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Bogota FAQs

These are questions people are asking about Bogota and Colombia, according to Google. I’m copying and pasting them here, and attempting to answer them. Please keep in mind that these are mostly my opinions. I’ll try to reference sources where relevant but most answers will be based on my personal experience in Bogota. Someone else may have a difference experience.

Where is Bogota, Colombia?

Bogota is located in the Eastern Andes and extends across a high plateau known as the Bogotá savanna in the centre of Colombia.

How high is Bogota, Colombia?

At an altitude of over 2,600 meters above sea level (over 8,500 ft), it is the third highest capital in the world after Quito, Ecuador and La Paz, Bolivia.

How is Bogota, Colombia, as a city?

It’s a sprawling urban metropolis with not many green areas in the city but with beautiful countryside surrounding it. Wherever you are in Bogota, you’ll see the beautiful green Eastern Andes to the east side of the city. Bogota is more expensive, generally, than the rest of Colombia. It’s pretty annoying that Bogota doesn’t have a metro like Mexico City or Buenos Aires (though they’ve been talking about building it for decades), but the TransMilenio bus system is an okay alternative. If you can make a decent salary – nowadays (2019) I’d say $1,200 USD a month at the very least to be comfortable – you can live quite well in Bogota. The weather is chilly in general due to the high altitude but the sun is strong when it comes out. Bogota has wet seasons and dry seasons. Always carry an umbrella and rain jacket with you in the wet season. The worst thing about the city, for me, is the air pollution.

Is Bogota safe?

Bogota is probably as safe as any big city. The worst that’s likely to happen to you is being pick-pocketed. To avoid this, always keep your valuables secure in a fastened bag or pocket and wear your backpack on the front of your body if you’re in a very crowded area. If you take a taxi, always order it using a cellphone app or ask your hotel/restaurant to call you one.

Here are some safety tips for when you’re in Bogota, here are tips for taking a taxi in Bogota, and here are some taxi apps for you to download onto your phone.

Where to stay in Bogota?

  • Stay in La Candelaria if you want to be near to the museums and tours downtown. It’s the oldest part of Bogota and has more of a colonial feel to it. Downtown is also a good option, but be careful because some areas are sketchy. Near Parque de los Periodistas or south of Calle 19 (east of Carrera 10) would be okay.
  • Stay in Chicó (Bogota’s Zona Rosa) for a more upscale experience. Rub shoulders with Bogota’s well-to-do population and experience top cuisine, bars and parties at a higher price than elsewhere in the city.
  • Usaquén has some nice hotels but in my opinion is a bit out of the way. It’s a great option if you’ll be in Bogota on a Sunday, as you can visit Usaquen’s excellent Sunday flea market. Great restaurant scene too.
  • Salitre is a more modern part of the city and is the best located if you want to be able to get to and from the airport easily. It has some nice international hotel chains along Calle 26/El Dorado but feels less authentically Colombian.

What to see in Bogota, Colombia

  • The sunset from the top of Monserrate (and the Christmas lights there in December).
  • The street art in the Candelaria and downtown Bogota.
  • The latest exhibition at Bogota’s Museum of Modern Art (MAMBO).
  • The Gold Museum, Botero Museum, MAMU art museum, and Simon Bolivar’s House.
  • The oldest restaurant in town, La Puerta Falsa. Try the hot chocolate and cheese for breakfast, or an ajiaco soup for lunch.
  • Libreria Merlin, a literary menagerie that competes with Paris’s Shakespeare & Company.
  • Usaquen neighborhood for its restaurants, nice square and streets, and Sunday flea market.
  • Bogota’s best coffee shops

…off the top of my head!