What to see in Bogotá and surroundings


We will try to propose what to see in Bogotá In one or two days. The capital of Colombia offers many options to visitors, from magnificent museums, squares of sublime beauty, charming neighborhoods and viewpoints that can see the entire city. We will also comment on some places to visit on the outskirts of Bogotá in case we have been wanting more,

What to see in Bogotá and surroundings

What to see in Bogotá and its surroundings

A brief review of the history of the name of the city

Bogotá was founded by the Spanish conquerors in 1536. Initially Bogotá was called Our Lady of Hope, but it quickly changed to the name of Santa Fe. As Santa Fe was a very common city name, it was decided to add years later the indigenous name of the region, calling itself Santa Fe de Bogota.However, until independence with Spain did not arrive, the name would not become official at all.

Even so, the name was in conflict with another population called Bogotá and today is called Funza. Given the importance of Santa Fe de Bogotá, the name was changed to the current Funza and Bogotá was left as the capital. Curiously, between 1991 and 2000, the name of Santa Fe de Bogotá was renamed, and then at the turn of the century it was renamed as only Bogotá. That is why we will see many car license plates with the old name of the city.

What to see in Bogotá

We have visited Bogotá several times and in recent years the city has changed for the better. Although traffic problems continue and public transport does not work perfectly, Bogotá is a city of contrasts where modernity clashes with traditions. Rich neighborhoods where costs are skyrocketing and working-class neighborhoods where prices are really affordable.

If we can list things to visit, the list would be endless. As Bogotá is a very large city, it is best to focus the list on a series of surrounding neighborhoods so that we can move on foot without taking any type of transport.

1 Bolivar Square and Bogota Cathedral

With the hill of Monserrate in the background, the cathedral of Bogotá In the Plaza de Bolivar it is an obligatory step in every visit to the city of Bogotá. Its privileged place, a step away from the main monuments, is the perfect place to start our visit to the capital of Colombia.

What to see in Bogotá - Plaza Bolivar

2 National Capitol

The headquarters of the national congress is housed in the National Capitol. A building rich in architecture and the works of art that are stored there. Your visit is guided and must be requested in advance. In addition, these are usually only Fridays, although there are special cases for other dates.

What to see in Bogotá - National Capitol

3 La Candelaria

It is perhaps the most popular neighborhood in Bogotá and where a good number of travelers are staying, especially backpacking. In fact it is a perfect place to walk, have a beer and enjoy urban art in many of its streets.

What to see in Bogotá - Candelaria

4 Cerro de Monserrate

It is by far the most visited monument in Bogotá and in turn the most famous viewpoint. Its views of the capital are fabulous, more than 3000 meters above the hill Monserrate and the monastery of Santa Maria de la Cruz de Monserrate of the seventeenth century.

What to see in Bogotá - Cerro Monserrate

Such is the number of visitors that has been created to a tourist market and a series of restaurants where you can taste different Colombian dishes.

What to see in Bogotá and surroundings

More information the following article: Visit the hill of Monserrate in Bogotá

5 Gold Museum

Next to the Botero Museum and the National Museum of Colombia, the Gold Museum is part of the club of the best museums in Bogotá. Dedicated exclusively to gold, many of them discovered by the conquerors and created by pre-Columbian civilizations, the gold museum is a magnificent place to know part of the history of Colombia.

What to see in Bogotá - Gold Museum

6 Botero Museum

Fernando Botero He is possibly the most famous artist in Colombia. Although he does not currently reside in his country, his works of art have placed Colombia in the spotlight of many looks. Botero and his easily recognized art, you may like it or not, but it will certainly not leave us indifferent.

What to see in Bogotá - Botero Museum

7 The Salt Cathedral

The main monument of Colombia is 45 kilometers from Bogotá. A gigantic salt mine under the mountains ofZipaquira keep a spectacular cathedral of Sal. Several hundred meters underground, we will visit a spectacular via crucis Until you reach the cathedral.

What to see in Bogotá - Salt Cathedral

It is a must see although for this we have to rent a car or take a train from the city. An adventure suitable for those who are not very claustrophobic.

