published: 2/24/2023 | February 24, 2023
Perched on a plateau of the Andes Mountains at 2,640 meters (8,660 ft) above sea level, Bogota is the third highest capital city in the world (after Quito and La Paz). Most travelers usually ignore it in favor of the popular digital nomad district of Medellín or the coastal city of Cartegena.
Most travelers think Bogota is worth spending just a few days there. I think that’s unfortunate and that this vibrant destination is doing a disservice. I loved my time in Bogotá and ended up extending my visit here! This city feels more Colombian Than some of the other major cities that have developed a higher number of expats and tourists.
There is so much to do and see here from museums, parks, walking tours, amazing street art, great nightlife, and a great gastronomic scene.
With that in mind, you’ll want to choose where to stay in Bogota carefully. It is a huge city divided into different districts stratos, or areas, and there are a few “no-go” areas you’ll want to stay away from, too. Bogotá has a lot of petty crime, so don’t venture off the beaten track.
Here’s a breakdown of the best neighborhoods in Bogota for visitors (plus suggested accommodations in each).
But, first, here are some frequently asked questions about accommodation in Bogota:
What is the best neighborhood for sightseeing?
If you just want to see the main tourist sites, I’d recommend staying at La Candelaria, so you’re within walking distance of everything.
What’s the best neighborhood for travelers on a budget?
La Candelaria is also the best neighborhood for travelers on a budget. It’s one of the cheapest areas of the city, and with many hostels here, it’s a backpacker hub. Since there are many major tourist attractions nearby, you will also save on transportation.
What is the best neighborhood for digital nomads?
Chapinero is the trendiest area, and while it’s a bit more expensive than La Candeleria, it’s great for digital nomads who want a cool place to work from.
What is the best neighborhood for nightlife?
If you are staying for more than a few nights and are more interested in enjoying Bogota’s vibrant nightlife, I would recommend Zona Rosa or Chapinero.
What is the safest area in Bogota?
The affluent Zona Rosa and Chapinero are among the safest areas of the city. La Candeleria is very safe during the day but you’ll want to stay on the main streets at night.
What is the best neighborhood overall?
As long as you don’t mind traveling a little to some of the main sights, Chapinero is the best area to stay in, due to its great vibe, great restaurants, great nightlife, and lodging options galore.
So, with those questions answered, here are the breakdowns for each neighborhood, with suggested accommodations for each, so you know exactly where to stay in Bogota:
Best for budget travelers and sightseeing: La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the historic center of the city, and all the major things to do in Bogotá are within walking distance from here, including the National Gothic Shrine of Our Lady of Carmen, the Botero Museum, and the Gold Museum. It is also the main area for backpackers, as there are many hostels here. If you are on a budget and/or like to spend a lot of your time sightseeing, stay at La Candelaria.
Just keep in mind that while it’s reasonably safe during the day, you have to be careful at night. Be sure to follow my safety tips for traveling in Colombia if you’re staying here.
Best places to stay in La Candelaria:
- budget: The Cranky Croc – This is a backpacker’s establishment. Set in a remodeled colonial home, this hostel has everything you could need, with comfortable bunk beds and private rooms, a fully stocked guest kitchen, great showers, onsite bar/restaurant, and plenty of common spaces (including outside patios.) .
- medium range: Magdalena Guest House – This affordable guest house is simple yet modern and comfortable, with a small garden area, an interior courtyard, a resident cat, and wonderful hosts. The showers are always hot (not always the case in this neighborhood!), the beds are comfortable, and there’s even a kitchen for guests to use.
- Welfare: Hotel Muisca – Named after the indigenous people of the area, this is a historic hotel set in a beautiful 200-year-old colonial home. You’ll find the expected amenities, like flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi, as well as luxury amenities like a sauna, spa, complimentary breakfast, and rooftop dining area.
Best for digital nomads and foodies: Chapinero
Chapinero is a trendy and bohemian neighborhood (there is a park called Hippie Park here). It’s known for its street art, cafés, local markets, and thriving LGBTQ+ community (Theatron, South America’s largest LGBTQ+ nightclub, is located here). Additionally, Chapinero is a foodie’s paradise, and home to the Zona G (Gourmet), a hub for the city’s best fine dining restaurants. It is also one of the safest areas in the city.
Best places to stay in Chapinero:
- budgetSelena Chapinero – Selena is a chain of Latin American hostels geared towards digital nomads. Like its other locations, this one is a large progressive design lodge with a co-working space, bar/restaurant, plenty of common areas, a communal kitchen, and organized social activities.
