Top 8 Things to See & Do in Bogotá, Colombia

Colombia’s most cosmopolitan city features a mix of old and new, local and international attractions. Get to the heart of Bogotá with Jacqui, as she shares her top things to do in her home town.

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La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historical center

Take a walk along the narrow streets of La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historical center and home to many museums and fascinating sights.

Visit the famous Museo del Oro. A large collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, gold and metal works are on display here, and the exhibits are expertly curated to take you on an informative trip through Colombia’s ancient cultures.

Also a must-see is Bogotá’s most popular art museum, the Botero Museum. The exaggerated “Boterismo” works of accomplished Colombian artist Fernando Botero, along with Dalí and Picasso, are on display here.

On the way to admire the colonial architecture of Plaza de Bolívar – surrounded by the Palace of Justice and the Catedral Primada de Bogotá – stop off at the city’s oldest cafe, La Falsa Puerta for hot chocolate and cheese.

Give the local ritual a try, too: throw the cheese into your hot chocolate and scoop up the resulting melted goodness with a spoon. It's surprisingly delicious.

Spectacular views of Bogotá

To comprehend this massive, sprawling city from above, there are two options. The cheapest and easiest way is to reach the top floor of the Colpatria Tower – a 50-floor skyscraper that offers a 360-degree panorama of the metropolis.

For spectacular views of not only the city but the surrounding mountains, take the cable car up to Cerro de Monserrate, which sits at 3,152m (10,340ft). Arrive just before sunset to enjoy the evening sky as night takes over. While you're here, stop in at Casa Santa Clara – a restaurant specializing in typical Colombian food and drinks.

José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden

Escape the chaotic streets of Bogotá and take an easy stroll to observe flora unique to the Colombian Andes, Amazon, and the Guajira desert in the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden.

With a collection of more than 19,000 plants from all over Colombia, the garden is the country's largest botanical garden and acts as both a recreational green space and a research center.

Usaquén

In the north of the city lies the colonial neighborhood of Usaquén.The wonderfully preserved colonial buildings are now full of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a wide range of national and international cuisine.

Every Sunday, Usaquén hosts a flea market, filling the streets with dozens of stalls selling handmade arts and crafts.

The northern suburbs: Chapinero and Zona Rosa

For a chance to experience the trendy side of Bogotá, hang out in the neighborhoods in Chapinero (edgier) and Zona Rosa (more mainstream), where glam meets hipsters in a very stylish way.

The area is overflowing with pubs, cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers. 

Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao

As the meeting point for all Colombian produce, a visit to Bogotá’s largest market, Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao, provides an authentic Colombian culinary experience. It's a definite must for foodies.

Bring along small notes and coins, and spend a couple of hours trying fresh tropical fruits that can only be found in Colombia, snack on street food, and inhale the fragrances of thousands of different flowers.

Tours taking it to the street

Breaking Borders

Join ex-gang member Jaime Roncancio (known as "El Calabazo," or "The Pumpkin") on this fascinating tour through the previously no-go neighborhood of Bairro Egipto, one of Bogotá's most notoriously dangerous areas. Roncancio, jailed and shot more times in his life than seems humanly possible, leads this cultural tourism initiative spearheaded by the excellent Impulse Travel.

You'll mingle with residents and local kids and tour the homes of former gang members as Roncancio explains the history of organized crime in the neighborhood and why he turned his life around in favor of this brilliant urban tourism project that supports the re-building and re-branding of former gang turf.

Bogotá Graffiti Tour

Discover Bogotá’s vibrant street-art scene and the culture surrounding it. The walking tour is led by local artists who’ll share with you the stories behind these powerful murals, as well as interesting insights into the politics and the history of graffiti in Bogotá

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4 Comments

  • Landon said

    Hi I am from Colombia and this was not very accurate please stop posting and leave country alone please!!!!!!

  • [email protected] said

    Hi Landon,
    If you're willing to share, we'd love to hear about your favorite things to see and do in Bogota – a local insider's knowledge is always best. While our writer does live in Bogota, perhaps she enjoys exploring Bogota in a different way to you?
    Cheers,
    Amelia

  • Dominick Barber said

    Wow... Landon lighten up and try not to be so angry. ???????? I like zip lining ,dirt bike & horse back riding. Forget the long walks on the beach. ????Where is a gd place to rent Dirt Bikes?

  • Shlomo Brahberg said

    Very good summary of things to do and see in Bogota!

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