Kaitlyn McQuin knows that politeness is a distinctly female quality
Restless Runs to Bogotá
Your weekend guide to one of Colombia’s most vibrant cities
Netflix might have you convinced that Bogotá is a center of crime, but the capital of Colombia is coming into it’s own in the years since the peace treaty. If you’re looking for a safe and cosmopolitan city to embark on a solo adventure in, Bogotá is for you.
Where to stay
We love Click Clack Hotel for it’s modern rooms, gorgeous views, funky restaurants and rooftop bar. The neighborhood it’s in, El Chico, is hip AF and the heart of the design district.
What to do
Play tejo, the game that’s extremely helpful to release your inner angst. Essentially, you throw a lump of metal down a bowling lane type set up with a sand pit at the end. If your throw is good enough – your metal turns into a satisfying explosive. Sounds better than an escape room, doesn’t it?
Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica is a great primer on Colombian culture. Museo del Oro and Museo Nacional are both great hits too.
Go shopping at Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquen or the various other open air markets. Be prepared to haggle and don’t sleep on the woven bags Usaquen is famous for. After you get your shopping fix, head to Plaza de Bolivar for people watching.
Walk through La Candelaria. A historical neighborhood that always has something going on, you’ll see art deco, baroque, and spanish colonial buildings. Perfect for that Instagram shot! This is also great place to go shopping as there are a lot of cool street vendors.
“Cimb” Monserrate Mountain. An important Colombian spiritual and cultural symbol, you can take the funicular or cable car for some epic views.
Take the Bogotá graffiti tour. Starting at the Parque de Los Periodistas, it runs twice a day and runs for two and a half hours. Personally, I think this is the best way to see the city and get some insight into the people of the city. The artistic talent will blow you away too!
Where to eat
Foodies rejoice! Bogotá’s close proximity to the rainforest means that the restaurants have access to some of the most interesting and fresh produce around.
La Puerta Falsa – The perfect lunch spot for traditional Colombian food. Always crowded with locals, there are only two dishes on the lunch menu. Tamales or the creamy ajiaco soup (a creation of potato, avocado, corn, cream, and capers).
Leo – This is where to go if you want a great taster of indigenous ingredients. Not for the faint of heart however, as you’ll be seeing things like rainforest ants on the menu. Don’t miss out on the guava wine. The fact that it’s a mother/daughter team is an added cool factor.
Villanos en Bermudas – This is a fun restaurant to go to in the quiet but cool Chapinero neighborhood. You’ll find unconventional yet simple dishes. Think fried chicken skin with pear and chilis or lobster with spicy banana broth. Make sure you get a selfie in the bathroom, where the walls are covered in shattered mirrors.
RPM Records – A cafe and coffee house in Northern Bogota, you’ll find quality food and fair-trade Colombian coffee from little known growing regions. The cafe also hosts a lot of cool events like album release parties, live shows, and book readings. A can’t miss for the hipster within.
Where to go out
Chia at Andres Carne de Res – Go here on Friday or Saturday nights to hangout with locals, eat good food, and dance to good music.
Treffen is a basement bar that’s a riot of bold colors. Dig into to patacones and cocktails with the friends you’ve picked up during the day!
The entire area of Zona Rosa is bursting with bars, go here for one of the most interesting music scenes in the continent!
What to wear
Bogotá is generally a safe city, but there’s still a decent amount of theft going on. This just means you probably shouldn’t be going out with flashy pieces of jewelry and other obviously designer items. And I might sound like your mom, but bags with zips are a must if you want to keep your wallet. Broke and stranded does not make for a sexy vacation. Bogotá also has some pretty crazy weather. It could be sunny one moment and drizzling the next. To combat this, aim for an early fall layering wardrobe. Happily, this means you don’t have to sacrifice fun to stay cute. My suggestion? A midi dress, army green or jean jacket, and a cute pair of sneakers. Don’t be afraid to go for color in Bogota, you don’t want to be minimizing yourself in a city full of life.