The city where the past and present meet
Bogotá is the capital of and largest city in Colombia. It is a place of convergence for people from all around the country and is therefore diverse and multicultural. Within this city, the past and present come together.
The city is also very green thanks to its parks and the hills that extend along its eastern boundary, dwarfed by their two highest points, Monserrate and Guadalupe. The landscape that the people of Bogotá enjoy daily—the sea of green that makes up the Andes mountain range, rising up in the east—would be nearly impossible to find in any other large city.
But Bogotá also has the colors of modern buildings and authentic colonial roof tiles that are a true historical treasure from the colonial era.
Thanks to this fusion of the past and present, Bogotá is an ideal location with history, entertainment, delicious cuisine, culture, business, and much more.
Bogotá is the melting pot of Colombia. Here, all the cultures from different regions of the country have a place, from the cuisine of the Coffee Triangle to the exhilaration and joy of the Caribbean, or the artisanal heritage of Boyacá and the Valle de Cauca Festival. Bogotá brings together the best of Colombia, and for that reason, it should be at the top your list of places to visit.
What is there to do in Bogotá?
Bogotá, as a city for all, offers many different activities that make it an ideal tourist destination. One of these activities is discovering Colombia’s history and its importance. To learn more about Colombia’s history, you can go downtown, where you will find the Plaza de Bolívar, the Primatial Cathedral, and the Casa de Nariño, which houses the Colombian government.
You can also visit the neighborhood of La Candelaria, the heart and historical epicenter of Bogotá. There you will find great mansions built in the Colonial era, as well as a unique Bohemian atmosphere in the legendary Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo.
You can also visit important museums, such as the National Museum of Colombia, the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá (MAMBO), the Maloka Interactive Center, and the Gold Museum, which houses an important collection of items from pre-Hispanic cultures.
Bogotá’s cuisine is also worth sampling and enjoying. Bogotá offers an extensive selection of local and foreign foods that are widely recognized as some of the best in Latin America. You can try dishes typical of the region, such as ajiaco (a soup with chicken and potatoes as its primary ingredients), cocido (a soup with vegetables, beans, noodles, and a variety of meats and spices), tamales (seasoned vegetables, beans, or meats wrapped in corn dough and steamed), or almojábanas (cheese breads), and sample Colombian fruit juices and desserts prepared with local ingredients.
There are other tourist destinations in Bogotá, such as Monserrate, El Chicó, and Usaquén, that welcome both locals and visitors with open arms. You can also get to know one of Bogotá’s parks, such as the National Park, 93rd Street Park, or Simón Bolívar Park, and play sports, take a stroll, contemplate nature, or just sit and read a book.
In Bogotá’s commercial areas and shopping centers, you can find anything you want; that’s why they’ve become a major tourist attraction in the capital. In these commercial areas, you can find the best shops for clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, technology, antiques, handicrafts, and whatever else you’re looking for.
Bogotá's nightlife includes areas of different styles and atmospheres, to suit anyone's tastes: discos, bars, pubs, craft breweries, and clubs where entertainment and dancing come first.
Visiting this city is like taking a deep, refreshing breath of culture, because in Bogotá, you'll find unforgettable events like permanent exhibitions of art and history from all eras, festivals, and amazing concerts.
You can also visit one of Bogotá's exceptional libraries, see a theater production, attend a concert, or enjoy a small, private recital.
There are also a number of significant, internationally recognized events that take place in Bogotá: thousands of spectators come together each year for the Festivals in the Park, where they listen to rock, hip-hop, jazz, salsa, Colombian music, and all kinds of rhythms.
The Book Fair opens its doors in April, allowing the public to meet well-known authors from the literary world. The Festival de Teatro (one of the largest performing-arts festivals in the world), which is celebrated every year, turns the city into one giant stage ruled by imagination and art.
Activities you won't want to miss out on
On Sundays and public holidays, you can enjoy a bike ride, run, or leisurely stroll down the city's Cycleway, which is almost 75 miles long and distributed across Bogotá's principal roads.
On these same days (Sundays and public holidays), don't forget to visit the Flea Markets located in Usaquén and downtown Bogotá, places that bring together books, artisanal works, antiques, and a wide range of other items you'll only find there.
Taking a tour of the city's magnificent open air gallery with works from the best national and international graffiti artists is yet another experience you won't want to miss out on.
- Bogotá has many information stands for tourists. If you have questions, you can visit one of these stands, where tourism professionals will be more than happy to help you out.
- The weather in Bogotá is mild. Throughout the day, the temperature generally fluctuates between 46 and 68 ºF, so autumn clothes are perfect. And, of course, always carry an umbrella with you, as Bogotá's climate is prone to frequent showers.
- Keep in mind that the city is located an impressive 8,530 feet above sea level. This doesn't usually cause any problems for tourists; however, try to make a habit out of drinking a lot of water, eating well, and resting properly.
- To make sure you don't lose any time, remember that Bogotá is located in the GMT-5 time zone, and doesn't adjust its time in the spring and fall as many other countries, like Spain and the USA, do.
- As far as public transport goes, Bogotá uses an Integrated Public Transport System (SITP for its initials in Spanish). You can plan your trip beforehand using the TransMilenio website and Moovit app, available for iOS and Android.
- If you take a taxi, it's best to order one over the phone or using a mobile app from a known company like Easy Taxi or Taxis Libres. Apps like Beat, Uber, and Cabify are also used in Bogotá, and can help you get around without any complications and make the most of your visit.
With these recommendations, you're ready to enjoy the marvelous capital of Colombia, a city that opens its doors to you and welcomes you with its traditional and modern rhythms. Don't miss out on your opportunity to get to know Bogotá!
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