If you ask a group of people whether Bogota is worth visiting, you’ll probably get a number of different answers. Bogota seems to be a bit of a ‘love it or hate it’ city.
Some people see the beauty in Colombia’s capital, whilst others perceive it as a grey city where they don’t feel that safe. The only way to find out who’s right is to experience Bogota for yourself.
If you’re visiting Bogota soon, you’ve come to the right place. After reading this guide, you’ll know which area to stay in, where to find the best restaurants and how to get around the capital city of Colombia.
Also, check out our list of the best activities in Bogota!
Is Bogota worth visiting?
Bogota is a big city that varies greatly depending on what district you’re in.
Visit La Candeleria and you’ll be surrounded by colourful colonial houses, incredible graffiti and plenty of museums to keep you entertained for days.
Hop over to Chapinero for some luxury, nightlife and grand malls.
Bogota has some of the best nightlife in Colombia. It’s home to one of the largest nightclubs in South America — Theatron.
There are a number of walking tours that you can take in Bogota: food tours, historic tours, even bike tours. This can be a great way to start learning about Colombia and understanding what this country is all about.
How many days should you spend in Bogota?
During your time in Colombia, you’ll probably stop in Bogota. A lot of international flights land here, and there are often domestic connections through the city.
It may not be everyone’s favourite city (Medellin seems to capture most people’s hearts), but we would recommend giving Bogota a chance and spending some time here.
About 2-3 days is enough time to visit a few of Bogota’s unique neighbourhoods, meander around some museums and explore Bogota’s famous sites. Look for inspiration in our guide to the top things to do in Bogota.
Where to stay in Bogota
Bogota is a huge city, with lots of districts. Each one has its own personality, attractions and characteristics. Safety also varies depending on which area you choose.
All of the neighbourhoods mentioned below are great places for tourists to stay in. That’s the amazing thing about Bogota — there’s pretty much a perfect neighbourhood for everyone.
Here are our top 3 areas to stay in Bogota:
Location #1: La Candeleria — the best place to stay in Bogota
Best for: admiring incredible street art and colourful buildings, and learning about the history.
Who is it for: those who want to be close to everything. Candeleria is the heart of the city and home to plenty of restaurants, cafes and sites to see.
Don’t miss: some of the best cafe’s (plus the best coffee) and restaurants in Bogata.
Biggest downside: Whilst it’s a very touristy area, you still need to be careful and watch out for your safety.
Accommodation in La Candelaria
As La Candeleria is one of the most popular places to stay in Bogota, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
Here, you’ll find small, local hotels set within colonial buildings, Airbnbs and a lot of hostels.
La Casa de Las Plazas is a great and affordable option within the La Candelaria area for $24 per night for 2 people. You can also find private rooms starting at $15 per night.
Location #2: Chapinero — the place to party
Best for: fancy restaurants, clubs and bars situated in a safe neighbourhood.
Who is it for: those that are worried about safety in Bogota. Chapinero is where Bogota’s most affluent residents reside, so security is high and the streets much safer.
Don’t miss: ‘Chapigay’! Chapinero has the largest gay population in Bogota. There are plenty of gay clubs, glamorous nightclubs and vibrant bars. Not to mention lots of delicious upscale restaurants.
Biggest downside: it’s home mostly to affluent Colombians which isn’t a true representation of life in Colombia.
Accommodation in Chapinero
Chapinero is where you’re going to find some of the best hotels in the city. It’s an affluent area that has attracted more luxurious and expensive hotels.
Don’t worry if you’re on a budget and still want to stay here. There are good quality hotels starting from $20 per night.
One of our favourite options to stay in the area is Apartamentos Plaza Suites.
Location #3: Zona Rosa — shop til you drop
Best for: nightlife and shopping! Zona Rosa is a specific area within Chapinero that is famous for its parties.
Who is it for: travellers who want to be close to some of the best parties in Bogota.
Don’t miss: a shopping trip to one of Bogota’s huge, modern and glamorous malls.
Accommodation in Zona Rosa
Zona Rosa is one of the nicer neighbourhoods in Bogota. For this reason, there are mainly luxury and boutique hotels here.
Similar to Chapinero, private rooms cost around $20 per night.
Where to eat in Bogota
Bogota is a huge city offering restaurants from all across the world. On one street you’ll find a cheap local eatery, whilst on the next an international, fine dining restaurant.
That means you can get a taste of everything. It also means that it can be hard to decide where to eat in Bogota.
To solve that problem for you, here are our 3 favourite restaurants in Bogota to grab a drink or some delicious food:
La Puerta de la Catedral — a great place to try the local dish ajiaco
If you want a place popular with the locals, where you’ll see tables reserved for large Colombian family celebrations, then eat at La Puerta de la Catedral.
Inside, the restaurant is beautiful, with an elegant colonial style and a balcony looking over the street below. La Puerta de la Catedral is one of the best places to try the very popular Colombian dish, ajiaco. The portion size is huge, so make sure that you’re hungry.
Prudencia — delicious and creative fine dining in Bogota
Prudencia is a delicious fine dining restaurant, serving dishes from all over the world. Their creative dishes bring together various cultures and ingredients, whilst incorporating traditional Colombian flavours.
