The Bogotá skyline — Photo courtesy of ProColombia
Colombia may be best known for its abundant natural beauty and high level of biodiversity, but this South American nation is also home to some pretty spectacular urban destinations as well. Case in point – the bustling capital city of Bogotá, a sprawling metropolis that dates back to the early 1500s.
In the modern era, the city serves as one of Colombia’s top destinations for a luxurious getaway, equipped with a wealth of high-end hotels, vibrant neighborhoods and gourmet restaurants. If you’re planning a visit to Bogotá anytime soon, don’t miss out on these essential experiences.
Relax at one of Bogotá’s most luxurious hotels
The entrance to the Four Seasons Casa Medina — Photo courtesy of Christian Horan
Modern luxury meets old-school charm at the Four Seasons Casa Medina, an opulent manor located in the heart of Bogotá’s Zona G district. Originally built in 1946 to serve as a family home for architect Santiago Medina Mejia, the Casa Medina has retained much of its charm throughout the years, equipped with towering ceilings, stained glass windows, an ornate spiral staircase and detailed tapestries adorning the walls.
While the surrounding neighborhood is renowned for its high concentration of spectacular restaurants, guests can experience fine drinking and dining at Castanyoles, an ultra-polished on-property venue that’s equipped with classic Spanish and Colombian cuisine paired with perfectly-crafted cocktails.
Discover Colombia’s most dazzling gilded artifacts
Mask exhibit at the Museum of Gold — Photo courtesy of ProColombia
Since 1939, the Museum of Gold has served as one of Bogotá’s most celebrated institutions for locals and tourists alike, equipped with tens of thousands of gilded trinkets, accessories and tools crafted before the arrival of the Spanish in the late 1400s. While there’s an abundance of glittering items to gaze at, the museum also does a spectacular job of highlighting the diverse Indigenous cultures that span from Colombia’s Pacific coast to the Orinoco River.
For best results, be sure to spend time marveling at the Museum of Gold’s crown jewel – the Balsa Muisca, an incredibly intricate golden artifact that depicts a ritual once performed by the Muisca people of central Colombia.
Find fine drinking and dining in Zona G
Gourmet cuisine in Zona G — Photo courtesy of ProColombia
Colombia is home to a wide array of acclaimed dishes – arepas, bandeja paisa and the beloved hangover-curing caldo de costilla, to name a few – and there’s no better spot for a culinary deep dive than Zona G. One spot in particular – Restaurante Armadillo – has been a pillar of the neighborhood since 1995, serving up succulent dishes like veal ossobuco and roast suckling pig in full view of the property’s towering spirit-filled backbar.
If you’re in the mood for classic Levant-style dishes like kibbeh nayyeh and sfiha, be sure to pay a visit to the Lebanese-inspired El Árabe, while nearby Elektra is a paradise for plant-based cuisine served in a vibrant setting.
Party the night away in Zona T
The interior of Andrés D.C. in Zona T — Photo courtesy of Andrés D.C.
In addition to being hospitable and incredibly friendly, Colombians certainly know how to party – a quality that can be experienced firsthand in the bustling Zona Rosa or Zona T district. This charming little neighborhood is home to an abundance of open-air streetside bars that are perfect for a twilight cocktail.
Head to La Cervecería for a couple of Club Colombias or grab some frozen margaritas at Vapiano, then it’s time to head south for a night out at one of the city’s hottest clubs. Known as Andrés D.C., this downtown venue is home to a mind-bogglingly-massive food and drink menu along with a sprawling dance floor that’s perfect for partying well into the night.
Immerse yourself in the world of Colombian coffee
A coffee tasting at Café San Alberto — Photo courtesy of Café San Alberto
There’s no shortage of spots to grab coffee around Bogotá, but for a detailed immersion into the industry, a visit to Café San Alberto is certainly in order. Located just next door from the Museum of Gold, Café San Alberto’s downtown location offers a wealth of sensory experiences that highlight the exceptionally high quality of their coffee through food and drink pairings.
Visiting spirits enthusiasts should be sure to book the Coffee Baptism with Rum, a tasting that showcases fresh San Alberto coffee complemented by sugarcane distillate, while those who prefer a touch of sweetness can indulge in the Coffee Baptism with Honey.
Explore Bogotá’s burgeoning beer scene
A draft beer at El Mono Bandido — Photo courtesy of El Mono Bandido
Colombia may not be particularly known for its brewing prowess, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t spectacular craft beer to be found across the nation. For example, El Mono Bandido, Bogotá’s ultra-chic brewpub chain with five locations scattered across the city. Visitors are welcome to grab a crisp pilsner at the lush plant-filled Parque 93 location, or swing by the Quinta Camacho branch for a Hoppy Red paired with some hearty tacos de camarón.
Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa day
The treatment room at the Four Seasons Bogotá — Photo courtesy of Christian Horan
If you’re feeling exhausted after a few days of exploring Usaquén, Chapinero and La Candelaria, the perfect antidote can be found right in the heart of Zona T at the Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá. The on-property spa is perfect for facials and full body massages. It even offers a couple of Colombia-specific treatments like the green coffee wrap, a method that uses native-grown beans to rejuvenate the skin. For optimal relaxation, follow your treatment with some fresh shrimp tostadas and an Aperol spritz at La Biblioteca, the hotel’s charming and elegant lounge.
Pay a visit to Colombia’s most prestigious museum
Opened back in 1823, the National Museum of Colombia is the oldest museum in the nation, offering visitors an up-close encounter with some of the country’s most acclaimed artifacts. The exhibits around here span eons, ranging from pre-Hispanic tools and trinkets to extravagant creations by Fernando Botero, Gregorio Vásquez and a wealth of other iconic Colombian artists.
While the nearby Museum of Gold focuses on gilded artifacts, the National Museum of Colombia offers a far more diverse collection of ancient Indigenous relics, including stone-carved figures, arrowheads and a crumbling vessel that dates back to 3,100 BCE.