Bogotá is big. It's a huge place, but it's also home to almost nine million people. And until the last decade or so it's not been a particularly safe place for visitors, so this now vibrant, quickly-modernising city is still pretty under-explored. Don't get the wrong impression, Bogota can be frantic, but it also has pockets of calm beauty. One of the most difficult thing about planning a trip is discovering the best places to stay in Bogota to get the most out of this city.
Modern Bogotá has a similar safety record to other South American cities - it's still unwise to appear flashy, or travel into certain areas after dark, but the tourist friendly areas are expanding, and most locals are on your side. And there are plenty of places to go for an after supper rumba (party).
The majority of the historic sights are in the centre of town, in and around La Candelaria. Here you'll find the most graceful church squares, the most famous museums, parks and green spaces, many cafes, and even more charm.
Bolivar Square is probably the very centre of town as far as visitors are concerned. Simon Bolivar, South American general and past President of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia has an army of monuments world wide, but this was one of the first and is one of the largest. This square is the Colombian equivalent of Westminster.
Bogotá's other most famous sights are:
But Bogotá doesn't have a longstanding relationship with visitors, so lots of the most interesting places to visit don't actually look that impressive from the outside. A case in point is the Mercado de San Alejo - this is Bogotá's biggest market, but it's set up in an unimpressive car park.
One institution which bucks the rule is Andres Carne de Res, a vast steak restaurant covered in Christmas lights and quirky-bordering-on-surreal memorabilia. And speaking of restaurants and food, Bogotá is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie destination, with a focus on Columbian dishes that you may not yet have heard of.
Bogota's first luxury Design Hotel, constructed in granite, natural stone, glass and aluminium. Interiors by Nina Andadre Silva, using gold and emerald as staples. Furniture custom-made using Columbian and international artisans. Ultra cool rooftop terrace, bar and pool with dramatic skyline views