Fly- El Dorado International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Latin America and the world. If you’re arriving internationally this is most likely your cheapest entry point. From the airport take a cab to your hostel.
Price (fixed from airport) – should be around $20K COP ($6.62 USD)
Bus- Buses come here from everywhere in Colombia. There are two stations – north and south. Take care of your belongings and take a cab from the bus station.
Price – Should be around $20-25K COP to La Candelaria
Once here, around La Candelaria you should be able to go on foot during the day. At night take a cab if it’s more than a few minutes away. The cabs should not cost you more than a $3-5K COP (don’t let them rip you off if you’re a gringo) and it’s just so much safer. The TransMilenio is a bus system that acts as their metro system. If you’re only staying for a few days you probably won’t need to take it, but if you’ll be traversing the city it’s a great option. Ask your hostel for help or advice though. There are some bad neighborhoods you don’t want to be passing through.
Sleeping: Stay in La Candelaria. This is where the majority of the hostels are located as well as most of the things you’re going to be doing. Bogota isn’t the safest to walk around alone it at night so being close to your accommodation makes things easier.
BoGo Hostel – Curtains on the bed which is always much appreciated in a hostel and a sandwich press at breakfast which was lovely. They’ve got a rooftop bar with a view and a friendly staff. Clean facilities and good location. Vibe was there if you looked for it but didn’t meet too many people.
Overall – 8/10 Price – $29K COP ($9.55 USD) Average/reasonable for Bogota (Can definitely find cheaper though)
Eating: To be honest I didn’t really eat out here, but BoGo has a huge binder full of suggestions.
Doing: Take some tours, climb Monserrat
Free Walking Tour– had a great experience with this. It lasted over 3 and a half hours because everyone was so interested and asked a ton of questions. This was also one of the more interactive tours. Instead of just telling us about the famous drink- we got to try it. Instead of just telling us about a museum, we went inside for a little bit.
Price –Free + tips
Colombian food tour– Take a tour around the streets of Bogota trying different traditional Colombian foods.
Price- Free + tips
Graffiti tour– Here is what you have to decide. The Graffiti tour in Bogotá is free (plus tips) while the one in Medellín is not. And it’s not super cheap either. While the free tour in Bogotá is a good tour (or so I hear), the one in Medellín has a little more history and culture behind it. So, if you’re interested in only one Graffiti tour in Colombia, then you’ll want to take those things into account.
Heroes tour– I did not have time for this but would’ve liked to do it. It is a tour that talks about the political history of Colombia and how things are changing. Recently with all of the drug trafficking and currently with the peace talks between the government and guerilla groups, Colombia has been a country to keep an eye on. They are really starting to come into their own and I would’ve loved to hear a little more about it all.
Price – Free + Tips
Craft Beer Tour– DO THIS. If you like craft beer then do it. It’s a ton of fun. Sign up ahead of time- it’s a smaller group because of the van size. You get to try a fair amount of beer and learn about it as well as how it’s an up and coming scene in Bogota. I am loving this craft beer explosion all over the world and how it varies from country to country. It lasts 4-5 hours and is a blast. Highly recommended for beer drinkers and lovers.
Price – $80K COP ($26.5 USD) but lots of beer and transport included
Climb Monserrate- a towering mountain in the middle of Bogota, Monserrate stands at 3,152 m (10,341 ft) above sea level. Bring water and sunscreen and TAKE YOUR TIME! If you’re sensitive to the altitude then take it slow. Breath. Headaches are never fun.
Price- Free to walk, cable car and funicular cost a little
Staying: There is actually a lot more do to here than I had originally expected. I’d give it a few days, but if you stay longer there is a lot to do in this city!
Going: Because of its size and the fact that it’s the capital, Bogotá is a great launch point for traveling anywhere in Colombia! It all depends on the trajectory of your Colombia trip. Fly up north to the coast, bus or fly to Medellín (also north, but much closer), head east to Salento or west to San Gil or fly or if this is your last stop fly anywhere in the world!