Looking for the best things to do in Bogota?
Well, Bogota is a mammoth city and not at all the easiest city to navigate.
Whether you’re in Colombia to learn Spanish or just backpacking, you’ll be very interested to know what to do in Bogota within a short space of time.
Quick Answer – Amazing Things to do in Bogota
- Graffiti Tour – One of the best activities in Bogota
- La Candelaria – Narrow streets and attractive architecture
- Food Tour – Famous for many dishes around Colombia
- Museo del oro – An amazing collection of gold
- Plaza Bolivar – People watching paradise
- Usaquen Markets – Filled with stalls selling everything
First, it’s worth knowing that Bogota is the capital and largest city in Colombia. It’s also the capital of the Cundinamarca department.
As I continue my journey of learning Spanish in Latin America. I visited Colombia’s capital as an entry point to begin my journey up towards Medellín.
After unpacking my backpack I began to compile a list of the best things to do in Bogota. Below are some of the landmarks I visited.
1# Cerro Monserrate
I loved this place. You can get a decent view of the city and definitely if compared with other Bogota attractions has the most appeal if you like hiking.
It’s worth going just for the scenic view alone. It’s so high I started to feel dizzy at one point.
Once you get to the top of the hill you’ll encounter a beautiful little garden that provides a stark contrast from the busy streets Bogota.
You’ll also find a cute church at the top and some cool places to buy gifts.
Try not to spend too much of your travel budget on the top of the hill as you’ll find much of the same cheaper in the city.
I took a cable car to the top but you can actually walk. I wanted to walk but because it was wet that day they had closed the step.
Be sure to add Cerro Monserrate to your list of what to do in Bogota Colombia. You’ll love it.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
If you can’t stand heights or tend to feel sick or dizzy at high altitudes and don’t recommend this attraction
2# Bogotá Graffiti Tour
If you looking for one of the best activities in Bogota Colombia look no further. The graffiti tour is one of the best in the country.
If like me you’re a big fan of street art, and can get the tour on a quiet day, it could be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have in Bogota.
Not only will you see Bogota’s street art hall of fame, but you’ll also get to learn the name of every artist.
The knowledgeable guides will also tell you a bit of background information on each artist. You see work of more than 20 unique artists.
I recommend you carry a small notebook or journal to note down the names because with so much inspiring artwork it’s can be easy to forget who’s who.
You’ll learn about the rise of graffiti in Bogota. Not only the struggle of the artist’s vs’s the police.
You’ll hear about how many rising female artists paving the way for newborn street artists. Many of whom use this art-form to depict their story of sexual violence and exploitation.
This tour is on my top things to do in Bogota.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
Hard to do in Bogota but try to avoid booking the tour on a day that it’s raining.
You may also be interested to know that the tour organisers lead tailor-made tours for tourists. Just ask the organisers and you’ll get tours on all aspects of street life. Including food and dining, politics and general culture in Bogota.
So if you’re travelling to Colombia, make sure you add Bogotá Graffiti Tour to your list of cool things to do in Bogota.
3# La Candelaria
If you were to ask me what to do in Bogota for one day. I’d recommend you head straight to La Candelaria. It’s surrounded by tourists and hostels yes.
However, it shows a lively part of Bogota which is popular with young people due to the University in the area.
In my opinion, it’s hard not to fall in love with the little neighbourhood, especially on a nice sunny day in Bogota.
Get your best travel camera ready, you’ll find it’s the old core of Bogotá. Within a few blocks you’ll find amazing and colourful colonial style buildings.
Many of which have some interesting history to accompany them. Definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Bogota if you’ve not been.
Nearby you’ll find a few key sites such as the cathedral, the Plaza de Bolívar and many historic churches.
La Candelaria is made up of many narrow streets and attractive pieces of architecture. If you keep your eyes open you’ll find some quaint little eateries whilst exploring the steep cobbled paths and slope sidewalks.
See the short trip report on my first day in Bogota.
As you may see in my video I stayed in a hostel. This was my first trip to Bogota and it was a good introduction to the capital city of Colombia.
I found the Candelaria safe comparing to other areas. If wondering where to stay in Bogota do your research, you may lose yourself as you explore the city deeper.
It’s by far one of the places to visit in Bogota Colombia you must go.
4# The food tour
If you class yourself as a foodie then the food tour is by far one of the most fun things to do in Bogota Colombia. Bogota is famous for many dishes around Colombia one been Ajiaco.
I usually like to explore the market by myself without help. However like with some other countries I’ve visited in Latin America I get stuck on what to eat because I don’t know the local dishes.
The local market in Bogota is very big and many locals don’t recommend going there alone. So the food tour gives you a great alibi to get to know it through a local food expert.
