Top 5 things to do in Bogota
Colombia, the country that we have heard of in movies, series, and television some years ago to be a dangerous country. Drugs cartels, arms traffic, crimes, cocaine, guerillas, corruption… Nothing really appealing! However, everything has changed and today Colombia is a new country; attractive, touristic, and artistic. It has cultural places, modern architecture, green spaces, good gastronomy, wonderful coasts, idyllic beaches, amazing nature… Colombia has left its dark history behind and it must be one of your next destinations!
Let’s first go to Bogota, the booming capital!
Situated at more than 2,600 meters above the sea, between hills and forests, Bogota is nowadays the heart of the modern Colombia. With over 8 million inhabitants, the culinary capital won’t stop to surprise you; amazing restaurants, world-class museums, art galleries and street art, new shopping centers, sightseeing excursions.
Bogota is definitely an inevitable stop during your trip in Colombia and you will be even luckier if you do your exchange program in here: plenty of time to discover this thriving city more deeply.
So, what are you waiting for? Here are 5 top things to do in Bogota:
You will reach the 3,000 meters above sea level, if you get to the top of Montserrate. This old pilgrim destination offers you today a panoramic view over the majestic city of Bogota. You can choose between climbing the stairs to get there (about one hour) or taking the small funicular train (about 10 minutes). For the challenge lovers, we recommend choosing the stairs as it is not complicated if you manage your pace. The main difficulty is breathing, because you are quite high in altitude, but at the end you will feel satisfied with the wonderful view after the effort. Otherwise, the funicular offers you a nice experience while ascending the mountain. It will cost you 12,000 COP (3.6 USD) for one way and 21,000 COP (6.3 USD) for round trip (go up and return down). At the top you will you will find a church (always interesting to visit), restaurants, and souvenir and grocery shops. Still, the best thing is the panoramic view!
2. Graffiti walking tour
Bogota is without doubt the city of graffiti par excellence! Walking through the city becomes a cultural activity: you will see graffitis everywhere. Small, big, letters, drawing, picture, colors, B&W… any sort of graffiti. All of them tell a story and represent something symbolic, often related to the history of the country and the city. Therefore, doing the graffiti walking tour is a must. You simply have to join one of the meeting points (one of them is La Plazuela de las Aguas), where a guide will be waiting for walk-in tourists. The tour is free -great for students- but giving a tip at the end is well seen. The guide will bring you to the most famous or emblematic graffiti and will explain you its history behind. Not only you will see wonderful and colorful painted walls, but also you will learn about Bogota and Colombia’s rich past; perfect combination!
P.S. : Even if the legitimization of this street art is still not accepted, there is a generation of extremely talented artists who are making a name for themselves by painting stunning and creative murals on permitted walls around the city, which really brings to live some parts of the city.
3. Museo del Oro (Gold Museum)
In each main city of Latin America, you will find a Gold Museum. Indeed, gold represents a huge part of mineral resources in certain of these countries. All the pieces found have given scientists and archaeologists deepen insights of the lives and cultures of South American civilizations before the Europeans arrival into the continent. In the Museo del Oro from Bogota, you will find different rooms with different exhibitions: in total, 55,000 pieces of gold, pottery, rocks, stones and textiles, originally from indigenous cultures of Colombia.
Good to know: this museum preserves the largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold work in the world. So, if you have one or two hours free, let you be impressed by this emblematic museum in the center of Bogota!
Entrance: 3,000 COP, free on Sundays
4. Biking Tour
Rather than through the window of a taxi or a bus, enjoy the fresh air in Bogota by bike! Indeed, the capital has about 300 kilometers of bicycle routes and this impressive network makes cycling one of the best activities in Bogota, especially when the sun shows up. Some companies offer biking tours, either private or group excursions, and depending on the conditions, they will take you to the main spots in Bogota: La Candeleria, Plaza del Chorro, the Botero Museum, Plaza Bolivar, the Central Cemetery and even a typical coffee factory.
Best company on Tripadvisor : Bogota Bike Tour, around 60,000 COP (17.8 USD) for half-day.
5. Parque Simon Bolivar
This is the lung of Bogota; the largest green area of the city. Lake, trees, public facilities, gym, sauna, olympic swimming pool, motocross track, amusement park, water park and even sport arenas-you will be able to find everything in the middle of the capital without actually having to leave the city. Open every day from 6am to 6pm, this park will satisfy either all your family or all your friends thanks to all the outdoor activities possible.