Most hostels and budget establishments are located in La Candelaria and El Centro, near the majority of the city’s attractions, while large international chains and trendy boutique hotels tend to cluster in the northern half of the city, closer to the best shopping and restaurants. Note: Colombian hotels use the New Year’s holiday as an excuse to raise their rates by up to 10%.
In La Candelaria
La Candelaria is relatively safe and a good place to stay if your budget is tight and you want to save time and money on getting around. Many of the city’s best museums and cultural attractions are here, as well as some of the most historic architecture, which is reflected in the hotels here. However, everything seems to close down when the sun sets; the nightlife that does exist here tends to be slightly bohemian and student-centered. Avoid accommodations in El Centro, because this area can be loud and unpleasant at night.
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 here, Hotel Casona del Patio Amarillo, Carrera 8 no. 9–24 (www.lacasonadelpatio.net; tel. 1/212-8805), is a pleasant bed-and-breakfast with rates starting at about COP$188,000 per night. One of the cheapest options in the North is the unpretentious Chapinorte Hostal (www.chapinortehostelbogota.com), a 10-minute walk from Zona T and about a 15-minute taxi ride from the city center. The hostel is as simple and plain as it gets: Rooms are tiny, bathrooms are shared, and you’ll have to rent a towel for COP$2,000, but doubles start at COP$88,000 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.