You’ll also learn many new things about the city whilst stuffing your face. It’s one of those touristy, non-touristy things to do in Bogota. Where you get the best of both worlds.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
Mark my words, do NOT eat anything before the tour. The idea is to arrive hungrily and leave happy with a full belly
5# Museo del oro
For some people, it’s seen as one of one the top things to do in Colombia. I agree it’s an interesting place to visit.
Especially if you’re already in the La Candelaria area but I’m not sure if I’d put on on my list of fun things to do in Colombia.
The museum holds an amazing collection of gold that can be seen from before the colony.
The exhibition spreads across 4 floors and you’ll a great collection pieces of small and large gold items. There are audio tours and informative videos content to sit down and watch in the Pronunciation Room.
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This place is one of the most important points of interest in Bogota, especially for people who like history and want to know more about the prehispanic culture in Colombia.
See how the natives worked metals and its connexion with politic and religion.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
Go here on a Sunday for free entrance. Downstairs can be a quiet place to enjoy a coffee if you have time.
You’ll also find many Pre Colombian gold art pieces. Expect to get a rare glimpse into the ancient civilisations of Colombia.
Most of the information is presented in English. Which is always good to know especially if you are not yet fluent in Spanish or thinking of learning Spanish.
6# Zona T, Zona Rosa
Do you like to party? Or looking for things to do in Bogota at night, then Zona T awaits you. Also, know as the Zona Rosa.
Not only will you find a huge concentration of bars, pubs and clubs but also many other activities to do with your time in Bogota Colombia. For example, it’s home to some of Bogota’s best shopping Centres.
I personally didn’t party in Bogota but I walked around this area at night and witnessed the shenanigans for myself.
If you do make it to the are make sure you check out Museo del Chicó it’s a hidden gem tucked away in a park. You’ll a hacienda and a enjoy strolling around the lovely surrounding gardens.
It’s worth noting there’s also a surrounding public park called Park 93 with a playground perfect if you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for an hour or so.
7# Usaquen Markets
I love the markets. If you’re still wondering what to see in Bogota, there’s nothing like getting lost inside a local market.
Speaking with the locals in Spanish and grabbing a street snack from them is my thing to do. After I like to wander around whilst taking in the vibe.
The market stall start around 10 AM if you’d like to arrive early you can see all the vendors setting up and probably scoop yourself some early bargains.
You can easily spend 2-3 hours here just looking at all the crafts on sale
💡 Smart Travel Tip
Please note: The Usaquen Flea Market is only open on Sundays also it’s best to arrive early as possible
What I like most about these type of markets is that you can haggle the price. The Usaquen Market is a colourful and exciting place to find unique souvenirs that you may not find elsewhere.
You’ll find the streets are filled with stalls selling everything from crafts to clothes, jewellery and much more definitely one of my favourite things to do in Bogota.
You’ll find the neighbourhood Usaquen is a beautiful place! Filled with fantastic shops and restaurants with a variety of cuisines, styles and prices.
There’s literally something for everybody, so now you know exactly what to do in Bogota on Sunday.
#8 Plaza Bolivar
The Plaza Bolivar or Plaza de Bolívar in Spanish is a very important square in Bogota – just by walking there, you can feel the importance of its location.
The Plaza is home to some impressive and very important buildings such as the Congress, City Hall, the Supreme Court and the Cathedral.
If you’ve been to Buenos Aires this is like Colombia’s version of Plaza de Mayo Square. It should be on your list of things to see in Bogota even if you’re just passing through.
I sat on the main steps and did my fair share of people watching.
In the big square, you’ll see lots of people and even more pigeons. Actually, I think there are more pigeons than people.
There’s also a big cathedral nearby, all the surrounding area is surprisingly busy, all day long. Even first thing in the morning trying to get that perfect Instagram shot, you’ll encounter people there.
It’s mainly filled with locals, tourists and some street vendors. If looking for cheap things to do in Colombia I always go to these type of spots because I find them very entertaining.
I would say this is one of the best things to do in Bogota. But it’s just a stones-throw away from La Calendaria so it’s well worth a visit. The plaza is very photogenic with numerous historic buildings, so make sure you get your Instagram selfies here.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
There are many beggars and pickpockets who operate in this area so watch your pockets, especially in the most crowded times.
Best things to do in Bogota
Now you have a good idea of the best places to visit in Bogota. If you are only visiting as part of a layover and curious to know what to do in Bogota for one day.
However much time you have I urge you to check out La Candelaria as your starting point. Maybe you’ve already been to Colombia and looking for new things to do in Bogota.
Soon I’m going to create a more advanced guide of places to see in Bogota that are a little more outside the normal things to do in Bogota for travellers.
There’s are also some interesting places to visit near Bogota that have appeal for backpackers and travellers that I will show you.
If you want to read my personal story where I talk about the best things about Bogota and my experience backpacking in South America check out my post on how I stayed safe in Bogota.
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