Bogota has a growing art scene, amazing museums and an exciting restaurant scene. It also has wild nightlife and super welcoming people.

If you’re famished on a rainy afternoon, try ajiaco – a tasty soup made with chicken, potatoes, corn, and guasca herbs. Pair it with a traditional dessert like postre de natas.

La Candelaria

La Candelaria is the formal founding place of Bogota, its oldest neighborhood. Today it is home to the Plaza Bolivar, named for Simon Bolivar who led Colombia and other South American nations to independence from Spain in the early 1800s.

The streets are filled with historic buildings and modern street art that create a unique contrast between the old and new. There are also many eateries and cafés to enjoy a coffee or some of the famous Colombian food.

Another interesting sight is the church at Monserrate which is reached by cable car and offers stunning views over Bogota. To make the most of your time, you may want to join a guided tour that focuses on the graffiti art that has become an important part of this vibrant neighborhood.

Parque Bolivar

This is a large recreational park in the center of Bogota that has a hockey rink, sports fields and bike lanes. It is also a popular place for runners to go on a long run because of its many paved trails. Visiting the park at night is especially nice because it has lots of lights and decorations.

El Parque de Bolivar es uno de los principales pulmones de Bogota y fue la primera parque urbana carbono neutral en América Latina. En sus extensos senderos encontrarás a floras y faunas nicas, y también podrán contemplar la actividad de aves migratorias como el Aguila Pescadora y el Zambullidor Piquipinto.

In this upscale and luxurious zone you can find the best hotels, restaurants and bars. You can also visit the Plaza Bolivar, which is a huge square that houses the cathedral and other major buildings.

Museo Botero

Los pinturas y esculturas del maestro Botero llegan de todo el mundo. El museo contiene miles de obras que encantarán al visitante.

Botero’s paintings are distinctive, showcasing rotund figures with curvaceous forms. He pioneered a style known as “Boterismo” that challenged traditional notions of beauty.

In 1952, the artist won second place in Bogota’s Salon Nacional de Artistas. The prize money allowed him to travel to Europe, where he studied Renaissance artists and copied their work. This experience greatly influenced his art. He later adopted a style that exaggerated volume and proportions in his works. His best-known pieces include a parody of the Mona Lisa and Pareja Bailando. He also created a series of bronze statues that are similarly voluptuous.

Pasaje Rivas

Whether you’re after Colombian chocolate or simply want some local souvenirs, Pasaje Rivas is where it’s at. The alley is home to a ton of artisan stalls where you can buy woven bags, dolls and other typical crafts from Colombia.

It’s also a great place to find street art, so take a wander around the area and check out the murals on the side of buildings. Alternatively, you can also do a free graffiti tour with Bogota Graffiti (Mon-Fri; 2pm).

After perusing the market, head back to La Candelaria and ride the cable car (daily; COP20,000) or funicular up Monserrate, where you can admire the city from above. The vista is especially spectacular during sunset. Take a moment to look at the impressive statue of Christ on the summit too.

San Alejo Flea Market

When visiting a new city, one of the best ways to get a feel for its history and culture is to visit local markets. A trip to Bogota wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous flea market of San Alejo.

This place is a photographer’s dream, with stalls full of antique objects and second-hand goods. You can also find great Colombian gifts, like artisan chocolate and kitchen gadgets.

Spend a day exploring La Candelaria and its cobblestone streets, or take part in a walking tour of the neighborhood to learn more about its history. Finish your trip with a visit to Museo Botero or one of the many art galleries in the area. You can also sign up for a street art or chocolate workshop!