"Bogotá" Bogotá by skullcrusher

Bogotá Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 8 photos

My first trip to Bogota and Colombia was due to a long lay-over on my way to Brazil. I went into the city and was able to check out a few museums. After getting a taste of Colombia I made it a point to return one day. Thus, I made my return and instead of 12 hours I dedicated three full weeks to a trip in this country.

The first museum I visited was the world famous Museu de Oro (Gold Museum). It was a lot smaller than I figured it would be, but I must say that the items they had on display were very impressive. As you might imagine, the place is guarded like Fort Knox - but at least they´ll let you take pictures (sin flash).

There is another well known museum called the Donacion Botero that showcases artwork from a guy that likes to make sculptures and such of chubby/obese people and animals. Such a collection doesn't interest me but his art is apparently quite popular.

From there I walked over to Plaza Bolivar, which has some nice old buildings all around ..... this being the historical center. I caught a bite at a nearby eatery and chatted with a couple of senoritas before moving on. Later in the afternoon I made my way to the Museu Nacional (National Museum) which is housed in what formerly served as a prison. I found it very informative and it has many period pieces and displays that gave me an idea of the culural & history of the country. The only thing I found odd was that the ground floor level was very dark in some areas and they would play the sounds of chains rattling and voices blurting out comments from out of the darkness. This gave it a sort of ''House of Horrors'' feel to it; certainly a different type of museum experience. In the same area is the local bullring and planetarium as well as a park to stroll along in.

Overall, Bogota is a drab and dirty city. The only way to see the city in a more attractive light is to either go way up high or to head to one of the nicer suburban park areas where you could almost convince yourself that Bogota isn't so ugly ....... almost. One of the nicer walking paths is along Ave. Jimenez towards the barrios of Las Aguas and Germania; which are kind of nice. Nearby, you could visit the Quinta de Bolivar and then maybe take a trip to the top of Monserrate where there is a nice church on top with restaurants, souvenir stands, and plenty of ''vistas lindas''. It's quite popular with the local religious crowd.

At least Bogota has a fair share of decent gyms spread throughout the city. In El Centro there is a good gym is called ''People Training'' on Calle 19 #6-39 on the 4th floor of the Edif. Vida Nova and it's quite cheap at only COP$7,000 for a day pass. There's also many branches of the ''Body Tech'' franchise; for example the one at Cra. 7 #63-25 in the energetic neighborhood of Chapinero.

If you are into biking, Bogotá has surprisly decent biking routes .... though it's not so safe to bike along the main streets except on Sundays when roads are sectioned off to make more room for bikers & runners.

Surely there are more engaging places in Colombia than this monstrous city. My advice? Spend a day or two here and then hop on a bus/plane destined for somewhere else in the country.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly folks and salsa! Decent nightlife. Sometimes you even get to see the sun.
  • Cons:Ugly and dirty city. The TransMilenio transport system is confusing even for locals.
  • In a nutshell:Good for a short stopover. Wears on you after a couple of days.
  • Last visit to Bogotá: May 2007
  • Intro Updated May 18, 2012
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skullcrusher

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