Do you know what to do in Bogotá? Well, let's start by getting to know this beautiful city a little....Read More
Bogota: Tourism in Colombia – Welcome
Bogota is a city that offers a wide variety of things to do and see for any tourist. When you think about going to Bogota, get ready for a little of everything, except for maybe the beach since that is so far away from Bogota! However, there’s an infinite number of places to explore and enjoy, which you can find on our Tourism map of Bogota.
Bogota is located in the Andina region of Colombia, and as such it boasts green mountains that used to be even greener before the city expanded through population growth. Because the climate in Bogota is unpredictable, you’d best bring a rain-jacket and an umbrella so that you can enjoy the radiant sun care-free, because when you least expect it, it may start raining cats and dogs.
How to get to Bogota?
The International Airport El Dorado is the only airport there is in Bogota and it receives direct flights from the entirety of the Americas, as well as some European countries like Germany, France and Spain, so getting to Bogota from other countries in Europe is possible with stopovers in one of these countries.
When you get to Bogota, outside the Airport you’ll find many taxis (in Bogota and the rest of Colombia taxis are yellow) and if you head towards the center of Bogotá, you shouldn’t pay more than around 7 USD approximately because it’s 15 minutes away. If you go towards the north close to the Zona Rosa, the price of a taxi will be about 12 USD.
By public transport
Another piece of information that’s key when you want to go to Bogota es that outside the airport is a stop of the bus service “Transmilenio” – this is the system of public transport in Bogota, and you can really save some money if you use this service. You can buy a Transmilenio card for less than 1 USD at the bus-stop. This bus will take you to the “Portal”, or the last stop of the regular Transmilenio lines. Once you’re there and you find your destination, if you want to go to the historic center you can take the J6 bus without having to buy another ticket. This is a handy piece of advice: when the desire strikes, you can go from north to south with just one ticket, without leaving Transmilenio.
Tourist areas of Bogota
The “Zona T” is part of the “Zona Rosa” (the Pink Area) and is made up of two streets which together form a “T”. This is one of the most popular spots for tourists in Bogota because it has cafés, bars, clubs, and quite a vibrant night-life.
You’ll find this exclusive area in the north part of the city.
Just like there’s a Zona T, there’s also a Zona G in Bogota, which is also in the north of the city, between “carrera” 4 and 9 (“carreras” are streets running North-South) and “calle” 66 and 72 (“calles” are streets running East-West). This spot is favoured by tourists and locals alike who enjoy good food, and as such it’s home to a wealth of different restaurants.
Whenever and whomever you ask in Bogota where the party is at, the first place they’ll tell you will be the Zona Rosa. Look for it between “calles” (East-West) 79 and 85 and “carreras” (North-South) 11 and 15. These streets are very safe to walk on as you look for a place that tickles your fancy (it’s hard to choose between all the great cafés, bars, restaurants and clubs).
For the last few years, La Candelaria has been the favourite place of the majority of tourists in Bogota because it’s located smack in the middle of the city, which, for those of us who know how hard it can be to get around Bogota, makes it a sensible place to hang out.
La Candelaria is an ideal place to learn a bit about the history of Bogota and Colombia because the first houses of the city were built in this pretty place. Here you will find everything, including interesting spots like museums, libraries, theatres and other places that will tell you about the history of this city, such as Bolívar Place (La Plaza de Bolívar), Monserrate, el Chorro de Quevedo, and many others. Let me tell you a bit more about this area here.
Nothing is perfect, and just like every city, Bogota has its uglier, more dangerous spots. With the support of the police and army, in 2016 the Mayor of Bogotá forcefully vacated the so-called “Bronx Street” where some 3000 homeless and mafia lived.
The cleaning up of this street has actually hurt some residents of Bogota and its visitors because the people who used to inhabit this problematic street have been scattered across various parts of the city, and for that reason, I’m going to tell you about a few areas that are more dangerous.
This area is part of the center of Bogota where, recently, plenty of foreigners have been spotted walking around because it’s a commercial area where one can find just about anything for a good price. It’s full of people, which is good for safety, but be careful of who is around you.
Just like San Victorino, San Andresito is in the center and is busy with people doing business, but around this neighbourhood there are plenty of homeless people.
I’ve described these last areas to you because, when you ask someone about where to go for affordable shopping, these are the spots that will be recommended to you. But even if you’re curious to explore other places, I strongly urge you not to go to alone to the southern half of the city, nor to outskirts of the city. Only go to these spots if you have someone trustworthy with you!
Always remember the Colombian expression “no dar papaya” (which means, “don’t give papaya,” or, “be very cautious”!)
If you would like to talk to a Tour Guide of Bogota, here are the locations of the official Tourism Information points of Bogota. And now that you know which parts of the city to avoid, you can focus on all opportunities for exploration and new experiences that the city offers. Next, you can find more information.