Dan was in here for a month working remotely. Becca visited and spent two weekends in Medellin. Our trip to Salento was in between! We have lots of great recommendations for Medellin and wanted to share a great way to spend a weekend. If you’re here on a Sunday, check on the Ciclovia and run, bike or walk through the center of Medellin! Compared with Colombia’s capital, Bogota, Medellin is a dream city for running and jogging due to a lower elevation. You’ll be able to catch your breath while working out!
Hanging out in El Poblado
El Poblado is the traveler/gringo district where you will find leafy streets, taco shops, bars, cafes and hostels. There are a few supermarkets and convenience stores and everything is walkable. There is a cute park, too!
Medellin City Sights
Pueblito Paisa is a traditional attraction set atop a hill. It seems wildly popular among Colombian tourists and locals alike. We got here by taxi. This Colombian village was recreated in a traditional style, and it’s actually tiny, but there are look-out points all around via paths through greenery. We didn’t stay too long, but had the best time on top of the museum, where we found 360-degree views of the Medellin valley.
The Medellin Botanical Garden (Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden) was worth a trip, and we’ll tell you why. Admission was free, and on weekends, Medellin locals come here to lay in the grass and hang out! It was like a big park scene that had pockets of cool cacti, palm trees, flowers and bamboo.
Outside, it was like a small carnival with people selling all sorts of street food, children taking rides on small donkeys and performers.
Where to Drink Outside 🍺
Made in Chaina was where we went for a night of great live music. The bar is in El Poblado and also has a crowded rooftop where you can go for a peek at the stars if the sky is clear.
The Charlee has an excellent roof top with a mini pool. Come here during the day for some relaxing vibes. Later at night, it starts to fill upwith hotel guests, tourists and locals.
Clandestino has an open roof with lots of seating. The cocktails are unique and the food is good. Bring your 💰, as this place is on the more expensive side.
Where to Get Some Coffee & Juices ☕
Pergamino came recommended to us by not one, but two friends, because the coffee is ‘actually’ good. If you read our guide for Salento, you’ll see how we learned that Colombians tend to drink instant coffee, as the high-quality beans are saved for export. The cafe also sells Colombian coffee to take home. Also, they sell stickers! Dan has a few Pergamino stickers on his laptop.
Cafe Velvet Medellin is a wonderful place to sit and people watch while having a smoothie with your coffee.
Urbania Café is a cool cafe. You should go!
Criminal Taqueria is where we ate a lot of tacos, because life’s too short not to eat tacos when you want them.
Carulla is a huge grocery store right in El Poblado. We like to hit the grocery store to get snacks and a meal or two if we’re staying somewhere for a few days. Bring your beers and wine back to the hotstel roof (see our recommendation below) at sunset!
Brew House has an amazing beer selection. If you like craft beer, this is your place. It’s also located on a very busy street with lots of other bars and quick food options to bounce between. Watch your pockets. Pro Tip: This area is on our high-theft alert at night.
Niágara is a great little bar. Come here for Aguila and Aguila light, the local beers! It’s a nice pregame bar and they have some outside seating. It’s in a good area to visit at all times of your night.
Ganso & Castor is great for food. Also, if you like cool drawings, you’ll like these menus!
After really spicy food or during a really hot day, gelato and sorbet are exactly what we’re looking for. Check out Amor-Acuyá Gelato!
Need a Place to Stay?
Casa Kiwi Hostel is a big, conveniently located hostel in El Poblado and is always busy. The property has kitchens on several floors and a rooftop deck where you can kick back with a beer and enjoy the views while meeting other travelers.
Here are all of the places that we’ve mentioned in this article.