Most budget establishments are located in La Candelaria and El Centro, near the majority of the city's attractions. La Candelaria is relatively safe and a good place to stay if your budget is rock bottom and you want to save time and money on getting around. However, everything seems to close down when the sun sets; the nightlife that does exist here tends to be slightly bohemian and student-centered. You're best to avoid accommodations in El Centro, as this area can be loud and unpleasant at night. If you're intent on staying here, though, the Tequendama Inter-Continental, Carrera 10 no. 26-21 (tel. 1/382-2900 or 382-2929) is your best option in the city center.
Note: Colombian hotels use the New Year's holiday as an excuse to raise their rates by up to 10%.
In La Candelaria
You have a few decent budget options in La Candelaria. Hotel Dorantes, Calle 13 no. 5-07 (tel. 1/341-5365; COL$50,000; AE, DC, MC, V) which could use a bit of renovating, offers 30 rooms ranging from tiny to large, some with good views of La Candelaria. All rooms have cable TV, rustic but clean bathrooms (with hot water), and old wooden furniture. Though not particularly attractive, rooms are clean and comfortable.
In North Bogotá
Ever since multinationals started moving in by the droves a few years ago, four- and five-star hotels in Bogotá are often booked at full capacity, and despite the seemingly endless selection of high-end lodging, finding a hotel in the northern part of town is no easy feat. I suggest booking at least 15 to 30 days in advance and calling a few days before arrival to confirm your reservation; guests have sometimes shown up only to discover the hotel is overbooked and they've been moved to another nearby hotel. Tip: Hotels in north Bogotá are business-oriented, so they often drop their rates (by as much as half) on weekends -- be sure to ask about special deals.
Aside from the hotels listed below, the Charleston, Carrera 13 no. 85-46 (tel. 1/257-1100), is a pleasant, modern, business-oriented choice in La Zona T. In the Centro Financiero, the Rosales Plaza, Calle 71A no. 5-47 (tel. 1/321-5917), is a smart, bright hotel, and Hoteles América, Calle 6 no. 8-23 (tel. 1/249-4618), which has an excellent location near the Centro Financiero and La Zona G, is currently being remodeled in order to obtain a four-star rating. Bogotá has plenty of upscale options and hostel options, but when it comes to midrange hotels, the options are lacking. However, Hotel Casona del Patio Amarillo, Carrera 8 no. 9-24 (tel. 1/212-8805; www.lacasonadelpatio.net), is a pleasant bed-and-breakfast with rates starting at about COL$120,000 per night. Perhaps your cheapest option in the North is the Chapinorte Hostal, a 10-minute walk from the Zona T and about 15-minute taxi ride from the city center. The hostel is as plain as it gets: rooms are tiny, bathrooms are shared, and you'll have to rent a towel for COL$2,000, but singles start at COL$40,000 and the location is relatively safe.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.