What advice would you give to someone who is moving to Bogotu00e1?

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquiru00e1 facts

First of all, welcome to Bogotu00e1.

You are in for a treat.

In my humble opinion, u201cthe Athens of South Americau201d is one of the absolutely unmissable Latin-American cities.

,So, since I was born and raised here (excepting the 8 years I lived in the US), I think I can give you some advice now that youu2019re moving here.

,Advice #1: Bogotu00e1 is a capital city of just over 8 million people (estimated 2017 population of 8,080,734) , ranking it just in terms of the number of people to be reasonably similar to New York City (estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673) , and (Greater) London (estimated 2016 population of 8,787,892) .

So, thatu2019s point one: it is a populous city.

In fact, it is the fifth most populous city in the Americas .

,In terms of the population density, it goes like this:,New York City: 10,756 inhabitants per square kilometre.

(28,053/sq mi).

,Bogotu00e1: 4,146 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,738/sq mi).

,London: 1,510 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,900/sq mi).

,Therefore, not only is Bogotu00e1 a populous city - it is a crowded city.

,So advice number one is this: while Bogotu00e1 is not as densely populated as New York City, still be prepared for crowded public places, a crowded transportation system, and queues/lines to do everything.

Advice #2: Bogotu00e1 is also a big city, with an area bigger than both London and New York City.

,Bogotu00e1 (City Area): 1,587 kmu00b2 (613 sq mi).

,London (Greater London Area): 1,572 kmu00b2(607 sq mi).

,New York City: 784 kmu00b2 (302.

6 sq mi).

,So be prepared for long commutes if youu2019re going around town.

On an average day a trip from Engativu00e1 (the locality where I live) to the centre of the city could be from 90 to 120 minutes by bus at rush hour (less by Transmilenio).

There is no subway, so the main public transport in town is Transmilenio (rapid bus system, as of 2017 COP $2200 per one-way ride, including all transfers) and SITP (bus system, as of 2017 COP $2000 for a one-way ride with COP $300 transfers) .

There is no daily/weekly/monthly ticket that allows for unlimited rides, and the only way to ride is to buy a SITP card at the station and put however much money you want in it, taking into account how much you want to travel and the cost of each one-way ride.

The roadways are mostly modern but get narrower outside the main roads, which causes truly horrendous traffic, even in the biggest roads:,So, as someone pointed out in the comments, you are probably better off living close to work or school because if youu2019re like me, the chronically-congested city of Bogotu00e1 will very soon drive you up the wall if you have to commute long distances (as Iu2019ve had to).

,Advice #3: Bogotu00e1 is the third highest capital in the world (after La Paz, and Quito) situated at 2,640 meters (8,660 feet) above sea level.

So, if you have never lived in a city like this, be prepared to feel a bit breathless the first couple of days as your body adjusts to the altitude.

If, beyond the first few days, you keep feeling fatigue, a headache, and even chest pain, though, this might be cause to visit a doctor as they might be symptoms of altitude sickness or of high-altitude pulmonary edema .

Advice #4: It rains about 181 days every year (Thatu2019s about a 50% chance of rain every day).

So ALWAYS, and I mean always, have an umbrella with you.

Other than that, the weather is pretty mild (7u201320 u00b0C / 45u201367 u00b0F, with a daily mean of 14 u00b0C/57 u00b0F).

Bogotu00e1 is fairly close to the equator, so there are no actual seasons, other than times of the year in which itu2019s rainier (April, May, and October) and drier (December, January, July and August), and the temperature doesnu2019t significantly vary year-round.

Neither does the time of sunrise or sunset (About 6 AM and 6 PM).

,Advice #5: Make a list of touristy places to visit.

You can do them in like two weeks.

I think it can help you settle into the city because youu2019ll have to get around, walk, and get to know people.

My top 10 are these (in no particular order):,Monserrate (Bogotu00e1u2019s highest hill, it will give you a GORGEOUS view of the entire city.

Last time I went, the fee for the cable-car or funicular was COP $20000 round-trip).

