Next Up

10 Reasons Why Medellín is Worth Getting to Know

January 09, 2020

The "City of Eternal Spring" is worth visiting for a few weeks or more, to explore its many charms.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
1 / 10

The Weather Is Amazing

Medellín, Colombia, isn’t the kind of place that’s easy to fall for immediately. When I first arrived in September, I felt overwhelmed. For starters, it’s not the most pedestrian-friendly of cities, with drivers who flat-out ignore crosswalks and frequently take shortcuts by going the wrong way down one-way streets. There are few tourist attractions that shout “this is why you should come to Medellín.” But here’s the thing: Once you settle in here and start to explore, it's hard not to love it. This is the kind of city that's meant to be explored slowly, meant to be appreciated and understood, not merely seen. It's full of beautiful neighborhoods and high-class yet affordable restaurants and hotels like the Click Clack, pictured here, which sports a posh lobby and eclectic decor. The weather is nearly perfect, in the 60s to 80s year-round. On top of that, it's an affordable place to settle in for a long stay, so you can stretch your budget exceptionally far.

book now

More photos after this Ad

2 / 10

The City and Surrounding Area Are Stunning

Medellín is absolutely beautiful. It’s in Antioquia, a mountainous region known for its coffee and chocolate. Medellín itself is home to about 2.5 million people, full of high-rise apartment buildings and neighborhoods that crawl up the sides of the Aburrá Valley. The streets of El Poblado and Laureles, the two most popular neighborhoods for tourists and foreigners, are lined with leafy trees so that in some places it feels like you’re in the forest. On Sundays and holidays, the city shuts down some of its main roads so that they turn into giant bike and walking paths. It’s an amazing time to join in for a jog or a bike ride or just to walk and people-watch.

book a tour of medellin's colorful comuna 13

More photos after this Ad

3 / 10

The Dollar Goes Far Here

A favorable exchange rate with the US means luxury is quite affordable here. It’s not at all uncommon to find a room in a luxury apartment with perks — like a sauna, hot tub or gym, and incredible view — for under $400 per month. The menu del día, or daily special, at good restaurants like Achiote Bistro and Café Cliché in Laureles usually costs between $3 and $5 and almost always includes a bowl of soup, a main course, juice and sometimes even dessert. Going all-out with a splurge at an upscale restaurant is relatively affordable, too: It costs about $70 per person for a 13-course tasting menu at El Poblado’s El Cielo, where the food tells a story about the creation of the Earth and multiple courses involve dramatic and delightful use of liquid nitrogen. Also worth a visit is the tucked-away Alambique, which has quite a creative menu. Rooms at the nearby Celestino Boutique Hotel, pictured here, start around $65 per night.

starting around $63/night at

More photos after this Ad

4 / 10

Medellín’s Transformation Is Impressive and Inspiring

The first thing you should do upon arriving in Medellín is take the free tour of El Centro offered by Real City Tours. Guides who grew up in the city will tell you all about the transformation it has experienced over the past several decades. They’ll also tell you that the city’s public transit system is largely to thank for the major reduction in crime. Medellín has gondolas and escalators that bring people into the city center from the mountains and also features Colombia’s only metro. The system is safe, inexpensive —about 75 cents per trip — and stunningly clean. It makes it easy for visitors to get around the city on a budget. One of the iconic things to do in Medellín these days is take a tour of Comuna 13, a once-violent neighborhood that has revitalized itself and become known for its stunning murals.

book now

More photos after this Ad