Areas & Neighborhoods in Bogotá
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.
What to See in Bogota
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.
Sightseeing in Bogotá
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.