What to see in Bogotá

More information in the following article: The impressive Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

8 Nemocon Mines

Another large salt mine, not far from Zipaquirá is the Nemocón Mine. Here instead of visiting a large religious temple, the mines have been left as is and is the best place to feel like a miner. Its conservation is so good that even the film starring Antonio Banderas, the 33, was shot here.

What to see in Bogotá - Minas de Nemocón

More information in the following article: Visit to the Nemocón salt mine

Practical data

Before leaving for Colombia

  • Guide of the Lonely Planet of Colombia
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in Colombia with a 15% discount

When to go to Bogotá?

Bogotá has a mild and sometimes cold climate. Its altitude of 2600 meters and its high rainfall make Bogotá have a different microclimate with respect to the main cities of Colombia. Therefore a jacket and an umbrella should always be at hand in case the flies.

Bogota tours

In Bogotá there are all kinds of tours, from free to all kinds of guided tours.

See Tours in Bogotá

How to get around Bogotá?

Through Bogotá we can travel by taxi, Uber, bus and the famoustransmilenio. The latter is a replacement to a non-existent subway by buses. In his favor is that he uses special lanes where cars cannot drive. Therefore it is an ideal transport for long journeys.

Today there is a war between taxi drivers and Uber, as in many other cities. We used Uber and Taxis, being the first one more effective but not perfect.

Another detail to know is the system of beak and plate. Where certain license plates cannot circulate on business days. These restrictions are due to the high level of traffic where, in general, it is necessary to leave in time if we have unforeseen events.

Where to eat in Bogotá?

The most popular place in Bogotá and especially crowded by tourists isAndres Beef. A chain of restaurants with a very peculiar atmosphere and where you eat frankly well. There is one in the city, on 82nd Street and another in the town of Chia A few kilometers from the city. The latter is the original and the one that we frankly recommend after visiting both establishments.

Typical dishes to taste:

  • Patacón pisao: crushed fried banana.
  • Tray paisa: a gigantic dish based on shredded meat, sausage, arepa and other elements.
  • arepas: depending on the region the ingredients of Arepa and Arepa itself may change. I recommend it with cheese.
  • Empanadas: fried and prepared with corn arina. Stuffed with meat, chicken or cheese. Accompanied by Colombian chili pepper.
  • Panela water: panela, lemon and water. A very replenishing drink
  • Cinnamon: another drink with panela but based on brandy! A classic
  • Ajiaco and Sancocho: Bogotá is a city of soups and a strong soup could not be missed.
  • Cheese and Chocolate Hot for breakfast. Also Yuca or Bono bread are other great options for breakfast.
  • Wafers near the Plaza Bolivar.
  • Coffee Colombian: a coffee can not miss that by the way they call it red.
  • Sweet Guayaba: guava sandwich. Perfect as a nutritional supplement for when we play sports.

Where to sleep in Bogotá?

It all depends on the type of neighborhood to use. The north is modern and quiet, although it is normal to stay in the Candelaria (historic center) where the main monuments are located and the offer is immense.

  • Selina la Candelaría: option with multiple prices, economic and medium / high price. Very careful hotel with a lovely patio.
  • Hotel Casa de la Vega: located in a renovated colonial building. Spacious and clean rooms.
  • Arche Noach Boutique Hotel: hostel with different room types, very careful and with good prices.
  • Yepeto Hostel: very economical and great option. The only but is that it is a little removed from the historic center but can be reached without problems walking.

Is Bogotá safe?

Bogotá can be considered as a safe city especially in the historic center. If you travel during the day and do not go with expensive objects such as a reflex camera around your neck, we can feel really comfortable. At night you must exercise caution especially in areas far from the center and poorly lit.

Should I change money in Bogotá?

Many establishments do not accept a credit card, but in most of the restaurants around the Plaza Bolivar and on the hill of Monserrate are admitted. Therefore it is advisable to get money. This can be done at the many ATMs in the city where the change is usually good, except for the airport ATMs where we should not get money.

Travel insurance

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