- medium range: HAB Hotel Bogotá – Located on a quiet residential street, this hotel offers luxury amenities at mid-range prices, with a stylish interior, 24/7 fitness center, garden, outdoor terrace, and its own restaurant/bar. . The chic and modern rooms have their own desks, quality mattresses and black-out drapes so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep.
- Welfare: Casa Legado – There are a number of luxury hotels in the neighborhood, but the five-star Casa Legado is exceptional, beautifully designed in a mid-20th century style. Each of its 13 rooms is unique. Some have balconies, others overlook the garden. There is a complimentary breakfast, bicycles for guest use, a quiet inner courtyard and a tour desk to help you organize activities.
Best for nightlife, luxury, and shopping: Zona Rosa
While there is great nightlife to be found in Chapinero, if you really want to be in the middle of it all, stay at Zona Rosa. Also known as Zona T for its shape, the area is home to countless trendy nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, as well as high-end shopping malls and designer stores. Staying here is a bit more expensive, as this is the most fashionable area of the city. local bogotanos Come here from all over the city to party and shop, and it’s pedestrian-friendly both day and night.
Best places to stay in Zona Rosa:
- budget: Urbana Hostel – This hostel is on the basic side, but it’s clean and functional, and since accommodation is so expensive in this area, this is definitely the best place to stay if you’re on a budget. There is a shared kitchenette for guests and a rooftop terrace, and all beds have curtains and outlets for privacy. A variety of private rooms are also available.
- medium range: NH Bogotá Boheme Royal Hotel – You can’t get a better location than this, right in the heart of the Zona Rosa. With soundproofing and air conditioning in all rooms, you will still be able to sleep well when you return at night. There is also a fitness center, breakfast buffet, and very attentive staff.
- Welfare: AC Hotel by Marriott Bogota Zona T – Marriott hotels need no introduction in terms of luxury. The new hotel at the Zona Rosa has a fitness center (overlooking the city), an extensive free breakfast buffet, a bar/lounge, and free bikes for guest use. Rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, with flat-screen TVs and fast Wi-Fi. It is a popular place to stay for business travelers.
Best for history, culture, and families: Teusaquillo
Located just north of La Candelaria, Teusaquillo is a great place to stay if you want to be close to all the main attractions but don’t want to stay inside La Candelaria. It is a huge, mostly residential area, with tree-lined streets, mansions from the 20th century, and architecture since the neighborhood has grown along with the city’s upper class.
The area is known for its green spaces, including Bogota’s largest park, Simón Bolivar, as well as the city’s botanical gardens, and Parque de los Novos, famous locally for its large children’s play area. There is also a large financial center in Teusaquillo, so there are many hotels here geared towards the business and traveler crowd.
Best places to stay in Teusaquillo:
- budget: Hostel Bandido – A beautiful red brick building is home to this excellent accommodation, which looks almost like a hotel but with hostel prices. There are private rooms and dorm rooms with modern, comfortable pod-style beds, and the Wi-Fi is very fast. There is also a fully equipped kitchen, shared lounge, bar and outdoor garden area.
- medium range: Hotel 5 Elementos Apartasuites – Combining the best amenities of a hotel stay with an apartment rental, all units at Hotel 5 are full apartments with their own kitchens (in addition to the usual mid-range hotel amenities). A complimentary breakfast is available each morning in the shared lounge, as well as the fitness and business centre.
- Welfare: Grand Hyatt Bogotá – If you’re looking to really splurge (or maybe you’ve got some life points to spend), you can’t get more luxurious than this in Bogota! Home to the largest urban spa in Latin America, the Grand Hyatt features a stunning indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, treatment rooms, and fitness center with personal trainers. Rooms and suites are spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to either the Andes Mountains or the city itself.
Deciding where to stay in Bogota is a crucial decision for any traveler visiting the Colombian capital. This sprawling megacity can take a while to get around, and there are also some real safety concerns here. Choose an area based on what you want to spend most of your time doing, then hop on TransMilenio (the bus rapid transit system that has dedicated lanes for it and is often faster than traveling by taxi or Uber).
And if you can, plan more time here than you think you need. Bogotá has a lot to offer. I can’t speak highly enough of her.
Book your flight to Colombia: logistical tips and tricks
Book your flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines all over the world so you will always know that no stone is left unturned.
Reserve your accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they constantly show the cheapest rates for cheap guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Are you looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They’ll save you money when you travel, too.
Want more information about Colombia?
Be sure to visit our robust Colombia destination guide for more planning tips!