17 Best Things to do in Bogota, Colombia

best things to do in bogota colombia

Don’t be put off by Bogotá’s huge, busy cityscape. The Colombian capital is historically significant and full of tourist attractions. It also has a stylish, hip, and even fashionable side. Bogotá is located in South America. It is a truly cosmopolitan metropolis, from its weekly Ciclova cycling path through the streets to its upmarket districts filled with fantastic restaurants, parks, and good nightlife. On the other hand, you’ll like all of the real culture, markets, and street art that you’ll experience daily. You may also go out of town for day excursions to colonial villages, gorgeous lakes, and spectacular waterfalls. Below are the things to do in Bogota, Colombia.

Stroll Through La Candelaria

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Image credits: Exoticca

Being that La Candelaria is the historic city center, this is the first thing visitors do when they arrive in this American country. It is one of the best things to do in Bogota, Colombia. These vibrant, bohemian streets are close to several tourist sites. The neighborhood may be a touch dangerous at night, so keep an eye out for pickpockets. Explore the cobblestone lanes, which lead past gorgeous Spanish colonial houses and university halls, as well as street art and a few cathedrals. In addition, have a drink and people-watch at one of the numerous pubs, cafés, and restaurants in the neighborhood; there are many famous Colombian artists and musicians

Visit the Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum)

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The Museo del Oro in Bogotá, is the city’s most popular (and arguably most intriguing) museum, with over 30,000 pieces of gold on display. Also, discover how these people found, mined, and worked metals to create jewelry, masks, bowls, offerings, and armor. Learn about the symbolic and spiritual significance of gold’s everyday applications. In addition, the entire museum is amazing and mind-blowing. The entry cost is reasonable for such a dramatic and comprehensive insight into the past.

Climb Monserrate

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Climbing Monserrate is one of the things to do in Bogota, Colombia. To get to this amazing perspective of expansive Bogotá, walk the hard steps up the hill (or use the funicular). There’s a little white chapel at the summit, but the true draw here is ascending Cerro Monserrate and seeing the city from above; just remember to keep hydrated and conscious of the altitude. Up top, there are a few pricey luxury restaurants. Also, there is also a snack bar where you can get beverages and snacks while admiring the views. But be cautious who you go with; Colombian folklore around the hill claims that couples who visit Monserrate together will never marry.

See the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

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The Salt Cathedral is located in the hamlet of Zipaquirá, approximately an hour outside of Bogotá. Viewing The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is one of the best things to do in Bogota, Colombia. This whole church was cut deep below in a salt mine and has worship alcoves and brilliantly illuminated crosses. It’s also rather large, resembling a little town buried 590 feet (180 meters) beneath the surface with places to dine and shop for souvenirs. Arrive early to avoid the crowds, sign up for one of the many excursions. Afterward, spend some time exploring the surrounding historical town.

Take a Bicycle Tour of the City

Bike tours around Bogotá are one of the things to do in Bogota Colombia; however, they may not seem like the greatest thing to do in a huge, bustling city. They’re a great opportunity to explore a few spread-out communities and that you might not have visited on your own. Also, from fruit markets to Tejo games to the Plaza de Toros and a coffee break, you’ll get a taste of many different sections of the city (literally in some cases). The guides are fantastic at delivering stories and keeping you safe. Also, riding a bike amid heavy traffic is a lot simpler than you may expect. Bogotá Bike Excursions offers two daily tours from La Candelaria.

Take a Day Trip to Villa de Leyva

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Image credits: Cartagena Explorer

Get out of the city and see one of Colombia’s most charming small colonial villages. This charming hamlet features a large central plaza, cobblestone streets, and well-maintained Spanish architecture. While you’re here, see Casa Terracotta, a fully functional house built entirely of clay that many consider being the world’s biggest piece of pottery. There’s also a fossil museum and a vineyard on the property. If you wish to stay the night, there are lots of boutique hotels to choose from; however avoid the weekends because this is when the tourists from Bogotá come to visit, and the place gets busy.

Play Tejo

Tejo, Colombia’s national sport, is a game involving gunpowder, targets, and loud explosions. You should certainly play a couple of matches while you’re in Bogotá, as a few beers generally accompany it. Heavy metal disks are thrown across the room (approximately 20 meters) towards little gunpowder-filled targets embedded in clay. Suppose you’re keeping score, hitting one results in a loud bang, shouts, and points for your squad. If you wish to play, go to Club de Tejo La 76 and go upstairs for “mini Tejo,” where novices will have an easier time hitting the targets. Some Bogotá cycling excursions may include a visit to a Tejo establishment.

