Medellín, the capital of the department of Antioquia, is one of the most important cities in Colombia. It is a vibrant city, with a population of more than 2.5 million people, and it is the second-largest city in the country. It is also known for its friendly people and its warm climate. Not so long-ago Medellin was known as the most dangerous city in the world due to the cartel of Pablo Escobar, who committed more than 4000 murders each year!
Those times are over now and Medellín has gone through a big transformation. Medellín has won several prices for being the most innovative city of South America!
The city is also home to some of the best nightlife in Latin America. It is a great destination for those looking for an exciting and unforgettable experience.
What to do in Medellín?
Medellín is a great place to explore, with its many parks, museums, and cultural attractions. There are also many beautiful and interesting neighborhoods, such as El Poblado, El Centro, and La Candelaria, that offer visitors a chance to explore the city's past and experience the culture and lifestyle of its inhabitants. To get to know the city you will need at least 3 full days.
Take a tour in Comuna 13
This is the most colorful neighborhood of Medellín, in the past it was also one of the most dangerous places in the city. There were shootings daily and the people who lived there couldn’t leave the district. It was also the place where Pablo Escobar was killed in 1993.
Nowadays this district has become a social movement in Colombia that is striving to bring about positive change in the country. The movement started in 2008 by a small group of activists who wanted to create a space for marginalized communities to come together and discuss issues of justice and equality.
It’s completely safe now to walk here, a nice way to discover more about Comuna 13 is by taking this tour.
Visit the Botanical Garden
Covering over 270 acres, the botanical garden features an incredible variety of plant and animal life, as well as a lake and an orchid garden.
Take the metro to Downtown Medellín and visit Plaza Botero and Museo de Antioquia
Downtown Medellín is not a safe place to walk around. Nevertheless, it’s a must see!
I would suggest taking the metro as close as possible to the Plaza Botero (Metro station Parque Berrío).
Plaza Botero is home to a collection of 23 sculptures by the famous Colombian artist, Fernando Botero.
Take a Tour of the Museo de Antioquia: This museum houses an impressive collection of Colombian art, from the colonial period to the present day.
Entrance fee: only 4€, opening hours: from Monday to Saturday from 10 am till 5.30 pm, closed on Sunday.
Make an excursion to the close by picturesque city of Guatapé!
It takes about 2 hours to get there by bus from Medellín, but it’s a must see. It’s such a colorful town and you can climb de famous rock ‘La Piedra del Peñol’ to have an amazing view over the surrounding wetlands. We stayed one night in Guatapé, more about this in my next blogpost.
Where to stay in Medellín?
We spend 2 nights in the exclusive upper side of El Poblado neighborhood in the beautiful brand new Hotel York Luxury Suites. We loved the rooftop terrace and pool. The view from above is amazing! The rooms have all modern comfort and technology. (Even Google Alexa).
After two days, one night visit to Guatapé we had another two nights at Patio Del Mundo another amazing place to stay in Medellin, this time at walking distance from El Poblado. In this hotel you immediately feel at home as it consists of two charming, renovated villas in the heart of Medellin. The decoration of the living room, terraces and rooms is very inspiring, the garden offers an amazing place of serenity and well-being in the center of the big city of Medellin. Watch the hummingbirds while relaxing in one of the comfortable outdoor chairs!
TIP! Try to make a reservation well in advance as the good places to stay are sold out quickly.
Medellín is also a Walhalla for foodies!
You can find a lot of amazing restaurants in Medellin. It already starts at breakfast; these are my favorite places to eat a good and healthy breakfast or lunch:
Pergamino café, Cra. 37, El Poblado: if you are a coffee lover you must try the coffee here! The breakfast is delicious: you can choose between different egg menus or a granola or some tasty sandwiches.
Azai Praia Lovers, Via Primavera, El Poblado: The smoothie bowls are delicious here, I especially loved the rainbow acai bowl! You can also try the homemade granola with fresh fruits (remember fresh fruit is one of Colombia’s specialty’s), toasts and pancakes are a real treat too.
For dinner there are also many places to choose from, here are some favorites:
- Ammazza Gin Garden: offering delicious Italian food.
- Hermoso Cariño: if you want to have good Mexican food, this is the place to be
- Carmen: this restaurant is excellent for fine dining and Colombian specialties
TIP! For dinner it’s best to make a reservation in advance.
Experiencing nightlife in Medellín
If you want to experience the nightlife in Medellín, I suggest to start with a cocktail at the rooftop bar of the Click Clack Hotel. Most bars, clubs and cafés are situated around Parque Lleras in the center of El Poblado.
How to get around in Medellín?
There is a complete metro system (both metro lines as cable cars) in the city, a quick way to go around at a very cheap price. You can buy a ticket in each metro station, here you will also find a map of the different metro lines.
Another way to go around is with Uber, the app works very well here.
Do you have any other questions about visiting Medellin? Let me know in the comments!