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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:
- the Museo del Oro, the 'Gold Museum', home to more than 55,000 gold pieces collected from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia;
- the Iglesia de Santa Clara and Iglesia de San Ignacio, spectacularly decorated cathedrals;
- the National Museum of Colombia - which has more golden treasures;
- and the Jose Celestino Mutis Garden, Colombia's largest botanical garden, packed with beautiful, rare orchids, exotic native plants and the vast aquatic Amazon flowers.
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.
- B.O.G. Hotel is well situated close to all major attractions. Plus it offers a great restaurant and fabulous roof top terrace with bar which serves great cocktails!
Best Hotels in Bogota
Click Clack Hotel 60 rooms from $108Bogota (Bogotá)
An achingly hip hotel with an enviably central location. Rooms boast spectacular views from the floor to ceiling windows and design is chic yet light hearted. Boasting a trendy cocktail bar and superb restaurant this property is a step above other uniform hotels in the city.City Style - An uber chic hotel complete with sleek bar and hip restaurant.Sights nearby - Take a tour to the famed Salt Cathedral.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Views - Great views from hotel
Hotel Movich Chico 97 75 rooms from $156Bogota
A modern design hotel in a smart central neighbourhood. Chic rooms offering all the mod cons you'd expect and the bonus of a seventh floor roof terrace with view out to hills above city. The restuarant offers a wide choice of Colombian and international cuisine. Perfect for passing through Bogota.Great walks - Take a stroll down to Del Chico Park, this lovely green space will give you a breath of fresh air.Lively - Hip and happening.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Traditional
B.O.G. Hotel 55 rooms from $172Bogota (Cundinamarca)
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 viewsSuites - Individually decorated minamalist rooms and suites with every comfort and the latest technologyRestaurant - Superb restaurant showcases award winning chef Leonor Espinosa's inspirational cuisine.Roof terrace - Futuristic roof terrace bar with extensive bar menu and fabulous cocktailsSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Tablet
The Orchids Hotel 8 rooms from $200Bogota (Centro Historico)
A neoclassical styled house based in Bogata's historic centre. Opulent interiors feature baroque details, golden hues and antique furniture. Find exquisite regional cuisine in the restaurant and a quite library to unwind in. Just steps from many of the major attractions. A winning choice.Local exploring - Located within Bogata's historic and cultural capital and with many sights within walking distance.Great walks - Wander through the picturesque streets of La Candelaria, Bogata's most historic district.Sights nearby - Head up to the Cerro Monserrate for panoramic city views.Full of character