The neighborhoods in Bogota are as diverse as you’ll find anywhere in the world. With a population of eight million, the cultural variety is immense. And the best thing of all is that you should have little trouble getting around regardless of where you stay in Bogota. The public transit system is top notch.
The TransMilenio rapid bus transit system allows reach to most of the areas in Bogota that are popular to travelers, and it can also provide access to the most popular nightlife and shopping among the locals.
That means that you can pretty comfortably choose lodging from among the neighborhoods in Bogota that interest you rather than worrying about finding a hotel or hostel that’s along the main tourist drag.
Picking a place that’s comfortable with you if you want to tap into one of Colombia’s most precious resources: the people.
Colombians are a remarkably friendly and gregarious people for the most part, and immersing yourself in the culture will allow you to experience the coolest hangouts and secret spots that fly-by-night tourists won’t have the opportunity to experience.
Bogota may not have the international imprint of cultural capitals like Paris and New York City, but it’s a first class city in its own right. The capital of Colombia is home to dozens of museums and a treasure trove of restaurants and bars.
Whether your idea of a good time means enjoying a five-star dinner at one of the world’s trendiest restaurants, diving headfirst into the bustling and unique local markets, or exploring the culturally rich and architecturally impressive cathedrals and churches, you could stay in Bogota indefinitely without having to worry about running out things to do.
If you’re considering taking a vacation to Colombia, here are some of the best neighborhoods where you can stay in Bogota.
Where to stay in Bogota: Best areas
1. La Candelaria, best area to stay in Bogota for sightseeing
The historically rich neighborhood of La Candelaria is one of the most important areas in Bogota. Walking the narrow cobblestone streets and winding through the centuries-old buildings of La Candelaria feels like taking a journey back in time.
La Candelaria is home to both the important government buildings of Bogota and the highest density of museums and art galleries in the capital.
Historical exhibits cover everything from the regional costumes and religious art of the Colombian people to museums detailing the country’s revolutionary background.
Just keep in mind that the density of historical landmarks also makes La Candelaria the most popular destinations for tourists.
On the one hand, that makes it a convenient place to set up shop if you’re looking to pack as much sightseeing into your trip as possible (and an ideal choice if you’re looking to meet other travelers). On the other, there’s sometimes a sense of artificiality to life in La Candelaria.
As one might expect from a tourist district, the public transit in La Candelaria is particularly strong.
Bike tours give you the opportunity to explore the district in detail, and most of the district can be journeyed on foot, but efficient bus lines allow you to reach most of the other major areas in Bogota.
Regardless, there’s quite a bit of diversity in the sort of lodgings available. You’ll find hostels that range from cozy little family-run outfits to state-of-the-art hostels that are nightlife hotspots in their own right. The hotels similarly range from the inexpensive to mid-ranged facilities.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN LA CANDELARIA
2. Chapinero, coolest place to stay in Bogota
While “Chapinero” technically covers a huge stretch of Bogota that includes the hip neighborhoods of La Zona Rosa and Chicó y el Parque 93, most locals distinguish Chapinero from these neighboring areas.
Occupying the northern east of the city, Chapinero is home to some of Bogota’s most affluent residents, and it’s also the major hub of university activity within the city.
And due to its prime location, it provides easy access to both those neighborhoods and the traditional downtown.
As might be expected by a neighborhood with a well-heeled, young, and educated populace, there’s a distinctly bohemian vibe to the area. Chapinero is a pretty small neighborhood, and that means that visitors staying in the area can get practically anywhere they want on foot.
If you’re looking for an LGBQT-friendly place to stay in Bogota, you’ll definitely want to check out Chapinero Alto. This mini-neighborhood is known among some locals as Chapigay because it’s home to one of the city’s largest gay populations.
But even outside of Chapinero Alto, the neighborhood is well-regarded for its large number of high-end restaurants and hip little boutiques and coffee shops.
While there aren’t much in the way of historical landmarks, Chapinero is ideal for visitors who want a base camp that offers them some insulation from the more chaotic hustle and bustle of the city.
Decently priced hostels are few and far between, but there are plenty of mid-range and luxury hotels available if you have the ability to splurge a little.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHAPINERO
3. La Zona Rosa, where to stay in Bogota for nightlife
La Zona Rosa is a popular name for the nightlife neighborhoods in major Latin American countries, and that’s as much the case in Bogota as it is in Mexico City.
If you’re looking to be in the beating heart of the city and enjoy your nights mixing and mingling with the locals, there’s no better place to stay in Bogota than La Zona Rosa.
And while this is where the locals go to party, visitors will also find a significant number of foreigners hanging out at the local shops, restaurants, and discos.
Visitors looking for a diverse selection of cuisine will certainly find something to whet their appetites in La Zona Rosa.
The cultural diversity of the country really comes together in this neighborhood with restaurants offering fine French cuisine, traditional dishes from nearby Mexico, and a wide selection of specialty crepes and waffles.
The bars and discos in this region tend to be a little more cosmopolitan than in many of the other neighborhoods, and there are definitely some concessions made to accommodate the interests and comfort of foreign travelers.
Chapinero and downtown can both be reached by the Calle 85 or Héroes bus routes, but it’s advised that you proceed with caution when traveling in these areas at night.
Some of the best hostels in the city are located in La Zona Rosa, and while you can expect to pay a little more in this region than you would at some of the other areas in Bogota, there are some truly exceptional mid-range and luxury hotels throughout the Pink Zone.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BOGOTA IN ZONA ROSA
4. Distrito Financiero, where to stay in Bogota for business travelers
The financial district may be the beating heart of commerce in Bogota, but that doesn’t make it a particularly popular destination for leisure travelers.
