The one and only rule in visiting Bogotá is that you have to be here on a weekend… when everything GOES DOWN. So here is our ideal weekend in the city.
Day 1 (Friday):
Start off the day with a free walking tour by Beyond Colombia at 10 am to get to know a little bit about the history of La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic center; one of our favorite places in the city and where Bruno lived for 1 year. (More information about the tour here: http://www.beyondcolombia.com/)
After the tour, feel free to look around the area a bit more on your own as La Candelaria has a lot more to offer:
- Plaza de Bolivar, Casa Nariño (Presidential House), Palace of Justice; all located in the same block.
- Take a stroll on Calle 11, the coolest street in La Candelaria, as Bruno calls it. The Coin Museum, Botero Museum, Bank of the Republic Art Museum are all located on that street and all free!
- Lunchtime! La Candelaria has a lot of variety in restaurants including Colombian and international cuisine all along calle 10 and 11. Fulanitos is a great option if you want to try Colombian food. (check more in our post, 10 Spots. 3 Price Ranges. Best Colombian Food in Bogota)
For some cheap and good souvenirs, you can go to Pasaje Rivas, a few blocks from the historic center. As you head east, you reach the downtown and crowded commercial area, so beware of pickpockets.
Friday is a big going out day for Bogotanos. If you are into a night of dancing, go to ‘Zona T’, an area full of clubs that gets packed as Friday evening arrives, and spend the night dancing to Latino reggaeton hits even if it’s Tuesday! (TOP TIP: hostels sometimes get you bracelets for free entrances) . But if you are a techno kind of person, check out Baum for any special events, we really recommend it. Or if you like rock and roll or Disco and funk, check Asilo, it’s also one of our favorites.
Day 2 (Saturday):
Head over to Calle 72 for a hike up the mountain and enjoy the great morning views of the city. Quebrada La Vieja is one of the most famous hikes in the city, among both locals and tourists. The path separates into 3 separate trails that you can choose from La Virgen, La Cruz(where this next picture was taken), and Páramo(the last two being highest). Tip: you should go early as they start to bring people down at 11:00 am and it takes 2-3 hours round trip, depending on your speed.
View from Quebrada la Vieja
Head over to lunch in La Macarena, a neighborhood known for its diverse selection of foods from all over the world including Slovakia, Brazil, Peru, Thailand. Just down the hill from La Macarena, you can find the National Museum, Santamaría Bull Ring, and across the street, Parque Bavaria, a brewery-turned-park, where you can see the old buildings still in place.
Take the afternoon to go up another 600 m and enjoy the view of Bogotá from Monserrate. You have the choice of going up and down by train or cable car. Arrive late in the afternoon or evening to watch the sun go down over the city. (Bruno says that is the best time to go).
Bogotá is an awesome place to party and when is a better time to do it than Saturday?! Here are some places we recommend(check their facebooks to see the events):
- El Goce Pagano; La Candelaria (Salsa)
- Presea; Zona T (reggaeton)
- Asilo; Chapinero (rock, punk, disco, funk)
- Theatron; Chapinero (every genre!! Biggest club in Latin America)
- Baum; La Macarena (techno, house)
- Video Club; Chapinero (house)
Day 3 (Sunday):
Sunday is a special day for Colombians. A day for resting, for friends, for family. A day where shops will be closed, along with many major avenues for ciclovía; wide roads open for people to come jog, walk, bike, skate, rollerblade… anything you can think of. (Transportation does get a little complicated from 6 am to 2 pm). Head up to Usaquén, a neighborhood north of Bogotá with Spanish style houses and little restaurants and cafes, for brunch. We personally recommend ‘Abasto‘.
After your meal, don’t leave just yet because Usaquén is not only famous for its restaurants but also its flea markets, one on the streets and one in a public parking lot a few blocks up the hill.
Since Sunday is the one day Bogotá gets to relax, you can enjoy walks around the city with no worry of traffic or car horns. Don’t forget, you cannot leave Bogotá/Colombia without eating an empanada or two and drinking a few beers at BBC(Bogotá Beer Company). Enjoy the rest of your quiet Sunday!
EXTRA TIP: If you do have the time, try to find a show in Teatro Colon, one of the oldest functioning theatres of Latin America. It is very worth seeing.