Medellin

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Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. It has over 2 million people and is the capital of the department of Antioquia. It's set in a valley running south to north just under one hour by plane from Bogotá.

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Points of Interest in Medellin

Landmarks

  • Pueblito Paisa is a reconstruction of a typical but tiny Antioquia village. It's located on top of el Cerro Nutibara and has a pleasant view over the city. It's within walking distance from the metrostation "Industriales," but as the walk to the top requires hiking uphill for a while, visitors might find that a taxi ride is a smart choice.
  • Los Alumbrados, the Christmas lights decorating Medellín, make it the most beautiful Latin American city for the holidays. The lights stay put from the beginning of December to mid January. The most impressive parts are centered around the Rio Medellín at the 'puente de Guayaquil' and downtown. Large statues made of lights can be found throughout the city.
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral, which holds the record as one of the buildings in the world with the most bricks -over 1'1 million-, located along the Bolivar park in the city heart. Cra 48 calle 56. Metro station Prado.[36].
    • ... Junin..., The junin pedestrian street it's a cobbledstone street in downtown area from Colteger building to Bolivar's park shows the history of city with Astor tea salon and Versalles salon.

Museums and The Arts

  • Museo de Antioquia. Cra 52 #52-43, displays a collection of contemporary art including many pieces, paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, one of the most important sculptors in the world. The Plaza Botero holds several large sculptures just in front of the museum and is free of charge. Open: Mon - Fri 10 AM-5 PM and Sun - Holidays 10 AM-4 PM. Entrance is usually free, but on occasion is COP$8,000 and students COP$4,000. Metro station Parque Berrío.
  • Museo Universidad de Antioquia. Represents the merge of six collections: Visual Arts, Natural Science, University History, Galileo Interactive Room, Human Being and Anthropology. The attraction for foreigners is the Anthropology Collection which has the largest number in the Colombia of pre-Columbian ceramic pieces, with near 20,000 objects. Located in Bloque 15 of the University's main campus. Free admission, closed Sundays. Calle 67 N° 53-108, phone +57 4 219 5180. Metro station Universidad.
  • Casa Museo Fernando González. Was local writer also known as The Philosopher from somewhere else or Otraparte which gives name to the home. A good opportunity to see an old traditional home with gardens, personal belongings and know more about his legacy. Monday-Friday 8 Am-8 PM, Sat-Sun 9-5 PM. Cra 43A # 27A Sur - 11 Avenida Fernando González (In the nearby town of Envigado), phone +57 4 276 1415 or 335 2501. Closest Metro station is Envigado then take a cab or bus, the walk is almost 2 km mostly uphill.
  • Museo Pedro Nel Gómez +57 4 233 2633. Shows artwork by this local artist, Free Admission. Monday-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM. Sundays and Holidays 10 AM - 4 PM. Not near the Metro, closest stations are Prado or Hospital.
  • Museo Interactivo EPM. A 'please touch museum', great for kids. Tuesday-Fri 8 AM- 5:30 PM, Sat - Sunday 11 AM- 5:30 PM. Closed Mondays (or Tuesdays after a holiday Monday). Cra 57 # 42-139, located on Parque de los Piés Descalzos and next door to the Plaza Mayor convention center. Phone + 57 4 380 6950. Metro station Alpujarra or Cisneros.
  • Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes 57-4 421 6259. A large display of everyday use articles crafted by natives from all over the country. Tools, textiles, bijouterie, pottery, little boats, small tents. Cra 81, No. 52B-120. The museum is off the beaten path, closest Metro station is Floresta but the walk is over 1 km.
  • The Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (MAMM) has now 2 sites. The original is a small building near Suramericana and Carlos E. Restrepo neighborhoods, hosting the traditional exhibits. The new space in Ciudad del Río is a large and old industrial warehouse. Great café and restaurant in the premises. Opened in October 2009 near Metrostation Industriales. Original site: Carlos E. Restrepo, Carrera 44 Nº 19A-100. Phone +574 444 2622. Ciudad del Río, Carrera 64B Nº 51 - 64, Ph +574 230 2622 [37]
  • During the 1980s there was a local law mandating every new building to invest 5% of the budget in a work of art displayed to the public, usually a sculpture. The legacy is around 300 monuments and sculptures scattered throughout the city and the nickname of City of Sculptures. There are 3 places with a higher concentration of sculptures: the above mentioned Plaza Botero, El Cerro Nutibara close to Pueblito Paisa and the gardens at Suramericana (Headquarters for the largest insurance company in the country).
  • After the wave of violence in the 1980s and 90's there was a resurgence in the field of education and the construction of modern libraries in poor neighborhoods became a top priority. A few of them are masterpieces of architecture and a couple of them are easy to visit: Biblioteca España is atop the mountain and looks like giant black rocks hanging in the hills: Go to Metrostation Acevedo then take Metrocable to Santo Domingo station [38]. Another library, is close to Metrostation San Javier [39].

