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Have a great night while partying like a local in Chapinero

Sunset in Parque de la 60 or “the hippies' park” in Chapinero
María Montes

María Montes

I'm a social anthropologist working in marketing and I'm passionate about food, traveling to big cities and dogs. I like being that person everyone comes for recommendations especially if it is in Bogotá, a city I love dearly and where I been living intermittently for over 12 years. Instagram: @mariaisaturtle

From a reggae district to amazing dining experiences with your own DJ, cool warehouses transformed into night clubs to the biggest gay disco in Latin America, Chapinero is the place to go for those looking to experience the real Bogotá night scene.   

Located between Calle 45 and Calle 67 and Av Caracas and Carrera Séptima, this neighborhood is not an obvious choice for regular tourists or even locals looking to party in the city, but if you consider yourself to not be a “regular” tourist, I advise you to look at Chapinero as your next party destination.

What makes Chapinero so different?

Due to its strategic location close to the city center and the crazy amount of universities surrounding it (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Politéncico Gran Colombiano, Universidad Distrital, Universidad Piloto de Colombia, just to mention some), Chapinero is a vibrant neighborhood full of independent design stores, cool restaurants owned by young chefs, awesome venues showcasing new talent, and more! A whole tourist guide could be written about Chapinero and all the amazing places it has to offer; you can even find some additional information about it here. But I’m going to focus on giving you some personal advice on how to spend an amazing evening in Chapinero while partying like a rock star!

This place is a vibrant part of town, and thanks to the universities surrounding it, it’s always filled up with young people in the streets and the nightlife is always going strong. The best days to go out in Chapinero are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I particularly recommend Fridays because it’s packed with students everywhere and the vibes are awesome. Here are the things you can do on a weekend in Chapinero.

What can you do on a Thursday night?

Thursdays, or as we call them, “Juernes,”  in Chapinero are just a warm-up of what is coming next. Normally people go for a beer or a couple of drinks after work or class and hang around until very late. If you have no problem with having a great time at night and making it to your personal commitments the next day, this is what you should do:

Tacos & Cocktails: Located in the center of the neighborhood (Calle 56 #5-1), Insurgentes Taco Bar is a fun and funky place with an amazing vibe, tasty tacos, and great unique cocktails perfect for a great dose of snack and booze to kick start the weekend. The whole idea of this place is that you order some of its “nibble size” treats and enjoy a drink with your friends. I personally like the fish taco and the Gobernador Quesadilla and strongly advise you try their cocktails. The place is open until midnight on the weekends and the average amount you will spend there is around $8 USD/$25,000 COP – $15 USD/$50,000 COP. Check out their Instagram for special DJ sets in the restaurant.

Sexy cheeky moves: After all that taco eating and the confidence boost of the tequila, I recommend you go and burn some calories at Casa Babylon (Calle 49 #7-27). The place is famously known for its Afro-Caribbean influenced atmosphere and has been open for over 15 years!! Thursdays are known for being the best days to go and the crowd loves it! The place is open until 3 a.m. on the weekends and you might be charged a small fee to get in (between $2 USD/$7,000 COP and $6 USD/$20,000 COP and it includes a beer).

Dub Inc. Gig at Casa Babylon in Chapinero
© Photograph by John Fredy Pérez Otavo on Flickr

What can you do on a Friday night?

Fridays in Chapinero are buzzing with bars filled with co-workers having a drink, students drinking in parks, people drinking beer while walking to the next party, and so on. Overall, on a regular Friday in Chapinero, you can expect to see a lot of people drinking, partying, and being happy! The neighborhood is very popular for its music scene, which is far removed from the everyday mainstream music you can hear in every corner of the world. Here are my two favorite places to go to:

Speakeasy vibes at Marino Submarino: Located on a very understated street, Marino Submarino is only recognizable by a small neon red light and a few people standing outside. Once you pay the entrance fee ($6 USD/$20,000 COP) and go up the stairs, you will encounter an amazing old house transformed into a tropical garden with multiple spaces to dance and a great indoor space that serves as a smoking area. The house has two environments: the main one is Marino, the tropical area where you can listen to cumbia, old school reggaeton, and other Afro-Caribbean music, and the other space is Submarino, (which is almost hidden because it’s down some other stairs in the basement of the house) where the focus is on electronic music. The place is open until 3 a.m. and is a great option for big groups of people with different musical tastes.

Electronic music at a vintage warehouse in Video Club: This place is more than just a regular disco; this massive warehouse has nicely transformed into one of Bogotá’s best house and techno clubs, earning its reputation due to the excellent handpicked guests coming from all over the world. Video Club is in the heart of Chapinero, right on Calle 64 with Carrera 13. It counts on a big space upstairs dedicated mostly to house and techno, and a more alternative, urban and disco room downstairs for those wanting to chill for a bit and crack some dance moves. The place is open until 5 a.m. and normally charges an entrance fee of $15 USD/$50,000 COP. To check some of their previous DJ sets, click here.

If you are one of those people who cannot get enough partying and want to hang out until the sun rises, check out Octava. This place is open until 7 a.m., but watch out because it has a lot of mixed reviews, so I’ll leave it entirely to you.

What can you do on a Saturday night?

Saturdays in Chapinero are the quietest day of the weekend, but it doesn’t mean that the neighborhood isn’t buzzing. It is still a great day to go for a meal with your friends, enjoy a beer, and if you still have enough energy in you from the weekend, you can even enjoy the open bar in the biggest gay club in South America!

Recuperate your body with some comfort food in Amen Ramen: Located at Carrera 6 and Calle 53, this restaurant is one of my all-time favorites and is the best alternative for those looking to get some fluids back in their system. Amen Ramen incorporates some of Colombia’s local flavors and techniques into the authentic ramen preparation, making the perfect dishes to get you ready for the next party. I recommend you try the Kimchi Ramen and the Bao Buns paired with their own brewed beer. The place is small, so I advise you book a table in advance.

All you can drink at the biggest gay disco: If I had to describe Theatron to a foreigner, I’d say it is like a gay Disneyland. The place is SO big that you could spend the whole night touring around it and going to all the bars and discos inside it just like a theme park! The bar is LGBTIQ, but everyone is invited to join the party. Saturdays are particularly good at Theatron because you pay a fixed rate to get in and receive a plastic cup for you to get any of the alcoholic drinks in any of the bars located throughout the club. You can choose from gin, vodka, rum, aguardiente, and whiskey and get as drunk as you want until 5 a.m. You need to hold on to that cup as if it were your life because getting a replacement is quite hard. Also, I advise you to pay attention to the main stage as there are live shows and performances that rotate throughout the night and some of them are really fun! To check the entrance fee for each day and the line-up, click here.

If I had to recommend a place to go and see the real Bogotá, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention Chapinero. This neighborhood is fun, young, and vibrant, and it is in constant change, offering a great time to everyone who visits it. No matter if you like dining, having cocktails, or partying like there is no tomorrow, Chapinero has the right place for you! So, get glammed up and prepare to have a great night in the best neighborhood in Bogotá!

Quick tip: If you happen to be in town for a long period of time, I also recommend you spend some time exploring the nightlife in Chico. This “high end” version of Chapinero has some amazing places to party and spend a great night dancing with locals.

To read about other super cool places to listen to live electronic music in Bogotá click here.

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