Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is a place filled with culture and some of the best Colombian cuisine. With so many top attractions to do in Bogota, it might be difficult to cover all the amazing activities.
In our itinerary for 3 days in Bogota, you will visit the best places in Bogota, learn about the complicated history of Colombia, immerse yourself in the culture, and of course try the local Colombian food.
Not only will this guide give you every step to plan your 3 days in Bogota, but it will give you information on the best places to stay in Bogota and what to pack for your trip.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the details!
3-Day Bogota Itinerary
Where To Stay in Bogota
We are going to start our 3 day Bogota itinerary by deciding where to stay because not every area in Bogota is safe. Most accommodations are located in 2 areas in Bogota: La Candelaria or Chapinero.
La Candelaria is the old Bogota, full of historical buildings, culture, and museums. If you are traveling on a budget in Colombia, La Candelaria is full of affordable backpacker hostels. However, the area can be unsafe at night.
Chapinero is the modern Bogota, full of hippie cafes, the best bars and clubs, and good food. The area is much safer than La Candelaria and I highly recommend you to stay in Chapinero.
Make sure you have travel insurance when you visit Bogota!
Aurora Hostel– Cozy hotel with a beautiful interior. Comfortable beds and a great common area to meet other travelers. Bar on-site that provides affordable drinks. Good value for money.
Selina Chapinero – Beautiful hostel with amazing amenities including co-working spaces, a restaurant, and a kitchen. The communal areas are well-decorated and the place feels like home.
bs Rosales Hotel– Beautiful big rooms away from the craziness and noise of Bogota. Comfortable beds, amazing breakfast, sleek interior, I highly recommend this place.
Hotel Lugano Suites – 5-star hotel for an affordable price. The decor is modern. Gym, spa, and sauna are included. One of the best hotels in Bogota.
Day 1 (Paloquemao, Museo del Oro, Tejo)
Welcome to Bogota! Your 1st day in Bogota is going to be a lot of exploration. If you are staying in the Chapinero neighborhood as I recommended, go outside and look for some breakfast. That area is filled with amazing cafes and restaurants. There are some foods you must try in Colombia for breakfast: Pan de bono (soft cheesy bread), tinto (like an espresso shot), and arepas.
Once you are done enjoying your Colombian breakfast, head over to Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao. Paloquemao is the biggest local farmer’s market in Bogota. Come and try the exotic fruits and vegetables of the region, like guanabanas and lulos.
Spend the afternoon wandering around La Candelaria, the historical parts of Bogota. Walk through the little alleys, check out some of the cool souvenir shops, and don’t hesitate to try something new. Colombians are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. For lunch, you must try Ajiaco, the most famous Colombian dish in Bogota. Popular in the mountainous Andes region of Colombia, Ajiaco is the perfect warm meal for a cold day.
The best restaurant in Bogota to try Ajiaco is La Puerta Falsa. A cheap and traditional Colombian restaurant that Anthony Bourdain has visited himself, you will not be disappointed by the food. You must try the Ajiaco and Tamales at La Puerta Falsa.
After having lunch, you will visit the Gold Museum, or Museo del Oro in Spanish. As Bogota’s most famous and prestigious museum, you can easily spend 2-3 hours here. Explore the 55,000 pieces of gold and learn about their historical significance, it is quite fascinating. On Sundays, admission to the Gold Museum is free.
You might see people selling “Big Ass Ants”, or hormigas culonas outside of Museo del Oro. Make sure you give it a try because they are a special Colombian snack!
Night-time is a little tricky in Bogota, as some areas such as La Candelaria become quite dangerous. It is still one of the best places to visit in Bogota, but I would recommend you to walk in groups or take an Uber. (Update: Uber is now banned in Colombia starting January 2020. You can still use Uber-like apps such as Beat, Cabify, or Didi for your travel needs!)
Tonight you will be playing Tejo, the national sport of Colombia. Tejo is a game filled with alcohol and explosives usually played at a bar. Recipe for disaster? Maybe. Recipe for fun? Definitely.
