Look at the top 3 Bogotá things to do on TripAdvisor: Botero Museum, Gold Museum & Monserrate. Now ask anyone who lives in and loves Bogotá. Chances are they have only been to those places once, and will recommend those activities as an excuse to just get out explore. They´re great places to visit for a short stay in Bogotá, but they are not the big reason more and more foreigners have fallen in love with the city. That is the purpose of this guide, to provide enough reasons and weird ideas to make you ask yourself ¨por qué no?¨ (as I have done here since 2009) and step out into the Bogotá wilderness with an open mind.
Put on your old jeans, get a minimum of 2 people (the more the better) together and jump in a taxi. Free to play as long as you are buying extremely well-priced beers. Colombian version of bowling. Recklessly throwing metal hockey pucks at packets of gunpowder next to other Colombians doing the same thing. Great spot, conveniently located a few minutes walk from one of the best nightlife areas (Zona Rosa). Industrialized version of tejo.
There is an impressive music scene in Bogotá. The marketing for those gigs, not so impressive. Word of mouth and Facebook will give you whispers of an interesting drum show, a free cumbia/Systema Solar/Bomba Estereo concert, or whatever it may be. Follow your instincts, and ask your newfound friends. These places are known for putting on interesting live gigs:
I love motorcycle travel because you dive into new towns with new smells, and have experiences that would be missed in a bus or a plane. The same thing applies to Bogotá, do yourself a favor and run a random errand or find a coffee shop and hit the streets. Great walking areas in Bogotá that you don't need to specify exactly what to do:
A good rule of thumb for eating out in Bogotá: Try something new for lunch, try something known for dinner. Bogotá lunch deals are some of the best value in the world and are ubiquitous. Three-course meals can be had for under $5 USD. Walk an interesting area and look for whiteboards, chalkboards and men in aprons waving you in. For dinner, try from the smorgasbord of new restaurants putting Bogotá on the culinary radar. Zona G (Harry Sasson, La Fama BBQ, Sumo Sushi), La Macarena (La Jugueteria), Quinta Camacho (La Herencia,Don Bogotá,69 Gauchos) and the Zona Rosa (14 Inkas, Gigi's Wine Market, La Xarcutería) are good places to start. Want to try authentic Colombian Food? Head to Doña Elvira in Galerias or Las Cazuelas de Abuela in Chapinero (Both are located on ourChapinero Google Map). Hands down the best bandeja paisa in Bogotá is served at El Envigadeño in Centro. Looking for more inspiration? Take a peak of these restaurant lists here, here and here, and here if you are on a budget. Real foodies must take a trip to the produce hub of Bogotá, Paloquemao. Find all types of strange & delicious produce or hunt down the 10 healthiest foods in Latin America. Get a taxi there and walk around, or take aPaloquemao food tour. Make sure to grab brunch in Masa o Fratelli.Tapas? Go to Salvo Patria or Nueve or Rin Rin in Chapinero Alto.
Zona T, Parque 93, Zona G, are great places to go for a drink. On quieter nights, these are reliable places to socialize. You´ll meet likeminded people and have predictable service. If you like a story to go with your drink try these spots:
Don't forget you are in the country with the best coffee in the world. A new wave of coffee shops have started capitalizing on this. Here are the best places to go in Bogotá for a cup.
Bogotá has a ridiculous amount of festivals. Wine & Food, Film, Theatre, Yoga, Vegetarian, Jazz, LGBT, Salsa, Rock, Art etc. The best ones will get to you by word of mouth, but the rest of the time check what’s going on here, here or here. Many of them in Bogotá are free, and then larger ones like Estero Picnic are held just outisde the city. It does take some investigation as there is still no definitive list anywhere.
Experiences are always more palpable when they are shared, especially in an eclectic city like Bogotá. Talk to everyone, the weirder the better. Go to Gringo Tuesdays or Dame tu Lengua, Or Wednesday Speakeasy(La Candelaria) language exchange events, find a football game, go to dance classes with an alternative & fun twist, put together a tejo team, go network at Internations or Bogota Entrepreneurs Society, go to a Pop-up dinner, learn a new sport or hobby, host a party at your place or recruit people from your hotel/hostel to join a random mission, go speed dating, go on an adventure with Bogota & Beyondor other tours.
If you get an invitation from a local Colombian to some kind of live event, performance or party in a place you have never heard of, ask yourself ´Por qué no?´ and do it. This is hands down the best way to have a memorable night in Bogotá. Many consider the nightlife the best part of Bogotá. If you don't like dancing you will miss out on half of the fun of Colombia. Get over it – as a foreigner, locals will expect your skills are sub-par, and don't actually care. For you it's a win-win. Your creativity and anything close to rhythm will score you points. Here are the best places to get loose, follow them on facebook to look out for special events:
Bogotá has an incredible culturalscene. Bogota has 58 museums, over 150 art galleries, 33 library networks, 45 stage theatres, 75 sports and attraction parks, and over 150 national monuments. Find out more theatre information.
Rent a bicycle and join the crowds of Colombians whizzing along the Septima. Take the chance to get a perspective of the city that is just too crowded with cars to enjoy during the week. Get in adventure mode. If you´re lucky, Bogota & Beyond will be running events on the day, scavenger hunts and photo challenges with locals and travellers. If you get hungry, stop in a larger hotel to take advantage of a buffet brunch. If you are adventurous take ciclovia south from Centro and get a feel for Bogotá life outside of the safer, more international zones of the north.
