9 Top Things to do in Bogotá, Colombia
Bogota is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and culturally diverse cities in South America. Colombia’s capital is home to more than 8 million people and is a multicultural business hub. Situated alongside the Andean mountains, Bogotá is a unique blend of history and modernity, and it’s urban chic, gastronomy, start-up scene, rapid development and friendly Bogotanos give this up-and-coming city an intoxicating vibe. We’ve put together a list of the 9 best things to do in Bogotá.
A visit to Monserrate Mountain will take you 3000 metres above sea level and give you a stunning panoramic view of Bogotá. At the top of the mountain there is an historic church and a selection of cafés & restaurants to enjoy. There are several ways to reach the top; cable care, funicular railway or the pedestrian trail - for those who enjoy hiking!
One of the best things about Bogotá is the old town - La Candelaria - where you will find historic colonial buildings dating back more than 300 years, cobbled streets, stunning street art, a great selection of cafés and restaurants, and bright colourful houses. Most of Bogotá’s main attractions are also located here and within walking distance of Plaza Bolivar such as, Casa de Nariño (Presidential House), Congress, Catedral Primada (Primatial Cathedral), Palacio de Justicia (Palace of Justice) and Monserrate.
Andres Carne de Res in Zona T or Chía
One of the most famous nightclubs in Colombia – Andres DC - is a high-class restaurant that converts into a ‘discoteca’ on the weekend from Thursday to Saturday. You won’t experience anything else like it. Ask any local and they will tell you that you must go.
If this doesn’t appeal to you then have a stroll around Bogotá’s Zona T which is full of high-end shops, 5-star hotels, restaurants and some of the best nightlife in Bogotá. Alternatively, if you are just looking to eat out then you must visit Zona G or La Macarena which are the two meccas for food lovers.
Other great spots include; Armando Records (crossover), Gringo Tuesdays (international), Presea (reggaeton) and Theatron (a bit of everything) – the largest ‘discoteca’ in South America.
Bogotá is home to some of the best museums in Colombia, such as Museo del Oro and Museo de Botero. The former possessing the biggest display of historic gold artefacts in the world – over 55,000 in total, and the latter dedicated to Colombia’s most famous artists – Fernando Botero – renowned for his style that characterizes people and animals with excessively large and often fat features.
Other recommendations include; Museo Nacional, Museo del Chico, Museo del Arte Moderno (MAMBO), Museo Internacional De La Esmeralda, Museo Militar, and Museo Santa Clara.
Sunday Market in Usaquén
On Sundays and ‘festivos’ (public holidays), we highly recommend visiting the old colonial village of Usaquén situated in Bogotá close to the mountains. Here you will find an old colonial plaza and Sunday market with high-quality artesanal jewellery, clothing, art and accessories, food stands and music.
A perfect way to spend a relaxing Sunday like a local!
Bogotá Graffiti Tour
Experience an eye-opening insight into Colombia’s history, politics and current hot social topics through street art and murals. All tours are in English and the tour lasts up to three hours so make sure you have some comfortable shoes!
Cicolovia on Sundays
Bogotá boasts the largest network of bicycle routes in South America. On Sundays and ‘festivos’ the city closes main roads and opens them exclusively to pedestrians.
Locals enjoy a day out with friends and family partaking in leisurely activities such as, jogging, walking, cycling, skating or roller-blading from 7am until 2PM.
Rent a bike and join them! You’ll get to see the city from a totally different perspective.
Parque Simon Bolivar
Simon Bolivar Park is a green picturesque utopia located in the middle of Bogotá. Measuring more than 400 acres it is slightly larger than New York's Central Park and is known as the lung of the city. The park hosts annual music events and concerts, such as Rock al Parque and Salsa al Parque. It is the perfect way to relax and unwind without even leaving the city!
The park has outdoor exercise equipment, walkways, sandpits, playgrounds, a lake with paddle boats, and various food and ice cream stands, and so much more!
Surrounding áreas of Bogotá
Bogotá is close to some amazing places which are just a few hours away by bus or car. Take advantage and spend a day out in one of these beautiful places; the Zipaquira Salt Mine (an underground church), Lake Guatavita (the origin of the legend of El Dorado), Villa de Leyva (old colonial Spanish town), Choachi (thermal hotsprings), Chorrera Waterfall (hiking), and the Chingaza National Park (natural and cultural treasure).
If you would like to know more about life in Colombia or how to do an international internship in Colombia, please contact a member of our team.
This blog post was written & published by Intern Colombia on 26 February 2019