South AmericaTravel Guide

A GUIDE TO THE 20 BEST SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES IN BOGOT

Bogotá is the most important city in Colombia. The Muisca were the indigenous people who originally lived there before the Spanish came and stole their gold and other valuables(shows bogota).

Before I went to Bogotá, everyone warned me that it was nothing special.They said it was dirty, busy, difficult to get around in, and lacked the elegance of other major cities in Colombia.

They all advised that I stay for no more than a week.

To tell the truth, I stayed for a few days and then some more.

Honestly, Bogotá was one of my favourite cities in the world.

If there ever was a city that epitomised “Colombian,” it was this one. Compared to the gringofied metropolises of the rest of the country, this one is a breath of fresh air. One of its selling points for me was how “gritty” it was.

I loved the energy and excitement of Bogotá.(shows bogota).

Incredible museums, rich history, a burgeoning art community, fascinating restaurants, a raucous nightlife, and friendly locals sum up this city.

This is a very large metropolis with a wide variety of sightseeing opportunities. A full week might be spent at this location.

Here are my top 20 recommendations for things to do and see while you’re in Bogotá.

A GUIDE TO THE 20 BEST SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES IN BOGOT

1. Join a no-cost walking tour


Whenever I visit a new place, one of my favourite things to do is sign up for a free walking tour. It’s a terrific opportunity to visit the essential places and get my concerns answered by someone who knows the area inside and out.

A fantastic way to get your feet wet in the city is with BeyondColombia’s free walking tour. It also offers a free food tour, which is a great way to sample some traditional Colombian fare (the trip’s food budget is estimated to be 18,000 COP, or about $6 USD). You should, however, always tip your guides.

We recommend the Bogotá Graffiti Tour for those interested in a more focused experience. This one is entirely funded by donations, with the proceeds reinvested in more artistic endeavours for the local community.(shows bogota).

2. Visit the Cathedral of Salt


The Salt Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that was constructed within the tunnels of a former salt mine and is located in Zipaquirá, about an hour’s drive from the city. 200 metres below ground makes this one of the most unusual places of worship in the United States, if not the entire globe. The church sees as many as 3,000 worshippers on Sundays.


Cathedral of the Sal (Plaza de la Catedral), +57 315-760-7376, Sal, Colombia. Daily hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5:40 p.m.The price for a foreigner to enter is 58,000 COP, with discounts offered for seniors.

3. Take a stroll through the botanical gardens.


Almost 20,000 plants call the Botanical Garden of Bogotá, which opened in 1955, home. Particular attention is paid to plants native to the area, especially those that are found only in the Andes or other mountainous parts of South America. Explore the gardens and look at the unique plants while refuelling at one of the neighbouring food stands.

Jbb.gov.co, Cl. 63, No. 6895; +57 1-437-7060. Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends).Adult tickets cost 3,500 COP, and child tickets cost 1,800 COP.

4. Don’t miss out on Gringo Tuesdays!


Every week, people from all over the world gather for a linguistic exchange that quickly becomes a celebration of culture. The group gets together every Tuesday for a couple hours of discourse with residents and visitors alike. After that, the true celebration can begin, and it will likely last well into the night. If you want to meet other travellers, you should definitely go out for the evening. If you’re staying in La Candelaria, you can get to the festival on one of the many party buses organised by the hostels in the area.(shows bogota).


Giggle Tuesdays, 85 No. 11-53, Promenade del Faro, +57 311-492-0249. On Tuesdays, from 4 to 8 p.m., there is a language exchange, and then from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., there is a party.

5. See the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro, “The Gold Museum”).


More than half a million people visit this museum every year because it is the most fascinating in the entire country. The Gold Museum, which opened in 1939, is home to more than 55,000 gold artefacts and exhibits their significance and use in pre-Hispanic Colombian cultures. There’s a lot to learn, so I recommend getting the audio guide (8,000 COP) or going on one of the daily free excursions.

Visit the Museo del Oro in Bogata at Cra. 6, No. 15–88; more information is available at banrepcultural.org/bogata. Visit us between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Sundays. Children get in free, and adults pay 4,000 COP. On Sundays, adults go in free, but it can get crowded quickly because of the day.

