"Why are you there for so long? There is nothing to do there!" is a common reaction I got when I told people I was in Bogota for a month. Contrary to what most people said about the capital, I did not have any trouble finding interesting things to do in this buzzing city. Thanks to my Colombian friend who showed me the real Bogota from an amazing viewpoint to local nightlife, here are top 10 interesting things to do in Bogota, Colombia.
Looking for my entire itinerary for Colombia? Here is my One Month Backpacking Itinerary for Colombia.
See more: Bogota is best explored with a local but if you do not know anyone there, ViaHero might be able to help you connect with the local people.
Things to Do Map
Where to Stay
Bogota - Urbana Hostel - 13.68 USD/Night
I recommended this hostel because it is located in Zona Rosa, a more hip and safer area of Bogota. It should also take you away from the typical touristic and dangerous areas like downtown where most tourists stay. You will have a much better time out here than in the center.
How to Get Here
How to Get Around
Uber all the way. It might be a little more expensive than using their bus system (BRT) but Uber is considerably cheaper than normal taxis and much safer too.
This place is cheaper than most countries but not dirt cheap. Expect to pay around 30 - 50 USD per day per person including accommodation and food.
Keep in mind that this is just a suggested daily budget based on my style of traveling, which is leaning more toward the budget side of things. If you want to stick to this budget, expect to sleep in dorms, eat out only a few times, and be comfortable using the cheapest and most convenient way of transportation, which often times involves walking.
Is Bogota Safe?
During the day, in a less crowded area like Zona Rosa, it is safe to walk around. You may have to watch out for pickpockets when you are in the downtown area (hence why I don't recommend staying there).
At night, a good rule of thumb is if you don't see any locals walking on the streets at night, don't do it yourself.
If you are looking for a travel insurance to go along with your trip to Colombia, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for a travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure. They have a simple and flexible search system that allowed me to find the right insurance for the right amount of time at an affordable price in seconds. If you need a travel insurance, give WorldNomads.com a try.
1. Walk around Plaza de Bolivar
Lets get the obvious things to do out of the way first, with a walk around Plaza de Bolivar, a beautiful colonial square located in the heart of the historical area of the city. Surrounding the square are some stunning cathedrals, monuments and palaces for you to indulge yourself in the colonial part of the city.
Be sure to walk up some of the hills towards the mountain as you will be able to see some nice colonial houses and a great view of the area.
2. Visit the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Photos by McKay Savage
Who doesn't like gold? The Gold Museum in Bogota contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world, most of which are from pre-columbian times. You will get to see the history of the people inhabited in Colombia before the Spanish colonists unfold through their shamanistic rituals and craftsmanships. It offers a different perspective on the history of the indeginious people here.
3. Visit the Botero museum (Museo Botero)
This is by far one of the happiest museums I have ever gone in to. You will leave this place with a smile on your face. Botero Museum is a museum featuring a collection of Fernando Botero’s best work. He is renowned for his paintings and sculptures of overly-sized cartoonish people and animals. There is no mistaking Botero's work with any other artists out there.
4. Go up the Cerro Monserrate
This is by far my favorite attraction in Bogota. A few minutes walk away from Plaza de Bolivar, there is a Teleferico de Monserrate, cable car station where you can take a cable car up to the lookout point on Cerro Monserrate. The lookout is a perfect place to watch the sunset over the cityscape of Bogota. I highly recommend you to see this place both at night and during the day. It gives a different vibe depending on when you are there.
5. Enjoy Local Dinner at Andres DC
A giant local restaurant/bar with several floors dedicated for different types of people from fine-dining to a salsa dance floor, Andres DC is a great place for dinner. The amazing decor, the delicious food, and the friendly live band that comes up to your table and dance with you will leave you nothing but great memories about Bogota.
6. Pre-party in Zona Rosa
Photo by Isaacyaya
Zona Rosa is a hip neighborhood that is known as a popular dining area and the nightlife center among the locals. Most of the great restaurants and bars are all located here. It is also relatively safer than the central area, and makes it a good place for you to hangout both during the day and the night.
7. Learn some Spanish with Locals at Gringo Tuesday
Every Tuesday, both foreigners and locals gather in a bar called Vintrash to be part of Gringo Tuesday, an event that brings the local community and foreigners together to help with each other's Spanish/English. There are tables for all levels of Spanish and English from beginners to advanced so no matter what level you are on, you are sure to find a group of people to talk to. Plus, the place turns into a dance floor after 9 PM where everyone joins in and dance to reggaeton music.
8. Party at Theatron
Wondering where you can go on Friday or Saturday night? Theatron is where the best parties are at in Bogota. Renovated from an old theater, Theatron features 5 stories of, a dozen rooms of unique theme dance floors all with a different genre of music. It is labeled as a gay bar but the locals know that any gender is welcomed there and will enjoy the parties nonetheless. There is nothing quite like it.
9. After Party at BAUM
There are pre-parties, parties and then there are after parties in Bogota. If you are looking for the real after party club, there is no better place than BAUM, one of Colombia's best-known and best-loved nightclubs. With DJs from across the world, playing deep house until sunrise, you are sure to experience the real nightlife here.
10. Sunday Stroll at Usaquén flea market
After a weekend of parties, there is no better way to relax on a sunny Sunday than to go to Usaquén park and enjoy the quieter and more relaxed vibe of the city. There is a flea market at the park where you can find all kinds of handcrafts and hipster items for souvenirs. If you are not interested in shopping, there are also areas where you can sit and enjoy a cup of Colombian finest coffee while listening to music performed by local street performers. A memorable end to your trip in Bogota.
There you have it, top 10 things to do in Bogota, Colombia. Now, you can tell all your friends how wrong they were when they told you there is nothing to do in Bogota. What do you think of the list? Let me know if I miss anything in the comments below.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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