In the past, Bogota was a city that travellers were advised to avoid. However, that is not the case today. Indeed, with greater security and improved infrastructure, Bogota has emerged as a popular destination for those who want to experience South America. The Bogota of today is a fascinating city of contrasts as colonial buildings of the past sit alongside the glass skyscrapers of modern times.
Bogota is served by El Dorado International Airport (BOG). Handling more than 25 million travellers a year, El Dorado International Airport is not only the main airport in Colombia but it is one of the world’s busiest airports. On average, a flight from London to Bogota takes just under 11 hours and 30 minutes and there are around 4 flights a week. For most of the year, a return flight from London to Bogota will cost between £500 and £550. However, between April to August prices are in the £600 to £700 bracket.
Things to Do in Bogota
Visitors in Bogota tend to spend the bulk of their time exploring the historic neighbourhood of La Calanderia as this where most of the Bogota’s major sights are. In this neighbourhood you will find the Plaza de Bolivar, the Catedral Primada and the Museo del Oro.
The Plaza de Bolivar is situated at the heart of La Calanderia and is home to some of the most important political and cultural buildings in Colombia, making the first destination for most holidaymakers in Bogota. In the centre there is a statue of the eponymous Simon Boliver.
Catedral Primada is situated on the Plaza de Boliver and is the square’s principal building. Not only is it the largest cathedral in Colombia but it is also among the 50 largest cathedrals in the world.
Often topping travellers’ polls is Bogota’s most famous museum, Museo del Oro (the Gold Museum). Indeed, the Museo del Oro is home to more than 54,000 gold artefacts which are neatly organised and labelled. However, in order to gain a better understanding of gold craft and its role in Colombian history, why not opt for an audio tour or an free guided tour?
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Bogota, from flea market through to shopping centres. One of the best flea markets in Bogota is Mercado De San Alejo where you will find a whole manner of second-hand items, crafts and other goods. For jewellery and clothing, head to one of the city’s large shopping centres such as San Andresito or Modern Unicentro. The latter is open 24 hours a day and is home to a number or boutiques, banks and upmarket restaurants.
Hotels in Bogota
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Bogota, you will find that most of the budget options are situated in El Centro or La Candelaria. Of the two options, Candalaria is probably the best choice as it has the lowest room rates and is near to the main sights in Bogota.
The best hotels in Bogota are located in the wealthy northern parts of the city and are in close proximity to the best restaurants. In addition, the wealthy northern districts are the safest parts of Bogota as they have plenty of security guards around.
Regardless of where you are staying in Bogota, it is still not a wise idea to walk around the streets at night.