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The public transport par excellence in Bogota is the transmilenio, a network of articulated buses with their own lanes that connect the whole city at a low cost.
Get Around in Bogota by public transport
Moving around Bogotá is relatively easy both on foot and by transportation when one learns how the streets are organized in the city, since like big U.S. cities the streets do not have names, but numbers.
To understand how this works it is important to know that there are Streets, which are the “Calle” (Street) that run perpendicular to the mountain, and “Carreras”, which are the roads that run parallel to the mountain.
Therefore, when you want to go to a point, you have to move forward or backward depending on whether you are at a higher or lower number than you have to go.
It is important to keep in mind that in the southern sector of the city the enumeration of streets and carreras begins again, therefore if one goes to the south of Bogota on foot or by cab one will have to indicate to part of the street and carrera that one is going to the southern sector.
Get Around in Bogota by TransMilenio
The transmilenio (Third Millennium Mass Transit System) is kind of articulated bus that have the same operation as a subway, so it is the easiest way to move around in Bogota for tourists who want to travel by public transport.
You should use it at least once, to get more involved in local life, although all the local people will tell you that you better not use it because sometimes there are thefts and during rush hours it gets very crowded and you go like a sardine.
There are different TransMilenios that cover different routes in the city and in each station the traveler can find a map with the routes and connections of the TransMilenios.
At the final stations of the TransMilenium route there are what are called “feeders” which are other non-articulated buses, which finish arriving in some areas that the TransMilenium does not reach and enter at the same price as the TransMilenium ticket.
The TransMilenio ticket is bought at the ticket office of each station.
The tickets go with an electronic card and you can buy as many tickets as you want without them expiring.
It is important to keep in mind that during rush hours (first thing in the morning and from seven in the evening until nine at night) it is almost an adventure to take this type of transport, since there are a lot of people fighting to get in.
Get Around in Bogota by bus
In Bogotá there are different buses or adapted vans that cover the whole city.
Traveling in these types of vehicles is a little cheaper than the TransMilenio and one can get anywhere, but until one starts to get to know this capital a little better it is very easy to get lost.
It is also important to keep in mind that during rush hours there is a lot of traffic in the city and it can take more than half an hour to get around.
Get around in Bogota by cab / Uber
Moving around Bogotá by cab or Uber is the easiest way when you don’t know this great city. All cabs have a meter, but sometimes the tourist has to remind the driver to turn it on so they don’t make up the price later.
Cabs, compared to Europe, are not expensive but sometimes they lengthen the runs so they can charge more to travelers. (between 5000 and 10000COP – between $ 1,30 USD and $ 2,60).
To make sure they you are not cheated by the price, all cabs have to carry a card that indicates the equivalence of the number on the meter with the real price they have to charge, the passenger is entitled to be shown the card.
For taxis, in Colombia it is always recommended not to get into street taxis, so we recommend the Easy application (now belonging to Cabify) with which you can order legal taxis through their app
Rent a car in Bogotá (car rental or other vehicles)
Of course, if the tourist only wants to be in Bogota we do not recommend renting a car to move around the city, since driving in this great capital is quite chaotic if one is not used to it.
Even so, if the traveler wants to do it there is a wide range of companies that do it and you can book it to take you to the same airport. Some of these companies are:
- ABC rent a car: Calle 936 No. 49- 26, La Castellana.
- Milano rent a car: (571) 3819588
- Hertz: Avenida Caracas No. 28ª- 17.
Get Around in Bogota by Transmicable
Since 2018 Bogotá has been equipped with a Cable Car transport, similar to the one in Medellin. It has helped to open up the municipality of Ciudad Bolivar and boost its economy. The ticket costs 2600 Cop, and if you have the time, it is definitely worthwhile to try it.
Important Info : the Pico y Placa
It is important to know that if you rent a car in Bogotá there is a law known as the Pico y Placa.
This law indicates that vehicles finished with an even license plate may not circulate in the city on even days and odd days the other way around.
The restriction is only from Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
The fine for driving on a day when it is not the driver’s turn is quite high.
Read Also : How to get around in Colombia