You’ve probably heard by now that Bogotá has crazy weather that changes daily. And you’re coming soon but have absolutely no idea what to pack, right? Well, as a local I can guarantee that by bringing the essentials I am about to tell you in this article, you will be completely prepared to come without having any major surprises! So, packing for Bogotá has never been easier!
Surrounded by mountains, Bogotá is a pretty high-altitude city –exactly 2600 meters above sea level– and it’s not that far from the equator, which means that we don’t have seasons but we do have weather that changes everyday (though there are times of the year when it rains even more than usual). Locals usually have a dress code that tends to go well with these weather variations, taking into account that Bogotá is not too warm nor too cold. Keep reading to learn which clothes you must bring when coming.
First, what to leave at home:
The weather in Bogotá usually varies between 8 and 18 degrees Celsius (read our article Weather in Bogotá: How to Prepare for it) with low temperatures in the evening and at night, and high temperatures in the mornings and/or afternoons. You should take into account that we are far far away from the coast, so forget about beach clothes, shorts, tank tops, sandals, summer dresses, or even swimsuits; we have fun differently. Unless within your plans you are going to a social club or private pool, or to other close towns around Bogotá that are warmer (read our article Places to Visit and Stay Near Bogotá), you really don’t need any of this stuff. Here you are coming to experience an atmosphere that’s like an eternal fall combined with eternal spring.
The essentials you must bring:
1. Jeans, pants/trousers: Whether the weather is rainy, sunny, cloudy or windy, jeans will never ever fail as a good, appropriate, and comfortable choice to wear in Bogotá. You can say that it’s a pants city, which makes it fun, because we know that if someone is wearing shorts, they are probably not locals. So pack some pairs of jeans or another type of pants and it will be perfect.
2. Coats and sweaters: Anything long-sleeved is good for Bogotá; of course it’s fine to bring t-shirts too, but if the weather suddenly gets cold, you’ll be warmer with something that covers your entire arms. Light coats are a great choice, and sweaters too. Bring a couple of those and you’ll be absolutely fine here.
3. Rain jackets: One of the most important items you should bring because this type of jacket is great when it rains or when it’s windy, plus, they are light and easy to carry. If you are at a concert or a festival for example, they probably won’t allow you to enter with an umbrella even if it looks like it’s going to rain, so having one of these jackets in your bag would save you from getting wet or soaked.
4. Boots: Any kind of boots are usually a good choice to bring to Bogotá, whether they’re rain boots or more fancy ones, you’ll be protected against the cold and the rain with something that covers you above your ankle. Pack a pair of those and you’ll be read
5.Umbrella: Carrying an umbrella everywhere can be pretty cumbersome, but it’s not a bad idea to have one in your bag in case you get caught in rain and you don’t have a rain jacket or something to keep you dry.
6.Tennis shoes / trainers: Tennis shoes are perfect when you are planning to exercise a little bit or if you are planning to do some sightseeing where you have to do a lot of walking. Truth is, tennis shoes are good for any place, including Bogotá, especially going up east into the mountains. So don’t forget them!
7. Fancy clothes: If you have a special dinner, date, meeting, party, etc., my best recommendation is to bring a nice shirt or a nice long dress or skirt, but nothing that’s too open because you will get cold. Try to be comfortable above all, and remember that in Bogotá it can get quite chilly at night.
What to pack only if you want to (aka not essential but might help):
Hats, scarfs, gloves, all those accessories that people usually wear when winter is coming, you can bring to Bogotá but they are not that essential. You’ll survive without them, but if you are not used to mildly-cold temperatures, or if you get cold easily, these accessories will help you stay cozy and warm.
In case you forgot to pack the essentials I just mentioned, or you just want to buy a few more things, head to stores like Totto (https://co.totto.com/), North Face (https://www.thenorthface.com.co/), and El Éxito (https://www.exito.com/), which is also a supermarket (read our article Bogotá’s Five Most Popular Supermarkets & Grocery Stores). Prices might vary according to the store, but in general, you can find quality within a price range of $20000-$150000 COP ($6.00-$47.00 USD).
With grey or blue skies, Bogotá has its magic and charm; actually, it’s rainy and cold,but cozy atmosphere has been a source of inspiration for many artists and writers. I hope you can come here to experience it and have fun, while also being comfortable and prepared for our crazy (but unique) weather!
Check out our article about backpack essentials to bring to Bogotá here.
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