Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city, is an amalgamation of history, culture and modernity. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Andes Mountains, Bogotá boasts a unique charm that draws in travelers from around the globe.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a foodie or an adventure seeker, this city has something for you. After all, Bogotá is the third largest city in the Americas!
This comprehensive guide will take you through an unforgettable 48-hour journey in Bogotá Colombia. And it will ensure you experience the very best of what this vibrant city has to offer.
48 hour itinerary for Bogotá Colombia
Day One: Dive into Bogotá’s Cultural and Historical Core
Morning: Arrival and Check-in
Kickstart your Bogotá adventure by checking into your accommodation. Bogotá offers a plethora of accommodation options that cater to all budgets and tastes. From the chic Click Clack Hotel in the trendy Park 93 neighborhood to eco-friendly hostels in La Candelaria, you can choose what suits you best.
After settling in, fuel up for the day with a hearty Colombian breakfast. Visit a local bakery for some fresh croissants or try a traditional Colombian fare like arepas (thick cornmeal patties) and tamales (corn dough stuffed with meat, vegetables and cheese).
Mid-Morning: Visit the Monserrate
Start your itinerary for Bogotá by visiting Monserrate, a mountain that dominates the cityscape. You can either hike up or take a cable car or funicular to reach the summit. Personally, I would suggest taking the funicular or cable car as it’s a very demanding hike up Monserrate.
The journey up to the top of Monserrate rewards you with panoramic views of Bogotá and beyond, making it a memorable experience. The peak also houses a church which is a popular pilgrimage site, adding a touch of spirituality to your adventure.
Just note that depending on how early you arrive at the station, the cable car may not be running. The funicular opens before the cable car. And the lines will be shorter the earlier you arrive. On weekends and public holidays the lines for both the funicular and cable car can be quite long.
Afternoon: Explore La Candelaria
After descending from Monserrate you should head to the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria. The cobblestone streets, colorful houses and significant landmarks make it a must-visit spot in Bogotá.
Start with the Botero Museum, showcasing the work of Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero. Entry is free and the Botero Museum is linked internally with the Colección de Arte del Banco de la República (Banco Republica art collection) and the Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia (MAMU). Thankfully there is a coffee shop in the centre where you can take a break.
In the Botero Museum and the linked galleries you will find works not just from Botero, but also a huge range of masters; Such as Matisse, Monet, Dali, Picasso, Renoir and many others. The vault in the Colección de Arte del Banco de la República houses sacred jewelled religious relics.
A quick pass through all 3 galleries takes about 3 hours. Though you could easily lose several days gazing at all the artworks in this huge complex.
Late Afternoon: Savor Colombian Cuisine
By now, you would have worked up an appetite. Head to a local eatery for a traditional Colombian lunch. Try the ajiaco, a hearty soup made with chicken, potatoes, corn and guasca leaves. Or try the traditional bandeja paisa which is a platter of rice, beans, fried eggs, chorizo and more. Pair your meal with a refreshing lulo juice, a local citrus-like fruit.
After visiting Botero and stopping for lunch you should try to visit the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro). A treasure house of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts. Finish off your museum tour with a visit to the International Emerald Museum (Museo Internacional de la Esmeralda) just across the square from the Museo del Oro.
Prioritise the Museo del Oro as it’s quite large. While the International Emerald Museum is small.
Early Evening: Discover Street Art and Markets
Take a stroll through the vibrant streets of La Candelaria which is known for its stunning street art. Join a graffiti tour to gain insights into the city’s dynamic street art scene.
Next, visit the artisan markets in the neighborhood. From woven bags to traditional pottery, you can pick up unique souvenirs while supporting local artisans.
Night: Experience Bogota’s Nightlife
Wrap up your day with a taste of Bogotá’s vibrant nightlife. Get an InDrive and head to Zona Rosa, also known as the “T Zone,” which is home to a huge array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Try Chicha, a traditional fermented corn beverage at a local bar. Yet, if you want a more relaxed vibe, visit a craft brewery and sample some local brews. But do try to have dinner and drinks at one of Bogotá’s many trending restaurants, such as the Bombay Rooftop.
Day Two: Dive Deeper into Bogotá’s Charm
Morning: Indulge in a Colombian Breakfast
Start your second day in Bogotá with a Colombian breakfast. Try the ‘calentado,’ a traditional dish made with rice, beans and leftover meats from the previous night’s dinner which is best served with an arepa and a fried egg.
Mid-Morning: Visit the Plaza de Bolivar
Head to the Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá’s main square, after breakfast. This historic square is surrounded by important buildings like the Capitolio Nacional, the primary government building, and the Cathedral Primada, the country’s largest cathedral.
Afternoon: Enjoy Colombian Coffee
Colombia is known worldwide for its coffee and a visit to Bogotá isn’t complete without trying some. Visit a local coffee shop for a cup of rich, aromatic Colombian coffee. Some coffee shops even offer coffee tasting experiences, giving you a chance to learn about the coffee-making process.
You can also pick up a coffee from all bodegas (small stores) and street venders wherever you are in Bogotá and it will be fantastic. 700 COP ($0.2 USD at the current exchange rate) is the average price for a ‘cafe’ from a street vender. Aromatica is a warm fruit juice like tea and should also be sampled while in Colombia.
Late Afternoon: Visit Bogotá’s Parks
Spend the latter part of the day exploring Bogotá’s beautiful parks. Visit Parque de la Independencia (Independence Park) located next to Plaza del Toros. Or Visit the Parque Nacional Enrique Olaya Herrera, a popular spot for locals to relax and enjoy outdoor activities.
Evening: Savor Colombian Street Food
For dinner, dive into Bogotá’s street food scene. Try empanadas, a type of stuffed pastry that’s a popular snack in Colombia. Or try my favourite food called lechona, a whole pig stuffed with rice, peas and spices that is slow-roasted for ten hours. Colombian bacon is magic!
Night: Experience Tejo
End your day with a game of Tejo, Colombia’s national sport. It’s a fun game involving clay targets and gunpowder that creates an explosion when hit. Several bars offer Tejo games, making it a unique way to experience Colombian culture while enjoying a night out.
Extra Day in Bogotá: Discover More Delights
If you have an extra day or two there’s definitely plenty more to see and do in Bogotá. And then there’s the surrounding towns like Villa de Leyva. In fact you could spend months exploring Bogotá and only just scratch the surface.
Visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, take a bike tour through the city, explore more of Bogotá’s diverse neighborhoods or take a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Colombian dishes. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this vibrant city.
From its rich history and culture to its natural beauty and bustling nightlife Bogotá, offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. This 48-hour itinerary gives you a small taste of the city’s highlights, but there’s always more to discover in the dynamic metropolis of Bogotá.
So, pack your bags and get ready to fall in love with Bogotá! Just as I have. I’m currently buying realestate and staying here. Bogotá is a city that’s so diverse and colorful, just like its ‘Bogotano’ inhabitants, that you can’t help but fall in love with Bogotá!
Remember that while exploring the city it’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings for your own safety. The city has made great strides in improving safety in recent years but like any large city, it’s always good to be vigilant.
Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?
I’ve made my Bogotá Colombia City Guide available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Colombia. It will help you navigate Bogotá and Colombian society.
My Bogotá Colombia City Guide will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Colombia. Colombia is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the Bogotá Colombia City Guide here.