Deciding where to stay in Bogota can be challenging. But with my tips, you won’t have any issue finding a great place to stay.

Once thought to be too dangerous to deserve a visit, Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has been working hard to shake off its bad reputation and in recent years it has become a popular tourist destination in South America, thought to be one of the best cities in Latin America.

Located at 2644 meters above sea level (that’s 8675 feet!) in the Andes, Bogota is the third-highest capital city in the world and has a great array of interesting sights, good museums, excellent restaurants, cultural activities and nightlife. What’s more, Bogotanos are fantastic people – welcoming, open minded, friendly. With so much on offer, it would be a pity to miss Bogota during your trip to Colombia.

The good news is that there are some very good hotels in Bogota – but also some very bad ones (I only know too well). Some areas are great, others interesting but not tourist friendly. And some continue to remain dangerous and best avoided. The city is massive, and your experience will definitely depend on where you opt to stay. 

Don’t know where to start looking? Don’t worry! I will help you find where to stay in Bogota, providing an overview of the best areas and a selection of good places to stay in each of them.

Where to stay in Bogota
Bogota is massive, but public transportation works well

What To Know When Looking For A Place To Stay In Bogota

Bogota is a fun place to visit, and not at all what you’d imagine when thinking of Colombia. While most would picture a sun filled city with pleasantly hot days, weather-wise the Colombian capital resembles London or Dublin at best. This will inevitably affect your experience in the city, and it’s an important factor when looking for a place to stay in Bogota. But there are more things you need to know when looking for your accommodation in town. Let me outline them below.

IT RAINS ALL THE TIME – Almost literally. As I have said before, the weather is definitely not tropical in Bogota. 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. The average temperature is 13° C (55.5° F), with the hottest month being March, when it gets to a whopping 15° C (59° F). 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.

IT’S A HUGE CITY – With more than 10 million inhabitants, Bogota is one of the largest cities in South America. Traffic is inevitably an issue and it can take a long time to get from one place to the other – keep this in mind when deciding where to stay, because you may have to use public transportation or taxis. The Transmilenio is probably the best way of getting around: it’s a bus system which uses a dedicated lane and runs from around 5:00 am to 11:15 pm. The city is also very bike friendly, with dedicate bike lanes.

DIFFERENT AREAS OFFER DIFFERENT THINGS – 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 are best for nightlife.

SOME AREAS ARE MORE BUDGET FRIENDLY – While Bogota is mostly cheap, some areas are more suitable than others to travelers on a budget and backpackers, with a bigger selection of hostels and self-catering apartments, 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. Zona Rosa, on the other hand, is 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. Ciudad Bolivar should be avoided entirely. Cerro Montserrate, one of the nicest places to visit in Bogota for the expansive, breathtaking views, is targeted by pickpockets and muggers. La Candelaria is safe during the day, but not as safe at night.

ZONA ROSA IS THE OVERALL BEST AREA – 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 AT 7:00 pm everything shuts, there are no decent restaurants and nobody around. The overall best area to stay in Bogota is Zona Rosa, where you’ll find the best hotels, the nicest restaurants and cafés, and the best bars for a good night out. It’ a bit more expensive than the rest, but worth the investment.

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

Where To Stay In Bogota: Best Overall Options

These are my overall favorite picks in the Colombian capital. 

The Cranky Croc Hostel

This is one of the best hostels in Bogota, and a great option for travelers on a smaller budget. Located 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.

93 Luxury Suites and Residences

By far one of the best places to stay in Bogota, 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.

Biohotel Organic Suites

If you are looking for one of the best hotels in Bogota, this one will be for you. 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.

best area to stay in Bogota
Fantastic during the day; a bit unsafe at night – that’s La Candelaria

Where To Stay In Bogota: Best Areas And Places To Stay

La Candelaria 

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. This is where 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.

The restaurant scene is somewhat lacking. 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.

These are the best places to stay in Bogota located in La Candelaria:

Bogota best hotels
A beautiful nighttime view of Bogota

Zona Rosa 

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 Bogota, and most of its streets are pedestrian, which makes it nice and easy to explore. The area is safe, both during the day and at night. If shopping and partying are your things, this is the best area to stay in Bogota.

These are the best places to stay in Bogota located in the Zona Rosa:

airbnbs in Bogota

Chapinero 

Chapinero is definitely where to stay in Bogota for LGTB travelers. It’s so  LGTB friendly that it is referred to as Chapigay. Known to be one of the best neighborhoods of Bogota, it’s 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.

Chapinero is a great place for shopping, with malls such as Unilago and Avenida Chile. Parque del Chicó and its museum are other must-see. Make sure to also stop by the Monument to the Heroes, which was dedicated to those who fought during the war of independence. Here you’ll find Theatron (the largest LGBT club in the world) as well as other bars that are gay friendly.

These are some good places to stay in Chapinero:

Bogota

Chico and Parque 93

Close to Zona Rosa, Chico and Parque 93 (Park 93) is probably the most expensive area to stay in Bogota. This is where the wealthiest Bogotenos live, in a place that has great restaurants and cafés galore, upscale shopping malls, clubs and bars. The most important landmarks in the area are Parque 93 and Parque del Chico, which are lovely for a stroll. The area is one of the safest in Bogota, at any time of day – so if that is a concern of yours, this is where you should stay. 

The main downside of Parque 93 is that it’s definitely more expensive than the rest of the city, and it’s a bit far from the main attractions in town.

Here are some great hotels in Chico:

Aibnbs in Bogota

Usaquen 

Usaquen is where to 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.

These are the best places to stay in Bogota located in Usaquen:

where to stay in Bogota
Bogota has some interesting street art

Teusaquillo 

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, with lots of walking trails, a lake with paddle boats and a playground for children, who can also enjoy the Kid’s Museum and Salitre Mágico Parque de Diversiones. The area is overall safe.

Here are the best places to stay in Teusaquillo:

hotels in Bogota
Downtown Bogota has a lot to offer

Centro Internacional 

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.

These are some good places to stay in Centro Internacional:

bogota

Santa Fe 

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

Check out the best places to stay in Santa Fe:

Other useful information

If you look at a map of Bogotá you will see that the city layout is a bit like a grid. Roads in town are called Calles and Carreras. 

Calles run south to north, with Calle Uno (Calle One) being the first one and numbers goin well over the hundreds. Carreras run east to west, from the mountains to the suburbs, with Carrera Uno (Carrera One) being the first one.

Further readings

If you are planning a trip to Colombia, you will want to read my other posts:

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Discover where to stay in Bogota - via @clautavani
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