Whether it’s a long layover or just a quick stop – Bogota shouldn’t be passed over in Colombia. Even if you only have one day in Bogota, here’s what you can’t miss about the city, how to get there, what to be sure to eat and where to stay if you are going to overnight.
Everything mentioned can be done on your own, or if you prefer to book tickets in advance or book guides, there are links to do that too (for example, you can do a waterfall hike or go to a club, with salsa lessons included)!
To make things easy for you, everywhere mentioned in this post is ALREADY PINNED in the embedded Google Map below!
One day in Bogota
Most people describe Bogota as a cold, inhospitable and congested place. Although I couldn’t say it’s entirely wrong, many places and activities should, however, deserve your attention.
Because the capital is vast, you have to be a bit more organized than usual to enjoy it in one day. But I bet you my favorite ice-cream that you will keep delightful memories if you follow the tips below. Ready to discover the secrets of one of the highest capitals in the world?
Getting into Bogota
Bogota is a hub for international flights. You won’t get any difficulties to land in the capital as most of the travelers start visiting Colombia from there.
The other alternative is the bus. There are many in Colombia, and it’s cheap. However, the roads are not highways. Don’t think you will cross the country in 10 hours. Foresee 10 hours from Cali, 9 hours from Medellin and 18 hours from Cartagena. Some options are Bolivariano, Velotax and Expreso Palmira.
Tip: Bus drivers love the air-con. Take a jacket.
What to do in Bogota in one day
Although the city has more than 8 million inhabitants, many activities are concentrated in la Candelaria. I advise you to book a tour in the morning to discover the first insights of Bogota and learn about its fascinating history.
To make things easy for you, everywhere mentioned in this post is ALREADY PINNED in this Google Map!
Food tour in Bogota – Paloquemao Market
Paloquemao is a HUGE food market where you can taste the weirdest fruits of Colombia. Wander between the colorful stands and fill up your belly with new staples and delightful juices.
Did you know Colombians like to drink chocolate with cheese for breakfast?
Bicycle tour in Bogota
Bogota is bicycle friendly. There are cycle paths everywhere, and it’s the best way to discover the other districts of the city. On Sunday morning, many roads close and thousands of Colombians cycle on the Ciclovia.
Free Walking Tours and Graffiti Tours
Free Walking Tours are common in South America. And I love them. Most of the time guides are funny, cultured and you learn a lot about the place. It’s also a great way to meet other travelers.
Find out the secrets of La Candelaria and the best street arts.
You have to register on their website before showing up. And don’t forget to let a tip at the end 😉
Beer tour in Bogota
You’ve got some Irish blood in your veins? Don’t worry bro. You can learn about the capital and drink beers at the same time.
Brewing beer becomes a fashion activity in Bogota, and some local bars are making fantastic beverages. Keep in mind this information if you want to chill after a beautiful but exhausting day.
Once you know more about the cultural side of the city, don’t hesitate to enjoy the place on your own. If you want a guided option, you can look at this one.
Visit of La Candelaria
La Candelaria is a district made of colonial buildings and street arts. Walk on the uneven cobblestone streets to find out the best graffitis along the governmental structures. Then take a break and savor a black coffee to recover your energy.
The Gold Museum
Do you know the myth of the Eldorado? A secret place covered with gold that made fantasize thousands of Conquistadores. Well, the story begins because of a lake (Guatavita) near Bogota. And to gather the impressive artifact collection (more than 55 000), the government has opened a museum in 1939.
Duration: 1- 2 hours
Other option: You’re not a gold person? Check out the Botero Museum instead! He’s one of the most famous artists in the country.
Take the funicular to Monserrate
Monserrate is a church at the top of a mountain above Bogota. From there, you get an astonishing view of the capital and some fresh air. It will cost you around $5 for a roundtrip ticket.
Duration: A couple of hours; 3 hours with a guided tour.
Tip: Try to be there for the sunset!
If thunders and rains are making a giant party above your head, why don’t you play a Tejo Game? It’s a national sport in Colombia. Especially in the Andean Region.
You will have to throw an iron disk into a box full of clay and paper with gunpowder. I guarantee you loads of fun and a few explosions.
What to taste in Bogota in one day
Zona Rosa and G
As a capital, Bogota attracts worldwide chef. Many of the great restaurants are concentrated in Zona G and the Zona Rosa. (Upper-class district)
If you want to try Colombian specialties like Ajiaco, you should check out in La Candelaria.
This plate, made of chicken, potatoes, carrots, a cob of corns with kernels, a side of rice, avocado, sour cream, and capers, is perfect for lunch.
Or you can try empañadas and arepas from one of the many street food stands.
I recommend you La Puerta Falsa or the Paloquemao Market.
If you start mixing the savors, you can drink a different juice each day of the year. Try blackberry, passion fruits, mango, cranberry, strawberry, pineapple, lulo and find your favorite drink.
Where to stay in Bogota
Bogota is divided into many districts. To keep it simple, you should remember the following:
La Candelaria is a district with many hostels for backpackers. You can walk safely during the day, but it becomes a little dodgy at night – use a taxi after 10 pm. A great hostel is the Cranky Croc.
In Chapinero, there are many restaurants and bars. It’s safer than La Candelaria and prices are still affordable. It’s a better location if you want to spend a lovely night. I love the hostel 12:12.
North of Chapinero, there is Zona Rosa/Parque 93. Upper-class Colombians like to party in this area. It’s one of the safest districts in Bogota, and you will have the choice between many excellent restaurants and hotels.
Other options to stay in Bogota:
- AirBnb: Bogota has a ton options on AirBnb, with many of them private rooms around $10! Save $40 on your first booking with this link.
- Booking: There are literal thousands of options on Booking; save $20 on your first booking with this link.
Bogota day tours
If you prefer to do any of the above with guides, or book in advance, here are some great options.
- Viator offers Bogota tours starting at $10 walking tours, and also have a range from short options, biking and walking tours to full day tours.
- GetYourGuide lets you book anything in Bogota from rafting and skydiving to full day guided tour.
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