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What to know about Bogotá? All you need to visit the city!

about Bogota
Valeria Garbin

Valeria Garbin

I was born in Venezuela, but I've also lived in Mexico, Colombia, and Belgium. One of my passions is politics and Human Rights, so I studied International Relations and specialized in Human Rights and Development. My other passion is traveling and food, and writing about it makes my days. Bogotá is a city that I love! and I hope you can love it too through my articles, and of course, when you come and see it with your own eyes!

First time in Bogotá? Don’t worry! This article will give you all the information you need for your trip!  

If you are looking for general information for your trip to Bogotá, you came to the right place! In the next few paragraphs, you will read all you need to know to be prepared when you get to this awesome destination.

1. Location 

Bogotá is the capital of an incredible country called Colombia. The city is literally at the center of the country, on a high plateau called the Bogotá savanna. It is approximately at 2,600 meters above sea level, so, although the country is close to the equator, Bogotá does not have a tropical climate.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bogot%C3%A1/@4.6482837,-78.5902426,6z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8e3f9bfd2da6cb29:0x239d635520a33914!8m2!3d4.7109886!4d-74.072092

Bogotá is the largest and most populated city in Colombia, with 1,587 square kilometers and around 8 million inhabitants, it is a jungle of colors and contrasts, which will leave you always wanting to know a little more. The adjacent towns, that have already become practically part of the city, make it even more impressive; to the north, you will find Chia, to the East, Choachí, to the South, Soacha and to the West, Mosquera. If you want to know more about areas around the city you can read: Places to Visit and Stay Near Bogotá and Places Near Bogota: Escape the cold.

The city is divided into 20 localities and within each locality, there are different neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is different and has its own charm and places of interest, so you might be interested to read “Best Neighborhoods in Bogotá: Santa Barbara” or “Best neighborhoods in Bogotá: Cedritos” to learn a little more about some of them.

2. Weather

The weather in Bogota is unpredictable and a roller coaster, but you will love it. It is neither too hot nor too cold, it stays between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius all year round. With jeans, sneakers and a light jacket, you will be just fine. If you want to prepare your outfits better, you should check out our article What to Wear in Bogotá.

It is important that you always carry an umbrella (or a raincoat) and sunscreen because it rains a lot, but when the sun appears, you can get a pretty tan or even a sunburn. If you want to know more about Bogotá weather and how to be ready for it, you can read our article How to Prepare for Bogotá Weather.

3. Currency

The Colombian peso (Peso Colombiano)  is the monetary unit in the Republic of Colombia. Its formal abbreviation is COP, and normally the exchange rate is around 1 USD= 2,900 COP or 1 EUR= 3,400 COP. If you want daily information about the exchange rate you can check https://dolar.wilkinsonpc.com.co/divisas/dolar.html

You can use coins and bills, although you use the coins less because they are of little value. The smallest coin is 50 COP and the one with the highest value is 1,000 COP. For the bills, the smallest is 2,000 COP and the biggest is 50,000 COP (There are 100,000 COP bills but you won´t see or use very often).

You can exchange money at the airport or in exchange places located in different areas of the city, for more information on this you can read: “Money Exchange in Bogotá”.

4. How to move in the city

Although the city is so big, it is quite easy to know your way around it, the streets have numbers and not names, so the addresses are easier to understand. In general, you can see in the city, “calles” that go from east to west starting from the mountain., and “carreras” that go from north to south starting from the center of the city. The mountains and Monserrate are pretty helpful for orientation in the city, so remember east is where the mountain is!

You can use public transport to move easily, Bogotá has an integrated transportation system and you can find all the information about this in the article “Bogotá: Basic of transportation”. Taxis are also an inexpensive way to move around the city, you can read How Taxis Works in Bogotá.

5. How to travel from Bogotá to other locations in Colombia

Since this is such an incredible country, you probably want to visit other cities in Colombia, so do not worry you can travel from Bogotá to the rest of Colombia by land or by plane. Considering Bogotá is at the center of the country, some distances can be long by bus, but you can get anywhere! If you are going to travel by bus, you can travel at night to avoid losing valuable time in the day; you kill two birds with one stone.

Otherwise, airplanes depart from Bogota for all corners of Colombia, from both traditional airlines, and low-cost airlines such as Viva Colombia (https://www.vivaair.com/co) or Wingo (https://www.wingo.com/es).

“Terminal de Transporte de Bogotá” is Bogotá’s main bus station and it is located in Salitre area. You can enter the terminal webpage for more information: www.terminaldetransporte.gov.co/ From this station you can take buses to anywhere in the country. In addition to the Salitre terminal, there is a terminal in the south and another in the north of the city, depending on your destination you can also go to any of these.

The main airport is “Aeropuerto El Dorado” but there is also a smaller airport near El Dorado called “Puente Aereo”, used for domestic flights of Avianca. If you are traveling with Avianca, be sure to confirm which airport you should go to. I recommend you read our article Main Airlines to Travel in Colombia for tips to plan your trips.

6. Be ready for your best trip yet

So, now you have the general information about Bogotá! You should also know that you will be amazed by this city, by its people, its food, its museums; its streets full of surprises, art and little shops and bars where you will have the best time. It is important to prepare yourself with the necessary information for the trip, but also to start discovering places that you want to visit, food that you want to try and a thousand things that you will want to do in this great city, so I invite you to enter our website and review all the articles that will get you ready for this incredible destination!

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