Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and the largest city in the country with over 8 million people. It is known to have a mix of people from all around the country and a combination of old and new. You will encounter ages-old churches and plazas while the city also has many new skyscrapers. Bogotá is a lively city with enough culture, innovation and peaceful areas to enjoy. And the nightlife is not something you will forget.
The city Bogota
Bogotá is located in the Andes in the center of Colombia at a height of 2600 meters. It has a subtropical highland climate with an average temperature of 14 degrees Celsius (including night temperatures) and has dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. It might not be as hot as you expected. This is because Bogotá is far above sea level. For many people this provides the ideal climate: not too hot, not too cold while still having still a lot of sun!
If you would like to escape the busy city then the nature around the city is right up your alley. Since Bogotá is located in the Andes, there are many mountains and beautiful green forests for you to hike through. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with one of the most stunning views you will ever see.
The culture of Bogota
Bogotá has many cultural events with museums, art galleries, theaters, sports and over 150 national monuments to experience. The city is home to a very diverse group of people which has created Bogotá to be respectful of ethnic, social and religious diversity.
If you visit Bogotá you will notice that the people live their life to the fullest. It breathes passion. They are extremely friendly and open people to welcome you as a foreigner in their beautiful city. They enjoy festivals, visiting the city center and much more the facilities Bogotá has to offer. You will instantly understand why Colombia is multiple times ranked as the happiest country in the world.
Before going to Bogotá it will be wise to go over some don’ts to prevent you from embarrassing yourself and putting your whole country to shame.
- You are not supposed to wear flip-flops in the city
- Needless to say, but if a Colombian offers you a shot of pure hangover you should not refuse it. It’s a sign of friendship and unity.
- Do not fool around about Pablo Escobar or make jokes about cocaine. The drug wars are a painful chapter in the history of Bogotá.
Travel in Bogota
Bogotá is booming. There are more tourists coming from all over the world and more international students are being fortunate enough to experience Bogotá through an internship or a semester exchange. The modern shopping malls, open-air markets or the colonial churches are a must see.
Destinations like the mountain Cerro de Monserrate, Plaza de Bolivar and Zona Rosa should be in your memory next to the Table of Ten. Just like La Candelaria, which is the historical and cultural center of Bogotá. It’s a neighborhood with colonial buildings, wooden cathedrals, colored buildings and street art everywhere.
Cost of living in Bogotá
Colombia is known for the low cost of living and Bogotá is not any different from that. Compared to Europe or similar, you will be very lucky with the money you might have saved over the years.
Basic lunch menu with a drink 3.88 EUR
Big Mac Meal 4.57 EUR
Basic dinner for two 7 EUR
Single student room 200-300 EUR
Internet 8Mbps 19 EUR
1 pair of jeans 51 EUR
1 pair of sports shoes 71 EUR
1 liter of gas 0.78 EUR
Monthly ticket public transport 31 EUR
8 km taxi trip 7 EUR
2 tickets to the movies 7 EUR
1 beer in a neighbourhood pub 2.40 EUR
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Food in Bogota
If you think that everyone in Latin America eats taco’s then you’re totally wrong. Colombia has its own traditional food and that’s not something you should pass on. When you’re in Bogotá there are some that you must give the chance to blow you away. We’re talking about Empanadas (fried bread), Cocido Boyacense (pork/beef/chicken with vegetables) or Picada (steak or chicken with arepa and potato). See it as ‘getting familiar with the culture’, while eating delicious food.
Are you looking for a city that never sleeps and where there is enough nature and sights to stay busy every weekend? Then Bogotá is the way to go. Many universities provide high-quality education and the large city consists of enough companies to find your ideal internship. Pack your bags and let’s go!
Favorite local dish:
Tamale (rice with beef and vegetables)
Popular see sight:
The motto of the city is: ‘2600 meters closer to the stars’ (referring to its altitude)
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