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A metropolis in the mountains filled with a grand heritage and surrounded by natural beauty, Colombia’s capital city has a world-class collection of unique and immersive attractions. Colonial churches and cobblestone walkways share the space with high-rises, while lively experimental theaters stand alongside some of the most exciting museums in the Americas. Whether you’re after outdoor adventure or just some fine Colombian coffee, there are enough things to do in Bogota to keep you busy through any visit.
Cobblestone streets and homes from the Spanish colonial period set the tone for Bogota’s old city. Baroque and Art Deco styles give the neighborhood a special artistic flair, while museums, cafés, and theaters make it a favorite destination for patrons of any style.
This beloved nightlife district has plenty of malls, discos, and pubs surrounded by hotels and new, modern developments. Locals and foreigners enjoy some of the town’s best drinks in Zona Rosa, the clubs of Alto Chapinero mark the heart of Bogota’s LGBT community, and the eateries in Zona G serve up fine dining from both sides of the Pacific.
Home to the city’s biggest open spaces, sports venues, and Colombia’s largest university, this area is an energetic center of the city. Stop by for the botanical gardens, outdoor activities, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and the upscale planned community of Ciudad Saltire.
High-end shopping malls, boutique shops, and country clubs fill this rarefied neighborhood in the northwest corner of the city. With restaurants and antique shops in colonial-era storefronts, Usaquen is a frequent retreat for Bogota’s high society.
The giant ridgeline of the Eastern Hills looms over the edge of the city, offering a hard-to-miss reminder that you’re in the heights of the Andes. Accessible by leg-pumping hike or scenic cable car, the peak of Monserrate offers a terrific look over the city, complete with a shrine and mountaintop café, or you can visit the observation deck at Colpatria Tower to snag stunning views from one of the tallest buildings in South America.
Don’t miss a chance to visit Bolivar Square, where you’re surrounded by civic buildings, Neoclassical landmarks, and sweeping views of the mountains. For a look at the city’s natural side, head to retreats like Enrique Olaya Herrera National Park and the Bogota Botanical Garden to find a wealth of flora, from palm trees to endangered flowers from the Amazon.
The streets of Bogota have enough on offer to keep anybody on the move. You can start the day at the local bakeries, street stalls, and handicraft markets, or get the inside scoop on what makes Colombia coffee so good. A bicycle tour can whisk you past the traffic to show you around the neighborhoods, and more than 75 miles (120 km) of city streets are reserved for cyclists every Saturday if you want to explore on your own.
If you’re looking for history and cultural heritage, the National Museum of Colombia tells a story that reaches from the Muisca Confederation through more than 200 years of Colombian independence, while the Emerald Museum and Gold Museum show off the rich pre-Columbian artifacts that fed the story of El Dorado.
Get an introduction to the world of Colombian art at the Botero Museum and Luis Angel Arango Library, packed with artwork, literature, and live events, or you can get a guide to show you the brilliant murals and street art that thrive around the city. If you want to get out of town, the Bogota Savanna has destinations from towering Tequendama Falls to the unique underground halls at the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, along with the charming towns and coffee estates that rest out in the mountains.
Some say the best things in life are free. Be sure to visit the following around Bogotá:
National Museum - Bring the entire family and go on an intriguing adventure through history with each other.
Attorney General's Building - If you're a fan of modern-style architecture, add this landmark to your to-do list.
National University of Colombia - You'll feel like you've taken a step back in time while wandering around this historic site.
Plaza Central de Usaquén - Find out why visitors and locals alike are enchanted by the atmosphere of this place.
Cascada La Chorrera - Find a nice place to sit and enjoy the feeling of calm that goes hand in hand with being near the water.
Paloquemao - If you're eager to check out some of the more important or unique places in the community, this is a great place to start.
Iglesia de San Diego - Take a few moments for some meditation or prayer at this respected holy site.
Monserrate - Kick back and let the natural surrounds here soothe your soul.
Parque Simón Bolívar - Organize a picnic and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the beautiful plants.
Take advantage of the nice weather (and get some exercise as well) with some of these outdoor experiences:
Try one or two of these indoor activities and turn a gray, rainy day into something unforgettable:
No stay in Bogotá is truly complete without touring Monserrate and Plaza de Bolivar.
Put these attractions toward the top of your must-do list to get the most out of your trip:
Treat yourself to a Panoramic City Tour - Group tour and daily departure and put the dollars you save toward more fantastic experiences.
You could leave your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these top attractions won't cost you a thing: