Previously deemed too unsafe in the eyes of foreign tourists, Bogotá is now a busy metropolis that is slowly making it to travellers’ bucket lists. That’s not to say that all of the 20 neighbourhoods that make up the city of 7 million inhabitants are secure and great places to stay.
There are still many areas of the city which even locals don’t venture into during the day time, but there are also great neighbourhoods to stay in, with luxury hotels and places that are safe to walk around.
Introduction To Bogota City
Bogotá is laid out in a grid system with Calles and Carreras. The roads horizontally from the eastern mountains to the outskirts of the city in the west are known as Carreras; they begin at Carrera One in the east and count up the further west you go.
The roads running from the south to the north of the city are known as Calles; they start at Calle One and go well into the hundreds in the north of the city. This system makes it easy to work out directions when driving or walking.
An address is written “Cra 7 #85” means that the spot you’re looking for is located on Carrera 7 where it meets Calle 85; An address is written “Calle 116 #72A” means that your destination is where Calle 116 meets Carrera 72A.
With so many different neighbourhoods and hotels to choose from, finding the right place to stay in Bogotá can be an overwhelming task. Having lived in Bogotá for two years, I am very familiar with Bogotá’s best and safest areas to stay in and rounded up my favourites for every budget below!
Top 10 Things To Do In Bogotá
Bogotá is a large city with lots of things to see and do. These are my top 10 things to see and do during your stay in Bogotá.
1) Visit and walk around the historic centre of the city – La Candelaria, with its colourful buildings, museums, narrow cobbled streets, and beautiful buildings.
2) Walk around and purchase artisanal products at the Usaquen Sunday market.
3) Throughout the city, on lots of street corners, there are local vendors cutting up fruit and making fruit juice fresh on their little carts. The fruit and juices are cut or juiced in front of you.
4) Have a picnic or relax in Parque Virrey a large rectangular park, with play areas, walking and biking tracks, grass areas and lots of greenery.
5) Climb to the top of Monserrate, a cathedral located on one of Bogotá’s eastern mountains. You can either take a train to the top or walk-up, either way, you can experience the incredible view over the city and beyond.
6) Visit the Gold Museum (Museo de Oro) with over 55,000 pieces of gold from jewellery to figures and everyday items found all over Colombia.
7) Walk around the Plaza de Bolivar with a beautiful cathedral and a large square surrounded by government buildings. The square is often home to events and festivals.
8) Experience Andres Carne de Res in Chia, this is a unique and wonderful restaurant that stretches over the streets. The restaurant has great typical Colombian foods, fun dancing and incredible decor. Andres is decorated with extreme and extravagant objects and antiques, lights everywhere and is a feast for the eyes!
9) Discover the cities history on a Graffiti Tour. All over La Candelaria and other areas of the city are pieces of street art that have been commissioned and represent Colombia’s history or tell a story.
10) Relax in the Botanical Gardens of Bogotá with native to Colombia flora and fauna, lakes, and overall a great place to relax.
Overview Of Bogotá Neighbourhoods
With a population of over seven million, Bogotá is the third biggest city in South American and one of the highest capital cities in the world sitting at an altitude of over 2,640 meters (8,660 feet).
Depending on your preferred location and budget, you can find something in Bogotá to suit your requirements, from boutique hotels to luxury chain brands.
A little bit of research (or this guide!) will help you in finding quality accommodation for your perfect trip!
Trendiest Area Of Bogotá: Chapinero
Chapinero is located in the eastern area of the city and is the trendiest neighbourhood in the capital. Zona T is a T-shaped pedestrian zone filled with small boutiques, bars, and clubs that is the heart of Bogotá’s nightlife and a hub for fashion. Another area of the neighbourhood called Zona G is also located in Chapinero, a little further south towards the historic centre of Bogotá. Zona G is a thriving culinary area and is where you’ll find the city’s best restaurants as well as pop-up food stalls with daily changing menus.
I lived in this area for 2 years and it’s one of my favourite parts of the city, with lots of parks, shops, malls, and small coffee shops. Chapinero is one of the safer areas to be in the city, while you should always be alert, I have walked around many areas of Bogotá in the evenings and during the day time and felt safe. My top tip is to stay closer to Calle 85 as this is a nice area with shops, Parque Virrey, and the Andino mall.
Although appealing to tourists and ex-pats, Chapinero remains a neighbourhood where Bogotanos come for drinks after work and go partying on the weekend. It’s also the place where you’ll find locally-owned small boutiques, no-chain coffee shops, and one-of-a-kind restaurants. Chapinero’s architecture is as diverse as its population with a mixture of skyscrapers and country houses.
