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Many people think Colombia has warm weather and beautiful beaches. But this is only certain cities as the Andres mountains runs through the country. This brings me to the capital of Bogotá that is perched on a plateau of the mountains 8,675 feet (2,644 metres) above sea level.

If you’re afraid of heights, maybe Bogotá isn’t for you… just kidding. You won’t even know you’re so high except for any altitude sickness side effects, commonly shortness of breath. Within Bogotá, these are the places that you can’t miss! And of course, the apps you’ll need.

1. Monserrate

Getting even higher than Bogotá, is Monserrate. This is my absolute favourite thing to do in Bogotá. It is a church and viewpoint overlooking the already high city at 10,341 feet (3,152 metres). Go to the Taquilla Monserrate to buy your tickets and you will then be put into a line to go up. You can either take the funicular (train) or teleférico (cable car).

When buying the ticket, you only need to let them know how many tickets and what type of ticket you’d like. “Un solo trayecto” is one-way but you can buy a return when you are on top. This costs $13,000 COP (US$3.50). Or you can save yourself the hassle of having to buy twice and get “ida y regreso” (two-way) unless you plan on living up there somehow. This is $22,000 COP (US$6). Or you can book a tour.

I personally prefer the teleférico for the view even though it is usually crammed with people. Make sure and run to the front facing the city for the best view.

The weekends or holidays are usually extremely busy with lines to get in as well as lines to go down from the mountain (can be even a 2-hour wait on either side). And on Sundays, the prices are about half.

Another option to get up to Monserrate is to walk. The entrance is close to the taquilla so you can just ask any guard. This can take approximately an hour for people who are used to the altitude so if you’re not, you might need a lot of breaks to catch your breath.

Sounds interesting? I’ve written about Monserrate Bogotá in much more detail to fully prepare you.

If you’re a fan of hiking and backpacking within Colombia and even to a further extent, there are so many other options for backpacking in South America.

Cost: $22,000 COP (US$6)/ per person (or free to hike)
Distance from city: 0 km

2. Tranvía de Bogotá (Tram Tour)

This tram tour is a great way to see the town of La Candelaria, Bogotá which is known for some colourful as well as traditional buildings. During the tram ride, there is a live show explaining the history of what’s around, however it’s only in Spanish but it is quite theatrical.

Cost: $25,000 COP (US$7)/ per person
Distance from city: 0 km
Website: https://tranviaBogotá.com/tranvia-cultural/

3. Salt Cathedral, Zipaquirá

Another thing to do about an hour away from the main city is the Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral). On the drive, you can see lush green landscapes. When you get to the Catedral de Sal, there is an outside area with a couple activities.

You can buy your tickets and get a free audio to listen to in different languages. You can either wait for a guided tour or go on your own (with the audio). Alternatively, you can book a tour.

If you’re interested in history and Catholicism, then the guided tour is for you. For me, it took too long so I rather go at my own pace. When you first enter, there are country flags projected on the top of the cave with which make for cool pictures.

Then you walk through the different points, each marked with a cross. Finally, you reach to the main attraction, the amazing view of the church which is an absolutely stunning view. Continuing forward you get to see all the items for sale. If you walk all the way to the end, you can see a beautiful carving of a tree in the cave wall. Another photo op!

Then to exit, you have to walk back the entire route you came in. If it’s crowded it can get a bit warm inside of the cave so make sure you’re wearing layers. On the website, there are more expensive package options which include seeing the city and other museums.

Sounds interesting? I’ve written about Salt Cathedral, Zipaquirá, Bogotá in much more detail to fully prepare you.

Cost: $37,000 COP (US$10)/ per person
Distance from city: 54 km

4. Parque Simón Bolívar

This is my favourite spot in the whole of Bogotá! Honestly, it’s nothing spectacular but it just brings me peace. It’s basically a massive park with a lake in the middle. There is also a small sand area with swings that make you feel like jumping off the swing straight into the water. Last time I went, I decided to try the swing. I hadn’t been on swing for such a long time, it made me very anxious. But I stuck with it and started to enjoy myself.

There are several play park areas and a stadium like area. At the end of the lake closest to the car park is where they feed the gigantic coy fish. There are lots of vendors inside where you can buy food, corn, popsicles, and fresh juices.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 8 km

5. Jardín Botánico de Bogotá José Celestino Mutis (Botanical Gardens)

Not too far from Parque Simon Bolivar is the Botanical Gardens. It is the biggest Botanical Garden in Colombia, emphasising the Andean and paramo ecosystems. As you walk in there is a gorgeous lake with bridge to cross over it as well as a fountain.

There are so many different types of flowers including a rose garden. Many people also like to see the hummingbirds which tend to cluster around particular plants (huge trees with red flowers).

The garden is such a huge expanse that there are also some nice restaurants to eat as well as smaller shops that you can buy from. Within the space, there is sometimes a workshop or exposition for a limited time.

Cost: $5,000 COP (US$1.50)/ per person
Distance from city: 8 km

6. Plaza Bolívar

At the heart of the city is Plaza Bolívar. This is a pinnacle spot for Bogotá engulfed with so much history, it is also the point of congregation for many protests. The best day to go is on Sundays when lots of street artists come out to paint, dance, and dress in costumers. It is usually very crowded so be sure to especially careful with your personal items.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 0 km

7. Paloquemao

This is a huge market where you can buy unlimited things from fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, meat, flowers and so much more. My parents could not stop talking about this because the flowers were so beautiful and so cheap.

A dozen of roses or a few stalks of lilies were about $5,000 COP (US$1.30). I mean there are only so many flowers you can buy even if it is so cheap. The variety of fruits and vegetables should not be underestimated too! Due to the many different climates of Colombia, this allows for many different types of produce.

You can also book a tour.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 4 km

8. Parque Jaime Duque

Parque Jaime Duque is a bit further away from the city centre. Along the drive are many lush green landscapes and beautiful terrain to see. Within the park, there are 5 sections:

  • Bioparque Wakata – a zoo with a wide variety of animals.
  • Puerto Caribe – with a lake and monuments.
  • Paseo de la Cultura – including the 7 Wonders of the world and an aviary.
  • Plaza de Juegos – self explanatory.
  • Jardín de los Monumentos – with duplicates of some of the wonders of the world including the Taj Mahal.

You can also book a tour.

This is just a quick summary, you can read more about Parque Jaime Duque here.

Cost: $23,000 COP (US$12)/ per person
Distance from city: 45 km

Courtesy of Parque Jaime Duque

9. Parque 93

This park is popular with most foreigners in Bogotá, as you’re walking around you may hear some people speaking English which is not common in Colombia. Many people like to visit this park to have a relaxing time. Sometimes they host events like concerts and book fairs when they put out bean bag chairs so you can sit comfortably and enjoy. The park is surrounded by many classy restaurants.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 13 km

10. Zona T

About 2 kilometers from Parque 93 is the most recommended spot in Bogotá, Zona T. This is where there are many restaurants, stores for shopping, and clubs. This area is classified as the highest strata (most expensive) in Bogotá’s ranking.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 8.5 km

Related: How to Conquer Feeling Homesick Abroad

11. Zona G

This is another popular area especially for great restaurants. When deciding where to go out to a restaurant, you can choose either Parque 93 (well that area), Zona T, or Zona G and have a walk around. If you see somewhere that looks good, you can eat there.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 6.4 km

12. Andres Carnes de Res

This is one of the most highly recommended places to visit. There is an accessible location around Zona T however, there is one in Chia which is about an hour outside of Bogotá that is said to be the best one. Andres Carnes is actually a restaurant with so much variety, the menu is like a book (30 something pages if I remember correctly?).

There are 5 floors each themed differently which is pretty to see. The main attraction of this restaurant is that it turns into a party after a certain time. So, if you’re looking for a quiet evening, this is the complete opposite.

Cost: Free (unless past a certain time, cover charge is $20,000 COP / US$5)/ per person
Distance from city: 35 km

13. Coffee Tasting Tour

Colombia is known for their world-famous coffee so tours are usually top of the list for coffee drinkers. There are quite a few tours you can do either going to different coffee shops, being in one place and they show you the entire process, or even going to a farm and being immersed in the entire process.

I haven’t done any of these tours personally, but we made our own little tour to try different types of coffee. Here is a list of some shops you can add to your own tour by Flavors of Bogota.

Cost: US$30-$150
Distance from city: Anywhere

14. Museo de Oro

If you know that word in Spanish, then you should have figured out that this is the gold museum. Yes, a museum full of gold items, in Colombia. No, it’s not even ridiculously expensive to visit. Most items are behind a glass case or in some way not allowed you to get too close.

Cost: $4,000 COP (US$1)
Distance from city: 0 km

15. Museo Botero

Fernando Botero is a famous Colombian artist whose artwork is featured throughout Colombia. He is famous for creating artwork that is plus sized when you see a fat guitar or fruit, it can be absolutely hilarious. In the Museo Botero in Bogotá, there are paintings as well as sculptures. Within the museum there is a beautiful garden with a fountain and a small shop.

Cost: Free
Distance from city: 0 km

Just an idea of how long you’ll need, these activities can last you about 5 days in Bogotá. Of course, you’re free to choose which you think sounds the best to you and do only those. Also, if you’re looking for some places to stay, here are some amazing recommendations for hostels in Bogotá. Where is your favourite place to visit in Bogotá?

If you’re planning a South America tour, these are some places you must see.

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24 thoughts on “15 Best Things To Do and See in Bogotá, Colombia

  1. This is an amazing list, I love the gold museum, I went to one in Costa Rica and it had so much history and information, I think seeing this one in Bogota would be so cool! I can’t wait to go to Columbia!

  2. I really want to explore Bogota, so I’m happy I read your post because I’ll refer to it when the time comes. I loved the fact that many of these things are free or cost very little, so thank you for sharing that!

  3. I have never been to Colombia, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. I hope I can visit it sometime soon 🙂

  4. How fun! Bogota has been on my list for a while, and all of these activities sound amazing. I would love to do the coffee tour and the tram tour, those sound like a blast.

  5. Bogota just looks stunning – Colombia has been high on my travel list for a while and as I don’t love hot weather or beaches, Bogota looks perfect!

  6. What an interesting cathedral to visit! I saw one similar in Poland and it was amazing to walk around. There’s definitely a lot of unique things to do in Bogota!

  7. Looks like there are some fabulous things to do and sights to see in Bogota! We are hoping to be able to get out that way in 2022! Saving this!

  8. Colombia is on my bucket list. I’m so happy to have found this post to have such excellent suggestions of must see places and events. The tram round sounds like a must do for sure.

  9. It looks like there are some incredible things to do in Bogota! I’d love to take in the view from Monserrate! The views look stunning! The botanical gardens and coffee tasting sound like loads of fun too! Thanks for the great guide!

  10. Colombia has long been on our travel wish list. Sadly, I don’t think we’re up for international travel this year. But I am bookmarking your post with fingers crossed for 2022!

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