Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia and is, with an estimated population of around 8 million people, also the largest city of the country. We visited this bustling city as a part of a round trip through Colombia. In this article I will tell you all about the activities that we did and the places that we visited. Let’s explore this city together!
During our visit to Bogotá, we stayed in La Casa de las Plazas for three nights. This is a hostel. We stayed in a private room with a private bathroom. The location of this accommodation is great, since it’s located in La Candelaria in walking distance from all kinds of restaurants en Plaza Bolivar. One negitave is that is was a little noisy, since our room was right next to the common area.
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Wander through La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the historic center of the city and is very colorful. Here you will find colonial buildings, lots of street art and the Cathedral and national capitol on Plaza Bolivar. It’s very nice to wander around and take some photos.
Be aware that the area can be a little sketchy, especially during the night. If it doesn’t feel safe, just keep your phone en camera inside your backpack and be aware of pickpockets. Luckily, we haven’t once felt unsafe!
Food and drinks in La Candelaria
There are many restaurants, cafes and bars in La Candelaria. I can recommend Bogotá Store Café for breakfast and Dos Gatos y Simone and La Hamburgueseria Candelaria for dinner.
The activity we liked the most in Bogotá was the bike tour. I don’t know if this has anything to do with us being Dutch, but we think it really is the most fun way to discover the city.
We did the tour with Bogotá Bike Tours. They offer different kinds of tours. We went for the Daily Bike Tour which took us around Bogotá in 5 hours. The tour goes every day at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. You don’t need to reserve a spot, just show up at the office around 15-20 minutes before. At the store you get your bike, and if you want a helmet, and you’re ready to go!
During the tour you’ll see different kinds of street art, buildings and the national park. Also you will visit a traditional market, where you will taste all kinds of different exotic fruits, and a small coffee roaster, where you can buy a delicious cup of Colombian coffee. Ones back at the office, you will a play Tejo, a Colombian national sport which is really fun.
Isn’t biking really your thing? It’s also possible to do other kinds of tours, such as a walking tour or a graffiti/street art tour.
If there is not to much fog, you can go to the top of Mount Monserrate to have an incredible view over the city of Bogotá. It’s possible to walk all the way up, which will take you about 1/1,5 hour, or take the cable car, which is what we did.
After you enjoyed the view, you can walk around a bit. There’s a church on top and also some small restaurants to have something to eat or drink.
Visit a museum
There are multiple museums you can visit while in Bogotá, such as Botero museum, Museo Nacional de Colombia or Museo del Oro.
Museo del Oro (Gold Museum)
We’ve visited Museo del Oro. This is one of the most popular museums of the city is. Museo del Oro, or Gold Museum, contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. It has three floors and contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold and other materials from all of Colombia’s major pre-Hispanic cultures.
Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira
During our last day in Bogotá we went to Zipaquira to visit the Salt Cathedral. This is an is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 metres underground. The cathedral is built by the hands of saltminers and has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus. The ornaments and architectural details are all hand carved in rock salt. The Salt Cathedral is declared as the First Wonder of Colombia. I totally understand why!
How to get zo Zipaquira
To get to Zipaquira, you’ll first have to take a TransMilenio or taxi from where you’re staying to Porta del Norte. This is a huge busstation in the north of Bogota from where you can take another, somewhat smaller bus to Zipaquira. You can buy tickets at the ticketcounter and they will also show you where to take the bus. The bus ride to Zipaquira will take about an hour and you can stay in the bus, until it stops at the bus terminal (the last stop). From here it’s a 15/20 minute walk to the Salt Cathedral. If you don’t want to walk, it’s also possible to take a taxi.
Although, it’s quite a journey to get to the Cathedral, I can really command this place. It’s such an unique place, you’ll not see anywhere else.