Without equal information to Bogota, Colombia

Once considered some of the global’s most threatening international locations, Colombia has reputedly grew to become a nook. House to colourful towns, sprawling jungle and idyllic Caribbean sea coast, its capital, Bogota, is at the vanguard of this shift from shock-headline magnet to must-visit vacation spot.

Positioned in Colombia’s deep inside, and constructed on a top plateau greater than 8,000ft above sea stage, town has a moderately cool local weather that continues to be an identical all yr spherical (temperatures achieve a median of 15C even within the scorching season, one thing to keep in mind when packing). Wealthy in historical past, Bogota is a melting pot of tradition, with Spanish, Mexican and British influences appearing in its structure, delicacies, or even the way in which the locals raise themselves.

Its northern neighbourhoods – Chapinero, L. a. Candelaria and Santa Fe – thrum with vacationers. Chapinero is an ideal base to arrange camp: in addition to being famend for its nightlife, scholar inhabitants, buying groceries centres and LGBT+ inhabitants, it’s neatly hooked up by way of public shipping, making it a well-liked first prevent for first timers.

Buying groceries at Paloquemao marketplace

(Professional Colombia)

What to do

Store at Paloquemao marketplace

For an unique Colombian culinary and buying groceries revel in, head all the way down to Paloquemao market. With loads of stalls promoting plants, fruit, espresso, meat and fish, it’s the easiest position for a fast spot of lunch whilst taking within the sheer scale of what Colombia produces. Sniff out distributors nestled amongst its slim passages, serving the whole lot from tropical indigenous fruit, similar to maracuya, to hearty street-food snacks like arepas (cornflour tortillas full of meat, veg and even chocolate). As in maximum markets around the globe, by no means settle for the primary worth – Paloquemao is a brilliant position to flex your haggling talents. Get started with part of what you’d fortuitously pay, and paintings up from there.

Seek advice from its prettiest neighbourhoods

Bogota is a gorgeous position steeped in historical past, with tales at each flip. It’s value hanging apart time to simply wander and discover. Peruse the graffiti-adorned streets of La Candelaria – town’s thriving, bohemian scholar and humanities district. Take a walk alongside the eucalyptus-lined avenues of the prosperous Chico district. And go to Bolivar Sq. to be informed concerning the historical past of Bogota and wider Colombia. Rodrigo of ToursByLocals is a Bogota local and a bastion of information, who too can indicate the most efficient native espresso retail outlets.

Drink espresso

Colombia is legendary for its espresso, and with town of Armenia – centre of the rustic’s coffee-growing scene – no longer too a long way away, Bogota has probably the most best possible java in the world. Head to Cafe de la Fonda for your option to Paloquemao marketplace for probably the most best possible; no longer handiest is the espresso scrumptious, however what seems like an unassuming family-run cafe is if truth be told an absolutely functioning “bean to cup” espresso plant. Ask well they usually’ll can help you “behind the scenes” to look all the procedure.

The patio at Casa Legado, Bogota

(Casa Legado)

The place to stick

Within the center of Chapinero, a stone’s throw from some superb bars and eating places, the not too long ago opened NH Collection Hotel moves a excellent steadiness between inexpensive and comfort. Promoting issues come with an outstanding breakfast, relaxed kingsize beds, cable TV, a 24-hour reception, and safety. Doubles from £70, B&B.

Additionally with ease situated inside of first-timer-favourite house Chapinero, fascinating and sumptuous Casa Legado has spacious double rooms, a bar and a shared front room, plus a fantastically designed lawn the place you’ll be able to consume, drink and loosen up. Make the most of the unfastened motorbike rent carrier as a handy option to get round, too. Doubles from £140, room handiest.

Meals at El Chato eating place

(El Chato)

The place to consume

El Chato’s head chef and proprietor, Alvaro Clavijo, spent years running, finding out and honing his industry throughout Europe sooner than returning to his fatherland. He’s created a cafe that takes conventional Colombian delicacies and provides it a Twenty first-century spin. Most well liked are the rooster hearts with potatoes, however the meringue and lulo (a tomato-like fruit with a citrussy style) dessert is likely one of the best possible in Bogota.