,National Museum of Colombia.

,Gold Museum.

,Botanic Gardens.

,Simu00f3n Bolu00edvar Park.

,Downtown Bogotu00e1 - Nariu00f1o (Presidential) Palace, Congress, Catedral Primada, Plaza de Bolu00edvar, artisanal shops.

There is a tour on streetcar.

,Botero Art Museum,Barrio La Candelaria: Amazing colonial architecture.

,Usaquu00e9n: Lovely shopping malls (Hacienda Santa Bu00e1rbara and Unicentro), nice park, artisanal shops.

,Parque de la 93: LOTS and LOTS of good restaurants and bars close by.

,BONUS: Catedral de Sal de Zipaquiru00e1 (Salt Cathedral) + Train Tour to the towns of Zipaquiru00e1 and Cajicu00e1.

Leaves from Usaquu00e9n train station.

,(EDIT) BONUS #2: Parque Nacional.

,Advice #6: Always mind your belongings, and have them close to you.

Especially in public transportation.

You wouldnu2019t believe how easy it is here for someone to steal something without you noticing.

It helps to carry your backpack/handbag in front of you, rather than at your side or on your back.

And try not to use your phone/tablet in public transportation or on the streets, unless itu2019s really, really important.

The only other piece of advice about safety is to forgo travelling with anything valuable (laptop, tablet, large sums of money, ostentatious jewellry), unless completely necessary, and to avoid talking loudly in a foreign language (thieves are likely to see foreigners as rich, so, they could target you).

,Advice #7: In terms of taxis, I have found it very useful to have an app like Tappsi , Easy Taxi , Taxis Libres or, of course, Uber .

They can get you out of trouble if youu2019re running late and no cabs are coming by or are full.

Theyu2019re also probably safer than hailing a cab on the street, and have fare calculators that help you make sure the driver is charging you the right amount.

,Advice #8: Be aware that free, open, non-password protected Wi-Fi Hotspots are less common here than you might be used to, though the city in general has great access to high-speed Internet.

So itu2019s a good precaution to always have phone data.

(In my opinion, Claro is probably the best Latin American cell-phone carrier).

,Advice #9: Lots of houses and apartments have a washing machine, but not many have the space for a dryer, and clothes here are usually hanged to dry (takes about 2u20133 days).

,Advice #10: If you have any questions about Bogotu00e1, you can always message me (I was born and raised here), but if you donu2019t want to, Colombians are usually very warm and helpful.

So, if nothing else, just ask.

There are very friendly people all over the place.

,(UPDATED) Advice #11: If you donu2019t speak Spanish, you are going to have to learn it.

After all, this is the country with the third highest population of Spanish speakers in the world.

And unfortunately, only about 1u20132% of people here speak English fluently.

I canu2019t think of anything else now.

,If you need anything else, just ask.

Salt Cathedral Colombia history

Definetely Villa de Leyva, Zipaquira, and Raquira.

Villa de Leyva preserves its colonial arquitecture and offers a great variety of activities, Zipaquira preserves some colonial arquitecture + you can visit the Salt Cathedral(their main attraction), Raquira is knwon as the city of pots, because of their fine pottery work.

.

.

.

.

.

Guatavita could also be an interesting destination if you are interested in pre-colonial history, the ceremonies that used to take place there gave origin to the El Dorado legend.

.

Anyways, there are many small towns and cities worth visiting but those are some that I consider a must.

Cathedral in Colombia

Not obnoxious, but downright dumb, things:,Windsor Castle is about 5 miles from Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest international airports in the World.

A lot of wide-bodied, heavy planes fly over on approach.

When the fourth plane roared overhead, the woman turned to her partner and said:,u201cWhat a dumb place to build a castle!u201d Her partner agreed.

Everyone else fell about laughing!,Emerging from a formal Latin sung Mass with all the trappings in a salt cathedral in Colombia, a young American woman complained to her companion:,u201cI LOVED the costumes and the music, but I didnu2019t understand the plot at all! And there was no popcorn!u201dI want to believe she was being ironic, but irony isnu2019t a feature of American humour!

Salt Cathedral tickets

First of all, welcome to Bogotu00e1.

You are in for a treat.

In my humble opinion, u201cthe Athens of South Americau201d is one of the absolutely unmissable Latin-American cities.

,So, since I was born and raised here (excepting the 8 years I lived in the US), I think I can give you some advice now that youu2019re moving here.

,Advice #1: Bogotu00e1 is a capital city of just over 8 million people (estimated 2017 population of 8,080,734) , ranking it just in terms of the number of people to be reasonably similar to New York City (estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673) , and (Greater) London (estimated 2016 population of 8,787,892) .

So, thatu2019s point one: it is a populous city.

In fact, it is the fifth most populous city in the Americas .

,In terms of the population density, it goes like this:,New York City: 10,756 inhabitants per square kilometre.

(28,053/sq mi).

,Bogotu00e1: 4,146 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,738/sq mi).

,London: 1,510 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,900/sq mi).

,Therefore, not only is Bogotu00e1 a populous city - it is a crowded city.

,So advice number one is this: while Bogotu00e1 is not as densely populated as New York City, still be prepared for crowded public places, a crowded transportation system, and queues/lines to do everything.

Advice #2: Bogotu00e1 is also a big city, with an area bigger than both London and New York City.

,Bogotu00e1 (City Area): 1,587 kmu00b2 (613 sq mi).

,London (Greater London Area): 1,572 kmu00b2(607 sq mi).

,New York City: 784 kmu00b2 (302.

6 sq mi).

,So be prepared for long commutes if youu2019re going around town.

On an average day a trip from Engativu00e1 (the locality where I live) to the centre of the city could be from 90 to 120 minutes by bus at rush hour (less by Transmilenio).

There is no subway, so the main public transport in town is Transmilenio (rapid bus system, as of 2017 COP $2200 per one-way ride, including all transfers) and SITP (bus system, as of 2017 COP $2000 for a one-way ride with COP $300 transfers) .

There is no daily/weekly/monthly ticket that allows for unlimited rides, and the only way to ride is to buy a SITP card at the station and put however much money you want in it, taking into account how much you want to travel and the cost of each one-way ride.

The roadways are mostly modern but get narrower outside the main roads, which causes truly horrendous traffic, even in the biggest roads:,So, as someone pointed out in the comments, you are probably better off living close to work or school because if youu2019re like me, the chronically-congested city of Bogotu00e1 will very soon drive you up the wall if you have to commute long distances (as Iu2019ve had to).

,Advice #3: Bogotu00e1 is the third highest capital in the world (after La Paz, and Quito) situated at 2,640 meters (8,660 feet) above sea level.

So, if you have never lived in a city like this, be prepared to feel a bit breathless the first couple of days as your body adjusts to the altitude.

If, beyond the first few days, you keep feeling fatigue, a headache, and even chest pain, though, this might be cause to visit a doctor as they might be symptoms of altitude sickness or of high-altitude pulmonary edema .

Advice #4: It rains about 181 days every year (Thatu2019s about a 50% chance of rain every day).

So ALWAYS, and I mean always, have an umbrella with you.

Other than that, the weather is pretty mild (7u201320 u00b0C / 45u201367 u00b0F, with a daily mean of 14 u00b0C/57 u00b0F).

Bogotu00e1 is fairly close to the equator, so there are no actual seasons, other than times of the year in which itu2019s rainier (April, May, and October) and drier (December, January, July and August), and the temperature doesnu2019t significantly vary year-round.

Neither does the time of sunrise or sunset (About 6 AM and 6 PM).

,Advice #5: Make a list of touristy places to visit.

You can do them in like two weeks.

I think it can help you settle into the city because youu2019ll have to get around, walk, and get to know people.

My top 10 are these (in no particular order):,Monserrate (Bogotu00e1u2019s highest hill, it will give you a GORGEOUS view of the entire city.

Last time I went, the fee for the cable-car or funicular was COP $20000 round-trip).

,National Museum of Colombia.

,Gold Museum.

,Botanic Gardens.

,Simu00f3n Bolu00edvar Park.

,Downtown Bogotu00e1 - Nariu00f1o (Presidential) Palace, Congress, Catedral Primada, Plaza de Bolu00edvar, artisanal shops.

There is a tour on streetcar.

,Botero Art Museum,Barrio La Candelaria: Amazing colonial architecture.

,Usaquu00e9n: Lovely shopping malls (Hacienda Santa Bu00e1rbara and Unicentro), nice park, artisanal shops.

,Parque de la 93: LOTS and LOTS of good restaurants and bars close by.

,BONUS: Catedral de Sal de Zipaquiru00e1 (Salt Cathedral) + Train Tour to the towns of Zipaquiru00e1 and Cajicu00e1.

Leaves from Usaquu00e9n train station.

,(EDIT) BONUS #2: Parque Nacional.

,Advice #6: Always mind your belongings, and have them close to you.

Especially in public transportation.

You wouldnu2019t believe how easy it is here for someone to steal something without you noticing.

It helps to carry your backpack/handbag in front of you, rather than at your side or on your back.

And try not to use your phone/tablet in public transportation or on the streets, unless itu2019s really, really important.

The only other piece of advice about safety is to forgo travelling with anything valuable (laptop, tablet, large sums of money, ostentatious jewellry), unless completely necessary, and to avoid talking loudly in a foreign language (thieves are likely to see foreigners as rich, so, they could target you).

,Advice #7: In terms of taxis, I have found it very useful to have an app like Tappsi , Easy Taxi , Taxis Libres or, of course, Uber .

They can get you out of trouble if youu2019re running late and no cabs are coming by or are full.

Theyu2019re also probably safer than hailing a cab on the street, and have fare calculators that help you make sure the driver is charging you the right amount.

,Advice #8: Be aware that free, open, non-password protected Wi-Fi Hotspots are less common here than you might be used to, though the city in general has great access to high-speed Internet.

So itu2019s a good precaution to always have phone data.

(In my opinion, Claro is probably the best Latin American cell-phone carrier).

,Advice #9: Lots of houses and apartments have a washing machine, but not many have the space for a dryer, and clothes here are usually hanged to dry (takes about 2u20133 days).

,Advice #10: If you have any questions about Bogotu00e1, you can always message me (I was born and raised here), but if you donu2019t want to, Colombians are usually very warm and helpful.

So, if nothing else, just ask.

There are very friendly people all over the place.

,(UPDATED) Advice #11: If you donu2019t speak Spanish, you are going to have to learn it.

After all, this is the country with the third highest population of Spanish speakers in the world.

And unfortunately, only about 1u20132% of people here speak English fluently.

I canu2019t think of anything else now.

,If you need anything else, just ask.

Salt cathedral of zipaquiru00e1 in spanish

I found that everywhere in Colombia, people are very friendly, but even more so if you are introduced by a mutual friend.

I recommend looking up the Expat community in various Facebook groups to get connected to some people and then they can introduce you to some local people.

,The restaurants and night life in Bogotu00e1 are really good.

I recommend always taking Uberu2019s instead of regular Taxiu2019s there as I had some bad experiences with almost every regular Taxi I took.

,I am not sure what your reason for going is but stay away from prostitution and drugs because it is very frowned upon by locals for obvious reasons.

There is a problem with sex tourism in Colombia.

Donu2019t bring up Pablo Escobar or other political issues unless you know the person well.

This applies less to Bogotu00e1 than Medellin but I would not bring this up on my own.

,I found that Medellin had much more slang and words that would get you in with the locals but Iu2019m not to sure about Bogotu00e1.

If you know some basic Spanish you will be fine, there are more english speakers there than in other parts of Colombia.

,I highly recommend you check out the Salt Cathedral.

I took an uber there and spent $50 US total for transportation and entrance;,Salt Cathedral, Zipaquira - TripAdvisorEdit: Spelling/grammar