• Bookmark and Share

1 City 5 Ways: Medellin

1 City 5 Ways Medellin

A winding descent through the Andes Mountains offers the first glimpse of Medellín’s beauty. Once in the heart of the Aburrá Valley, visitors to the Colombian city are seduced by the locals’ (known as Paisas) passion for music and dance, as well as their sincere kindness and affection. In the day, the temperature calls for skirts and shorts, so take time to wander around the slick new museums, indulge in the burgeoning international cuisine scene and sip exotic fruit juices or freshly brewed Colombian coffee. When night falls, the palm-shaded parks throb with salsa, vallenato and reggaetón music, luring locals and travelers with a penchant for partying.

 

ADVENTURER

         
Paragliding Medellin.         

Where to Stay: Hotel Piedras Blancas
Located 45 minutes from Medellín in Santa Elena’s ecological park, this luxury hotel boasts a spa, forest views, nature trails, picnic areas and its own lake with boat rentals.

Morning: Paragliding Medellín
Soar above the Andean mountains on a 20-minute tandem flight. Bilingual instructors offer courses for those who are keen to fly solo. Takeoff is from San Felix, 35 minutes from the city center. 

Afternoon: Parque Arví
Reachable via a cable car that floats over sprawling neighborhoods, Parque Arví is perfect for eco-adventure and extreme sports. A walking trail leads to a sailing lake and a forest ready for tree climbing and high-altitude ziplining. 

Lunch: El Rancherito
Enjoy Medellín’s favorite food, bandeja paisa—a plate brimming with pork, sausage, eggs, rice, avocado and minced beef—at one of these iconic restaurants found around the city.

Evening: Mahalo 
This lively sports bar features Ping-Pong and pool tables, rock music and giant greasy burgers. It’s located above Envigado and provides an ideal spot for watching the sun dip behind the Andean peaks.

 

ROMANTIC

 Dancefree        
Dancefree.        

Where to Stay: Diez Hotel
Submerge yourself in a rooftop Jacuzzi or enjoy a massage above the skyline at this Poblado hotel. Honeymooners may want to opt for one of the packages that includes champagne or wine.

Morning: Museo El Castillo
Built in 1930, this urban castle enchants couples with its red fairy-tale turrets and grand winding staircase. Birds, butterflies and squirrels inhabit the gardens sloping toward a panoramic city view. 

Afternoon: Alambique
Located close to Parque Poblado, this hidden bar/restaurant lures predinner cocktail drinkers. The dimly lit bar and plant-laden garden are befitting of NYC’s trendiest districts.

Dinner: La Provincia
Attentive service and fresh table flowers elevate this French restaurant, where the menu ranges from glazed octopus with mashed cauliflower to mango- and coconut-stuffed chicken breast. 

Night: Dancefree
This dance school in Poblado offers group and individual classes. Every Saturday evening, locals and foreigners gather together for free salsa and bachata lessons followed by a late-night danceathon. 

 

ARTS AFICIONADO

 Museo de Arte Moderno        
Museo de Arte Moderno.        

Where to Stay: Art Hotel Boutique
Situated close to Parque Lleras, this hotel, with its exposed brick walls and metal staircases, includes a theater showing nightly movies and a gallery that displays the work of local artists. 

Morning: La Mesa Coffee Tour
Venture to a traditional coffee farm 45 minutes from the city and pick the world’s finest Arabica beans. After a hearty lunch, test your palate during a tasting session with an expert roaster. 

Afternoon: Museo de Antioquia
Medellín-born Fernando Botero’s figurative paintings and bronze sculptures of voluptuous, disproportioned figures are exhibited in this downtown museum. Temporary exhibits, often exploring Colombia’s history, fill the other two floors. 

Coffee: El Café de Otraparte
This spot in Envigado was once the home of local poet and philosopher Fernando González. The café serves pasta, sandwiches and gourmet coffees while the attached museum hosts talks and poetry readings. 

Evening: Museo de Arte Moderno
This newly renovated museum houses permanent exhibitions of local artists. Evening events range from sociopolitical discussions to documentaries, international films and live music performances. 

 

HIPSTER

 3 Cordilleras        
3 Cordilleras.        

Where to Stay: Happy Buddha Boutique Hostel
More boutique than backpacker, this hostel in Parque Lleras boasts ultraclean showers, pristine private rooms and a throbbing bar with pool tables and a custom beer pong table.

Coffee: Café Velvet
This trendy, European-style café on Vía Primavera welcomes innovative entrepreneurs hyped up on Colombian specialty coffee and tasty desserts. Its courtyard and verdant back wall create an outside/inside ambience. 

Afternoon: Ciudad del Rio
This burgeoning hipster playground attracts alternative bands, skaters, cyclists and rows of food trucks. Come afternoon, portable cocktail bars and beer sellers skirt the grassy park. 

Evening: 3 Cordilleras
Every Thursday, one of Colombia’s favorite microbreweries, located near the Industriales metro station, offers tours and beer tastings. Occasional live music also draws crowds. 

Dinner: Café Zorba
An intimate courtyard, thin vegetarian pizzas and homemade brownies lure the city’s up-and-comers. You’ll also find inexpensive wine and sangria—and live music on Wednesday nights.

 

LUXURY TRAVELER

 El Cielo        
El Cielo.         

Where to Stay: The Charlee Hotel
This classy hotel in Parque Lleras offers Balinese-influenced rooms, some with private Japanese teppanyaki grills and Jacuzzis. Come nightfall, party at the rooftop pool and lounge, Envy, which often features live music and DJs. 

Morning: Boutique Shopping
The palm-covered Vía Primavera boasts the finest independent boutiques in the city. Populated by Colombian-owned stores, this fashion district includes specialist jewelry designers and dressmakers who work with Medellín’s underprivileged communities.

Afternoon: Me Late Chocolate
Come here to indulge in gourmet chocolates—from truffles infused with passionfruit or sprinkled with pistachios to hot chocolates with marshmallows, peach schnapps or whiskey cream. 

Dinner: El Cielo
Leading the experimental dining scene is El Cielo in Poblado. Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos and his team create the menu in a food lab, and each dish, like a love potion served on Valentine’s Day, tantalizes the senses. 

Night: Rio Sur
This compact mall in Poblado attracts Medellín’s glitterati. Delaire Sky Lounge couples panoramic city views with an extensive cocktail list, while the intimate Attic Bar Loft pulses with reggaetón music. 

Spill It: Tell Us What You Think!

Leave message
Name:
Your URL:
Your e-mail:
Message:
 
Enter security code:
 Security code