Parks

  • The Parque de la bailarina I.C.R.C (Ballerina's I.C.R.C. Park) [40] Carrera 43 E between 7 and 9 street. Is a park located in El Poblado. You can find art that is made by artistic an cultural corporation Alas de mariposa [41] since 2008, every month.
  • Parque de los Deseos (Park of wishes). The near Antioquia's University, has an Indian context, beautifully emmarqued with the planetarium, and large display of science experiments. You can find free open air movies and discussions with film directors Saturdays at 7PM. Metro station Universidad.
  • Plaza de Cisneros (o de la luz - Plaza of Light). The is in the heart of the city, it borders some beautiful buildings from the 20's, the EPM library, and a sector that was full of drugs and poverty many years ago, but is now a place to visit and have a great time. Metro station Alpujarra.
  • Also visit the Parque de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot park) [42] for a Zen experience in the heart of town. Outdoor cafés, cultural activities. Metro station: Alpujarra or Cisneros.
  • Plazuela de San Ignacio depicts Colonial and Republican style buildings. This little plaza witnessed in 1803 the birthplace of the largest university in town. The main lecture hall or Paraninfo de la Universidad de Antioquia is still in use and available for public view, even though the University moved 45 years ago to a big campus 2 km. north. Cra 44 at calle 48. Metro station: Parque Berrío. Walk uphill 6 block east.
  • Parque Berrío is in the heart of town at the crossroads of Carrera 50 and Calle 50. Has the buildings of the Stock Exchange, Bank of the Republic, La Candelaria Church and the busiest metro station. It has the unofficial meetingplace for the locals -right at the sculpture of the 'Fat Woman' or 'La Gorda de Botero'. Connects directly to Plaza Botero and Plazuela Nutibara. Metro station Parque Berrío.
  • The Parque del Periodista (journalist park) is a small square right in the center of the city. It is where the 'bohemian' and 'alternative' people meet. The bars play music varying from reggae and old salsa to alternative rock. You will find most of the people hanging outdoors instead of inside the bars. Metro station Parque Berrío.
  • Parque San Antonio is a large, newer development right downtown. Hosts a handcraft bazaar and an infamous sculpture of a fat dove, bombed by criminals a couple of decades ago during the hard times of violence. By request of the artist the piece of art has not been repaired. Metro station San Antonio.
  • The Parque de Boston is an attractive area that leads down to the main promenade La Playa where people can be found gathering at night to see street acts.
  • Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens), Calle 73 # 51 -298 (Metro station Universidad),  +574 444-5500. Mid size gardens with a vast collection of orchids and many tropical flowers, plants and trees. The covered area for display of flowers is an architectural marvel. The annual orchid exhibit every August [43] is world class. Free except during the orchid exhibit.
  • Zoo (Zoologico Santa Fe), Ave Guayabal. 9 AM-5 PM. Around 1,000 animals are displayed here. COP 8,000 adults, 4,000 kids.
  • Parque Juanes de la Paz is of limited touristic attraction since it has mostly sport courts and is in an under served neighborhood. With the help of the world famous singer work began in 2006 on a recreational park for the rehabilitation of the handicapped. The 68,000 square meter facility cost was around COP$11 billion, financed in part by the government of Medellín, it was completed in 2008. [44]. Metrostation Tricentenario.
  • The new Arví park in the eastern slopes of the valley, close to a beautiful dam. This park promotes ecotourism and it has direct connection with the Metro through a new Metrocable (opened March 2010). The several kilometer long ride goes up over the mountain and then over the tree tops into the park. [45]
  • Parque El Salado is in a beautiful natural setting on the mountain overlooking Envigado. There are good paths for walking. The main attraction is a short canopy tour/zip line with about five stops. (The complete is longer but the additional length is reserved for members). Take the Metro to Envigado and then take the connecting bus that goes to Parque El Salado. The bus ride itself is worth the trip as it winds its way through neighborhoods up the mountain with some great views along the way. [46]

Buildings

  • Ferrocarril de Antioquia - Old train station is a fine building at the corner of City Hall and the Governor's Hall. Has a small exhibit area with free admission. Cra 52 # 43-31. Metro station Alpujarra. [47]
  • EPM building also called the Intelligent building for its computerized self-control. An icon of contemporary architecture. Cra. 58 calle 42. Metro station Alpujarra.
  • Edificio Coltejer has been the symbol of the city for over 40 years, shaped as a threading needle for this textile company. Calle 52 cra 47 (Crossroads of La Playa Ave and Junín). Metro station Parque Berrio.

Neighborhoods

  • Prado neighborhood - formerly it was the wealthy neighbourhood of the city so many huge houses were built there. It still has some of these beautiful old houses, though it should be visited with caution as it's near the center of the city. Metro station Prado.
  • El Poblado neighborhood - this upscale part of town is built in steep hills and has many modern buildings which complement the nearby Andes forest. Most of the trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants of Medellín are located in this neighborhood. Safe to walk around at any time. Recommended. Take metro to Poblado station and walk East on Calle 10 for approximately 1 km.
  • West of the Medellín river are the middle-class neighborhoods of Laureles, Estadio and Suramericana which are modern. Carrera 70 in Suramericana is where many of the best Salsa clubs are, and represent an excellent way to take a break from the trendiness of Zona Rosa and see some real Colombian dancing. The line B of the Metro runs along 'Estadio' near all major stadiums and sport facilities.

If you only have a day

In the morning take the metro to a downtown station, visit some churches - most are open early in the morning -, then head to the park outside Museo de Antioquia to see the sculptures, enter the museum at 10 AM and visit until lunchtime. Have lunch either at the museum's restaurant or cafe, or take the metro to Metrostation Universidad, enter Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens) and eat there. Rest a little while strolling the gardens, then go across the street to Parque Explora or Parque de los Deseos. Before sunset take the metro to Acevedo station, hop on the Metrocable for spectacular views in the way up, and a city of lights upon your return. Take the metro back to any station near El Poblado, go shopping and then for dinner and a bar afterwards.

