Updated January 2018
There are a number of exchange bureaus near the Museo del Oro Transmilenio station in the centre of Bogota for changing dollars for pesos (as well as many other world currencies). This should result in you getting a much better rate than if you change dollars at a shopping mall – just make sure you shop around!
Changing euros or dollars for pesos in Downtown Bogotá
In December 2017, my boyfriend changed some pesos for dollars at the Emerald Trade Center on Avenida Jimenez with Carrera 5 in downtown Bogota. It’s not far from the Museo de Oro Transmilenio station. You go into the trade center and the exchange bureau will be on your right. He has to exchange money quite often, and he said they offer a good exchange rate compared to other places.
In some of the expat Facebook groups, people have recommended Avenida Chile Centro Commercial (shopping mall) as a good place to exchange money. This is on Calle 72 with carrera 9.
If you live up near Santa Barbara or Usaquén, there are a number of exchange bureaus on the opposite side of the road from Unicentro shopping mall on Carrera 15 between Calle 123-127. We have exchanged currencies here a few times, and they sometimes have good rates.
Tip: ask the exchange rate before you take out your money
I wouldn’t recommend walking into any exchange bureau and pulling out a wad of money before you know the exchange rate. First ask them what the exchange rate is for your currency, and make sure you cross-reference with Google/XE.com beforehand to make sure it’s more or less reasonable. For example, if Google gives a current exchange rate of 3000 pesos to the dollar, and an exchange bureau offers you a rate of 2800, that’s ok. If in doubt (and I would actually recommend you do this anyway), walk around the exchange bureaus in the area, and check their rates too. They usually offer a similar rate, but some might offer 2,900 where others would offer 2,850. So it’s good to shop around.
Research prices beforehand
I recommend being as thorough in your research as possible before asking the price of anything in Colombia. This applies to exchange bureaus, taxis, buses between cities, market stalls, city tours, and anything which involves you having to hand over cash for something that doesn’t have a physical price tag.