6. Sixth, climb Monserrate.

Monserrate in Bogota
The historic church of Bogota, located atop the tree-lined Monserrate hill.
Monserrate, which rises to an altitude of more than 3,000 metres, is visible from just about anywhere in the city. Due to the presence of a church at the peak, it is frequently used as a venue for weddings in the area in addition to being frequented by sightseers. The ascent takes less than an hour on foot, or you can take a cable car or funicular. Remember that the trek up is not very safe, especially at night or when you’re by yourself, because robbers often scope out the best routes. Take caution!(shows bogota).


The hours of operation for the funicular are 6:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 5:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Sundays. The cable car runs from 12 p.m. to 1 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.Adult round-trip tickets cost 21,000 COP, regardless of which mode of transportation you choose (12,000 COP on Sundays).

7. Visit the Botero Museum, number.


This museum, which has been open since 2000, houses one of the most significant art collections in all of Latin America. The museum was established after the Colombian central bank, Banco de la Repblica de Colombia, agreed to display hundreds of works by Fernando Botero at no cost to the public. The bequest contained not just his own works but also those of such renowned artists as Monet, Picasso, and many more. Get an audio guide or take a free tour (not free).

Cl. 11, No. 4, 41, BanrepCultural.org/Bogota/Museo-Botero, +57 1-343-1316Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays (closed Tuesdays).There are also free daily guided tours; check the website for the most up-to-date schedule. For 10,000 COP, you can get an audio guide.

8. Visit the Usaquén Market.


Every week on Sunday, local artisans set up shop along the cobblestone streets to sell their wares. Despite its common name, this market offers a more upscale selection of goods than its counterparts. While not free, it’s still cheap, and a good time was had by all.


Every Sunday in Usaquén, you can visit the market from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

9. Go on an adventure to La Candelaria.

La Candelaria
This area was wonderful for me. This is Bogotá’s historic district. You can go for a stroll on the cobblestone streets and take in the varied architecture, which includes examples of art deco, colonial, and baroque styles. The Botero Museum, the Gold Museum, and a number of cathedrals and institutions are just some of the highlights that can be found in this area, along with a large number of hostels. Plaza Chorro de Quevedo is a great place to people-watch while listening to live music; the side streets are great for sampling chicha (a drink derived from corn that is typically fermented to be alcoholic); and the restaurants here are some of the best in the city.(shows bogota).


10. Explore Bogota’s National Museum.


Located in the heart of Bogotá, this museum holds the distinction of being both the country’s oldest and largest (and one of the oldest on the continent). It was constructed in 1823 and now houses approximately 20,000 works of art and historical objects, some of which date back to before 10,000 BCE. In fact, this massive structure was once a prison before it was converted into a museum in 1946. This museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the country’s past or in gaining a deeper understanding of its culture.

Museo Nacional de Colombia, Carrera 7 No. 28–66, +1 571 381 6470. We are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday through Saturday) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday). Adults pay 4,000 COPS, students pay 3,000 COPS, and kids aged 5 to 12 pay 2,000 COPS.

11. Check out the Basilica of Our Lady of Carmen (Santuario de Nuestra Seora del Carmen).

Located at La Candelaria is the Gothic-style National Shrine of Our Lady of Carmen. Outside and inside, the chapel is striped in red and white, giving it the appearance of a huge candy cane. This stunning Byzantine and Moorish-style church, constructed between 1926 and 1938, towers nearly 60 metres into the air (shows bogota).


Cra. 5 No. 8-36, +57 1-342-0972. 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Friday), 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

12. Do a culinary tour.

Bogotá's dining scene
Food tours are the finest way to get a feel for Bogotá’s dining scene. La Macarena, the creative and bohemian district of Bogotá, will be the focus of your Bogotá Food Tour. Within those three hours, you’ll visit three different eateries and have the chance to try three distinct types of regional cuisine and beverages. You can expect to be picked up and dropped off at your hotel as part of the tour price.


Evening tours start at 7 o’clock, Monday through Saturday. You must make a reservation in advance to guarantee transportation. Individual admission costs 188,500 COP.

13. Take a trip to Metropolitan Park. Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park
You may expect to see many people here, as this is one of Bogota’s busiest parks. Over 1,000 acres of this land were created in 1979. People come here for a variety of reasons, such as to get some exercise, to unwind, or to enjoy a performance. The park was named for the revolutionary Simón Bolvar, who freed his homeland from Spanish rule.(shows bogota).


Doors open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Unless there is music or an event going on, entry is free.

14. Take a sip of the regional beer.


There is a thriving craft beer community in Bogotá and throughout Colombia. There is a four-hour trip provided by Bogotá Craft Beer that visits some of the city’s finest watering holes and breweries. A knowledgeable guide and safe transportation are both part of the trip package. In other words, go for it!

Daily tours run from 4 to 9 p.m., and reservations can be made online. The cost of a ticket is roughly 95,000 COP.


15: Visit the Plaza Bolvar.


This is the central plaza of Bogotá, where the Palace of Justice, the Cathedral of Bogota, the Mayor’s Office, and the Capitol Building of Colombia are all located.  Buildings in this area date back to the 16th century, making it the city’s historical centre. The plaza was used by the Spanish for public events like bullfights, circus performances, and markets. Keep an eye out for those pesky pigeons!


16. Visit Parque 93.


You’ll find some of the city’s finest eating establishments, drinking establishments, and nightlife venues in this neighborhood. Temporary art exhibits are hosted in the park on a regular basis. There are good restaurants and cafes along the park’s perimeter because it is located in a pleasant part of town.(shows bogota).

17. Lglesia de San Francisco is a must-see.


This Catholic church dates back to the 16th century and is the city’s oldest continually operating place of worship. An exquisite altar from the 17th century is just one example of the interior’s elaborate decoration. It’s still in use, so if you go there, you should dress respectfully and expect to see residents worshipping.

The address is 7-10 Avenida Jimenez De Quesada, and the phone number is (571) 341-2357.Weekday hours Hours of operation are as follows: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. The cost of entry is waived.

18. Head to the Laguna de Guatavita (Lake Guatavita)

This little lake, about 60 kilometres north of Bogotá, is a sacred site for the indigenous inhabitants of the region and the supposed birthplace of the El Dorado legends. In addition, if you’re looking for a place to unwind, the village of Sesquilé offers thermal springs.(shows bogota).

The travel time and cost for a day trip to the region vary, but it usually takes around 6 hours.The cost per person should be at least 180,000 COP.

19. See what the Museo Santa Clara has to offer.


One of the oldest in the country, this church dates back to the 17th century. In the 1960s, it was desecrated and turned into a museum by the government. This is one of the most exquisitely painted cathedrals in Colombia, with more than 148 baroque paintings covering nearly all of its walls.

To learn more about the Museo Colonial de Colombia, please visit us at Cra. 8 No. 8-91, call (571) 337-6762, or go to our website. We are available from 9am to 4:30pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 3:30pm on weekends. Adult tickets are 4,000 COP, and child tickets are 2,000 COP.

20. stop by La Puerta Falsa for a bite to eat.


Over the past 200 years, this store has been supplying the neighborhood. In spite of the fact that La Puerta Falsa (The False Door) is a little restaurant with seating for no more than 20, the tamales and ajiaco soup served there have been family favourites for decades. This is the place to go if you want to eat authentic Colombian cuisine.

You can find this restaurant at Calle 11, No. 6-50, or by calling +57 1-286-5091. The website is restaurantelapuertafalsa.inf.travel. The store is technically open 24/7, so come by any time between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

THE COST OF TRAVELING COSTA RICA

***
Bogotá does have a reputation for being a dangerous city due to the high rates of petty crime there. Nevertheless, I found the city’s ambience to be very appealing. It has some bite to it (kind of like Naples, Italy). Everything about the museums, galleries, and restaurants exceeded my expectations. There’s a lot for tourists to do in the city. Time can fly by with all the attractions, trips, and parks to see. If I could have, I would have preferred to extend my time in Bogotá.(shows bogota).

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