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The 20 Best things to see and do in Bogota + Excursions

In Colombia, at 2,600 meters above sea level, you will find rumba, great cuisine, history, culture, colonial architecture and good vibes. You will find Bogota.

In the year 1538 the Spaniard Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada ascended the eastern part of the Andes mountain range and founded the city of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, which we know today as Bogotá.

If you are going to travel to Colombia you cannot leave out of your route visiting some of the most important cities in the country and in this post I will tell you the 20 best things to see and do in Bogotá, some travel tips and best areas and hotels to stay.



TOP 20 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN BOGOTÁ


1. Climb the Cerro de Monserrate

The Cerro de Monserrate is the most popular viewpoint in the city of Bogotá. It is located at 3,152 meters above sea level, on the eastern mountain range. The hills that surround the city were formed millions of years ago and the Monserrate hill, although it has suffered fires and deforestation, still maintains a part of Andean forest. You can ascend both on foot (it takes about an hour) and by funicular or cable car.

Popular belief says that couples who visit the hill together never get married.


2. Tour La Candelaria and the historic center of Bogotá

La Candelaria is the most emblematic neighborhood of the city and you will find it in the historic center. Its streets are narrow and steep, with little houses attached to each other of different colors.

Another of the best things to do in this neighborhood is to try the local gastronomy such as ajiaco, tamale or patacones.

To tour the historic center of Bogotá, I recommend you take a guided tour. Plus, it's free. You can see more information about the free tour of Bogotá and book at this link.


3. Get to Funnel Alley

The Callejón del Embudo is the most beautiful corner of the neighborhood of La Candelaria. It is a small cobbled and irregular alley where the walls of the houses are a true museum of street art. In addition, it is an area with a lot of atmosphere, with small bars and restaurants where you can eat traditional dishes and enjoy the rumba that sounds throughout the day.

At the end of the street you will arrive at the beautiful Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo, another essential stop to make in Bogotá.




4. Visit the Gold Museum

The Bogotá Gold Museum is the most important in its subject matter as it has the largest pre-Hispanic goldsmith collection in the world. The collection has more than 34,000 pieces of gold work (mostly gold) and 25,000 ceramic, bone, stone, shell and textile objects, among which the Poporo Quimbaya stands out and, above all, the Muisca Raft, a small gold raft that represents the coronation ceremony of the cacique in the Guatavita lagoon and that gave rise to the Legend of El Dorado.



5. Primate Cathedral of Colombia

The Basilica Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Bogotá, Primada de Colombia is a church of Catholic worship. It was declared a National Monument in 1975. Neoclassical in style, it was inaugurated in 1823 and is located in Plaza Bolivar. It is without a doubt a mandatory stop on your visit to Bogotá.

6. Get to know all the emblematic places of Plaza de Bolivar

In Plaza Bolívar, where you will visit the Cathedral, there are many more emblematic buildings to visit the city such as: The Palace of Justice, the National Capitol and the Liévano Palace.

7. Visit the Botero Museum

Another of the museums that you cannot miss in Bogotá is the Botero Museum. It is located in a beautiful colonial house in the neighborhood of La Candelaria.

The famous Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero donated more than 100 works to this museum in which his most characteristic and personal style of voluminous and exuberant bodies is shown.



8. Don't miss the church of San Francisco

This small church was built between 1550 and 1567, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, in a neoclassical style. It is located in the Veracruz neighborhood, where it stands out among modern buildings. Inside there are several chapels and a beautiful Renaissance-style main altarpiece.

9. Santa Clara Church Museum

The Santa Clara Museum is located in the old temple of the Royal Convent of Danta Clara. It is a baroque-style church, built in 1647.

In 1983 it was given as a museum to all Colombians. In it you can see carved wooden altarpieces in the Baroque style, paintings, sculptures, a painted mural and Mudejar latticework.


10. Stroll through the Parque de los Periodistas Gabriel García Marquez

You will find the Gabriel García Márquez Journalists Park in the Las Nieves neighborhood.

In the 1990s, journalists, poets and writers who worked in the nearby media used to gather here. In the park there is the Bolívar temple, where there is a sculpture of the national hero Simón Bolívar.

11. Enter the Usaquén neighborhood

The Usaquén neighborhood is a colonial neighborhood located northeast of Bogotá. You will find colorful alleys and streets, with graffiti on the walls of some houses, bars, shops and restaurants where you can eat traditional Colombian dishes at a good price.

One of the places with the most atmosphere in the neighborhood is Plaza Usaquén. Where grandparents play cards, children play ball and you can enjoy an ice cream on one of its benches to the sound of music.


12. Simon Bolivar Park

The Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park, with 113 hectares, is the lung of Bogotá. A huge space ideal for unwinding, strolling calmly, enjoying a picnic...

In it there is a huge garden, a lake where you can do water activities, picnic areas, bike paths...




13. Viewpoint of the Colpatria Tower

The Torre Colpatria is 200 meters high, with 48 floors. It is a perfect place to enjoy spectacular views of the city of Bogotá.

14. Take a food tour

I usually sign up whenever I can for these types of tours. I love being guided by a guide through their local markets, to their most authentic restaurants and explaining their most traditional dishes.

Bogotá has a gastronomic tour that we loved and enjoyed very much.



15. Take a free tour of Bogota

In Bogotá you can do several free tours. All of them are perfect for getting to know a different area of ​​the city, learning more about the history that lives in it.



16. Learn to dance salsa and rumba

I'm terrible at dancing, although I always sign up for a good party. In Bogotá there are many music bars in the historic center where you can dance salsa, rumba and all kinds of Latin rhythms.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO NEAR BOGOTÁ

17. Villa de Leyva

This beautiful town is included in the 15 most beautiful places to see in Colombia and it is worth knowing this most rural lake in Colombia.

Here you will find a wide historical, sculptural and paleontological legacy.

It is possible to visit Villa de Leyva on your own, although the public transport system is very chaotic. I recommend that you book a tour where different stops are also made not only in the town itself, but also in the surroundings.




18. Visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is a “mandatory” visit if you are going to travel to Bogotá. Inside the salt mine there is a truly impressive Catholic temple, if not unique in the world. Inside there are sculptures and Catholic crosses built with salt.

In addition to visiting the Cathedral, which in itself is the main attraction in the area, in the town you will find a charming place to stroll through its cobbled streets. In the town, the historic center stands out for its colonial architecture and its cathedral.



19. Excursion to the Chicaque Natural Park

The Natural Park is located at more than 2000 meters of altitude where there is a great variety of botanical fauna. A place with tropical forests, several trails and impressive landscapes.

Hummingbirds and butterflies abound in the park, being able to photograph them with some ease.


20. Excursion to Colombian coffee plantations

If you don't have the opportunity to see the coffee region in the Andes, you can also see the coffee crop on an excursion from Bogotá.

In our case, we organize our days in the country to spend a few days in the Salento area and the Cocora Valley. However, if you do not have time from Bogotá, you have the option of taking an excursion to some ecological coffee plantations.



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PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to Bogotá a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!

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