The restaurant offers set menus that change frequently. Prudencia is a popular restaurant in Bogota, so we recommend making a reservation in advance. They’re only open Thursday-Sunday.
Arte y Pasion Cafe — could this be the best coffee in Bogota?
When you think of Colombia, you probably also think of great coffee. This isn’t actually the case. Most of the best coffee produced in Colombia is exported. This means that to get a really good cup of coffee, you need to visit a proper coffee house.
Arte and Pasion Cafe is just that! These guys know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee, and that’s why they’re one of the most popular cafes in Bogota. From Chemex to good old espresso, they brew top-quality Colombian beans in a number of ways.
How to get around Bogota
Bogota is a sprawling city. It covers 1,775 km² and just keeps on growing.
Luckily, Bogota also has a good public transport system, which makes getting around the city pretty easy.
Here are the best ways to get around Bogota:
If you’re staying in La Candelaria, you might not feel the need to leave and explore other areas of the city. La Candeleria is a very walkable area, with narrow cobblestone streets that are mainly pedestrianised.
This is the same for Chapinero and Zona Rosa. Once you’re in the area, your own two feet can get you pretty much anywhere you need.
However, we would only recommend walking around during the day. Taking a taxi at night is the safer option.
Everywhere you look in Bogota you’ll see yellow taxis roaming the streets. Taking a taxi can be an efficient and comfortable way to move between the different neighbourhoods of Bogota.
If you’re arriving at the airport or bus terminal, make sure to take a taxi from the authorised taxi line. These will have a metre and are safer than a taxi off the street.
Using Uber in Bogota
Uber is our preferred option in Bogota. It’s often cheaper than traditional taxis, safer and is easier to order.
The only problem is that Uber is actually illegal in Colombia. This doesn’t stop them from operating, though. To keep up appearances, you might have to sit in the front seat and may not be able to get in the Uber right outside the airport or bus terminal.
With a population of around 8 million people, Bogota needs a pretty big public transportation system.
Bogota’s main bus system is called TransMilenio. These are buses that run all over the city, connecting the airport, La Candeleria and other neighbourhoods on the outskirts.
The great thing about the TransMilenio buses is that most of the time they have their own lanes. This allows them to bypass a lot of Bogota’s infamous traffic.
How to use TransMilenio buses
We’d recommend downloading the Moovit app. Figuring out which bus line to use can be difficult, but Moovit makes the process simple.
To use the TransMilenio buses, you’ll need to purchase a multi-use card for 5,000 COP ($1.20). These can be bought at all TransMilenio stations.
You then top this card up. Each ride costs 2,400 COP ($0.60).
How to get to Bogota
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Cali||1.5-11 hours||from 80,000 COP ($20.00)||Cali to Bogota|
|Medellin||1.5-11 hours||from 68,000 COP ($17.00)||Medellin to Bogota|
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Bogota. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of things to do in Bogota. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Bogota.
In Colombia’s capital, you’ll find plenty of stylish and clean hotels that offer great value for money. Location is important in Bogota because some areas aren’t recommended to stay in.
Top tip: Don’t spend too much time looking into accommodation in Bogota. The capital is somewhere you’ll probably only want to spend 1-2 nights anyways.
Here are our favourite places to stay in Bogota:
93 Luxury Suites Residences - Treating Yourself
Are you dreaming about sleeping on an extremely comfy bed after your long flight? 93 Luxury Suites will make you feel rejuvenated within a night.
The next morning you can go for a little workout in their in-house gym or watch a movie in their 17-seat cinema room. After staying here, you’ll be ready to start your Colombian adventure.
- Onsite restaurant and bar
- Gym facilities
- Clean and spacious rooms
- Great location
Double rooms $80+ per night
Apartamentos Plaza Suites - Mid Range
Apartamentos Plaza Suites is a great value for money pick, with extra amenities such as a gym, restaurant, bar, lounge and sun terrace.
With nearly perfect reviews, the immaculate and comfortable rooms offer an excellent sleep thanks to the high quality mattresses.
- Super comfortable bed
- Onsite resturant and bar
- Fitness centre
- Great location, close to a park
Double rooms between $40-$80 per night
Hilton Garden Inn Bogota Airport - Mid Range
If you have always wanted to stay at a Hilton hotel, but haven’t yet, this is your chance. In Bogota, you can stay at a Hilton Hotel for much less than normal.
The hotel has everything you could possibly need: sauna, hot tub, gym, an international restaurant and a terrace with amazing views of the city. All of the rooms are bright, modern and luxurious.
- Sauna and hot tub
- Great views of the city
- Close to the airport
- Buffet breakfast included
Double rooms between $40-$80 per night
Bog Urban - Budget Friendly
If you’re looking for somewhere stylish and modern, but without that luxury price tag, don’t look any further than Bog Urban.
Near Downtown Bogota, you’ll be in an excellent location. Close to everything, but without the noise. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, plus you can add a delicious breakfast for only $2.
- Comfortable and spacious rooms
- Excellent location
- Delicious and filling breakfast available
- Attentive and friendly staff
Double rooms between $20-$40 per night
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