Bogota is a lovely South American city with a rich cultural history and a diverse population. Being the capital of Colombia, this lively city has lots of places to explore and has something for everyone, making it one of the most loved travel destination. Considered as South America’s one of the safest cities, Bogota caters to every kind of travellers, making it a popular city amongst the tourists- as backpackers find accommodations in hostels while luxury travellers have several high-class hotel options.
Likely so, if you think of spending your vacation dining at five-star hotels, Bogota has several classy restaurants serving foreign cuisines as well as traditional dishes. You can enjoy your time at cafes, bars and discos. There are many local markets, shopping malls, museums and parks as well. Being a culturally rich city ensures that Bogota has several historical sites and landmarks along with architectural wonders that includes churches and cathedrals.
Bogota is home to several entertaining events like concerts, festivals and sporting events. Being a densely populated city, Bogota is special in its own way and the large city is a treat to visit. With a lot to see and lot more to explore, let us take a look at the neighbourhoods of Bogota and help you decide where you can stay during your vacation in the city.
La Candelaria is the colonial neighbourhood of Bogota with a rich history. The Spanish Conquistadors established this neighbourhood in 1538, making it a site that is loved by historians and explorers. Since it is located right next to Santa Fe, the neighbourhood gives every traveller the true vibe of a stay in Bogota. In spite of its lively-vibrant ambience, it does have a laid back lifestyle which you will fall in love with. The historical neighbourhood takes the tourists back in time as the souvenir stalls here have great collections. You can set out to explore the neighbourhood as the cobbled stoned streets takes you through the old historical buildings, colonial architecture and street art. People often come here to buy emerald from the jewellery stores that are quite famous.
At the heart of Bogota’s cultural capital, you will find the Bolivar Plaza, which happens to be an important landmark in the neighbourhood. Likely so, several tourists, as well as locals, visit it every day. You can also visit the Cathedral of Colombia nearby, along with various other political buildings that are present in the vicinity. Interestingly, once you are in the middle of the Bolivar Plaza, you get a grand panoramic view of the Casa del Florero- Independence Museum, Palacio Liévano –City Hall, and National Capitol.
Along with several government buildings, in La Candelaria, you can find museums and art galleries, which you should explore as they put up beautiful works of artists in the display. La Candelaria often hosts several exhibitions which locals, as well as tourists, visit for the religious artwork, historical items and regional costumes, which throws light on the country’s past, culture and history.
There are a lot of important landmarks in the city that you can visit. Starting from the beautiful church standing tall on top of a mountain – Monserrate to the gold museum- Museo del Oro. If you are out exploring, you can take a look at the work of the artists on the murals in the city as you take the Graffiti Art Walking Tour. If you are a history lover you can take the Bogota Free Walking Tour where you get to know Bogota’s past. Being one of the most visited places in the city, also means that the neighbourhood has a great transport system. You can mostly walk around the city. If you do not like to walk to explore the city, you can take bike tours. There are several buses and busy bus routes that connect the district to other parts of the city.
In terms of accommodation options, you can find hotels that are reasonably priced as well as the ones that are in the mid ranges. You can also spend the night at hostels, as it is a choice of accommodation here. Because of this kind of accommodation options, the neighbourhood is loved by backpackers and travellers on a budget.
Santa Fe or Bogota’s downtown area is a hotspot for budget travellers and backpackers for its budget-friendly locale and interesting sights and landmarks, all being in close proximity. Along with being a hotspot for history lovers for its several historical buildings, Santa Fe is a fun place for adventure junkies as many climbers love hike to Monserrate mountain’s peak and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from the summit.
Along with the stunning Monserrate mountain, people come here to visit Bogota’s National Museum to understand the history of Colombia as it is home to several historical documents dating back to 16th Century. Along with the National Museum, people often visit Bogota’s Gold Museum. Jewels and jewellery is an important thing in this neighbourhood as International Emerald Museum is hard to miss. Being a district filled with museums, you can visit the Military Museum of Colombia, Bogota’s Museum of Modern Art as well.
Chico and Parque 93
Considered as one of the safest districts of the city, Chico and el Parque 93 is mostly considered as one single unit. Perfect for those who are in the city with their families, Chico and el Parque 93 is a well-planned city with a calmer ambience, yet with an active nightlife. Chico and el Parque 93 is a heaven for sports lover as it is home to several sports bars. There are several bars and restaurants in this neighbourhood that exhibit a laid back ambience and has a local taste.
The Parque 93 present in the centre the neighbourhood adds a picturesque feel to the area, complementing the streets and the art exhibits that often pop up in the neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is home to several other events, festivals and concerts. Because of its upscale locality, there are accommodation options and hotels that can suit your price range as the area has several hotels that are both moderately priced as well as on the higher-end. Tourists mostly come here for the luxury hotels. Along with luxurious accommodation options, the neighbourhood has high-end boutiques, cafes and lavish hotels that serve mouthwatering dishes.
Located right at the center of the city, Teusaquillo is the most preferred district by families visiting Bogota. Although it lacks historical sites like the other neighbourhoods of Bogota, Teusaquillo has several modern-day landmarks that have thrown light at Bogota in the world map.
