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.

Theatron

Theatron

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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Bogota Beer Company

Bogota Beer Company

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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El Mozo Night Club

El Mozo Night Club

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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Crepes & Waffles

Crepes & Waffles

Restaurant

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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Wok

Wok

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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Village Café

Village Café

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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Hacienda Santa Bárbara

Hacienda Santa Bárbara

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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Andrés Carne de Res

Andrés Carne de Res

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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Gaudí

Gaudí

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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Monserrate

Monserrate

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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Andrés DC

Andrés DC

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...
Babylon Baths

Babylon Baths

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...
Bamba Regalos & Diseño

Bamba Regalos & Diseño

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,...
Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango

Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango

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...
Bogota Marriott (Airport)

Bogota Marriott (Airport)

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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Brokeback Mountain Café Bar

Brokeback Mountain Café Bar

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...

Café Renault

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.
Casa Quinta Hotel

Casa Quinta Hotel

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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Casa San Isidro

Casa San Isidro

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...
Cavu Bar

Cavu Bar

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.
Cento Cultural Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Cento Cultural Gabriel Garcia Márquez

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...
Centro Comercial Andino

Centro Comercial Andino

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...
Centro Comercial Santafe

Centro Comercial Santafe

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...
Centro Mayor

Centro Mayor

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...
Chicaque Parque Natural

Chicaque Parque Natural

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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Color House Café Bar

Color House Café Bar

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.
Distrito Gayina

Distrito Gayina

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...
El Fileto

El Fileto

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...
El Retiro Mall

El Retiro Mall

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...
Four Seasons Casa Medina Bogota

Four Seasons Casa Medina Bogota

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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Gaira Café Cumbia House

Gaira Café Cumbia House

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...
Galeria Minas de Colombia

Galeria Minas de Colombia

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...
Gato Negro

Gato Negro

Restaurant

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...
Harry Sasson

Harry Sasson

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...
Hostal Fátima

Hostal Fátima

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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Hostel Pink

Hostel Pink

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 Boutique San Sebastian

Hotel Boutique San Sebastian

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 de la Opera

Hotel de la Opera

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 Estelar La Fontana

Hotel Estelar La Fontana

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 Regina

Hotel Regina

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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Jardín Botánico José Celestino Mutis

Jardín Botánico José Celestino Mutis

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...
JW Marriott Hotel Bogota

JW Marriott Hotel Bogota

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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La Puerta Falsa

La Puerta Falsa

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...
La Redada

La Redada

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,...
Maloka

Maloka

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,...
Matiz

Matiz

Restaurant

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...
Merlín Café

Merlín Café

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...
Museo Arqueológico

Museo Arqueológico

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...
Museo Botero

Museo Botero

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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Museo del Oro

Museo del Oro

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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Museo Militaire

Museo Militaire

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...
Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

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...
NH Collection Bogota Teleport Royal

NH Collection Bogota Teleport Royal

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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Óle Mi Casa Hostal

Óle Mi Casa Hostal

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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Park 93

Park 93

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...
Plaza de Bolívar

Plaza de Bolívar

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...
Salt Cathedral

Salt Cathedral

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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Salto del Angel

Salto del Angel

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...
Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park

Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park

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,...
Tábula

Tábula

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...
Teatro de Cristóbal Colón

Teatro de Cristóbal Colón

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...
Unicentro Shopping Mall

Unicentro Shopping Mall

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...

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...

5 community reviews / Bogota

General impression
Good
LGBT-friendly
Good
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Getting around

Bogota is a great sprawling city built on an imperfect grid, but most of the places visitors frequent are on the north side of town in Chapinero, Usaquén and Suba. Traffic can be frustrating, but walking may be the only transportation needed to explore the Chapinero gayborhood and major historical sites. Considering engaging a car and driver by the day through the hotel concierge to get about town and go on side trips. El Dorado International Airport, about a 20-minute taxi ride west of the city, is the third busiest in Latin America with international travelers arriving at the El Dorado terminal (T1). Domestic flights by Avianca, the national carrier, leave from the Puente Aereo terminal (T2). 

Cars may be reserved before arrival from major international agencies, often at less than a local hire, for pick up at El Dorado International Airport. Have on hand a valid driver's license from your home country, passport and credit card with at least US$1000 available. Check in advance to see if you must buy insurance. Car rental companies also have offices in the city. Be aware that rentals don't come cheap and that comfortable public transportation options for day trips exist.

Bogotá has an extensive bicycling network covering almost all the city. North-south ciclovías - cycleways - are mostly flat, east-west have some incline. With a capital "C," the Ciclovía takes over much of the city between 7 am and 2 pm every Sunday and holidays as major streets are reserved for cyclists, walkers and skateboarders, a pioneering tradition begun in the 1970s.

The Bogota Metro is still on the drawing boards. It is expected to be operational by 2022.
Bogota is served by the world's largest bus-based rapid transit system. Transmilenio operates from 5 am to midnight Monday through Saturday and 6 am to 11:15 pm on Sundays. Twelve routes add up to 70 miles (112 km) at fares under US$1. Also, SiTP (Sistema Integrado de Transporte Público) was introduced in 2015 to standardize the operation of private buses. Color-coded maps in stations can be confusing, but there's also a Transmilenio y SiTP app, showing how it all fits together. Fares are paid with smart cards.

Authorized taxis are yellow and may be hailed on the street or picked up at the airport. Taxis may also be ordered by phone or with apps such as Easy Taxi and Tapsi. Taxis are metered, but the number on the meter refers to the number of the cost zone applicable to your trip. To determine the fare, match the zone number to a laminated conversion table hanging off the back of the seat. Generally taxi drivers aren't tipped. Uber has been available since 2013.