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Things to do in Bogotá

Things to do in  Bogotá

Welcome to Bogotá

A city of contrasts—and one of South America’s most exciting capitals—Bogotá is a sprawling metropolis steeped in history and cosmopolitan cool. Hit the old town of La Candelaria for world-class museums and street art. Further north, the neighborhoods of Chapinero and Zona Rosa are centers for nightlife and fashion, while the Usaquén district is the go-to destination for food lovers. Walking tours and guided bike rides are a great way to see and feel the many atmospheres around, as well as to create an appetite for local food and nightlife. For farther-flung Colombia highlights, day trips take travelers to Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, coffee plantations, the sacred ground of the pre-Colombian Muisca people at Guatavita Lake, and La Chorrera and El Chiflón waterfalls.

Top 10 attractions in Bogotá

#1

Mt. Monserrate (Cerro de Monserrate)

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Mists permitting, you’ll be able to see the gleaming white Basílica del Señor de Monserrate high above the city, beckoning from the thickly forested mountains that form Bogota’s spectacular backdrop. Originally built as a monastery in 1657, it is no wonder that this glorious spot has been a site of pilgrimage ever since. The original stone path marked by statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross still leads from the colonial Candelaria district up to the sanctuary. It is a steep climb to a chilly 3152m (10,339ft) still used by pilgrims (and exercise buffs), particularly on weekends and religious holidays. Most tourists take advantage of either the funicular, a steeply pitched train, or teleferico, a cable car system, which both make the trip inexpensively throughout the day. If you do choose to walk, note that there have been muggings, so it might not be the best choice if you’re alone with an expensive camera.More
#2

Plaza de Bolivar

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Enormous and austere, Bogota’s broad, bricked central plaza was designed in 1553 to be the gathering place for tens of thousands at the hub of the federal government. Once known simply as the Plaza Mayor (Main Plaza) and serving as home to the city market, the plaza is a classic example of monumental Spanish civil engineering. Some of Bogota's most important edifices sit in the area: the soaring neoclassical national cathedral; the appropriately federalist capitol building; French neoclassical Edificio Liévano, seat of city government; and the ultra-modern stylized arches of the imposing Palace of Justice, most recently rebuilt after a 1985 terrorist attack. At the center of it all is the statue of Simón Bolívar, erected in 1846 to honor the man who liberated so much of South America from the Spanish.More
#3

La Candelaria (Historic Old Town)

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You might want to start your exploration at tiny Plazuela Del Chorro Del Quevedo, where this city was supposedly founded in 1537, by Spanish Conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. (Of course it is much, much older; Jimenez merely renamed the ancient indigenous town of Bacata “Bogota.”) However, this plaza—now the epicenter of Bogota’s hipster scene, with plenty of tattoos, Chucks, handmade jewelry and fire dancers—doesn’t really get going until dusk. Be sure to stop into one of the cool little cafes for the Candelaria’s signature beverage, a traditional Andean canelazo, made with sugarcane liquor, cinnamon and panela sugar, served steaming hot for the chill altitude. But begin instead at sprawling Plaza Bolivar, surrounded by picturesque streets lined with more tejas-topped adobes, interspersed with the city’s finest museums, coolest casas cultural, and most ornate churches.More
#4

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral (Catedral de Sal)

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Zipaquira’s attractive Spanish Colonial center, built with the wealth of the massive nearby salt mines, was founded in the 1760s some 50km (31mi) north of the Colombian capital. Today the “City of Salt,” replete with quaint cafes and souvenir shops, is Bogota’s most popular day trip—you can even make it in an antique steam train. You are here to see the famed Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, considered one of Colombia’s “Seven Wonders” and its architectural crown jewel. Climb to the Parque de Sal (“Salt Park”), just southeast of downtown, to enjoy the Plaza of the Miners’ great views and evocative art. From here, you’ll begin your journey 180m (590ft) into the heart of an enormous salt mountain.More
#5

Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

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Among Bogota’s most popular and spectacular attractions, the Museo del Oro sparkles with more than 55,000 priceless archaeological and artistic treasures. Only a fraction can be displayed at any one time within the main edifice, itself a work of art, ensconced in elegantly and eloquently designed displays of Colombia’s dazzling bounty. There are four floors of exhibits, signed in both Spanish and English, with audio guides available in a handful of other languages. From delicate filigree nose rings to carefully crafted containers for coca leaves to the famed “Muisca Raft,” depicting the legend of El Dorado, the “Golden Man,” these objects have been innovatively arranged to tell tales of pre-Colombian mining, manufacturing and metallurgy.More
#6

Bogotá Mint Museum (Museo Casa de la Moneda)

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Aside from the thrill of “discovering” new lands, the Spanish conquistadores were endlessly driven by thoughts of discovering gold. Here at Bogota’s Casa de Moneda, walk amidst the spot where gold was first minted in Colombia, having stood in this spot since 1622 when the King of Spain ordered the production of gold coins in Bogota. Since money and power seem to go hand in hand, this museum that’s based around Colombian currency has many political undertones, where the type of currency that’s been minted through the years shows fascinating parallels between the political era and Colombia’s historical events. From the initial barter of ceramics and pots that was used by indigenous tribes, the currencies weave a chronological tale as viewed through production of money.More
#7

Botero Museum (Museo Botero)

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The sensuous silhouettes and deliciously plump proportions of his subjects have become famous the world over. His presidents and prostitutes, bullfights and firefights, capture the Colombian experience with a whimsy that belies otherwise serious scenes shattered by earthquakes, war and relationships. All are instantly recognizable as Botero. While Fernando Botero’s unparalleled talent across multiple mediums—from sculpture to watercolor to charcoal—has earned him international acclaim, it is his generosity that has made the artist Colombia’s favorite son. At the peak of his fame, the artist donated 208 pieces to the government of Colombia including 85 pieces by other masters including Chagall, Renoir and Monet. The entire collection was valued at US$200 million; you are invited to enjoy it all for free.More
#8

Lake Guatavita

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The Legend of El Dorado, the “Golden Man,” once inspired the Spanish conquistadors to historic acts of bravery, blunder, and bloodshed. Those stories of outrageous wealth and waste almost certainly started here, with the glittering pre-Columbian ceremonies that once took place at this small crater lake. (Which is really the lake’s first mystery; though geologists speculate that a meteor made this scenic spot, no one knows for sure). The rumors that captivated the cold-hearted conquistadors told of Muisca shamans and chiefs completely covered in gold and draped with every sort of gem and precious metal. These gleaming and godlike figures would then be carried out on ceremonial rafts to the center of pretty little Lake Guatavita, where they would pour their riches into the water to appease some monster, perhaps a serpent god, hiding below its deceptively serene surface.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Bogotá

How to Spend 2 Days in Bogotá

Top activities in Bogotá

Bogota City Tour

Bogota City Tour

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23
From
US$ 111.00
Bogotá Bike Tour

Bogotá Bike Tour

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2027
From
US$ 20.00
Bogota • Private City Tour

Bogota • Private City Tour

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13
From
US$ 159.00
Bogota Local Pal

Bogota Local Pal

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21
From
US$ 57.60
per group
The Bogotá food experience

The Bogotá food experience

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81
From
US$ 28.00
City Tour: Bogotá Essentials

City Tour: Bogotá Essentials

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4
From
US$ 85.34
Private Tour to the Guatavita Lagoon

Private Tour to the Guatavita Lagoon

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3
From
US$ 124.67
CATEDRAL DE SAL ZIPAQUIRA Tour Privado

Special Offer

CATEDRAL DE SAL ZIPAQUIRA Tour Privado

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5
From
US$ 59.63
US$ 69.34  US$ 9.71 savings
Guatavita Lake - Salt Cathedral

Guatavita Lake - Salt Cathedral

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19
From
US$ 95.00
Amazon Experience

Amazon Experience

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19
From
US$ 1,235.00
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

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7
From
US$ 99.00

Recent reviews from experiences in Bogotá

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Superb tour - would recommend!
Ruth_H, Nov 2020
Bogotá Bike Tour
Juan Felipe was a brilliant guide, his English was perfect and he was so passionate and knowledgable about Bogota and Columbian history.
star-5
Excellent people to visit Bogota with
aude_d, Mar 2020
Layover / transit customized tour with locals (airport pickup)
I only had 6 hours to visit Bogota and really it was fast but managed to do as much as possible in the little time we had and with the bad weather.
star-5
Great tour when you have little time to explore the city
Monika, Mar 2020
Bogota In Transit Transportation 6-Hour Layover Experience
We had only half day in Bogota so this is a great way how to see as much as possible.
star-5
Bogata
Richard_D, Feb 2020
SHARED Tour to the Laguna de Guatavita and Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
One of the best things to do from Bogota.
star-5
Good tour
lauradokkenlarson1, Feb 2020
City Tour: Bogotá Essentials
Ana was an excellent tour guide, very fluent in english and very knowledgable of Bogota.
star-5
Amazing Tour
ervisg24, Feb 2020
Bogotá Bike Tour
Lot's of beautiful things to see in Bogota.
star-5
Great day trip!
plzaharia, Aug 2019
Waterfall La Chorrera de Choachí Hike Tour + Optional Lunch
This was a super cool day trip Fromm Bogota, allowing to see the amazing nature and the waterfalls close to the city!
star-5
Tour around Bogota
SteffenE82, Jul 2019
La Candelaria, Mount Monserrate and Museo del Oro in One Day in Bogota
it was a perfect day with a lot of interesting thing to see and we had a lot of information about everything we saw during our day tour.
star-5
Worth it!
Global312983, Jun 2019
Bogota City Tour with Gold Museum and Optional Monserrate
Got to see so many historical aspects of Bogota.
star-5
Private City Tour Bogota
Travelbon4, Jul 2018
Private Bogota City Tour
His command of English was perfect as was his knowledge of history of Bogota.
star-5
A nice private tour to see the salt...
Alvin T, Oct 2017
Zipaquirá Tour Including The Salt Cathedral, Independence Square and The Main Squares
A nice private tour to see the salt cathedral.
star-5
This is a great tour for anyone...
HT, Mar 2018
La Candelaria, Mount Monserrate and Museo del Oro in One Day in Bogota
This is a great tour for anyone wanting to visit some of the must see sights in Bogota.
star-5
This was a great tour to fill up our...
earlyne.alexander, Jan 2018
Private Bogota Layover Tour with transfer in & out - 4 hours
Out tour guide, Clara, is very knowledgeable and spoke English perfectly.
star-5
A good way to see the essential...
Kenneth Choy, Oct 2017
Bogota City Tour with Gold Museum and Optional Monserrate
A good way to see the essential parts of Bogota, and our tour guide Felipe is great!
star-5
Riding the Transmilenio was a crash...
gerryc, Mar 2018
Private Urban Experience in Bogota. Spend your like as a local.
Ariel, the guide, was fluent in English and was knowledgeable about the artifacts in the Gold museum and art works in the Botero museum.
star-5
This is a very good tour. The guide...
Jason A, Jan 2017
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Guatavita Lagoon Daytrip from Bogota
The guide was very good and spoke good English.
star-5
Fantastic tour... get to see a side...
David N, Jul 2015
Bogota Bike Tour with street art
get to see a side to Bogota which few probably do.
star-4
The pick up and drop off went...
Meghan M, Feb 2016
Bogota In Transit Tour (6-hour layover experience)
It was definitely pricey for a short tour but a great way to see some of Bogota on a layover.
star-5
The Bogota Private City Tour with...
Wendell M, Nov 2013
Bogota In Transit Tour (6-hour layover experience)
Also, I was able to choose which places I'd like to visit.
star-5
Best trip and guide!
Jessica_P, Feb 2020
Waterfall La Chorrera de Choachí Hike Tour + Optional Lunch
We were able to see beautiful forest in the mountains, the waterfalls were spectacular, and we also were able to see the beautiful countryside and farming life that was very different than Bogota.

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