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

Shannon Durso
Written by Shannon Durso

You may relate Medellín to the city where drug lord Pablo Escobar ran the infamous t“Medellín Cartel.”Although the Colombian city has a poor reputation dating back to the early 90’s it’s a beautiful must-see destination. 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 for a last minute getaway!

So ignore the 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, there are many others with some great historical facts about Medellín. The city was founded in the early 1600s by Spanish conqueror Don Francisco Herrera Campuzano and early development began in El Poblado (currently the more swank section of the city). You can discover more of the city’s rich history and culture at the museums  Museo de Antioquia and Modern Art Museum Medellín. MMedellín’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, and Parque Arvi, and Jardín Botánico. Massive mountains surround the city and the views are even better from above so, we recommend you hop into a Metro Cable that takes you over the hills through the rest of the city — it’s quite the view!

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 a dedicated Starbucks lover who’s worried that Colombia won’t serve your daily Macchiato? No worries, Colombia’s coffee chain, Juan Valdez, may be even better due to their authentic beans! Although Juan Valdez is a more popular shop, a great cup of Colombian coffee can be whipped up in most shops throughout the city. And if you’re getting hungry this city has some great must try dishes. We recommend you try Bandeja Paisa a dish including rice, beans, plantains and more, is a traditional meal as well as a national dish from the Paisa region including the city of Medellín. For when the weather gets chilly, Ajiaco (a traditional soup) will warm you right up. It’s a white soup made with chicken with 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

Pic via Flickr - Omar Uran

Pic via Flickr – Omar Uran

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 go on a “Graffiti Tour” where you’ll see and learn more.

The Ritzy Side of Town


Pic via Flickr – Andrés Molina Mesa

El Poblado — the poshest neighborhood in all of Medellín. It was recently recognized to be one of the best places to live in as the city  You find the ritzy neighborhood is packed with a fun nightlife, decadent restaurants, and cute boutique hotels. So if you’re not staying in El Poblado, be sure to visit!

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

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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