La Candelaria Church

Berrio Park

Coltejer Building

Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden

Palacio de la Cultura

National Palace

Botero Square Sculpture Park

Antioquia Museum

Park of Lights

Explora Park

Pies Descalzos Park

Cisneros Square

University of Antioquia

Plaza Mayor Covention Center

Medellin Cathedral

San Antonio Park

Oviedo Mall

Jose Gutierrez Gomez Medellin Metropolitan Theatre

Santa Fe Mall

Pueblito Paisa

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Popular events in Medellin in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Medellin

Climate

The weather in Medellín [7] is quite mild it well deserves its common motto of 'City of everlasting spring'. Average daily temperatures are 22°C (71°F), range from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (60º-85°F). Humidity is comfortable in the 50%-70% range. Due to its proximity with the equator there is little variation with the seasons. Due to the high altitude and moderate overcast skies Medellín stays cool, with an occasional couple hours of strong sun light.

As Medellín is located in a tropical country, the absence of air conditioners in Medellín often takes foreign visitors by surprise. Air conditioning is used in downtown areas. Fresh air comes from the mountains surrounding Medellín on all sides, and provides Medellín with the perfect climate. At night time the temperature is usually in the 10-15°C (50-60°F) range, and depends mostly on if its raining or not. The majority of restaurants are in open air environment, without walls, because of the perfect climate.

There is a new weather info page from the city of Medellín at [8].

Activities

Sightseeing

  • Metrocables. There are two cable car extensions of the Metro: For the line K take the a metro train to Acevedo station and from there take the Metrocable up to Santo Domingo for a nice view over the city. The cablecar is included in your metroticket. Go during the day and walk around to see what working-class people live like. The area at the top sees tourists so there are little stands set up and people selling empanadas and other things. You can stop at a little bar and have a beer. Don't stray too far or off the beaten path in this neighborhood, though. For those so inclined, there are young people that give tours waiting at the top wearing t-shirts that said "guia" (guide). Also recommended is taking the metrocable located at San Javier up to La Aurora (J line). Although there is nothing special to see or do at the top of the cable car route, the trip itself is longer and more interesting than the cable car that goes to Santo Domingo.
  • Stroll along lively Carabobo street, Carrera 52 [48] in the heart of downtown, recently converted to pedestrian-only. Safer during daytime. Metro stations Parque Berrio, San Antonio or Alpujarra. Along the street see Plaza Botero (read under Museums) and also:
  • Turibus [53] is a good option to get a general overview of the city. You can take it to many of the main tourist attractions for 17,000 COP. The tour lasts four hours and allows 20–30 minutes per stop for sight-seeing and photos. Turibus departs from the south side of Parque Poblado at 9AM and 1PM. You must return to the same bus after each stop, it is not a hop-on/hop-off service. Spanish is the only advertised language, however many times at least one guide speaks English and is happy to translate [54].
  • Another operator is Zorba, with interesting bilingual tours. [55]

Entertainment

  • Medellín has a very active cultural life. There are four major theatres in town: Metropolitan Theatre [56], Pablo Tobon Uribe [57], Teatro de la Universidad de Medellín [58] and Teatro EAFIT [59]. They offer a variety of Music concerts, Opera, Theater, Ballet and other events with international and local performers.
  • There are several good quality contemporary and classic theater companies, such as Matacandelas, Hora 25, Pequeño Teatro, Oficina Central de los Sueños and Teatro Popular de Medellín. There is an annual Theater Festival held in the last week of August, organized by Medellín en Escena
  • The city sits to classical music orchestras: Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín and Orquesta de EAFIT. [60]
  • The annual opera program is held in September, organized by Prolírica de Antioquia. [61]
  • Go to the movies: most movies are projected in their original language with Spanish subtitles. For independent flicks try the Centro Colombo-Americano with downtown and El Poblado locations.

Commercial movies are available at most shopping malls: Cine Colombia [62], Royal Films [63] or Cinemark [64]. Price is around 10,000 pesos (4-5 USD).

  • The Arepa [65]: Medellín's English Magazine is a resource guide while in the city. They also have a weekly radio show talking about the events in the city.

Sports

Medellín is one of a few cities in the world to have all sport venues located at the same place. At Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot you will find football, track & field, swimming, diving, baseball, volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, velodrome, ping-pong, karts, boxing, hapkido, judo, karate do, gymnastics, taekwondo, weightlifting, chess, roller skating and many more stadiums in one convenient location. The Unidad Deportiva was recently renewed for the South American games held in March 2010. Metrostation Estadio.

  • Watch a soccer game at one of the two teams based in Medellín, Atlético Nacional [66] and Independiente Medellín [67]. Attending a home game at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium is recommended for any football - soccer fans, or those wanting to experience the famed South American passion for futbol! Games generally take place on Wednesdays and either Saturday or Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium. Metro station Estadio.
  • The neighboring town of Envigado also has a professional soccer team [68]. Metro station Envigado.
  • The neighboring town of Itagüí also has a recently classified as professional soccer team [69].
  • The Juvenile Soccer World Cup was held in Colombia during July - August 2011 (Also called Under-20 by FIFA) with Medellín as one of its venues. [70]
  • Try the new Skateboarding track at Parque Ciudad del Rio. Opened July 2009, this colorful bowl-like ramps allow lots of fun for skaters and spectators. Metro station: Industriales.

