Discover Medellín: The new vibrant destination in Latinamerica

Here you will find a definitive guide to visit Medellín and nearby cities. Tips, warnings and advice to have a great experience. A review made by locals, genuine and without any sponsorship.

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Discover Medellín, often called the «City of Eternal Spring,» is a dynamic metropolis nestled in the Aburrá Valley of the Andes Mountains. Known for its pleasant climate, friendly locals, and innovative urban development, Medellín has transformed into one of Colombia’s most alluring travel destinations, even above Cartagena city in the last years. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here’s everything you need to know for an unforgettable trip to Medellín. 

Medellin is seeking to position itself as a world-class tourist destination and its numbers are confirming it. It faces great challenges such as leaving behind prostitution, drugs and drug tourism as sources of attraction for foreigners. So if you are thinking of only going to this city to look for prostitution, drugs and apology trafficking, you are going to the wrong place and you are exposing yourself to the city authorities.  

The city is fighting right now to take care of good tourism and prevent those who visit the territory from being swindled, kidnapped and even killed. Some authorities in other countries have asked visitors to Medellin to refrain from opening dating apps, going to dangerous places or getting involved in events where drugs and drug trafficking are involved. 

Medellín, once notorious for its criminal history, was among the most dangerous cities in the world in the late 1990s. The city grappled with violence from notorious figures like Pablo Escobar, guerrilla groups, and other terrorist organizations, posing significant threats to both locals and visitors. However, from 2010 onwards, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation. This Colombian city has evolved from one of the darkest and most perilous places into a beacon of promise, known for its high quality of life, friendly locals, and stunning landscapes. Today, Medellín stands as the most visited city in Colombia, attracting tourists from around the globe with its vibrant culture and breathtaking scenery. 

Read this article in Spanish: Descubre Medellín: consejos de viaje, seguridad y lugares imperdibles

As locals, we want to sugget you some tips for your visit and make your trip more comfortable and safe. Also, you could make plans to get out of the city and visit stunning places like Guatapé, Jardín, Jericó and El Retiro. 

  1. Stay in Safe Areas: Popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists include El Poblado, Laureles, and Envigado. These areas are well-patrolled and host a variety of accommodations, dining, and entertainment options.
  1. Use Trusted Transportation: Opt for registered taxis, Uber, or public transportation such as the Metro. Avoid hailing cabs from the street, especially at night.
  1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: As in any major city, stay vigilant. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics in public, and keep an eye on your belongings in crowded places.
  1. Learn Basic Spanish Phrases: While many locals in tourist areas speak some English, knowing basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience and help in navigating the city more smoothly.

Here you can find some kind words: 

        • Hola
        • Por favor
        • Cómo está? 
        • Cuánto cuesta?
        • Dónde es?
        • Gracias! 
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You cand find a lot of interesting places in Medellín, but stay safe and enjoy de right things is a must in a short stay 

  1. Plaza Botero and Museo de Antioquia: Home to 23 sculptures by renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero, this plaza is a vibrant cultural center in the center of the city. This place had suffered from some critical security problems in recent years, but with the new city administration, more guard posts and security cameras were installed.

    Museo de Antioquia
    Photo: Museo de Antioquia

     

    You should go there, but preferably without luxury items such as watches, glasses, rings and handbags.  

 The Medellín Metro: Backbone of Urban Mobility 

 The Medellín Metro, inaugurated in 1995, is the first and only metro system in Colombia. It consists of two main lines, Line A and Line B, spanning the length and breadth of the city. The metro system is known for its cleanliness, punctuality, and safety, making it a reliable mode of transportation for both locals and tourists. 

Discover Medellín: The new vibrant destination in Latinamerica
Photo: Metro Medellín

Medellín is the only city with a metro system in Colombia and in the last years had a grow in public transportation like Metrocable system and trolley. This cable car system offers stunning views of the city and connects to Parque Arví, a natural reserve perfect for hiking and picnics. 

  1. Efficient Connectivity: The Metro connects key areas of the city, including downtown Medellín, the industrial sector, and several residential neighborhoods, facilitating easy and quick travel across the city. 
  2. Sustainable Travel: With its focus on reducing carbon emissions, the Metro system contributes significantly to Medellín’s sustainability efforts, providing an eco-friendly alternative to road transport.

