City of the Week: Bogotá, Colombia
By Cristiana Dias
Colombia has been ranked the 2nd best country to visit in 2017 according to the Lonely Planet, which confirms its up & coming reputation as a prime tourist destination. Having undergone a remarkable transformation, the capital and largest city in Colombia, Bogotá, is well worth a visit!
Situated upon a high plateau in the Andes Mountains, approximately 2,640 meters above sea level, the climate of Bogotá is pleasant year-round. Although the peak season to travel to Bogotá is in the summer because of the Bogotá Festival, its dry season is from December to March.
There are so many delicious foods to try in Bogotá, so a great place to start off your foodie journey is in the Zona G, known as the gastronomical zone. In Chapinero, you’ll find the Paloquemao market where you can try all kinds of exotic fruits and Colombian street foods. Make sure you try a cup of Colombia’s infamous coffee or grab a cerveza. Also, have a few empanadas and arepas, corn based biscuits. Don’t forget to try bandeja paisa, Colombia’s national dish, made of rice, beans, chicharron, avocado, and a fried egg, as well as ajiaco, a Colombian soup made of chicken, potato and corn.
Being the largest city in Colombia, Bogotá has plenty of neighborhoods to explore, along with plenty of sites to see. For a look into the Colombian administration, head to Plaza Bolivar where you’ll find City Hall, the Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Cathedral Primada all in one place. Named after the same Liberator of Latin America is the Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park, also known as the lung of Bogotá, where you’ll see plenty of cyclists. To go back in time, head to La Candelaria, the historic district of the city, lined with cobblestoned colonial streets. A phenomenal museum found in Bogotá is the Museo del Oro which holds over 55,000 pieces of Pre-Hispanic gold work from all over the world. You can also visit Iglesia Museo de Santa Clara, one of Bogotá’s oldest and most richly decorated churches. For magnificent panoramic views of Bogotá and a beautiful sunset, take a cable car to the Monserrate Mountain Towers, a pilgrimage destination, located over 3000m above sea level.
Bogotá is a great place for art lovers too. There is plenty of street art and graffiti to discover. This art form was legalized in certain areas of the city in 2011 to promote the arts and their importance to Bogotá’s culture. You can also check out Museo Botero, a free museum featuring Colombia’s artists.