As a large, diverse city, the variety of nightlife options in Bogota is unrivalled in Colombia. Whereas cities such as Cali and Medellin probably have the edge over the capital in terms of Latin music and salsa clubs, there are certainly a great deal more venues to choose from in Bogota.
In addition to its Latin offerings, the city also hosts a wide range of other bars and clubs which may be more familiar to international visitors. There are several areas where you will find cocktail bars and other plush venues, but the city also has a vibrant alternative scene too. Reggae, rock and other non-Latin music genres are significantly more popular in Bogota than elsewhere in the country, and the city regularly hosts gigs and concerts by famous international artists.
Bogota has a vibrant alternative scene, and rock, reggae and other non-Latin genres remain popular
Though nightlife is obviously far better at the weekends, Bogota’s bars and some clubs remain fairly lively during the week. This sets the capital apart from cities like Medellin, which are rather tranquil from Sunday to Wednesday. The main areas and some recommended entertainment venues are outlined below.
Parque del 93 in the north of the city has a collection of upmarket restaurants, designer stores and bars situated around a small central park. Located just behind the park is an area known as Zona T (sometimes referred to as Zona Rosa); a pedestrianized sector with a large number of high end clubs and bars. Many of these are open till late, and the streets remain lively round here till after 4am.
Zona T is a pedestrianized sector with a large number of high end clubs and bars
Recommended spots here include San Sebastian or El Sitio; both of which often have live music at the weekends. The nearby Hotel V also has live jazz and Cuban salsa nights on a regular basis. A few other popular venues are La Villa, which offers a free group salsa class on Thursdays, Salome Pagana and Galeria Café Libro, bigger salsa venues, and the trendier spots of Le Coq and Armando Records. You may wish to dress up fairly smart for some of these clubs, and expect to pay a reasonably large entrance fee (approximately 15,000 COP). For a more low-key option, try the Bogota Beer Company, a pub-like venue, serving locally brewed artisan beers.
This sector of Bogota is where many of the city’s tourist attractions are located. However, outside of these venues, the area is a bit run down; those seeking designer venues and cocktail bars would do better to head to Zona T or other more upmarket areas. The crowd in La Candelaria is comprised mainly of local artists and students (and, increasingly, backpackers) and the atmosphere is accordingly more bohemian and alternative.
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The crowd in La Candelaria is comprised mainly of local artists and students, and the atmosphere is more bohemian
Most of the spots here are small candle-lit bars, rock clubs and other intimate venues which sometimes feature live music by local groups. Quiebra Canto is a popular joint which plays a mixture of Latin and reggae, funk and rock music. It is cheap to get into and is particularly lively on Wednesday evenings. Live rock and jazz is available to aficionados at 6L6 between Thursday and Saturday evenings.
Beyond these two areas, there are a few other notable parts of the city:
Chia – a sector of growing nightlife activity, located slightly further out of town. Chia is also home to Andres Carne de Res; a kitschy spot frequently recommended by Colombians to foreign visitors.
Usaquen - a historic neighbourhood also housing several clubs and a number of bars.
La Calera – an area with several large clubs, though fewer bars and restaurants.
Zona M - At the other end of the city, near Carrera 4 with Calle 26/28, the La Macarena neighborhood hosts Zona M, a similar but slightly less upmarket version of Zona T.