Medellin attracts people. Sometimes it’s for wrong reasons – prostitution, drugs, Pablo Escobar’s history. Sometimes it’s for genuine reasons – weather, exploring Antioquia, nightlife, friendly locals, digital nomad lifestyle. 

I enjoyed spending more than 5 months in the city of the eternal spring – although its nickname is a little exaggerated – and I learned 2 or 3 things you should take into consideration before visiting it. 

1 – Many travelers and locals will speak to you about the district “Poblado” when you mention Medellin. Poblado is the trendy district where there are most of the clubs, restaurants, Spanish schools, and hôtels. It’s an excellent option if you’re in party mode. Otherwise, I recommend you to check out Laureles, another district a lot more authentic and pleasant. 

2 – Comuna 13  was – and still is – an excellent example to see and understand how Medellin has changed in the last few years. However, Comuna 13 is way too famous nowadays, and you will see hordes of tourists everywhere. Don’t hesitate to explore another district instead like Moravia or La Sierra. We give you tons of things to do in Medellin. 

3 – Guatape is 2 hours away from Medellin, and it’s overcrowded the weekend. Decide to stay in San Rafael and organize a day trip to Guatape from there. It will make a massive difference in your Colombia itinerary.

4 – Parque Arvi is overrated. If you want to explore the surroundings of Medellin, decide to stop in one of the towns in Antioquia instead. It’s one of my favorite departments in Colombia.

Avoid adding Medellin in your Colombia itinerary only because you want to party. You can get fun nightlife in every city of Colombia if you know where to look for. However, don’t hesitate to get there if you plan to visit Antioquia.

 

Colombia itineraries in Medellin and Antioquia:

 

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Where to stay in Laureles

Laureles is located in the "center" of Medellin, and it's a perfect option to move to the different highlights of the city. Your stay there will be quieter than in El Poblado, but you will still be able to find many great spots for going out in trendy bars, cool coffee places, and upscale restaurants. This district is quite large, so be ready to walk a bit between the different locations - or take a taxi at night. We like to stay around Primer Parque and Second Parque. For us, it's the best area in Medellin.

  • Casa Cliché

    Hostel

    Casa Cliché

    Old school decoration. Great and relaxed atmosphere and perfect location. We love it.
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  • Wandering Paisa

    Hostel

    Wandering Paisa

    Located near La 70 - party area. Lots of social events with the locals. Fun vibes. Cheap.
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  • OBO

    Hotel

    OBO

    Excellent value for money. Cool rooftop with jacuzzi, well situated. Comfy bedrooms.
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  • Pomo Rosa

    Hotel

    Pomo Rosa

    Lovely hotel with affordable rooms. Clean and welcoming staff. Quiet district.
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  • Lincoln

    Upscale

    Lincoln

    Perfect location, quiet area. Excellent facilities, with a rooftop and a jacuzzi. Clean.
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  • Inntu

    Upscale

    Inntu

    Modern hotel with all the facilities you need. Spacious room, perfect attention.
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Where to stay in Poblado

Poblado is an excellent pick if you want to enjoy the nightlife in Medellin without taking a cab between two locations. Everything is close, and you will find hips of hotels, upscale restaurants, and nightclubs. At night, the district turns into a mini "Las Vagas" with neons and loud music, with a young crowd of Colombians and foreigners. I have a preference for the area of Manila (a little more relaxed).

  • Los Patios

    Hostel

    Los Patios

    Probably the best hostel in Medellin. Fantastic rooftops and lots of social events. Modern. Manila.
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  • Rango

    Hostel

    Rango

    Modern hostel with many social events. Tasty breakfast. Comfortable and spacious bedrooms.
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  • Garden of blues

    Hostel

    Garden of blues

    An economical option, with clean rooms. Homelike atmosphere. Nice courtyard.
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  • Epic Boutique

    Hotel

    Epic Boutique

    Great design and good value for money. Close to restaurants and bars. Friendly staff.
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  • Celestino

    Upscale

    Celestino

    Romantic trendy hotel, perfect for young couples who want to enjoy the nightlife in Medellin.
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  • Patio del mundo

    Luxury

    Patio del mundo

    Homelike hotel with only a few bedrooms. Personalized attention and top-notch facilities.
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  • The Charlee

    Luxury

    The Charlee

    The most famous hotel in Medellin. Top-notch rooftop, 3-floor gym, private chef, and jacuzzi.
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  • Lifeafar

    Apartment

    Lifeafar

    Excellent furnished apartments in Laureles and Poblado. Modern and well decorated
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Things to do in Medellin

Don't waste your time being a hangover traveler in Medellin. There are plenty of hikes, museums, tours and weekend trips that you will love!

