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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Colombia > Bogotá

Bogotá Weather

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Local time Bogotá

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Things to see in Bogotá

Tourist Offices

The District Institute of Tourism of Bogotá

Address: , Carrera 24 No.40-66, Bogotá, 111311
Telephone: +571 217 0711.
Opening times:

0700-1630.

Website: http://www.bogotaturismo.gov.co

There are also more than a dozen tourist information points around the city, including at El Dorado airport.

Attractions

El Museo del Oro (Gold Museum)

Internationally renowned, the Banco de la República Gold Museum boasts some 34,000 gold pieces from all major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia, making it one of the most important gold museums in the world. Spread across two floors, visitors will find incredibly intricate jewellery, shamanic tools, headdresses and plenty more from numerous cultures and civilisations spanning the millennia before the Spanish Conquest. Guided tours in English and Spanish are conducted daily.

Address: Corner of Carreras 5 and 6, Calle 16, Bogotá,
Telephone: +57 134 322 22.
Opening times:

Tues-Sat 0900-1800, Sun 1000-1600.

Website: http://www.banrepcultural.org/gold-museum
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museo Botero

The art collection at Museo Botero, donated by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, is thought to be one of the most important in the country's history. The collection consists of 120 artworks, mainly paintings, drawings and sculptures by European artists such as Picasso, Chagal, Dali, Renoir, Matisse and Monet. There are also a number of oil paintings and sculptures by Botero himself, especially from the last 20 years. His earlier work (up to 1960s) can be found in the National Museum, also in Bogotá.

Address: , Calle 11 no 4-21, Bogotá,
Telephone: +57 1 3431 316.
Opening times:

Mon & Wed-Sat 0900-1900, Sun 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.banrepcultural.org/museo-botero
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Catedral Primada

The imposing cathedral on Plaza de Bolivar's eastern end is the biggest in Colombia and one of the biggest in South America. A neoclassical masterpiece that would match almost any in Spain, it looms over the rest of the square like an old lord surveying his subjects. La Catedral Primada was erected in 1823 on the site of the city's first humble church, when Bogotá was made up of a few simple houses. The city's inaugural mass is also said to have taken place on the site in 1538. The inside is eerily solemn and surprisingly bare. Paul Theroux generalised Bogotá's church interiors as "elegant…with a touch of voodoo", and in the case of its cathedral, he was onto something. Apart from some paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, it houses one of the largest organs in Latin America and the tomb of the city's founder, Jiménez de Quesada.

Address: , 7 No.10-80, Bogotá,
Telephone: +571 3411 954.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0830-1300; Sun 0830-1400.

Website: http://catedral.arquibogota.org.co
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Cerro de Monserrate

One of the peaks overlooking the sprawling city (Sabana de Bogotá) from the east, Cerro de Monserrate towers 3,160m (10,367 ft) high. There is a church on the top, which was erected when the original chapel was destroyed in the 1917 earthquake. It gets very busy on Sundays when pilgrims and tourists flood the place. Apart from the church itself, the surrounding area is commercialised with food and souvenir stalls, but the view from the peak is magnificent. On a clear day one can spot Los Nevados, the volcano range in the Cordillera Central, 135km (84 miles) away to the west. Cerro de Monserrate is accessible via cable car, funicular railway or by foot along a recently restored footpath.

Address: , Carrera 2E No. 21-48 (at the foot of the mountain), Bogotá,
Telephone: +571 284 5700.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1200-0000, Sun 0930-2130 (cable car); Mon-Sat 0745-1145, Sun 0600-2130 (funicular).

Website: http://www.cerromonserrate.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

The Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace is another neoclassical jewel in Bogotá's architectural crown. Also known as Casa de Nariño, the palace was originally the house of Antonio Nariño, one of the fathers of independence. Rebuilt and extended in 1908, it is as grand and impressive as you'd expect for the home of the President of Colombia. It's also heavily guarded. However, the palace does open its gates each afternoon for the changing of the guard and it's worth seeing this extravagant march, which is full of pomp. The palace gardens also feature the oldest observatory in the new world. Visits to the palace must be arranged through the website.

Address: , Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá,
Telephone: +571 562 9300.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0800-1745.

Website: http://visitas.presidencia.gov.co/web/HouseNarino.aspx
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Plaza de Bolivar

This is the first port of call for most visitors to Bogotá. Built in the centre of the historic district, this square has a statue of Simon Bolivar in the middle (built by Pietro Tenerani, an Italian artist, in 1846). Little is preserved from the original colonial times, but a walk around the square still makes for an interesting venture and will allow you to take in governmental, political and other buildings, including an astronomical observatory.

