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How to Spend One Day in Bogota, Colombia

How to Spend One Day in Bogota, Colombia

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Bogota is where many travelers begin their Colombian adventure, but lots of people pass through the capital city pretty quickly. We actually spent a lot of time in Bogota while living in Colombia, so we got to know the city pretty well. But, if you’ve only got a day to spend in Bogota, we encourage you to make the most of it because there’s so much culture, history, and fantastic food to discover in this vibrant city. 

While creating this 1-day itinerary, we picked out the best that this capital city has to offer. Even though you won’t be here for long, we wanted to give you a real feel for what Bogota is all about. So if you’ve only got a day here, our blog will help you use your time wisely!

Day 1 

Breakfast – Go for a Colombian coffee 

Coffee brewing at Azahar Cafe 93 in Bogota
Photo credit: Azahar Cafe 93
Coffee fruit in Colombia
Colombian coffee fruit!

No one does coffee like the Colombians – in fact, Colombia is the 3rd largest coffee exporter in the world! Coffee here is rich and strong, so we recommend kicking off your day in the city by either grabbing a cup from a local vendor for around $0.50 USD, or heading to a cafe.

We love not only the coffee but also the breakfast empanadas at Azahar Cafe 93, or Cafe Origami is a fun spot that’s very Insta-friendly. 

If you really love coffee (like us!), then it’s worth it to join this Bogota coffee tour for the rest of the morning. It does mean shuffling around this itinerary a little bit, but I think it’s worth it since this tour is a ton of fun and visits three uber-cool local coffee shops to sample different blends. When we took the tour, our local coffee-obsessed guide, Daniella, was amazing at helping us taste different types of coffee and tell them apart. The tour costs $38 USD per person.

Morning – Bogota city tour 

Colombian Flag in Bogota, Colombia
Colombian flag on a historic building in La Candelaria neighborhood in Bogota, Colombia

With limited time in the city and so much to see, our pick is this private sightseeing tour that’s perfect if you’ve only got a day to spend in Bogota. We took this tour shortly after we arrived because it helped us get a good overview of the city and then we knew where we wanted to return to!

Expect to see the Gold Museum and hike up the famous Monserrate Hill. I think this is one of those must-see places no matter how long you have in Bogota because it offers the best views of anywhere in the city! We also loved checking out the beautiful basilica at the top, which is almost 400 years old. 

This tour also fits into today’s itinerary really well because it wraps up by taking you to explore La Candelaria, Bogota’s oldest and most charming neighborhood, which is home to our lunch spot! You’ll see the Primada Cathedral and the Palace of Justice, and learn more about famous historical figures who have called this area home. 

Tour prices vary according to group size but start at $79 USD each for two people, which we think is pretty good value for a 5.5-hour private tour! There are a few departure times available in the morning so you can decide how early or late you want to set out, but just make sure to select the option with the Monserrate Hill hike! 

Related Read: If you’re visiting Argentina while traveling through South America, be sure to check out the top sightseeing tours in Buenos Aires!

Lunch – La Puerta Falsa restaurant

Food at La Puerta Falsa
Yum!

The above sightseeing tour concludes in Chorro de Quevedo Plaza, which is just a 10-minute walk from La Puerta Falsa, although since the tour includes return transport, you could also just ask the driver to drop you off there! 

Either way, we say, don’t miss the chance to eat an authentic Colombian lunch at this adorable hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It has barely changed since it opened over 200 years ago (although we weren’t here that long ago!), and it’s known for its hearty food, like tamales, ajiaco soup, and huevos con todo (eggs with everything!). The climate in Bogota errs on the cooler side, so we found the food here to be the perfect fare to warm up with. 

I’ll warn you that it might take a while to get a seat here, but we promise you it’s worth it. Besides, a meal here will keep you going until dinner time and only costs a few dollars! 

Afternoon – Explore La Candelaria

colorful historic neighborhood at La Candelaria in Bogota, Colombia

While the morning sightseeing tour we mentioned earlier ticks off some key sights in La Candelaria, we recommend spending another hour or two exploring by yourself after lunch at La Puerta Falsa. Definitely go and check out “The Candy Cane Church”, which is just a few blocks away from the restaurant, and admire the Teatro Colón, which is a beautiful performing arts center.

One of the best places to stop, though, is the Bogota Beer Company. We’re huge craft beer lovers and take it from us that this is THE place to try awesome local beers. There are two locations in La Candelaria alone! Of course, the beers on tap are great, but there’s also cocktails and sparkling wines. This is the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon drink while soaking up the vibe of this quaint and colorful neighborhood. 

If you’d like to explore La Candelaria more in-depth, you can always book this bike tour, to visit all of the top sites and a few other important areas in Bogota, such as Parque Nacional. It’s a good choice when you’re short on time, and we think it’s a bargain at just $12 USD per person! 

Alternatively, this walking tour for $13 USD pairs you with a knowledgeable guide to show you around La Candelaria. Especially if this is your first time in Bogota, we recommend having a local along so you see the highlights without the risk of getting lost or unknowingly veering into a shady alley. Plus, we’ve found the guides on these tours are great at explaining Colombia’s history in a way that’s interesting and easy to understand.

