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Best areas to stay in Bogotá: Chapinero, the locality

Chapinero
Sofía Machado

Sofía Machado

Colture editor but also architect, writer, dreamer, and adventurer. My mission is to tell stories that connect people and to discover, create and enjoy the amazing world we have the pleasure to live in. Instagram: sofiamm55

Bogotá is divided into localities each unique in their own way, with tons of things to do and places to go. However, I’ll say that Chapinero (Chapinero is also a neighborhood that is part of the locality)  and it’s perhaps one of the best ones to enjoy a truly local experience. Offering a wide range of activities for a reasonable price, Chapinero is recognized for its diversity and good vibes. If you would like to go, read this article to find out more.

As the big city that it is, Bogotá is divided into what we call localities, which basically are administrative divisions that share a similar cultural, social and economic point of view (think of them as zones, sort of, but not to be confused with neighbourhoods, because localities are way bigger). Located in the northeast of Bogotá, close to the mountains, the locality of Chapinero (with neighbourhoods such as Chapinero Central, El Chicó, Rosales and Quinta Camacho) will always surprise you with its vibrant atmosphere. It has everything, literally everything you can imagine doing in a big city, from the most amazing gastronomic experiences to the craziest parties and celebrations. Diversity is, indeed, the best feature of this locality.

Some things you need to know about Chapinero!

  • The territory of Chapinero was a large road that connected the capital to northern territories during colonial times. It started growing during the XVIII century and finally had its migration boom during the first decades of the 20th century, when many people came to Bogotá to escape the violence.
  • A large part of the musical and artistic culture of Bogotá has developed in Chapinero due to the fact that it is the home of several bars, studios, auditoriums, theatres and concert halls. Together with La Candelaria (read our article Best Neighborhoods in Bogotá: Why You Should Stay in La Candelaria) and Teusaquillo (read my article Localities in Bogotá: Teusaquillo), it’s the meeting point for musicians and artists, incubating urban cultural expressions and freedom.C
  • Chapinero is a zone of important commercial and financial activity, both locally and nationally. It is home to the “Wall Street” of Bogotá on Avenida Chile (Chile Avenue) with Calle 72 (72 street), hosting some of the largest financial activities of the country. Also, very well known sectors of shopping and commerce such as Zona T (Zone T), Zona G (Zone G) or Zona Rosa. And the World Trade Center of Bogotá on Calle 100 (100th street), with its unique importance as a business area in the city.
Chapinero
© Photograph by SDP (Right) / El Tiempo (Left)
  • Chapinero is not only an important cultural and social zone, it’s also home to some of the most prestigious residential and social neighborhoods in Bogotá such as El Chicó (read our article Your Guide to Bogotá’s Chicó Neighborhood) , Rosales (read my article Best neighborhoods in Bogotá: Los Rosales), El Nogal (read Best Neighborhoods in Bogotá: El Nogal), El Retiro y La Cabrera. The most traditional families of the capital and people with higher incomes settle in these neighborhoods and enjoy a very good style of living. Pay a visit if you would like to see some of the most luxurious and modern buildings and houses in Bogotá.
Chapinero
© Photograph by El Tiempo
  • Chapinero is considered the an LGBT zone in Bogotá because it has the highest density of homosexual inhabitants. It was actually declared a “gay area” by the mayor of the city in 2006, constituting an important step in the integration of this community. Also, the LGBT community center, unique in Latin America, is located here.
  • Chapinero enjoys a privileged location just next to the Eastern Hills. This makes it not only an enjoyable locality to live and visit within the big city, but also an important zone that needs to be protected. It has numerous water streams and hikes you can do.           

And now that you know a little bit more about Chapinero, here are NINE things you MUST do while visiting this locality:

Chapinero
© Photograph by Google Maps

1. Go to the Theatron:

The biggest gay club in Latin America (https://www.portaltheatron.co/). It has several different atmospheres with different music to go with each section.

Chapinero
© Photograph by El Tiempo

2. Hike Quebrada La Vieja

To experience some of the best views of Bogotá from the top. Its entrance is located on Calle 72 (72nd Street) at Carrera 5 (5th Avenue).

3. Take a tour to try some of the best coffee in Bogotá.

You’ll be amazed! You can do the tour that Flavours of Bogotá offers; visit their webpage to find out more about it: https://www.flavorsofbogota.com/.

4. Visit Zona G to enjoy some of the most remarkable gastronomic experiences in the city.

Restaurants like Criterion (http://www.criterion.com.co/criterion.html), and  Trattoria La Divina Comedia (https://trattorialadivinacomedia.com/index.html) are good options to try. Be aware that most of the restaurants in this zone are expensive, but totally worth it.

Chapinero
© Photograph by Teatro Libre

5. Visit some of the best theatres around and enjoy a night watching a play.

Head to Teatro Libre (http://teatrolibre.com/) and Teatro Nacional Fanny Mikey (https://teatronacional.co/), named after one of the women that boosted the theater culture in Bogota

6. Do a pub tour to try some of the best craft beers in Bogotá.

You can visit places like El Mono Bandido (https://www.elmonobandido.com/) and Cervecería Gigante (https://www.cerveceriagigante.com/) if you do the Bogota Craft Beer tour: http://www.bogotacraftbeer.com/es/.

7. Visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

(http://www.basilicalourdesbogota.com/) to experience its architecture and history. It also has a nice plaza where you can sit down and admire the landscape.

Chapinero
© Photograph by Andrés Carne de Res

8. Party in La Zona T and Calle 85 and have a night to remember.

Go to Andrés D.C (http://www.andrescarnederes.com/andres-dc) and Armando Records (http://armandorecords.org/). Go crazy!

9. Enjoy a nice afternoon in Parque 93 (http://parque93.com/), one of the most famous parks in Bogotá, located in the northeast part of the city. There are several restaurants, cafes and pubs where you can go. I particularly recommend Wok (http://www.wok.com.co/wps/portal/wok) or El Corral Gourmet (www.elcorralgourmet.com/). Also, the park hosts different kinds of festivals throughout the year.

The curious and striking thing about Chapinero (remember that here I’m talking about the entire locality, but there is also a neighborhood within the locality that has the same name) is that every corner has its own unique history. And so, recognized by its diversity, it’s considered to be a place of freedom. It’s like the Soho of Bogotá. Here you’ll have an amazing local experience that will give you memories lasting a lifetime, I promise you!

Was this article useful? Do you know more cool information about Chapinero? Or maybe an experience you would like to share? Please visit our homepage Colture and take a look at my articles and many others to find more essential information about Bogotá before or during your trip.

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