Why you should go to Bogota!

Bogota on a high plateau in the Andes is Colombia's capital and at 8,529 feet (2,625 m) the world's fourth loftiest capital after Bolivia, Ecuador and Bhutan. A bustling metropolis mixing colonial and modern, it offers visitors museums, restaurants, shopping malls, nightlife and a good base for day trips. Bring a sweater. The average temperate is 58 °F (14.5 °C) with the coolest nights in January and March the warmest month. Most mornings begin with fog followed by few totally sunny days. In April, May and September through October - the rainiest months - skies are overcast.

Bogota's airport, one of the most modern in Latin American, is a popular transit center; but the recent peace treaty ending more than a half century of guerrilla conflict is likely to encourage more than layovers. Tourists in the capital need to remain alert to possible robbery, mugging and pickpocketing, but security has improved significantly in recent years.

Bogota has a number of distinctive neighborhoods with the most affluent in the north. Touted as the hot, new LGBTQ destination, the Chapinero gayborhood is a flourishing hub of LGBTQ culture and entertainment and location of the country's only LGBTQ community center. One of Latin America's most foreword-thinking countries in LGBTQ legislation, Colombia decriminalized homosexual activity in 1980. The annual June Pride Parade in Bogota, begun in 1982 with a handful of celebrants, attracts as many as 2,000 marchers. Homophobia still surfaces, but public displays of affection between same sex couples are not uncommon.

Nightlife

Theatron, possibly the largest gay nightclub in Latin America, has 13 rooms of live music, DJs, pool tables, themed bars and a sex shop. Built on five levels around an...
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The Colombian-based crêperie chain, started by two universities students in 1980, has multiplied throughout the city, the country and Latin America and into Spain. It...
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Nightlife

Top Colombian and international DJs make El Mozo the place to "rumba" or party. It draws a good-looking, chic crowd for dinner, dancing, cocktails or coffee. The terrace...
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Restaurant

Wok is a chain of Asian-fusion restaurants, which focuses on national ingredients grown by Japanese immigrants. It adds a Colombia spin to cuisines from Vietnam,...
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Nightlife

The Bogota Beer Company - Bogota's largest craft brewery - has about a dozen English pub-style bars and grills around town including locations in Usaquén and Chaperino....
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Things to do

The Botero Museum opened in 2000 with an art collection donated by Fernando Botero, including 123 of his own works and 85 of prominent international artists like Picasso...
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Nightlife

El Recreo de Adàn (Adam's Recreation) is a laid back bar that offers karaoke, live entertainment, a musical mix, colorful cocktails, food, shisha, table games and easy...
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Things to do

Next door to the Museo Botero, the 10-room Casa de la Moneda houses the Banco de la República's impressive numismatic collection, which also tells the story of the...
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Nightlife

Cine Tonalá is a small arthouse cinema that shows Colombian, Latin American and international films often in v.o. with Spanish subtitles. It comes with a bar, a Mexican...
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Things to do

All that glitters is gold at the Gold Museum, which boasts the world's largest collection of pre-Columbian gold objects. A highlight of the collection is the Muisca Raft...
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Things to do

The Salt Cathedral - the first wonder of Colombia - is a Roman Catholic church built in the tunnels of a salt mine in a mountain about 30 miles (50 km) from Bogota. It...
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Nightlife

Baum is an underground club that plays techno to a youngish crowd, IDs checked at the door. Sponsor of an annual festival, it features top talent and regularly hosts...
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Things to do

With over 1 million books, the Luis Ángel Arango Library is one of the most important public libraries in Latin America as well as a cultural draw. It includes a concert...
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Nightlife

Casa Babylon, popular with foreigners, is a reggae and dancehall disco in two rooms with the second floor opening after 10 pm. On the scene since 2005, it sponsors an...
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Nightlife

A LGBTQ favorite for its Wednesday parties, Cavu has live DJs, drag shows, happy hour until 10 pm and no cover from 6 pm to 9 pm.
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Things to do

In a park setting, the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Cultural Center and Library has an open reading room perfect for a quiet interlude, an exhibition hall, theater and...
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Restaurant

A taxi ride northwest of downtown, Dhaba specializes in Punjabi cooking with popular Indian dishes on the menu. Cash only.
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Nightlife

