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Page Contents

  • Welcome To Medellin
  • Things To Do In Medellin
  • Food & Restaurants In Medellin
  • Partying & Nightlife in Medellin
  • Where To Stay In Medellin
  • Getting To Medellin By Flight
  • Safety & Insurance In Medellin
  • Medellin For Digital Nomads
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Medellin

Welcome To Medellin

Medellin rightfully claims its place as Colombia's most popular city, offering a vibrant metropolitan experience. With its buzzing energy and magnetic culture, it surely is a dream destination for travellers. Famous for its wild nightlife, mouthwatering food scene, and welcoming atmosphere, Medellin is a must-do for anyone interested in exploring Latin America.

Medellin has excellent year-round weather, making it the perfect location for outdoor activities -- though you should watch out for the rain as Colombia is the country which gets the max rain in the world. With lots of rain, comes a lot of greenery, which is an iconic visual theme that characterizes the city.

Medellin is a thriving digital nomad hub and has earned a place on my list of 5 Thriving Digital Nomad Cities You Must Visit. As a whole, Colombia is a very energetic, artsy, and expressive country. The local art, graffiti, and dance culture are sure to inspire you and fuel your creativity while you work from here. Additionally, Colombians are known for their friendliness, guaranteeing that you'll make many new friends as a solo traveler.

I've visited Colombia twice, and both trips have been unforgettable — the first to Bogota and most recently to Medellin. Both journeys were heartwarming and energetic for me! I have no doubt I'll end up there for a third time!

It's worth noting that the pronunciation of Medellin differs from how Anglophones might say it. The double "ll" is actually pronounced with a soft buzzing "j" sound, making it closer to meh-deh-jeen.

Things To Do In Medellin

Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour

Comuna 13 was once the most dangerous neighbourhood in Medellin, plagued by gang violence, cartels, and trafficking. However, through the power of art, Comuna 13 has transformed its identity and has emerged as one of Colombia's most renowned cultural hubs.

Mural in Comuna 13, Medellin, Colombia

Comuna 13 is hands down the most inspiring and colourful areas of Colombia, filled with graffiti and murals at every turn. Today, Comuna 13 serves as the main attraction of Medellin with plenty of stories to be discovered with every step you take through its streets.

Graffiti Tour Comuna 13 "Magic Place"

Recommended Tour

This was one of the most memorable tours I've ever taken. With over 4000 reviews and a 4.9 star rating, this tour is guaranteed to give you the best insight into the history of Comuna 13 along with stories behind some of the most popular murals in the neighbourhood.

Book Your Trip Today

Cable Car

Right in the vicinity of Comuna 13 lies Medellin's famous cable car that will take you to one of the city’s most scenic vantage points. This spot will show you the vastness of Medellin's urban landscape with a grand view of the whole city.

Bird's Eye View of Medellin, Colombia

Explore El Poblado

El Poblado is Medellin’s most hip and affluent neighbourhood. It’s known for being trendy and upscale and it’s also the centre of all social activity and having a good time. It’s filled with chic restaurants, cute cafes, nightlife, and plenty of attractions.

El Poblado, Medellin, Colombia

Botero Plaza

Botero Plaza stands as an ode to the genius of Fernando Botero, one of Colombia's most celebrated sculptors and artists. Botero generously donated 23 of his bronze sculptures to the city of Medellin, each showcasing his distinctive larger-than-life style. These sculptures can be found in Botero Plaza, located at the centre of the city, allowing viewers to experience Botero's unique artistic vision.

Botero Plaza in Medellin, Colombia

Museo de Antioquia

Museo de Antioquia is a prominent museum that’s right besides Botero Plaza. The museum is known for its extensive collection of Colombian art, including pieces by Botero himself as well as various contemporary and historical pieces. If you’re a art & museum enthusiast, this is your spot in Medellin.

Day Trip To Piedra del Peñol, Guatape

Piedra del Peñol in Guatape is a destination that promises one of the most breathtaking views you'll ever experience! Just 2-3 hours away from Medellin, this day trip is well worth the journey. This, by far, was my favourite experience in Medellin!

