A short layover travelling Bogota is all I needed

The best airport in South America. So good I slept in it on a flattened cardboard box on two separate occasions. Aside from that joy, the club night DJ selection here is awesome. Contents OverviewBy dayBy nightDo’sDon’tsTips for healthy eatsHow to get meat for that protein hitWhere to exercise Overview A short layover travelling Bogota. […]

Written By TRX Traveller

On 2nd January 2019

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The best airport in South America. So good I slept in it on a flattened cardboard box on two separate occasions. Aside from that joy, the club night DJ selection here is awesome.


A short layover travelling Bogota. If Medellin has the culture Bogota has the business. I stayed in hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse for three nights, which was more like a hotel than a hostel. Followed by Explora hostel for four nights, which was laid back, more social and a great atmosphere for getting a group together.

This place wasn’t on my travel plans. Coming from London I tend to avoid the large cities. Still, I had the chance of a layover travelling through it so figured it was worth the nose around. What hit me immediately was the size. It’s big. I mean Panama city big. And it’s a hell of a lot more business oriented and developed than what I imagined. Call my a cynic but I kind of expected an underdeveloped city. I was firmly put in my place. With banking areas, shopping malls and an entire skyline view of high rise offices. It was clear this place is a money hub of the Americas. 

By day

By day I wandered the streets of the old town. Cafe stops, cake eating and smoothie drinking were on the cards. I checked out the main shopping areas further out of the old town. You get a sense of the real Bogota day to day life here. It’s fast, it’s packed and it’s dog-eat-dog. It was a chance to stock up on the essentials weaving in and out of the locals. 

In the old town the different architecture, restaurants and bars have a huge contrast. Both in style and offering so I didn’t get bored spending a few days poking my nose in areas. The graffiti is nuts around the old town and taking the free city tour means you’ll learn how it depicts Bogota’s history.

I ventured up the Teleferico one hung-over day. Located at the top of the which takes you to the top of the mountain. It’s a great shout to spend an afternoon. Due to the fact there’s a massive market of meat dishes, curries and pastry stalls with a mighty view of the city and beyond to enjoy them with.

By night

After one big night out I realised, Bogota has a music scene. A fellow traveller was whispering the possibility of a decent club night. Apparently in an old warehouse club. Again being the cynic I doubted the music or clubbing scene of Bogota. Expecting a breeze block place with disco lights serving triple measures at chap prices. None the less we had a decent group at Explora hostel. So, after some solid pre drinking we jumped in cabs and made the 5 min journey.

Again, I was put firmly i my place. The club itself would have put the London nightlife to shame and the DJ smashed it. A three storey venue with the roof old and worn down creating one hell of an atmosphere. Fantastic system too. It was 5am finish, hence the Teleferico food market joy.

A short layover travelling Bogota is all I needed. The streets of the old town
A short layover travelling Bogota is all I needed


  • Stay at Explora hostel for a more social cheaper vibe
  • Stay at hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse for a more boutique experience
  • Spend a few days here
  • Go to a club night if there’s a big anniversary party or monthly gig on, some of the DJ’s are big names
  • Head up the Teleferico
  • The city tour and graffiti tour
  • Explore the many different cafes and restaurants around the old town
  • Head to the shopping mall if you’re in need of a refresh of clothing
  • Checkout the Irish Pub, it’s the fanciest I’ve ever seen with some great craft beer selections


  • Stroll around on your own late at night, I met a fair few who’d been mugged solo
  • Waste your time seeing any other parts of the city other than the old town and shopping centre area

Bogota as a funny one for me. I feel it is what it is. It was interesting but after several months travelling others areas of South America, it didn’t leave much of an impact on me. For a layover it ticked the boxes.

Tips for healthy eats

  • There’s an Olympica supermarket near the main square in the old town, walking distance from the Explora hostel and hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse. It sells veg and fruit galore.
  • There’s little smoothie / fruit stalls in the main square
  • There’s a Juan Valdez in the main square, the don for the best coffee in colombia
  • Walk away from the main square and deeper into the old town and you’ll find many a salad, vegan, health kick option

How to get meat for that protein hit

  • In the old town you’ll come across little shack vendors that sell cooked chicken by the leg, half, full and breast for cheap as chips. CO-incidentally you also get chips with them, winner winner chicken dinner.
  • There’s a few of them kicking around towards the main centre of the old town, down away from the teleferico hill. Keep your eyes peeled, I used these for the main meat purchases.
  • For the smaller dishes, good old tins of tuna in a salad were my go-to prepared at the hostel

Where to exercise

There’s quite a few little playground / park areas on the top side of the old town which I found ideal to hang the TRX from, some even have pull up bars.

Early morning about 9am was quiet, I wouldn’t advise doing this on the eve though there’s a few characters around.



TRX Traveller

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