Disco Jaguar is a good party spot that devotes one room to electronic, the other to more traditional music. Decor is kitsch maximalist with a touch of baroque. It also...
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FX Pizza Gourmet is a mini-chain in business since 1974. It also serves lasagna, salads and dessert pizzas. Other locations are in Tesaquillo and Modelo Norte.
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Since 1995, the Gato Negro terrace has been a great spot for people-watching in Parque de la 93 while grabbing a bite. The old colonial home also has a intimate inside...
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Nightlife

The minuscule Indie Cave gets packed on the weekends with fans of alternative and indie sounds like shoe gazing, new wave, Indie electro, grunge, garage, post funk. Open...
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Restaurant

A two-story restaurant with a rooftop terrace overlooking the park, La Fabbrica serves traditional Italian cuisine, pasta made in house. It has an ample wine list and a...
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Restaurant

The Bogota version of Gastón Acurio's La Mar Cebicheria has the same classy decor as the Lima original, tasty Pisco Sours and a good ceviche selection. One of the...
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Matiz has had a rotation of great international chefs since it opened in 2004. In an ivy-covered mansion with a waterfall in the garden, the refined restaurant offers...
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Things to do

Bogota past and present is on display at the Museum of Bogota, now housed in a recently renovated 1780 colonial residence. Growing out of the Museum of Urban...
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Nightlife

The Radio Transistor Bar is a friendly venue for drinks and independent, alternative and emerging music.
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Restaurant

The Argentine chef at Restaurants Kutral serves generous portions of grilled meats, pasta and vegetarian specialties. It is popular with locals and students and has an...
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Nightlife

The upscale Pub offers good music, atmosphere and local beers on tap. Cocktails and small bites also on the menu. Good for small talk and people-watching, it has other...
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Nightlife

Good for ambiance and cozy conversation, Village Café has been a good place to start - or finish - the night since 1997. Channeling the spirit of a New York City...
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Things to do

Mercado de Las Pulgas en Usaquén is less flea and more arts-and-crafts market with live music and stalls selling handicrafts, home goods, antiques and artisan food. A...
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Things to do

Hacienda Santa Bárbara, an upscale mall built around a colonial hacienda, has cobblestone squares, fountains, stone paths and the flavor of a small Colombian village....
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Things to do

Take a jacket when heading up Monserrate, the mountain lookout 10,341 feet (3,152 m) above sea level. A pilgrimage site since the 17th century, it can be reached most...
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Nightlife

About 15 miles (23 km) or a 45-minute drive north of Bogota, Andrés Carne de Res is famous for its steaks and seafood bar, but people make the trek to party in a...
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Things to do

The cobble-stoned Bolívar Square features a mid-19th century bronze statue of Simón Bolívar, the first public moment in the city. Around the square stand historical...
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Things to do

Centro Comercial Santafe has a nearly 500 shops, a large food court, a casino, multiplex cinema, a Jumbo supermarket and an ice-skating rink. Northeast of the city...
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Things to do

The three-story El Retiro Mall is full of high-end shops like Carolina Herrera, Jimmy Choo and Versace. La Plaza de Andrés, its gourmet fast-food court is by the same...
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Things to do

On the north side of town near the country club set, Unicentro Shopping Mall carries international products and has a diverse food court, bowling, cinema and a 24/7...
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Restaurant

Like its famous parent Andrés Carne de Res in Chia, Andrés DC in the El Retiro Mall is a madcap steakhouse with a kitschy decor and circus-like mood. Every employee from...
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Things to do

Chicaque, member of the National Nature Reserves, is a magnificent cloud forest with hiking, birdwatching, camping, horseback riding and panoramic views. Less than an...
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Restaurant

In Bogota's Greenwich Village, the colorful Gaudí - honoring the Barcelona architect - has the looks and the taste of Spain. Its extensive menu features 30 kinds of...
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Restaurant

La Puerta Falsa is a hole-in-the wall that's been in business since 1816, which puts it in the running for the oldest restaurant in the country. Its tamales and hot...
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Things to do

Park 93 or Parque de la 93 is an upscale commercial and recreational park just north of the Zona Rosa or Zona T nightlife quarter. Depending on the hour, it is great for...
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Things to do

Twice the size of New York's Central Park, the Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park is really five parks where you can find a sports complex, botanical garden, huge library,...
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Nightlife

Babylon Baths is a well-equipped sauna and nude bar with video, relaxation and dark rooms and spa services. The over 4,000 square foot (400 m2) facility has an attire...

Things to do

Bamba Regalos & Diseño is a colorful shop full of creative gifts, home decor items and designs from Colombia, India, Indonesia and Mexico. not to mention coffee,...

