Once on the list of places to avoid, the Colombian capital of Bogotá is now one of the urban highlights of Latin America. A far-reaching clean-up campaign, government infrastructure projects and improved security have made-over the metropolis, making it a growing travel destination for visitors seeking a thriving nightlife, cultural events, graceful churches, outstanding museums and more. The capital is more than just the financial, political and service center of Colombia; it is also the cultural heart and a city of great contrasts. It is where modern shopping malls compete with open-air markets and ostentatious high-rise apartments make shadows over makeshift shanties and where space-age glass towers stand next to colonial churches and mansions. All of these elements combine to create a sprawling metropolis that pays tribute to its past while looking toward its very bright future.
Dive into the heart of the city by walking the cobblestone streets of the La Candelaria neighborhood. The candy-colored colonial homes are charming, as are the ambling artists that call the bohemian district home. Tiny art studios hide within seemingly abandoned buildings with nondescript facades, and the artists inside are almost always willing to have a riveting discussion with travelers about their influences, style and messages.
The neighborhood’s most famous artist is undoubtedly Fernando Botero, the Colombian painter best known for his portraits of plump characters. His work takes center stage at the Botero Museum, featuring over 200 of his own works and nearly 100 masterpieces by international artists, including Salvador Dali.
Just a short walk away is the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center, dedicated to the master of magic realism. In addition to outlining the writer’s life and work through exhibits and artifacts, the center houses an extensive library with more than 50,000 books and 216 square meter space for exhibition area.
The Spanish tried to rob the country of all the gold they could find, but buried treasures in lost tombs preserved some of the glimmering metal. Today, those precious artifacts are displayed in the Museo del Oro, which also details the mythologies held by locals about their complex gold ornaments, statues and jewelry. The top floor is dedicated to the people of the Americas and makes a powerful plea for conservation through ecological exhibits, dioramas and films.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a cable-car ride to the Monserrate neighborhood. Located in the lush mountains, the district is both an oasis and a pilgrimage site for local Catholics. A small chapel tops one of the highest peaks, offering a quite respite and stunning views of the city below. The area also shows the local’s passion for conservation, as the pristine forests are protected by the government and are a source of much pride for the people of Bogotá.
At night, head to the vibrant Carrera 13, where intimate cafes sit next to fancy pizzerias, lively salsa clubs and even Irish pubs. The street stretches to Zona T, a pedestrian district that is a playground for the city’s chic residents. It is the epicenter of Bogotá nightlife and a mandatory stop for revelers both local and international.
Bogotá Geographical Location
Bogotá is located towards the center of Colombia and is its largest city.
The approximate population of Bogotá is 7,450,000.
Spanish is the official language of Colombia and it is spoken in its local dialect.
Bogotá Predominant Religion
- 90% Roman Catholic
- 10% Other
Colombia provides religious freedom and it is reasonably easy to become recognized as a religious organization by the government.
The Colombian Peso is the official currency of Colombia.
Bogotá is generally cool throughout the year with little fluctuation in temperature however the weather throughout the day is known to change dramatically.
There are two rainy seasons in which hale storms are common and it is usually windy year round.
Bogotá Main Attractions
- Casa Museo Quinta Bolivar
- Cathedral Primada
- Bogotá Gold Museum
Other Attractions in Bogotá
- Casa de Moneda
- Museo Nacional
- Cerro de Monserrate
- Chorro de Quevedo