Related Read: If you’re planning to visit Medellin while in Colombia, don’t miss the chance to explore the infamous Comuna 13!

Dinner – Have dinner at Seratta Gourmand Market 114

Pasta at Seratta Gourmand Market 114 in Bogota
Photo credit: Seratta Gourmand Market 114
A drink at Seratta Gourmand Market 114 in Bogota
Photo credit: Seratta Gourmand Market 114

We love checking out food markets on our travels, but we’ve never been anywhere like Serrata Gourmand Market 114! It was designed to be the foodie equivalent of Disneyland, and it blends the charm of a food market with the refinement of an innovative, gourmet restaurant. And, rest assured, the beautiful, jewel and pastel-colored Art Deco theme will look amazing on Instagram! 

The menu here was designed by a triple Michelin-starred chef, and the cocktails are unbelievable. From a frog-inspired cocktail (don’t worry, it’s a lot tastier than it sounds) to one served inside a tealight holder, the drinks here are definitely creative and worth splashing out on. 

Seratta Gourmand Market 114 is more than just a restaurant – it’s a whole dining experience, and it will definitely make your day in Bogota memorable. Be sure to make a reservation, because this place is in-demand! 

Night – Learn to salsa

To truly squeeze the most out of the day in Bogota, grab those dancing shoes and take a salsa lesson! We had so much fun learning how to dance when we lived in Colombia, and taking a class is the perfect way to top off a fun day in the capital. 

This group class is a laid-back way to learn salsa and you even get a free CD to take home and practice with. The teachers are fun-loving and patient and speak great English, and often the whole class heads out together afterward to show off their newfound skills at one of the nearby salsa clubs, like Quiebracanto, which is our personal favorite. At $25 USD for an hour-long class with a free drink afterward, you can’t go wrong!

Where to Stay in Bogota

the outside of Click Clack Hotel in Bogota
This hotel is super modern! Photo Credit: Click Clack Hotel
bathtub at a window at Click Clack Hotel
Click Clack Hotel is luxurious too! Photo Credit: Click Clack Hotel

Bogota is a HUGE city, so naturally, there are a ton of options when it comes to picking a place to stay. Plus, where you decide to stay can have a big impact on the activities you want to do – especially if you’re traveling on a budget. I’ll give you my top recommendations for a variety of hotels, so you can find one that fits!

Luxury – $$$

The Click Clack Hotel Bogotá is a luxury pick, but still affordable starting at $123 USD nightly. You’ll be struck by the hotel’s unique and stylish design – both inside and out. The rooms have big windows, high ceilings, and feature cool extras like rain showers and electric black-out curtains. The location is awesome too with restaurants, cafes, and bars all nearby. Book Click Clack Hotel here!

For stunning downtown views from every (huge!) room, Tequendama Suites by DOT Premium has value for money down. Every room is a suite, so you have tons of space to lounge in with a seating area and comfy bed. You can easily walk to most of the top attractions and enjoy a rooftop bar! Book a suite online in advance with Booking.com.

Mid-range – $$

You know how much I love the historic La Candelaria neighborhood, so staying at the Selina La Candelaria Bogotá puts you right in the middle of it! Selina is a well-known hostel chain, but honestly, this place feels more like a funky art gallery. Private rooms run around the $55 USD mark and can be booked online with Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

In the central Bogota area, Hotel San Francisco de Asís is my pick for a place that puts you close to a lot of the top sights and within walking distance of the historic parts of the city. The rooms are around the $40-$50 USD mark (I find the best prices are typically on Booking.com) and have a great city skyline view and the staff is known for being super helpful. Plus, the breakfasts here are so good, there’s always a line!

Budget – $

If you’re traveling on a budget, Bogota has some fantastic hostels that you can stay at for as little as $12 USD per night if you don’t mind a bed in a dorm room or around the $30 USD mark for a private room.

Spotty Bogotá Centro is a great hostel with a rooftop pool! It’s perfect for a working holiday with co-working spaces and an excellent restaurant. You can book on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.

Best airport option

If you’re not staying long in Bogota and want to stay close to the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn Bogota Airport is only five minutes away. Plus, they offer free shuttles to and from the airport every hour! The rooms are really spacious and the breakfast is amazing. It’s a popular spot for work trips, but also nice for a relaxing stay in the middle of your trip. Book your room here for under $100 USD including breakfast!

Thanks for reading! 

Bailey on the fort wall in Cartagena, Colombia
Thanks for reading!

Hopefully our guide to spending one day in Bogota, Colombia has been useful in helping you plan your trip! If you’re staying here longer, be sure to check out our 3-day itinerary and the tons of other fun things to do in the city. Lots of travelers pass through Bogota very quickly, but we think it’s worth taking a little longer to get to know this incredible city. 

We’ve spent years traveling around South America and have written travel guides to take you all over the continent. Take a look at some of our other blogs, which I’ve linked below, and be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions! 

12 BEST Tours in Medellin to Get the Most from Your Visit

10 BEST Day Trips from Cartagena, Colombia to Explore Breathtaking Places

8 BEST Coffee Tours in Medellin to Learn About, Taste, and Enjoy Colombian Coffee