Hotel

The Bogota Marriott is 10 minutes from the airport and 7.5 miles (12 km) from the Zona G gastronic district. The 239-room hotel offers the usual Marriott amenities, a...
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Nightlife

Formerly the Blues Bar, Boogaloop is a partying place with a cool decor, live music, DJs and a US$10 cover. The sound is crossover and spans from folkloric beats to...

Nightlife

Recalling the movie in both name and decor, Brokeback Mountain Café is small and intimate bar for conversation and subtle music, good for a coffee, food, drinks and...

Restaurant

Despite the name, Café Renault isn't a French restaurant. Its expansive international menu focuses on Italian and sushi. Its terrace looking out on the park is also expansive, drawing a somewhat dressy, well-heeled clientele.

Hotel

The adults-only Casa Quinta Hotel in an historic building is walking distance to all the main downtown attractions. The 18 rooms are small with a rustic decor. The...
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Restaurant

The romantic Casa San Isidro in a colonial home on Monserrate has a panoramic terrace and live piano music. Its extensive international wine list complements...

Things to do

The Gabriel Garcia Márquez Cultural Center, designed by Rogelio Salmona, opened in 2008 to celebrate the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude." It has a Juan Valdéz...

Things to do

The Andino Shopping Center, which dates from the early 1990s, remains the city's ritziest malls with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Coach, Tiffany, Lancôme...

Things to do

The largest mall in the country and third largest in Latin America, Centro Mayor is on the south side of town. In addition to shopping, it is an entertainment center...

Things to do

In the mid-70s, Bogota initiated the world's first ciclovía - turning over major city streets temporarily to cyclists, runners, skateboarders and pedestrians. Today the...

Nightlife

Opened in 2008, Color House Café Bar is a favorite with the LGBT community for coffee or drinks. The daily happy hour runs to 9 pm.

Restaurant

Criterión, run by brothers Jorge and Mark Rausch, is a regular on best-restaurant lists. Featuring an ever-changing menu, it adds a Latin touch to classic French...

Restaurant

The casual Distrito Gayina is the spot for sampling the best of Colombian criolla cuisine like caldo de costilla (beef rib broth), a famous hangover cure. It is also...

Restaurant

Known for its top-quality meats, El Fileto also serves pasta, risotto and vegetarian dishes, the Italian touch carried out in its Tuscan decor. The chef offers cooking...

Things to do

El Tren de la Sabana with its steam and diesel engines is a heritage train that takes tourists on a trip to the past. The railway company, launched in 1889 to link cities around Bogota, was liquidated in 1991, but service on its northern line was preserved. Saturdays and Sundays it makes a round trip between the Sabana...

Things to do

Espacio Odeón is an arts center, sponsoring exhibitions, film, theater, workshops and a contemporary art fair promoting emerging artists. It opened in 2009 in the...

Hotel

Four Seasons entered the Bogota market with a multi-million restoration of the Casa Medina, a classic 1945 building designed by Santiago Medina Mejia with a curving...
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Restaurant

Run by the brother of Grammy-winning Carlos Vives, Gaira Café Cumbia House celebrates the cuisine and music of coastal Colombia. Decorated with Colombian music...

Things to do

Colombia's famed emeralds make up 70 to 90 percent of the world trade, but buyer beware. Stones guaranteed for quality and authenticity can be found at Galeria Minas de...

Restaurant

Harry Sasson, one of Colombia's first celebrity chefs, serves his take on Colombian and international cuisine in a historic mansion with a Tudor look. Bill Clinton and...

Hotel

The neighborhood around Fatima Hostal can be a little sketchy at night, but it is clean and secure with hot water showers, free salsa lessons and twice-weekly karaoke....
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Hotel

The 14 rooms at Hostel Pink are rented by the hour, evening, 24 hours or long term. They come with private baths, hot water and amenities like condoms and lubricants....

Hotel

Catering to gays and lesbians, Hotel Boutique San Sebastian is decorated with a Pop Art theme and colors inspired by the Pride flag. It features a honeymoon suite and...
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Hotel

Across from the San Carlos Palace, the Hotel de la Opera has historical ambiance and a top-floor restaurant with regional cuisine and terrific vistas. Its 42-rooms...
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Hotel

In an upscale residential area on the north side of town, the ivy-covered Estelar La Fontana gets high marks for its service and its central courtyard, which fills with...
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Hotel

Small and basic, the 31-room Hotel Regina is within easy walking distance of the Gold Museum and Plaza Bolivar. It offers a rooftop terrace and self-service laundry.
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Things to do

The José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden - the largest in Colombia - abounds with orchids, the country's national flower. Covering about 50 acres (20 ha), it has themed...

