Deciding where to stay in Bogota can be challenging. But with the tips and tricks shared in this post, you won’t have any issue finding the best accommodation to suit your needs.

Though in the past people who visited Colombia would rather avoid Bogota as they perceived it as a dangerous place, the capital of Colombia has been working hard to shake off its bad reputation and in recent years it has become an important tourist destination in South America, and it is thought to be one of the best cities in Latin America.

Visit Bogota and you’ll be impressed by its array of interesting sights, good museums, excellent restaurants, cultural activities and nightlife. What’s more, Bogotanos are fantastic people – welcoming, open minded, friendly. In other words, it would be a pity to miss Bogota during your trip to Colombia.

There are some very good hotels in Bogota – but also some very bad ones. Some areas are great, others interesting but not tourist friendly. And some continue to remain just plain dangerous and you should stay away from them.

The city is massive, and your decision on where to stay will inevitably affect your experience there – indeed, some areas are more budget friendly but lack good restaurants; other areas are packed with things to do but are also more expensive.

In this post, I will help you find where to stay in Bogota, selecting the best areas to stay, the main highlight of each area as well as any safety concern; and pointing out to the best hotels and hostels in each of them.

Where to stay in Bogota

Bogota is massive, but public transportation works well

5 Things To Consider When Deciding Where To Stay In Bogota

Bogota is huge (and traffic can be an issue)

With more than 10 million inhabitants, Bogota is one of the largest cities in South America. In a city that crowded, traffic is inevitably an issue and it can take a long time to travel from one place to the other – you need to keep this in mind when deciding where to stay, as depending on that you will have to make use of public transportation or taxis.

The good news is that the web of public transportation works quite well, with the TransMilenio bus system using a dedicated lane and running from around 5:00 am in the morning until 11:15 in the evening. TransMilenio connects the center of town to the airport, and links the various neighborhoods.

Taxis in Bogota are everywhere, but you have to haggle the prices before getting on, and as there is no preferred lane for taxis your chances of getting stuck in traffic are high.

If you are a keen biker, depending on where you base yourself you may want to rent a bike. Bogota is indeed extremely bike friendly, with dedicated lanes running through the city.

The weather in Bogota isn’t exactly nice

There is nothing tropical about the weather in Bogota – in fact, it feels more like good old England for it rains so much. Located at 2600 meters above sea level and right in the heart of Colombia, Bogota gets a good dose of rain pretty much every day. And the average temperature is 13 degrees Celsius, with the hottest month being March, when it gets to a whopping 15 degrees.

Some areas are more pleasant with rain than others, as there are more museums, nice cafés and malls where you can hang out while you wait for the rain to stop.

Bogota amusement park

An amusement park in Bogota

Think about what you are looking forward to do

The main thing you need to consider when picking where to stay in Bogota is the kind of scene you are looking for, the activities you are interested in. Do you mostly want to go sightseeing and hit all the museums, churches and other places to visit? Are you looking forward to try the local specialties? Or do you just want to party?

Keep in mind that some parts of town are incredibly lively during the day, and packed with museums and places to visit, but become virtually deserted at night. Others may not offer as much in terms of cultural activities, but they offer a wider range of restaurants and are famous for their nightlife.

Make sure to read my post 17 Unmissable Things To Do In Bogota” to get a better idea of the attractions and places to visit. 

Keep your budget in mind

Bogota is mostly very budget friendly. However, some areas are more suitable than others to travelers on a budget and backpackers, as they offer a wider range of hostels and places where you can cook your own meals. There you will also find a larger selection of local budget eateries and street food. La Candelaria is generally the go-to area for backpackers, but even places like Usaquen have a good selection of hostels. Places like Zona Rosa, on the other hand, are significantly more expensive.

Some areas are still a no-no

For as much as Bogota has cleaned up in the last decade, some parts of town are still off limits to tourists, and you are better off staying away from them. Please beware that even the nicest areas are at a short distance from dodgy ones, and if you mistakenly take the wrong turn and get lost you may find yourself in an unsafe place.