Guatapé, Colombia

Be prepared for a workout as you ascend the 700 stairs to reach the summit at 650 feet, leaving you feeling accomplished and perhaps a bit sweaty! However, the effort pays off as the panoramic view from the top is nothing short of spectacular, making every step of the climb worthwhile.

Guatapé Tour, Lunch, Cruise, & Piedra del Peñol

Recommended Tour

THere’s the link to the tour I took in Medellin to visit Piedra El Peñol. In addition to visiting Piedra El Peñol, this tour gives you time to explore the city of Guatape and takes you on a boat ride through the blue waters. Highly recommended!

Book Your Trip To Guatapé

If you're interested, here are some more tours of Guatape & Piedra del Peñol you can book via GetYourGuide:

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Salsa Dancing

No trip to Colombia is complete without learning how to dance salsa with the locals. This is a rule for each visitor. Don’t @ me.

Medellin attracts a lot of tourists and of course, every visitor must leave Colombia knowing the basics of salsa. There are plenty of bars, hotels, and hostels offering salsa lessons all through the hotspots in Medellin. Don't miss the chance to sign up for a lesson and showcase your newfound skills while partying the night away!

Catch A Live Football Game

Attending a football match in Medellín is an electric event, offering a wild look into the city's passion for the sport. In Medellín, there are two main football teams: Independiente Medellín and Atlético Nacional. While Atlético Nacional holds the title as the larger and more prestigious team, watching a football game in Medellín is an experience not to be missed, regardless of the team playing.

Everyone I’ve spoken to has thoroughly enjoyed the Latin football experience!

Food & Restaurants In Medellin

Though Colombian coffee is globally appreciated, Colombian cuisine often doesn't receive the recognition it deserves on the international stage. The food in Colombia is absolutely delicious and the generous portions will guarantee to keep you filled. And when it comes to Medellin, the restaurant scene has so much going for it!

Alambique in Medellin, Colombia

When you get to Medellin, ordering a bandeja paisa for your first proper big meal is a must. Bandeja paisa is a traditional Colombian dish featuring a platter of many different foods typically including steak, crispy fried pork belly, beans, rice, plantains, a fried egg, corn cakes, and avocado. Yes, it’s truly a feast!

La Matriarca Chicharonaeria in Medellin, Colombia

Throughout your visit, be sure to sample other local delicacies such as chocolate con queso, mondongo, ajiaco, empanadas, patacón, arepa, and chicharron—some of my personal favourites in Medellin. As for dining experiences, here's a mouthwatering list of restaurants you shouldn't miss:

🍴 Alambique

🍴 La Matriarca

🍴 Azulejos

🍴 Ajiaco Y Mondongo

🍴 Laietana

🍴 Al Alma Cafe

Partying & Nightlife in Medellin

Medellin is infamous for its feral nightlife roaring through the streets of Poblado and Provenza — these neighbourhoods are where all the clubs and bars are at and these areas are pretty safe for tourists after hours as well. Colombians love to party everywhere, from the clubs to the streets to rooftops, they’re guaranteed to show you a good time.

Medellin is also the world capital of reggaeton and the birthplace of great artists such as J Balvin, Maluma, Karol G, and Yatra who have made a global mark with their music in this genre.

During your time in Medellin, I recommend checking out Gringo Tuesdays at Vintrash for their language exchange and international themed parties.

Alsooo, I recommend checking out some of the nightlife tours and bar crawls Medellin has to offer. As a solo traveller, I feel this is the best way to make new friends in the city:

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Where To Stay In Medellin

When it comes to accommodations in Medellín, don’t hesitate – choose Poblado. It's the vibrant heart of social activity and offers an abundance of attractions! This well-designed neighbourhood boasts the best restaurants, cafes, and nightlife venues.

With so much to offer, you could easily spend your entire Medellín itinerary exploring El Poblado without running out of things to do, see, eat, and drink.

There's no shortage of Airbnbs and hotels in this area. During my stay, I opted for an Airbnb and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you’re going to be booking an Airbnb, don’t forget to use this message template to get a discount on your next Airbnb booking.

However, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of regret after attending a salsa event at a hostel down my street called Masaya. If I had the chance to redo my trip, I would undoubtedly choose this spot.

Masaya Hostel

Hostel Recommendation

Masaya is a fantastic hotel in Medellin, offering an urban vibe with top-notch facilities and a bunch of social events. Masaya is huge with 7 floors full of comfort, art, culture and music. If you're a social traveller, I highly recommend staying here.

Book This Hostel

Getting To Medellin By Flight

Getting to Medellin by flight is a straightforward and convenient option, with the city served by José María Córdova International Airport (MDE). Situated approximately 45 minutes from the city center, this modern airport welcomes domestic and international flights from major destinations worldwide such as Bogota, Miami, New York, Madrid, and more. Check out some of your flights options below with Skyscanner.

Safety & Insurance In Medellin

As a whole, Medellin is considered safe for tourists and stands as a thriving travel destination. On the contrary, it might just have a little more tourist culture than it can handle — which is a great thing when it comes to safety. You’ll be just fine in Medellin as long as you’re not drawing too much attention and doing anything stupid.

It’s definitely a lot safer than the media made it out to be a few years ago through the news and shows like Narcos. While Latin America may not be the safest region globally, my two visits to Colombia were perfectly safe with no issues. In fact, Colombia was the first place I ever traveled to solo and I encountered zero concerns.

Though, there are a few things you should be aware of when you visit Medellin. I’d strongly recommend avoiding local cabs on the street and only trusting Ubers and ridesharing apps to get from place to place. Additionally, it's best to avoid wandering outside the city center at night and stick to well-known areas such as Provenza and Poblado.

However, I acknowledge that traveling solo as a man differs significantly from traveling solo as a woman. So if you’re a planning to travel solo as a woman, I recommended reading Is Medellin Safe For Solo Female Travelers by Claire’s Itchy Feet. Claire's insights echo my sentiment that Medellin is generally safe, provided you remain vigilant about petty crime and have your wits about you like you would in other touristy cities.

Sign Up For Genki Travel Insurance Today

Though Medellin is a safe touristy spot, I’ll never take a chance with my health travelling solo far way from home. To stay protected on my travels, I have chosen as Genki as my travel insurer. Genki is an insurance company that is literally dedicated to world travellers, backpackers, and digital nomads. They’ll have you covered for every country with a flexible month-to-month plan and no long-term commitment.

Knowing that Genki has me covered makes life a little less stressful or me. If you’re interested, you can sign up for Genki with my link below.

Get Insured With Genki

Medellin For Digital Nomads

Medellin universally charms digital nomads with its delightful weather, affordability, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant social atmosphere, securing a spot on my list of 5 Thriving Digital Nomad Cities You Must Visit. Throughout my stay in Medellin, I had no issues with the internet and came across numerous cafes and coworking spaces for a productive work sessions. As a creative digital nomad, I find Colombia's aesthetic and street art scene highly inspiring for the work I undertake with my design studio, Supercharged.

Moreover, Colombia offers a digital nomad visa valid for up to 2 years, allowing visa holders to stay in the country for up to 180 days per year. This opportunity is worth exploring if you plan on spending extended periods in Colombia as a digital nomad.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medellin

Is Medellin good for solo travel?

Absolutely! I've traveled to Medellin solo and had amazing experiences. The city is vibrant, welcoming, and offers plenty of opportunities to meet new people.

Can I walk around Medellin at night?

Yes, generally it's safe to walk around popular areas like Poblado and Provenza at night. Just use common sense, stay aware of your surroundings, and stick to well-lit areas. Avoid the city centre and other neighbourhoods after sunset.

Is Medellin better than Bogota?

It's subjective, but personally, I found Medellin more charming with its perfect weather, lively atmosphere, and stunning landscapes. Bogota has its own appeal too, but Medellin’s vibe was more up my alley.

Is Medellín good for digital nomads?

Absolutely! I've worked remotely from Medellin and found it to be a digital nomad paradise. Great weather, affordable living, and plenty of coworking spaces make it ideal for remote work.

Is Colombia safe for digital nomads?

Overall, yes. I've felt safe during my travels there, but like any country, it's essential to stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas or late at night. Using common sense and following local advice goes a long way.

What are the cons of Medellin?

While Medellin is fantastic, some cons include occasional heavy rain, especially during the rainy season, and the potential for petty theft in crowded tourist areas. People might not like the hot and humid weather at times but that's subjective. However, with proper precautions, these issues can be easily managed.