For a fast pick-me-up that can assist you refuel, glance no additional than Renata Tacos. An affordable and cheerful chain of taquerias dotted round the preferred Chapinero neighbourhood, their chorizo and cheese tacos will have to be paired with a Corona beer for a profitable combo.

Section eating place, phase nightclub, Andres Carne is an hour’s power from Bogota, however in point of fact definitely worth the detour. From the instant you input, you’re surrounded by way of an atmosphere, vibrant decor, and song designed to carry Colombian tradition to existence. Embellished with large neon indicators, brash paintings and quirky decor, it wouldn’t be misplaced in essentially the most “hipster” of neighbourhoods; as soon as within, musicians, magicians and dancers supply tableside leisure, darting from staff to staff when you consume. Opt for the highly spiced sausage or beef ribs with conventional Colombian breads and cheeses – despite the fact that because the “Carne” within the identify suggests, veggie choices are restricted.

The place to drink

Should you’re after fancy cocktails with a uniquely Colombian twist, Huerta Cocteleria within the center of Chapinero will tick your entire bins. The usage of native produce, with a focal point on sustainability, it combines a low-key, rustic glance with a degree of opulence that seems like a special day any day of the week. The meals is beautiful nice, too.

The vibrant, winding roads of the L. a. Candelaria quarter are an excellent spot to bar-hop and meet the locals. There’s regularly reside song, so pay attention out alongside the little alleys; Quiebra Canto is a selected favorite, with reside song each Wednesday. And be certain to take a look at some chicha, an historical, corn-based fermented drink bought at the streets right here – it’s candy, alcoholic, and is available in other flavours.

Recognized to locals as “Zona T” for the form of its major connecting streets, Zona Rosa is the primary nightlife and bar district. Right here you’ll to find a lot of bars and golf equipment taking part in the whole lot from pop song to salsa till the early hours. BBC (Bogota Beer Company) supplies nice in the neighborhood brewed craft beers, whilst Presea, the one Reggaeton membership within the house, is absolute best for a dance.

Architectural spotlight

The affect of Christianity in Bogota is apparent to look, with greater than 1,500 church buildings right through town, courting again loads of years. Probably the most spectacular is Santuario Nuestra Senora del Carmen, a brief stroll clear of Bolivar Sq.. Despite the fact that no longer the most important space of worship on the town – that accolade is going to the Primatial Cathedral of Bogota – it’s surely essentially the most gorgeous, with an ornate candy-striped external and richly patterned floor. Take within the large altar within, in addition to intricately detailed stained-glass home windows and loads of statues sticking out from the partitions and crevices.

Santuario Nuestra Senora del Carmen

(Professional Colombia)

Nuts and bolts

What forex do I want?

Colombian Pesos.

What language do they discuss?

Spanish, however English is extensively spoken.

Must I tip?

Round 10-20 according to cent appears to be the going fee.

What’s the time distinction?

5 hours at the back of GMT.

How will have to I am getting round?

You’ll get a long way on foot; then again, when travelling around the town, personal taxis are really useful each from a security and a comfort viewpoint.

What’s the most efficient view?

A hike or cable automobile to the highest of Monserrate Hill will supply impressive perspectives of town. (If mountain climbing, trip in teams and in sunlight.)

Insider tip?

Replenish on road meals; culinary delights can also be discovered on each nook, with one thing for everybody. Arepas are a should.

Is it protected to discover?

Bogota stays an expansive mass of other folks and structure, affluence and concrete decay ‒ subsequently, as with all main town, a component of warning is all the time really helpful. Despite the fact that a long way more secure than it as soon as used to be, it’s best possible to discover on foot by way of sunlight, take registered taxis at night time, and keep away from spaces similar to Ciudad Bolivar and San Cristobal against the south – each have top crime charges, with muggings, automobile robbery and pickpocketing.

Getting there

Looking to fly much less?

Occasional freighter ships move from Eu ports reachable by way of educate (Le Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam) to Cartagena, Colombia. From right here it’s a 20-hour bus to Bogota.

Positive with flying?

Colombia’s flag provider, Avianca, flies from London Heathrow to Bogota’s El Dorado world airport on a daily basis.

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