Bogota is in Colombia which is close to the equator, so it’s hot and sunny right? Wrong. Lots of places in Colombia are hot and sunny, but Bogota is not one of them! The climate is one of perpetual spring – chilly at nights but usually warm in the days, and often raining. Mind you, I’ve only been here for October and November, two of the rainiest months (along with April and May), so my rain-filled vision of Bogota may not always be true but it certainly is now – it’s rained here almost everyday! Some days it’s just a light drizzle for about ten minutes, but then there are other days like today where it was raining so hard that I almost started getting my ark ready.
With so much grey and so much wet, it’s definitely hard to leave the house a lot of the time. But, luckily, there are lots of cool (and inexpensive) things to do in the city, even when it’s gloomy! Here are ten ideas to get you inspired to brave the weather:
1. Immerse yourself in Colombian culture & history at a museum.
– Gold Museum
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, this museum is definitely worth a visit. It displays over 55,000 gold artifacts and other materials from early pre-Hispanic civilizations.
Cost: COP$3000 (Free on Sundays)
– Museo Botero
Another tourist favourite, you can find here an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures by Colombian’s treasured artist Fernando Botero. You can also find works by Picasso, Dalí, Chagall, Monet, Renoir, and more well-known artists.
(Optional audioguide COP$6000)
– Museo Nacional
Housed in what used to be a Panopticon-style jail, this interesting building houses collections of archaeological finds and art reflecting Colombian history and identity.
Cost: $3000 for adults. $2000 for students. $1000 for children 5-12.
2. Pack a book to read at one of these beautiful libraries.
– Virgilio Barco Public Library
An impressive circular building surrounded by water and green gardens, this is a peaceful place to get away from the centre of Bogotá.
– Luis Ángel Arango Library
If you’d rather stay in the centre of town, this is the place to go. Right across from the Botero Museum, you can pair the two for a nice day out of the rain.
3. Hang out at a café.
– Magola Buendía
This sprawling and quirky café makes you feel like you’re in a greenhouse. At the gateway to the Candelaria and right across from the Parque de los Periodistas, it’s a good escape from the rain if you’re exploring the downtown core.
– Casa Libreria Wilborada
This is actually a bookstore in a beautiful old house, but it has a yummy café on the ground floor where you can try an assortment of different coffees, as well as other treats.
– Krost Bakery
So. Many. Options. You’re going to have a hard time deciding which fresh-baked goodie to buy here! Once you do, enjoy it in the colourful backroom where you can stay nice and dry.
– Juan Valdez
No matter where you’re staying, you’ll be sure to find one of these cafés nearby. A Colombian staple, there is a wide variety of premium coffees for you to try.
4. Get your monkey on and go rock climbing.
Itching to do something active but don’t want to walk or run while it’s raining? Get to an indoor climbing gym:
– Zona de Bloque
My personal favourite so far, this is a bouldering gym that has loads of routes of all difficulties. It also has a personal training area with weights and equipment
Cost: COP$13000 during ‘happy hours’ (Mon-Fri 10-4; Sun 11-5) or $16000 at other times. Shoe Rental – $4000. Chalkbag rental – $2500.
A smaller bouldering gym, with lots of challenging routes as well as fitness equipment.
5. Shop til you drop at a popular mall.
– Centro Andino
A big upscale shopping centre located in the popular Zona T, you will find all of the big names here. It’s also surrounded by lots of restaurants and bars for when you’re finished shopping, and has a movie theatre.
A good mix of higher-end shops with more affordable ones. It also has a bowling alley and a movie theatre.
– Titán Plaza
A large, beautiful mall with a wide variety of stores, and a good food court. It also has a movie theatre – noticing a trend?
6. Visit a local’s favourite chain restaurant.
– Crepes & Waffles
Literally everything here is delicious, and there’s such a big variety that you’re bound to find something you’ll love for all meals of the day. Big portions and reasonable prices – you really can’t go wrong.
– El Corral
Yummy hamburgers, sandwiches, fries, milkshakes etc.; this restaurant will definitely calm your fast-food craving.
Craving Thai? Sushi? Chinese? This restaurant has amazing dishes from all around Asia, and all at a good price.
– Bogota Beer Company
Feel like a beer? Or two? Or three? This is the place to try out Bogota’s most popular brews all while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere. The food is also delicious! Prices are on the higher range, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
Theatre is huge in Bogotá, from bigger productions to many small performances all around the city. You can find out what’s on these days here for the biggest shows, and also here for a list that includes smaller productions.
You can also check out the Teatro Colon, a beautiful theatre built at the end of the 19th century. They offer tours every Wednesday and Thursday at 3p.m, and house many performances of ballet, opera, theatre, music, circus, and more.
8. Challenge yourself at an escape room.
– Room Of Riddles
An international chain of escape rooms from Amsterdam that has recently arrived in Bogota. You and up to four friends have 60 minutes to solve the riddle! Located in the popular Zona Rosa area.
Cost: 2 people – $74000. 3 people – $84000. 4 people – $88000. 5 people – $90000.
– Escape Room Colombia
There are two games possible, for you and up to five friends.
Cost: 2 people – $90000. 3 people – $100000. 4 people – $110000. 5 people – $120000. 6 people – $130000.
– Trap Bogota
There are currently three games possible, for you and up to four friends.
Cost (per person): 2 people – $35000. 3 people – $27000. 4 people – $23000. 5 people – $20000.
9. Watch a movie.
Sometimes the most normal activities are the best plans, especially when it’s raining out. There are a number of cinemas around town, particularly in shopping malls.
– At Cine Colombia locations, you can see various theatre, opera, ballet, and art shows broadcast from London’s National Theatre, Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, and various art galleries around the world. You can find out what’s on now and what’s coming up on their website.
– At Cinemania, in the Calle 93 area, you can also watch a number of independent and international films if you want to avoid the normal Hollywood productions.
10. Visit the Paloquemao Market.
This big and busy public market is mostly covered so you can hide from the rain. You can try typical Colombian dishes, explore the fresh produce aisles to taste some tropical fruits, buy some souvenirs at the craft stands, or buy a bouquet of fresh flowers for a loved one – all at great prices. Note that Tuesdays and Saturdays are the best day to see the outdoor flower market.
So there you have it. There are lots of things to do in the city, so stop staring out the window wishing it would stop raining and get out there and enjoy!
Do you have any places you like to go when it’s raining in Bogotá that aren’t mentioned here? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear what you think.