Head over to Club De Tejo La 76, an amazing local bar with cheap drinks and good food. The staff will explain the rules of Tejo and make sure everyone is having fun!
Day 2 (Walking Tour, Botero Musem, Monserrate)
Hope you are not too tired from your crazy Tejo night yesterday because you will be seeing some of Bogota’s best attractions today.
Today you will go on a FREE walking tour and learn about the history and the best places in Bogota. The tour starts at 10 AM at the Museo del Oro, a place you should be familiar with already. The tour is based on tips so if you didn’t enjoy the tour, you don’t have to pay a dime. The tour will also take you to see some of the best street art and graffiti of Bogota. However, if you would like a more in-depth graffiti tour, check out this free graffiti tour.
You must be hungry after all that walking. For lunch, stay near the La Candelaria area. Look for a restaurant that serves chicharron, papas criollas (traditional Colombia potatoes), empanadas, and more.
Chicharron is delicious deep-fried pork but it is the most unhealthy food on this planet. You are not on vacation to be healthy though, are you?
After lunch, head over to the Botero Museum, or Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica. Fernando Botero is one of the most famous painters and sculptors of Colombia. His work is unique because of his depiction of fat things.
Women, Animals, the Mona Lisa, anything and everything. Spend a few hours here admiring at the quirkiness and audacity of his work. However, keep the clock in mind, because you are going to go watch the sunset at best viewpoint in Bogota, Monserrate.
To arrive at the viewpoint of Monserrate, you must take a cable car from the cable car station. You could also hike up from the station BUT only in the day time. In the evening, the path is known to be dangerous. Also, you MUST take an Uber (Update: Uber is now banned. Use Beat, Cabify, or Didi) from wherever you are to the cable car station. Don’t take a taxi and don’t walk. Taxis could be dangerous and the area surrounding Monserrate is dangerous as well.
After the sun sets at Monserrate, stay behind to watch the city of Bogota glorified by its light. Bogota is a beautiful place with all its bright lights.
When you get back down to the cable car station, take an Uber (Update: Uber is now banned. Use Beat, Cabify, or Didi) to Andres Carne de Res, the most famous restaurant in Colombia. Andres Carne de Res is not just a restaurant, it is also an entertainment joint, a nightclub, an art gallery, and a hell of a good time in one. It is a place where you cannot summarize with just words and must experience it for yourself.
Credit: Reg Natarajan
Day 3 (Zipaquira Salt Cathedral)
So get yourself a nice breakfast and a lot of tintos and head towards Portal Norte or Terminal del Norte and catch a bus to Zipaquira. The buses depart frequently and the journey lasts an hour.
Once the bus drops you off in Zipaquira, walk to the entrance of the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and buy your ticket. A tour guide is included with the purchase of the ticket. Then spend the next few hours learning about the magnificence of the construction of the salt mine and cathedral. The salt cathedral is located 200m underground and it is a functioning church with many visitors on Sundays.
Grab a local meal in the town of Zipaquira and watch how the locals live outside of the big cities. It is an eye-widening experience.
When you are done, head back to Bogota. You should arrive just in time for dinner. Feel free to walk around to search for your final meal in Bogota, Chapinero has a lot of great options. I personally recommend you check out Dona Elvira, a restaurant with 80 years of history. The food there is as authentic as it can get.
Packing List for Your 3 Days in Bogota
Bogota, located at 2640m, is surprisingly cold for Colombia. Not only is the weather cold, but it also rains daily at the most random times.
1. Sunscreen. The sun at such a high altitude is very strong. Pack sunscreen.
3. Reliable daypack. This Osprey daypack is extremely comfortable. Osprey also offers a lifetime warranty on all its products.
4. Rain poncho or rain jacket. Always have one in your backpack. You will never know when you will need it.
This concludes the 3 day Bogota itinerary. I hope this helped you to find some of the best things to do and places to see in Bogota! Don’t worry too much about following it to the T, enjoy Colombia. It is full of surprises and greatness!
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