Bogotá is the capital and largest city of Colombia, it is located in the center of the country.
Located near cities like Medellín, Cali or Cartagena, Bogotá is a mix of mountains, towering buildings and an incomparable vibe.
As one of the most important cities in Colombia, Bogotá is known for its business centers, renowned museums, shopping areas, high-end restaurants and the dynamism a cosmopolitan city.
Bogotá is understood is divided at a socioeconomic level into north and south. While most of the luxury hotels, business spaces and tourist attractions are located in the north, the south stands out for being the home of the lower and middle class and for offering a cheaper and more traditional atmosphere.
As far as nightlife is concerned, Bogota citizens, known as “rolos”, definitely know how to party and make any visitor feel welcome.
In this article, we will talk about the party scene in the Colombian capital, the best areas to stay in Bogotá for nightlife and everything you need to know before traveling to this vibrant South American city.
The party scene in Bogotá
To say that Bogotá is the perfect destination to party seems like an exaggeration, but it is not.
The capital of Colombia offers a bit of everything you could want when it comes to nightlife (locally known as “rumba”). In this city, you will find everything from bars and clubs in the most exclusive areas to authentic Latin-flavored places in the most colorful neighborhoods.
In addition, Bogotá stands out for having a wide variety of venues dedicated to the LGBT community, which is reflected in places such as Theatron, one of the largest gay clubs in Latin America.
On the other hand, if your plan is to know Colombian culture and surround yourself with popular music, then you are in luck; Bogotá has a wide range of areas where you can discover the rich Colombian musical heritage with rhythms such as salsa, cumbia and merengue.
Bogotá offers exclusive entertainment areas and cheap neighborhoods to visit with leisure options for any budget. To give you an idea, a beer can range from US$ 1.20 at a cheap fonda to around US$ 4 at an exclusive club.
In this city, there is no shortage of options to party.
Although Colombia is a much safer place now than it used to be, common sense is still strongly advised, especially if you are a foreign tourist with a low level of Spanish.
Drugs (especially cocaine) are very present in the Bogotá nightlife, this is very common at the most prominent nightclubs and electronic/techno music venues. In case that’s your scene, just be careful when scoring anything on the streets as you can be the target of scams, theft or, worse, police corruption.
The type of party venues you can find in Bogotá
- Bars: There are bars in all areas of Bogotá that are ideal for drinking beer or local spirits. In general, in this type of place, you do not have to pay cover and they open from late in the afternoon until around 2:00 am. There are all kinds of bars in Bogotá, some serve food and others have a dancefloor.
- Discotecas (Clubs): Nightclubs are also everywhere in Bogotá, particularly around upper-class neighborhoods such as La Zona T and Chapinero. In general, the cover fee can range between 5,000 and 30,000 COP (US $ 2 – 10). Although most of them play “crossover” music (a mix of reggaeton, pop and electronic), you can also find techno and salsa discos. Nightclubs are usually open from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am).
- Fondas: These are colorful typical bars in Colombia. Here, aguardiente or guaro (a local spirit similar to moonshine) and vallenato music are the stars of the night.
- Chivas: Can you imagine partying on a bus? Chivas are vintage buses full of lights and color that run through the busiest streets of Bogotá like a club on wheels, an experience that you cannot miss.
Fun things to do in Bogotá
Bogotá is a city full of things to do both day and night.
Culturally, you can choose between museums such as the Museo de Fernando Botero or Museo del Oro or even graffiti tours through La Candelaria, the historic center of this great city.
Another option is to visit its parks or climb the Cerro Monserrate and get the best views of the Colombian capital. Monserrate offers the best selfie opportunities in Bogotá.
The Best Party Areas in Bogotá + the Best Areas to Stay in Bogotá for nightlife
Bogotá is a metropolis. With dozens of districts and neighborhoods of all kinds, if you visit the city to enjoy its nightlife, you will most likely be looking for a safe area, close to nightclubs and well connected to areas worth visiting.