Restaurant

Colombian coffee is famous world over, but you can sample it all around town in various Juan Valdez Cafés which like Starbucks are favorite meet up spots. Juan Valdez in...

Hotel

Along with the expected brand amenities, the JW Marriott Hotel Bogota boasts the underground La Mina, probably the best hotel restaurant in the city, and a bar menu...
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Things to do

La Candelaria neighborhood in the center of downtown Bogota is the "old city," rich in cultural attractions and well-preserved colonial, baroque and art deco...

Things to do

La Redada is a fun cultural space run by an artists' collective. It offers a little bit of everything: workshops, multi-disciplinary studios, movies, live music,...

Things to do

Lake Guatavita, 45 miles (75 km) northeast of Bogota, is a picturesque crater lake, whose pre-Colombian history inspired the El Dorado legends. It was once a holy spot...

Restaurant

At Leo, Leonor Espinosa, Colombian's most famous female chef, uses local ingredients like coroso (a palm tree fruit) and yacón (snails and fried ants) and forgotten or...

Things to do

Maloka is an interactive science and technology museum geared for children. West of Simon Bolivar Park, it has nine rooms, each with a different topic and activities,...

Restaurant

Candle-lit and with an open fire, the Merlín Café presents a romantic setting with a touch of whimsy - its walls are decorated with dragons and goblins. Specializing in...

Nightlife

Moza is a lesbian nightclub with mariachis, 2X1 cocktails and no cover on Thursdays. Weekends there's a 35,000 peso (c. US$12) cover and a free open bar until 1 am....

Things to do

The Banco de la República opened a permanent exhibition of 20th century Latin American and European art in 2004 on the second floor of a three-story "white box" designed...

Things to do

The Archaeological Museum displays a collection of pre-Columbian art including ceramics from a long lost 2,500-year-old site. It is housed in Casa del Marqués de San...

Things to do

The Colonial Art Museum in a 17th century Jesuit building displays everyday objects along with works in gold and silver. The art collection includes oil paintings,...

Things to do

The pioneering La Salle Natural Science Museum, founded in 1910, couldn't be more current today. A window on Colombia's biodiversity, it offers a permanent exhibit with...

Things to do

Colombian fashion from different regions, classes and periods fills the Regional Costume Museum, established and documented by a Colombian anthropologist beginning in...

Things to do

Opened in 1982, the Military Museum is housed In 18th century building that belonged to Antonio Ricaurte, an Independence War hero. It has displays tracing the...

Things to do

The three-story National Museum, the oldest and largest museum in the country, has 17 permanent exhibition rooms, highlighting Colombian art and history from...

Hotel

The Teleport Royal is in the multinational Teleport Business Park, 30 minutes from the airport and convenient to restaurants, shopping and business appointments....
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Hotel

Óle Mi Casa Hostal has 25 rooms with either private or shared bathrooms as well as fully-equipped apartments that sleep four. It has a smoking terrace, a playground and...
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Nightlife

An upscale restaurant on five level, Salto del Angel is a party place come sundown. On the northwest corner of Park 93, it draws weekend crowds of the young and...

Restaurant

Anthony Bourdain discovered Tomás Rueda's Tábula in 2013 and the world followed. Inspired by Catalan cuisine, chef Santi Santamaria, Ruedin - a former rocker turned chef...

Things to do

The neoclassical Colon Theater - Colombia's national theater - dates from the 1890s and is the oldest standing opera house in South America. Renovated in 2014, it is a...

Local tips

Horseshoes With A Bang

Tejo, second only to soccer in popularity, centers on throwing a metal disc (tejo) towards small triangular targets on a...

Not Your Granny's Chicken Soup

Unlike its Cuban and Peruvian versions, Ajiaco (a-hi-a-co) - the Bogota specialty is a hearty soup of chicken, three kinds...

Altitude Ups and Downs

Bogota is the world's fourth highest capital but no need for bottled oxygen. Just take it easy for a day or two and avoid...

20 community reviews / Bogota

General impression
Excellent
LGBT-friendly
Good
Jessica Mendoza has been to and rated Bogota

Added 2 days ago