Bogotá is exciting and diverse; Colombian culture is at its best in this enormous capital city. The population of Bogota, Colombia, in 2019 is now estimated at 10,779,376 and is ever-growing, so plenty of these neighborhoods are bustling with activity. Whether you want to get your chops around the best food in town, immerse yourself in grassroots art movements, or rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of the business world, Bogota is sure to have a neighborhood that will provide you with what you need.
If shopping is high on your list, but your bank balance is telling you otherwise, then Usaquen could be the neighborhood for you. This cute little corner of town is punctuated with pretty green parks, which are great in themselves, but the real attraction is Bogota’s largest and most famous flea market. This sprawl of stalls is a great place to pick up a bargain, particularly good if you’re looking for a memento from your trip.
Fun fact, this neighborhood is home to Mayu Roca, who reached the heights of fame at the PokerStars EPT (European Poker Tour) and topped the Colombian all-time money winner’s list for live tournaments at the tender age of just 27. It’s not all about the glamour of the casino though! This neighborhood is a green paradise in the middle of the city, with mountains as a backdrop and a picturesque park (called Parque 93) as the centerpiece. The population of Bogota is focused more centrally in town, meaning that Chicó is a real breath of fresh air. It’s a wonder that Mayu ever found time to practice his poker game with all this nature to explore!
This little neighbourhood, part of a bigger area with the same name, is right in the heart of the city and for a long time was a bit run down, certainly not a tourist destination. However, recently a little money has been allocated to the area and thanks to young entrepreneurs and trendsetters, it is quickly becoming the place to see and be seen. ‘Hipster’ culture is at its height here, with coffee shops, microbreweries and artisan bakeries on every street corner. If you’re looking for a cafe culture and the trendiest people-watching spots in town, then look no further.
The historical center of the city, La Candelaria, has everything a tourist could desire. Densely packed with shops, restaurants, museums, and landmarks, this is a part of Bogota that you’d be foolish to miss. Bogota’s population density is focused largely outside the historic area of the city, so as a tourist you are particularly well catered for in this part. During the day you should take time to make your way to the Plaza Bolivar, whilst at night it’s time to put on your dancing shoes and make your way into Bogota’s exciting nightlife.
Santa Fe – Los Mártires
This neighborhood surrounds La Candelaria and is comprised of three distinct neighborhoods. Santa Fe is the financial district, where all the business happens. Los Martires is a real hotspot for great restaurants and cafe culture. It is also the birthplace of Laura Ortiz, an actress from films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hills Have Eyes. As well as being the birthplace of a star, this neighborhood also houses the Museum of Modern Art, which has some beautiful works by world-renowned artists.
After all of that hustle and bustle, you’d be forgiven for wanting to find a little seclusion. Monserrate is the mountain that overlooks Bogota and the views from up here are spectacular and easy to get to from La Candelaria. If you’re feeling energetic then it’s possible to climb up the stairs to the top, but if you’d prefer to take it easy then there’s a lift that will take you there for a small fee. Whilst the tranquility and the views from Monserrate are idyllic, remember to keep your wits about you, as pickpockets are plentiful in this area. Technically it’s not a neighborhood perse but it’s totally worth a try!
For street art lovers, you won’t find a neighborhood better than Teusaquillo. This neighborhood has always been densely decorated and densely populated, being home to much of Bogota’s population. However, since Colombia’s decision to decriminalize street art, it has become even more densely decorated and it is now undoubtedly the most colourful place in town. Of course, many walls are tagged with amateurish works, but take the time to walk around and really observe the art; there are some hidden pieces by renowned artists, as well as beautiful murals by tomorrow’s up and coming artists.
Bonus: Teusaquillo is also home to Whee Institute, the best Spanish school in Bogotá, Colombia! Visit their website for more info here.
We hope you are excited to visit and stay in Bogotá very soon!
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