Whether you are looking for hearty Colombian fare or international cuisine of the highest order, Bogotá has it. Spots such as Yanuba, La Puerta Falsa, or El Cañon de Chicamocha have responded to Bogotá’s increasing international profile by taking a closer look at local ingredients and food traditions, refining the classic staples Colombians love, and creating new variations. If you visit this city, make sure to check out the delicious classics: empanadas, arepas, tamal, and ajiaco at a minimum. True Colombian soul food.
For those looking for something new, local and international chefs continue to make Bogotá into an increasingly unique location for cutting edge cuisine. You will find excellent restaurants trading in the typical international cuisines, from Spanish to Japanese. Yet you will also find everything from trendy ramen spots, to state of the art pizzerias, to chic tapas bars, to elegant brunch spots. Bogotá is increasingly becoming a foodie’s paradise.
The history and character of a city is reflected in its architecture. Few Colombian architects have influenced the design of Bogotá’s spaces as has the venerable Rogelio Salmona. Having spent time as a draftsman to one of the preeminent figures of modernist design and architecture, Le Corbusier, Salmona returned to Bogotá to build some of the city’s most iconic structures.
Take a look at the Torres del Parque, one of his marquee compositions. A bird’s eye view would show you that this set of three fanning red-brick residential buildings (Salmona’s iconic material for construction) curl like seashells anchored around the city’s bullring, the Plaza de Santamaría. From the center point of the bullring each of the main elements of the Torres del Parque residential buildings are spaced equally along a new outer circle.
Salmona uses geometry as his main design principle. Circular and semicircular motifs structure the grounds of the residential buildings, as well as the walkways leading from these grounds into the nearby Independence Park. The harmony of these elements as they interact geometrically with the bullring and the nearby planetarium along with the predominating red brick of all the nearby major structures create a visual unity. That unity makes this one of the most uniquely balanced and composed spaces of the city, a true designer’s delight.
The city features other spaces and buildings that are interesting to those who enjoy history, culture, architecture, design, or urbanism. Other Salmona products can be found all over Bogotá, and the center of the city, with its monuments, religious, historic, and administrative buildings, is an interesting display of colonial, neo-classical, and modern building types.
Bogotá’s cultural scene has a little bit for every taste. For those interested in art, there are top notch museums featuring Latin American and European artists, such as the Botero Museum. For those looking to get a better sense of Colombia’s history and culture, there are great museums such as the Gold Museum, which features ancient indigenous figures and other gold artifacts, or the National Museum, which features indigenous artifacts and Colombian art from various periods. For those interested in literature and performing arts, Bogotá also has a thriving theatre scene and a yearly book fair of international stature.
For those looking to dive into the local culture, Bogotá has unique picturesque neighborhoods such as Usaquen or the Candelaria colonial section. The city also features plenty of parks and green spaces, where one can often find local theatre troupes performing, or simply sit back and enjoy watching bogotanos practicing outdoor sports, or walking their beloved dogs. Finally, Bogotá features a vibrant night life and multiple commercial venues for food and shopping.
This post was written by Juan Pablo Melo, Co-Author and half of the traveling couple behind www.CoupleTakes.com.