The capital city of Colombia, Bogota, is a beating heart and vibrant entry point to the country. Sitting in the Colombian Andes Mountains at over 8,000 feet above sea level, it’s an elevated place to begin a Colombian travel journey. We only spent one full day in Bogota, about 36 hours in total, but we were able to see and do a lot in just a short amount of time. Here are some of the highlights from our trip
Where to Stay – La Candelaria Neighborhood
La Candelaria is a safe and central location to stay in Bogota. It’s about 15-minutes from the airport, close to cool bars and restaurants, and right by the museum highlights. We stayed in an Airbnb that was small but cozy and had everything we needed.
Bogota Things To Do
Museo del Oro
The Museo del Oro (Museum of Gold) is considered one of the top sights in Bogota, as it’s full of gold artifacts from pre-Hispanic Colombia. It’s only $1 for the entry fee, and you can learn a lot from meandering through the museum.
I liked this museum more than the Museo del Oro, and it’s free! It houses a collection of paintings and sculptures by Fernando Botero, a Colombian artist. He is known for his “fat” subjects in many of his works, it’s a great museum to wander through, and the building itself with courtyard gardens is lovely.
The central plaza of Bogota this a big square surrounded by many important buildings, including the Cathedral, the Palace of Justice, and the Capitol. It’s a tourist hub, near some markets, and is the perfect spot to snap a photo with a llama! Definitely be careful with your valuables if it’s crowded, and beware there are tons of pigeons.
Bogota Cable Car and Monserrate Church
This is a great place to get a view of the city, watch the sunset, and enjoy a drink! You can choose between a Funicular or Cable Car to ride up to the top. There are cafes and restaurants to check out, and we got to see some leftover Christmas decorations still up, which was cool. The elevation did end up affecting me surprisingly, I had a short “episode” of feeling very weak and lightheaded, so make sure you stay hydrated. The lines for queuing before riding up can also take a little while, so don’t arrive too late if you want to make it for sunset.
Bogota Restaurants + Bars
A Colombian chain, Hornitos bakery/cafe, is good for breakfast. They have lots of pastry as well as full-meal options and decent coffee. While a fried egg on top of rice and beans and shredded meat isn’t something I’m used to for breakfast, I will say I really enjoyed it, and it was perfect for holding me through the day until dinner.
After seeing the highlights around La Candelaria, we hopped in a taxi and made our way to Zona T, another cool part of town with bars and restaurants. We had a round of beers at Bar Oveja, a hip bar with lots of lovely outdoor seating. There wasn’t a ton to do around here except shop and eat, but it was great to see a different part of the city.
This restaurant was fantastic – we went twice. We shared a ceviche appetizer, and then for dinner, I tried Ajiaco, a typical dish of Bogota that is essentially a thick chicken soup served with avocado and rice. I loved it – it’s a “comfort food” for sure.
Drinks on Carrera 2
This street ran by Gato Gris and was full of different bars, a nightlife hot spot if you’re staying in Bogota. We went to a weird attic bar, which wasn’t all that great, but with plenty of choices on the street, you’ll find a spot if you’re looking to drink.
Overall, Bogota was an excellent start to the trip, and the short time we spent in the city felt like enough to see the highlights. I wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting Bogota, and with more time, you can embark on some day trips around the city that look spectacular, like the La Chorrera waterfall or the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira.