What makes Bogota exceptional? To talk about Bogota is to talk about progress. This megacity has had an amazing turnaround in the last decade. A new international airport, an ever-expanding bus system connecting the immense city and constant improvements to infrastructure promise a bright future.
Culture is alive and well in Bogota. Named UNESCO City of Music for 2013, music festivals showcase everything from jazz, rock, hip hop and opera to the very Colombian cumbia and bambuco. Colombians love a good rumba (party), and Bogota has numerous bars and clubs to learn to dance salsa, cumbia, tango or any other Latin moves.
The Gold Museum presents Colombian culture from pre-Columbian times. National and international art can be admired at the Botero Museum and the jail-turned-museum Museo Nacional. In bohemian La Candelaria and La Macarena, tiny cafés fill up with artists, writers and musicians. International theatre and film festivals, book and food fairs, sports venues and a very active nightlife scene ensure that there’s always something going on.
Dining sectors chock full of personality such as Zona G and Usaquen include an abundance of international restaurants as well as chefs experimenting with getting Colombian cuisine into the international limelight. The plethora of coffee houses dotting the city serve, of course, 100% Colombian coffee, and are a common place to meet with friends for leisurely conversations.
There has been incredible growth in the city to the north and west, and housing is easy to find and varies from affordable bohemian to luxury residences.
There are many small towns near the city that are easy to reach by car, like Villa de Leyva and Zipaquirá. National destinations such as Caragena and Medellin are easy to get to by plane, and there are many cheap flights to Europe and the U.S.
Of course, living in Bogota is not without its problems. Traffic is heavy most of the time, and air pollution is a constant problem. The cost of living is higher than in most other areas of the country. But the city is vibrant, work is easier to find, and a larger expat community means it’s easier to connect with people from around the world. The year-round spring-like weather is also an attraction to many people.
Links to English-language newspapers, websites, blogs and radio shows:
Digital newspaper: Colombia Reports
Gastro-news in Bogota: Bogota Eats and Drinks
Insight into expat life in Colombia:
General Colombia travel info: