Neighborhoods such as Chapinero, La Macarena, and La Candelaria are popular places to live. However, there are also many benefits to living further north in Bogotá. In this article I will explain what is so great about living in the north.
I lived for two and a half months in the neighborhood of Ceditros, near Calle 142 and Carrera 9. Although it is a bit far from the city center, I loved living in this area and would do it again in a heartbeat. Neighborhoods such as Ceditros, Usaquen, Suba, and Chico are great places to live. Here is why:
Residential & Quiet Neighborhoods
One thing I love about living in the north is that it is more of a quiet, residential area. You are able to leave behind the hustle and bustle of downtown and La Candelaria for a more peaceful environment.
Another benefit about living in a neighborhood in the north is that you get more of a local experience. Most locals do not live in the touristy areas in the city center. You will have more opportunity to practice your Spanish and get to know the locals in the neighborhood if you live in the north.
In general, northern Bogotá is considered the safest area of the city, especially compared to the south, La Candelaria, and downtown. Seeing people living or begging on the streets is rare and it is much safer to walk after dark, although I still would not recommend walking around alone after about 10pm. I never ran into any problems, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. (Read more about this in Is Bogotá safe? All You Need to Know About Safety in Bogotá)
Groceries & Shopping
I think my favorite thing about living in northern Bogotá was that there is an abundance of options for buying food. I have been frustrated in some other neighborhoods looking for adequate supermarkets and stores. However, for example, within walking distance to my apartment I had a D1, Justo y Bueno, Exito, Carulla, a large fruit market, and many small stores (tiendas) selling fruits and vegetables. Bakeries (panaderias), convenience stores, pharmacies (droguerías), etc. are easy to find as well.
Restaurants & Cafés
You do not need to worry that being away from the city center will mean having less options for dining out or getting a great cup of coffee. On the contrary, there are plenty of restaurants throughout northern Bogotá. Large chains and small local restaurants can be found in the north. Whether you want a cheap lunch or a fancy dinner out, you will be able to find it in the north. You can also find coffee shops such as Juan Valdez and Oma Café, as well as smaller local cafés. (We recommend you to read The best 10 restaurants in Usaquén)
Closer to Portal del Norte/Trips Outside of the City
A huge benefit of living in the north of Bogotá is that it is close to Portal del Norte, which means it takes a lot less time to get to certain destinations outside of Bogotá. This is where you need to go for many day or weekend trips outside of the city. If you plan on going to Villa de Leyva, Laguna de Guatavita, Zipaquira, or other areas north of Bogotá, you will have to get a local bus from Portal del Norte. For more information on places to go from Bogota read our article Places to Visit and Stay Near Bogotá.
Although northern neighborhoods are not close to the city center, it is easy to get there with public transportation. Depending on exactly where you live, you could take Transmilenio, SITP (city buses), or the smaller local buses called “colectivos” or “busetas.” Uber is also a great affordable option, and taxis are always available. Read Apps You Need to Get Around Bogotá, A Locals Guide to Navigating Bogotá and Basics for Transportation in Bogotá to learn more.
Have you lived in the north of Bogotá? If so, we would love to hear about the neighborhood and what your favorite part of living there is. Is there anything you love about living in the north that we did not mention in this article? Tell us all about it below in the comments section!