IT'S TRUE, THE ONLY PROBLEM IS YOU WON'T WANT TO LEAVE!
WHY I LOVEBOGOTA
Not just Bogota, but Colombia in general has incredible fruit. A “granadilla” I can eat it forever. The best place to try it is “Abasto” in an area called Usaquen. Ideally go Sat-Sun before 10am, otherwise you will need to queue. If you go on Saturday, you can enjoy a flea-market with plenty of artisans and hippies playing the guitar.
Breakfast at “Club Colombia” is one of the best! Great location, and every detail is designed to show Colombian culture. The food is based on traditional recipes, with no fusion or modern variations. You can have “Arepas” from the Caribean region to “Calendao”, a combination of rice, beans, beef, chicken. It is not cheap but go hungry as it operates as an all you can eat deal.
On Sundays you really get to enjoy the city - a lot of the main roads are closed for vehicles so people can walk, rollerblade or cycle. This is called the “Ciclovia” or roads for bikes. The people in Bogota use it to share time with friends and pets and walk through the city. The most important route of the Ciclovia is located near the Parque Nacional and there are a lot of spots to taste a “salpicon” (mix of fruits in orange juice).
24 HRS IN BOGOTA.SEE, EAT & DO
- Head downtown to La Candelaria – the oldest area of the city.
- Visit churches from 200-300 years ago. The best two for my taste are Iglesia de San Francisco and Iglesia la tercera I consider them a must.
- Plaza de Bolivar (center of the center)
- Museo del oro: A museum that has all the pre Spanish art in gold – the Gold Museum in english.
- Museo Botero, with the biggest art donation ever in the country made for Fernando Botero
- The best place in the downtown area is a traditional restaurant La Puerta Falsa, you will feel like you have been transported back to the 50’s. In fact it is the oldest functioning restaurant.
- Have a dish called “Gallina Criolla” – a fantastic chicken dish.
- For international food at a reasonable price the best one is Criterion – Classic French mixed with a Colombian style.
Play the most traditional sport in Colombia: Tejo. Similar to bowling but.. it is difficult to explain, so this is the link explaining this sport. Playing tejo and drinking beer go hand in hand. If you are brave, drink aguardiente.
I would recommend going to Monserrate which is a mountain over 3,000 metres high with a church built in the 17th century. Best time is to watch the sun set over Bogota. There are traditional restaurants, although it is expensive for dinner in the main restaurant – but of course has one of the best views in the city.
Go to Andres DC in the north of the city (near Centro Comercial Andino). You have to book a table and it is not cheap but it is a must. There is also a bigger one in Chia – 40 minutes drive from Bogota that claims to be the biggest outdoor club in South America. Really worth the trip.
- Zipaquira and the famous underground church built inside a salt mine. It is about 1.5 hrs from Bogota.
- Visit towns such as Cajica, Chia and Nemocon.
- To save money, hire a taxi driver for the whole day instead of paying each time that you take a cab – it will work out cheaper.
- You cannot pay in dollars, only pesos.
- A tip equivalent to one pound is good for most places.
- In general, Bogota is an expensive city. So be prepared to pay in a restaurant the same price as you would in an average American city.
I consider all that I’ve mentioned is really important! But if only one…just one… it would be a visit to the Gold Museum.
The public transport is ok, but I do not recommend it for visitors. The best option is to hire a taxi for a day. I think the cost would be around £50.
Avoid going to the south of the city. Don’t use your mobile or take a flamboyant camera on the street.