Bogota - The Top 10 Attractions - Global Storybook

Bogotá: The Top 10 Attractions

Laura Estupiñan

Laura Estupiñan

Laura Estupiñan is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Colombia).

Hola! I'm Laura and I'll be happy to introduce you to one of the most beautiful countries in the world - Colombia.

I speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and I'm learning French. I am also a student, and I'm currently studying electronic engineering. My favorite city is Boston and the place that I've always wanted to visit is Japan. As you can probably tell - I adore traveling!

I am here to reveal the best tips and secrets from my wonderful country. So I hope you enjoy learning them!
Laura Estupiñan

Latest posts by Laura Estupiñan (see all)

Bogotá is the capital and is the largest city of Colombia – a sort of a melting pot filled with people, who arrive here across every region of our splendid country.  It’s also an unequivocal symbol of our national diversity and vibrant multiculturalism.

Apart from its stunning mountainous backdrop, travelers will find an ideal destination for business, as well as leisure.  Dynamic culture, mouthwatering gastronomy, fun recreational activities like salsa or merengue dance classes, thousand year old history, noteworthy cathedrals and museums, astounding nature and so much more awaits anyone who visits this spectacular South American gem of a city.  Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 dazzling attractions which you can explore when you visit Bogotá.

Bogota (Colombia): The Top 10 Attractions - Global Storybook

Monument to the Battle of Ayacucho with the beautiful El Carmen church in the background

1. Gold Museum

The Gold Museum was created by the Bank of the Republic (Banco de la República) in 1939.  It is one of the most important and significant museums not only in Bogotá or even Colombia, but on the entire South American continent.  As its name suggests, you can find countless exquisite gold pieces, such as pectorals, masks, poporos, pendants, bracelets, necklaces, containers, as well as hundreds of figures of remarkable quality here.

In fact, there are nearly 34,000 gold items and over 20,000 pieces of ceramics, textiles and precious stones located in the Gold Museum.  These incredible artifacts used to belong to various indigenous cultures, such as Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco, Malagana, and others.  So if you’d like to get closer to the legend of El Dorado – then don’t miss this phenomenal museum.

In addition to its magnificent exhibitions, the museum has a library room, plus some guided tours available at specific hours.  You can also find books and illustrated primers on Colombian and pre-Columbian goldsmiths featuring different aspects of the country’s history, inside the museum.  There’s also a nice souvenir shop selling everything from pencils and erasers, mugs and bookmarks, to neckties and silk scarves with beautiful pre-Columbian designs.

  • Address: Cra. 6 #15-88
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Hours of operation: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm; Sundays and holidays: 10:00am – 4:00pm; closed on Mondays, and on some bank holidays
  • Price: Adult ticket about $1.36 USD; on Sundays admission is free
  • Official website: http://www.banrepcultural.org/gold-museum/exhibition

2. Botero Museum

In 2000, the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero, donated an extensive art collection to the Banco de la República.  The collection included 208 works – 123 were of his own authorship, and 85 of some other well-known international artists.  With this generous gift the Botero Museum was established.  You can find it in the popular district La Candelaria (sight #6) which is in the historical heart of Bogota.  It’s installed in a gorgeous colonial house that until 1955 served as an archbishopric.

Around a thousand people visit the Botero Museum daily, including numerous children, teachers, adults and families.  In addition, there are numerous guided tours, talks, conferences, and workshops, which you can attend free of charge.  You can find more information on the museum’s official website.

  • Address: Street 11 #4-41
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm; Sundays and holidays: 10:00am – 5:00pm; closed on Tuesdays and on some holidays
  • Price: free
  • Official website: http://www.banrepcultural.org/museo-botero (Spanish only)

3. Cerro de Monserrate (Monserrate Mountain)

This next sight is one of the most famous attractions in Bogota.  Rising high at 3,152 meters (or 10,341 feet), Mt. Monserrate is designated with the honor of guarding and protecting our capital city.  There are three fun ways in which you can reach its peak.  You can climb it on foot or you can take a funicular or a cable car ride.  While at the top – you can visit the Sanctuary of the Fallen Lord, one of the most beautiful and holy churches in Colombia.  Due to its great significance many come to see it on a daily basis, including thousands of believers, tourists, athletes, and numerous others.

