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.
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.
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.
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).
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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!
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
Eat and Party like an Insider
For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important while traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Look for "Colombia Insider - Eat and Party like a local in Colombia" on Mapstr!
Ebook based on our 4 years of travel in Colombia. 150 pages of information pure, no bullshit.
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