Experience Colombian Culture and Food in Bogota

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Curated By

Marlaena Perez-Lopez

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  • Colombia

  • Arts & Culture

  • Adventure Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Local Food

  • Cultural Food

  • Entertainment

A white building with arched entryways during the daytime
Curator’s statement

Bogota is a city full of vibrant artists and culinary experiences that rival the best of fine international dining. With over 10 million people in greater Bogota, the city is pushing itself to create and deliver the best for its visitors and residents, whether it be through a simple arepa, coffee and cacao infusions, or a cocktail made with one of Colombia's many varied fruits. You're sure to be both surprised and impressed with the execution, wondering what you'll end up trying next. Alongside the food scene, Bogota offers museums, coffee tastings and tours, and, if you're feeling adventurous, hiking options outside the city, or up Monserrate mountain.

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Bogota

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Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota

A sophisticated sanctuary boasting timeless charm, modern amenities, and unparalleled service, nestled within the vibrant energy of Colombia's capital.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

W Bogota

Trendy modern hotel with contemporary rooms and funky amenities.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia

Immerse yourself in French-inspired luxury at Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia, where classic elegance meets contemporary comfort in the heart of Colombia's vibrant capital. With its stylish accommodations, gourmet dining options, and impeccable service, this hotel offers a refined haven for discerning travelers seeking an unforgettable experience in Bogota

Fora Perks
  • Hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Bogota

An outside dining area surrounded by trees

Museums

Botero Museum
The Botero Museum is located in the Candelaria neighborhood, just two short blocks from Plaza de Bolivar, and is not to be missed. This is easily one of my places to visit in Bogota, if only for the view of Monserrate from the second floor of the open-air museum. The artist has such an interesting perspective, that even if you are not familiar with his work, you’ll instantly recognize and enjoy his pieces.

Gold Museum
Colombia’s most famous museum, housing thousands of pieces of pre-Colombian gold.

Tours and Experiences

Take in the view at Monserrate + Walk Candelaria
An easy must-do activity while in Bogota is taking the funicular up to Monserrate. This is a great way to spend the morning – assuming it’s not raining – offering a fun experience on the funicular, exceptional views of the city and beyond, and a chance to buy some items from locals at the market. I recommend doing this in the morning on a weekday, when crowds are low and the sun is likely shining before an afternoon shower. A great post-Monserrate activity is to head down to Candelaria for a meal and a walk around the neighborhood. Try getting a spot at the famous La Puerta Falsa – a restaurant from 1816 serving a small menu of authentic Colombian dishes, like chocolate completo.

Paloquemao Fruit Market Tour
Victor is an exceptional host who leads both an English and Spanish speaking tour around Bogota’s famous Paloquemao Market. Around three hours total, Victor will walk you through the market, gathering fruits and explaining their origins and significance, while providing you with a tasting of all. Bonus at the end is a taste of one of my personal favorite local bites, the arepa de choclo.

Usaquen Market on Saturday or Sunday
Looking to take home a piece of art or two? The weekend flea market at Usaquen hosts hundreds of vendors on both Saturday and Sunday, with varied pieces. The area has a small square with a playground, and dozens of great restaurants.

Shopping

Emerald Shopping in Candelaria
Colombia represents the majority of the world’s emerald market. Take a stroll through the Emerald shops in Candelaria and treat yourself to a memorable piece, but ensure you find an established seller. They should have a certificate of authenticity for each of their items.

Boutique Stores on 79a/79b
Head to La Cabrera for a “Rodeo Drive” type experience – the best boutique shops in Bogota are located here. For those with small children, Titi and Val offers a wonderful assortment of fun items, and with a kids play space.

Villegas Editores
A gorgeous, hidden bookstore located close to the Andino Mall in Chicó. This is a great place to find a special piece of art, jewelry, or leather goods as a souvenir or thank you gift.

Places to eat & drink in Bogota

Food on a plate on a gray table

Cafes

Tropicalia
Located in the La Cabrera neighborhood, Tropicalia is a town favorite and the perfect way to start your day if you’re in the Chico area; the light, airy restaurant makes you forget you’re in a large bustling city. A great option any time of day with excellent breakfast tostadas and coffee, lunch sandwiches and salads, and cocktails in the evening.

Les Amis Bizcocheria
You’ll walk past the front door of this cafe twice before you realize you’ve made it – but make sure you take a trip inside. With a sweet garden ambiance, delicious pastries and Argentinian empanadas, you’ll find yourself ordering more and more to stay and enjoy the peace.

Arbol Del Pan
The best bread products in Bogota. Make sure to order the almond croissant.

Best Restaurants (Reservations Required)

Mesa Franca
My favorite restaurant in Bogota. Mesa Franca offers it all – excellent food, a creative and fun wine list, an eclectic ambiance, and consistency in service and execution. Ensure you save room for the beef shoulder with carrot bernaise.

Leo
The finest dining experience in Bogota. Service and execution are impeccable, the food is creative and delicious, with an ode to Colombia, and with limited space in the dining room, the dinner experience feels special from the moment you walk in the door. There are multiple tasting menu options available, with or without drinks.

Osaka Bogota
Located across the street from the Four Seasons and the Sofitel Victoria Regia, “Osk” provides the Asian-Fusion experience you didn’t know you needed in Bogota. Don’t bother looking at the menu – share a bottle of something Sparkling and order the chef’s menu experience.

Criterión
Criterion has somehow flown under the radar, but it’s up there next to Leo in terms of atmosphere, creativity, and flavor. I highly recommend the tasting menu experience – best to let the chef lead you on his journey.

Other:
Prudencia (Lunch only)
El Bandito Bistro
El Chato (World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, #33)
Uma Cantina Peruana

Casual Eats
Julia Pizzeria (Wood-fired pizza with two locations in Chapinero)
Ugly American (Best burgers in town)
Abasto (Authentic Colombian flavors and ingredients with two locations in Chapinero)

Drinks

Cava Wine Bar
Easily one of my favorite places in Bogota, Cava Wine Bar offers a range of wines you’ll not find anywhere else in the city. This is a perfect date night spot, with a quiet and intimate atmosphere and an incredibly warm staff. And don’t sleep on the food – come for the truffle popcorn, but stay for any number of delicious starters or entrees.

Bar Enano
Recently named one of the best bars in the world, Bar Enano is located in the back of El Bandito Bistro with only a handful of seats available. My recommendation is to have a drink here before enjoying dinner at the bistro.

Huerta Coctelería Artesanal
Head here before dinner for the Mezcal Negroni

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Maria Duque’s guide, Bogota, the Colombian City People Should Talk About.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colombia.

Picture of Marlaena walking in forest wearing a blue sweater and dark jeans

Travel Advisor

Marlaena Perez-Lopez

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