Here is a list of the best areas to stay in Bogotá for nightlife:
This district is located between the center and the north of the city and is the best option when deciding where to stay in Bogotá for nightlife.
Chapinero is one of the main party areas in Bogotá and is also considered the epicenter of gay nightlife, with a handful of LGBT clubs and bars.
The area is well connected by Transmilenio (this means of transport operates from 4:00 am to 11:00 pm).
There are many taxis available through Chapinero at all times, but it is recommended that the soberest person in the group be in charge of negotiating, as many drivers refuse to turn on their taximeter late at night.
In addition to nightclubs, Chapinero is also known for being home to the Zona G or Gourmet Area of Bogotá, thanks to its offer of restaurants with all kinds of influence and tapas bars.
Chapinero is one of the safest and best-connected areas of Bogotá.
Because of its dynamism, nightlife and amenities, Chapinero has varied costs to any pocket in terms of accommodation that make it one of the best areas to stay in Bogotá.
Because it is such a large district, Chapinero has a lot of variety when it comes to accommodation. Here, you can choose between B&Bs, luxury hotels, business hotels, pensions and more, making it one of the best areas to stay in Bogotá for all types of budgets.
But not everything in Chapinero is expensive and luxurious. Hostels are also a good choice of accommodation in this area, at a hostel, a bunk bed cost can range from US$ 7 to US$ 18 in one of the boutique options.
This is the best area to stay in Bogotá to party because it is a mostly safe place where you can walk at night, with many affordable accommodation and entertainment options.
Accommodation in Chapinero
- CX Hostel (Cheap Hostel)
- Selina Chapinero Bogotá (Boutique-style Hostel)
- Hotel Express 53 (Cheap Hotel)
- Hotel B3 Virrey (Midrange Hotel)
- Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota (Luxury Hotel)
The Zona T is the most exclusive area in Bogotá, full of luxury hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, clubs and bars.
This luxurious area of the city is technically part of Chapinero but offers more upmarket nightlife and entertainment options.
This popular area also hosts Calle 85, one of the main commercial and party arteries in Bogotá, with all kinds of shops, restaurants, bars and hotels.
Being more exclusive and touristy than Chapinero, Zona T is the perfect place if you are looking for a different and alternative party experience, but with the comfort and safety of one of the best neighborhoods in Bogotá.
Another great thing about Zona T is that most hotels are within a couple of streets of the main clubs and bars, so the cost of the taxi in the early morning hours will not exceed 10,000 COP (US$ 4).
Keep in mind that accommodation in Zona T (also known as Zona Rosa) is usually expensive since this is the area where most 4 and 5 star options are located.
Overall, Zona T is an excellent option to stay in Bogotá for nightlife while staying at great hotels.
Accommodation in Zona T
- Urbana Hostel (Cheap Hostel)
- Hotel Excelsior (Cheap Hotel)
- GHL Hotel Hamilton (Midrange Hotel)
- NH Collection Bogota Andino Royal (Luxury Hotel)
La Candelaria is probably the most picturesque neighborhood in Bogotá and comprises the area around the city’s historic center.
Therefore, this neighborhood has the best location and excellent transport connections, as well as a large number of tourist attractions, including the Botero Museum and the Gold Museum.
What some tourists do not know is that La Candelaria is also an excellent area to stay in Bogotá for nightlife.
Its colorful colonial houses house bars, some nightclubs and fondas offer a more authentic nightlife experience than places like Zona T or Chapinero.
La Candelaria is characterized by its low-key venues blasting typical Colombian music such as vallenato and salsa, as well as for attracting a young audience of locals and backpackers with low budgets.
Likewise, hostels, pensions and boutique hotels abound in this charming neighborhood.
Although it is not the safest area to stay in Bogotá to party, if you want to know the true Colombian rumba, La Candelaria is the place for you.
