Saturday, November 25, 2023
Medellin Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

Medellín, formally the Municipality of Medellín, is Colombia’s second-largest city and the seat of the Antioquia department. It is situated in the Aburrá Valley, a major section of South America’s Andes Mountains. As of 2014, the city has a population of 2.44 million people, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics. Medellín’s metropolitan region, which includes nine additional cities, is Colombia’s second-largest urban agglomeration in terms of population and economy, with about 3.7 million inhabitants.

In 1616, the Spaniard Francisco Herrera Campuzano established the “Saint Lawrence of Aburrá” (San Lorenzo de Aburrá) indigenous town (“poblado”) in the present-day El Poblado community. On November 2, 1675, Queen Consort Maria of Austria established the “Town of Our Lady of Candelaria of Medellín” (Villa de Nuestra Seora de la Candelaria de Medelln) in the Aná district, which now corresponds to the city’s heart (east-central zone), and initially refers to the territory as “Medellín.” The National Congress of the embryonic Republic of Gran Colombia, which included present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama, designated the city as the seat of the Department of Antioquia in 1826. Medellín became the capital of the Federal State of Antioquia after Colombia’s independence from Spain until 1888, with the promulgation of the Colombian Constitution of 1886. Medellín was a thriving economic city in the nineteenth century, initially selling gold and subsequently manufacturing and exporting coffee.

The city was formerly considered as the most dangerous in the world because to its association with the now-defunct Medellín Cartel. However, its murder rate has dropped by 95% and severe poverty has dropped by 66%, owing in part to a series of visionary mayors who drew out plans to merge the city’s poorest and most dangerous hillside areas into the city center in the valley below. Medellín is currently deemed safer than the top 50 US cities of Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, and New Orleans, according to the CCSPJP.

With the building of the Medellín Metro commuter train, liberalized development laws, increased security, and improved education, the city recovered economic vitality around the turn of the century. Overseas Development Institute researchers recognized the city as a forerunner of a post-Washington consensus “local growth state” model of economic development. The city is marketed globally as a tourism attraction and is deemed “adequate” by the GaWC to be a global metropolis.

The Medellín Metropolitan Area accounts for 67 percent of the GDP of the Department of Antioquia and 11 percent of Colombia’s economy. Medellín is significant in the area because of its universities, academies, business, industry, science, health services, flower-growing, festivals, and nightlife.

Medellín was named the world’s most inventive city in February 2013 by the Urban Land Institute, owing to recent improvements in politics, education, and social development. In the same year, Medellín was named the favorite corporate business destination in South America, and also received the Verónica Rudge Urbanism Award from Harvard University for the Urban Development Enterprise, owing largely to the city’s North-Western Integral Development Project. Colombia’s proposal to host UN-7th Habitat’s World Urban Forum in Medellín from April 5–11, 2014 was approved by the United Nations in September 2013.

According to Indra Sistemas’ most current report on the worldwide status of Smart Places, Medellín is one of the greatest cities to live in South America, sharing first position with Santiago de Chile, and ranking with Barcelona and Lisbon in Europe. Medellín was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2016. The goal of the award is to recognize and celebrate efforts to advance innovation in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.

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Medellin | Introduction

Medellin – Info Card

POPULATION : • Municipality 2,441,123
• Metro 3,731,447
FOUNDED :   November 2, 1616
LANGUAGE :  Spanish
AREA : • Municipality 380.64 km2 (146.97 sq mi)
• Metro 1,152 km2 (445 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  1,495 m (4,905 ft)
COORDINATES :  6°13′51″N 75°35′26″W

Tourism in Medellín

Medellín is Colombia’s second-biggest city. It is the capital of the Antioquia department and has a population of about 2 million people. It is located in a valley that runs south to north and is just a one-hour flight from Bogotá.

Medellín is a sprawling metropolis developed from north to south in the Aburrá valley and flanked on all sides by spectacular mountain ranges. The richer classes reside in El Poblado, a well-protected hillside enclave, as well as the more conventional suburban suburbs of Laureles and Envigado. This is a long way from the city’s core, where there is a lot of activity. The bustling markets and vibrant street life contribute significantly to the city’s allure. The city is home to a half-dozen institutions, which contribute to a thriving cultural and nightlife scene powered by thousands of young people from throughout the nation. Medellín is also the country’s biggest industrial city, with manufacturers producing everything from designer apparel to Toyota SUVs. The city’s northern hills are teeming with rural refugees fleeing the continuing civil conflict, and their creativity in forging a livelihood is inspiring. In order to earn a livelihood, people sell anything from crayons to guinea pigs to garden soil in bars.

As a relatively young city, the architecture has a noticeably modernist look, which corresponds to its citizens’ progressiveness. Medellín also boasts Colombia’s first (and only) Metro system. For foreign visitors, Medellín is likely best known for the Botero Museum, named after possibly the most renowned contemporary artist living today. It is also noted for its ideal environment, earning it the moniker “city of everlasting spring.”


Medellín is bordered by eight smaller towns that make up the Area Metropolitana, which has a population of over 3.5 million people. Bello, Itagu, Sabaneta, La Estrella, Caldas, Copacabana, Girardota, and Barbosa are among the other towns. Even though it is adjacent to several of the towns indicated above, Envigado does not belong to this administrative organization. Medellín is a genuine conglomeration of communities, and it is difficult to discern the boundaries between these municipalities. The valley of Rionegro, located east of Medellín, is bigger and higher in the mountains. This region is home to some of the city’s most prominent industries, recreational areas, and suburbs, as well as the International Airport.

Climate of Medellín

Medellín’s weather is so pleasant that it earned the nickname “City of Eternal Spring.” The average daily temperature is 22 °C (71°F), with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 °C (60o-85 °F). The humidity level is reasonable, in the 50-70 percent range. Because of its near to the equator, there is minimal seasonal change. Medellín keeps cold due to its high altitude and mild gloomy sky, with just a handful of hours of direct sunlight.

Because Medellín is situated in a tropical area, the lack of air conditioning in Medellín sometimes surprises foreign tourists. In downtown areas, air conditioning is employed. Fresh air comes from the mountains that encircle Medellín on all sides, providing the city with the ideal environment. The temperature at night is normally in the 10-15°C (50-60°F) range, depending on whether it is raining. Because of the ideal temperature, the majority of restaurants are open air, with no barriers.

Geography of Medellín

Medellín has a total area of 382 km2 (147 sq mi). It is divided into 16 comunas (districts), 5 corregimientos (townships), and 271 barrios. Medellín’s metropolitan area is located inside the Aburrá valley at a height of 1,500 meters (approximately 4921 feet) and is divided by the Medellín River (also known as Porce), which flows northward. The towns of Bello, Copacabana, Girardota, and Barbosa are located to the north of the valley. Itagü,Envigado, Sabaneta, La Estrella, and Caldas are located to the valley’s south.

Economy of Medellín

Medellín is a major business hub in Colombia. Its economy is headed by a large private-sector organization known as the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueo (Antioquian Enterprises Group). The organization was formerly known as the Sindicato Antioqueo (Antioquian Union), but after being misidentified as a labor union overseas, which inhibited its worldwide expansion for many years, a new official name was selected. It is represented by David Bojanini, CEO of Grupo Suramericana (a banking, asset management, and insurance conglomerate); Carlos Ignacio Gallego, CEO of Grupo Nutresa (food industry); José Alberto Velez, CEO of Cementos Argos (a multinational cement company); and Carlos Ral Yepes, CEO of Bancolombia. This conglomerate has a market valuation of around US $17 billion and employs over 80,000 Colombians.

This organization is also involved in other aspects of the city’s business and is a frequent trader on the Colombian stock market. Many national and global corporations have their headquarters in Medellín.

Steel, textiles, confections, food and beverage, agriculture (from its rural region), public services, chemical goods, medicines, refined oil, and flowers are the city’s primary economic products. Fashion is an important component of the city’s economy and culture. Colombiamoda, Latin America’s largest fashion show, is held in Medellín.

Aerolnea de Antioquia is headquartered on the grounds of Medelln’s Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport. The headquarters of West Caribbean Airways were located on the grounds of Olaya Herrera Airport. The city was the headquarters of ACES Colombia. Rionegro Airport serves as a hub for VivaColombia, Colombia’s sole low-cost airline. Fresita is a local ice cream and paleta producer.

How To Travel To Medellin

Get In - By plane

International Airport

José Mara Córdova International Airport (IATA:MDE), which is close by in the city of Rionegro, serves Medelln. There are direct international flights from Caracas, Lima, Panama, Quito, Curaçao, San José (Costa Rica), Miami, and Ft. Buenos Aires, Santiago, So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other locations are easily accessible from Fort Lauderdale, New York City, and Madrid.

American Airlines, Avianca, Copa Airlines, LAN, Spirit Airlines, Insel Air, and Satena are among the airlines that fly into this airport. In May 2012, VivaColombia, a brand-new low-cost carrier with a hub at this airport, began operations.

Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, San Andrés Islas, Santa Marta, and Pereira are often served by domestic aircraft. You may get a cab to transport you into the city. As of September 2015, a cab ride to Medellin from Rionegro International Airport costs 60,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) and takes around 45 minutes.

Combuses operates buses to downtown Medelln that drop you off outside the Nutibara hotel and close to the Parque Barrio metro station (9000 COP, one hour). From a cost perspective, taking the bus, metro, and walking from the airport may seem appealing, but depending on where you are heading in the city, it may take up to two hours in addition to the cost of another metro or bus ticket to get there. For not much additional money, groups of two or more may easily just take a cab.

Domestic Airport

With non-stop flights to 23 destinations, the nearby Olaya Herrera airport (IATA: EOH) is a tiny local airport that is particularly handy for domestic and regional travel. Airlines: Aerolnea de Antioquia (ADA), Satena, EasyFly, LAN (Merged with Aires). Also, Searca charter flights.

Get In - By Bus

The two bus terminals in Medelln (North and South) are run by the same business and have a single website. Mid-sized retail complexes are located on the grounds of both stations. Visit the website for a comprehensive list of the cities.

  • The North terminal is much larger and it is connected with Metro station Caribe and the rail system (Although passenger rail transport in Colombia is quite limited). It serves cities North and East of Medellín (Cartagena, Santa Marta and Bogotá included).
    • Bogotá: 9h30 – 55-60.000 COP with Bolivariano, Arauca and Magdalena (March 2016)
    • Guatape: 2h – 12-13.000 COP with Sotrasanvicente and Sotrapeñol (March 2016)
  • The South terminal is next door to the much smaller domestic airport (closestMetro station El Poblado but not within walking distance). Serves towns South (Manizales, Pereira, Cali).

Get In - By Car

From the four cardinal points, there are four roads that lead to Medelln. You may go west on the Autopista Medelln for 7-9 hours while enjoying the stunning countryside from Bogotá. Take Road 25 in the direction of Medelln from Pereira, Cali, and the south. Take Route 25 south to Medelln if travelling from the Atlantic coast (Cartagena, Barranquilla) (approx. 11 hours). Notably, there is no road that connects Colombia and Panama.

  • Trains are scarce and unreliable in Colombia. It is not possible to arrive in Medellín by boat.

How To Get Around In Medellin

The majority of Medelln’s infrastructure is grid-based. Carreras (streets) run parallel to the river from south to north and are abbreviated as Cr, Cra, K, kra, or Crs. The calles (also known as streets) travel from East to West and cross the Carreras. Calles are denoted by the letters C, Cll, or Cl. Avenidas, sometimes shortened to Av, are bigger, important streets. The Avenidas are numbered, although some also go by names that are more well known, such Avenida el Poblado or Avenida Oriental. In the district of El Poblado, there are a few streets with the name Transversales, which often refers to broad Carreras above the mountains. Transversal Intermedia, Inferior, and Superior are the most well-known. Diagonales and Circulares are also in the Laureles neighborhood.

Each address is made up of a string of numbers. For instance, Calle 50 # 65 – 8 denotes that the building is located on Calle 50, 8 meters from the intersection of Calle 65. (Carrera 65). Conventionally, Parque de Berrio, the most central location, is situated at the intersection of Calle 50 and Carrera 50.

Metro and Metroplus

Timetables : Monday through Saturday from 4:30AM to 11PM Sundays and holidays from 5AM to 10PM

Frequency Peak hours: trains every 5 min, non-peak every 7 min.

Fare : single ride 2,150 COP as of Jan 2016 (includes Metrocable transfers) The new touristic Metrocable line L costs 4,850 COP, from 9AM to 6PM

With the Metro system, you may get anywhere in the city easily and quickly. The Metropls (Bus extension to the Metro) and the Metrocable, a sky train or cable car that has transformed city transportation, are other options. While the station to the municipality of La Estrella is being built, the “southern extension” of the metro to Sabaneta opens in August 2012.

The new project will increase the system’s line length by 2 kilometres. On weekdays, trains operate from 5:00 to 23:00, while on weekends and holidays, they run from 7:00 to 22:00. Transfers between Metroplus Line 1 buses, trains, and cables are free, while single tickets cost 2,150 COP. The Metrocable’s Line L, which runs 4.5 kilometers into the mountains to the ecopark Arv, debuted in 2010 with a fare of 4,850 Colombian Pesos. At the Metrocable Kline’s Santo Domingo stop, transfers are possible.

32 stations made up the Metroplus network when it debuted in December 2011. consists of extended articulated buses with natural gas propulsion as a more ecologically friendly choice. They go on restricted streets and stop at secure stations. Only the Hospital stop provides a transfer to the Metro.

Taxis and Buses

Cheap and many taxis are available. Make sure the meters are used; they are in every cab. The minimal charge equals 4.600 COP. To ensure your safety, you should never hail a taxi on the street; instead, contact one over the phone. Hold on tight since the driving may be dangerous, as it is in most Latin American nations.

There is also the TuriBus, a cutting-edge bus that tours the city’s parks, lovely neighborhoods, and historic areas for only 15,000 COP. Although they cannot promise it, many of their guides are also fluent in English and would happily interpret for you.

Try taking the Circular Coonatra to go about the downtown area or nearby areas if you don’t want to use a taxi. The front and back of the buses are labelled with the different routes. These have a price tag of roughly 1400 COP and call for precise change.

Outdoor Escalators

With the help of this remarkable technology, disadvantaged residents may ascend mountains to get to their houses; the escalators reach a height similar to a 28-story skyscraper. The rides were inaugurated in December 2011. They are situated in the San Javier sector of the city’s west side, which may be a difficult region. The closest metro station, San Javier, is not reachable on foot from this location. Similar specimens, which were mainly used for show, may be seen in Bilbao, Spain, next to Portugalete, on the route to the Vizcaya Bridge, and on Monjuic Hill.

Car Rental

In Medelln, Colombia, you may want to consider renting a car to improve your trip. Visit Llano Grande, Santa Helena, El Peol, or Santa Fe de Antioquia in one day. The drive from Medelln to your day trip location offers breathtaking views as you ascend out of the city and into the neighboring mountains.

Scooter or motorbike rentals

Renting a scooter or motorbike/motorcycle is an enticing alternative to biking because many visitors to Medelln are discouraged from doing so by the city’s steep slopes. However, as of April 2016, there are just two businesses renting to visitors.


Given that many metropolitan districts are located amid hills, biking can be challenging. In the Laureles and Estadio neighborhoods, there is a brief bicycle route. There aren’t many places set up for parking bikes. Some main streets are shut down at night and on weekends for the well-liked Ciclovia, where you may safely ride a bike with many other people exercising.

Some portions of the city are safe for walking, while others are not. For advice, consult the “keep safe” section.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Medellin

The city is part of the Medelln Metropolitan Area, which includes 10 municipalities. Medelln is split into six zones, each of which is further subdivided into 16 communes. The communes are made up of neighborhoods and urban institutional districts. Medelln’s municipality has about 249 communities and five townships.


  • South-eastern: El Poblado communes.
  • South-western: Guayabal and Belén communes.
  • West-central: Laureles, La América and San Javier communes.
  • East-central: La Candelaria, Villa Hermosa and Buenos Aires communes.
  • North-western: Castilla, Doce de Octubre and Robledo communes.
  • North-eastern: Aranjuez, Manrique, Popular and Santa Cruz communes.
  • Corregimientos (townships): San Sebastián de Palmitas, San Cristóbal, Altavista, San Antonio de Prado and Santa Elena.

Prices in Medellin


Milk 1 liter $0.73
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.00
Cheese 0.5 kg $2.15
Apples 1 kg $1.80
Oranges 1 kg $1.10
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.78
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $8.60
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.52
Bread 1 piece $0.66
Water 1.5 l $0.95


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $15.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $30.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $4.10
Water 0.33 l $0.60
Cappuccino 1 cup $1.15
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $1.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.90
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.65
Coctail drink 1 drink $4.30


Cinema 2 tickets $7.00
Gym 1 month $42.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $4.20
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.07
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $1.55


Antibiotics 1 pack $4.00
Tampons 32 pieces $4.30
Deodorant 50 ml. $3.30
Shampoo 400 ml. $3.60
Toilet paper 4 rolls $1.80
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.20


Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $57.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $35.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $80.00
Leather shoes 1 $71.00


Gasoline 1 liter $0.73
Taxi Start $1.10
Taxi 1 km $0.50
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.65

Sights & Landmarks in Medellin


  • Pueblito Paisa is a reconstruction of a typical but tiny Antioquia village. It’s located on top of el Cerro Nutibara and has a pleasant view over the city. It’s within walking distance from the metrostation “Industriales,” but as the walk to the top requires hiking uphill for a while, visitors might find that a taxi ride is a smart choice.
  • Los Alumbrados, the Christmas lights decorating Medellín, make it the most beautiful Latin American city for the holidays. The lights stay put from the beginning of December to mid January. The most impressive parts are centered around the Rio Medellín at the ‘puente de Guayaquil’ and downtown. Large statues made of lights can be found throughout the city.
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral, which holds the record as one of the buildings in the world with the most bricks -over 1’1 million-, located along the Bolivar park in the city heart. Cra 48 calle 56. Metro station Prado.
  • The Junin pedestrian street is a cobbledstone street in downtown area from Colteger building to Bolivar’s park shows the history of city with Astor tea salon and Versalles salon.


  • The Parque de la bailarina I.C.R.C (Ballerina’s I.C.R.C. Park) Carrera 43 E between 7 and 9 street. Is a park located in El Poblado. You can find art that is made by artistic an cultural corporation Alas de mariposa since 2008, every month.
  • Parque de los Deseos (Park of wishes). The near Antioquia’s University, has an Indian context, beautifully emmarqued with the planetarium, and large display of science experiments. You can find free open air movies and discussions with film directors Saturdays at 7PM. Metro station Universidad.
  • Plaza de Cisneros (o de la luz – Plaza of Light). The is in the heart of the city, it borders some beautiful buildings from the 20’s, the EPM library, and a sector that was full of drugs and poverty many years ago, but is now a place to visit and have a great time. Metro station Alpujarra.
  • Also visit the Parque de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot park) for a Zen experience in the heart of town. Outdoor cafés, cultural activities. Metro station: Alpujarra or Cisneros.
  • Plazuela de San Ignacio depicts Colonial and Republican style buildings. This little plaza witnessed in 1803 the birthplace of the largest university in town. The main lecture hall or Paraninfo de la Universidad de Antioquia is still in use and available for public view, even though the University moved 45 years ago to a big campus 2 km. north. Cra 44 at calle 48. Metro station: Parque Berrío. Walk uphill 6 block east.
  • Parque Berrío is in the heart of town at the crossroads of Carrera 50 and Calle 50. Has the buildings of the Stock Exchange, Bank of the Republic, La Candelaria Church and the busiest metro station. It has the unofficial meetingplace for the locals -right at the sculpture of the ‘Fat Woman’ or ‘La Gorda de Botero’. Connects directly to Plaza Botero and Plazuela Nutibara. Metro station Parque Berrío.
  • The Parque del Periodista (journalist park) is a small square right in the center of the city. It is where the ‘bohemian’ and ‘alternative’ people meet. The bars play music varying from reggae and old salsa to alternative rock. You will find most of the people hanging outdoors instead of inside the bars. Metro station Parque Berrío.
  • Parque San Antonio is a large, newer development right downtown. Hosts a handcraft bazaar and an infamous sculpture of a fat dove, bombed by criminals a couple of decades ago during the hard times of violence. By request of the artist the piece of art has not been repaired. Metro station San Antonio.
  • The Parque de Boston is an attractive area that leads down to the main promenade La Playa where people can be found gathering at night to see street acts.
  • Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens), Calle 73 # 51 -298 (Metro station Universidad), +57 4 444-5500Mid-size gardens with a vast collection of orchids and many tropical flowers, plants and trees and a beautiful lake. Unfortunately no information is provided on the plants except for their name – thus, bring a smartphone for lookup up information on wikipedia if you are botanically curious. The covered area for display of flowers is an architectural marvel. The annual orchid exhibit every August is world class. Closed for one or two days each month for private events – check their website. Also has a purportedly good restaurant. Free except during the orchid exhibit.
  • Zoo (Zoologico Santa Fe), Ave Guayabal9AM-5PMAround 1,000 animals are displayed here. COP 8,000 adults, 4,000 kids.
  • Parque Juanes de la Paz is of limited touristic attraction since it has mostly sport courts and is in an under served neighborhood. With the help of the world famous singer work began in 2006 on a recreational park for the rehabilitation of the handicapped. The 68,000 square meter facility cost was around COP$11 billion, financed in part by the government of Medellín, it was completed in 2008.
  • The new Arví park in the eastern slopes of the valley, close to a beautiful dam. This park (free entrance) promotes ecotourism with well marked trails for hikers and mountain bikes, a picnic area, and a butterfly dome ($5000). To get to the park you can take the Metrocable L line ($4850, 20 min) which takes you over the tree tops into the park. Or take the Santa Elena bus ($3000) from Cra 42 & Calle 50 close to Parque Berrío.
  • Parque El Salado is in a beautiful natural setting on the mountain overlooking Envigado. There are good paths for walking. The main attraction is a short canopy tour/zip line with about five stops. (The complete is longer but the additional length is reserved for members). Take the Metro to Envigado and then take the connecting bus that goes to Parque El Salado. The bus ride itself is worth the trip as it winds its way through neighborhoods up the mountain with some great views along the way.


  • Ferrocarril de Antioquia – Old train station is a fine building at the corner of City Hall and the Governor’s Hall. Has a small exhibit area with free admission. Cra 52 # 43-31. Metro station Alpujarra.
  • EPM building also called the Intelligent building for its computerized self-control. An icon of contemporary architecture. Cra. 58 calle 42. Metro station Alpujarra.
  • Edificio Coltejer has been the symbol of the city for over 40 years, shaped as a threading needle for this textile company. Calle 52 cra 47 (Crossroads of La Playa Ave and Junín). Metro station Parque Berrio.


  • Prado neighborhood – formerly it was the wealthy neighbourhood of the city so many huge houses were built there. It still has some of these beautiful old houses, though it should be visited with caution as it’s near the center of the city. Metro station Prado.
  • El Poblado neighborhood – this upscale part of town is built in steep hills and has many modern buildings which complement the nearby Andes forest. Most of the trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants of Medellín are located in this neighborhood. Safe to walk around at any time. Recommended. Take metro to Poblado station and walk East on Calle 10 for approximately 1 km.
  • West of the Medellín river are the middle-class neighborhoods of LaurelesEstadio and Suramericana which are modern. Carrera 70 in Suramericana is where many of the best Salsa clubs are, and represent an excellent way to take a break from the trendiness of Zona Rosa and see some real Colombian dancing. The line B of the Metro runs along ‘Estadio’ near all major stadiums and sport facilities.

Things to do in Medellin


  • MetrocablesThere are two cable car extensions of the Metro: For the line K take the a metro train to Acevedo station and from there take the Metrocable up to Santo Domingo for a nice view over the city. The cablecar is included in your metroticket. Go during the day and walk around to see what working-class people live like. The area at the top sees tourists so there are little stands set up and people selling empanadas and other things. You can stop at a little bar and have a beer. Don’t stray too far or off the beaten path in this neighborhood, though. For those so inclined, there are young people that give tours waiting at the top wearing t-shirts that said “guia” (guide). Also recommended is taking the metrocable located at San Javier up to La Aurora (J line). Although there is nothing special to see or do at the top of the cable car route, the trip itself is longer and more interesting than the cable car that goes to Santo Domingo.
  • Stroll along lively Carabobo street, Carrera 52 in the heart of downtown, recently converted to pedestrian-only. Safer during daytime. Metro stations Parque BerrioSan Antonio or Alpujarra. Along the street see Plaza Botero (read under Museums) and also:
  • Basílica de la Candelaria built in 1767, a National Monument. Cra. 49 # 50-85, just off Carabobo.
  • Edificios Vásquez y Carré built at the turn of the XIX century by a French architect. Nowadays in public use, with stores, cafeterias, etc. Cra. 52 x calle 44.
  • La Veracruz colonial church, built in 1682. Cra 51 # 52-58.
  • Palacio Nacional Circa 1928, is now a large shopping mall. Styled with Romantic and Modern influence. Cra 52 # 48-45.
  • Turibus is a good option to get a general overview of the city. You can take it to many of the main tourist attractions for 17,000 COP. The tour lasts four hours and allows 20–30 minutes per stop for sight-seeing and photos. Turibus departs from the south side of Parque Poblado at 9AM and 1PM. You must return to the same bus after each stop, it is not a hop-on/hop-off service. Spanish is the only advertised language, however many times at least one guide speaks English and is happy to translate.
  • Another operator is Zorba, with interesting bilingual tours.


  • Medellín has a very active cultural life. There are four major theatres in town: Metropolitan Theatre, Pablo Tobon Uribe, Teatro de la Universidad de Medellín and Teatro EAFIT(page not updated since 2014). They offer a variety of Music concerts, Opera, Theater, Ballet and other events with international and local performers.
  • There are several good quality contemporary and classic theater companies, such as MatacandelasHora 25Pequeño TeatroOficina Central de los Sueños and Teatro Popular de Medellín. There is an annual Theater Festival held in the last week of August, organized by Medellín en Escena
  • The city sits to classical music orchestras: Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín and Orquesta de EAFIT. [www]
  • The annual opera program is held in September, organized by Prolírica de Antioquia. [www]
  • Go to the movies: most movies are projected in their original language with Spanish subtitles. For independent flicks try the Centro Colombo-Americano with downtown and El Poblado locations.Commercial movies are available at most shopping malls: Cine Colombia, Royal Films or Cinemark. Price is around 10,000 pesos (4-5 USD).
  • The Arepa: Medellín’s English Magazine is a resource guide while in the city. They also have a weekly radio show talking about the events in the city.


Medelln has several “unidades deportivas” – “sport units,” which are simply parks with athletic amenities like as soccer fields, basketball courts, swimming pools, and archery ranges. Most areas are free to enter (pools may charge a modest fee), but they are popular locations for residents as early as 6 a.m., so there may be some waiting time until a facility is available. As a historical aside, these facilities were built to keep prospective criminals off the streets, and the residents of Medelln welcomed them warmly.

  • Watch a soccer game at one of the two teams based in Medellín, Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín. Attending a home game at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium is recommended for any football – soccer fans, or those wanting to experience the famed South American passion for futbol! Games generally take place on Wednesdays and either Saturday or Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium. Metro station Estadio.
  • The neighboring town of Envigado also has a professional soccer team. Metro station Envigado.
  • The neighboring town of Itagüí also has a recently classified as professional soccer team.
  • The Juvenile Soccer World Cup was held in Colombia during July – August 2011 (Also called Under-20 by FIFA) with Medellín as one of its venues.
  • Try the new skateboarding track at Parque Ciudad del Rio. Opened July 2009, this colorful bowl-like ramps allow lots of fun for skaters and spectators. Metro station: Industriales.

Food & Restaurants In Medellin

Colombian cuisine is diverse and regional in nature. The more traditional meals are known as comida criolla.

Some examples include: sancocho de gallina (chicken soup), carne en polvo (ground beef), arepas de choclo (fresh corn tortillas), empanadas (meat-filled fried turnovers), ajiaco (Bogota’s chicken and potato soup), bandeja paisa, natilla, buuelos (fried cheese puffs), hojuelas (fried puff squares), rice with coconut, Antioquian beans (shredded meat).

In Medelln, a traditional breakfast consists of cooked corn arepas (flat unsweetened corn pancakes) topped with butter and fresh white cheese, coffee or hot cocoa.

The “Tipico Antioqueo” includes arepa con queso (little flatbreads with cheese on top), beans, chicken, rice, fried eggs, chicharron (salted and fried unsmoked bacon), and patacon (deep-fried plantain pancakes). A Colombian beer and a cup of “chocolatte” (called the Spanish way – it’s milky, sweet hot chocolate) completes the meal. Hatoviejo is a good spot to enjoy traditional cuisine.

There is a wide range of eateries throughout Medelln, with the greatest concentration in Poblado between Parque Poblado and Parque Lleras. Although there is a scarcity of true Greek, Indian, and Thai restaurants, you may find a fantastic selection of establishments serving any meal you wish at fairly low pricing compared to the US. Sushi is becoming more popular and may be found in larger malls or more “foreign” stores.

Colombia also boasts a wide array of delicious fruits. Guanábana, lulo, zapote, mamoncillo, uchuva, feijoa, granadilla, maracuyá, tomate de árbol, borojó, mamey, and tamarindo are a few examples. Request a “Salpicón”: a fruit salad marinated in orange or watermelon juice.

Medelln, like the rest of Colombia, is famous for its coffee. There are the normal chain eateries, as in any big city, but the American “fast-food culture” has not had a significant impact on the country. There are McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, and, most recently, Hooters.

El Poblado

  • HatoViejo (Local dishes), Calle 16 #28 – 60 Via Las Palmas (Across the street from Hotel Intercontinental),  +57 4 268 6811Great food for the last 30 years. Mostly meat, regional dishes. Decorated as an old farm. Also, outdoor areas, $$$.
  • Las Luisitas (Typical & Local), Carrera 37A No. 8A-50,  +57 4 311 5615 and 312 6064Simple and well done Colombian meals in this tiny place with lots of character. Prices used to be modest, now expensive. $$$.
  • La Provincia (Seafood & Italian), Calle 4 sur # 43 A – 179 (Near Oviedo shopping mall), +57 4 311 9630Mon-Sat Noon-3PM, 7PM – midnightExcellent food, well-prepared and well served. Closed Sundays. $$$.
  • San Jorge de Manila (Grill & Seafood), Carrera 43 B # 12 – 101 (Calle de la Buena Mesa, near El Poblado),  +57 4 312 3006Mon-Sat noon-3PM, 7PM-MidnightLunch menu available at discounted price. Closed Sundays. $$$.
  • Al Patio (Mexican – Seafood), Carrera 38 # 19 – 2- 65 (Carretera Las Palmas),  +57 4 2666 060Noon to 4AMRestaurant and Bar. Overlooks town, great outdoors. $$.
  • Herbario (Steak & Seafood), Carrera 43 D # 10 -30 (Near el parque El Poblado), +57 4 311 2537Mon-Sat Noon-3PM, 7PM-11:30PMShort and Exquisite menu. $$$.
  • Mystique (By Juan Pablo Valencia), Cra. 33 # 7 – 55 (El Poblado – Provenza, not far from Parque Lleras),  +57 4 311 8221+57 4 311 8221 (Mobile)Nicely prepared meals with option of 1 to 4 dishes in the Chef’s Menu. Nouvelle Cuisine at its best. A short menu with the options changing every 2 months. $$$.
  • Casa Molina (Eclectic cuisine), Calle 11a # 43b- 41 (Barrio Manila, El Poblado),  +57 4 266 1440By appointment only. Seafood and steaks. $$$.
  • Bijao (Latin food), Cra. 37 A # 8-66 (Parque Lleras, El Poblado),  +57 4 311 6294Noon-2:30PM, 7-11PM. Closed Sundays$$$.
  • LouCalen (Seafood & Steak), Calle 8 # 43 A 57 (One block south of Parque el Poblado),  +57 4 312 7614Spacious and elegant. $$$.
  • El Cielo (Molecular cuisine), Cra 40 No. 10A – 22 (El Poblado),  +57 4 268 3002Noon- 3PM, de 7-11PMMolecular cooking is a complex science, here you can sit down and enjoy it. Ignorance is bliss. $$$.
  • Anita’s (Cafe), Calle 4 sur No. 43-A 97 (Near Oviedo shopping mall and McDonald’s), +57 4 310 1770Bfast-LunchModern cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. Eggs any style, bacon or French toast. Sandwiches (ciabatta or baguette), salads (Caesar, tuna, Thai or Italian) as well as delicious coffee and fruit juices. $$.
  • Milagros (Mexican), Cra. 48 # 10 – 45 local 149 (Near Hotel Plaza Rosa),  +57 4 311 4216Authentic Mexican food. Basic wine list. $$.
  • La Fiambrería (Seasonal and Harvest), Cra 43 B # 8-52 (Parque el poblado, Southwest corner),  +57 4 311 5927Lunch and DinnerNice lunch menu for under 10,000 COP. Try the meat in a Bailey’s sauce. $$.
  • Bonuar (At the Museo de Arte Moderno), Carrera 44 Nº 19A-100 (Ciudad del Rio, on the side of the Museum). Great outdoors. Easy free parking $$.
  • Lion’s Den Sports Pub (American), Car. 36 No. 10-49 (Three blocks from Parque Lleras. Go up Calle 10 and turn left on Car. 36, we are 5 buildings down on the left),  +57 4 311 6079, e-mail: 5PM – midnight nightlyWatch NFL, college football, NBA, baseball, soccer and more international sports. Please call to see if we can get your game. Menu : Black bean nachos, chicken wings, burgers and sandwiches (grilled chicken, tuna salad, etc.). Multiple plasma/LCD/wide screen TVs. $$.
  • Verdeo (vegetarian), Carrera 35 # 8a-3,  +57 4 444 0934, e-mail: Lunch. Bakery. Salad bar. Cooking classes. $$.
  • El Café de Otraparte ((in Envigado)), Calle 27 Sur, 43A – 61, Envigado (adjacent to Casa Museo Otraparte, in Ave. El Poblado),  +57 4 302 42183PM – MidnightNext door to the museum. Open-air and open-minded café. $$.

Laureles, Suramericana, Estadio

  • Vitto’s (Trattoria Italiana), Calle 33 # 74 B – 310 (Ave. 33, 300 mts up from Bulerias Circle),  +57 4 411 7247Well done Italian food, home-made pasta. Great sauces. $$.
  • Zen Wei (Taiwanese), Calle 33 # 74B-240 (near Bulearias circle),  +57 4 412 8613Vegetarian buffet for lunch $.
  • Fenicia (Middle Eastern cuisine), Cra. 73 # circular 2 – 41 (Ave Jardin, Laureles),  +57 4 413 8566M-F noon to 8:30PM, Sundays/Holidays Noon-4PMMainly Lebanese dishes in this unpretentious restaurant. Good food. $$.
  • Hari Om (vegetarian), Carrera 66 B, Diagonal 4-7,  +57 4 3017931514Some vegetarian Indian dishes. $.
  • Salud PanCircular 4 # 70-78 (not far from Mondogo’s),  +57 4 411 6935Bakery, vegetarian, seeds, nuts, also gluten free food $$.
  • El Arbol de la Vida (vegetarian), Carrera 64 C # 48-188,  +57 4 230 2522Well served vegan dishes, low in salt – hey, the use of salt shaker is free –


  • VersallesCarrera 49 # 53-39 (Metrostations Parque Berrio or Prado),  +57 4 511 9147Restaurant along carrera Junin downtown has basic Argentinean fare at reasonable prices.
  • Moli (Vegetarian), Calle 54 # 47 – 105, local 132 (Centro comercial El Parque),  +57 4 231 5675Downtown location.
  • In situ restaurante (Jardín Botánico), Calle 73 # 51 D-14 (Metro Universidad),  +57 4 233 2373, e-mail: Reservations recommended. Nice restaurant located in the middle of the Botanical Gardens. The menu offers a combination of local food, some organic choices and all plates are well presented. Outside the restaurant there is a little garden with herbs and aromatic plants. $.
  • Restaurante VegetarianoCarrera 51 D # 67-30,  +57 4 583 8386Daily menu, burgers.
  • Agua Clara (Typical), Carrera 49 No. 52-141, 2nd floor (Metro station Parque Berrio), +57 4 231 6642lunchRegional food. $.
  • Lenteja Espress (vegetarian), Calle 53 # 42-17,  +57 4 239 5230Vegetarian burgers (Chickpeas and lentils), Mexican vegan, lasagnas. Also features a Poblado location at Carrera 35 # 8A-75 $.

Oriente - Eastern Suburbs

QueAreParaEnamorarte, Partidas para El Retiro (Crossroads of Las Palmas and road leading to El Retiro, near the dam), +57 4 542 0011, e-mail: [email protected]. At 40 km east of Medellín, great local food, old fashioned and homemade. $$.

Shopping In Medellin

Colombia is well-known for its coffee, and Medelln is only a few hours away from the country’s coffee-growing regions. You may get coffee in whatever flavor you can think of, from ice cream to arequipe (sweetened milk). The ‘Starbucks’ coffee culture is expanding, with Juan Valdez coffee shops being the most renowned brand. The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia owns the Juan Valdez chain, which distributes a range of Colombian coffees.

Aguardiente Antioqueo: Schnaps with a distinct taste, similar to black licorice.

Ron Medelln: Excellent local rum! The quality of this rum was raised to the maximum level in 2009, and the 8 and 12-year bottles make excellent gifts.

Despite its claim to be Colombia’s textile center, Medelln is not a shopper’s paradise for North American travelers, although pricing can be appealing to visitors from other latitudes. The big malls carry a limited selection of clothing (particularly men’s clothing) at somewhat discounted pricing from the US, however there are usually deals to be discovered if you seek hard enough. The fashion for ladies in Medelln is quite exposing and sensual, therefore it may be more suited for gift shopping rather than shopping for oneself. When planning your clothing shopping, keep in mind that the local temperature is fairly moderate, so your selections for winter and summer clothing are restricted. Via Primavera, near Parque Lleras, you can discover a little zone full of local young designer’s stores selling one-of-a-kind clothing that you won’t find anywhere else.


  • On the first Saturday of the month there is the Mercado de San Alejo, an open market right on Parque de Bolívar, hours: 8AM a 6PM A large variety of local handcrafts sold primarily by the artisans themselves. Right in the middle of Parque Lleras from Thursday to Sunday you may as well find some handcraft being sold.
  • Centro Artesanal mi viejo Pueblo. Cr 49 # 53-30. Phone +57 4 513 7563

Shopping Malls

  • El Tesoro Parque ComercialCra. 25A # 1A Sur – 45 / Loma El Tesoro con Transversal Superior (Access only by taxi or private car),  +57 4 32110109AM-11PM. A massive retail mall in an odd location: a very steep mountain atop a watercourse. There are several upmarket retailers, technology stores, and nice restaurants. El Tesoro is multilingual; they have an Information Center open daily from 14:00 to 21:30 where travelers may acquire any information in English. This service may also be accessed by dialing 321 10 10 ext 111-112. And, so that travelers may buy without difficulty, the mall created a pamphlet with all the phrases and expressions they need, in both English and Spanish. Inquire at the information desks.
  • Oviedo centro comercialAv El Poblado Cr 43 A # 6 S 15,  +57 4 311 6116. A large commercial center with hotels and restaurants nearby.
  • San Diego centro comercialCalle 33 No 43 16 (at the crossroad of Las Palmas, Avenida Oriental, Avenida San Diego and calle 33), +57 4 262 0105. The first shopping mall in Colombia, erected almost 30 years ago, is still a pleasant location to walk, eat, and, of course, buy. You will discover reasonable pricing for high-quality items.
  • Outlet Mayorca is directly connected to a Metro station and also has a movieplex. Metro Itagui.
  • Premium Plaza (Centro comercial), Carrera 43 A 30 – 25,  +57 34 448 70 71, e-mail: 10AM a 10PM. Premium Plaza is more than 115,000 square meters in size, with 1,427 free parking spaces, over 350 shops to choose from, entertainment, shopping, large financial services five banks, cinemas in 35mm and 3D formats, gym, amusement park, two meal squares, the city’s largest casino, and synthetic soccer courts.
  • Monterrey (Centro comercial), Avenida 62 (Carrera 48) x Calle 10. The Poblado metro station is about two blocks away. This mall is the place to go if you need a computer or a cell phone. There are several tiny stores selling a wide range of electrical equipment and accessories. This mall also has a 5-screen movie theater and a facility that provides good massages.
  • Santa Fe centro comercialCra 43 A # 7 sur – 170 (Av El Poblado & Loma los Balsos, 300 mts south of Oviedo),  +57 4 460 0737, e-mail: 10AM – 9PM, restaurants and Jumbo until 11PM. The town’s newest retail center opened in May 2010, with five stories of shopping, entertainment, cuisine, and more money.


The Colombian Peso is the native currency (COP). Bank notes are available in denominations ranging from 1,000 to 50,000 pesos. Coins are available in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos, with the release of a new batch of coins honoring endangered animal species beginning in 2012 (former set of coins is intended to circulate alongside the new one for a limited time, after which it will cease to be accepted). It is strongly advised to use precise change in cabs, as drivers rarely have the correct amount. Except at tourist-oriented establishments, US dollars and Euros are rarely utilized.

Credit and debit card use is common in Colombia, although not as ubiquitous as in wealthy nations.

ATM withdrawal limits: ATM withdrawals on foreign and local cards are severely limited. You may only be able to withdraw 1,2 million pesos each day, so plan on visiting the ATM frequently or looking for a more flexible restriction. There are five large international banks having local operations; if you have a card from one of these banks, your interest rates are generally cheaper (Citibank, HSBC, RBS, Santander and BBVA). Bancolombia is Colombia’s largest bank, with ATMs located throughout the country.

For safety reasons, it is strongly advised to avoid using ATMs placed on public streets. It is best to withdraw money from ATMs located within shopping malls. It is fairly uncommon for people to be followed out and robbed shortly after making a withdrawal, so avoid taking a cab right thereafter. Keep an eye out to ensure that you are not being followed. If you want to withdraw a large sum of money, you should request that the police accompany you (at no cost).

Festivals and events In Medellin

Fairs, Shows & Exhibits

  • Visit the city during the first days of August for the local festival “Feria de las flores” (Flowers festival). There are all kind of events during one week including the “Desfile de Silleteros” (Parade of flower carriers).
  • The new freshwater Aquarium inside the Parque Explora opened in December 2008 and depicts a great variety of river and freshwater wildlife, abundant in Colombia. It is probably one of the largest aquariums in Latin America, and certainly one of few specialized in freshwater fauna. Metro station Universidad.
  • Planetario Municipal,  +57 4 5168300. It was renewed with new digital equipment. Reopened in June 2012. See the outer space at the Planetarium for COL 12,000. Cra 52 # 71 – 112 at Parque de los Deseos. Metro station Universidad.
  • Medellín has one of the most important Poetry Festivals in the World. Every year, usually in July, poets from all around the world (including Nobel Prizes) come to this amazing event.
  • Full moon nightDo a visit to an old Cemetery (Cementerio de San Pedro) where former presidents and beautiful sculpted graveyards are found. Metro stations, Hospital or Universidad.
  • The Convention Center Plaza Mayor is the main site for big events including the fashion and textile industry related annual shows Colombiamoda (July) and ColombiaTex(January).
  • The Fourth International Tango Festival will convene with world renown artists. Free admission to all events. Every year in June.
  • Tangovia is a monthly street fair in the neighborhood of Manrique, with great tango performers (singers, groups, dancers and more). Calle 45 x Carrera 73.

Nightlife In Medellin

Local Drinks

  • Aguardiente – A popular alcoholic beverage in Colombia with sweet and licorice-flavored, made-up of sugarcane. The local brand is Aguardiente Antioqueño and it is usually drank straight followed by an ounce of water or slices of mango.
  • Ron – Rum is also popular with locals. The domestic brand is Ron Medellín Añejo aged either 3, 8, 12 or 30 years, typically served mixed with Club Soda, Coca-Cola or lemon juice.
  • Cerveza – Beer is available almost anywhere, the one most enjoyed by people is Pilsen a light golden, German Pilsener or Lager type of beer. Also admired by locals and foreigners is Club Colombia a finer premium beer, made-up of 100% malt. Other popular national beers include Aguila and Costena. A small company brews beer locally: Tres Cordilleras makes Wheat, American Pale and Amber Ales. Bogota Brewing Company operates a restaurant in the Poblado neighborhood with good craft beer at uncompetitive prices. Their bottled beers are available at bars and restaurants throughout the city.
  • Refajo – A kind of cocktail made by mixing beer and the local soft drink Colombiana. It is refreshing and a little sweet.
  • Cocteles – Due to the great variety of tropical fruits and its juices your imagination will be boundless when creating Cocktails in Medellín. Start with Lulo juice with vodka, or try the many recipes with passion fruit (Spanish: Maracuyá).

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the main days to party in Medellín; the rest of the week the mainstream nightlife isn’t really exciting. Bars close at 2AM, but you will find plenty of clubs that close at 4AM, and if you need to stay up later just look for the techno or electronica clubs.

Dance Clubs

  • BabylonBest known for its Thursday night all you can drink, 35,000 pesos to enter, OPEN UNTIL 4AM. Located in Las Palmas. It’s popular with gringos and ‘gringo hunters’.
  • El BlueA popular place with cross-over music (a mix of rock and local music). It’s popular with gringos and ‘gringo hunters’. Thursday is the night to go.
  • CircusA new venue with great views over Medellín. Very popular with the beautiful, in-crowd and normally plays cross-over music.
  • Cuchitril Club-BarCalle 10, #52-87The name translates as “hovel,” which can only be thought of as a tearm of endearment for this salsa club. It’s actually very nice inside, with decor somewhere between arabesque and neon plus chandeliers. There is a fair amount of room to dance, including a space on the wonderful courtyard patio/garden in the back. Sundays are the best nights, when all sorts of great salseros and salseras converge in this part of town for the party.
  • Eslabon Prendido (Salsa & Tropical), Calle 53, #42-55 (Maracaibo street) (Downtown, half block east of Parque del Periodista). Probably the most famous salsa club in the city, with live bands Tu Th (it’s more or less closed the rest of the week). The name of the place plays with words: Hot -or Burning- Link instead of Missing Link. It’s fairly small inside, but the dancing spills well into the street. There are tables inside, if you are looking to just watch, but they are claimed way before the party gets started. Its location downtown warrants some precaution. $.
  • MangosThe most famous of clubs here in Medellín and has a reputation of being visited by rich mafia-related Colombians but is also usually full of incredibly hot women (proceed with caution, some women are paid for). Also it is very very expensive at about $5 per beer and $25 for a small bottle of rum, Auto Pista Sur. OPEN TIL 4AM
  • Palmaia (Autopista Sur). The newest, biggest and arguably best club in Medellín and has a capacity of 3,000 people. Standard crossover music with a boxing ring for girl-fights!
  • RedOpposite El Blue, offers electronic music and local music.
  • Sabor Antillano (Salsa & Tropical music), Calle 38 sur # carrera 43. Envigado (Two blocks down from main plaza). A fun tiny place. Classic salsa with songs coming from vinyl. $$.
  • VIVA (Dance club), Calle 51 # 73 – 100 (Close to baseball stadium). Large 2-story dance club with mostly gay clientele $$.


There are a few bar districts. Foreigners like Parque Lleras in El Poblado because it is safer, more affluent, and has nicer crowds. The middle class congregates outside the Museo de Arte Moderno, which is located near the Carlos E Restrepo area, while the so-called Urban Tribes congregate nearby Parque del Periodista (downtown). Carrera 70 near Estadio, Carretera Las Palmas, and Avenida 33 in Laureles are other places with bars.

The area around Parque Lleras (la Zona Rosa) is densely populated with restaurants and bars and is ideal for people watching. It is open most evenings and is a must-see for anybody interested in Colombian nightlife. El Rojo and Basilica, the two major restaurants on the corner, are excellent for cuisine, drinks, and people watching. When prominent football matches are played, they may have live music or large screens.

Parque Lleras is intriguing every night of the week, however Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the busiest. Outside the municipal borders, there are places open until 6 or 7 a.m., usually electronic music clubs, because rules prohibit any bar from remaining open after 3 p.m. People, on the other hand, congregate in Parque Poblado till daybreak, drinking, smoking, and chatting. You may buy cigarettes, beer, and whatever else you want from street sellers until the last man stands.

La Strada, located just south of Parque Lleras on Aviendo El Poblado, offers a more upscale experience. There are various taverns, restaurants, and clubs in the center. La Strada has become a popular weekend getaway for Medelln’s more wealthy citizens. Drinks and food will be more expensive than in La Zona Rosa, and bars will close at 1 a.m.

Some venues may be found just outside Medelln in the nearby towns of Sabaneta, Envigado, and Itagui. Sabaneta has yet to catch on with foreigners, making it the spot to go if you want to avoid gringos.

  • Arte Vivo Mostly a local crowd. a great 80’s and 90’live band (arguably the best in town) playing rock-pop greatest hits and local rock. Prices are affordable, with a nice upscale crowd, and beautiful women. Located in el Poblado across the Monterrey Shopping center (Calle 10 x Las Vegas).
  • “El Alamo” The cheapest bar in Parque Lleras, free rum for girls. They show American football games if you need your fix.
  • B-Lounge is an electronic disco with rich, beautiful women as is…
  • La Kasa which are both good on Thursday nights as it’s Ladies Night.
  • Niagara (5 puertas), Cra 38 (2 blocks south of Parque Lleras, El Poblado). Opens in the afternoon until 2AMHas been a classic for local crowds for over 30 yrs. Informal, beer, chat$$.
  • La Camerata has offered classic music to its costumers for over 25 years. Occasional live appearances. Calle 49 between carreras 64 y 65, near calle Colombia.
  • San Marcos,  +57 4 265 3666Bar and video has mostly gay clientele, located near Unicentro shopping mall Calle 34 # 66B – 53, Barrio Conquistadores.
  • Vinacure An incredibly trippy place – expensive to get in but definitely worth seeing once, entry is about US$4. The entire club is designed by a noted Colombian sculptor. Try to go when German, the owner, is about so you can check out The Naked Room, an interactive art exhibition that must be experienced (sometimes) naked. This is a very interesting, unusual and fun art-museum/bar. It’s truly unique. To get there, take a taxi to the beginning of Caldas (carrera 50 No 100D Sur 07, Caldas). Or you can take a bus.
  • Casa Gardeliana (Tango bar), Carrera 45 # 76 – 50 (Manrique),  +57 4 212 0968Since 1973, has been the meeting place for tango lovers. Live music, dance.
  • Salon Málaga (Tango and Bolero bar), Cra. 51 Bolívar # 45 + 80 (Between Amador & Maturín streets),  +57 4 231 2658M-Sat 7AM – 2AM, Sundays/holidays 8AM – MidnightA classic bar right downtown. All social classes mingle here with nice music and local drinks. Dance. Only half a block away from the main Metrostation San Antonio (Lines A and B). $-$$.
  • Dulce Jesus Mio (Mi Pueblo), Calle 77S # 46B-90 Sabaneta (Next to Texaco gas station),  +57 4 288 81764PM- 1AMThe whole place is a replica of a traditional ‘paisa’ town. The locals from the village will greet you and be your host, ask you to dance and party all together. Every midnight is new years’ eve. Really fun. $$.
  • Bolero BarCra. 67 B 51 A 98 Local 101 (Near Exito calle Colombia),  +57 4 234 039Tangos, boleros. Ph +57 4 230 3259 $.
  • BermellónCalle 23 Sur # 42B-107 Envigado,  +57 4 331 7963Tango, et al.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Medellin

Stay Safe In Medellín

Medelln is typically a safe city for tourists, depending on the area you visit and the time of day (like in most other cities), and is considerably safer than in past years. The murder rate in Medelln was believed to be the lowest in 30 years in 2009, but it has since quadrupled in 2010 amid a fresh surge of violence. According to the US State Department, killings have occurred involving both tourists and US citizens, and there is still a risk of “terrorist” activity in the city.

Much of the violence is focused in the city’s hillside slums and among known drug dealers, but better sections of town have also been hit by the recent crime wave. To avoid difficulty, avoid the city’s poorest areas in the north-east and north-west at all times of day and night. The majority of the inner city, perhaps with the exception of El Poblado, is best avoided at night. Most visitors to Medelln will tell you that they were never in any danger while they were there, because the city center, popular areas, and attractions are all well policed. As a result, the following advice should not prevent you from traveling there.

After dusk, avoid traveling alone. Almost everyone who knows someone who has gotten into problems in Medelln will tell you that they were doing things that you shouldn’t do in any city, such as walking about after dark alone, especially after leaving clubs after drinking. If you must, travel with a group of friends and, at night, call a cab rather than taking it off the curb.

Avoid leaving the major areas outside the Santo Domingo Metrocable station, especially after dark; simply, keep within sight of the station and library and you’ll be alright. Avoid sections of downtown at night, such as the Parque San Antonio region (containing the Metro station), Parque Boliviar, and neighborhoods directly to the north of Parque Barrio, where prostitution and other shady deals are common. With the usual precautions, these sites are entirely safe during the day.

Petty crime, as in most major cities, can be an issue; carry a color copy of your passport rather than the actual one, avoid carrying a wallet, and store varied quantities of cash in several pockets, socks, and bras. Carry only what you need for the day, and have enough money stashed somewhere to travel back to your hotel. However, most tourist attractions have a considerable police presence, so you may feel secure snapping photos and roaming around throughout the day. Avoid parks; muggers with knives wait for visitors in parks near hotels in the city’s more wealthy neighborhoods, such as El Poblado.

Accepting alcohol from strangers should be avoided. One new coordinated scam involves ladies being too polite to gringos at a bar, purchasing drinks for them, and then requesting to go home with them. The drinks are tainted, and the females flee with money, credit cards, and other valuables. It should be noted that it is uncommon for Medelln residents to return home with other residents in order to hook up; instead, inexpensive motels are employed. So be wary of too pleasant females who ask to come to your hotel or apartment from a club.

Many visitors are overwhelmed by the number of small-time sellers offering anything from fruit, ice cream, cigarettes, lottery tickets, mobile phone chargers, toys, caps, and so on. However, a simple “no, gracias” will keep them at bay.

Because Colombia is still a “macho guy” country, women may be subjected to vulgar remarks, cat-calling, or whistling. Women should not take this personally; women have the same rights as women in the United States and elsewhere; it’s just a cultural difference.

Make no jokes regarding the usage of cocaine or explosives under any circumstances. Colombian police see jokes as threats, and you may find yourself at a police station explaining yourself to unfriendly cops. Under normal conditions, police officers are often courteous and helpful to visitors.

Colombia has a consent age of 14 years. The legal drinking age is 18 years old. Minors are not permitted to possess alcohol at any time and are not permitted to enter any type of nightclub. If a minor is discovered at a nightclub, the entire establishment will be closed down for breaching a national law (Enforced more in nicer neighborhoods).

Always exchange money at an airport or a bank. Bancolombia is the country’s largest bank, headquartered in Medelln, and has ATMs practically everywhere. “Street changers” offer enticing rates for your money, but be cautious. “Street Changers” pocket many of the largest notes. Avoid flaunting enormous sums of money. When dealing with the intricacies of multiple money changers, ATM machines are your best choice.

When using an ATM (which only accepts pesos), it is best to use one at a mall (Spanish: centro comercial), one of the major superstores (such as Exito, Jumbo, or Metro), or a grocery store (such as Carulla), and then take your time looking around. Do not hurry out the door. If someone is observing you at the ATM, they will wait for you to leave before robbing you on the street down the road. In Colombia, using ATMs on the street is not recommended.

Stay Healthy In Medellín

The water in Medelln is safe to drink, however bottled water is always available for those who are particularly careful.

Because of its altitude and a very excellent immunization program that has eradicated all vectors for those illnesses, Medellin is free of several tropical diseases such as malaria, cholera, yellow fever, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease.
No more immunizations are necessary while merely staying in Medellin and/or Bogoto. However, if traveling to the far south, a yellow fever vaccination is required, and you may be asked to provide proof of it; you can get it for free Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. on, at Carrera 45 # 50-48 (El Palo con la Playa), Edificio El Doral, Consultorio 203 (first floor) – please keep in mind that it takes 10 days to become effective.

Foreigners are often not bothered by altitude because Medelln is around 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level (about the same as Denver, USA). Some people who live near or at sea level may notice small affects on their first night. If this is the case, it is best to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol on the drive there and the first night.



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North America

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