With sun-drenched colonial plazas sitting beside ultramodern skyscrapers, Colombia’s capital city is a place of contrasts. Forget the outdated notions of this place as a gritty crime haven. These days, Bogotá is a safe and forward-thinking city that is trending with global adventurers.
If you only have 48 hours in Bogotá, there are some sights you have to hit.
With a rich history and a promising future, Bogotá is a fascinating place to be right now. And it’s so much bigger than you think! With a metro population of nearly ten million people, the city dwarfs most American and European cities.
Here’s how to experience the best of the best with 48 hours in Bogotá!
Travel Tips for Bogota
- Flights: Avianca Airlines provides some of the best direct flight options into Bogotá from the US and Europe.
- Getting to Town: El Dorado Airport is about nine miles west of the city center. You can grab an official airport taxi (yellow and white) for the quickest ride into town– taking around 20 minutes and costing around 15,000 Colombian pesos (about $5 USD). I highly recommend using UBER or your hotel transfers for transportation around the city.
- Language: The official language of Colombia is Spanish.
- Where to Stay: I stayed at the ultracool Click Clack Hotel. Set in the heart of the chic Park 93 neighborhood, this place is a prime example of the innovative design and hip aesthetic of Colombia’s up-and-coming crowd.
- Currency: 1 Colombian Peso equals 0.00034 USD, so you’re looking at around 3,000 pesos to the dollar.
- Credit Cards and Banks: Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Bogotá, but I’d recommend taking out cash from local ATM’s if you plan to so some shopping in the markets. For safety, be sure to use a secure ATM located inside a bank.
- Climate: March is the hottest month in Bogota with an average temperature around 70°F and the coldest is December at 55°F. The climate is very warm and tropical, with a rainy season from May to November, and October wettest on average.
If you’ve only got 48 hours to explore Bogotá, you’ll want to start with the top spots and try to pack as much as you can into each day. Here are a few things you absolutely must see.
The Gold Museum
One of Colombia’s most visited attractions, this museum is home to 55,000 gold artifacts from the pre-Spanish days of South America. With bling spread over three floors, this place is truly incredible.
The Artisan Markets
Come ready to haggle! There are great markets all over Bogotá and they are the best places to get a souvenir. Be sure to check out the woven bags in the Usaquén market! They are handmade and famous across the region. (Helpful Tip: Bags are priced differently based on the quality of their weave, but 60k to 70k is a fair price to aim for on a nice bag)
Lunch at La Puerta Falsa
One you’ve worked up an appetite, grab some traditional Colombian fare at La Puerta Falsa. The restaurant is packed tight with patrons and there are only two items on the lunch menu: tamales or ajiaco soup. I definitely recommend ajiaco — a savory and creamy soup with potato, avocado, capers, cream and corn on the cob!
Stroll Street Vendors in La Candelaria
This is the best neighborhood for exploring. Always buzzing, the historical La Candelaria is a blend of Spanish colonial, art deco, and Baroque buildings. Plan on at least a couple of hours to wander around and see all of the vendors.
Surrounded by gorgeous architecture, Bolivar Square is one of Bogotá’s most iconic sites. It is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The most famous visitors to the square, however, are the birds. Buy some corn from one of the vendors walking around the square so you can feed them.
Sunset Cocktails at Apache Rooftop Bar at Click Clack
For a bird’s eye view of Bogotá, get to the top of the Click Clack Hotel. Bring your camera and chill out with a cocktail while you watch the sun set over the city.
My Bogotá-inspired travel outfits!
On your second day, be sure to climb to the top of the city and mix with the locals for insight into life in Colombia’s capital!
No matter where you are in the city, you can see the iconic Monserrate Mountain. A Colombian spiritual and cultural symbol, this must-see attraction is something you’ll want to spend the morning taking in. Ride the funicular or the cable car up the mountain for a panoramic view of Bogotá and beyond.
Lunch at Club Colombia
For some of the best South American food you’ll ever try, you have got to get to Club Colombia. The dishes are hearty, so come hungry. The Arepa de Choclo is especially delicious here.
Bogotá Graffiti Tour
Twice a day, there is an impressive tour starting at the Parque de Los Periodistas. Lasting for two and a half hours, the Bogotá Graffiti tour will let you see the city like a local while you take in the striking street art. Book your spot before you go!
Night Out in Chia at Andres Carne de Res
If you’re in Bogotá on a Friday or Saturday night, you’re in luck! This place is hopping and it’s the top hot spot to mingle with the locals. The food is amazing, the music is loud and the decor is something to marvel at!