Ciudad Bolivar should be avoided entirely. Cerro Montserrate, one of the nicest places to visit in Bogota for the expansive, breathtaking views, is often targeted by pickpockets and muggers. La Candelaria is safe during the day, but not as safe at night.

Let me now finally get to the aim of this post and highlight where to stay in Bogota. I will start with my favorite area.

My Views On The Best Area To Stay In Bogota

When I visited Bogota for the first time I stayed in La Candelaria. I honestly regretted it. The area is nice and lively during the day, with plenty of places to visit, things to do and people out and about. But comes 7:00 pm everything shuts, it is hard to find a decent place to eat (the only way around that is getting a hostel that allows you to use the kitchen) and there is virtually nobody around.

With this in mind, I came to the conclusion that the best area to stay in Bogota is Zona Rosa, which is where there are the best hotels, the nicest restaurants and cafés, and the best bars for a good night out. Yes, it is a little bit more expensive than the rest. But to me it is worth the investment.

Bogota Cathedral

Many people opt to stay in Candelaria – but is that the best area?

Where To Stay In Bogota – The Best Overall Options

Before getting into the details of the actual areas where to stay in Bogota, let me get highlight the best hostels, apartments and hotels in Bogota, Colombia.

Best hostels in Bogota

Casa Central

Located in Teusaquillo, this hostel is very basic (you literally just get a bed and a locker) but also extremely budget friendly, with dorms costing a mere €5 per night – and breakfast is included in the price. Rooms are spacious, and the hostel is clean. There is a bar for guests, and good working wifi. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Fernweh Photography Hostel

This lovely hostel is located in the heart of La Candelaria. It features dorms as well as private rooms. There is an on site restaurant, a bar and laundry facilities and guests can use the fully equipped kitchen. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

The Cranky Croc Hostel

Another nice find in La Candelaria, this hostel only features dorms. Guests can enjoy the use of the kitchen and the on site restaurant and bar. Breakfast is served for an extra fee. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Best apartments in Bogota

93 Luxury Suites and Residences

This beautiful apartment complex is located in Chapinero and features a fitness room, a restaurant and a bar. Apartments are fully equipped for a wonderful stay, and have a good kitchen and even a living room. Families or groups can opt for the 3 bedroom one. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Apartamentos Plaza Suites

This luxury apartment complex has a fitness center, a restaurant and a bar. The fully equipped apartments are perfect for families with children, business workers and anybody who’d rather self cater. It’s located in Usaquen. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Apartaestudios La Candelaria

If you want to stay in La Candelaria but can’t be bothered sleeping in a hostel, this is an excellent option, and very budget friendly – especially if you can share. The apartments are not nearly as luxurious as the ones mentioned above, but they have everything you may need to make your stay comfortable. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Best hotels in Bogota

Hotel El Dorado Bogota

This hotel, located in Chapinero, features modern, comfortable room. There is a fitness center, a bar and breakfast is included in the price. For extra comfort, ask for the room with the hot tub. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Grand Hyatt Bogota

One of the best hotels in Bogota, and one of the few with a pool. There is a fitness center, a spa and wellness center, and a bar. Rooms are very spacious. It’s located in Teusaquillo. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Biohotel Organic Suites

This lovely ecohotel is located in Usaquen. It features spacious, modern rooms; a spa; a fitness center; a bar and even a restaurant. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.

Bogota best hotels

A beautiful nighttime view of Bogota

Where To Stay In Bogota – The Best Areas And Places To Stay

Zona Rosa – Where to stay in Bogota for partying

Zona Rosa is the most fashionable area of Bogota, with beautiful boutiques, some of the best shopping malls in town (El Retiro, Atlantide and Centro Comercial Andino), fantastic restaurants and the best parties in the city. It’s located in the North of the city, and most of its streets are pedestrian, which makes it nice and easy to explore. When in Zona Rosa, make sure to go dancing at La Villa or at Maroma Nightclub Bogota and enjoy a drink at The Pub. If shopping and partying are your things, this is the best area to stay in Bogota.

