Travel

Travel Tuesdays: Thirteen Things to Do In Bogota, Colombia

My boyfriend and I stopped in Bogota to get our visas for Brazil and stayed for about a week.  We flew in and out of South America through the Bogota Airport, so we hit Bogota at the start and end of our trip.  You can fly to Bogota from Florida for about $300 round trip.  Step out of your comfort zone and into Colombia’s capital city.

1. Take in the airport.  Bogota has the #1 airport in South America.  A plane ticket gets you access to one of the nicest parts of the city and lots of tasty free chocolate samples.

2. Go for a stroll in La Candelaria, an old Colonial village where many tourists stay.

3. Try Cosechas, local smoothie chain.  I recommend morongo sandía (strawberry watermelon).

4. Eat some street food.  I loved the beef empanadas, buñuelos, pandebono (cheese bread), chorizos, and churros.

5. Fly a kite in Simon Bolivar park.

6. Explore the Bogota Botanic Gardens.

7. Drink the water.  It’s totally potable.

8. Take the free Bogota Graffiti Tour.

9. Get a beer at Bogota Beer Company, which I can best describe as a beer cafe.

10. Or, grab a bottle of Aguardiente (local anis- flavored liquor) at a cigarerria (liquor store) and slowly get drunk with the locals.

11. Visit the Botero Museum for free.

12. See a soccer game.  Millonarios and Santa Fe are the two big teams.

13. Take the funicular up to Monserrate Mountain.  We did not do this, but everyone suggests it.  Hike during the weekend when the train has policia; take the cable car at night or on weekdays.  Or, hike up, and ride the car down.

DON’T

  • Drink the milk.  You must boil it!  I got very sick.
  • Try to get into a club in Zona Rosa if you have dirty backpacker shoes on.
  • Be a dumbass.  Speak Spanish if possible and avoid flashing your iPhone.  People are nice, but lots of crime exists in the city.  The traffic can also be very dangerous for pedestrians.
  • Go hungry.  People here usually have some coffee and pastries for breakfast, a big lunch, and leftovers for dinner.  Lots of restaurants only offer lunch until about 5; eat your big meal from 12- 3 for the best options and prices.

GETTING AROUND

A variety of official (and unofficial) buses comb Bogota’s street at stop and somewhat reliable intervals.  The more legit the bus, the more punctual.  Trans Milenio operates the official city buses.  Read the signs in the window for stop details.  Bogota also has taxis and Uber.  Most locals drive motorcycles.  I would only recommend renting a motorbike in Bogota if you have lots of city motorcycle experience.

 

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