Bogota is quickly becoming one of Latin America’s coolest cities. This sprawling capital has so much to offer all types of travellers in terms of art, cuisine, history, and wild nightlife.
It is a great starting point for any backpacking trip in Colombia. There’s more than enough on offer to keep you busy for a few days or even weeks. You have outdoor activities such as the Sunday ciclovia as well as indoor activities such as the beloved Colombian game of Tejo. If it’s history and culture you seek, look no further than the many murals dotting the walls around the city.
Bogota has done a great job of shedding it’s image as a dangerous city but there are still some neighborhoods you want to stay away from. Therefore, it’s important to pick the best and safest areas based on your interests.
That’s why we’ve put together this in depth guide – to help you decide where to stay in Bogota! We’ve broken down the neighborhoods based on points of interest. So whether you prefer luxurious shopping malls, wild nightlife, exploring exotic food markets, or finding all the free stuff sit tight! We’ve got you covered!
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – Where to stay in Bogota
- Where to stay in Bogota – Our Top Picks
- Bogota Neighborhood Guide
- Bogota’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay In
- Teusaquillo (Where to stay in Bogota for the first time for easy access to the city!)
- La Candelaria (Where to stay in Bogota if you’re ballin’ on a budget!)
- Zona Rosa (Where to stay in Bogota for crazy nightlife!)
- Chapinero (Where to stay in Bogota with the cool kids!)
- Chico/Parque 93 (Where to stay in Bogota for families!)
Quick Tips – Where to stay in Bogota
- Where to stay in Bogota for the first time: Teusaquillo
- Where to stay in Bogota on a budget: La Candelaria
- Best area to stay in Bogota for nightlife: Zona Rosa
- Coolest place to stay in Bogota: Chapinero
- Best neighborhood in Bogota for families: Parque 93
- Wake up and smell the flowers at the Jardin Botanico de Bogota
- Appreciate the illustrations and other drawings at Casatinta Galeria
- Admire best planned residential zone of the city in Cuidad Salitre
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay while backpacking Bogota.
If you’re backpacking on a budget, we’d recommend staying at one of Bogota’s epic hostels. They’re cheap, they’re welcoming and you’ll meet to of like-minded travellers – what else could you want?
Best Hostel in Bogota: Fernweh Photography Hostel
Started in 2015 by travellers looking for a place to combine their passions for travel and photography, this hostel is super zen. It has a reading room, a backyard with a fire pit, and a photo gallery with amazing pictures guests can purchase or simply peruse for inspiration. It’s also centrally located within walking distance from everything in La Candelaria.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Bogota: Hotel El Dorado Bogota
The Hotel El Dorado Bogota appears sparkling new with comfortable, modern furniture and comes with a staff that is eager to please. Breakfast is included and it’s a massive spread surely to keep you full for a few hours. There are also two restaurants; one on the main floor and one of the rooftop terrace that will make anything guests desire. It’s in a safe, tranquil area of Chapinero. All this combined make it the best hotel in Bogota.View on Booking.com
Best Bogota Airbnb: Apartamento Bogota “Zone T Duplex”
This is the most fashionable apartment in the most fashionable neighborhood – Zona Rosa. It is the place to see and be seen. This luxury flat is sleek and modern with two levels. It has two bedrooms and can hold up to four people so it’s perfect for those traveling in a small group. If you’re coming here for nightlife, this is the best Bogota Airbnb!View on Airbnb
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Bogota
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Bogota is a massive, sprawling city.
Its history of violence has stopped many people from travelling here and it’s still not perfect but it’s far and away better than it used to be.
There is plenty to see and do in Bogota for the savvy traveller from sampling amazing cuisine from around the world to dancing the night away as well as experiencing the rich history and culture.
Bogota has a population of 8.8 million people. To put it into perspective Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York City are the only North American cities bigger than Bogota.
Be aware that it sits at an elevation of 2,640 m (8,660 ft) so start hydrating before you arrive and don’t be surprised if you get winded walking a short distance.
The city is divided into 20 distinct districts. Every visit should include a trip to three or four depending on the purpose of your visit.
