Bogota Travel Guide

Bogota, Colombia: Our detailed 2020 guide from how to get there, best tours, the must-sees and much more!

Bogota Brief Summary:

  • The capital city of Colombia
  • With 8 million people, it is also the largest city in the country
  • Located in the Andes, Bogota is 2,640 meters above sea level
  • The name Bogota comes from the Spanish pronunciation of the indigenous settlement that lived in the area.

Table Of Contents

  1. How To Get To Bogota – Compare transportation options.
  2. Sightseeing and Tours in Bogota – Best museums and areas with cultural art.
  3. Museums in Bogota – Best museums and areas with cultural art.
  4. Nightlife in Bogota – Good places to go for a drink.
  5. Bogota Safety Tips – Some tips to stay safe in Bogota.

How To Get To Bogota

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  • Flights to El Dorado International Airport. It is advised to take either a taxi or an airport bus to the tourist district. 
  • Public buses which arrive in the city
  • Colombia Hop bus, which drops you off directly to your hotel/hostel in tourist districts. 

El Dorado International Airport is found 14 kilometers outside of the city and is the largest airport in Colombia and most likely where any international flights will land. It is advisable to take a taxi from the airport to the city. Be aware the Uber is illegal in Colombia, and while you can still find cars, it is not as safe as it is in other countries. 

Colombia has a complex bus system and there are three main terminals where transport arrives, one in the North of the city, one in the South, and one in the center. As with all bus stations, it is advised to watch your belonging at all times and to stay aware of your surroundings.

Colombia Hop offers a safe option for making your way to Bogota with stops along the way to appreciate the real beauty of Colombia. With a variety of passes to choose from, all including an onboard bilingual guide to assist you, you will be glad to have discovered so many gems on the road to Bogota. Best of all, Colombia Hop will drop you off right at your hotel/hostel’s door wherever you visit.

Sightseeing and Tours in Bogota

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  • Climb the Monserrate, the mountain in the city center with a church on top. This is one of the best ways to get an unforgettable view of the city!
  • Visit Plaza Bolívar and soak up the feel of the historic buildings in this beautiful public square.
  • Lose yourself in the history of the city in one of the many museums, from the National Museum of Colombia to the Museum of Gold. 
  • Appreciate nature in Bogota’s botanical garden. Enjoy orchids, waterfalls and plenty more in this incredible place of nature.
  • Spend some time at the Laguna de Guatavita, a spiritually significant place for indigenous people, and a beautiful day trip from the city. 
  • Explore the historic center of La Candelaria and appreciate the beautiful colors of this bohemian area. 
  • Visit the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, found underground inside a salt mine. An incredible exploration and beautiful feat of engineering for everyone to appreciate. 

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With a wealth of different things to see, do and appreciate in Bogota, you will not be left wanting for anything here. From the bustling city and its magnificent views to its colonial streets, the capital city of Colombia is a hub for travelers. Settled between beautiful rolling hills and with cobbled streets leading you through the city, Bogota is unforgettable.

Colombia is a country that struggles with its reputation, and the people of Bogota have worked very hard to change the image that it had several years ago. You can take a walking tour of the city to find out plenty of information about the history and the culture from a local, discover some of the best places to eat incredible Colombian food, and fall in love with Colombia. 

Another great thing about Bogota is its proximity to some incredible adventures. From the underground salt cathedral which draws 3,000 people every Sunday to pray, to the Guatavita Laguna, which is said to be the birthplace of the legend of El Dorado.

Museums In Bogota

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  • The Gold Museum is said to be the most impressive museum in all of the city. With over 3,000 pieces of gold, people come from everywhere to see the incredible collection.
  • The Botero Museum is a great exploration of the famous artist Botero. Enjoy some of his best works and sculptures for the afternoon. 
  • The National Museum of Bogota is a great place to explore some of the history, art and culture of Colombia. With an enormous collection, you can explore everything this country has to offer. 
  • Santa Clara Museum was a church until 1968 and now acts as a museum. One of Colombia’s most decorated and oldest churches, there is a lot of history to discover here.

Nightlife In Bogota

Nightlife in Bogota is focused in one party area that is known as “Zona Rosa/Zona T”. Zona Rosa is a safe neighborhood that is great to stay in if you are looking to party while staying in Bogota. 

The second best, and slightly cheaper option when it comes to where to stay and where to party in Bogota is Chapinero. This is a student area and so you can expect to enjoy an authentic Colombian night out.

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Bogota Safety Tips

While the people of Colombia have been working hard to improve the reputation and the safety of their country, there are still precautions that you should take, similar to every large city.

Keep your valuables close to you and don’t flash them about, make sure to take taxis at night. It is also a known scam that “plain-clothed police officers” will ask to inspect your passport or your money. They will then declare them as fake and confiscate them. If someone does approach you and ask to inspect your belongings, find the closest uniformed officer and ask them to confirm. This will most likely make the thief move on.

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