Sometimes the hustle and bustle of a big city like Bogotá just gets too much. Ask anyone who lives in one of the world’s major metropolises and they’ll surely agree: for all the cultural options, for all the night life, for all opportunities to meet new people – sometimes the traffic, the constant barrage of people, the noise, the concrete… It all just gets a little overwhelming. Recently I had one of those days when I felt the need to get away and take a breather and so my friend and I decided we’d escape the madness in Bogotá and head to… Bogotá.
In the north of Bogotá, not far from Zona Rosa, sits Usaquén. It’s a small village-within-a-city that feels a million miles away, despite being just off one of the city’s busiest roads. Having such a quaint, green little area inside one of the world’s biggest, busiest cities is an odd juxtaposition but one that speaks volumes about Bogotá and its diversity.
In Usaquén you’ll find an ever-growing number of restaurants, including the famed Tienda del Café or, if you’re looking to mingle with the elite in Bogotá, you can try 80 Sillas or the incomparable meat at 7, 16 Steakhouse. Whatever you settle on you’re almost guaranteed a great meal and, afterwards, you can head to Bogotá Beer Company or The Pub for a nice pint rubbing shoulders with the young and fashionable of Bogotá.
Also in Usaquén is an enormous mall, distinct from most malls in its tasteful design that nods towards colonial design and, yet, keeps fully up-to-date in terms of what’s on offer. In the mall, too, you’ll find plenty of good dining options and, in the evening, live music performances in the bars that dot the entrance.
Usaquén was formerly its own municipality, which might go some way to explaining the areas distinct character. It was merged with Bogotá in the middle of the 20th Century and has since become a popular neighborhood of Bogotá for tourists and locals alike.
You can get to Usaquén via bus or taxi along Kra 7ma. It’s a rewarding day out for those looking for fine-dining and a little shopping, or for those, like me, who just want to escape the madness of the centre.
As is always the case when you’re a city person, after a day wandering quiet, peaceful streets, I was rejuvenated and ready to propel myself back into the dizzying swirl of Bogotá’s city centre.