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Bogotá feels like two completely different cities built side-by-side. The historical downtown with its old churches, cobbled squares and boutique hotels retains much of the original Spanish colonial charm. Head north to around Calle 85 and you'll feel like you've been instantly transported out of Latin America to Europe — the glassy office buildings, wide boulevards and wealth of international restaurants are unlike anything else in Colombia. The downtown neighborhood of La Candelaria is the focal point for travelers wanting to get a taste of Bogotá's art and culture. There are some 50 museums in the area, including the ...

Bogotá feels like two completely different cities built side-by-side. The historical downtown with its old churches, cobbled squares and boutique hotels retains much of the original Spanish colonial charm. Head north to around Calle 85 and you'll feel like you've been instantly transported out of Latin America to Europe — the glassy office buildings, wide boulevards and wealth of international restaurants are unlike anything else in Colombia. The downtown neighborhood of La Candelaria is the focal point for travelers wanting to get a taste of Bogotá's art and culture. There are some 50 museums in the area, including the fabulous Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) and the Donación Botero, a restored mansion filled with works by internationally acclaimed artist Fernando Botero. Nightlife is centered in northern Bogotá's Zona Rosa, several square blocks of chic restaurants, dance clubs and bars. Despite lying close to the equator, Bogotá sees year-round temperatures of around 62°F (16°C), thanks to its elevation of 8500 feet (2600 meters). This elevation is sure to give you a head rush your first day or two but the feeling will soon pass.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December-March or July-August