Very few people know that Bogota was known as Santa Fé de Bogotá from 1991 to 2000 and after that its name was officially changed to Bogota. Bogota is the largest city in Colombia and one of the biggest in Latin America in terms of land mass. The capital city also holds the honor of being the third highest capital city in the world above sea level (8,612 ft). Today, Bogota is not only known for its eccentric lifestyle but it is also an important educational hub of Latin America.
Places to Visit in Bogota
In spite of the negative reviews given by the US government, the number of tourists coming to the city have increased considerably. Colombia is one of the few nations, which is hugely affected by the ongoing drug wars between mafias and cops. However, the capital city has become very safe in the recent years and hence tourism has gained momentum. For people who plan to visit the capital city, here are some fun things to do in Bogota.
It is one of the most historic and famous neighborhoods in Bogota, Colombia. The neighborhood is filled with beautiful old houses, churches and various educational buildings. Tourists will find graffiti almost on all walls of houses. Travelers can visit the Botero Museum (contains some amazing work of painters - Botero, Monet and Picasso), Luis Ángel Arango Library (the most famous library in Latin America and it houses more than 1 million books. The library has its own parking, cafeteria and concert hall), Colón Theater (it is a very famous theater which was established in 1892 and has a sitting area of 2,400 square meters) and Gold Museum (it is one of the most important museums in Latin America and it houses more than 36,000 pieces of gold). During the day, this neighborhood becomes a famous market place in which people can find almost all famous brands. However, travelers are not advised to roam on the streets during the night-time as there are high chances of getting mugged.
Bogota is a city which is already situated almost 8,000 ft above sea level and hence it is bound to have some amazing mountainous regions. Mount Monserrate is one mountain that dominates the capital city and it stands almost 10,341 feet. Travelers can visit this mountain through cable cars, funicular rail or they can enjoy this experience by walking with thousands of people that make this trip on foot every month. There are only two restaurants on the mountain; Santa Clara (only Colombian cuisine) and San Isidro (French cuisine).
Plaza de Toros Santamaria
This beautiful structure is basically a ring used for bull fighting. Today, it is commonly known as Santamaria building. Although, bull fighting is still practiced at the Santamaria building, the space is also used to host a variety of cultural festivals. The bull fighting season in Colombia doesn't start before December and people who want to see this amazing and ruthless sport are advised to make future bookings.
Casa de Nariño (Presidential Palace)
The trip to the capital city would be incomplete if travelers don't visit the Presidential palace. The Presidential palace is located just minutes away from the busy Plaza de Bolivar (a very busy market area). It is a very beautiful and heavily guarded fortress as it is the house of the President of Colombia. Visitors are not allowed inside the palace and even if they get close to the gate, the guards signal them to move away.
Museo del Oro (Gold Musuem)
For budding historians, the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) serves like a safe haven. This museum was founded in the year 1939 and since then, has been one of the most famous landmarks of Colombia. The museum contains more than 30,000 pieces of gold and various objects made from stone, bone and ceramics, which are centuries old.
This ancient theater was established in 1892 exactly 400 years after Christopher Columbus set foot on the American soil. To celebrate this marvelous achievement, the Teatro Colón was built. Today, this theater is regarded as the national theater of Colombia and it was declared a national monument in the year 1975. Presently this theater is a stage for many young and talented artists, who come from all over the world to showcase their talents.
Hope this article on things to do in Bogota was an interesting read. In spite of all the bad press reviews, Colombia remains one of the most beautiful destinations in South America and tourism plays a very important part in shaping up the city's image.