Bogota, the capital of Colombia and also its largest city, was only a few years ago deemed “unsafe” by many foreign travelers. Now, it’s a thriving metropolis and one of the best places anyone can visit if they want to experience everything Latin America has offer.
One of the best things about the Bogota is that foreigners have a lot of options for where to stay at. Traveling just a few years ago usually meant that you’d live in a hotel or motel, but nowadays, short-term and long-term rentals for apartments and house are pretty easy to come by. Generally speaking, these rentals are more convenient, affordable, more comfortable and private, and best of all, you can be more flexible in terms of just which area it is you want to stay at exactly.
While Bogota is a wonderful city, as with anywhere else, some areas are more suited for tourists and foreigners than others.
Arguably the best place to stay in Bogota, Chapinero is the first choice for many travelers. It’s one of the more affluent districts in the city, and mostly inhabited by upper class residents (and has been mostly inhabited by upper class residents since the 19th century!).
The city’s central business district is here, as well as other important leisure, dining, and nightlife areas.
If you want to explore as much of the city as possible, Chapinero also serves as a great base of operations – it’s strategically located and has easy access to the rest of the city.
And before you go exploring Bogota, be sure to allot plenty of time to explore Chapinero itself – it is, after all, widely considered by many to be the trendiest neighborhood in the city.
Here are some of the best places you can visit in the area:
Parque de la calle 93
Also known as 93 Park, 93rd Street Park, or Parque de la 93, it is located in El Chico, Chapinero.
The park itself is lovely, with areas for children, adults, and pets. You’ll find many people here at any given time of the day sitting on benches, sitting on the grass, or walking around. But what makes it pretty special is that it’s surrounded by a lot of high-end restaurants, cafes, boutiques, bars, clubs, and other establishments. And while it can feel like a very expensive area, there are also plenty of options for the more budget-conscious traveler.
From the park, malls and other shopping places are within walking distance, so it’s always a great idea to start your day of exploration here, and slowly work your way outwards.
The park hosts many different events and festivals throughout the year, so be sure to check in and see what events your visit coincides with.
Check out these amazing Attractions in Bogota if you’re looking for things to do in this area.
Andres Carne de Res is one of the craziest restaurants you’ll find in the country, and possibly even one of the craziest restaurants you’ll find anywhere in the world. While Andrés D.C. is the smaller, newer branch than the one located in Chia, it’s equally as charming.
They have a huge selection of Latin and Colombian cuisine with a lot of vegetarian and vegan options, and they also have an extensive cocktail menu. Enjoy live music and put on your dancing shoes!
You can find them at CL. 82 # 12 – 21.
Chapinero is host to most of the city’s LGBT community, and you’ll find what many consider to be the largest LGBT nightclub in the world, and certainly one of the biggest nightclubs in Latin America, right here. On any given Saturday night, the venue can see as many as 8,000 revelers partying the night away.
While technically an LGBT nightclub, everyone is welcome – and with the venue divided into 13 separate areas with different themes, you’ll be sure to find what you’re in the mood for. There is a 1980’s room, a Salsa room, and even a separate Men’s and Women’s rooms!
Check them out at Calle 58 # 10 – 32.
Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao
Also known simply as Paloquemao Market, it’s one of Bogota’s most important food markets where you’ll find a mind-numbing variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, herbs, seeds, flowers, and so much more – but mostly fruits and flowers. Most of the types of fruits you can find anywhere in the country, you’ll find here. And fun fact, Colombia is actually the second largest exporter of flowers, just after the Netherlands, so expect to find a ton of beautiful flowers here as well.
This is a massive indoor market, but there are also plenty of vendors out in the streets around it selling fruits, fresh juice drinks, snacks, and other items. Try to come early, so you’ll get the freshest picks.
You can find Paloquemao Market at Avenida 19 # 25 – 04.
Centro Comercial Andino
If you’re feeling a bit homesick, check out the Centro Comercial Andino, or the Andino Shopping Mall. Most of the stores here are from international brands in the US and Europe, but you’ll also find several Colombian brands too.
It’s one of the most beautiful malls in the country, and with brands like Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany & Co., it’s also one of the most exclusive. Part of the area is also a business center.
It’s also close to other malls and parks, so it’s easy for you to visit multiple attractions if you feel up to it. Check them out at Carrera 11 # 82 – 71.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes can be found right in the heart of Chapinero. This beautiful Neogothic-Moorish style church was completed in 1904, today remains one of the most visited churches in the country.
Whether you’re religious or not, it’s worth a visit to see the architecture – there’s also a wonderful plaza surrounding the church, and it’s a great starting point for a lovely walk to do a bit of sightseeing in the area.
You’ll find the church at Cra. 13 # 63 – 27.
Chapinero is certainly not the only place in Bogota where it’s great to live, but it is, many would argue, the best. If you’re ever in the area, check out the places in this list and let us know what you think!