Accommodation in La Candelaria
- Selina La Candelaria Bogotá (Boutique-style Hostel/Party hostel)
- El Yarumo Hostel (Cheap Hostel)
- Hotel De La Opera (Luxury Hotel)
Other party areas in Bogotá
- Teusaquillo: Teusaquillo is west of Chapinero and, although it is a mostly residential and quiet neighborhood, it has some bars and discos especially recommended for those who visit the city on a budget. In addition, Teusaquillo is connected by TransMilenio with the main areas of Bogotá and has affordable accommodation.
- The “Far North”: The neighborhoods located north of Bogotá are among the most exclusive, quiet and safe in the city. Here you will find nightclubs with dress code, high-end restaurants and luxury hotels for the most exclusive visitors.
Is it safe to party in Bogotá?
Sorry to bring it up, but we believe that the issue of security must be addressed.
Is Bogotá a safe city to party? The answer is: it depends on the area.
Zona T, for example, is the safest area to go out and stay in Bogotá. On weekends, you can find police officers in virtually every corner of the area.
Chapinero can also be considered safe during the day and night, as well as the upper-middle-class districts in the north of Bogotá.
Of course, this does not mean that these areas are absolutely crime-free. If you are a foreigner traveling alone, you are basically an easy target, so it is advisable to take precautions at all times.
Safety tips when partying in Bogotá
- Leave anything valuable at the hotel: Only carry with you the money you need for the night and ID.
- Do not walk alone in dark places: Try to walk only through the main streets of Bogotá and popular areas. Avoid dark alleys and poorly-lit streets.
- Do not trust strangers: Although Bogota citizens are known for their kindness, if a stranger with a suspicious attitude approaches you on the street, keep walking. Better safe than sorry.
- Take extra care when in the club: Even if you’re having a great time dancing, don’t neglect your valuables at any time. If possible, use the venue’s cloakroom.
- Do not leave your drink unattended: Keep your drink at sight to make sure no one slips anything in the glass.
- If you do want drugs: While we are not in any way suggesting you should take cocaine or any other illegal drugs in Bogotá, if you do want to experiment, please be careful what you’re buying. Scamming cocaine-seeking gringos is not an unheard-of practice in Colombia. Try not to snort, swallow or drink anything a stranger offers you on the street or club. If you have local friends, get whatever you’re planning to buy from their “trusted source”. If you don’t know any locals, are you sure you want to get high in a foreign country with no friends?
- Ask the bar people to call you a taxi: If you feel intoxicated, do not go to the streets alone. Ask the bartenders or bouncers to get you a taxi before you walk out.
- If anything goes wrong: Call the bar staff or police.
Things to see in Bogotá
Although many visit Bogotá exclusively to party, this city has a lot of things to offer. We recommend that you save some of your sober time to visit attractions such as:
- Museo Botero & Museo del Oro: Located in La Candelaria, the Botero Museum and Gold Museum are two places that you can not miss in the Colombian capital. The first is full of works by this important paisa artist, but it also has pieces by Picasso and Miró, while the nearby Gold Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, jewels and utensils from pre-Hispanic times. Botero Museum is free of charge and the Gold Museum has a 4,000 COP fee from Monday to Saturday and is free on Sundays.
- Plaza de Bolívar: The city’s main square. This grandiose plaza features an 1846 bronze statue of Simón Bolívar by Pietro Tenerani and it’s surrounded by the Colombian capital’s most prominent buildings such as the cathedral and the Presidential Palace.
- Usaquén: Originally a separate village, this colonial town in the wealthy north of the city displays a mix of traditional architecture and new office buildings. Its Sunday market is one of the city’s most popular events.
- Cerro de Monserrate: Considered one of the symbols of the city, Monserrate offers the best views of Bogotá. It is recommended only during the day and for those without a hangover. The cost to go up and down the hill is COP 21,000.
- Parque Simón Bolívar: Simón Bolívar Park is one of the largest parks in Bogotá.