This guide includes the “must-sees” broken down by interests.
La Candelaria is the downtown district and the place where the city was founded by the Spanish. It’s where you can find colonial architecture and government buildings that surround the central square of Plaza Bolivar.
Heading north from there you’ll pass through Santa Fe – Los Martires which is where the international district is located. The neighborhood of La Macarena at the northern end is an up-and-coming area with a bohemian vibe and plenty of delicious restaurants.
As you continue north you’ll pass through Chapinero, Zona Rosa (the place to be for nightlife), Chico, Parque de la 93, and finally enter the colonial village of Usaquen. To the west, you’ll find Teusaquillo-Salitre which is home to Bogota’s open-air concerts and festivals held year-round and the city’s sports venues.
Still confused about where to stay in Bogota? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Bogota’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay In
Although there isn’t a metro in Bogota, the city is hooked up by the Transmilenio bus system. Uber is there as well. It’s advised to not walk between destinations late at night but during the day it’s fine. So no matter where you stay you’ll be able to visit the various neighborhoods with relative ease.
However, some neighborhoods are better suited than others for specific interests. Do you want to dance the night away at a salsa club? Maybe you want to be within walking distance from the finest restaurants to feed your foodie desires. Or perhaps you want to take in the historic and cultural sights without having to go too far. All these things are possible but it’s easier if you’re in the right place.
Here are the best neighborhoods broken down by interests for your stay.
In addition to its central location with easy access to other districts, Teusaquillo is perfect for the outdoor lovers! It’s our recommendation for where to stay in Bogota for your first time in Bogota as it neighbors the downtown district and has easy access to the top tourist attractions.
The road from the airport runs directly into this district making it easy to get in and start exploring. This area is home to Simon Bolivar, Bogota’s biggest public park and there is also a botanical garden perfect for spending an afternoon. It’s also suitable for sports enthusiasts who are in town for a football (soccer) match as well as a concert or weekend festival.
Best Hostel in Teusaquillo: Casa Oca Hostal
Thanks to its location near the Estadio El Campin, this is the best hostel in Teusaquillo. You’ll enjoy modern facilities such as lockers, brand new bathrooms, and a lounge bar with a giant TV screen. A continental breakfast is also included, making up for the slightly high price tag.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Teusaquillo: Bog Urban Hotel
A very attentive staff make this hotel an excellent choice in Teusaquillo. It’s the perfect location for enjoying the attractions in the west of the city as well as a quick trip to the airport. They even have a shuttle that can be arranged in advance. The delicious breakfast included in the stay rounds this place out as the best hotel in Teusaquillo.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in Teusaquillo: Charming Apartment Near the Airport
This super colorful and well decorated apartment is located within walking distance to Simon Bolivar Park – the biggest park in the city rivaling NYC’s Central Park. The quiet neighborhood has everything you need from supermarkets to restaurants. The hosts are superhosts who make sure their guests have everything you need including eggs and milk upon your arrival.View on Airbnb
Top Things to do in Teusaquillo
– Go for a stroll in Simon Bolivar Park – the biggest public part in Bogota
– Grab a kayak or pedal boat and take in the scenery from the lake at Simon Bolivar Park
– Get your heart rate up at one of the city’s league venues for tennis, basketball, track and field, bowling, and volleyball
– Wake up and smell the flowers at the Jardin Botanico de Bogota
– Escape to the land of fiction (or non-fiction or fantasy or…) with a book from Virgilio Barco Library – the largest public library in Bogota
– Take in a game of Latin America’s favorite sport (football) at Estadio El Campin
– Appreciate the illustrations and other drawings at Casatinta Galeria
– Learn about an assassinated politician at the Jorge Eliecer Gaitan Museum
– Admire best planned residential zone of the city in Cuidad Salitre
– Explore Teusaquillo on two wheels with Rueda Bogota bike tours
This is the colonial district and the first ever neighborhood in Bogota. It’s where the city was founded in 1538 by the Spanish Conquistadors. You’ll find colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and plenty of street art. This district also houses many universities so there is a young, energetic crowd. As such, it’s our recommendation for where to stay in Bogota if you’re looking for history and culture.
In addition to being the historical and cultural heart of the city, it has the highest concentration of budget accommodation as it’s where many backpackers prefer to stay. It’s also perfect for those with limited time as it’s close to all the sites and it’s where most of the walking tours meet. This is also a good starting point for heading up to Monserrate – the beautiful church overlooking the city from atop the mountain.
It’s worth noting that, unfortunately, this is not the safest area of the city. You’ll likely be fine, especially during the day, but the area does demand extra vigilance. Choose places to sleep that are near a main street so you don’t have far to go if you’re going out at night.
Best Hostel in La Candelaria:Fernweh Photography Hostel
This amazing hostel comes complete with a backyard that has a firepit, a reading room for when you just need to get lost in a book, and a photo gallery where the owners can display incredible photos from their travels. Located just a few minutes walk from all the main attractions in the center of the city, this is the best hostel in La Candelaria.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in La Candelaria: Hotel Casa Deco
This Art Deco style boutique hotel was inspired by the architecture. Each room has its own color scheme and they have multiple room sizes to accommodate multiple guests. There’s also a lovely terrace with a great view of the surrounding areas. With a great an attentive staff, this is our choice for the best hotel in La Candelaria.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in La Candelaria: White Duplex in La Candelaria
Located in the historic center of La Candelaria, this Airbnb is a great place to walk back to from some of the best spots such as Plaza Bolivar and Monserrate. Every piece of furniture and decor was hand-picked to perfectly contrast with the white background. The owner is a superhost who is attentive and provides everything guests could need.View on Airbnb
Top Things to do in Candelaria
– Admire the incredible pieces of art from Colombia’s most accomplished and famous artist, Fernando Botero, at the Museo Botero
– Spend an afternoon (or morning) wandering around the Museo del Oro (the Gold Museum) taking in exquisite pieces of gold while also getting a history lesson
– Get some exercise while admiring the many murals that dot the walls on the Graffiti Art Walking Tour
– Learn about Bogota’s troubled past and hopeful future by joining the Bogota Free Walking Tour
– Relax in the Plaza Bolivar while appreciating the beautiful government buildings that outline the square
– Tantalize your taste buds with a delicious, traditional Colombian meal at La Puerta Real
– Browse the hand-made crafts and jewelry for sale while watching local students do their thing in Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo
– Sip on a coffee or cocktail at Casa Santamaria – Bogota’s first home turned cafe
– Get a feel for just how vast the city is by taking the funicular up to Monserrate and enjoy a panoramic view of the city
Every South American city has a Zona Rosa. It’s the dedicated nightlife area with tons of bars, clubs, restaurants, and a heavy police presence. The pedestrian-friendly Zona T (named for its shape) is in the heart of it all in Bogota’s Zona Rosa. For a wild night out on the town, you need to look no further! That’s why when it comes to experiencing the exciting nightlife, it’s our top pick for where to stay in Bogota.
This is where you’ll find most Bogotanos hanging out on the weekends or congregating after work. The nightlife here is excellent and you’ll never have to wonder what there is to do. Some of the city’s hottest and most popular nightclubs are here where the goal is to dance from midnight to sunrise. It’s a place to see and be seen. Starting on Thursday afternoons you can feel a change in the atmosphere as people young and old come out to enjoy their weekend.
Those who love boutique shopping will also feel at home in Zona Rosa as it’s home to two of Colombia’s most exclusive shopping malls; Andino and Atlantis. In addition to boutique shops, you’ll also find big brands such as Mango, Zara, Nike, and H&M.
Best Hostel in Zona Rosa: Urbana Hostel
Located in the heart of Zona Rosa is Urbana Hostel – our top pick for where to stay in Zona Rosa! They have a lovely rooftop where you can watch the madness of party zone down below. Breakfast is also included and the staff is friendly. It’s the perfect budget option for those looking to shop, eat, and drink on their visit to Bogota.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Zona Rosa: GHL Hotel Hamilton
The GHL Hotel Hamilton is in a fantastic location for walking to the best bars, clubs, and restaurants in Zona Rosa – winning the award for our pick for where to stay in Zona Rosa. The rooms have comfy beds and the hotel is located in a safe area. There are also many reviews saying the attentive staff was the best part of their stay.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in Zona Rosa: Apartamento Bogota “Zone T Duplex”
If you’re going to hang out in the most fashionable neighborhood, why not stay in the most fashionable apartment? This luxury flat is sleek and modern with two levels. It has two bedrooms and can hold up to four people so it’s perfect for those traveling in a small group.View on Airbnb
Top Things to do in Zona Rosa
– Absolutely do not miss out on Gringo Tuesdays at La Villa – the evening starts with a language exchange where you can practice your Spanish and then end with dancing and Aguardiente (Colombian spirit)
– Put on your dancing shoes and head back to La Villa on Thursdays for their Salsa Exchange night
– Enjoy a delicious draft beer at The Pub – the best Irish bar in town!
– Boogy down to a mix of Western and Colombian tunes at Maroma Nightclub Bogota
– Choose from two different places to watch live DJs on the ones and twos at Armando Records
– Keep your budget in check with a cheap drink from Porompompero
– Chow down on a mouth-watering meal while enjoying one of the 4 themed floors at Andres D.C.
– Indulge in French cuisine at Balzac
– Shop til you drop at Centro Comercial Andino with brands from top luxury down everyday stores
– Find exclusive clothes, shoes, and jewelry at the upscale El Retiro Shopping Center
If you are the kind of person that likes to be near the action, then Chapinero is the place for you. Chapinero is by far and away the coolest neighborhood in Bogota! It’s centrally located making it easier to get anywhere else in the city, the massive mix of people from Colombia and the rest of the world make it incredibly diverse, and it’s trending!
Head shops, vegetarian restaurants, indie coffee shops, student bars, markets, cultural theaters, and insanely cool clubs such as Theatron (the largest LGBT club in the world) and Video Club (super dope electronic club) are just a few of the things that make Chapinero the bohemian scene full of experimental new services and products.
Chapinero is also home to Bogota’s LGBT community earning it the nickname “Chapigay” and “Gay Hills.”
Love to eat? Chapinero is home to Zona G – a foodie’s paradise (G for gourmet) . If you’re looking for the area with the best food, this is it! You’ll find Bogota’s finest dining establishments with food from all over the world. There’s something for everyone in which makes Chapinero the best place to experience modern Colombian culture.
Best Hostel in Chapinero: 12:12 Hostels
In addition to its central location in Chapinero, 12:12 Hostel’s dorm beds each have their own curtain, reading light, and power plug. The large kitchen is well equipped with everything you need to whip up your own meal. They even organize group tours to the famous Andres Carne de Res so you can enjoy the best meal and show in town with friends. That’s why it’s our first choice for where to stay in Chapinero.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Chapinero: Mika Suites
This is the best place to stay in Chapinero thanks to the beautiful decor, comfortable beds, and excellent location to delicious restaurants in Zona G. Breakfast is included and they have many other prime services on offer such as luggage storage, transfers, and room service. You’ll feel perfectly at home making this our top pick for where to stay in Chapinero.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in Chapinero: Beautiful Apartment in a Great Zone
Located in a quiet neighborhood, this cozy apartment is still within walking distance of amazing restaurants and fun nightlife. It also has a fantastic view of Bogota. The area is safe thanks to 24-hour security at the apartment and the host is attentive. All these things combined make this a perfect Airbnb in Chapinero.View on Airbnb
Top Things to do in Chapinero
– Dance til the sun comes up at Theatron – the largest LGBT club not only in Latin America but the entire world with more than a dozen different themed rooms. Everyone is welcome, gay or not!