Pros & Cons Of Staying In Chapinero
- Lots of restaurants
- Great nightlife and shopping
- Safe to walk around
- Easy to explore and get around
- Easy transportation links to other parts of the city
- Quite a distance from the historic centre and its attractions
- This neighbourhood is quite big and spread out
Luxury Hotels In Chapinero
- Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota
- Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia
- Casa Legado
- BOG Hotel a member of Design Hotels
Mid-Range Hotels In Chapinero
- NH Collection Bogota Andino Royal
- Hotel Cabrera Imperial Suites
- Hotel Lugano Suites
- GHL Hotel Bioxury
Budget Hotels In Chapinero
Historic Center Of Bogotá: La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the historic centre and the beating heart of the city; where you’ll find museums, street art, and the narrow cobbled streets where you can admire the beautiful and colourful colonial architecture.
Must-sees in La Candelaria include two museums, the Botero Museum and the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen is an unusual striped red and white church that is as beautiful from the outside as from the inside.
Plaza Bolivar, named after Simon Bolivar, the hero of Latin America’s independence from the Spanish Empire, is the city’s main square. La Candelaria is safe to walk around in the day time (although watch out for pickpockets), but it is not a place to walk around at night. The streets are not well lit and you should take a taxi even if your destination is only a few blocks away.
Pros & Cons Of Staying In La Candelaria
- Close to the cities major attractions
- Lots of restaurants and bars
- Nice to explore the streets and walk around
- Easy transportation links to other parts of the city
- Not safe to walk even one block at night
- Lots of tourists
Luxury Hotels In La Candelaria
Mid-Range Hotels In La Candelaria
Budget Hotels In La Candelaria
A Piece Of The Countryside In Bogotá: Usaquen
Usaquen was once a cute, stand-alone town outside of the city, but in 1954, it was surrounded by the urban sprawl and became a city neighbourhood. Therefore, Usaquen is like a Colombian countryside town in the middle of the city, with cobbled streets, colonial buildings, and a plaza.
Usaquen is most known from its Sunday flea market, where you can find a large number of vendors selling souvenir items, such as bags, clothing, handmade jewellery, and coffee. The neighbourhood is also well known for its chic cocktail bars and small coffee shops.
Pros & Cons Of Staying In Usaquen
- Small town feel
- Sunday flea market
- Lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars
- Quiet neighbourhood
- A variety of shops
- Quite far from major attractions
- Transportation links aren’t great
Luxury Hotels In Usaquen
Mid-Range Hotels In Usaquen
Budget Hotels In Usaquen
- Hotel Faranda Collection Bogotá
- Hotel Santa Barbara Boutique
- Hotel Viaggio Teleport City Suites
- Best Western Calleja Suites
Deemed The Fancy Area of Bogotá: Chico
Chico is home to Park 93, a green space that offers respite from the urban feel. There are often events, music concerts, outdoor art galleries and handmade product markets held here. Around the park are many cafés, upscale restaurants, bars, and boutiques.
Chico is a safe neighbourhood to walk around at any time of the day. The financial and business zone of Calle 100 is located within the neighbourhood of Chico, along with many main business hubs and some government buildings, the majority of multinational companies have their headquarters in this area.
Pros & Cons Of Staying In Chico
- Safe to walk around day and night
- Lots of parks and shops
- Lots of restaurants and bars
- Good transportation links
- One of the nicest areas of the city
- Part of this area is considered the financial district
- Quiet far from the historic centre
Luxury Hotels In Chico
- The Click Clack Hotel Bogotá
- Salvio Parque 93
- Cosmos 100 Hotel & Centro de Convenciones – Hoteles
- Best Western Plus 93 Park Hotel
Mid-Range Hotels In Chico
- Casa Dann Carlton Hotel & SPA
- Hotel Vintage
- Hotel Movich Chico 97
- Hotel Estelar Windsor House – All Suites
Budget Hotels In Chico
Parks And Green Spaces in Bogotá: Teusaquillo
Teusaquillo is home to Parque Metropolitano Simón Bolívar, a large green space that’s ideal for escaping the city’s traffic and noise pollution for the day. Close to the park is the Virgilio Barco Library, the city’s largest library and a structure that is on the UNESCO World Heritage site’s tentative list.
Even if you’re not looking to borrow a few books, go check out this circular building for its unusual architecture and cool interior. Teusaquillo has many sporting locations including the Simon Bolivar Aquatic complex and El Campín, the city’s football stadium.
Many government buildings are located in this area, as well as embassies and Coferias, which is a large exhibition centre that hosts hundreds of exhibitions a year.
Pros & Cons Of Staying In Teusaquillo
- A large park with a lake
- A great place to stay for local events and shows at Coferias
- Quieter than other neighbourhoods in the city
- A large neighbourhood spread out
- Not many restaurants or bars
- Not many shops
Luxury Hotels In Teusaquillo
Mid-Range Hotels In Teusaquillo
Budget Hotels In Teusaquillo
Best Hotels In Bogotá Wrap-Up
We hope this guide will help you plan your stay at some of the best hotels in Bogotá next time you visit! It is a beautiful city with lots of character, green spaces, history, and experiences.
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Bogotá and stay at some of these great hotels. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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