Metrocable: Bridging the Gap 

The Metrocable, an aerial cable car system integrated with the metro, has become a symbol of Medellín’s urban innovation. Launched in 2004, it serves as a crucial link between the city’s mountainous and often marginalized neighborhoods and the urban center. 

Metrocable
Photo: Metro Medellín
  1. Scenic Rides: Offering stunning panoramic views of the city and its surrounding landscapes, a ride on the Metrocable is both a practical and enjoyable experience for tourists. 
  2. Economic Upliftment: The Metrocable has spurred economic growth in the areas it serves, fostering community development and reducing social inequalities. 

How can I go to Parque Arví? 

Parque Arví
Photo: Alcaldía de Medellín

Take the Metrocable Line L from Santo Domingo to Parque Arví, a lush ecological reserve ideal for hiking, picnicking, and experiencing nature. 

How can I go to Comuna 13? 

Commune 13 was 20 years ago a forbidden territory for the authorities and public forces. A violent and dangerous place even for its own inhabitants. Paramilitaries and guerrillas confronted each other there. After Operation Orion and the entry of the authorities into this neighborhood, hope and security returned, accompanied by projects such as the escalators and cultural programs. 

Comuna 13
Photo: MIEO

Ride the Metrocable Line J to visit Comuna 13, a neighborhood transformed by art and innovation, known for its colorful murals and vibrant street life. 

  1. El Castillo Museum and Gardens: This castle-like structure offers a glimpse into Medellín’s past, with beautiful gardens and a collection of European and Colombian art. 

    Museo El Castillo y Jardines
    Photo: Museo El Castillo y Jardines
  2. Jardín Botánico: A peaceful escape in the heart of the city, the Botanical Garden is home to a diverse range of plant species, a butterfly house, and the impressive Orquideorama.

    Jardín Botánico
    Photo: Gran Colombia Tours
  3. Envigado: Colombia’s most outstanding city in terms of quality of life and wealth. There you will find the neighborhood of the «good food», a safe and pleasant place to meet different gastronomic offers of a high level. 

 Tips for an Excellent Trip 

  1. Explore Local Cuisine: Medellín boasts a rich culinary scene. Don’t miss trying bandeja paisa, arepas, buñuelos and empanadas. You can go to the tourist sector of Provenza, Manila, Lleras Park and Laureles. 
  2. Embrace the Nightlife: The city comes alive at night with vibrant bars, clubs, and live music venues. Zona Rosa in El Poblado is a popular area for nightlife.
  3. Experience Local Culture: Attend a traditional festival such as the Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival) in August, which showcases the city’s floral heritage with parades, music, and events.
  4. Stay Connected: Most tourist areas offer free Wi-Fi, but having a local SIM card can be useful for navigating the city and staying in touch.
  5. Take Guided Tours: To get the most out of your visit, consider taking guided tours. Local guides offer insightful perspectives on Medellín’s history, culture, and recent transformation.
  6. Watch the prices in restaurants, night club’s and cabs. Medellin are sufferin a soar in food prices, rents and transportation, but it’s only for scam from some people who wants your money, so be careful.
  7. As we hope you come to Medellin with the best intentions, try as much as possible to stay in hotels. Hotels have guarantees that other irregular places do not, such as policies, security and peace of mind throughout your stay.
    The city is fighting illegal renting that has forced locals to abandon their homes, as well as prostitution of minors and we don’t want you to have a bad time during your stay. So make sure that where you stay is regulated and monitored by the authorities. 

Below you will find a list of places we recommend you to visit. As we warned at the beginning of our article, nothing in this article has been paid for by a company or sponsored by a site. You can be confident that this list of recommendations is based on our media’s own experience. 

Restaurants:  

  1. La Provincia – Author 
  2. El Cielo – Author 
  3. Cuon – Asian 
  4. La Cafetiere de Anita – French 
  5. Il Castello – Italian 
  6. Parmessano – Mediterranean and home made 
  7. Renata – Mexican food 
  8. Nau by Hotel Marriot 
  9. The Market by Hotel Marriot 
  10. Niku – Asian 
  11. Hacienda – Colombian cousine 

We hope you have a pleasant and enriching visit to the city. 

 Also read: Puerto de Cartagena recibe el mayor puntaje que lo posiciona como el mejor conectado de América Latina y el Caribe

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