Keeping that in mind, Teusaquillo’s central location does help tourists staying here, travel to other neighbourhoods easily. Tourists prefer staying in this area because of its luxury hotels and nice accommodation options. Additionally, the large Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park in the district has become a key factor for families visiting the city. The park allows large green space for kids to play and has several walking trails for people to walk around. People often come here to spend a relaxing afternoon near the lake, as there are paddle boats that can be rented as well. It is quite different from the rest of the neighbourhoods that are affected by the city rush.
Important modern-day landmarks like the Kid’s Museum and Bogota’s Salitre Mágico, an amusement park, also acts as an additional factor why families prefer staying in this neighbourhood. You can also visit the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco, which is a Public Library. Teusaquillo too has several museums to visit, like the National Geological Museum, Art Museum of the National University of Colombia, and many more.
Teusaquillo is home to Bogota’s main football stadium, making it the city’s most visited district, especially by the athletes. The entertainment and sports complex also attracts several athletes for its modern facilities. There are also various other sports facilities for sporting events like volleyball, tennis, basketball and other track events as well. These venues not only cater to competitive events but also become home to festivals, events and concerts, that take place all over the year.
Being a budget-friendly neighbourhood, Teusaquillo ensures that most of the accommodation options are reasonably priced. It also has several hostels with proper facilities. If you are looking for better hotels in the mid ranges, you can find a few of such hotels in the locality. Along with all that, to cater to its elite visitors who are looking for a luxurious stay, Teusaquillo has many top-class hotels with facilities like massage and spa.
If you are a foodie, chances are, you have heard of this neighbourhood before. With streets lined with food stalls and cafes, you will find several restaurants serving authentic Colombian cuisine. Foodies love to explore the streets and alleyways of this district to find hidden food joints and dishes. Along with restaurants serving Colombian cuisine, there are several cafes famous for their Asian fusion dishes, French menus and of course, coffee.
If you are looking for a bit of Bogota’s history and architectural works, you can make your way to the Colonial quarters that are built in the Spanish colonial fashion.
Another thing that makes Usaquen so special is its Sunday Flea Market. You can also spend a relaxed afternoon at Usaquen Park or have a fun experience at the Multiparque Amusement Centre. People also spend a great amount of time shopping as the district has several shopping malls, retail shops and branded shops at the Palatino Mall, Hacienda Santa Barbara Shopping Centre and Unicentro Bogota Giant Shopping Mall. There are several clubs and casinos in the locality as well, and few of them are quite famous like the Crown Casino Unicentro and Casino Millionaires.
Needless to say, Usaquen is loved by travellers. Well, there is a good reason behind it as along with good food, the district has several hotels in all price ranges, that includes budget-friendly hotels, mid-range ones as well as luxury hotels. Backpackers can find accommodation options in hostels as well.
Home to lavish restaurants, lively cafes and splendid hotels, Chapinero is one of the most preferred neighbourhoods of Bogota. Offering a vast range of experiences, Bogota’s Chapinero is a famous shopping destination as well. Located in the northeastern part of the city, Chapinero is the centre of prominent university activities of the city. This hip neighbourhood has a young, educated population from diverse community leading a bohemian lifestyle.
Locals, as well as tourists, visit this neighbourhood to spend their time and indulge in window-shopping as this district has several grand malls, shops and boutiques, like the Unilago Mall, Avenida Chile Shopping Centre and Andino Shopping Mall. Along with malls, Chapinero has several parks, museums, and iconic landmarks in the district. You can visit places like the Museo del Chicó and the Parque del Chicó Museum, which exhibits works of textile, ceramic and glassware; and Monument to the Heroes, where you can learn about the heroes who fought for independence in Venezuela and Colombia. You can also visit the famous parks like El Virrey Park and Bogota’s National Park.
Because of its shopping options, sightseeing destinations, museums and historical buildings, this district is loved by explorers, historians, families as well as shopaholics. You can also find vegetarian restaurants, coffee shops, student bars, clubs and cultural theatres here. Chapinero is also home to a large LGBT friendly neighbourhood called Chapinero Alto which is also known as Chapigay.
Looking for accommodations will not be much of a problem here as there are plenty of hotels. If you are a budget traveller, you can find rooms at an affordable price or in the mid-range. There are several luxury hotels as well.
Popular for its night scene, La Zona Rosa or commonly known as Zona Rosa, is quite famous in Bogota is for its clubs, discos and party events. Locals and tourists often hang out at the pubs and clubs, and it is a common scene of locals and foreigners mixing and interacting.
With a significant amount of restaurants available in the locality, the neighbourhood serves a variety of cuisines and you can have a lot of dishes to choose from. As people from other communities reside here, you might catch restaurants serving traditional dishes from other countries.
Likewise, the bars, pubs and discos cater to the diverse need of the varied population, thus you can find places with similar tastes and interests.
Such an active nightlife and touristy footfall also ensures that the locality will have some of the best hotels of Bogota. The district does have hotels that cater to a wide range of customers, ranging from luxurious stays and budget-friendly hotels.