Fairs, Shows & Exhibits

  • Visit the city during the first days of August for the local festival "Feria de las flores" (Flowers festival). There are all kind of events during one week including the "Desfile de Silleteros" (Parade of flower carriers).
  • The new freshwater Aquarium inside the Parque Explora opened in December 2008 and depicts a great variety of river and freshwater wildlife, abundant in Colombia. It is probably one of the largest aquariums [71] in Latin America and certainly one of few specialized in freshwater fauna. Metro station Universidad.
  • Planetario Municipal +57 4 5168300. Was renewed with new digital equipment. Reopened in June 2012. See the outer space at the Planetarium [72] for COL 12,000. Cra 52 # 71 - 112 at Parque de los Deseos. Metro station Universidad.
  • Medellín has one of the most important Poetry Festivals in the World. Every year, usually in July, poets from all around the world (including Nobel Prizes) come to this amazing event.
  • Full moon night. Do a visit to an old Cemetery (Cementerio de San Pedro) where former presidents and beautiful sculpted graveyards are found. Metro stations Hospital or Universidad.
  • The Convention Center Plaza Mayor is the main site for big events including the fashion and textile industry related annual shows Colombiamoda (July) and ColombiaTex (January) [73].
  • The Fourth International Tango Festival will convene with world renown artists. Free admission to all events. Every year in June. [74]
  • Tangovia is a monthly street fair in the neighborhood of Manrique, with great tango performers (singers, groups, dancers and more). Calle 45 x Carrera 73.

Food

Colombian cuisine is varied and regional. The more typical dishes are referred to as comida criolla.

Some examples are: sancocho de gallina (chicken soup), carne en polvo (ground beef), arepas de choclo (fresh corn tortillas), empanadas (meat-filled fried turnovers), ají (hot sauce), ajiaco (Bogota's chicken and potato soup), bandeja paisa, natilla, buñuelos (fried cheese puffs), hojuelas (fried puff squares), rice with coconut, Antioquian beans, sobrebarriga (flank steak) mantecada (bun made with lard), papas chorreadas, pandeyuca (yucca bread) and carne desmechada (shredded meat).

A typical breakfast in Medellín consists of baked corn arepas (Flat unsweetened corn pancake) topped with butter and fresh white cheese, coffee or hot chocolate.

One treat that will leave anyone stuffed is the "Tipico Antioqueño"; arepa con queso (small flatbreads with cheese on top), beans, chicken, rice, fried eggs, chicharron (salted and fried unsmoked bacon) and patacon (deep-fried plantain pancakes). Topping that off with a Colombian beer and a cup of "chocolatte" (pronounced the Spanish way - it's milky, sweet hot chocolate) makes for an excellent meal. An excellent place to eat typical food is Hatoviejo.

There is a large variety of restaurants all throughout Medellín, especially concentrated around the ‘Zona Rosa’ which is in Poblado between Parque Poblado and Parque Lleras. You can find a fine display of places with whatever food you desire, with good quality for comparatively cheap prices compared to the US, although there is a shortage of authentic Greek, Indian and Thai restaurants. Sushi is increasingly popular and may be found at the larger malls or supermarkets that are more "international."

Colombia also has an incredible variety of tasty fruits. A few of these are: guanábana, lulo, zapote, mamoncillo, uchuva, feijoa, granadilla, maracuyá, tomate de árbol, borojó, mamey and tamarindo. Ask for a "Salpicón": a mix of fruits marinaded on orange or watermelon juice.

Colombia is well known for its coffee, and Medellín is no exception. As with any large city, there are the usual chain restaurants, however the American "fast-food culture" has not made a huge splash in the country. Mc Donald's, Burger King, Domino's Pizza and most recently Hooters can be found there.