Address: , Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

La Candelaria

This is the historic centre around the Plaza de Bolivar. Despite some unfortunate architectural influences from 20th century, the barrio remains largely soaked in the colonial spirit and lifestyle. Some buildings are being restored to their former glory, others remain dilapidated. The first buildings were built in the 16th century and today's La Candelaria is actually a group of old districts such as La Catedral, Egypto and La Concordial. The area was declared a National Monument in 1964. The streets of the old Santa Fe are full of old Spanish-style mansions with heavy doors, large halls, spacious rooms, patios, thick walls and various styles of balconies. The 19th- and 20th-century buildings are locally known as Republican. La Candelaria of today has a strong bohemian, cultural and academic flavour.

Address: , Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Church of Santa Clara

Thought to be the most representative of a cluster of colonial churches in the old town, the Church of Santa Clara was built between 1629 and 1674 as a part of the Poor Clares Convent. As one of the city's oldest churches, it is lavishly decorated with 112 paintings and 24 sculptures dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. It's a museum church run by the municipality, so not free to enter, but is certainly worth every peso.

Address: , Carrera 8 no 8-91, Bogotá,
Telephone: +571 337 6762.
Opening times:

Tue-Fri 0900-1700; Sat-Sun 1000-1600.

Website: http://www.museocolonial.gov.co
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tren Turístico de la Sabana (Savana Tourist Train)

Take a trip from Bogotá to Nemocón and the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and back to explore the Savannah around Bogotá. The train leaves on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at 0830 from the Estación de la Sabana and at 0930 from Estación de Usaquen in the city's north. Book advance tickets at the station. The trip usually includes a papayera (a small band playing Colombian music) and food is also available from one of the carriages. Nemocón is normally reached by 1145, and visitors have a couple of hours to stroll through the village and have some lunch before boarding the train for the journey back to Bogotá.

Address: , Estación de Usaquen, Calle 13 No. 18 - 24,
Telephone: +571 316 1300.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0830-1730, Sat 0800-1700.

Website: http://www.turistren.com.co
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Standing a little higher than nearby Cerro Monserrate, at some 3,300m (10,827 ft), Guadalupe Hill provides a similar view of the city. This verdant precipice is more isolated and tranquil than its neighbour, but more difficult to reach. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe church first stood atop the hill in 1656, but was reduced to ruins four times by earthquakes. The church was last rebuilt in 1967 and features a striking wood-carving of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her appearance to the Mexican peasant in 16th century is one of the defining moments in the conversion of indigenous people to Catholicism, and she is revered throughout Latin America. One of Bogotá's main icons stands outside the church, the 15m (49 ft) sculpture of the Virgin by local artist, Gustavo Arcila Uribe.

Address: , Bogotá-Coachi, Bogotá,
Telephone: +571 2465 937.
Opening times:

Sun 0700-1600.

Website: http://www.bogotaturismo.gov.co/santuario-de-nuestra-senora-de-guadalupe
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

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One of the biggest cities in the Americas, Colombia’s vibrant capital Bogotá embraces an outward-looking modernity while still celebrating its rich colonial past.

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Casa Medina

Atmospheric and full of character, this Bogotá hotel offers modern facilities with an Old World atmosphere. Located in a restored historic building, it feels more like a home than a hotel with roaring fires, thick rugs, timber-framed ceilings and leather armchairs. The king-size beds are enough to lose a weekend in, while its La Casa Restaurant offers fine dining in a country cottage setting.

Hotel de la Opera

Situated in two buildings next the Teatro Colon, the Hotel de la Opera is probably the best accommodation in La Candelaria. Housed in a wonderfully restored historic building, it has class, charm and character, and its rooftop restaurant offers great views over the old part of town. The hotel has 42 rooms, each decorated with Italian furniture, but the best have views over Plaza de Bolivar. Booking ahead is essential.

Hotel Augusta

Don't be put off by the aquarium feel of the lobby; Hotel Augusta is a smart, cosy little hotel in the La Candelaria area of the city. The sleeping quarters are light and open, and lead onto a contained living room. Equipped with modern amenities like flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi and desks, the hotel is ideal for tourists or business travellers as well as backpackers with a little more in their pocket.

Hotel Abitare 56

While bedrooms give off a student dormitory vibe, the sleeping quarters at this budget choice are spotless. Rooms are bright and each of the 28 on offer comes with Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a private bathroom. Tucked away from the nearby bars and restaurants, this hotel also offers a little sanctuary from the buzz of central Bogotá.

Celebrities Suites

With contemporary touches and a modern palate of creams, whites and flashes of red, the Celebrities Suites could be modelled on a famous personality's own pad – if it weren't for the huge murals of superstars sitting above each bed. Each individually designed apartment comes themed around a superstar (think Brad Pitt or Beyonce) and is fully equipped with a kitchen, generous lounge area and beautiful bedroom. A flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi come as standard, while breakfast in bed with Brad is available on request.

Wyndham Hotel Bogota

While it may not look like a work of genius from the outside, behind the doors Wyndham Hotel Bogota flexes its creative muscles. Its 261 rooms are well-appointed and spacious with huge windows letting in plenty of light, but it's the blossoming of primary colours, mesmerising carpets and patterned wallpaper that make it such a pleasure to stay in. The steaks from the restaurant are more hearty than arty.