5 tips for Bogota

Bogota Skyline
© Pixattitude | Dreamstime.com

Capital and largest city of Colombia, Bogota is a multicultural and diverse city with many attractions that seamlessly combines its ancient and modern sides. Bogota is located at an altitude of 2,600 meters and is surrounded by mountains that are surrounded by lush vegetation and also offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Discover the architectural treasures and authentic colonial treasures of the Colombian capital. Don’t miss all the interesting places to see in Bogota, and likewise, let yourself be surprised by its charm.

Tip 1: Plaza de Bolivar

Bogotá has been the most important city of the Andean Plateau since its foundation in 1538. Founded by the Spanish explorer Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada under the name of Santa Fé de Bogotá, the small Indian settlement became the seat of the Royal Court and the capital of the new Kingdom of Granada. The city grew around the energetic Plaza de Bolivar in the heart of Bogotá. Around the square are several historic buildings, including neoclassical palaces, government buildings and the largest church in all of Colombia.

Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota
© Luiz Ribeiro | Dreamstime.com

This destination was formerly known as Plaza Mayor, but was renamed in the 19th century after military leader Simón Bolívar. Plaza de Bolivar is the center of the city, and Bogota has grown around it. If you were forced to pick just one of the sights in Bogota, it should be Plaza de Bolivar.

Tip 2: Museum of Gold

The undisputed crown jewel of Bogotá’s numerous museums, and at the same time one of the most fascinating in the world, is without a doubt the Gold Museum. With more than 50,000 objects on three floors, it is overflowing with gold – naturally in the form of pre-Columbian artifacts from the indigenous peoples of Colombia. Everything is neatly arranged according to the respective cultures and corresponding time periods.

Museum of Gold in Bogota
© Marktucan | Dreamstime.com

The main attraction is the room with the gold treasure recovered from the muddy bottom of Lake Guatavita only in 1969. The world-famous object is a miniature golden replica of a raft on which a male figure with a high headdress is standing. Archaeologists assume that the figure represents the ruler of a still unknown culture, which at certain times of the year sank the gold objects into the lake as offerings in order to request the favor of the gods. For many years after the find, amateur researchers continued to argue that the discovery of the treasure proved that the legendary gold country of “El Dorado” really existed; serious archaeologists, however, continue to dismiss this as pure legend.

Tip 3: Botero Museum

The Botero Museum is named after Fernando Botero, probably the most famous painter and sculptor in Colombia and one of the most famous artists in Latin America. He gained fame primarily for his plump figures, which were inspired by the pre-Columbian era and are so characteristic of him. Numerous of these plump figures adorn the Botero Plaza at the Museo de Antioquia in Medellin. But he also achieved international fame through these figures. So you can find his sculptures today also in Singapore or Miami.

Museum Botero in Bogota
© Pixattitude | Dreamstime.com

In addition to his sculptures, the Museum Botero also contains paintings and drawings by him. But works by Degas, Monet, Dali, Picasso and other renowned artists that Botero collected throughout his life also adorn the walls. But not only the works of art in the museum are worth seeing. The imposing colonial building with its porticoes is impressive in itself, and the café in the courtyard is a great place to relax after a tour.

Tip 4: Monserrate

If you want to see the Colombian metropolis from above, take the cable car or funicular to the Cerro de Monserrate, Bogotá’s local mountain. The city’s landmark is 3,152 meters above sea level. The air gets a little thinner, as some people feel when they climb the last part of the path from the cable car station to the Monserrate monastery. But once you’ve reached the top, your mouth will remain open anyway, either because you’re gasping for air or because of the magnificent view that now opens up to you. The gigantic metropolis of Bogota now lies at your feet, surrounded by lush green hills and valleys. A truly spectacular view!

Bogota, Colombia, view of downtown buildings and cityscape
©R.M. Nunes/stock.adobe.com

You should also take a look at the picturesque church with the shrine of the “Fallen Jesus”. The church is considered one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Colombia.

Tip 5: La Candelaria

La Candelaria is the historic center of Bogota and the core of most of the city’s attractions. With its many colorful colonial houses and small cobbled streets, it exudes a very special charm that you must not miss. The special highlight of Bogota’s La Candelaria neighborhood is the street art in the form of graffiti paintings that can be found everywhere. Entire houses and walls have been artistically designed, which gives the neighborhood even more harmony.

La Candelaria of Bogota
© Pixattitude | Dreamstime.com

While La Candelaria seemed very run-down and partly disreputable about 10 years ago, it is now one of the most interesting and important Bogota highlights of all. Although it is not advisable to walk through the small alleys after dark, the neighborhood has become one of the safest in Bogota. You can spend a whole day here anyway and will hardly come out of the amazement.