Bogota is the capital of Colombia with a population of around 7 million people. It’s one of the highest cities in the world, at an altitude of 2700 meters. Bogota is recognized for its beautiful green lush mountains and forests, modern and impressive skyscrapers and red brick buildings, and colonial architecture
Arriving at El Dorado Airport
El Dorado Airport is the main airport in Bogota. Before arriving in Colombia, be sure that you have filled out your Colombia immigration form to speed up the process. You can fill it out from Check-mig. Also, make sure you need a visa to Colombia. You can check it out here. Most nationals are visa-free for 90 days or just require an eVisa.
After the immigration and baggage claim, you can go directly through customs to the waiting area. You can use the free WIFI for 30 minutes. There are also atm machines, and it is recommended to draw cash at the airport because it is one of the safest places to do so. The popular taxi apps are Uber and Indrive, but in case you do not have access to the internet, you can take the yellow taxi from outside. The cost of the taxi is around 50,000 COP (12 USD).
Where to stay in Bogotá
For a safe and comfortable visit, stay at the vibrant and historical areas of Chapinero or La Candelaria. Both of the areas are favored by tourists visiting Colombia. They are famous for their hipster, artsy atmosphere, various coffee shops and restaurants, and boutique shops.
For budget-friendly accommodation, stay at Fatima Hostel in La Candelaria (7-20 USD), or Selina (10-40 USD).
What to see in Bogota
La Candelaria is a historical and vibrant area of Bogotá favored by many tourists. It’s full of cafes, restaurants, boutique stores, and well-stored Spanish colonial architecture. The area is one of the oldest areas in Bogotá, dating back to 1538. Many of the tourist spots are located in the La Candelaria area. Additionally, it’s one of the safest areas in the city!
Plaza de Bolivar
Plaza de Bolivar is the historical square located in the center of Bogotá. It was built honoring Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan military and political freedom who led the liberation struggles of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela from the Spanish colonial rule in the 19th century.
At the center of the square, you can admire the statue of Simón Bolívar. The square is surrounded by several important buildings, such as the Cathedral of Bogotá, which serves as one of the most important religious landmarks in the city. Other important buildings are the governmental institutions, such as the capitolio nacional (Congress of Colombia), Palacio de Justicia (Judicial branch), and the Palacio Lliévano (Mayor’s office in Bogota).
During the day, the plaza is filled by street vendors. You can experiment with Colombian street food and drinks, buy traditional handicrafts and art, and enjoy the atmosphere.
You can check our post on how to get to the Montserrate here. Monserrate is a mountain in the center of Bogota. It’s the highest point of the city, at an altitude of 3,153 meters. It offers a spectacular panoramic view of Bogotá and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can visit the mountain top either by cable car (teleferico) or by taking the funicular railway. However, the cable car is only available on Saturday and Sunday.
The price of the funicular and the teleferico is 27.000 COP for a roundtrip and 16.000 COP on Sundays.
At the top of Montserrate, there is a church known as the ”Santuario del Señor Caído de Monserrate”, which also serves as a pilgrimage for Colombians. Entrance to the church is free.
Montserrate also offers several cafes and restaurants where you can admire the view of Bogota, surrounded by mountains.
Admire the street art
Bogotá has some of the most impressive street art in the world. It often represents the political and economic struggles of the country, the indigenous culture, and the Amazonian nature. Street art is available in almost every corner of the city, but the Graffiti District is especially dedicated to it (though it’s not really worth it to visit it, as it is full of warehouses and trucks).
Museo Botero is an art museum located in La Candelaria and it is dedicated to the Colombian artist Botero. The museum has an extensive collection of Botero’s paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Apart from the art, the museum itself is a beautiful colonial-style mansion and worth visiting for its beautiful outlook. The entrance is free and the museum is open every day except on Tuesday.
The Gold Museum (Museo de Oro)
Museo de Oro is the place to go to learn about the pre-Colombian era and the Amerindian culture. The museum showcases an extensive collection of golden artifacts, ceramics, and sculptures created by the Indigenous before the arrival of Spanish colonialists. The entrance fee is 5.000 COP (1 USD) and is located in the La Candelaria area.
Bogotá is an exciting capital city of Colombia, full of contrasts and a combination of Spanish colonial architecture and modernity. Dive deep into the city’s vibrant life by admiring the brilliant street art, beautiful views from the mountain top of Montserrate, rich taste of Colombian food and coffee and learn about the past in some of the Bogotás museums.