El Poblado

  • HatoViejo (Local dishes), Calle 16 #28 - 60 Via Las Palmas (Across the street from Hotel Intercontinental),  +57 4 268 6811. Great food for the last 30 years. Mostly meat, regional dishes. Decorated as an old farm. Also outdoor areas $$$.
  • Las Luisitas (Typical & Local), Carrera 37A No. 8A-50,  +57 4 311 5615 and 312 6064. Simple and well done Colombian meals in this tiny place with lots of character. Prices used to be modest, now expensive. $$$.
  • La Provincia (Seafood & Italian), Calle 4 sur # 43 A - 179 (Near Oviedo shopping mall),  +574 311 9630. Mon-Sat Noon-3 PM, 7PM - midnight. Really good food, well prepared and well served. Closed Sundays. $$$.
  • San Jorge de Manila (Grill & Seafood), Carrera 43 B # 12 - 101 (Calle de la Buena Mesa, near El Poblado),  +574 312 3006. Mon-Sat noon-3 PM, 7PM-Midnight. Lunch menu available at discounted price. Closed Sundays. $$$.
  • Al Patio (Mexican - Seafood), Carrera 38 # 19 - 2- 65 (Carretera Las Palmas),  +574 2666 060. Noon to 4 AM. Restaurant and Bar. Overlooks town, great outdoors. $$.
  • Herbario (Steak & Seafood), Carrera 43 D # 10 -30 (Near el parque El Poblado),  +574 311 2537. Mon-Sat Noon-3 PM, 7 PM-11.30 PM. Short and Exquisite menu. $$$.
  • Mystique (By Juan Pablo Valencia), Cra. 33 # 7 - 55 (El Poblado - Provenza, not far from Parque Lleras),  +574 311 8221. Nicely prepared meals with option of 1 to 4 dishes in the Chef's Menu. Nouvelle Cuisine at its best. A short menu with the options changing every 2 months. Mobile: +574 311 8221 $$$.
  • Casa Molina (Eclectic cuisine), Calle 11a # 43b- 41 (Barrio Manila, El Poblado),  +57 4 266 1440. By appointment only. Seafood and steaks. $$$.
  • Bijao (Latin food), Cra. 37 A # 8-66 (Parque Lleras, El Poblado),  +57 4 311 6294. Noon-2.30 PM, 7-11 PM. Closed Sundays. $$$.
  • LouCalen (Seafood & Steak), Calle 8 # 43 A 57 (One block south of Parque el Poblado),  +57 4 312 7614. Spacious and elegant. $$$.
  • El Cielo (Molecular cuisine), Cra 40 No. 10A - 22 (El Poblado),  +57 4 268 3002. Noon- 3 PM, de 7-11 PM. Molecular cooking is a complex science, here you can sit down and enjoy it. Ignorance is bliss. $$$.
  • Anita's (Cafe), Calle 4 sur No. 43-A 97 (Near Oviedo shopping mall and McDonald's),  +574 310 1770. Bfast-Lunch. Modern cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. Eggs any style, bacon or French toast. Sandwiches (ciabatta or baguette), salads (Caesar, tuna, Thai or Italian) as well as delicious coffee and fruit juices. $$.
  • Milagros (Mexican), Cra. 48 # 10 - 45 local 149 (Near Hotel Plaza Rosa),  +57 4 311 4216. Authentic Mexican food. Basic wine list. $$.
  • La Fiambrería (Seasonal and Harvest), Cra 43 B # 8-52 (Parque el poblado, Southwest corner),  +574 311 5927. Lunch and Dinner. Nice lunch menu for under 10,000 COP. Try the meat in a Bailey's sauce. $$.
  • Bonuar (At the Museo de Arte Moderno), Carrera 44 Nº 19A-100 (Ciudad del Rio, on the side of the Museum). Great outdoors. Easy free parking $$.
  • Lion's Den Sports Pub (American), Car. 36 No. 10-49 (Three blocks from Parque Lleras. Go up Calle 10 and turn left on Car. 36, we are 5 buildings down on the left),  + 574 311 6079, e-mail: info@tigerpawhostel.com. 5PM - midnight nightly. Watch NFL, college football, NBA, baseball, soccer and more international sports. Please call to see if we can get your game. Menu : Black bean nachos, chicken wings, burgers and sandwiches (grilled chicken, tuna salad, etc). Multiple plasma/LCD/wide screen TVs. $$.
  • Verdeo (vegetarian), Carrera 35 # 8a-3,  +574 444 0934, e-mail: info@ricoverdeo.com. Lunch. Bakery. Salad bar. Cooking classes. $$.
  • El Café de Otraparte ((in Envigado)), Calle 27 Sur, 43A - 61, Envigado (adjacent to Casa Museo Otraparte, in Ave. El Poblado),  +574 302 4218. 3:00 p.m. - Midnight. Next door to the museum. Open-air and open-minded café. $$.

Laureles, Suramericana, Estadio

  • Vitto's (Trattoria Italiana), Calle 33 # 74 B - 310 (Ave. 33, 300 mts up from Bulerias Circle),  +574 411 7247. Well done Italian food, home-made pasta. Great sauces. $$.
  • Zen Wei (Taiwanese), Calle 33 # 74B-240 (near Bulearias circle),  +574 412 8613. Vegetarian buffet for lunch $.
  • Fenicia (Middle Eastern cuisine), Cra. 73 # circular 2 - 41 (Ave Jardin, Laureles),  +574 413 8566. M-F noon to 8.30 PM, Sundays/Holidays Noon-4 PM. Mainly Lebanese dishes in this unpretentious restaurant. Good food. $$.
  • Hari Om (vegetarian), Carrera 66 B, Diagonal 4-7,  +574 3017931514. Some vegetarian Indian dishes. $.
  • Salud Pan, Circular 4 # 70-78 (not far from Mondogo's),  +574 411 6935. Bakery, vegetarian, seeds, nuts, also gluten free food $$.
  • El Arbol de la Vida (vegetarian), Carrera 64 C # 48-188,  +574 230 2522. Well served vegan dishes, low in salt - hey, the use of salt shaker is free -

Downtown

  • Versalles, Carrera 49 # 53-39 (Metrostations Parque Berrio or Prado),  +57 4 511 9147. Restaurant along carrera Junin downtown has basic Argentinean fare at reasonable prices.
  • Moli (Vegetarian), Calle 54 # 47 - 105, local 132 (Centro comercial El Parque),  +574 231 5675. Downtown location.
  • In situ restaurante (Jardín Botánico), Calle 73 # 51 D-14 (Metro Universidad),  +574 233 2373, e-mail: chef@jbmed.org. Reservations recommended. Nice restaurant located in the middle of the Botanical Gardens. The menu offers a combination of local food, some organic choices and all plates are well presented. Outside the restaurant there is a little garden with herbs and aromatic plants. $$..
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Carrera 51 D # 67-30,  +574 583 8386. Daily menu, burgers.
  • Agua Clara (Typical), Carrera 49 No. 52-141, 2nd floor (Metro station Parque Berrio),  + 57 4 231 6642. lunch. Regional food. $.
  • Lenteja Espress (vegetarian), Calle 53 # 42-17,  +574 239 5230. Vegetarian burgers (Chickpeas and lentils), mexican vegan, lasagnas. Also features a Poblado location at Carrera 35 # 8A-75 $.

