Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post and I’m so excited to start this year with a travel guide! My boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Colombia for my birthday and I fell in LOVE with friendly people, beautiful weather, and the food! I can’t wait to return and see so much more of this beautiful country. A lot has changed in Medellin since the dark days of the 1990’s. Now days you’ll find tons of attractions, stunning views, amazing restaurants, and so much more! Paisas– as the people of Medellín are known – are very lovely, welcoming, and love showing off their city. We had two and a half days to explore this beautiful city, and it just wasn’t enough time. Here are my recommendations on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat to get the most of your time in Medellín!
The best way to start your trip in Medellin is with a free walking tour, we used Real City Tours, but you need to book a reservation in advance. You will meet up with the group at Poblado station by the ticket booth. You’ll learn about the history, the people, their culture, and so much more. The tour last for about four hours and the price is based off tips ( $20,000 COP – $30,000 COP per person). I promise you it’s totally worth it!
You’ll pay a visit to Plaza San Antonio during the walking tour. The thing to see here is Botero’s sculpture that was blown up in 1995 during the Escobar years; 29 people were killed and 200 injured. Botero asked the governor not to remove the sculpture from the plaza, he wanted it to be a reminder of Colombia’s dark past and events that should not be forgotten.
Once you’re done with the walking tour head back to Plaza Botero. It’s an outdoor plaza showcasing some of Fernando Botero’s large figures and where you’ll find the Museo de Anioquia. It’s the largest museum in the city and houses a large collection of Botero’s painting. Fernando Botero Angulo was a famous Colombian sculptor from Medellin. It’s open Monday-Saturday (10AM-5:30PM), the entry fee is $18 dollars, and it’s totally worth it.
For lunch or dinner make sure to check out Mercado del Rio it’s an open market that offers an overwhelming number of options to eat (not a bad problem to have). This place is perfect to unwind, enjoy a delicious meal, and have a few drinks after a long day of exploring. We tried the Arepas (traditional Colombian food), seafood paella, and ordered a pitcher of sangria. Everything was delicious and made fresh to order.
Head to Pueblito Paisa where you’ll find 360 degree views of the city. It’s in the heart of Medellin and sits atop Cerro Nutibara. There are also a few restaurants, food vendors, a museums, and small shops. Easiest way to get here is by Taxi.
When you’re all done taking in the views at Pueblito Paisa head over to Communa 13. A massive urban outdoor escalator has revived what was once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world. Ascending a height of 1,260 feet it’s a symbol of the city’s transformation. I highly recommend you take the graffiti tour. While on tour you’ll be able to able to see some of the most beautiful graffiti, along with the stories behind it. On the way down make sure to stop at cafe aroma de barrio for a delicious cup of coffee or a cold beer. To reach this area, take the metro Line B west to San Javier (it’s the last stop). You’ll find tour guides inside the station near the ticket booth; don’t miss out on the graffiti tour!
If you have time I highly recommend you take a day trip to El Penon de Guatape. We weren’t able to squeeze it into this trip but it’s on our bucket list. Guatape is a cute and the most colorful towns you’ll find in Colombia. Climb 650 steps to the top where amazing views await you. You can get here by taking the metro to Caribe station (5 stops north of San Antonio station in Centro Medellin) and getting to Terminal Norte bus station. From here ticket booth #9 or #14 to get a ticket to Guatape for about $4.50. Once in Guatape should buy a return ticket back to Medellin.
Where to Stay
We stayed in Poblado where you’ll find a high concentration of hotels, high rises, restaurants, and bars. It’s close to the metro and safe for visitors, we walked around the area at night without any issues. Although it’s a pretty safe area with a lot of security try not to be too flashy, keep your purse close, men put your wallet in your front pocket, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Medellin’s upper class nightlife neighborhood
- Top restaurants and bars in the area
- Cocktails are pricey; lots of clubs have covers
- Upscale restaurants and bars
- Medellin’s posh crowd can be found here
Restaurants to Try
El Casa Del Patron – Parque Llares
- Traditional Colombian Dishes
- Great cocktails
- Try the Plato Paisa (Large plate with a lot of food)
La Bronca– La Provenza
- Mexican Restaurant
- Delicious Cocktails- Beautiful presentation
- Good music
- Great place to pregame for a night out
- Upscale restaurant (make reservations ahead of time)
- Huge gorgeous outdoor seating
- Amazing food- every dish was delicious
- Large wine selection and cocktails were great
- Cool music
- Beautiful crowd
- Great cocktails
- Keep your purse close to you when you’re in the downtown area, fellas put your wallet in your front pocket.
- Ask the front desk for the price of taxi’s to popular locations
- Tipping is usually 10% and it’s added to your bill
I can’t wait to return to Medellin and explore this beautiful city in the near future.
Thanks for stopping by, Xo, B!