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Medellin Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: December to February Read More

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"Phoenix in the flesh"

Medellin Tourism

MedellÍn is the second largest city in Colombia and capital of Antioquia department. An important economic centre, MedellÍn is a bustling urban hub known for its textile industry. Located in the Aburra valley in foothills of majestic Andes mountains on either side, MedellÍn is known for its alluring scenic beauty and pleasant climate.

Medellên is dynamic, Medellên is exuberant and Medellên will make you fall in love with its distinctiveness. Rewind 30 years back in the past and you are in the world's most dangerous city, head to the present and you are in one of the safest cities in South America. The way in which in this city has transformed from the clutches of narco-trafficking to receiving accolades for being the most innovative city in the world is awe-inspiring. Medellên is called the City of the Eternal Spring because of its pleasant weather throughout the year. Combine the scenic beauty of Andes with a lovely weather, a vibrant lifestyle, courteous and hospitable locals and tons of art and culture, you will wish to extend your stay as many others who have been captivated by the charm of this city. Medellên is Colombia's second largest industrial centre and is inhabited by more than 3 million people. The modern style architecture all over the city reflects that Medellên is predominantly a modern city. There are several urban development projects going on for its transformation. The city is famous for its Botero museum and an active nightlife. Medellên offers a complete package for anyone and everyone from museum and theatres to public parks and high-end shopping malls.

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Currency in Medellên

Only Colombian Pesos are accepted in MedellÍn, places like hotels and big restaurants accept card payments as well. It is advised to carry currency in small dominations due to two main reasons- one, locals refrain from breaking big bills and secondly, counterfeit bills are a problem in Colombia and tourists are easy targets

Exchanging Money in Medellên

Best method for exchange is using ATMs which are easily available and charge a fee depending on world exchange rates and bank. Money can all also be exchanged in hotels but they charge a lot. There are official cambios at the airport and several others in Poblado area offering exchange upto maximum limit of USD 2000 per day. Do not exchange money on the streets as counterfeited bill pose a major risk in Colombia.

Daily Budget for Medellên

Average daily expenses on a low cost budget would be COP 18,000 which includes entertainment and local drinks, public transport and decent food. A mid range budget is typically around COP 45,000 and high end budget can be as high as COP 110,000.

Religion of Medellên

Christianity is the major religion in MedellÍn like the rest of Colombia with Roman Catholics comprising ninety percent of the population.

Medellên Customs

Colombians are courteous people, men shake hands whereas women grasp forearms while greeting. People of MedellÍn, called Paisas are know for their warm hospitality. Usually, people use Spanish greetings for the time of the day such as "Buenos dias" for good day or "Buenos nochas" for good evening/night. There are no specific dress codes to be followed as such, dress in comfortable clothing which suit you and avoid fancy jewellery. The tipping practice is not that strict as compared to other American countries. People generally tip around 1000 - 2000 pesos in small restaurants, some of the restaurants have tip included as service charge upto 15 percent of the total order value. Most people generally tip for room service.

Language of Medellên

Spanish is Colombia's official language, and knowing a few Spanish words will definitely make your trip more interesting. Greet people with Bueno dias for Good Morning or Bueno noches for Good Evening. Thank people using "Gracias" and use "Por Favor" when requesting.

History of Medellên

MedellÍn's history dates back to mid 16th century when a Spanish explorer by the name of Jeronimo Luis Tejelo discovered Aburra valley. The city was founded in 1616 by Spaniard Francisco de Herrera Campuzano and named it Poblado de San Lorenzo. Early settlement began at a place now known as El Poblado. The population in the valley began to grow in 17th century and in 1675 the city was renamed as Villa de Nuestra Se_ora de la Candelaria de MedellÍn and henceforth the name MedellÍn stuck. The early settlers were hardworking and self reliant farmers and one can still observe these traits among inhabitants of this city. The city became the capital of Antioquia in 1826, but its growth started in the beginning of 20th century. The advent of railroads and booming coffee production marked the industrial revolution phase of the city and the city rose to its prominence. The period from 1980s to mid 90s was a dark chapter in MedellÍn's history because of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and the infamous MedellÍn Cartel made it one of the most dangerous places on the planet. The city has rebounded and recovered even since the death of Escobar and made a phenomenal transformation to one of the safest destinations in Latin America today.

Nightlife in Medellên

The city is known for its active and lively lifestyle. Parque Llera is city's number one nightlife district with open restaurants, bars and clubs like El Blue MedellÍn and Babylon Disco. Latin music and Salsa are key elements of this city's nightlife. Dormant at the start of a week, nightlife scenes change dramatically over the weekend. However, on Tuesday head to Eslabon Prendido which has live Salsa music playing all night. Parque Llera is all about glamour and expensive cocktails, if you wish to get the local experience, go to bars in Calle 33. Some of the city's famous nightclubs such as Attic and Kukaramakura are located in La Strada.

Shopping in Medellên

MedellÍn is considered to be Colombia's fashion capital and known for its textile industry which is reflected in city's umpteen malls and shopping centres. The best malls for upscale shopping include El Tesoro, Santa Fe and Centro Comercial Oviedo. If souvenirs are what you are looking for, then go to side street shops in an area called Juinn next to Parque Bolivar or to the handicraft market of Centro Artesanal Mi Viejo Pueblo.