You are in a capital city on a mountain. Get out of town to understand where you are. Take the train to visit an underground church at the Zipaquira Salt Mine, spend a day gazing at Lake Guatavita or other national parks, make a friend with a holiday finca or hire your own, Stroll through cobblestone Villa de Leyva, Rock climbing in Suesca, Golf, Go-Karting, Paintball.Take a dip in the healing hotsprings of Choachi, or take a hike to the Chorrera Waterfall. Head out to La Calera early for the farmers market, then to visit Chingaza National Park, El Siberia – The ghost town, the hummingbird observatory and and be sure to make time for a Colombian BBQ Picada at El Tambor. Catch the sunset with a fancy cocktail on the way back at the Mirador La Calera, as you cross back into Bogotá over the mountains. Want a more adventurous daytrip? Head to Tobia for rafting/kayaking/abseiling/rock climbing.
Go on these but don't rely exclusively on them to get involved in a real experience.
1 Day in Bogota Planner
Go to this 1 day stay in Bogotá TripAdvisor list which is pretty decent or open your Lonely Planet and pick 1-2 activities near to where you are staying. This guide is probably not for you. Reserve more time next trip!
3 Days in Bogotá Planner
Routine plays a big role in the city. Visiting mid-week? Don't expect big nights out, instead target cultural events, theatre, unique cafes & restaurants, museums. If you are arriving for the weekend, look for more live events, ciclovia, parties, flea markets etc.
7 days in Bogotá
Day 1 – La Candelaria, a quaint, colonial historic district, Gold and Botero Art Museums, world-famous emerald district, exquisite churches and museums, Plaza Bolivar, eccentric boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Bogota Bike Tour if you want to go into express mode. Cable car to Monserrate for sunset and ajiaco a dizzying 500 meters above Bogotá. Bogota Bike Tour if you want to go into express mode. Cable car to Monserrate for sunset and ajiaco a dizzying 500 meters above Bogotá.
Day 2 – Breakfast in a gourmet panaderia (Bakery) with a tinto (Coffee) or hot chocolate and cheese if you are feeling game. Lunch in La Macarena, a bohemian restaurant district with local and a broad mix of international cuisine. Walk down to the Museo National to see an excellent collection of archaelogical artefacts, or the current exhibition. Get some sunshine by a walk through Parque Nacional, or grab a relaxing afternoon tinto in ParkWay. It's Tuesday night, head to La Villa for the free language exchange that turns into a cross-cultural party.
Day 3 – More sightseeing in La Candelaria – visit the Palacio de San Carlos at Calle 10 and the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango at Calle 11 – check listings for free classical concerts in the grand concert hall here. Nearby, the Donacion Botero Museum has an art collection that includes works by Picasso, Monet and Dali. Check out why Bogota is at the top of the street art scene with the Bogota Graffiti tour. Have lunch or dinner at Cafe Pasaje, at Cra 6, which sits on a picturesque square and is a great spot for relaxed eating and drinking
Day 4 – Day trip to the surrounding areas of beautiful high-mountain terrain around Bogotá. Head to Lake Guatavita and learn of the pre-Columbian sacred folklore. Spend the afternoon touring the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, an 8000m² underground church inside a Salt mine.
Day 5 – Start of the day with a short hike called Quebrada de la Vieja. A 45 minute walk through jungle and creeks that rewards you with a viewpoint overlooking the humming cityscape below. Meander down the creek until you get to Zona G, the world-class Gastronomic Zone of Bogotá. Filled with restaurants, wine bars and international pastry shops, your palate will be pleased! It's Friday, head over to Zona T for some afternoon shopping and later spend the evening at the eccentric Andres de Res DC restaurant that defines the Colombian passion for food and dancing. There are few cities that rival Bogotá for its feverish love of nightlife and a good old fashioned rumba!
Day 6 – Spend the morning walking around Parque de la 93. Grab a traditional caldo if your head is sore from the night before. Later on, an ice cream in Parque Virrey. Head over to the Botanical Gardens or check listings to see which of the hundreds fairs or festivals is currently happening. Stop by a Tejo court and have some cold ones. Enjoy dinner in Gaira, a lively restaurant/bar owned by Colombian Latin Pop/rock star Juanes. Bogotá has famous nightlife, try some aguardiente and dance!
Day 7 – Enjoy the Sunday morning markets of Usaquen (rent a bicycle for ciclovia to get there), browsing artesanels and crafts from traditional groups all over Colombia, followed by an delicious lunch overlooking the cobblestone streets.
ApartmentInternational is a furnished apartment rental and property management service in Bogotá. We are dedicated to provide the most comfortable, locally integrated accommodations in Bogotá. We assist our guests so they know the best places to visit in Bogotá. For the moment, you will notice that we are very focused on Chapinero Bajo & Chapinero Alto, as they are positioned to be the best area to stay in to experience Bogotá. We have compiled our secret hotspots into the following Google Custom Map. You can open it on the google maps app on your phone (download the local area if you don't have a data plan.), when you click on a marker, google maps will even give you directions how to get there from your current location.
If you are looking for the best places to stay in Bogotá, check out our furnished apartments & condos for rent that are fully equipped and cheaper than a hotel!
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!
Author: Hi, My name is Sam Miller, or ´big Sam´ on the fútbol pitch. Australian born & raised, North American bred. I work with a talented group of real estate experts that put together clever investment projects and furnished rentals that provide people a way to comfortably experience the real Bogotá. I arrived in Colombia by a motorcycle from Canada in 2009, whilst the economic world was reeling in the Global Financial Crisis. I found a rewarding lifestyle in the persistent, surging, under-appreciated and beautiful country of Colombia. I haven't had a boring day since. Tejo is my kind of bowling. Bogotá is my base-camp. Click here if you would like information about our investments in Bogotá that liberate your lifestyle using passive cash flow or to discover our Furnished Rental & Property Management services in Bogotá with ApartmentInternational.