This article was written by  and originally appeared on the student-ran GLOCAL Experience blog. You can view the original article here, and make sure to keep up-to-date with the GLOCAL Experience for a greater insight into life as a GLOCAL student.

Note: The GLOCAL Consortium values our student and alumni communities enormously but it’s important to note that the content of the GLOCAL Experience website and social media accounts do not in any way represent the official view or position of the Consortium or any of the Consortium partner universities.

Bogotá is a bustling city with seven million habitants. The city is so large that it may take an hour to go from one point to another. Like all large cities, some areas might be more resident-friendly while some might be more complicated and dangerous. To help you decide on where to stay in Bogotá, GLOCAL V students shared their accommodation experiences around the city and penned their thoughts and tips to help you find your ideal accommodation in Bogotá!

Before we dive into accommodation options, it is important to keep in mind that the GLOCAL office, professors, and staff at the University of Los Andes are EXTREMELY friendly, efficient, and always willing to help. If you are looking for private accommodation on housing websites or Airbnb, remember to send your accommodation options to the GLOCAL professors in advance so that they can tell you whether the neighbourhood is safe.

City Center - CityU

CityU is the student accommodation that the GLOCAL office recommended students stay in due to its proximity to the university. I stayed in a four-person apartment with three other GLOCAL students. Below I will list the pros and cons of staying in CityU.

The biggest advantage of staying in CityU is its location. It took me 3-5 minutes to walk to the university, and since this year we had a 7 a.m. class and a 6 p.m. class on the same day, I could go back to my dorm to take a small nap. The traffic in Bogota is insane. Sometimes it takes half an hour to get an Uber, and then it takes forever to arrive at your destination during peak hours.

Another benefit of staying in CityU is its fantastic facilities. There are three buildings in CityU, and there are study rooms (individual seats and meeting rooms with whiteboards), game and TV rooms (you can borrow video games from the reception or watch a movie), a 24-hour gym, a painting room, a common kitchen, a barbecue area on the 20th floor (with great city view!), and tons of ping-pong and foosball tables. You can also invite friends over to study, have group meetings, cook, or watch movies!

The Amazing View of the University of Los Andes from the 30th Floor Study Room in CityU

Amazing view of the Universidad de Los Andes from the 30th floor study room


Barbecue Party in CityU with Great City View

GLOCAL V barbecue party in CityU with a great city view

However, there are also some drawbacks to living in CityU. First, the buildings are located in the city center, and the area is not that safe in the evening (especially the roundabout area close to the Las Aguas TransMilenio station). Some classes are in the evening, so it’s recommended to walk with other classmates and avoid wandering around alone on the streets.

Also, the apartments themselves are not as good as the common areas. The walls are really thin, so I could hear my flatmates opening the doors, cooking, using the microwave, or chatting in the kitchen area. One of my flatmates was also constantly bothered by the noises made by the neighbours upstairs. If you are a light sleeper, the noises can be really troublesome. The kitchen in the four-person apartment is also small. There’s only one electrical induction stove and a tiny fridge for four people, so it was quite inconvenient, but my flatmates and I managed to take turns cooking for all of us — or we would eat out, as restaurants in Bogota are a lot cheaper than in Europe.

This information was provided by SzuTung Chen.

City Center - International Student Housing

There are two main areas that I’d recommend you live in Bogotá, either by the University in Candeleria or up North in a place called Chapinero. Both areas have their positives and negatives. Chapinero has more cafes, bars, and restaurants but is further from the university. I lived near the university so I’ll go over that area first.

I initially lived in an international student house called Villa Verde, it’s very affordable (around €180 a month) and the house has about 12 rooms with students from around the world (mostly French students when I was there). The house is very fun, but the room I was in had no windows so I decided to move. But if you can get one of the other rooms, it’s a good option. The house is also only a 10-minute walk from the university. Below you can find a promotional picture for the boarding house.

Bogota City Center Villa Verde

The promotional flyer for the boarding house Villa Verde

Another similar house is called La Casa de Sol. One of our international classmates stayed there and recommended it. It’s a hostel during holidays, and a house for students (or working Colombians) during the semesters. The organization is called R10, and they have two more houses in La Candelaria. It’s a shared living room, with (mostly) shared kitchens and private rooms. It’s larger, with roughly 30 rooms, and tends to have more parties and social life, but during weekdays it is quiet after 11 p.m. Here is the link to their website to find more information.

After Villa Verde, I stayed in a housing unit called The Spot. I highly recommend this dorm over CityU. The bottom half is a hostel and the top half is apartments. They plan social events on the rooftop area. I paid €390 a month for a studio apartment, but there are cheaper options as well. Another similar option is a place called LivinX. Both have shared study areas and small private gyms, and are within walking distance from the university.

There are a fair amount of nice restaurants in Candeleria, but the neighborhood as a whole isn’t as safe as areas in the north. The main benefit of living here is that it’s close to the school. With the terrible traffic in Bogota, it’s a benefit being able to walk to class.

The area up north that I’d recommend is called Chapinero, and there are two specific neighborhoods within the area that I’d recommend. The first is Chapinero Alto, where there are a lot of cool bars and restaurants. Very close to that is a neighborhood called Rosales, which is a bit quieter and feels safer, but the people who live there are a bit older. These areas are more fun, but be wary that depending on traffic — it can take a while to get to the university. I’d recommend living as close to the main highway (closer to the mountain) as possible. The best way to find places is through Airbnb.

Both areas are nice, but neither is perfect. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out on LinkedIn. And finally, you can use this link to find the bars and restaurants in Bogota I recommend!

This information was provided by Spencer Long.



City Center - Airbnb

Bogotá is a very busy city, which is why it is so important that one finds accommodation that suits their expectations and offers a safe place to relax from the everyday life of the big city! I found my apartment through students from the previous cohort, which made the choice relatively easy, because they knew what my uni days would look like and could recommend something that was suitable to that lifestyle.

To start with, my apartment was located right in the centre of Bogota, just a 10min walk from UniAndes. This was one of the main reasons I chose this apartment: because I knew I would spend a substantial time at Uni, not only for classes, but also to meet for group work and to make use of the extensive free sports courses.

At the same time, one must mention that the centre of Bogota is not considered the safest, which is why one should not leave home after 8 p.m. (at least not by foot). I personally felt relatively safe during the day, but as soon as it got dark, the streets would get very empty and the general atmosphere did not feel the safest. However, I would not have wanted to change my location due to the proximity to uni and the very local lifestyle.

This information was provided by Ken Goigner.

Chapinero - Airbnb

During my semester in Bogota, I stayed in a wonderful flat in the Chapinero Alto neighbourhood. A GLOCAL friend and I discovered it on Airbnb and rented it together. The flat was in a secure neighbourhood with many trees, convenience stores close by, and a huge supermarket within a 10-minute walk. An Uber took just 13 minutes to get to the university (cost: £2-3.5).

For public transport, we had to walk for 10-12 minutes, and then take the TransMilenio bus, which took about 16 minutes to get to the station in front of the university (cost: £0.6). It was also central to the most popular areas for cafes, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, within a short Uber ride. The time to the airport was also a plus — just a 20–30-minute drive (cost: £4-6).

We spent around £420 per month in rent. I believe it was an excellent decision for us, since we could easily travel to practically everywhere we wanted to go, the neighbourhood was quite peaceful, we had lots of space, and we could occasionally entertain friends and relatives.

This information was provided by Alejandra Cruz.

Bogota Chapinero accommodation from AirbnbAirbnb accommodation in Chapinero. Photo credit: Airbnb.