Oriente - Eastern Suburbs

  • QueAreParaEnamorarte, Partidas para El Retiro (Crossroads of Las Palmas and road leading to El Retiro, near the dam),  +57 4 542 0011, e-mail: info@arepamor.com. At 40 km east of Medellín, great local food, old fashioned and homemade. $$.

Multiple locations & Online - Delivery

  • J y C Delicias offers typical arepas with a variety of toppings, good for lunch or dinner. A few locations: in Laureles neighborhood Carrera 76 # 33 A-62, phone +57 4 250 4861. In El Poblado Calle 4 Sur # 43 A-8, phone +57 4 312 6656, AND El Tesoro Shopping mall. $$.
  • Mondongo's, Carrera 70 # circular 3 - 43 (Right hand side on avenida 70, 3 blocks from Universidad Bolivariana),  +57 4 411 3434. A famous and traditional local restaurant with tow locations in town, and one additional in Miami for the homesick. Offers a local soup made up with tripe. If not adventurous you can go for regular beans and other delicacies. Additional location in El Poblado Calle 10 # 38 -38, phone +57 4 312 2346. $$.
  • El Astor (Dessert house), Junín: Carrera 49 # 52-84 (1 block away from Edificio Coltejer),  +574 511 9002. 9 AM - 7 PM. Traditional cakes, pastries and desserts. Tea house. Metrostation Parque Berrio. $$.
  • Pasteleria Santa Elena, Parque el Poblado (Carrera 43 # 8 - 36),  +574 325 6600 ext 107. Great desserts, pastries and the locally famous 'Pastel de Gloria' filled with guava paste and arequipe.

Also downtown at Ave. La Playa Carrera 45 # 50-64. Many locations throughout town.

  • Food and Deliveries (Online only - Deliveries only), Virtual,  +574 448 4836. 11 AM- 9 PM. Meat, fish, soups, rices. Nice trays, still hot when the meal arrives to your home/hotel. You can also order via Microsoft Messenger. $$.

Drinks

Local Drinks

  • Aguardiente - A popular alcoholic beverage in Colombia with sweet and licorice-flavored, made-up of sugarcane. The local brand is Aguardiente Antioqueño and it is usually drank straight followed by an ounce of water or slices of mango.
  • Ron - Rum is also popular with locals. The domestic brand is Ron Medellín Añejo aged either 3, 8, 12 or 30 years, typically served mixed with Club Soda, Coca-Cola or lemon juice [90].
  • Cerveza - Beer is available almost anywhere, the one most enjoyed by people is Pilsen [91] a light golden in color, German Pilsener or Lager type of beer. Also admired by locals and foreigners is Club Colombia a finer premium beer, made-up of 100% malt [92]. Other popular national beers include Aguila and Costena. A small company brews beer locally: Tres Cordilleras makes Wheat, American Pale and Amber Ales.
  • Refajo - A kind of cocktail made by mixing beer and the local soft drink Colombiana. It is refreshing and a little sweet.
  • Cocteles - Due to the great variety of tropical fruits and its juices your imagination will be boundless when creating Cocktails in Medellín. Start with Lulo juice with vodka, or try the many recipes with passion fruit (Spanish: Maracuyá).

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the main days to party in Medellín; the rest of the week the mainstream nightlife isn't really exciting. Bars close at 2AM, but you will find plenty of clubs that close at 4AM, and if you need to stay up later just look for the techno or electronica clubs.

Colombians love to cook out and party. Checkout some of the culture shots here : Colombian Festival Tour Photos [93]

Dance Clubs

  • Babylon. Best known for its Thursday night all you can drink, 20,000 pesos to enter, OPEN UNTIL 4AM. Located in Las Palmas. It's popular with gringos and 'gringo hunters'.
  • El Blue. A popular place with cross-over music (a mix of rock and local music). It's popular with gringos and 'gringo hunters'. Thursday is the night to go.
  • Circus. A new venue with great views over Medellín. Very popular with the beautiful, in-crowd and normally plays cross-over music.
  •    Cuchitril Club-Bar, Calle 10, #52-87. The name translates as "hovel," which can only be thought of as a tearm of endearment for this salsa club. It's actually very nice inside, with decor somewhere between arabesque and neon plus chandeliers. There is a fair amount of room to dance, including a space on the wonderful courtyard patio/garden in the back. Sundays are the best nights, when all sorts of great salseros and salseras converge in this part of town for the party.
  •    Eslabon Prendido (Salsa & Tropical), Calle 53, #42-55 (Maracaibo street) (Downtown, half block east of Parque del Periodista). Probably the most famous salsa club in the city, with live bands Tu Th (it's more or less closed the rest of the week). The name of the place plays with words: Hot -or Burning- Link instead of Missing Link. It's fairly small inside, but the dancing spills well into the street. There are tables inside, if you are looking to just watch, but they are claimed way before the party gets started. Its location downtown warrants some precaution. $.
  • Mangos. The most famous of clubs here in Medellín and has a reputation of being visited by rich mafia-related Colombians but is also usually full of incredibly hot women (proceed with caution, some women are paid for). Also it is very very expensive at about $5 per beer and $25 for a small bottle of rum, Auto Pista Sur. OPEN TIL 4AM
  • Palmaia (Autopista Sur). The newest, biggest and arguably best club in Medellín and has a capacity of 3,000 people. Standard crossover music with a boxing ring for girl-fights!
  • Red. Opposite El Blue, offers electronic music and local music.
  • Sabor Antillano (Salsa & Tropical music), Calle 38 sur # carrera 43. Envigado (Two blocks down from main plaza). $. A fun tiny place. Classic salsa with songs coming from vinyl. $$.
  • VIVA (Dance club), Calle 51 # 73 - 100 (Close to baseball stadium). Large 2-story dance club with mostly gay clientele $$.

