Check out this guide to find the most interesting places to stay in Bogota, one of the most vibrant cities in South America.
If you’re planning to visit the most diverse cities in South America there’s no doubt you have to experience Bogotá. The official and cultural capital of the country has much to offer all types of travellers. Whether you’re there to soak in the energy of the city’s nightlife, explore one of the many museums and art galleries, or explore the Andean highlands, there’s no doubt you can find here the best places to stay in Bogota.
Tourism in Bogotá: Overview
Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, is home to over 8 million inhabitants and sits at an altitude of almost 3000m in the Andean mountains. In recent years the city has seen a massive drop in crime and is now one of the safest capital cities to visit in South America.
Bogotá is also leading the way for innovation in the country. In addition to rapid growth in the tourism and business sectors, the city has developed a strong sense of cultural identity and the rolos that inhabit the city are proud of the positive change.
The most convenient to get to Bogotá is flying. The El Dorado International Airport is the biggest in Colombia, and one of the biggest in South America in terms of passenger traffic. It has many international flights to North and South America, as well as routes to Europe. From El Dorado Airport, you can also reach most domestic destinations in Colombia.
Best places to stay in Bogotá
The district of Candelaria is one of the best places to stay in Bogotá. As one of the oldest districts in Bogotá it finds itself swarming with historic sites, cultural hubs, authentic restaurants, and lively bars to enjoy the night-time atmosphere.
One of the best activities in La Candelaria is the free graffiti walking tour guided by local artists. The tour will take you around the neighbourhood exploring the complicated history and dark past of Colombian politics while weaving through the cobblestone streets bursting with artisanal vendors and friendly locals. After the tour you can pass lunchtime dining in restaurants or sampling the local drink known as chicha which is made from fermented corn and honey.
Another site worth visiting close to Candelaria is the mount Monserrate and its monastery. Located above the hustle and bustle of the city you have two options to reach this unique piece of architecture. The first is taking the time to walk an hour up the side of the mountain on a gorgeous green path with the locals, or you could simply pay the fee (less than US$10) to take the cable car straight to the top.
From the peak you can see the entirety of the city below you and the green of the Andean mountains stretching behind you. Be prepared to take your camera as the gardens found at the monastery contain rare specimens and hummingbirds are frequently seen flitting between the flowers.
La Candelaria also finds itself located a short walk from the city centre and the oldest parts of the city making it easy to experience the museums and old churches scattered around the area.
If you’re looking to experience the nightlife in Bogotá then consider the area of La Zona Rosa (pink zone). In this area you’ll find the best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs the city has to offer. While staying here be sure to eat and drink at the famous Andrés – Carne de Res, a beautiful themed restaurant that has some of the best food (and sangria) the city has to offer. After dinner head to Armando Records, an upscale club featuring some of the best electronic music the city has to offer.
If you’re after another party then head to the close-by Theatron, an old cinema turned nightclub with 13 different rooms and a capacity for over 5000 people. To recover the morning after head to any street corner and pick up an Arepa. This Colombian staple is simply cornbread stuffed with meat and vegetables, but it’s more than satisfying the day after.
The Zona T (T Zone), a part of the Zona Rosa, is also a good reference and one of the best areas to stay in Bogota.
Budget Accommodation in Bogota – $
Urbana Hostel – a quality hostel with easy access to the T Zone in Bogota.
Arche Noah Boutique Hostel – a hostel with a beautiful interior design in the Candelaria, one of the best places to stay in Bogota.
Reasonably Priced Accommodation in Bogota – $$
Mercure Bogota BH Zona Financiera– an excellent hotel in one of the best areas to stay in Bogotá, with easy access to the Zona Rosa.
Hotel Avenida Jiménez – a great hotel close in the Candelaria district, one of the best areas to stay in Bogota.
Luxurious Hotels in Bogota – $$$
Hotel Cabrera Imperial Suites – a great luxurious hotel in one of the best locations to stay in Bogotá.
Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá – one of the most luxurious hotels in Bogotá.
Cost of travel in Bogotá
Although it is one of the more expensive cities in Colombia it’s easy to experience the capital on as little as US$20 a day as a budget traveler. With relatively low budget it is still possible to see everything worth experiencing in the city. Meals range from an affordable $4 upwards depending on your tastes and budget.
Transport around the city on the Transmilenio bus service costs less than a $1 a trip. Bogota’s bus network allows you to easily transit around the city even on the smallest of budgets. Though taxis are everywhere it is generally recommended to take an Uber as prices are similar and taxis can sometimes be unsafe.
Best Months to Visit Bogotá
Located high in the Andean mountains, Bogotá has a mild climate year round. However from the months of December until March the temperature rises and the dry season begins. This is the best time to experience the city as not only is the weather more enticing, there are almost non-stop vibrant, energetic festivals and holidays around Christmas and Easter thanks to the large catholic population of the country.
For the lovers of music, March finds itself home to one of Colombia’s most iconic music festivals the Estereopicnic. Artists from all over the world gather to entertain the crowds for three days during this unique festival.