Best Time to Visit Medellin

How to Reach Medellin

How to Reach Overview

MedellÍn is served by an international and a domestic airport, two bus terminals and is well connected to neighbouring cities via highways.

How to reach Medellin by flight

Jos_ MarÍa C„rdova International Airport located in the nearby city of Rionegor is the main airport serving MedellÍn. International non stop flights are available to North and South American capital cities. Major airlines operating through this airport include American Airlines, Latam, AeroMexico, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines. Colombia's low cost airline VivaColombia is based in MedellÍn. Domestic flights to Cali, Bogota, Cartagena and Barranquilla also operate from the airport. Taxis are available from the airport to the city, usually taking 45 minutes to reach. Airport's official bus service Aeropuerto has white and green buses running every 15 minutes to the city. There is also a small domestic airport Olaya Herrera which is active during daylight and offers non stop flights to regional destinations such as Armenia, Bogota and Bucaramanga.

How to reach Medellin by road

Connected via routes to all major cities, reaching MedellÍn in a car is a delightful experience with scenic views throughout the journey. MedellÍn is connected to the Colombian capital Bogota by Autopista MedellÍn Bogota and the journey can take upto 8 hours. If you are coming from Cali or Cartagena, you can take route 25 which connects directly to MedellÍn. There are car rental companies and renting a car is not complicated, tourists need their passport and credit card and must have an international driving permit. However, renting a car is an expensive affair once you add in fuel costs and toll taxes.

How to reach Medellin by train

There is no rail network connecting to MedellÍn.

How to reach Medellin by bus

MedellÍn has two bus terminals connecting it to other big cities in Colombia. The North terminal located near metro station Estacion Caribe has buses connecting cities north and east to MedellÍn such as Cartagena and Bogota whereas the South terminal located near airport Olaya Herrera has buses plying to south Colombian cities such as Armenia and Cali. Tickets can be booked online for few bus companies and complete information regarding buses to various destinations can be found at www.terminalesmedellÍ

How to reach Medellin by waterways

MedellÍn cannot be reached via waterways.

Local transport in Medellin

MedellÍn has a vast multitude of conveyance options. From metro to bicycles, any one can avail any form of transport from the available options. The city has two metro lines, Line A runs from Niquia to La Estrella and Line B from San Antonio to San Javier. There are four Metrocable (a type of cable car) lines running in the city which has made getting around fairly simple. Metro also includes a network of buses and one electric street car line, all the information pertaining to metro including fares and routes can be found on the official app 'Metro de MedellÍn' available for Android and iOS. Taxis are also easily available for minimum fare of COP 4600. Various taxi apps including Uber are available avoiding you the hassle of finding your ride and negotiating fares. Buses run throughout the city and are used to get to places which are away from metro station, TuriBus is a hop on-hop off bus service for tourists, taking them to famous attractions in the city. Renting a car is also a considerable option to admire the beauty of mountains in MedellÍn. Public bicycles are also available and there are specialized tracks and lanes in few areas.

Medellin Photos

Medellin, Colombia

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FAQs on Medellin

What is the best time to visit Medellin?

Located at an altitude of 1500 meters, surrounded by mountains on all sides and close proximity to the equator has earned MedellÍn the title 'City of the Eternal Spring'. The climate in MedellÍn is extremely pleasant throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 15 - 29 degree Celsius in a day. Colombia being a tropical country receives good amount of rainfall which have contributed significantly to the greenery of MedellÍn. Summer or dry season lasts from December to March and the weather is comfortable to visit and avoid downpours. During Christmas, the entire valley is lit up with decorative lights and the view is stunning. In the month of July, MedellÍn hosts Colombia's annual Salsa festival and Colombiamoda, the fashion week. The city's annual flower parade La Ferla de las Flores starts in last week of July till first week of August. The city is immersed in the festive atmosphere and lots of parades, concerts take place during this time.
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What is the local food in Medellin?

Inspired by Europe and blended with local ingredients, Colombian cuisine is regional and diverse. MedellÍn has emerged as a new foodie destination in Latin America. Start your day with baked Arepas, which are corn pancakes and a typical breakfast in MedellÍn. Treat yourself with some of the best dishes such Sanocho de Gallina, Badeja Paisa and Empandas at Hatoviejo and Ocio. Carmen located in Poblado is renowned for its fish dishes served in a brilliant setting of an open kitchen dining room. Most of the restaurants are concentrated in Poblado around Zona Rosa and have a wide variety of food to choose from for everyone.
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What is the best way to reach Medellin?

MedellÍn is served by an international and a domestic airport, two bus terminals and is well connected to neighbouring cities via highways.
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What are the places near Medellin?

The top places near to Medellin are Bogota which is 16437 km from Medellin, Cartagena which is located 16320 km from Medellin, Maldives which is located 526 km from Medellin, Galle which is located 513 km from Medellin, Colombo which is located 478 km from Medellin

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