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Forget the Reputation, There’s Much to Explore in Medellín!

Written by Shannon Durso

This blog post was updated on May 15, 2020.

You may relate Medellín to the city where drug lord Pablo Escobar ran the infamous “Medellín Cartel.” Although the Colombian city has a poor reputation dating back to the early 90’s, it’s a beautiful must-see destination, especially if you’re on the hunt for cheap international flights. Today, it’s filled with remarkable scenery, a bright and fun-filled nightlife, and, of course, delicious authentic Colombian coffee. The lush city is also only a 3-hour flight from Miami, which makes it a great destination for a last minute getaway!

So please, ignore the nasty reputation and explore all the beauty and excitement Medellín has to offer!

Learn a Fascinating History

While there are a number of tours about Escobar and the cartel years, many others focus on some great historical facts about the city. Medellín was founded in the early 1600s by Spanish conqueror Don Francisco Herrera Campuzano, and early development began in El Poblado (currently the swankiest section of the city). You can discover more of the city’s rich history and culture at the Museo de Antioquía and Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín local museums. Medellín’s parks and gardens are also must-see places that hold great natural history. A few definite stops to add to your itinerary include Plaza Botero, Parque Berrio, Parque Arvi, and Jardín Botánico. Massive mountains surround the city, and the views are even better from above. So, we recommend you to hop into a Metro Cable that takes you over the hills through the rest of the city — it’s quite the view!

Feeling adventurous? Check out more cheap international flights to get you on your way!

Salsa through the Night

Learn the salsa, then hit the hottest club in town! The city has great spots to get you moving to the rhythm of the beat and learn Colombian style salsa (and the lessons are cheap). If you’re a newbie to dancing salsa, then we recommend you schedule a lesson at Santo Baile. Get the hang of the side-to-side dance before stepping out to Parque Lleras (commonly known as Medellín’s #1 nightlife district), located in the higher class neighborhood of El Poblado. Parque Lleras lies in the middle of Zona Rosa and is where you’ll find continuous blocks of restaurants, bars, and clubs jam-packed with partygoers from Thursday to Saturday. So, grab your cocktail and stroll through the streets dancing the night away.

Did Someone Say Coffee?!

Are you of one of those dedicated Starbucks fans who needs a perfect macchiato, even when you’re taking some cheap international flights abroad? Don’t worry. As any connoisseur should know, Colombia is an absolute mecca for coffee lovers. Although Juan Valdez is the most popular coffee venue around, a great cup of Colombian coffee can be whipped up in most shops throughout the city. And, if you’re getting hungry, this city also has some great must-try dishes. We recommend you try Bandeja Paisa, a dish including rice, beans, plantains and more. It’s a traditional meal as well as a national dish from the Paisa region, Medellín included. For when the weather gets chilly, some Ajiaco will surely warm you right up. It’s a traditional white soup, made with chicken, potatoes and sour cream. The dish is well known throughout the country so it won’t be hard to grab one.

Take a Stroll Around Town

Ready to see it all? Schedule a free walking tour to take a trip through the streets to discover what it’s like to experience life as a local. As you walk around, you’ll get to taste the variety of exotic fruits and capture remarkable artwork and sculptures. One of the coolest features to see is the street graffiti throughout Comuna 13, which used to be the most dangerous section of the city. If you’re loving the massive street art you can also go on a “Graffiti Tour” where you’ll see and learn more.

The Ritzy Side of Town

El Poblado

El Poblado — the poshest neighborhood in all of Medellín. Recently recognized as one of the best places to live in town. You will find the ritzy neighborhood is packed with fun nightlife, decadent restaurants, and cute boutique hotels. So, if you’re not staying in El Poblado, at least be sure to visit before you leave! 

Have you visited this city and know of any other places to explore? Tell us about them in the comment section!

About the author

Shannon Durso

If she’s not searching for the world's coolest destinations she has yet to explore, you can find her writing content at Fareportal or maybe even drooling over a foodies latest post. Shannon’s a Brooklyn native who enjoys good company, new adventures, and a great laugh!

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