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The panoramic views of the city from the above are simply breathtaking.  Furthermore, there are beautiful gardens, filled with flowers and fountains where you can spend an unforgettable few hours.  It’s also a great place to watch a sunset in Bogotá.

  • Address: Cra. 2 E 21-48
  • Time required: 5-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: Sanctuary: Monday 11:00am – 5:00pm; Tuesday – Sunday 6:00am – 5:00pm; cable car and the funicular: Monday – Saturday 6:30am – 12:00pm, Sunday 6:30am – 6:30pm; holidays 7:00am – 6:30pm
  • Price: cable car and the funicular: depends on the time and the day of the week
  • Official website: http://www.cerromonserrate.com/en/#

4. Plaza de Bolívar (Bolivar Square)

One of the most recognizable and popular attractions in Bogotá is its main square, called Plaza de Bolívar.  It is located in the heart of the city, inside one of its most vibrant and historic districts, La Candelaria.  The Bolivar Square is home to a number of high-profile buildings, like the National Capitol (Capitolio Nacional), the Palace of Justice (Palacio de Justicia), the Liévano Palace (Palacio Liévano), and of course its most famous and striking sight – the Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá (Catedral Primada de Bogotá).  For those who love history – there’s also a statue of Simón Bolívar located in the middle of the square.

In addition to being one of the oldest squares in Bogotá, the Bolivar Square is also one of the largest squares in South America – it’s occupying an area of 13,903 square meters.  A frequent site to numerous concerts, street festivals, as well as protests and manifestations – the Bolivar Square had experienced its fair share of historic struggles and successes.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to bring a small pack of bread crumbs if you want to take an iconic photo with countless pigeons eating from your palm, while standing in front of the iconic Primatial Cathedral.

  • Address: Cra. 7 #11-10
  • Time required: 30 minutes – 1 hour
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Price: free

5. Botanical Garden

Another amazing attraction in Bogota is its splendid Botanical Garden.  Though it’s not just a garden – it’s also a research center dedicated to the study of the high Andean and paramo ecosystems.  On top of that, it’s also responsible for the integral management of the green hedges around the city, for the development of environmental education programs, as well as for the conservation and maintenance of flora and fauna in Bogota.

The park’s full name is the Botanical Garden of Bogotá José Celestino Mutis.  Inside the garden, the plants are organized according to the degree of their evolution.  Moreover, it has a number of laboratories, lakes, waterfalls, environmental classrooms, propagation tunnels, greenhouses, auditoriums and concert halls.  So bring a picnic basket and make sure to stop by this picturesque sight!

  • Address: Street 63 No. 68-95
  • Time required: 4-5 hours
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Price: Adult ticket around $0.68
  • Official website: http://www.jbb.gov.co (Spanish only)

6. La Candelaria

Most of the buildings found around La Candelaria neighborhood date back to the colonial times.  They have been well preserved and many are considered to be of the important historical and cultural value.  There are around 500 different institutions, artistic venues, museums and research centers, as well as theaters, libraries and universities around this vibrant area.  It is also one of the most colorful neighborhoods in Bogota.

Some of its most well-known houses are theaters (La Candelaria, Seki Sano, Tecal, García Márquez) and museums (Colonial, House of the Vase, Mint House, Quinta de Bolívar, Military).  A number of structures have disappeared or have been replaced by modern constructions, like some universities (La Salle, Externado, Andes, and others).  One of the most visited libraries on the continent, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, is also located in La Candelaria.