The area is safe, both during the day and at night.

Best places to stay in Zona Rosa

best area to stay in Bogota

Fantastic during the day; unsafe at night – that’s La Candelaria

La Candelaria – Where to stay in Bogota for budget travelers

La Candelaria can be considered the center of Bogota, and a great starting point to get to know the city. The area can be chaotic, but it’s very quaint and pretty – especially if you move to the narrow alleys packed with beautiful colonial buildings and street art.

In La Candelaria you’ll find some excellent museums such as Museo Botero and Museo del Oro; Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center; and you’ll be walking distance from the access point to Parque Montserrate. There are some nice restaurants but you’ll mostly have to rely on street food.

Keep in mind that though it is perfectly safe during the day, it’s not nearly as safe at night – so be aware of your whereabouts if you decide to stay here.

Best places to stay in La Candelaria

Usaquen – Where to stay in Bogota for families

Usaquen is where you should stay in Bogota if you are traveling with your family, as it is packed with good hotels as well as budget options, there are many excellent places to eat, street food stalls galore, and easy access to attractions such as Usaquen Park and Usaquen Sunday Flea Market. There also are an amusement center and a shopping mall.

It’s an overall safe area to stay.

Best places to stay in Usaquen

where to stay in Bogota

Bogota has some interesting street art

Chapinero – Where to stay in Bogota for LGTB travelers

Chapinero is one of the best neighborhoods of Bogota, where the most affluent people in town live. There are many restaurants (especially in the famous Zona G), excellent hotels, and since it is centrally located it’s easy to reach all the main attractions. It’s also close to Zona Rosa, in case you want to have a night of partying.

Among the best things to do in Chapinero, shopping is probably the most popular one – there are some great shopping malls such as Unilago and Avenida Chile. Parque del Chicó and its museum is another must. Make sure to also stop by the Monument to the Heroes, which was dedicated to those who fought during the war of independence.

Chapinero is very LGTB friendly, to the point that it is referred to as Chapigay. Here you’ll find Theatron (which is the largest LGBT club in the world) as well as other bars that are gay friendly.

Best places to stay in Chapinero

Teusaquillo – Where to stay in Bogota for first timers

Teusaquillo is right at the heart of Bogota, and where to stay in Bogota if you have a short time in the city and wish to explore it before you move on. It’s not as charming as La Candelaria in terms of historical landmarks, but there are some modern architectural gems as well as the famous Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park, which has a plethora of walking trails, a lake with paddle boats and even a playground for children, who can also enjoy the Kid’s Museum and Salitre Mágico Parque de Diversiones.

The area is overall safe.

Best places to stay in Teusaquillo

hotels in Bogota

Downtown Bogota has a lot to offer

Centro Internacional – Where to stay in Bogota for business travelers

North of La Candelaria and south of Chapinero, the Centro Internacional is the banking district of Bogota, with office buildings and a few residential ones. It’s close to the National Museum of Colombia and Plaza de Toros. It’s very well connected to the rest of the city as the TransMilenio bus has several stops in the area.

It’s an overall safe area and where to stay in Bogota for business travelers, but make sure to know your whereabouts at night.

Best places to stay in Centro Internacional

Santa Fe – Where to stay in Bogota for museum geeks

Santa Fe can be identified as Downtown Bogota. It’s a place where you’ll come across other travelers on their ways to museums, and it’s the very place you’ll see overlooking from Cerro Montserrate, which can be easily accessed. It’s where the National Museum is located – a must see if you are keen in knowing more about Colombia’s history and culture. It’s where to stay in Bogota if you are keen on exploring its museums.

It’s an overall safe area, but once again keep your wits about at night.

Best places to stay in Santa Fe

Final Tips 

As for any other trip you may be taking, make sure to get a good travel insurance for your trip to Colombia. Read my post Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.” Get your travel insurance here.

Make sure to read my other posts about Colombia:

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Find out where to stay in Bogota - via @clautavani

Read about the best places to stay in Bogota - via @clautavani

Discover the best places to stay in Bogota - via @clautavani