10 things to do in Bogotá, Colombia
by Mariacamila Barrera Rodríguez
I was born and raised in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, but It wasn’t until I began traveling, that I realized how amazing my city truly is. Bogotá happens to be a city where history, art, (fast moving) modern life and culture lives. That means that one day you can go to La Puerta Falsa to drink a delicious cup of traditional hot chocolate with cheese and the next day you can go partying to the 85 street and dance Reggaeton with locals. That’s why I decided to create this little guide of 10 things that you must do when you visit Bogotá.
1. Go to Monserrate:
This is the place that every Bogotano would tell you to go. It’s a church built on the top of one of the mountains that surround the city but don’t worry, it’s not a religious plan. Actually, Monserrate has one of the most beautiful views of the whole city, plus you can take a cable car to arrive there. Once you are up there you can find a restaurant, the church, and a tiny flea market.
2. Take a Graffiti tour:
Something curious about this plan is that locals don’t do it because they take for granted the whole graffiti culture in the city. I didn’t even know about it until I talked with a foreign friend! Anyway, I tried it and it’s an amazing plan where you can walk around the city center, see amazing street art and take colorful pictures for your Instagram. Ask in your hotel or hostel for a guided graffiti tour and they will give you detailed information.
3. Drink a craft beer in BBC:
I’m not lying when I tell you that the craft beer from BBC is delicious. As a local, I want to give you two pieces of advice. the first one is to go to a Bodega, where the beer is the same but it’s cheaper only because you have to pay it first. The second one is to ask for the seasonal beer, it is usually the most amazing one.
Also, you should try beer in other pubs, lately the craft beer culture has been growing a lot, and the options are amazing.
4. Visit the gold museum:
If you want to know a little bit more about the history of the city, this is definitely a place that you need to visit. This museum is one of the most popular places for tourists. There you can see beautiful gold pieces crafted by the native people of the region: the Muiscas. It’s important to have in mind that those pieces are from the prehispanic period and tell the stories of the people that used to live here.
5. Go partying with locals:
If you are in Colombia, you cannot leave the country without going to dance the whole night with locals. Did you hear me? Here people love to dance. Besides, the people from Bogotá are not the best dancers in the country so you won’t look too bad dancing with us. Also, if you want to learn how to dance there are plenty of dance schools in the city.
You can go to Andrés D.C. a popular bar and restaurant near the Zona T, and don’t be shy! Talk with locals and dance with them!
6. Drink hot chocolate in the city center:
Bogotá is a cold city the whole year, that’s why It’s always hot chocolate season! Also, it’s a tradition to drink chocolate with cheese and bread (or almojábana) in the afternoon. We call it Tomar onces. You can go to a popular place near the Plaza de Bolivar called La Puerta Falsa.
7. Visit the flea market:
Sunday mornings are the time of the week where Bogotanos go out to walk, run or ride their bicycles. That’s why it’s also the time where flea markets are open. There is one in the city center, next to the Museum of modern art and one in Usaquén. Both of them are great, and you’ll definitely find a beautiful, handcrafted souvenir to buy.
8. Walk around La Candelaria:
La Candelaria is the most traditional neighborhood in Bogotá. You’ll be delighted with the architecture, gardens, plazas, and restaurants in this zone. Some of the most interesting places are the Plaza de Bolivar, the Botero Museum, the Teatro Colón, and the cathedral. Plus, there are a lot of free activities to do there, especially on the weekends.
9. Eat in a restaurant in Usaquén:
Usaquén is my favorite place of the city. It’s a beautiful and traditional neighborhood in the north of Bogotá filled with restaurants, pubs and coffee places. So my suggestion is, walk around and explore, it’s beautiful and safe. Remember that you can always ask for recommendations, locals will be happy to help.
10. Drink Chicha:
The Chicha is a traditional drink of the region created by the indigenous people that used to live here. You can go to the Chorro de Quevedo (in La Candelaria) and try some (you can even try chicha of different colors, it’s pretty weird, but taste really similar). It’s an interesting gastronomic experience that you won’t regret.
I hope that you enjoy your visit!
Don’t forget to try other delicious typical food like ajiaco, arepas, tamales, and empanadas. Or fruits like guanábana, guayaba, lulo, and granadilla. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Oh! I almost forgot. You NEED TO TRY COLOMBIAN COFFEE!
Also, remember to ask in your hotel or hostel for the cultural activities of the week. Maybe you can go to a concert or an art gallery. There’s always something interesting to do in Bogotá. Just talk with locals and ask for advice.
P.S. Remember that Bogotá is a cold and rainy city, so bring appropriate clothes for the weather (A.K.A. Don’t forget your umbrella and a warm jacket).