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's location in Colombia or where Bogotá is a simple answer. The capital of Colombia is located in one of the six regions of the country, the Andean Region, which is located throughout the center of the Colombian territory. In the Cundiboyacense plateau and on the savanna that bears its name at an altitude or elevation of 2,600 meters above the sea level.

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.

Monserrate in Bogotá
Photo: Courtesy Mario Carvajal


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 touristic places like 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, a spot you have to visit when you arrive at the capital of Colombia. 

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, which are considered some of the best places to visit in the capital of Colombia because they 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.

Gold Museum in Bogotá
Photo: Courtesy Mario Carvajal


Unique experiences

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 visit other touristic places like 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. These activities are part of the great cultural offer that describes the capital of Colombia.

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. Indeed, those are considered to be some of the best touristic places you can visit in Bogota. 

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. Without a doubt, one of the things to do in Bogota.

Recommendations

  • The best time or season to travel to Bogota can be at any time of the year. However, some times are better than others. Due to the location of the capital of Colombia on the Andes, the weather in Bogota is mild and pleasant. If you want to find a dry climate, you can come between December and January. Another season in which you can find pleasant weather is from June to September. 
  • 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 or temperature that you can find in Bogota has a lot to do with the strategic location of the capital of Colombia in the territory. Being a city surrounded by mountains, its weather or temperature ranges between 8 and 20 degrees Celsius (46.4 to 68.0 °F.) Autumn clothes are perfect to enjoy the weather in Bogota. Of course, always carry an umbrella with you, since rains are frequent in the capital. 
  • Keep in mind that Bogota has an impressive altitude of 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.
  • There are many ways to get to Bogota. Because the capital of Colombia is in the center of the Colombian territory, which is, in turn, the gateway to the South American continent, many flights include a stopover at Bogota’s airport El Dorado. Some of the airlines that arrive to the city are Iberia, Avianca, Air France, Air Canada, Lufthansa, British Airways, and American Airlines. Another way to get to the capital of Colombia if you are on the continent is by bus from countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru.
  • 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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Why visit Bogotá?