– Electronic music lovers head to Video Club
– Get jacked up on caffeine on a specialty coffee tour around the ‘hood
– Go for a hike up Quebrada La Vieja for incredible views of the city
– Stuff your face with food from Colombia, Italy, France, the Middle East, and more in Zona G – the ultimate foodie destination in Bogota
– Marvel at the Gothic style architecture at Our Lady of Lourdes Church located in Lourdes Square
– Taste craft beers at one of Bogota’s best craft beer pubs and breweries such as El Mono Bandido, Bogota Beer Company, Tierra Santa, and Cerveceria Gigante
– Enjoy some live theater at Teatro Libre
– Grab a bicycle (or skateboard or rollerblades or your own two feet) and see the city from a different perspective at Sunday’s ciclovia – when the roads are closed down to all motorized vehicles
This is one of Bogota’s more upscale areas filled with Bogota’s “jet set” crowd and therefore one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. Luxurious residences, top-notch boutique, and delectable restaurants are some of the top attractions here. Located just north of Zona Rosa, it’s the most picturesque neighborhood in Bogota thanks to Parque 93 being the centerpiece.
The park regularly showcases temporary art exhibits and has long, tree-lined pathways perfect for an evening stroll with family and friends. It also regularly hosts concerts and other festivals. The surrounding mountains create the perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic.
Visitors can also enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants that line the edge of the park. There are also cool places to enjoy a drink such as Salto del Angel. If it’s tranquility you’re looking for, this is the ‘hood for you!
Best Hostel in Chico/Parque 93: 82Hostel
This is a great place to stay if you’re looking for the quieter area of Bogota. They provide a simple breakfast as well as bike tours throughout the city. Guests can chill out in the hammocks with a book or watch TV in the common room. 82Hostel is also equipped with free wifi and a shared kitchen. It’s our recommendation for where to stay in Chico.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Chico/Parque 93: Hotel El Dorado Bogota
The Hotel El Dorado Bogota appears sparkling new with comfortable, modern furniture and comes with a staff that is eager to please. Breakfast is included and it’s a massive spread is sure to keep you full for a few hours. There are also two restaurants; one on the main floor and one of the rooftop terrace that will make anything guests desire. It’s in a safe, tranquil area of Chico. All this combined makes it our top pick for where to stay in Chico.View on Booking.com
Best Airbnb in Chico/Parque 93: Cozy Apartment 93 Park Exclusive
This minimalist style home with bright and funky accessories, large windows, and a fireplace is located just a quick walk from Parque 93. Although it’s nearby many shops, restaurants and cafes it still feels very quiet and tucked away, making for a relaxed trip to Bogota. Many reviews say the host is super responsive and helpful which makes this the best Airbnb in Chico.View on Airbnb
Top Things to do in Chico/Parque 93
– Enjoy an afternoon picnic in Parque 93
– Sip on a cappuccino on the London double-decker bus in Parque el Chico
– Admire the collections of porcelain, silver, religious objects, glassware, and beautiful gardens at the Mudeo del Chico inside Parque el Chico
– Get into the competitive yet hilarious spirit at Bubble Football Colombia
– Soak in some sunlight in Parque El Virrey
– Get a sense of the style and influence of the Spanish Colonialists by touring Church of San Agustin
– Dig into a mouth-watering burger at El Corral Gourmet
– Try some healthy yet delicious fare at a reasonable price at Gaspar
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bogota
Bogota has so much to offer travellers. It’s much safer than it’s ever been these days and very worthy of your time and travel dollars! From walking tours where you’ll learn about the city’s past to extravagant shopping malls, there’s something for every one on every type of budget.
Just to recap; Chapinero is our number one choice for the coolest ‘hood to stay in with the most going on and our pick for the best hotel in Bogota is Hotel El Dorado Bogota.
Our recommendation for the best hostel is Fernweh Photography Hostel because it was opened by travellers for travellers. It’s the perfect budget hostel in Bogota thanks to its central location!
Still don’t know where to stay in Bogota? Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below! Cheers!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from SafetyWing.
Getting an estimate from SafetyWing< is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
If you’re concerned about your safety, then be sure to check out our Bogota in-depth safety guide, which is full of real world advice and useful information.
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Rachel Lee from Tennessee is a traveler, teacher, writer, and music lover who’s been living and traveling around the world with her husband, Sasha, since 2010. She is the co-founder and designer of Grateful Gypsies. As a lover of all things Grateful Dead and Phish, she spends her free time boogyin’ down to her favorite tunes – when she’s not bouncing around the globe, that is!