Bogota, Colombia

BOGOTA

YOU MUST LIVE IT TO LOVE IT

WHY I LOVE

BOGOTA
  1. You will never be bored, there is always something to do, amazing restaurants and bars, museums, shopping centers, concerts, amazing libraries, parks, party places… as highlighted here!
  2. The weather – not too cold or too hot.
  3. Fruits – you do not need to go to the store to have a delicious fruit salad or a fresh orange juice because in Bogota there are hundreds of small business in the streets that sell these delicacies. They are everywhere from 6:30 am.

24 HRS IN BOGOTA

SEE, EAT & DO

First stop is brunch at Club Colombia. It isn’t cheap but well worth it and you probably won’t need lunch! You can’t leave Bogota without going to Usaquen. There are three different markets on Sundays, amazing food, artists, lovely objects, music…Usaquen is a neighbourhood in Bogota, and the best way to get there is by take a taxi and ask the driver to take you to Mercado de las pulgas Usaquen. 

Bogota has a good street food scene and you can try this at Usaquen but as it’s only on a Sunday other great options are in Macarena or La Zona G – which is also where there are great bars – but perhaps a little too early for that yet! Check this site for addresses.

Two great options here. The first is if you would like to see a great view of Bogota and experience local restaurants then head to Mirador la Calera. You’ll need to use a taxi to get here, or better yet if you hire a car. If you drive to the top, you will need to pay a small fee, the view is even better and there are some very special restaurants with very  traditional food called Fritanga do not miss it. Best of these restaurants: Entre Pues, La MazorcaEl tambor. You will see them easily. They are on the edge of the road. Then head back into the city for Salsa! Colombia has a very special type of salsa – if you’ve been to Cuba and Puerto Rico you will see the difference. These two are brilliant if you are with locals- Quiebra Canto and Cuban Jazz café. If you don’t have a local with you these are the two best – Galeria Café y Libro and Salome Pagana .

Second option is if you are after a big party scene and if going to the largest outdoor club in Sth America gets you excited then head to Andres Carne de Res. It is a very unique experience and they also serve great food – local dishes such as areas and empanadas. It’s here that you’ll go crazy taking photos of the interiors – it’s a heady mix of colours, art, religious items, neon…If you can’t make it to Chia with is a 40 min drive outside of Bogota you can also go to the one in Bogota which is still worth going to but not as impressive.

TOP 5 SPOTS

TO EAT

This restaurant does an amazing traditional Colombian dish known as “fritanga” – or fried food platter – meaning you’re not allowed to eat it frequently, even though you will bloody love it. It’s a dish that tastes better with friends because it’s social and fun to share. Fritanga has several adaptations, but in general a plate will include: chorizo, arepas, patacones (fried green plantains), chicharron (fried pork belly), papa criolla (small yellow potatoes), yuca frita (fried yucca), morcilla (similar to black pudding), guacamole (mashed avocado) and aji (chilli sauce).

At Andres Carne de Res you will enjoy not only a peerless environment, but delicious food, from exotic salads, to the most exquisite beef. If you aren’t that hungry, “arepas” with “hogao” (combination of tomato and onion sauce) and choclo arepas (I can’t translate choclo but you must try it) are good options. Fruit salads and natural juices are absolutely marvellous. As mentioned in the 24 hr guide this is a unique experience!

La Puerta Falsa – this traditional and old place is one of the hidden pearls in Bogotá. Located in the city centre, La Puerta Falsa offers the most traditional and delicious “Tamal Bogotano” accompanied by warm chocolate and cheese, yes, it sounds weird but it is an experience that you have to try if you come to Bogotá. To those who wonder, tamal is a paste made with rice, meat or chicken, chickpea, carrot, and spices, wrapped in plantain leaves and steam cooked. This restaurant is one of the oldest in Bogota and one of my grandfather’s favourites.

If you want to try the best “Ajiaco” (my favourite Colombian dish, by the way) go to Club Colombia. This is a very fancy and lovely place located in a nice area of Bogota. Club Colombia offers a great variety of traditional Colombian food, all with the best quality ingredients and service. Brunch at Club Colombia is extraordinary, colourful and enjoyable experience.  Ajiaco is a soup cooked with chicken, different types of potatoes, corn, and a special herb called guascas. This soup is normally served with single cream and capers.

El Abasto is located in Usaquen, a very special neighborhood in Bogota. El Abasto serves the best “granadilla” and grape juice in the entire city. I love this place because its food is a fusion between old traditional dishes and new tendencies. Brunch is also delicious, just remember to reserve or to arrive early, it tends to be fully booked during weekends especially during brunch time.

ESSENTIALS

Do not take a cab in the street, order it by phone and avoid using your mobile in the streets.

The best way to make your life easy and your holiday enjoyable is to hire a cab, preferably from your hotel. Public transport in Bogota is a bit chaotic and not always safe (hopefully it will change). In any case you can also walk but as mentioned don’t show off expensive items or use your phone in public.

For a custom made leather bag you can get this made in the leather district much cheaper than anywhere else in Europe for example. Come with a bag you would like to be copied, made in leather – you’ll just need to wait two weeks, but will be well worth it!

If you have the chance, go to any small town near Bogota and on the roads you will find spectacular restaurants. 

CARTEGENA

  1. Go to Juan del mar restaurant for a romantic dinner
  2. Stay at least one night at Isla del Encanto at Islas del Rosario – Rosario Islands.
  3. Go to La Vitrola restaurant
  4. Have lovely seafood at Club de pesca

Cali, Medellin and Santa Marta are also beautiful and interesting cities.

3 Comments

  • Isidra says:

    Hello , I do consider this is a great website. I
    stumbled upon it on Yahoo , I will come back once again.

  • A pigeon A pigeon says:

    Hi Tina. Your blog looks really interesting. Glad our guide has given you a few tips from the locals. We have two guides on Bogota and both of our contributors are living their so if you need any additional tips just let us know! 😉

  • Thank you that helped! Let’s see what I find in Bogota 🙂

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