Welcome to Bogotá, a vibrant and bustling city filled with culture, history, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in this captivating capital of Colombia.
From exploring the winding streets of the Old City to taking in breathtaking views from atop Monserrate mountain, there is no shortage of exciting things to see and do in Bogotá. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through one of South America’s most dynamic cities!
Explore the Old City
The Old City of Bogotá, also known as La Candelaria, is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city. This historic neighborhood is home to some of the most beautiful colonial architecture in Colombia and offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s past.
As you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings and charming cafes, take time to admire the stunning facades of centuries-old churches like Iglesia de la Candelaria and San Francisco.
While strolling around La Candelaria, be sure to visit Plaza Bolivar. This bustling square is surrounded by landmarks such as Palacio de Justicia and Palacio Liévano – both impressive structures that reflect Bogotá’s rich history.
For art lovers, there are plenty of galleries scattered throughout the area showcasing everything from contemporary works to pre-Columbian artifacts. And if you’re interested in learning more about Colombian culture, stop by one of several museums nearby like Museo Botero or Casa de Moneda.
Exploring the Old City can be an all-day adventure filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered around every corner. So put on your walking shoes and get ready for an unforgettable journey back in time!
Visit the Gold Museum
The Gold Museum, or Museo del Oro in Spanish, is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Bogotá. This world-renowned museum boasts one of the largest collections of pre-Columbian gold artifacts in the world.
As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll be transported back in time as you learn about the indigenous communities who lived throughout Colombia before European colonization. The intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail on each piece is truly breathtaking.
In addition to gold pieces, the museum also showcases pottery, stone carvings, and textiles from various Colombian cultures. And don’t miss out on the interactive displays that allow visitors to touch replicas of some of these ancient treasures.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate beautiful artistry, a visit to the Gold Museum will not disappoint. Plus, with free admission on Sundays and holidays for all visitors, there’s no excuse not to add this stop to your Bogotá travel itinerary!
Take a cable car ride up to Monserrate
One of the most popular things to do in Bogotá is taking a cable car ride up to Monserrate. This mountain, towering over the city at 3,152 meters above sea level, offers spectacular views of the capital and its surroundings.
The cable car journey itself is an attraction on its own. As you ascend towards the top of Monserrate, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Bogotá’s sprawling urban landscape and lush greenery. It’s definitely not for those who are afraid of heights!
At the summit, you’ll find a beautiful church that has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The Basílica del Señor de Monserrate dates back to 1657 and houses an image of Christ that has become one of Colombia’s most revered religious icons.
Aside from visiting the church, there are plenty more activities to enjoy on Monserrate. You can have lunch at one of several restaurants with panoramic views or browse through local handicrafts at souvenir shops.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try hiking up instead! There are well-marked trails leading all the way up to Monserrate if you prefer some exercise amidst nature. But for those wanting convenience and breathtaking scenery – nothing beats taking this iconic cable car ride!
Shop in the Paloquemao market
Located in the heart of Bogotá, Paloquemao market is a vibrant and bustling hub where locals come to shop for fresh produce. Here you’ll find an array of colorful fruits and vegetables from all over Colombia, as well as meats, cheeses, flowers, spices and more.
As soon as you step into the market, your senses will be overwhelmed by the sights and smells around you. It’s hard not to get excited by all the exotic fruits on offer – from lulos to granadillas – or the fragrant herbs that add flavor to Colombian cuisine.
The vendors at Paloquemao are friendly and happy to talk about their products with visitors. You can learn about different types of coffee beans or sample some delicious tropical fruit juices while wandering through the stalls.
Be sure to bring cash with you since many vendors don’t accept credit cards. And if bargaining is your thing, don’t hesitate to negotiate prices with them!
Shopping in Paloquemao market is a unique experience that should not be missed during your visit to Bogotá.
Check out the Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Bogotá, then look no further than the Botanical Gardens. This serene oasis is located in the heart of the city and offers visitors a chance to connect with nature.
As soon as you step inside this lush green sanctuary, you’ll be transported to another world. The gardens are home to over 5,000 species of plants and flowers from all around Colombia, making it one of the most diverse botanical collections in South America.
Take your time strolling through the various themed sections like medicinal plants, orchids, palms or even carnivorous plants – there’s something here for everyone. Bring along a picnic lunch or grab a snack at one of the cafes onsite while enjoying views that overlook Bogotá’s skyline.
The Botanical Gardens also have an impressive butterfly house where you can see hundreds of species fluttering about. For those who want to learn more about local fauna and flora make sure not too miss out on guided tours available by staff members.
Visiting these gorgeous gardens makes for a perfect day trip away from bustling streets and crowded tourist attractions. Take your time wandering among stunning blooms or learning new things about Colombian nature with informative guides -the experience will surely leave an impression long after your visit is over!
See a show at the Teatro Colon
Teatro Colon is a stunning theater located in the heart of Bogotá. It’s considered one of the most important cultural landmarks in Colombia, and for good reason. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece with its neoclassical façade and grand interiors.
Inside Teatro Colon, you’ll find a world-class venue that hosts some of the country’s best plays, operas, ballets, and concerts. If you have a chance to see a show here during your visit to Bogotá, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
The theater has undergone major renovations over the years but still retains much of its original charm and elegance. From the ornate ceiling paintings to the plush red velvet seats, every detail inside Teatro Colon exudes sophistication and class.
Attending a performance at this iconic venue will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories of your trip to Bogotá. Whether you’re into classical music or modern dance performances, there’s something for everyone at Teatro Colon.
If you’re lucky enough to catch one of their shows during your stay in Bogotá, make sure to arrive early so that you can take in all of the beautiful surroundings before taking your seat for what is sure to be an incredible performance.
Relax in Plaza de Bolivar
Plaza de Bolivar is a beautiful and historic square in the heart of Bogotá. It’s named after the famous Venezuelan revolutionary, Simon Bolivar, who helped liberate several Latin American countries from Spanish rule. The Plaza is surrounded by stunning colonial architecture and filled with lush greenery.
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Plaza Bolivar is perfect. You can relax on one of the many benches or stroll around the fountains while admiring the impressive statues scattered throughout.
The atmosphere here is serene yet lively; street performers often gather to showcase their talents while locals enjoy an afternoon picnic or read a book under one of the giant trees.
There are plenty of food vendors selling traditional Colombian snacks like empanadas and churros, so don’t forget to grab a bite before leaving! And if you’re lucky enough to visit during Christmas time, Plaza Bolivar transforms into an enchanting wonderland with twinkling lights illuminating every corner.
Visiting Plaza Bolivar should be at the top of your list when exploring Bogotá. It’s both historically significant and incredibly tranquil – providing visitors with a much-needed break from busy city life.
Take a food tour
If you’re a foodie, then taking a food tour in Bogotá is an absolute must-do. The city boasts a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that offers everything from traditional Colombian dishes to international cuisines that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
One of the best things about taking a food tour is getting to experience the local culture through its cuisine. You’ll get the chance to try new foods, learn about their origins and preparation techniques, all while mingling with locals who share your passion for good food.
Moreover, there are many different types of tours available catering to various preferences such as street food tours or high-end restaurant experiences. Some tours even take you into people’s homes where you can witness first-hand how they prepare their meals using family recipes passed down from generation to generation.
If you want to truly immerse yourself in Bogotá’s gastronomic scene, then taking a food tour is an excellent way to do it. Not only will it satisfy your hunger but also allow you to discover some hidden gems that otherwise might go unnoticed by tourists.
Visit an amusement park
An amusement park is one of the most fun and exciting places you can visit in Bogotá. Locals flock to these parks on weekends, and visitors from around the world are always amazed by the rides, games, and attractions.
One of the best amusement parks in Bogotá is Salitre Magico. It has over 40 different attractions ranging from thrilling roller coasters to family-friendly carousels. The park also boasts a water park, arcade games, and live entertainment shows.
If you’re not a fan of roller coasters or extreme rides, there are plenty of other things to do as well. Take a stroll through the botanical gardens or watch an animal show at the zoo inside Salitre Magico.
The food options inside Salitre Magico offer plenty of variety too. From classic Colombian snacks like empanadas to international fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC.
No matter what your age or interests may be, visiting an amusement park is bound to give you memories that last for years to come!
Go on a day trip outside of Bogotá
If you’ve already explored all that Bogotá has to offer and are looking for a change of scenery, consider taking a day trip outside of the city. There are plenty of beautiful destinations within driving distance that are worth exploring.
One such destination is the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá. This underground cathedral was built inside an old salt mine and features stunning architecture and artwork. It’s truly a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Another option is the charming town of Villa de Leyva, known for its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Here you can visit historic landmarks like Plaza Mayor or take a scenic hike through Iguaque National Park.
For those seeking adventure, head to La Chorrera waterfall, located just outside of Bogotá in Choachi. The hike to the waterfall is challenging but rewarding – once you arrive at the top, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views.
No matter where you choose to go on your day trip, make sure to pack comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for any outdoor activities. And don’t forget your camera – these destinations offer incredible photo opportunities!
Bogotá is a vibrant city with so much to offer. From exploring the old city to taking in the views from Monserrate, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to relax and enjoy great food and entertainment, Bogotá has it all.
So if you’re looking for an exciting travel destination that’s sure to leave you with unforgettable memories, be sure to add Bogotá to your list of must-visit places. With its rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful parks and gardens, as well as delicious food and vibrant nightlife scene – this Colombian gem is simply not one to miss!