21 Things To Do in Bogotá

From culture to craft to cooking; Bogota is not always top of people's list when visiting Colombia but we've got 21 reasons why it should be...

1. The Gold Museum

With the largest collection of prehispanic goldwork in the world, it is hard not to be amazed by the 34,000 gold pieces - each with their own story. Almost impossible to do in less than an hour, and definitely worth giving it more if you have the time, but this is one not to be missed. 

Gold Museum Bogota

If you're going to have one 'big' meal in Bogota, this should be it. A severn part, mouthwatering journey through rural Colombian cuisine using all local produce, a traditional open fire and a constantly evolving (set) menu. Only open for lunch and always full to the brim so be sure to book in advance.

3. Hike Up Monserrate

A favourite of locals and visitors alike, Monserrate is always busy with people running, jogging or panting up the 1,186 steps up to the 3,152m peak to catch the breathtaking views across the city. Not for the fainthearted but absolutely worth it, and plenty of water stops along the way (there is also a cable car if you want the sneaky route...). 


4. El Testigo Exhibition at Claustro San Agustin

An unforgettable exhibition depicting memories of the armed conflict through the voice and eyes of photographer Jesus Abad Colorado. The writing is only in Spanish but even with the pictures alone, it is a part of Colombia that needs to be remembered. (See also El Testigo, available on Netflix)

El Testigo

Jump in a taxi from wherever you're staying and head to the industrial district of Paloquemao for a sensory feast of tropical fruits, vegetables, plants, spices, meat, fish and so much more. If you can, hunt down the little stalls selling 'lechona' - suckling pig stuffed with rice, peas and spices and cooked in a brick oven for 10 to 12 hours... 
Paloquemao Market

6. Dinner and Dancing at Andres Carne de Res (Chia)

Like stepping through the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, Andres Carne de Res is an absolute overload on the senses in all the right ways. Just outside the city but very reachable in a taxi, this is the place to go for the most delicious meat, over the top cocktails and waiters in fancy dress overflowing with energy and enticing you to the dance floor (or onto the tables). Closing at 2am most nights, this a go big or go home kind of place. 

Andres Carne de Res

7. Graffiti Tour

A half day walking tour, pondering through the cobbled streets of downtown Bogota. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and you'll discover not only the street art but the history, culture and stories that are hidden in the walls of the city. 

Graffiti Tour

Fancy testing your dance moves to live salsa? Quiebracanto is one of the oldest salsa clubs in the city and couldn't be more welcoming, to beginners and pro's alike. If you're a little nervous, there's also a balcony you can sit and watch the show from with a drink. 

Oversize with oversize, Botera is one of Latin America's most renowned artists to this day and for very good reason. Free of charge so a perfect pit stop for a quick tour round. 
Botero Museum

10. Sunset Cocktails at Apache

The best rooftop bar in town, the perfect place to sip a cocktail and watch the sun go down. Sitting pretty above The Bog Hotel, this is a bit of a hidden secret and one well worth visiting. 


11. Wander Through The Jardin Botanico

For those slower days spent enjoying the best of nature's beauty, the Botanical Gardens are an oasis in the city. You can spend hours wandering round getting lost amongst the hidden pathways and secret corners. 

Jardin Botanico

12. Coffee Tasting at Arte y Pasión Café: Escuela de Baristas

'Arte y Pasion' take coffee very seriously, the origins of each and every bean is explained (in English!) and once you've got your head around that, you need to choose between the numerous brewing techniques. From the simple and traditional cafetierre to bunsen burners with long tall spouts in all directions, it's definitely bringing showmanship and science to coffee. 

Arte y Pasion Cafe

13. MAMBO (Mueso de Arte Moderno de Bogota)

With constantly changing exhibitions that are always full of excitement, if art is your thing then its one not to miss. You can even combine your trip with a walk through the park next door (Parque de la Independencia) and up to the Planetarium and old Bull Ring... 

Museo de Arte Moderno

14. Smoking Molly Jazz Bar

Bogota's home of rock and blues, always host to a fantastic array of bands alongside delicious cocktails and an old town Chicago style decor.

Smoking Molly Jazz Bar

15. Try your hand at Tejo

Throwing lumps of metal at gunpowder sound like your idea of fun? Tejo courts lie hidden across the city and are a great way to step off the beaten track and test your hand eye coordination over some beers. Just don't expect any plush bathrooms or English speakers round here! 


16. Shopping in Pasaje Rivas

A maze of passages tucked away behind the main square, this is the perfect destination to discover all the most traditional bits of Colombian craft. Expect haggling and perhaps not always the finest quality but always lots of smiles. 

Pasaje Rivas

17. Get Ice Cream From Selva Nevada and Sit in Parkway

Teusaquillo is a part of the city that most will never know to visit. With quiet streets of residential houses (that would probably come under the bracket of 'shabby chic') and little neighbourhood shops scattered around, this is where we would live if we were to move to Bogota. To get a taste of life in the city, head to Selva Nevada on Parkway, grab an ice cream and wander through the long thin park lined with trees watching the world go by. 


18. Museo Santa Clara

Part of a former convent, this is one of the city's most richly decorated spaces with murals, baroque altarpieces and intricate oil paintings spanning all four walls. There are even electronic displays in both Spanish and English with all the history you could dream of. 

Museo Santa Clara

19. See a Performance at Teatro Colón

This beautiful neo-classical style theatre is the country's National Theatre, built in 1885. With a huge variety of performances from ballet to music from across the country, and all for a relatively good price compared to other theatres around the world. 

Teatro Colon

20. Fragmentos

A space for art and memory. The counter-monument 'Fragmentos' is built within the walls of a crumbling building in the centre of Bogota. Working in collaboration with the women victims of the Colombian armed conflict, the weapons and armoury handed over as part of the peace process were melted and hammered down for days to create the symbolic plates that cover the floor of the space. 


21. Coffee Tasting at Jaguar Coffee House

For the real coffee connoisseurs; here you will get the full tour, from farm to cup. Jaguar Coffee House