Bars

There are a few districts for bars. Foreigners prefer Parque Lleras in El Poblado, safer, more upscale, nicer crowds. The middle class also mingle outside Museo de Arte Moderno, near Carlos E Restrepo neighborhood; and the so-called Urban Tribes meet at Parque del Periodista (downtown). Other areas with bars are: Carrera 70 near Estadio, Carretera Las Palmas and Avenida 33 in Laureles.

The area around Parque Lleras, (la Zona Rosa), has a concentration of restaurants, bars and is great for people watching. It is active on most nights and a must visit for those looking for Colombian nightlife. The major restaurants on the corner, El Rojo and Basilica are great for food, drinks and people watching. Occasionally they have live music or big screens when important football matches are played.

Parque Lleras is interesting any night of the week although admittedly Thursday, Friday and Saturday are far more lively. There are places, mostly electronic music venues open till 6 or 7AM outside of the city limits as the laws forbid any bar to remain open after 3PM. People however gather around Parque Poblado until dawn drinking, smoking and chating. You can buy cigarettes, alcohol and anything else you could wish for from the street vendors until the last man standing.

A more upmarket experience can be had at La Strada just south of Parque Lleras on Aviendo El Poblado. The centre features numerous bars, restaurants and clubs. La Strada has become the weekend destination for the more affluent of Medellín's residents. Expect to pay more for drinks and food than in la Zona Rosa, bars close at 1AM.

Just outside of Medellín, there are some venues in the neighboring towns of Sabaneta, Envigado and Itagui. Sabaneta has not yet caught on with foreigners, making it the place to go if avoiding gringos is your thing.

  • Arte Vivo Mostly a local crowd. a great 80's and 90'live band (arguably the best in town) playing rock-pop greatest hits and local rock. Prices are affordable, with a nice upscale crowd, and beautiful women. Located in el Poblado across the Monterrey Shopping center (Calle 10 x Las Vegas).
  • "El Alamo" The cheapest bar in Parque Lleras, free rum for girls. They show American football games if you need your fix.
  • B-Lounge is an electronic disco with rich, beautiful women as is...
  • La Kasa which are both good on Thursday nights as it's Ladies Night.
  • Niagara (5 puertas), Cra 38 (2 blocks south of Parque Lleras, El Poblado). Opens in the afternoon until 2 AM. Has been a classic for local crowds for over 30 yrs. Informal, beer, chat $$.
  • La Camerata has offered classic music to its costumers for over 25 years. Occasional live appearances. Calle 49 between carreras 64 y 65, near calle Colombia.
  • San Marcos +57 4 265 3666. Bar and video has mostly gay clientele, located near Unicentro shopping mall Calle 34 # 66B - 53, Barrio Conquistadores. [94]
  • Vinacure An incredibly trippy place - expensive to get in but definitely worth seeing once, entry is about US$4. The entire club is designed by a noted Colombian sculptor. Try to go when German, the owner, is about so you can check out The Naked Room, an interactive art exhibition that must be experienced (sometimes) naked. This is a very interesting, unusual and fun art-museum/bar. It's truly unique. To get there, take a taxi to the beginning of Caldas (carrera 50 No 100D Sur 07, Caldas). Or you can take a bus.
  • Casa Gardeliana (Tango bar), Carrera 45 # 76 - 50 (Manrique),  +57 4 212 0968. Since 1973, has been the meeting place for tango lovers. Live music, dance.
  • Salon Málaga (Tango and Bolero bar), Cra. 51 Bolívar # 45 + 80 (Between Amador & Maturín streets),  +57 4 231 2658. M-Sat 7 AM - 2 AM, Sundays/holidays 8 AM - Midnight. A classic bar right downtown. All social classes mingle here with nice music and local drinks. Dance. Only half a block away from the main Metrostation San Antonio (Lines A and B). $-$$.
  • Dulce Jesus Mio (Mi Pueblo), Calle 77S # 46B-90 Sabaneta (Next to Texaco gas station),  +57 4 288 8176. 4 PM- 1 AM. The whole place is a replica of a traditional 'paisa' town. The locals from the village will greet you and be your host, ask you to dance and party all together. Every midnight is new years' eve. Really fun. $$.
  • Bolero Bar, Cra. 67 B 51 A 98 Local 101 (Near Exito calle Colombia),  +57 4 234 039. Tangos, boleros. Ph +57 4 230 3259 $.
  • Bermellón, Calle 23 Sur # 42B-107 Envigado,  +57 4 331 7963. Tango, et al.

Shopping

Colombia is famous for its coffee and Medellín is only a few hours from the coffee growing centers of Colombia. You can find coffee flavors of everything you can imagine, from ice-cream to arequipe (sweetened milk). The ‘Starbucks’ coffee culture is growing, with the most prominent brand being Juan Valdez coffee shops. The Juan Valdez chain is owned by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, and sells a variety of Colombian coffees.

Aguardiente Antioqueño: Schnaps with a special flavor, much like black licorice.

Ron Medellín: The local Rum, excellent! The quality of this rum was elevated to the highest standards during 2009 and the 8 and 12-year bottles are great presents.

