I had been to Bogotá twice before, but this is the first time I actually got to explore the city a little bit. I have to say it was much better than I expected.
Weather: Colombia is 8,675 feet (2,644 meters) above sea level, so unlike the rest of Colombia, the weather is quite cool all year round. The days vary between sun, cloud and rain and quite often it can change by the hour. It’s nice to visit and the temperature outside is always cool, but personally I could never live in a place where it’s always a bit chilly and you never know if it might rain. Bring a small umbrella with you in case you are exploring outside and it starts to rain.
Safety: Just like any major city, one should take precautions. Do not wander into unknown neighborhoods, especially alone. That being said I never once felt unsafe in Bogotá. Uber, although technically illegal at the time of writing, is widely used and is extremely inexpensive. A 30 minute trip across the city can end up costing less than $10 USD. If you stick to the major neighborhoods (Zona Rosa, Usaquén, Candelaria), you’ll be just fine. If you want to wander into other areas, depending on your travel experience and comfort level, there are plenty of tours available. One popular tour is to see the elaborate displays of graffiti that decorate the city. Some of them are quite amazing.
One of my favorite areas in Bogotá is Usaquén, especially on Sunday mornings and afternoons. In order to get there, you can enter “Saint Barbara of Usaquen Church” as a destination in Uber. That will take you to a beautiful church in the main plaza of Usaquen and the street market is just a block away. You can’t miss it. It’s a charming neighborhood full of little shops and cafes, and I found some really amazing things at the street market.
Check out these amazing belt buckles for example. These are hand made and they had such an amazing variety of designs. You can also choose from different belts that are designed so that the buckles can be used interchangeably. Each buckle and each belt is only approximately $10. I ended up buying 2 belts and 3 buckles and I wish I had bought more! I’m trying to be a little more adventurous with my style. But that’s a topic for another blog post!
Here is the business card of the company that makes these belt buckles and belts in case you want to reach out to them. They do ship overseas. You can follow them on Instagram. I love discovering small local businesses that are doing something unique. If I had the time I would partner up with these guys and help bring their products overseas.
At another stand in the street market, they were selling custom, hand-made shoes. Look at these amazing Frida Khalo shoes! I knew Sina was going to flip when she saw these so I bought them. For $50, they traced my foot on a piece of paper and within 4 business days it was delivered to my hotel. They fit perfectly. Everything was completely customized including the color of the material that hold the shoelaces. The name of this company is Creciente. They are in Instagram as well, and can be reached via Whatsapp at +(57) 1 3003798695. I paid them upfront in cash and they delivered on time as agreed. Highly recommended!
I really enjoyed my trip to Bogotá and I am looking forward to my next visit. There is so much to see and there are many good restaurants as well. You cannot visit Bogotá without a visit to Andres DC Restaurant. One day I have to take Sina there because ever single inch is so meticulously decorated. With live music, and very tasty food with a local flare, you can’t go wrong. I also highly recommend Primi. The “Asado de Tira” is amazing. It’s like a giant short rib with a tangy glaze that just melts in your mouth. Be sure to make a reservation so you can sit in the main area of the restaurant!
I hope this article on Bogotá has been helpful. Please reach out and let me know if you have any questions or comments on these tips. Safe travels!