There’s not a lot in the way of landmarks or nightlife in the financial district, but it’s a natural choice for business travelers who need easy access to meetings and seminars.
Tall office buildings dominate the landscape, and luxury is the name of the game with the hotels in the area. While there are some modestly priced hotels here, most of the lodgings tend to focus on top end accommodations with spacious conference rooms.
Suffice to say, backpackers looking to stay in Bogota on a budget won’t find much within their means around here.
But while Distrito Financiero doesn’t offer a whole lot in the way of entertainment, its centralized location within the city of Bogota is a big bonus.
One of the hubs of the TransMilenio bus routes is located right in the heart of Distrito Financiero, and it’s just a few miles away from popular areas like La Zona Rosa.
If you want to spend your time in Bogota being pampered but still want the city to be available at your fingertips, Distrito Financiero might be the choice for you. Just expect to pay a premium for the privilege.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN DISTRITO FINANCIERO
5. Chicó y el Parque 93, my favourite area to stay in Bogota
As the third and fourth components of the larger Chapinero region, Chico and el Parque 93 are generally considered a more or less single entity. This area more or less splits the difference between La Zona Rosa and the Chapinero neighborhood.
Like the latter, it’s a more affluent neighborhood with a greater sense of safety and eminently walkable streets. Like the former, it’s a hub of nightlife, but it’s a more placid alternative to the sometimes rough and tumble atmosphere or the Pink Zone.
Fortunately, if you’re looking for a change of pace, La Zona Rosa and el Parque 93 are both within walking distance of one another.
If you’re a footballer, el Parque 93 is home to some of the best sports bars in the city, and the fact that it’s a little less trendy means that a lot of the bars and restaurants in the area have a more laid back and local flavor.
That said, you’ll find little in the way of affordable lodgings here. Hostels are more or less absent in Chico y el Parque 93. While you can find a few moderately priced hotels in the area, luxury accommodations tend to be the name of the game here.
The Park itself is worth the price of admission. Parque 93 is a beautiful outdoor space, and it’s a popular location for local festivals. Outdoor art installations are also regularly on exhibit throughout the park.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BOGOTA IN CHICO
6. Usaquén, charming and upscale area
Occupying the northernmost section of Bogota, Usaquén is one of the most important arteries for the surroundings of Bogota.
If you’re looking for a place to set up camp and explore the villages and natural beauty outside of the city proper, you couldn’t find a better place to stay in Bogota than Usaquén.
In terms of architecture, Usaquén has a lot in common with La Candelaria. The colonial quarter – with its quaint and charming buildings in the Spanish colonial style – is like a walkable time capsule.
But those aging buildings bely a neighborhood that’s surprisingly hip. Some of the city’s best restaurants are tucked away in the cobblestone streets of Usaquén’s colonial district, but the neighborhood’s biggest highlight is quite possibly Mercado de Las Pulgas.
This weekly flea market is an amazing place to get your hands on locally hand-crafted goods and mementos, but it’s also a vibrant social hub. Many come to the market just to people watch, and the streets are lively with dancers, jugglers, and other street performers.
Also worth a visit is the sprawling shopping mall of Hacienda Santa Barbara located just a block south of the Mercado de Las Pulgas.
The selection of hostels here is pretty light (and there’s not much in the way of high-end hotels either), but there are plenty of accommodating and comfortable hotels available at pretty reasonable rates.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN USAQUEN
7. Teusaquillo, where to stay in Bogota for outdoors lovers
Teusaquillo is a virtual Eden for athletic visitors. The city’s primary football stadium is in this region, and it’s also home to the largest and most modern swimming facility in South America at the Olympic Water Complex.
Fans of basketball, track and field, tennis, volleyball, and bowling will find top notch venues all within walking distance of one another. If you like to stay active, Teusaquillo can scratch your itch. But Teusaquillo isn’t reserved exclusively for the active and competitive.
Simón Bolívar Park is a great place for engaging in outdoor sports, but it’s also a well-regarded venue for festivals and concerts, and events fill its boundaries throughout the year. A number of major museums are also located within the boundaries of Teusaquillo.
One major advantadge is its central location with easy access to other neighborhoods.
While Teusaquillo is a largely middle class neighborhood, the range of places to stay in this neighborhood are rather diverse. The hostels are slightly more expensive than in some other neighborhoods, but they’re generally clean, spacious, and rich with amenities.
That preference towards the finer things is reflected in the hotels of Teusaquillo as well. The mid-range hotels are pretty generous with their amenities, while the more luxury offerings pull out the stops with top-notch choices like on-site restaurants and both spa and massage services.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TEUSAQUILLO
8. Engativá, where to stay in Bogota close to the Airport
Engativá is in many ways the inverse of the Financial District. Populated mostly by the working class and lower middle class residents of Bogota, this neighborhood is situated in the city’s west.
It’s a great place to rub elbows with the people who serve as the life blood for Bogota, but don’t expect to find a rich tapestry of cultural landmarks, museums, or cutting edge nightlife or restaurants.
That means that Engativá likely won’t be the first choice for most travelers looking to spend some time in Bogota, but the advantage here is that the hostels in the area are generally less populated than in more popular neighborhoods, and you can generally stay comfortably at a fraction of the price you’d spend elsewhere.
The area is a good place to stay in Bogota if you want to stay close to the El Dorado International Airport.
Unfortunately, access to some of the trendier neighborhoods isn’t always as strong as it could be, and you might find yourself having to work harder to navigate public transit and get where you want to go.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BOGOTA IN ENGATIVA