Despite the claim of being the textile capital of Colombia, Medellín is not a shopper’s paradise for clothes for North American tourists, but prices can be attractive to visitors from other latitudes. The main malls sell a limited variety of clothes, (especially men’s clothes), at only slightly discounted prices from the US, although there are always bargains to be found if you look hard enough. The style of clothes for women in Medellín is very revealing and sexy, so it perhaps more suited for gift buying than shopping for yourself. When planning your shopping for clothes bear in mind that the local weather is very mild, so the options for winter and summer clothes are limited. Near Parque Lleras you can find via Primavera, a little zone full of local young designer's shops with unique garments that you will surely won't see anywhere else.

Handcrafts

  • On the first Saturday of the month there is the Mercado de San Alejo, an open market right on Parque de Bolívar, hours: 8.00 a.m. a 6.00 p.m. A large variety of local handcrafts sold primarily by the artisans themselves. Right in the middle of Parque Lleras from Thursday to Sunday you may as well find some handcraft being sold.
  • Centro Artesanal mi viejo Pueblo. Cr 49 # 53-30. Phone +574 513 7563

Shopping Malls

  • El Tesoro Parque Comercial, Cra. 25A # 1A Sur - 45 / Loma El Tesoro con Transversal Superior (Access only by taxi or private car),  5743211010. 9 AM-11 PM. A large shopping mall located in an unusual location: in very steep mountain overriding a creek. Many upscale stores, technology shops and good restaurants. El Tesoro is bilingual; they have an Information Center where tourists can get any information in English, every day from 14:00 to 21:30. Furthermore, it is possible to access this service calling 321 10 10 ext 111-112. And just for tourists to go shopping without any problem, the mall made a brochure with all the terms and expressions they need, in English and Spanish. Ask for it at the information desks.
  • Oviedo centro comercial, Av El Poblado Cr 43 A # 6 S 15,  +574 311 6116. Large shopping area with nearby hotels and restaurants.
  • San Diego centro comercial, Calle 33 No 43 16 (at the crossroad of Las Palmas, Avenida Oriental, Avenida San Diego and calle 33),  + 574 262 0105. The first shopping mall built in Colombia over 30 years ago is still a nice place to stroll, eat and of course shop. You will find good prices for top notch merchandise.
  • Outlet Mayorca is directly connected to a Metro station and also has a movieplex. [84]. Metro Itagui.
  • Premium Plaza (Centro comercial), Carrera 43 A 30 - 25,  034 448 70 71, e-mail: servicioalcliente@ccpremiumplaza.com. 10:00 a.m. a 10:00 p.m.. Premium Plaza has more than 115,000 square meters, with 1,427 cells free parking, over 350 shops to choose from entertainment, shopping, large financial services five banks, cinemas in 35mm and 3D formats, gym, amusement park, two squares of meals, the largest casino in the city and synthetic soccer courts.
  • Monterrey (Centro comercial), Avenida 62 (Carrera 48) x Calle 10. Only 2 blocks from Poblado metro station. This mall is the place to go for anything computer or cell phone related. Many small shops selling all manner of electronic equipment and accessories. There is also a 5-screen movie theatre in this mall as well as a salon offering excellent massages (store #126).
  • Santa Fe centro comercial, Cra 43 A # 7 sur - 170 (Av El Poblado & Loma los Balsos, 300 mts south of Oviedo),  +57 4 460 0737, e-mail: comunicaciones@ccsantafemedellin.com. 10 AM - 9 PM, restaurants and Carrefour until 11 PM. The newest shopping mall in town opened May 2010, 5 levels of shopping, entertainment, food and more $$.

Stores

  • For leather goods for women visit Bon-Bonite with 10 locations in town. Features many handbags in leather and ethnic materials, as well as shoes and accessories. [85]. Available In most shopping malls.
  • Underwear, for men and women, are plentiful and the variety is great. Women: Leonisa [86], Tania [87]. Men: Unico [88], Punto Blanco, GEF. In all major shopping malls.

Money

The local currency is the Colombian Peso (COP). Bank notes come in denominations from 1,000 to 50,000 pesos. Coins are available in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos, starting in 2012 the circulation of a new edition of coins paying homage to endangered wildlife species [89] (former set of coins is intended to circulate alongside the new one for a limited time, after which it will cease to be accepted). It is strongly recommended to use the exact change on taxis, because the drivers rarely have the exact amount. US dollars and Euros are rarely used, except for tourist oriented stores.

Using Credit and Debit Cards is frequent in Colombia but not prevalent as in developed countries. Oftentimes you will need a form of ID, like your passport or government ID to pay with a card. You sometimes may be able to use a copy of your passport, but not always.

ATM limits: ATMs strictly limit withdrawals on foreign and domestic cards. You may only be able to get out 1,2 million pesos per day, so plan to visit the ATM often or hunt around for a more relaxed limit. There are 5 major international banks with local offices, if by chance you hold a card of any of these banks your rates are usually lower (Citibank, HSBC, RBS, Santander and BBVA). The largest Colombian bank is Bancolombia with ATM's everywhere.

When withdrawing money from an ATM it is highly advisable to avoid any located on streets for safety purposes. It is recommended to withdraw from ATMs inside shopping centers. Be sure not to take a taxi straight after withdrawing, it is not unusual for people to be followed out and mugged soon after making a withdrawal. Keep an eye out to be sure you are not followed. If you plan to withdraw a significant amount of money, it is recommended to ask the police to escort you, this service has no cost.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Medellín on Wikivoyage.

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