20 Best Things to Do in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota, Colombia
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See also: Where to Stay in Bogota

The capital city of Colombia, Bogota is studded with trendy attractions that tourists will surely fall in love with.

It's a diverse city with a remarkable culinary scene, adventure opportunities, and gorgeous natural sights.

In the last decade, Bogota has changed a lot.

Formerly a lesser-known travel destination, it is now a hip cosmopolitan city that has grown into quite an attractive spot for tourists.

Once you visit the city, you will get to experience its rich culture, along with its exquisite marketplaces, splendid waterfalls, quaint villages, and some breathtaking lakes.

Interested in finding out what else the city has to offer?

These are the best things to do in Bogota, Colombia:

Have a Golden Time at Museo del Oro

Gold sculptures in Museo del Oro
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Museo del Oro, also known as the Gold Museum, is probably Bogota's most popular tourist attraction.

The museum is home to more than 30,000 pieces of gold excavated from Columbia.

Exterior of Museo del Oro
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Apart from gold, the museum houses a lot of fascinating gold artifacts.

These include various other excavated items, such as jewelry, armory, masks, bowls, and more.

The presentation is exceptionally well done and will immediately grab your attention the moment you step foot inside the museum.

Golden exhibit inside Museo del Oro
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Walk around La Candelaria's Colorful Streets

A street at La Candelaria, Bogota
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Walking around La Candelaria is like taking a step back in time, as it is essentially Bogota's historical center.

At the same time, it's easily the hippest area in the city.

A vintage car along the street of La Candelaria
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Tourists are particularly in love with its cobblestone streets and colorful Spanish-style buildings.

The vibrant neighborhood is filled with street art, cathedrals, restaurants, and bars.

You can always hear live music playing around the corner and spot several artists finishing up brilliant street art.

Colorful buildings at La Candelaria
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Climb the Majestic Cerro Monserrate

View of the city from Cerro Monserrate in Bogota
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Cerro Monserrate is a steep mountain that overlooks the entire city of Bogota and offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic views.

When you reach the top, you will see a small white church.

The church of Cerro Monserrate
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While many people visit Cerro Monserrate just for the climb and the views, the church is also worth visiting.

You'll spot some certain pricey restaurants when you climb up the mountains, but you will also be able to get your hands on some affordable snacks along the hike.

They serve a famous herbal tea called coca tea which is quite tasty.

Food vendors along the hike to Cerro Monserrate
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Admire the Stunning Works at the Museo Botero

Framed art inside the Botero Museum
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Fernando Botero is a famous Colombian painter and sculptor.

He creates his art in a way that illustrates both Colombian people and animals with exaggerated features.

The Museo Botero is named after this artist and features some of his best paintings.

Exterior and courtyard of Museo Botero
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It also houses work by international artists like Dali, Picasso, and others.

This museum is located in La Candelaria, which helps it gain more footfall.

The building is an old Spanish colonial one, adding more to the Museo Botero's beauty.

Interior of Museo Botero
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Experience the Famous Andrés Carne de Res

Interior of Andrés Carne de Res
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Most people say that a trip to Bogota is not complete without a venture to Andrés Carne de Res.

If you want to experience nightlife in Bogota, this is the place to go.

It has enough space to house almost 2,000 people.

At this restaurant and bar, you can enjoy Colombian cuisine, music, and salsa all in one go.

The atmosphere is almost like a carnival, with loud music and various performances.

Snap Photos with Bogota's Instagram-Worthy Street Art

Colorful Street art in Bogota
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Bogota is filled with quirky art on every corner.

The street art in this city is trendy among locals and tourists.

Superman wall art on a cafe
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You can usually find artists working on their street art and photographers snapping photos of their work.

Their art isn't just Instagram-worthy—the street art in Bogota speaks out.

It is always based on lessons or social movements that will help you understand Bogota better.

Colorful wall art at Bogota
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Shop at the Street Markets of Usaquén

People shopping at Usaquén Market
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Usaquén is a quaint neighborhood in the northern part of Bogota.

It's famous for its quirky markets, the most famous one being set up every Sunday.

There is a wide range of products you can find here, from handmade goods and Colombian food to clothes, bags, and accessories.

