Destination guide: Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is the state capital, but it's also a center for business, education, and tourism. Located high in the mountains, Bogota is a unique city with a rich cultural heritage.

If you enjoy culture or art, fly to Bogota and explore La Candelaria, Bogota's primary historical district. You can explore colonial landmarks and experience famous local traditions, such as the brunches and flea markets in the historical district on Sundays.

  • Bogota - Things to do

    Sights

    Iglesia de Santa Clara

    Today open as a museum, the Church of Santa Clara is probably the most representative of Bogotá's colonial churches. Built between 1629 and 1674 as a part of the Poor Clares Convent, the church is a single-nave construction topped with a barrel vault painted with floral motifs. The walls are entirely covered with paintings (more than 100 of them), statues of saints and altarpieces, all dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Sub-Type:Museum
    Telephone Number: +57 1 341 1009
    Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 Tue-Fri, 10:00-16:00 Sat & Sun
    Pricing: Admission US$1
    Address: Carrera 8 No 8-91, City Center 

    Museo del Oro

    Housed in a modern building facing Plaza de Santander, the Gold Museum contains more than 34,000 gold pieces from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. It is arguably the most important gold museum in the world.

    Latitude: 4.6016959003558 / Longitude:-74.0720236301422
    Sub-Type: Museum
    Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00 Tue-Sat, 10:00-16:00 sun
    Pricing: Tue-Sat US$1 Sun admission free
    Address: Calle 16 No 5-41, City Center

    Jardín Botanico José Celestino Mutis

    West of the Parque Simón Bolívar (reachable by foot via a pedestrian bridge over busy Av 68, then past the El Salitre sports complex), the Jardín Botánico José Celestino Mutis has a variety of national flora from different climatic zones, some in gardens and others in greenhouses. Airport-bound buses along Autopista El Dorado pass by near the gardens

    Sub-Type: Gardens
    Opening hour : 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat & Sun
    Address: Calle 63 No 68-95

    Museo Nacional

    Museo Nacional, Centro Internacional's principal attraction, is housed in the expansive, Greek cross–shaped building called El Panóptico, designed as a prison by English architect Thomas Reed in 1874. Walking through the (more or less) chronological display of Colombia’s past, you pass iron-bar doors into white-walled halls.

    Latitude: 4.6156303738013 / Longitude:-74.0686869621277
    Sub-Type: Museum
    Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun
    Pricing: Adult/student COP$3000/2000
    Address: Carrera 7 No 28-66

    Plaza de Bolívar

    The usual place to start discovering Bogotá is Plaza de Bolívar, the heart of the original town. In the middle of the square is a bronze statue of Simón Bolívar (cast in 1846), the work of an Italian artist, Pietro Tenerani. This was the first public monument erected in the city. In the center, beside the 1846 bronze statue of Bolívar (of course), are flocks of pigeons that dive-bomb anyone within 50m of the square - a hat is a good idea.

     Latitude: 4.5981026227174 / Longitude:-74.0758430957794
    Sub-Type: Square
    Address: Plaza de Bolívar, City Center

    Eat

    Andante Ma Non Troppo

    A café and restaurant serving pastas and the best bread in La Candelaria.

    Sub-Type: Café
    Telephone Number: +57 1 342 3237
    Opening Hours: 08:00-20:00
    Price range : Low
    Address: Carrera 3A No 10-92, La Candelaria

    Andrés Carne de Res

    Hang onto your hats. This legendary steakhouse blows everyone away – even repeat visitors – for its all-out-fun atmosphere with decent steaks and all sorts of surreal decor and designed gimmicks such as menus retracting from the rafters. For most, it’s more than a meal – but a leave-the-watch-at-home expanse of late-night rumba.Staff will get you on the floor if you resist joining in.

    Sub-Type: Steakhouse
    Telephone Number: +57 1 863 7880
    Opening Hours: noon-3am Fri-Sun
    Pricing : Meals from COP$35,000
    Address: Calle 3 No 11A-56, Chía

    La Puerta Falsa

    This is Bogotá’s most famous snack shop – with displayed multicolored candies beckoning you into the tiny spot that’s been in business since 1816. Grab a sticky breva candy, eggs or tamales for breakfast, or sit with chocolate completo (hot chocolate with cheese, buttered bread and a biscuit; COP$4000).

    Sub-Type: Café
    Opening Hours: 7am-11pm Mon-Sat
    Pricing : Candies COP$1000, meals COP$4000
    Address: Calle 11 No 6-50

    Café de la Estacion

    A unique address, this is an old train car converted into a tiny café in the middle of the city. Coffee and snacks available.

    Sub-Type: Café
    Opening Hours: 07:00-22:00 Mon-Fri, 09:00-20:00 Sat
    Address: Calle 14 No 5-14, City Centre

    Saloon

    The most popular bar on the Calle 51 'student street.' The cover charge includes vouchers for four beers. Up and down this street you'll find several other student-packed watering holes

     Sub-Type: Pub
    Opening Hours: 15:00-02:00 Mon-Sat
    Address: Calle 51 No 7-69, Chapinero
       

    San Andresito

    One of Bogotá’s biggest shopping areas is San Andresito, which spreads over several city blocks. It’s packed with a couple of thousand stalls that have almost everything that can be bought in Colombia. It is one of the cheapest places to buy video, hi-fi and TV equipment, computers, film and photographic gear, watches, cassettes and CDs, and clothing and footwear. Urban buses and busetas go there from the center – you can catch them on Calle 19.

    Sub-Type: Shop
    Opening Hours: 9am-6pm
    Pricing: Free
    Address: Carrera 38 btwn Calles 8 & 9

    Pasaje Rivas

    A couple of blocks west of Plaza de Bolívar, this nontouristy craft market is a good spot for cheap buys, including lots of straw hats, T-shirts, toy figurines, baskets and ruanas (Colombian ponchos). The entrance next to Iglesia de la Concepción reads "Pasaje Paul".

    Sub-Type: Market
    Address: cnr Carrera 10 & Calle 10

    San Miguel

    Open for 70 years, and with many old-timers milling over new options, this classic hat maker is the best of the bunch on the block. Mostly felt fedoras or cowboy hats pressed before your eyes.

    Sub-Type: Market
    Opening hours: 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10am-2pm Sun
    Address: Calle 11 No 8-88