I love visiting Bogota. I’m sure that it has a lot to do with the fact that it reminds me of Caracas, the beautiful city where I was born and raised. The mountains, food, weather and kindness of its people make this city a great destination for anyone who wants to visit South America.
To me the highlight of any trip to Bogotá is spending time with my nieces. My brother moved there with his family a few years ago so I try to visit them often. This time I went for a week to babysit with my mom while my brother and his wife were on vacation and we had a blast.
If you go to Bogotá for the first time here are my favorite touristic spots that I recommend you visiting:
- Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá: this place will blow away anyone’s mind. It’s a gorgeous cathedral that was built inside of a salt mine… You read it right, a church inside of a salt mine. It’s about 30-45 min. away from the city and totally worth the trip because you won’t find anything like this anywhere else.
- La Candelaria: in this historic neighborhood you’ll find the Coin and Botero Museum plus a lot of federal buildings including the presidential house (Casa de Nariño). It’s a great area with beautiful architecture. If you don’t speak Spanish, I recommend you going with some sort of tour guide since it isn’t the safest area. Nearby is the Gold Museum and right across the street from it there’s one of my favorite artisan markets!
- Monserrate: take a cable car or funicular to go to the top of this mountain where you’ll experience the most beautiful view of Bogotá. Visit the church and if you want you can have lunch or dinner in one of their restaurants.
- Andrés Carne de Res, Chía: this is the most fun place on earth! Andrés is a restaurant/night club that you can visit with your entire family without minding their age! (first time I went was with my 83-year-old grandma) Please click on the link and check out the pics because I have no words to describe this magical space where it’s impossible to not be happy and have the best time… Your eyes won’t believe it! There’re a few Andrés Carne de Res but I strongly recommend you going to the one in Chía (about a 45min. drive from the city), which is the original one because the other ones are not as incredible as that one. If you are traveling without kids definitely go for dinner and be ready to party all night.
Since I’ve already visited these places a few times in previous trips this time around I focused on spending time with the girls and also visited a couple of plant-based restaurants, markets and parks. These were my favorite:
- Caballete y Berenjena: Bogotá’s first vegan restaurant. This place is super cute and has a very homey feeling. The menu is pretty big and we really enjoyed their salads, pad thai and cheesecake.
- Suna: this place is a beautiful restaurant and health market. They have a big variety of non-vegan, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options as well as tons of cold pressed juices and smoothies. The market sells natural nut butters, oils, pastas, sauces, juices and much more.
- Bogotá Botanical Garden: we took the girls on a Saturday and this was our favorite activity. I wanted to take them somewhere to be in contact with nature that wasn’t your typical park. Children under 12 get a free entrance, for adults it’s only $1 and it includes a free tour guide. The place is super clean and has a huge variety of plants, an area where they reenact some of their local Native American traditions, hills, ponds, bridges and more. They have a cute restaurant and it’s a great place to visit even if you are not traveling with kids. You breathe peace in this place and I guarantee that you’ll leave feeling renewed.
- Usaquén Flea Market: my favorite artisan market in the city… I make sure to visit it every time I’m in the area! One of the things I love about traveling is getting to know the local culture of the place through their food and handcrafts. This place is full of vendors selling Wayúu bags (check my Instagram now to enter a giveaway to win one of these), jewelry, art, food, clothes, shoes and more. It only opens on Sundays so make sure to stop by!