Hat vendor at Usaquén street market
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It's an ideal place to shop for affordable souvenirs for your family and friends.

You can even get your hands on some excellent local beer on these streets.

There are also aesthetically pleasing cafes that serve coffee and confectionaries like pastries and cupcakes.

Unique piggy bank shop at Usaquén street market
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Rent a Bike and Explore the City's Hidden Gems

Cycling in Bogota
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Bogota is a famously bike-friendly city.

Renting a bicycle and cycling through Bogota's cobblestone streets is a different experience you won’t get anywhere else.

There are several advantages to riding a bike.

A parked bike on a park
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First of all, your transport expenses will be cut in half.

Plus, when you rent a car and go around, you usually miss a few spots.

Cycling around lets you explore more of the city's nooks and crannies, allowing you not to miss out on its hidden gems.

Plaza de Toros is the best place to cycle with lots of markets and shops.

Aerial view of people riding bikes at Bogota
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Have a Breath of Fresh Air at the Bogota Botanical Garden

Botanical Graden of Bogota
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Can you believe this beautiful green space is located in the city's heart?

The Bogota Botanical Garden is the largest in Colombia, spanning over 19 hectares.

Walkway at Bogota Botanical Garden
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Home to a diverse range of plants from all over the world, the garden features over 130,000 species.

It houses a gorgeous orchid collection, among many other flowers.

Landscape of Bogota Botanical Garden
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Visit the Beautiful Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen

La Candelaria of our lady of Mount Carmel Sanctuary
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Bogota has some pretty cathedrals and churches.

The Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen is among the city's most beautiful churches, if not the most beautiful of them all.

It also holds great significance in the history of Bogota.

Exterior of Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen
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This church is entirely dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was built in 1938.

Located in the town center of La Candelaria, it is constructed in a Florentine style and is reminiscent of a Gothic structure.

Standing out among other cathedrals, the church is filled with different colors: white, red, and blue.

The interior of Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen
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Explore the Trendy Zona Rosa Neighborhood

Cars along the road of Zona Rosa
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Zona Rosa is the hip part of the city, filled with energetic young blood.

It features some of the best nightlife in Bogota and is known for being quite modern compared to the rest of the city.

Lined with some of the best restaurants in the city, Zona Rosa attracts a lot of tourists.

There are also shopping malls in this area, along with some pubs.

If you are looking for somewhere fun and chic to eat and shop, Zona Rosa is the place to check out.

Go on a Coffee Tour and Experience Colombia's Renowned Coffee Culture

Street vendor selling coffee in Bogota
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Are you crazy about coffee?

Famous for its coffee culture, Colombia is the ideal place for you.

Lovers of caffeine know that Columbia has some of the best coffee beans in the world, given its favorable conditions.

A cup of coffee on a wooden table
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You can join several tours that will take you on a journey to discover the wonders of Colombia's coffee culture.

Embark on a journey and sample some of the world's best coffee.

A barista making coffee in a coffee shop
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Taste the Best of Colombian Cuisine at Zona G

The road of Zona G in Bogota
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Very similar to the famous Zona Rosa, Zona G is located nearby.

While it's also a hip neighborhood, Zona G is lined with pricier establishments compared to Zona Rosa.

The ambiance is quite luxurious, and the neighborhood has some excellent restaurants.

If you want a taste of Columbian cuisine, roam around Zona G and try out the best street dishes.

Explore the Country's Rich Heritage at the Museo Nacional de Colombia

Exterior of Museo Nacional de Colombia
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A fortress-style jail established in 1823 houses the Museo Nacional de Colombia, Colombia's oldest and largest museum.

Over 20,000 items of Colombian history are on exhibit in over 17 permanent galleries that used to be cells in this vast museum.

A water fountain at Museo Nacional de Colombia's courtyard
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There are pre-Columbian relics and displays concerning the colonial period under Spanish authority.

Check out the museum's Afro-Caribbean and art collections and its artwork and furnishings, and don't forget to ask about any current touring exhibits.

Various popular events and exhibitions may be found at the museum, including lectures and musical performances.

A sculpture outside Museo Nacional de Colombia
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Catch a Play at the Teatro Colón

Exterior of Teatro Colón
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The Teatro Colón was built in the late 1800s and constructed by an Italian architect.

It is Colombia's national theater and is named after Christopher Columbus.

The beautiful interior of Teatro Colón
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Several lovely frescoes decorate the interior of this neoclassical structure.

The seats are arranged in a horseshoe configuration, based on the Parisian Palais Garnier, but the theater is barely half the size.

Catch various performances, such as operas, concerts, and current plays.

View of the main stage of Teatro Colón
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Stroll around the Plaza de Bolívar

Flock of pigeons at Plaza de Bolívar
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Plaza Bolivar and the Bolivar Square are other names for the Plaza de Bolivar.

Take a stroll around the heart of the capital city to observe where the government's work gets done.

The Palace of Justice, the Capitol, the Cathedral of Bogotá, and the office of the city's mayor all stand on this vast, pigeon-filled square.

People walking around Plaza de Bolívar
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As the Presidential Palace (the Palacio de Narino) is located just a few blocks away, you'll observe many police officers in the area.

Make the most of your time in Colombia by learning about the country's history, from its war for independence to Pablo Escobar's siege on Colombia's Palace of Justice.

Congreso de la Republica hall at Plaza de Bolívar
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Have a Picnic at Parque Central Simón Bolívar

Kayaks on an artificial lake at Parque Central Simón Bolívar
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Despite its size, Bogotá has a surprising number of parks and green places where residents gather, play, dine, and spend quality time with their loved ones and friends.

Located in the heart of Caracas, Simón Bolvar Park is the city's largest and most popular free park.

There's a lake with ducks where you may hire small boats, along with several hiking, jogging, and biking routes.

Gazebo near the waters of Parque Central Simón Bolívar
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Rock in the park is a renowned summer event attracting prominent musicians and a large audience.

The affordable cafeterias around the lake make it easy to buy to-go food.

You may also eat on a bench, on the grass, or on the sand beside the lake.

A bridge over a pathway at Parque Central Simón Bolívar
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Play Tejo with the Locals

A tejo target at Bogota
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Tejo, a gunpowder and target-shooting activity, is Colombia's national pastime.

You should play a few rounds while you're in Bogotá, especially if you're planning to drink.

Heavy metal disks are thrown across the room (about 20 meters).

Interior of a Tejo club
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There will be shouts and points for your squad if you hit one.

If you're interested in playing, check out Club de Tejo La 76 and then proceed upstairs to "mini Tejo," where the targets are simpler to hit for newcomers.

Some of the city's cycling rides may also take you to a Tejo establishment.

Colombian men playing Tejo in a Tejo club
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Other Things to Do Nearby

Spend a Day at Villa de Leyva

A beautiful garden at Villa de Leyva
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Curious about Bogota's neighboring towns?

Villa de Levya is one of the most beautiful quaint colonial towns located close to the city of Bogota.

It'll take you a little over two and a half hours to drive from one point to the other.

The place is too beautiful to visit on a short day trip—to maximize your visit, it would be best to at least spend at this gorgeous town.

Plaza mayor square of Villa de Leyva
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Villa de Leyva's town center features a square where people gather.

There are also several places to check out while you are here: a fascinating clay house called Casa Terracota, a vineyard, fancy hotels with noteworthy restaurants, and several museums.

Are you traveling with your significant other?

Villa de Leyva is perfect for a romantic getaway.

Evening view of a cobbled street at Villa de Leyva
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Visit the Serene Lake Guatavita

The clouds reflecting on the waters of Lake Guatavita
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An hour and a half away from Bogota, Lake Guatavita is a visual treat.

The lake is surrounded by lush green forests, and you can trek along the jungle to get to the lake.

It's highly recommended that you join a guided tour to safely explore the area.

Scenic view of Lake Guatavita
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If you've heard about the legend of El Dorado, this attraction may be extra interesting to you.

All the stories of El Dorado begin from here, as historians have dug out several artifacts that support their statements.

The calm waters of Lake Guatavita
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Final Thoughts

The past and the present merge in Bogota, Colombia.

Filled with art, fashion, history, culture, opportunities, and unique experiences, this city is a must-visit destination.