every with its personal musical theme and distinctive environment.

Theatron is taken into account the most important homosexual bar in all of Latin America and one of many greatest on the earth. That being stated, completely everyone seems to be welcome right here. The membership welcomes in upwards of 5,000 individuals on Saturday nights from all walks of life and all corners of the world. Partying right here is certainly one of the enjoyable issues to do in Bogotá!

Theatron is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9PM to 3AM. Entrance is 45,000 pesos ($15) and consists of entry to all areas and an open bar till 2AM. It’s positioned within the Chapinero space, and yow will discover it on the map here

Take pleasure in Bogotá!

I’m certain by this level within the information, you’re able to ebook that ticket to Bogotá to start your Colombian journey. Earlier than you do this, be sure you learn this information on the ten things to know when planning a trip to Colombia.

On our latest 7-month journey as digital nomads in South America, Bogotá was certainly one of our favorite cities. Whereas the gloomy climate and congested streets don’t give the very best first impression, there’s so much to like in regards to the vibrant capital of Colombia. 

With only a few days in Bogotá, you possibly can discover the historic centre, hike excessive above the town, absorb some unimaginable road artwork, dive into Colombian tradition, and get together like a rock star. If that sounds good to you, then be sure you add Bogotá to your journey plans for this 12 months!

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