Bogotá is the capital and largest city of Colombia. Bogota is the heart of modern Colombia, and you can find it lying high up in a natural valley between cool green hills and is home to over 6.5 million inhabitants. This cycle-friendly paradise is a hub for culture and arts, with many sights to see such as museums, lush green spaces, historical sites, colonial and modern architecture and is famous for its cuisine. Like any other city in the world, Columbia has had dark periods in history but taking precautions like you would elsewhere, you can have a great time and experience all it has to offer!
Things to do, things to see
Go on an art walking tour
This vibrant city has so much to see! There are organized tours where you can experience the art and history of Bogota. Notable are the Art and Graffiti art walking tours, which lead you through the cultural expression throughout history. Federico Ruiz’s Art tour takes you through galleries and museums, provides a unique look of the city outside of gallery walls and exhibits by even going into the artists’ studios as well. The Graffiti art tour highlights the street art and artists, spurred on to express themselves even further when street art was legalized in certain regions after the murder of Diego Felipe Becerra in 2011. On this tour, you also get a wonderful perspective of the street art scene, mostly centered outside of the more touristic La Candelaria district, as the wider spaces and larger walls accommodate artists as larger canvasses on which to present their talents. Local guides will speak about the artist and the social movements or the politics in the art. It will surely ignite a passion for art in the viewer as well and provide a glimpse of Bogota’s cultural identity. If art and walking aren’t your thing, go for a cycling tour through Bogota’s ciclorutas (cycle trails) and experience sightseeing hubs of Bogota, such as the Botero Museum, the Plaza del Chorro, Plaza Bolivar, the Central Cemetary and stop at the Café de la Fonda coffee Factory for a refreshment.
Try the local cuisine
Colombian cuisine is known for being deep-fried, and heavily rice and bean based. With a little digging, you can find soups full of flavor, delicious grilled meats, ceviche, local delicacies like grilled Chiguiro, and fresh fish, along with dozens of different fruits and vegetables, that make up a good amount of healthy dishes here. There are even food tours here to guide you, such as Bogota Foodie that is run by an Australian expat, along with the locally run Bogota Food Tour with its plethora of tour options. Be sure to try the Bandeja Paisa, which is Colombia’s national dish composed of rice and beans with chicharron, arepa, avocado, fried egg and more; ajiaco, a chicken, potato and corn soup served with avocado and rice, and corn-based patty called arepas, which complements other ingredients to make a tasty meal. La Puerta Falsa is a famous old restaurant established in 1816 you should visit, which is located near Plaza Bolívar and serves up traditional dishes. Another notable combination you should definitely try is the chocolate complete, consisting of hot chocolate, cheese, and fresh bread, which makes for a delicious mid-morning snack in Colombia.
The Gold Museum
Bogotá is home to the Museo del Oro, which is the most popular and one of the most fascinating museums in the city, and displays more than 30,000 pieces of gold artifacts. The museum has three floors each focusing on a different theme, complete with artifacts representing the cultures from Colombia’s pre-Hispanic times. Here you can learn how these people learned about gold, the mining methods and procedures of working the metals in order to make offerings, masks, jewelry, armor and even bowls. The museum shows how the past cultures imbued symbolism and spiritual characteristics into everyday uses of gold. The whole museum is enjoyable for the whole family, and is very well organized and visually stunning. With just a small entrance fee, you can get a detailed look into the past of legends.
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
About an hour outside the city in a town called Zipaquirá, this unusual cathedral is a true feast for the eyes. The entire cathedral is deep underground, carved in a salt mine, and it contains beautifully lit crosses as well as alcoves for worshipping. The immense cathedral is like a small town about 590 feet under the earth and has shops to eat and buy souvenirs as well. It is a pretty neat location for a day out, and it is best to get here early to beat the crowds. You can also sign up for one of the tours, and explore the colonial town nearby to make the most of your time.
Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén
If you are in the mood for a lighter activity, Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén is the street market that takes place in Usaquén in the north of Bogotá on Sundays. You can buy, handmade goods like bags, shoes, and jewelry here, all of good quality. You can browse among the vendors that set up stalls and tents in the park and down the streets to sell handicrafts, knick-knacks, and more things that are different from the usual souvenirs you find for tourists in Colombia. This area is also home to chic restaurants and cafes if you are in the mood, and during market days you can find several cheap and fresh options on the street. When you are finished with your shopping, Bogotá Beer Company has a branch here for all your refreshment needs.
Vacation rentals at Bogota, Columbia
Bogota has the energy and atmosphere to invigorate and provide a fresh perspective on life! Through CuddlyNest you can find that perfect location from where you can access all you need and choose from among fine and luxurious apartments for the most comfortable holiday!