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Bogotá from a foreigner’s vision is even prettier (Part I)

Bogotá's landscape
Joanna Ruiz

Joanna Ruiz

Journalist and migrant. I have a huge passion for writing and telling stories. I live in Bogotá since 2014. Instagram: joa_ruiz / Blog: leaquealgoqueda.blogspot.com

It could be its (crazy) weather. The unexpected beauty of certain corners. The delicious and cheap food you can find everywhere. The libraries and bookstores. Monserrate. It could be all of these reasons and more. The only fact is that many foreigners choose this city as their new home. This is Bogotá from a foreigner’s vision!

Bogotá has become the home of many foreigners that find this city to be the place that fits their expectations. How do they see the city? What do they like the most? What are their favorite places? I asked four migrants how they like Bogotá and this is what they answered:

Javier Rayo (Spain)

Guatavita
© Photograph by Javier Rayo

Javier arrived to Colombia in January 2019. It was his very first time in a South American country. He came here because he’s part of a young professionals program and has to complete a whole year internship abroad: he chose Bogotá.

“Colombia always caught my attention because it’s a diverse and beautiful country. You find deserts, the Caribbean, the coffee region, kind people, and cultural proximity with Spain”, says Javier. 

What do you like the most about Bogotá?

The fact that there is always a plan: it’s a city with huge possibilities for everybody. I like the kindness of people from Bogotá and from Colombians in general. It makes you feel like you’re at home.

What is your favorite place in the city?

I have many! I loved to visit the Bolívar square (Plaza Bolívar) and Monserrate for the first time. They have so much history. La 93 (the 93 zone) and the Zona T are very cool places to hang out and eat. They offer a wide variety of places to go to. It’s pretty nice to visit the Usaquén neighborhood as well, especially on Sundays.

What do you thank Bogotá for?

Being the capital city of the best country in South America and the kindness of its people!

Sofía Achem (Argentina

Foreigner in Bogotá
© Photograph by Sofía Achem

It was July 2018 when Sofía arrived in Bogotá. Her husband received -and accepted- a job offer in Colombia and that is how they ended up in the city. 

“Because I’m still new in Bogotá, I’m discovering new stuff all the time. Neighborhoods, activities, nice people, possibilities… I’m creating memories and experiences here”.

What do you like the most about Bogotá?

The fact that the city is close to little mountain villages and beautiful places to visit and relax.

What is your favorite place in the city?

I don’t have a favorite place, but there are places that I really like, such as my neighborhood, Chicó Norte, and others like Rosales and Usaquén.

What do you thank Bogotá for?

The hospitality with which I have been received and the opportunities that it’s offering me. 

Dominique Forêt (France)

Dominique arrived in Colombia in January 2019. She had visited the city in 2017 as a tourist and, during this second chance, was pleasantly surprised by what she saw. “I know a different side of the city in this opportunity. Before, I had the image of the downtown area, which I didn’t like that much”. 

This time she discovered the Parkway, Chapinero, the parks, and the bikeway: they have shown her a different face -a more bohemian one- of the city that she likes more. 

What do you like the most about Bogotá?

I love seeing the mountains. I come from Paris, where there are no mountains at all. You have to travel to the center of the country to see them. 

What is your favorite place in the city?

I have many, but I remember one moment at the parque Simón Bolívar (Simon Bolívar park) that was really beautiful. It was a sunny Sunday and there were many families playing between them, having some food. It felt really nice. Besides, it’s a green park in the middle of this huge city that gives people the opportunity to enjoy their days off.  

What do you thank Bogotá for?

That there is sun almost every day. And its people. 

Manuel León (Venezuela)

Foreigner in Bogotá
© Photograph by Manuel León

Manuel has been living for four years in Bogotá. The first time he came, it was 2011. “I liked the few things I got to know about the city. I found Bogotá kinder and safer than Caracas but also saw similarities between them. That made me connect with it”. 

In 2015, he arrived in Bogotá to live for good. The city surprised him with its well preserved historic downtown, its fruit stalls on every corner and its drastic weather changes. 

What do you like the most about Bogotá?

I would say its cold weather. There’s nothing more beautiful in Bogotá than a sunny day with chilly weather. 

What is your favorite place in the city?

I have to be honest: I don’t have a favorite place. I haven’t stopped being a tourist and I always let myself get surprised by the green areas and the hotspots that Bogotá offers.

What do you thank Bogotá for?

Every day of opportunities and professional and personal growth. 

Are you a migrant in Bogotá? I’m also one and I would love to hear your experience here. How is Bogotá different from your home city? Tell us in the comments section below!

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