Oct 7th, 2019, 07:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 193

Thinking about going to Medellin in February. Two well traveled couples like fun, art,local culture. Concerned about safety. Recommendations? Where to stay, where to eat, private tour guides, special things to do. Am I overthinking the safety concerns? Thanks.
BKD is offline  
Oct 7th, 2019, 10:27 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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There is certainly a lot of fun, art and local culture in Medellin!
Most people seem to stay in El Poblado but we chose to stay in the Ibis hotel near the Museo de Arte Moderno (itself very much worth a visit). An added benefit was the street full of food trucks, just behind the museum. There are a couple of entries, mainly about what to do and what to eat in Medellin in our blog @

The best way to get orientated is to take one of the free walking or bicycle tours of the city. Great for seeking out the graffiti (a major art form in Colombia) and the inevitable Botero sculptures. also a fascinating insight into the recent history and rebirth of the city from the narco capital of the world in years past. Highly recommend watching Narcos on Netflix for context before visiting.

Taking the cable car into the hills and parks provides a (literal) overview of the regeneration of the barrios controlled by Escobar and co.

We mostly used the metro system and our feet to get around the city. In a addition to Medelling I would recommend getting out to and buses to get to Zona Cafetera. Jardin and Salento/Valle de Cocora are very, very pretty small towns surrounded by amazing countryside and are worth a couple of days apiece.

Before we travelled there in 2016 we read lots of warnings about how unsafe it was and, like most cities around the world, you need to take the usual precautions, but in two month in Colombia we didn’t feel in the least unsafe. One rider to that statement. We had planned to travel the whole country by bus as we had elsewhere in South America. After a week or two witnessing the appalling driving and countless accident, some very serious, we decided to fly all the longer sections. Colombians are the worst drivers I have encountered anywhere!
crellston is offline  
Oct 8th, 2019, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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The Ibis is ok mainly for convenience to the Metro (and the bus line that runs down Carrera 48). Also a great value. Behind the hotel is a street with some restaurants. Also not far away is Mercado del Rio, one of those food hall thingies like Time Out, which didn't impress. The neighborhood seemed to be an office area (looked like a redevelopment project to me) and there are some other restaurants nearby. Might be very dead and a little sketchy outside of working hours although I think as long as you don't look like a walkiing ATM you would be fine there. (Also very cheap rates on weekends).
Locations in Poblado are convenient to shopping and services, but not the Metro. Which may be okay if you use taxis/Uber to get to a Metro line or just in general.
I liked the Hotel Poblado Alejandrķa for service and room size and view, although it's uphill from the "Golden Mile" in a nice residential area. Pretty good room service and a refrigerator in the room.
bh El Poblado was okay for one night but I found the beds uncomfortable, even for Colombia. Across from Santa Fe Mall for last minute shopping and walkable though a convoluted route to the Metro Aguacatala.

Avoid the Porton.

Hotels and taxis are not expensive so depending on your budget and preference for getting around, you may find something even better.
I enjoyed Medellin when I was there for a few days leading up to a tour, and went back by myself for a week. Did not feel insecure but use common sense with your belongings in crowds and using buses etc.

Tours of the downtown and Commua 13 were excellent.

I'm also a big fan of the Crepes and Waffles chain for their ice cream and salad bars in particular.

BTW you can drink the tap water in Medellin.
Medellin has a mild climate year round, although it does have an intense rainy season. I think February is still okay.
Agree with visiting Jardin at least overnight, and some of the outlying sights.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 8th, 2019 at 05:52 AM.
mlgb is offline  

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