The Best Things To Do In Bogota

Written By: Oliver Payne

As the capital city sitting in the upper altitude of Colombia, Bogota is often a major travel destination for those coming to the region. What makes this thriving city center so popular? One look upon arrival and you’ll capture a glimpse of what gives Bogota its charm and personality. From the cobblestone streets to the colonial-era architecture that still stands throughout the city, Bogota is a growing metropolis with plenty to offer residents and tourists alike. Aside from the popular public squares, filled with historic buildings, merchants and lively ambiance, there are countless museums and landmarks that will fill any trip to Bogota with interest and fun.

One of the first stops during a trip to Bogota should be to vibrant Bolivar Square, which is surrounded with gorgeous architecture and constantly a source of things to see and do. Located in the center of the historical part of the city, Bolivar Square is within walking distance to nearby public markets and the famous cathedral, La Candelaria. At any point in time, the Square can also be the site of activities or protests for those who live in Bogota. Are you the type of traveller who loves to visit museums to learn more about a destination? This Colombian city has a wide range of interesting destinations – from the Museo Botero, which is a lovely museum situated in a colonial mansion and highlights a collection of artwork from natives and international artists, to the Gold Museum, displaying a variety of exhibits of stones, gold and ceramics dating back to earlier centuries.

Of course, there’s more to Bogota than just the museums and cultural landmarks. The surrounding landscape – Andean peaks – gives the region a unique beauty and view when you venture out into the hiking trails and outdoor recreational opportunities. The growing city is also home to numerous hotels, bars and restaurants – ideal for those who love to immerse themselves in a region and enjoy the area as a local. Bogota, like many other South America destinations, has an interesting blend of old and new – check out all the traditional aspects of Colombia while also engaging in new and innovative experiences.


Historic Old Town (La Candelaria)

Head down to the hub of Bogota – La Candelaria (Historic Old Town) – where history and hipsters intertwine into an eclectic mix of museums, cathedrals, markets and bars. Stroll the streets and take in the street art and entertainers that are dotted along the way. And as the sun starts to sink, try the chicha bars, where you can either relax or join in the party atmosphere!


Museo Botero

Take time out from the hustle and bustle of Bogota and spend some time at Museo Botero, admiring the magnificent collection of art donated to the State by the famous artist Fernando Botero. There are over 200 works, including originals from the donor, and international masters such as Renoir and Monet. Entry is free, and the audio tour is only a few dollars!


Plaza de Bolivar

As you tour Bogota, you are sure to come across the city’s central plaza, Plaza de Bolivar. Come for the markets, and stroll around the many stalls selling unique examples of local handicraft, or come just to admire the statue of Simon Bolivar, one of the country’s heroes in the liberation from the Spanish. The plaza is close to many landmarks, so it’s the perfect place to start your day as it will not be too far from your next stop.


Mount Monserrate

Towering over the city, Mount Monserrate is a great place to get fantastic views and explore the famous Basilica del Senor de Monserrate. Take the funicular or cable car to the peak, or for those needing some exercise, take the walking trail instead! Once you arrive, enjoy the sweeping views, and if possible, be there to experience a magnificent sunset. Explore the beautiful church and then relax in one of the many restaurants before heading back down.


Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

The history of this land comes alive at the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), with four floors of fantastic and valuable gold artefacts on display. Gold has long been an integral part of the country’s past, and the enormous amount of treasure on display will take you through the amazing history of manufacturing and metallurgy, and tell the fascinating stories of pre-Colombian mining.


La Catedral Primada

Join the locals on Sunday and enjoy a service at La Catedral Primada; first established in 1538 by the Spanish. Initially a humble place of worship, it has evolved over the years to become the proud structure that stands today, and is one of the largest cathedrals in the country! Admire its neoclassical architecture and the peaceful white washed interior.

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