  • Free walking

    Tour

    Free walking

    Explore the city and learn about its history. Free walking tour. From Monday to Saturday.
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  • Private tours

    Tour

    Private tours

    Don't like big groups? Book a private tour to ask all the questions you've got in mind.
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  • Street Art

    Tour

    Street Art

    There are tons of street art in Medellin (not only in Comuna 13). Don't forget to look around!
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  • Bike riding

    Tour

    Bike riding

    Ride a bike and explore the best Medellin's district. Perfect for getting an overview of the city.
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  • Coffee

    tours

    Coffee

    Learn about coffee, visit a place where we roast coffee beans, and listen to some of Medellin's stories.
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  • Coffee Farm

    Tour

    Coffee Farm

    Don't have time to get to the coffee region? Visit a coffee farm in Sabaneta!
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  • Nightlife

    Tour

    Nightlife

    Medellin Nightlife isn't only in El Poblado. There are hips of cool bars in the city center.
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  • Plaza Botero

    Square

    Plaza Botero

    A world-famous artist who gives generous forms to his subjects. Square with many sculptures.
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  • Food

    Tour

    Food

    Fill your belly with several Colombian specialties in Sabaneta. 100% fun and authentic.
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  • Minorista

    Market

    Minorista

    La Minorsita is a famous market in Medellin. Eat lots of fruits and observe the Colombian daily life.
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  • Moravia

    District transformation

    Moravia

    Moravia was a massive garbage dump where people used to build illegal houses. Learn about it.
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  • La Sierra

    District transformation

    La Sierra

    It was one of the most dangerous districts in Colombia. Learn about its transformation. Great viewpoints.
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  • Comuna 13

    District transformation

    Comuna 13

    Comuna 13 was one of the first districts to experience a significant change in Medellin. Street art.
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  • Antioquia

    Museum

    Antioquia

    An important art collection of the artist Botero and a temporary exhibition. 1 - 2 hours.
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  • Modern art

    Museum

    Modern art

    Significant collections and a cool building. Night events every last Friday of the month.
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  • Casa Memoria

    Museum

    Casa Memoria

    An interesting and free museum to get a better understanding of the political situation in Colombia.
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  • Explora

    Museum

    Explora

    Interactive museum to learn while having fun. 4 thematics: Music, audiovisual, time, and mind.
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  • Cable Car

    Viewpoint

    Cable Car

    Take the metro then a cable to Santo Domingo to enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
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  • Football

    Game

    Football

    Colombians love football and Paisas love their local teams. Attend a football game!
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  • Tejo

    Game

    Tejo

    A Colombian game with clay, points, gunpowder, and beers. Check this out when you're in Medellin.
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  • Salsa

    Dance

    Salsa

    There is a bunch of Salsa schools or Salsa bars. Check out our map on Mapstr to get some fun!
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  • Las 3 Cruces

    Hiking

    Las 3 Cruces

    It's the favorite Sunday hike for the Paisas. 45 min. Quite steep. Great view of Medellin.
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  • Sunday hike

    Hiking

    Sunday hike

    Jack, a Profesional English guide, shows you the best hikes around Medellin. Half or Full day.
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  • Piketeadero

    Sunday Picnic

    Piketeadero

    Perfect for a Sunday while you're still hangover. Park with many restaurant options.
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  • Horse riding

    Tour

    Horse riding

    Escape the city for a few hours and explore the surroundings on your obedient horse.
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  • Rafting

    Extreme sport

    Rafting

    Schedule a 1 or 2-day rafting trip on Rio Verde. An off the beaten path experience we loved!
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  • Mountain bikes

    Bike tour

    Mountain bikes

    The hilly landscapes around Medellin are a perfect playground to improve your downhill skills.
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  • Paragliding

    Extreme sport

    Paragliding

    Go to San Felix or Cocurna to enjoy an unforgettable paragliding experience. Great views.
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  • Santa Fe

    Day trip

    Santa Fe

    Visit a cool secret canyon then learn about the history of Santa Fe de Antioquia, a lovely colonial town.
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  • H. Napoles

    Day trip

    H. Napoles

    Hacienda Napoles was owned by Pablo Escobar. Now, it's a theme park. Perfect for families
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  • Guatape

    Day trip

    Guatape

    Guatape is better on a 2-day trip. But this tour is a good option if you're in a rush.
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  • Horizontes

    Weekend trip

    Horizontes

    A hidden little town with a gorgeous view of Antioquia. Perfect for a quick romantic getaway.
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  • Venecia

    Weekend trip

    Venecia

    From the lovely town of Venecia, hike to Cerro Tusa, the tallest natural pyramid in the world.
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  • Rio Claro

    Weekend trip

    Rio Claro

    Rio Claro is a natural reserve where you can spend a couple of days. Romantic gateway.
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More travel ressources

We stayed for more than 4 months in Medellin and wrote about our travel experiences.

Partners we recommend

Some local partners we have met, tested and approved during our stay in Medellin.

  • Real City tour: The best Free walking tours and fruit tour in Medellin

Find the best bars and restaurants

For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important when traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Download the APP "Mapstr" and look for "Colombia Insider"!

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More things to do in this region

Medellin & Around

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Colombia itinerary Medellin and Antioquia
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