What to do in Bogota
Bogota is the capital of Colombia and is located in the centre of the country, in the Andina region. It is the third highest capital in South America at 2625 meters above sea-level. Bogota is also on the city of coldest cities of Colombia, which although usually a livable 14° centigrade, has still been called “the fridge”. In reality, it’s not that cold, but this nickname was given by citizens of other cities in Colombia, which are much warmer, so to them Bogota seems frozen! Now, let me tell you about the best places to visit in Bogota:
What to do in Bogota: Places to Visit
Candelaria is located in the historic center of the city and is the oldest neighbourhood of Bogota. From hearing this, you’re probably thinking about the long history that this neighbourhood has, as well as being a pretty and welcoming spot. See more about Candelaria here.
This is the central square of Bogota, and its center is dominated by the bronze statue of Simón Bolívar, the liberator of Colombia. The Mayor of Bogota, the Palace of Justice, and the Archiepiscopal Palace among other sites of interest can be found at the edge of this square. A huge number of pigeons live here, fed by the multitude of Bogotans who toss them corn as food.
Little Square of the Jet of Quevedo
This is a very nice place, and perfect for the young and artsy. There is a narrow alleyway here that you can pass through that is lined with ancient houses, bars and a rainbow of colour thanks to the wealth of paintings that decorate its walls.
The small square is a meeting spot for university students as well as a popular venue for street musicians. When you go to the Jet of Quevedo, make sure you don’t miss trying the local “chicha”, a delicious drink made of fermented corn. Don’t miss this beautiful touristic spot while you’re in Bogota!
García Márquez Cultural Center
This cultural center is one of the most important and highlighted places of the historical center of Bogota because it breathes art and culture. More than 30 activities are run here every month, such as concerts, book presentations and other cultural events of interest. It’s definitely worth taking a look at the García Márquez Cultural Center!
On top of the Monserrate Peak lies the Sanctuary of the Fallen Lord of Monserrate, a neocolonial construction. You can enjoy a great view of the city from up here, as well as lots of food! You can reach this peak either by funicular (an inclined, short train ride) or cable car for about 7.50 USD return, although you can also go up by foot. Don’t leave Bogota without seeing this gem!
The Old Creek Lookout (Quebrada la Vieja, in Spanish)
This has become one of the preferred spots of tourists in Bogota, although between you and me, there are many Bogotans who have never even heard of it, and maybe that’s why it remains so beautiful and well conserved. You can only go up the trail to this look-out point between 5:00 am y 10:00 am. There are two paths that lead up to the top, and when ascending you’ll pass by a crystalline creek and through a many-treed forest, to arrive finally at the look-out point from which you can see a huge part of Bogota.
The Santa María Bullring
Constructed in 1931, this bullring has been the venue for not only bull-fighting, but also for political demonstrations, concerts, and on occasion, sporting events. In 2017, bull-fighting resumed after a 5-year hiatus, which did not please animal-rights defenders in Bogota, who protested against this decision.
This famous and fun avenue is one of the preferred spots for Bogotans when they want to go for a “septimazo” (a trip on the seventh avenue). The Seventh Avenue is not only a place for local Bogotans, however – it’s also one of the preferred tourist spots thanks to the street-art that decorates every block: you can find painters, musicians, singers, imitators, artesans, etc.
Museum of Gold
Do you want to visit one of the most impactful touristic sites in Bogota? If you like museums, make sure you have the Museum of Gold on your list of things to see in Bogota because you are going to love this museum: approximately 34,000 pieces of gold from the pre-Colombian period. Also, entry only costs 1 USD!
Parks of Bogota
José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden
This beautiful site is administered by the Municipal Government of Bogota and we really recommend that you go if you have a love of plants. For nature-lovers, this is the best part of Bogota. They have a collection of herbaceous plants, 73 varieties of roses, 50 species of palm, a great orchid collection, and much more.
Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park
At the very center of Bogota lies this immense and gorgeous park. This park has fourteen entrances and, just what we like: it’s free! You can enjoy a practically limitless number of views and relaxing spots here, such as being next to a lake, on a cycling path, plenty of green spots, jogging trail, etc.
This park is highly recommended as something to do in Bogota.
Virgilio Barco Public Library
In the Teusaquillo neighbourhood of Bogota, you can visit this grand library, which takes the form of a scalene triangle.
This library can be found in a circular area surrounded by parks and sports complexes. If you’re a big reader, this library boats 93,400 volumes in their collection of hard-copy books, tablets, digital books and audio-visual material.
If what you’re looking for is fun night-life in Bogota, or as they call it, “rumba”, in Colombia, well then, the spot you want is Park 93. This is a favourite spot for Colombians and international tourists alike, thanks to the number of great restaurants, bars and clubs close by. So, this park is located right between lots of sweet places to check out in Bogota.
What could you do in and around Bogota if you have some more time on your hands? The magic, fun and beauty doesn’t stop at the city limits! The areas surrounding Bogota are gorgeous, too, and here are a few of the spots that we think you would like:
In the municipality of Soacha, the Bogota river falls into a rocky abyss from a height of about 157 meters. There is also an old building beside the Tequendama Falls that today serves as a museum, but in the past it was a lodging house for the elite of Bogota.
They say that this place is cursed by witchcraft, and although I’m not sure about that, I can definitely tell you that the Tequendama Falls are beautiful!
Jaime Duque Park
This thematic, cultural and enjoyable park is located in the municipality of Tocancipá, and is home to loads of attractions, among them a map of Colombia in relief of 12 meters, a zoo, replicas of the Taj Mahal, the seven wonders of the world, a monument to God, and much more. Entry costs between 12.5 to 16 USD, depending on the attractions you would like to see.
Chicaque Natural Park
This beautiful natural reserve houses 7 types of forest, and what’s even better is that you can see an uncountable number of species of flora and fauna here from around the world. You’ll love how close to Nature you feel here, despite being only a few kilometers outside of Bogota, nearest the municipalityof Bogota called Soacha. For lodging, there are campsites, hostels, cabins and tree-forts here!
Without a doubt, this park is one of the top places to visit in Bogota.
So, what’s your plan? Hikes, cultural activities, night-life?