The Ultimate Medellín, Colombia Travel Guide 2023

Welcome to Medellín, the city of eternal spring! Nestled in the heart of Colombia, this vibrant city is a treasure trove of culture, history, and natural beauty. This ultimate Medellín, Colombia travel guide will help you navigate this South American gem, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

Getting to Know Medellín

Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the Antioquia department. Known for its pleasant climate, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals, Medellín has transformed from a city with a troubled past to a must-visit destination on the global travel map.

Where to Stay in Medellín

Choosing the right neighborhood to stay in can make a big difference in your Medellín experience. Here are some of the best areas to consider:

El Poblado

El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood among tourists. It’s safe, vibrant, and packed with restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s also home to Parque Lleras, the heart of Medellín’s nightlife.


Laureles is a quieter, more residential area with a local vibe. It’s a great choice if you want to experience everyday life in Medellín. The neighborhood is also known for its tree-lined streets and delicious food options.


Just south of El Poblado, Envigado is a traditional Colombian neighborhood. It’s less touristy, offering a more authentic experience. Envigado is also home to some of the best local restaurants in the city.

Best Apartments and Airbnbs

Medellín offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. However, for a more local experience, consider staying in an apartment or Airbnb. Here are a few recommendations:

Luxury: Energy Living

Energy Living is a modern apartment complex located in El Poblado. It offers stunning city views, a rooftop pool, and stylish apartments equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.

Mid-range: Casa Kiwi

Casa Kiwi in Laureles is a charming Airbnb with a beautiful garden. The host, a local artist, has decorated the house with her artwork, adding a unique touch to your stay.

Budget: Black Sheep Hostel

Black Sheep Hostel in El Poblado is a great option for budget travelers. It offers both private rooms and dormitories, a communal kitchen, and a friendly atmosphere.

Where to Eat in Medellín

Medellín’s food scene is a delightful mix of traditional Colombian cuisine and international flavors. Here are some must-try places:


Carmen is one of Medellín’s top restaurants, known for its innovative fusion cuisine. The restaurant’s beautiful garden setting adds to the dining experience.


For a taste of traditional Colombian food, head to Mondongo’s. Their signature dish, Mondongo soup, is a must-try.

Pergamino Café

Pergamino Café in El Poblado is the perfect place to enjoy Colombia’s famous coffee. They also serve delicious pastries and sandwiches.

What to Do in Medellín

Medellín offers a plethora of activities and attractions to suit all interests. Here are some highlights:

Explore Comuna 13

Comuna 13 is a testament to Medellín’s transformation. Once one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, it’s now a vibrant area known for its colorful street art and outdoor escalators.

Visit the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. It’s home to a variety of plants, abutterfly house, and even a lake. Best of all, entry is free!

Ride the Metrocable

The Metrocable is not just a means of transportation, but also a unique way to see the city. The cable cars offer stunning views of Medellín and its surrounding mountains.

Discover Parque Explora

Parque Explora is a science and technology museum that’s fun for all ages. It features interactive exhibits, an aquarium, and a planetarium.

Day Trips from Medellín

If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip to explore the beautiful surroundings of Medellín.


Guatapé is a colorful town located about two hours from Medellín. The town is known for its brightly painted houses and the famous El Peñol rock, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and islands.

Santa Fe de Antioquia

Santa Fe de Antioquia is one of the oldest towns in Colombia. It’s known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and relaxed atmosphere.

Safety in Medellín

While Medellín has significantly improved its safety in recent years, it’s still important to take precautions. Avoid displaying expensive items, use reputable transportation services, and be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Final Thoughts

Medellín is a city that’s full of surprises. From its vibrant neighborhoods and delicious food to its rich history and friendly locals, there’s so much to discover. This ultimate Medellín, Colombia travel guide is your key to unlocking all that this South American gem has to offer.

Remember, the best way to experience Medellín is to immerse yourself in the local culture. Talk to the locals, try new foods, and explore off the beaten path. You’ll not only have a memorable trip, but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of this incredible city.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure with this ultimate Medellín, Colombia travel guide. Medellín is waiting to welcome you with open arms and a warm, eternal spring!

Unveiling Medellín: The Gem of Colombia’s Highlands

Embarking on the Medellín Adventure

Medellín, Colombia’s highland jewel, is renowned for its vibrant culture, intriguing history, and diverse culinary scene. This city, cradled in a valley and encircled by towering mountains, presents breathtaking vistas at every turn.

The journey from Bogotá to Medellín is both convenient and economical. The flight usually lasts around an hour, with fares typically ranging from $30 to $45, inclusive of a checked bag. Upon landing, you’ll be spoilt for choice with accommodation options. One notable mention is Hotel Dix, known for its hospitable staff and comfortable amenities.

Savoring the Flavors of Authentic Colombian Cuisine

Experiencing local food is a crucial aspect of any travel adventure. In Medellín, you can indulge in traditional dishes like “madongo,” akin to a potato soup. This dish is typically accompanied by banana, avocado, cilantro, and rice.

Another local delicacy is “bandeja,” a combination of ground beef, fried pork, potatoes, rice, eggs, and plantains, usually served with beans. This wholesome meal, bursting with flavors, offers a window into Medellín’s culinary heritage.

A Glimpse into the Pablo Escobar Museum

Medellín is not just about picturesque landscapes and gastronomic delights; it also harbors a darker, more intricate past. The city was once home to Pablo Escobar, a notorious drug lord who established the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s and 1990s. He dominated the cocaine trade into the United States, leaving a contentious legacy behind.

A tour of the Pablo Escobar Museum offers an in-depth look into this chapter of the city’s history. The museum hosts various tours highlighting different facets of Escobar’s life and impact, including visits to his graveyard, residence, and a comprehensive tour of his infamous museum.

You’ll discover Escobar’s ingenious and often daring methods of smuggling cocaine, such as concealing it inside tires to be shipped to the United States for recycling, or using modified airplanes and submarines for transport.

Despite his infamous deeds, Escobar also had a significant impact on local politics and contributed to social welfare initiatives. He constructed homes for impoverished families and set up soccer fields around the city to deter youth from drugs.

Delving into Downtown Medellín

Downtown Medellín offers a lively and dynamic experience, with vendors peddling a variety of goods beneath the city’s metro. One of the notable landmarks in this area is the Plaza del Potero, situated right next to the Metro.

Here, you’ll find an assortment of local products, including clothing, food, and more, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and the everyday life of the residents.

In conclusion, Medellín presents a unique fusion of natural splendor, cultural experiences, culinary delights, and a complex historical narrative. Its diverse attractions ensure a captivating travel experience that is both entertaining and enlightening.

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