Bogotanos love to have a great time, and they do have quite the enviable nightlife. If you are looking to dance, unwind after a long day of touring the city, and throw back a few beers, there are many options in Bogotá to satisfy your disco fever. Make sure you dress up, because the locals really go all out with their outfits on Friday and Saturday nights, and so should you.
Andrés Carne De Res seems to be the unanimous popular vote when you ask a Bogotano where the best place to go at night is. Though there is a newly built 3-floor one in the Zona-T, you should check out the original one, which is located in Chia, a municipality right outside of Bogotá to the north. The taxi ride back to Bogotá can be long, just to forewarn you.
The Bogotá Beer Company has many locations throughout the city, and is a nice place with loud music from the 80’s and 90’s. Palos de Moguer is a similar joint with several locations as well. The Bogotá Beer Company serves its own brew, which is produced in a distillery nearby, and Palos de Moguer serves the popular beer Colon. Both are great little bars, with indoor and heated-outdoor seating.
Parque de la 93, or 93 Park, is the hippest of all the bar and club areas. It is named because it is on the 93rd Street, or Calle 93, with Carrera 13. Around this small square park are many chic restaurants and bars, that all stay open late every night to receive the affluent and wealthy crowd that heads there.
Many of the trendier restaurants such as Balsamico has live artists and bands at night, and the atmosphere is perfect for unwinding after a long day, with good food and even better cocktails. Many other pubs and restaurants offer great music, such as, but not limited to: The Beer Station, Irish Pub, Rock Garden, and London Calling.
In addition to nightlife, there is always the feria in Bogotá, which is similar to a street fair or bazaar, though some are indoors. These can be found all over the city, and you can locate many special trinkets at a great price. This is the perfect place to buy your souvenirs, as the prices start low, and you can usually haggle it down a bit lower. My favorite things are the masks, but you can find key chains, jewelry, food products, and other gifts here, as well. The reason that I listed these ferias under ‘entertainment’ is because, many times, you can receive some sort of street entertainment or another as you pass through. For example, there is a fairly large street feria near the Torre Colpatria downtown every Friday evening, and as you pass different people with their wares for sale on rugs, you can catch jugglers, break dancers, and the human statues, all trying to get a bit of the money you had allocated to the event.
Chivas, such as the ones from ChivaRumba, used to be a form of transportation for families that lived in rural areas, such as on farms and plantations. On the weekends, you used to be able to see a chiva arrive in Bogotá with rolled up rugs on the roof, ready to sell the bananas that are hung from every possible place. These tackily-colored buses are usually seen in Bogotá only at nights, where they have been transformed into party buses, tacky colors still intact. You can grab a few tickets, or rent the entire chiva, and the driver will drive you around the city while pumping loud music and serving you rum or aguardiente.
I find Bogotá to be a very entertaining place anyway, so though I have listed only these few, there are many other things to do to keep entertained. Go to the cuentería and hear some comedy or stories, or you can visit the Jardin Botanico, if you gardens of beautiful flowers excite you. Personally, as a New Yorker, I appreciate the way drivers in Bogotá drive and find their sense of urgency entertaining, though driving seems to be one of the only activities where Bogotanos display a sense of urgency.