Dec 05

Only 24 hours in Bogotá? Here’s what to do

There’s so much to do in Bogotá that you could be here a year and still be learning about the intricacies of the city. It’s not only the Colombia’s capital, it’s also the premier place to discover a fine selection of international cuisine, art exhibitions and literary festivals.

Not everyone has all year in Bogotá, of course, and many people are here for only a day. We’ve devised a little itinerary for these people, so those on business trips or at the beginning of a Colombia tour, we’ve narrowed all there is to offer here into the perfect 24 hour itinerary in Bogotá for you to spend exploring this sprawling, fascinating city.

The rooftops of Bogotá
The rooftops of Bogotá

Morning/Afternoon

There are numerous city tours on offer in Bogotá, but we’d strongly recommend 2 from See Colombia Travel. Firstly there’s a bike tour, which will take you around the historic area of La Candelaria. You’ll see the area’s most important landmarks, including Plaza Simon Bolivar where you’ll see the spectacular Cathedral, the Chapel of El Sagrario, the Cardinal’s Palace and the Capitolio or Congress Building. Behind the latter is the Nariño Palace, home of the president and one of the most stunning buildings in Bogotá. There will also be opportunities to visit the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, host of a wealth of Botero paintings and sculptures.

Alternatively, you can take the City Tour which, minus the cycling, includes all the above and includes a visit to the memorable Monserrate – a beautiful church perched in the mountains that surround Bogotá. Here you’ll find plenty of trinkets and arts and crafts to take back home, as well as a selection of local street foods and drinks. For the more romantic among you, you can also arrange to have a glass of delicious wine in any of the two restaurants, where you’ll sit by the fireplace overlooking stunning views of Bogotá.

Afternoon/Evening

The center of Bogotá
The center of Bogotá

With the Bike Tour taking around 4-5 hours and the City Tour coming in at around 6 hours, by now you’ll be hankering for some lunch. You’ll want to save some room for your dinner, but since you’ll be left in the city’s center you’ll have an abundance of choice for something to tide you over. One option is to find your nearest Crepes y Waffles (there’s plenty dotted around the city), where you’ll find an abundance of delicious snacks and deserts. Alternatively you could find your way up to the bohemian area of La Macarena, an area a little off the traditional tourist trail. In La Macarena you’ll find a wealth of reasonably-priced international cuisine, including Brazilian, Italian, Argentinean, Mexican and Spanish. You’ll also find plenty of cafés, including La Chocolatera, a café that specializes in various chocolate treats. Well worth a visit.

Once you’ve eaten, hop in a taxi towards Usaquen, a tranquil, charming neighborhood in northern Bogotá. Work up an appetite by wandering around the green streets, and maybe even stop in for a beer at Bogotá Beer Company, one of Colombia’s most renowned beer chains.

Evening/Night

Once you’ve finished wandering around Usaquen, it’s time for dinner. You’ll undoubtedly have encountered plenty of restaurants that will have tickled your fancy, and there’s really no bad choice here. For cheaper eats we’d recommend you try Tienda del Cafe or La Hamburgeseria (where there’s live music at weekends). If you’re looking to splash the cash a little, try the ceviche at 80 Sillas or the incomparable meat at 7, 16 Steakhouse.

Once you’ve finished dinner, of course, it’s party time and Bogotá is a great place to be. If you’re willing to head a little outside of the city, you can arrange a visit to the unforgettable, unique and enormous Andres Carne de Res (there is another in Zona Rosa, but the one in Chia is the definitive party). However, if you want to stay in the north of Bogotá you’ll want to head to Zona Rosa. Zona Rosa is Bogotá’s premier party destination and it’s choc-full of bars and pubs for you to explore, even including a Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters. We’d recommend heading to The Irish Pub. It might not be exotic for us English-speakers, but it’s an institution here in Bogotá, and a great way to meet fellow travelers and expats. To finish off your night, head to any one of the clubs in Zona Rosa. We’d highly recommend La Villa, which plays great music you’ll recognize as well as some South American classics that’ll really get the locals going. Be sure to try a glass of Sierra del Tigre – a delicious, Colombian-brewed beer.

Church in La Candelaria
Church in La Candelaria

After all that you’ll have had a great taste of Bogotá… You may even not want to leave. If you have any questions you’d like to ask or if you want more information about spending 24 hours in Bogotá, just ask here.

Paul