Discover the National Museum of Colombia

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Image credits: Colture

This is the country’s oldest and largest museum, located in the center of Bogotá. It was built in 1823 and now houses approximately 20,000 works of art and historical relics, some of which date back to 10,000 BCE. The structure was originally built as a jail until 1946, when it was converted into a museum. This museum is a must-see for history buffs or anybody interested in learning more about the country.

See the Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen

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Image credits: Travel Coffee Hot

La Candelaria is home to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Carmen, a Gothic church. The chapel is decorated with a red-and-white striped pattern on the outside and interior, giving it the appearance of a big candy cane. It was built between 1926 and 1938. The church rises over 60 meters tall and has amazing Byzantine and Moorish architecture.

Wander Plaza de Bolívar

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See where government business is conducted in the heart of this capital city. Colombia’s Palace of Justice, the Capitol Building, the Cathedral of Bogotá, and the city mayor’s office are all located on this huge, pigeon-infested plaza. There will be a lot of police there, but this is only for security reasons because the Presidential Palace, the Palacio de Narino, is also located near the area. To get the most out of your stay here, learn a little about Colombia’s history, from its battle for independence to the days of Pablo Escobar’s siege of the Palace of Justice.

Bogotá Graffiti Tour

You may be asking why a tour is required to see graffiti that can be seen all around the city. However, during this trip, you’ll see murals by some of Bogotá’s most well-known street painters, who portray compelling depictions of the city’s culture, challenges, and people. All tours are conducted in English, with customized excursions in Spanish or German available. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to learn about Bogotá’s urban environment and culture. Even though there is no charge, it is traditional to contribute.

Take a Colombian coffee tour with Andes EcoTours

For coffee aficionados, this excursion is compulsory. Colombia is recognized for producing some of the world’s greatest coffee, thanks to its high altitude, mild temperature, and fertile soil. Also, it provides the ideal conditions for growing high-quality beans. The journey will take you from Bogotá to the nearby hilly regions, where you will see a lovely family farm surrounded by lush vegetation and friendly people. From planting and harvesting to roasting and brewing, it covers everything. In addition, you’ll get a taste of some of the greatest freshly ground coffee you’ve ever had.

Visit Andrés Carne de Res

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Image credits: Style and Stories

It’s more than a restaurant; it’s an adventure. It is among the best things to do in Bogota, Colombia. Andrés Carne de Res is located in Chia, a little hamlet outside of Bogotá, but there is also a restaurant in Zona Rosa. When you’re ready for a crazy night out, join a large group or book a vacation with a hotel or hostel that will transport you. In addition, the mood is like a carnival or circus, with loads of bright decor, cocktails, confetti, and even parades, thanks to the many themed rooms. 

Visit Laguna de Guatavita

Want to get away from the city and reconnect with nature? Lake Guatavita, located north of Bogotá and surrounded by lush undulating hills, is the birthplace of the El Dorado legend and a spiritually significant region for local indigenous communities. To reach the rim of this crater lake for views of the water below, go through the biodiverse, jungle-like Paramo. Also, if you want to get about and learn more about the Muisca people, the story of the golden kingdom, and the flora and wildlife of the area, hire a tour.

Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park

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Image credits: Colture

Simón Bolivar Park is the city’s largest and most important national park; it hosts concerts thanks to its open-air theater, but its primary mission is to provide a fantastic recreational space for residents. It is one of the best things to do in Bogota, Colombia. In a 280-acre expanse, you may play sports, go for a run, or simply rest in the park’s green areas or alongside one of the lakes. There are also numerous tracks for cycling, running, and walking. Along with El Virrey Park, which is located in the Zona Rosa, it is particularly popular on Sundays or when nine-to-five workers enjoy their spare time, such as lunch breaks.

Check out the Museo de Botero

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Image credits: Afar

The Museo Botero houses one of Latin America’s most notable art collections. Also, Fernando Botero gave hundreds of his works to the Banco de la Repblica de Colombia with the promise that the museum will display his work to the general public. In addition, along with his paintings, the contribution featured works by Monet, Picasso, and other well-known painters.

Wander the Usaquén Market

Every Sunday, artists offer a variety of local crafts and items along the cobblestoned streets. While this is technically a flea market, it is a little better and more affluent than some of the other markets.

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