  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Hours of operation: 24/7

7. Zona Rosa

To the north of the city, among numerous stores and shopping centers, Bogotá’s nights are filled with movement, colors and sounds.  Zona Rosa (also known as Zona T) is an exclusive area for social interactions, meetings and rumba classes that offers a great number of entertainment options.  Hence, if you are looking for a great district filled with bars, cafes, discotheques and restaurants then come by this lively neighborhood.

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There are also some nice hotels plus numerous luxury boutiques located in Zona Rosa.  Some of the most famous haute couture designers reside in the neighborhood’s stores.  They have even managed to turn Bogota into the capital city of design and fashion.  Whether you’re searching for a perfect place to have a romantic encounter, to hold a meeting with friends or maybe a business reunion, this district is surely the perfect choice.

  • Time required: 5-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 24/7

8. Planetario (Planetarium)

Bogota’s Planetarium was inaugurated on December 22, 1969.  Its signature feature is its round cupola which is easily recognizable on the city’s skyline, along with the nearby Santamaría Bullring stadium.  The dome has a capacity for 376 people, and it is one of the best planetariums in South America.

In addition to learning more about stars and astronomy, one can also visit a space museum, which has a number of very interactive and engaging exhibitions that will equally excite adults and children alike.  Finally, don’t forget to check out its amazing terrace overlooking the beautiful Park of Independence.

lanetarium, Bogota, Colombia - Global Storybook

  • Address: Street 26 #5-93
  • Time required: 4-5 hours
  • Hours of operation: Tuesday – Sunday, and holidays 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Price: Domo: adult ticket around $1.74; Domo and museum: adults: $4.81; Domo, museum plus the laser of the sky show: adults: $6.14
  • Official website: http://www.planetariodebogota.gov.co (Spanish only)

9. Simon Bolivar Park

Simon Bolivar Park is the largest and most important park in the city for several reasons.  For one, it is located strategically in the heart of Bogotá.  Secondly, its wide green spaces accompanied by a countless number of exotic trees make it one of the most charming and romantic places to visit in Bogotá.

In addition to going on a peaceful stroll or maybe a delightful picnic, one can also enjoy an occasional music performance or a number of recreational activities located in the park.  This wonderful ecological hub, is also a great place for bird watching, so make sure to grab your focal length camera when you come to this sight.  In summary, here are some additional attractions that you can find in the Simon Bolivar Park in Bogotá:

  • Awesome playgrounds for children
  • A beautiful lake and a jetty, which is one of the main attractions of the park
  • An events square, measuring 37,000 square meters
  • An amazing natural cycling path, extending for 3,650 meters
  • A number of scenic walking trails – so don’t forget to pack a pair of sneakers
  • A mysterious Eucharistic Temple
  • Countless jogging tracks – as there’s no reason for you to stop exercising on your vacation
  • A Bolivarian Monument
  • Finally, there’s a beautiful panoramic terrace from where you can catch a number of breathtaking views of Bogotá

Lastly, here’s more information about the Simon Bolivar Park:

  • Address: located between 53 and 64 streets, and from the 36th to the Rojas Avenue
  • Time required: 1-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: Monday – Sunday: 6:00am – 6:00pm

10. Usaquén Flea Market

The Usaquén Flea Market has been operating for more than 20 years in the district of Usaquén.  During this time it has slowly become one of the most emblematic and characteristic events in our capital city.

Around the market area you’ll find pretty much anything – from antiques, porcelains, trunks, clothing, glass and art works, to appliances, such as television, radio, telephone, sound equipment and computers which are no longer sold in regular stores.

Furthermore, Usaquén’s Flea Market maintains a strong artistic tradition, evident in each of the products it offers to its visitors.  In fact, numerous sellers and artisans from other parts of the nation, often visit this market to sell their products as well.

  • Address: Kr 5 # 120 A07, Bogotá
  • Time required: 1-2 hours
  • Hours of operation: weekends and public holidays: 8:00am – 4:00pm

* Please note – all prices are valid for 2017 only.

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