Stopover In Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is the capital of Colombia and of course one of the main air hubs in this country. So, if you are flying from Europe or North America to Colombia, chances are you are flying into Bogota before going somewhere else. And right there you are facing questions like:  “what should I do concerning Bogota?”,  “How long should I stay there?”, “Is it worth it to stay in Bogota?”, and so on. After spending over a week in Bogota my advice is to do a long stopover in this city. It is an important Colombian city and you might want to experience it, but there are also so many great places all over this country that there is no point in staying too long in Bogota. 

Where To Stay In Bogota

One of the main concerns when you travel to Bogota and Colombia in General is safety. One of the important questions that you need to research before going to Bogota is what neighborhood is safe for tourists. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Where To Stay In Bogota

Bogota has many beautiful neighborhoods, but not all of them are safe. According to viahero.com these are the safe neighborhoods: Zona T, Zona G/Chapinero Alto, Usaquen, Soledad, Palermo, Parkway, Cedritos and La Candelaria. 

Areas that are not so safe are: Kennedy, Ciudad Bolívar, Usme, San Cristobal, Bosa.

From my own experience I can tell that Zona G/Chapinero Alto (where we stayed) is quite safe and full of good restaurants (a lot of them were Italian for some reason). 

La Candelaria is probably the most beautiful neighborhood. It is the old town of Bogota that is full of beautiful street art, good hostels (our friends stayed there), and some pretty good restaurants as well. Moreover, this is where most of the “”things to do in Bogota” are. So as you can imagine it is a great location to be, there is just one catch – it is not as safe as you would hope. Petty theft happens here way more than in Zona G for example, plus it just feels a bit sketchy. I actually had the same feeling in this part of Bogota as in Rio de Janeiro… you just feel tense and alarmed all the time (if you are walking by yourself). 

Things To Do In Bogota

If you are staying a day or two in Bogota there is no time to lose. That is why I offer you a list of the most interesting things to do:

Explore The Old Town (La Candelaria) and its Street Art

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Explore The Old Town (La Candelaria) and its Street Art

Exploring the oldest neighborhood in any city is always a must do thing, especially on a stopover. Bogota’s oldest neighborhood is La Candelaria. A very colorful neighborhood that carries national character. 

Explore The Old Town (La Candelaria) and its Street Art
Stopover In Bogota, Colombia

La Candelaria is a beautiful place that is famous for its street art, which is why while exploring around pay attention to the walls. On every corner you can see something magnificent. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Explore The Old Town (La Candelaria) and its Street Art

Visit The Museum of Gold 

Visit The Museum of Gold 

Museum of Gold / Gold Museum / Museo del Oro is located in La Candelaria, so while you are getting lost in street art, check out Bogota’s museum full of gold. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Visit The Museum of Gold 

The museum shows the relationship between gold and people before colonization. In the museum you will see some pretty amazing sculptures and jewelry, and learn different ancient techniques of metallurgy.

Visit The Museum of Gold 

The museum has four floors and it will take you a while to go through all the expositions (we spent around 1,5 hours in here). Museo del Oro in Bogota was the first museum of gold that I have ever visited, maybe that is why I was so impressed with everything and spent such a long time looking around. 

Visit The Museum of Gold 

Another reason to visit this museum is its ticket price. It sounds ridiculous, but the ticket cost just around $1. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Visit The Museum of Gold 

By the way, to enter the Museo del Oro you will need to show your vaccination and passport (copy or photo is acceptable).

Lift Your Mood At The Botero Museum

I know what you must think: ”second museum.. Meh..”. Well, don’t. The Botero Museum is one of the “fun” museums. You all must have seen lots of memes with paintings of funny looking fat people. For those who didn’t know, those paintings are very famous and they were all painted by Fernando Botero.

Lift Your Mood At The Botero Museum

Fernando Botero is a well known Colombian artist and one who has his own style named after him – “boterismo”). He paints and creates statues of people, animals and objects by exaggerating their volume. That makes you look at his work completely differently: some paintings are seen as humor, and some more like a criticism.  

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Lift Your Mood At The Botero Museum

In 2000 Fernando Botero created a museum to which he donated a lot of his own work, and some work of other famous artists like Picasso, Renoir, Monet and more. One of Botero’s conditions of donating his art was that the museum should be free for everyone. And it is actually free of charge, just show your vaccine certificate and that is it. 

Lift Your Mood At The Botero Museum

Join A Food Tour 

For those who have one day in Bogota I recommend booking a food tour. Bogota will be your first introduction to Colombian culture and one of the best ways to do that is to learn more about its food. 

Join A Food Tour 

The food tour usually takes around two – three hours (depends on the group) and it is a great way to learn about traditional food and its history, and about great places to eat. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Join A Food Tour 

Another reason to do a food tour is because it takes place in La Candelaria. And while you walk from one restaurant/cafe to another and eat all that delicious food, you also can explore the oldest neighborhood in Bogota and its street art. 

Climb Monserrate

To climb Monserrate mountain and enjoy the view of the city is one of the things to do in Bogota, however, there are a few points I want to make. First – you don’t really need to climb Monserrate, you can just take a funicular. Second – the weather in Bogota is very fickle, so there is a big chance that after getting to the top of Monserrate, you won’t see anything due to fog. Third – if you decide to climb Monserrate, don’t do it in the evening. It is not safe simply because it can be too dark to see where you step, and because there can be robbers waiting for their chance.  

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Climb Monserrate

At the top of Monserrate you will find a small white church and a few overpriced cafes. It is not an easy climb, so be sure to wear comfortable and appropriate shoes, and bring enough water to get to the top (you can buy more at the peak).

Eat At Andres Carne de Res Steak Restaurant

It’s not often that I put a singular restaurant on a city stopover guide, but in this case I feel it deserves a spot on it’s own. Andres Carne de Res is quite possibly the most famous restaurant in Bogota and has been featured on many city guides and shows like Anthony Bourdain’s. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Eat At Andres Carne de Res Steak Restaurant

There are actually a few different locations with the original being in Chia. However if you are in Bogota I recommend the one known as Andres D.C. in Zona T.

Eat At Andres Carne de Res Steak Restaurant

Inside you will find an eclectic mix of decoration along with a massive menu. While this place is known for their steaks and cocktails, there is so much more to choose if you so desire. Personally? I just went with a tomahawk and beer. 

Eat At Andres Carne de Res Steak Restaurant
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Prices at Andres are considered expensive for Colombia, but compared to Europe or America or East Asia I found the prices to be extremely reasonable. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia: Eat At Andres Carne de Res Steak Restaurant

Note: this place is always crowded so be sure to make a reservation online before you go, and show up 10 minutes early just to be safe. 

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia

Stopover In Bogota, Colombia
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Patrick Hackett | 10th Apr 22

    I used to visit Colombia on a regular basis in the 70s 80s and 90s. And I enjoy reading everything about it that I can. Thank you for telling the world about Colombia and the good people in it

  2. patrickhackett46 | 10th Apr 22

    Your radical was very interesting and very informative. I used to travel to South America in particularly Colombia in the 1970s ’80s and ’90s. I actually married a beautiful Colombiana and have a daughter and granddaughter living in Cali Colombia. The people are the best that I’ve ever met throughout the world. Thank you for bringing attention to the good things in Colombia.

    • Alona Tiunina | 11th Apr 22

      Thank you for reading! I am glad you enjoyed this article.

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