Travel Guide: Medellín
Medellín was once famed for being one of the most dangerous cities on earth, but it has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” for its tropical weather, Medellín feels like you are living in a green and leafy jungle. The city is located in a valley in the Andes mountains, so wherever you go in the city you are basically guaranteed a view of mountains and stunning landscapes. We were surprised by how many amazing cafes, restaurants and bars the city had to offer. An added benefit were the hip cafes that doubled as co-working spaces, bringing your remote office (aka laptop) out with you was the norm. Neighborhoods like El Poblado and Laureles were bustling during the evenings, and there was no shortage of museums, exhibitions, or hikes to do during the day. We both decided very quickly that Medellín was a city we needed to come back to again!
Food & Drink
1 Sambombi Bistró Local • Sambombi was such a great experience that we went two nights in a row! It is like the neighbourhood restaurant you wish you had in your hometown. Unpretentious delicious food such as tuna tartar on homemade sourdough, fried rice with shrimp tartar (a restaurant specialty), pressed lamb, grilled chicken, and garlic potatoes. An added bonus: amazing cocktails and wine selection!
2 Mar y Fuego • Mar y Fuego takes full advantage of the jungle vibe in Medellín. Local ingredients in Colombian inspired dishes in a beautiful setting! What more could you ask for?
3 Carmen • Innovative Colombian cuisine featured in a bright, stylish setting lined with plants & trees. Look no further then Carmen if Medellín fine dining is your vibe!
1 Sambombi Bistró Local • We would recommend going early to snag the Sambombi bar seats, you won't regret it! The bar at Sambombi is half inside, half outside in a plant jungle. The founder and chef was working the bar both nights we went, serving up classic cocktails like the Negroni and Mezcal Sauco. The large wine selection focuses on Spanish wines from the Catalonia region. Make sure to ask the chef for his recommendations!
2 Café Noir Bar & Lounge • You can't go wrong with Café Noir. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or a cocktail evening, any occasion is good at this spot. House roasted coffee, big wine selection, in-house brewed beer, and great food make this a top spot!
3 Mosquito Rooftop • Mosquito Rooftop is the spot to go to relax with a breath of fresh air, creative cocktails, good food, and a great view!
1 Envigado Flea Market • A monthly flea market in the main square of the pretty Envigado neighbourhood. This market is the perfect place to find traditional Colombian souvenirs to take back home from your trip.
2 San Fernando Plaza • This is a smaller flea market near Avenida Poblado. The location is in one of Medellín’s hippest neighbourhoods, with plenty of cool goods for sale, including organic lotions, handwoven charms, and accessories.
3 Minorista • Minorista is one of the biggest markets located in downtown Medellín. It is bustling and hectic, selling everything from secondhand clothes to fruit and vegetables. A great spot to go if you want to try exotic fruits from Colombia!
Other Food & Drink
Other Food • Cola Roca, OCI.mde, Bonhomia, Moshi & Sushi Bar, Repeat, Bárbaro Cocina Primitiva, Alambique, Restaurante El Cielo, Herbario Restaurante
Other Drink • Tikuna Bar, Panorama Rooftop Bar
Coffee Shops • Hija Mía Nómada, Esencia De La Sierra, PERGAMINO Café Calle, Cafe 11:11 El Despertar, Amelia Coffee, High Coffee
Activities & Attractions
1 Guatape & La Piedra Del Penol • La Piedra Del Penol, or 'The Big Guatape Rock' can easily be combined with a day trip to Guatape. At 2,135 metres above sea level, this rock is a natural wonder and the spot to enjoy lookout views of beautiful Guatape and the surrounding region. And although the 650 stairs leading to the top might seem intimidating, the panoramic views are considered to be the best in all of Colombia!
2 Paragliding • With areas renowned for paragliding, leaping off a mountain into thermal currents with incredible deep green views beneath you is exhilarating! You are with a trained and professional guide during flight who can also capture GoPro footage of your adventure.
3 ATV Adventure • Head just outside of the city with head out with a tour company who’ll set you up with a mountain bike or ATV. The lush surroundings, hills, and mountains around Medellín make it a great playground for off-roading!
Other Attractions (Sites, Parks, etc.)
Sites • Parque Arvi, Botanical Gardens, Parque Explora, Parque Botero
Day trips • Guatape, Jardin, El Carmen de Viboral, Cocorna, Tamesis, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Cañón Del Río Claro Reserva Natural
Galleries/Museums • Museum Pablo Escobar, El Castillo Museo y Jardines, Museo de Antioquia, Museo Casa de la Memoria, Planetario de Medellín, Medellín Museum of Modern Art
El Poblado, Laureles, Patio Bonito, El Centro
Airbnb & Hotels
A Beautiful Penthouse • This penthouse flat had everything, two floors, a lofty bedroom, and floor to ceiling windows with one of the most amazing views of the city with the green mountains in the background. The building was located in trendy El Poblano, within walking distance to cafes, restaurants, and bars. We also booked this penthouse flat at a fraction of the cost compared to similar units in other big cities.
H Celestino Boutique Hotel • An El Poblano gem! Celestino offers sleek rooms in a vibrant neighbourhood, a rooftop hot tub & city views.
H Marquee Hotel Medellín • Marquee Hotel sets the standard for five-star accommodation in Medellín. The plush hotel features an Italian restaurant, a rooftop deck with a pool, a hot tub & a great bar.