Complete Guide to Visit Colombia and have Cheap Meal

It must be said that Colombia in general is a country whose diversity of beaches, botanical gardens and the beauty of the landscapes leave you practically speechless. It is a country where it is good to recharge your batteries, escape and immerse yourself in its history. However, it should not be forgotten that this Latin American country responds to certain rules of good manners and practices that it is useful to adopt when you are visiting. Here is a small guide of things to do and not to do when you go to Colombia.

When we go to Colombia: Do’s

Swap with Colombians. How important and pleasant it is to communicate with the locals. Not only will they give you useful leads and good addresses for your stay, but they will also introduce you to flavors and customs you never knew existed. So accept their famous “tinto”, a black coffee from chez noir, made with the best seeds from Colombia, to which you can add sugar. Don’t refuse either a small Aguardiente, a small liqueur with an anise flavor and sugar cane. A pure delight.

Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia: Casa San Agustin

Negotiate prices. Like Morocco or other small towns where traditional markets fluctuate, it is not unusual to discuss prices in order to get away with it and especially not to be fooled. Especially if you find the same product elsewhere.

Get out of town. Colombia is big and, of course, you won’t have time to see everything. But don’t confine yourself to just one city, no matter how pretty. If you are in Medellín for example, do not hesitate to drive to Guatapé, located only two hours away. A colorful village that represents a perfect restful stopover to brighten up your stay and ideal for discovering Colombia in a different way in order to get off the beaten track. You can also discover Santa Marta in Colombia, a seaside town that is well worth the detour.
Or sleep ? At the Hotel Don Pepe, a charming boutique hotel that combines history, tradition, luxury and design. 5 stars on the clock, the Don Pepe occupies a carefully restored colonial mansion. Located near one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean, just 150 meters from the beach, and surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it offers luxurious accommodation, fine dining and friendly, efficient service in a charming, heritage setting.
Learn more about Hotel Don Pepe in Santa Marta.
Book this hotel

When we Don’t go to Colombia:

Criticize religion. Especially Catholicism. Colombians take this Christian belief very seriously and it would be very frowned upon to make jokes, openly criticize or denounce the religion in front of practitioners.

Talking or using drugs. Just because Colombia was once the biggest drug cartel doesn’t mean you can stereotypically joke about it or even worse try to use it. Trying to find it is something quite dangerous, even today.

Be tempted by street vendors. Not only are they mostly selling counterfeit items, but they are very likely to follow you down the street until you eventually end up buying one of their products. Watch without dwelling on it.

Fall from the top. If in France or in Europe in general, going topless on the beach is absolutely normal, this is not the case in Colombia. It’s pretty frowned upon to drop the top (for women) on any of the best beaches in Colombia. Please note that this does not mean that nudism is prohibited. Boca del Saco beach is indeed very popular with swimmers who do not wish to bother with a bathing suit, and the authorities of Santa Marta seem to be satisfied with this practice which attracts more and more tourists, without for might as well formalize the place as a nudist beach.


Andres DC

This restaurant is probably the most famous in Bogotá. Although the most famous place is in Chía, you can also find a place in the Zona T of the capital where you can try their meats. And above all enjoy its atmosphere!

Obviously their specialty is meat. For locals it is not a cheap restaurant, but despite being super famous, we did not find it expensive. Most of the meats cost about 40,000 COP (approximately €10). They are super reasonable prices! The attention, the atmosphere and the decoration are at the height of the food. Highly recommend!

The best ajiaco in the world

You cannot leave Bogotá without eating ajiaco . It is one of the star dishes of Bogotá gastronomy. And although you can eat it in almost any restaurant in the city, it is especially famous in this one. His name already says it! We don’t know if it will be the best in the world or not, but it is very good.

And the best thing is that it will only cost you 26,000 COP (approximately €6). Eating cheap in Bogotá sucks! And if you don’t want to eat ajiaco, the restaurant also offers other traditional options.

El Gato Gris , one of the best restaurants to eat cheap in Bogotá

This place, located in the historic center of the Colombian capital, is also quite internationally recognized. The place is very pretty, its vintage style captivates you and from the afternoon there are artists who perform live. Also the food is very good!

Regarding food, it has Colombian gastronomy options and also international dishes. Suitable for all tastes!


Vapiano is always an ideal option to eat well and cheaply in almost any city in the world. If you’ve read our blog a lot, you already know that we love the locations of this German chain of Italian cuisine restaurants . All over the planet they have cheap prices and Colombia is no exception. You can eat salads, pasta dishes, pizzas and rice dishes from €4. Given!

The place is located in the heart of Bogotá, in Zona T. So you will have no excuse!

Gaira Cumbia House

More than a cheap restaurant, it is an experience that you must live on your visit to Bogotá. This place is owned by Carlos Vives, one of the most recognized Colombian artists . We recommend that you go there for dinner, since at night there are always musical shows. And hopefully Carlos Vives will act!

The food is very good! It is not the cheapest in Bogotá , but it is not expensive either. We ordered a starter, two main courses and a dessert and it cost us approximately €35 . Of course, when there is a musical show you must pay the entrance separately. But totally worth it

Burger Bar by El Corral

This was one of the best surprises in our visit to Bogotá. Sleeping in Parque 93, we went out to dinner and found this gem. The place is similar to a Sports Bar, but all the food is delicious. Their specialty is hamburgers, although the nachos were tremendous!

Some nachos to share, a main for each one and two drinks ended up costing €26 . Not expensive considering its quality!

The Macarena Toy Store

This restaurant is quite an institution in the city. It is more famous for its decoration than for its food, although it is also good. If you travel to Bogotá with children, they will love it! And if you travel alone, too, since through its characters you will remember your childhood. The prices are similar to those of Andrés Carne de Res. There are cheaper options, but you pay for the experience. The menu is super extensive, so you won’t be short of options.

Santa Fe Cafe & Restaurant

If you want traditional Colombian food, this is one of the best restaurants in Bogotá. It is a house in the neighborhood of La Macarena that makes you feel very comfortable from the moment you enter. Its signature cuisine will leave you speechless. The prices are slightly higher than the previous options, but it is worth it for a special occasion.

Central Cevicheria

And finally, to end this post about the best restaurants to eat cheap in Bogotá , we wanted to mention this cevichería. They have several locations in the city, so it won’t be hard to find one. If you like ceviches, in this place you can eat very tasty ones for very little. For you to have a reference, a delicious shrimp ceviche will cost you approximately €5.

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