How to experience Medellin, Colombia in one day

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Medellin for Dummies (4 days). City of modern sculpture, architecture.

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Medellin for Dummies (4 days). City of modern sculpture, architecture.

Alexander Khazanov ” 27 Aug 2014, 23:26

The day is warm, and at night cool There is no snowy sadness and melancholy Colombia chocolate-colored offers fruit and socks.

The Andes reserve valley Breathes the fragrance of flowers And in the churches of ancient Medellin Hides the collections of dead gods.

Day1 Flew from Cartagena to Medellín in 1 hour and $50. From the plane we watched the mountain splendor. Andes. . The name alone stirred the imagination. Incas and Indians with multicolored feathers on their heads could be seen in the mountain gaps. Rum-smelling, crooked-footed conquistadors carried trunks full of gold, the sheen of which drove them mad. A comfortable bus took us in an hour down the scenic serpentine road to Medellín, the city of innovation and mafia, the city of textiles and art. The city of eternal spring. The Conquistodor hotel seemed to be the height of bliss and comfort compared to Cartagena’s dormitory. Hot water and white towels, a window, shower and two beds. And the best part – it wasn’t hot! The rest of the day was spent withdrawing money, looking for stores “food with a human face”, showering, eating their food and watching the news, ie, as they say in such cases, zeroed in.

Day 2 We visited Plaza Botero. Captured the spirit. I saw a real contemporary art. Apparently the author was so fed up with subtlety that he rebelled, filled everything with vital volume and fundamentality. He laughed at the canons. He sang the Joy of Life.

And lies on the neck of the mountain Medellin like a medallion Like a rebellious Spaniard In love with a scarlet rose. Medellín is full of red fruits and vegetables. For example, a fruit with the amazing name of Tamarilio, which I have never seen before. If you take off its skin and add it to any vegetable salad, the Caribbean with all its scents and languid passion will appear on your plate. It’s the kind of banderillo bullfighter you see in Hemingway’s books. And seductively pink guavas too, capable of bringing the dead back to life with their flavor and scent. And wonderfully sweet peppers that sparkle like rubies and smell like sunshine. All red-all beautiful.

Death with a cardboard scythe, black hood Gothic, erotic, and orchestras clanging Children, naive, dressed up in masks Amusing images from a fairy tale On stilts they dance, drums they beat Eyes of fire cast here and there It’s not madness, but a gauntlet of fun In Medellin the car-na-val rages.

Unexpectedly in the evening we were at the carnival. Due to lack of knowledge of the language we did not understand whether it was representatives of different countries or different cities of Colombia, but it was an amazing show. Flowing imagination, a riot of colors, hundreds of different bands, each delegation was playing a mini performance. There were a hundred Charlie Chaplins, dozens of Elvises, dressed in gothic Pink Floyd, brass bands in white uniforms, beautiful women from harlots to queens casting flaming looks, hundreds of vampires scaring people who wanted to be scared, dancing on stilts, etc., etc. I endured it for an hour and then I realized that the music, the colors and the dancing would overflow and I’d get stuck in the whirlpool.

Leaving the merry carnival we wandered to the unrecommended People’s Square of Semyon Bolivar. Bolivar and his horse differed sharply from Cartohenny’s. There was a young, spunky beauty on a shining horse. Medellín Bolivar was already of age, with sadness and anxiety on his forehead. His horse was tired and dusty. Already his end was in sight, when he gave away all his money and lands and castles, secluded himself, and spent the rest of his days in contemplation of the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The square was democratic in every way, smelling of fried fish, piss, and oranges, and people listened to local singers with their guitars singing ditties of sorts, interrupted by bursts of laughter. The church on the square was old, big, and dirty. The fountain gave inexpressive jets, reminding us of old age and powerlessness. We bought a delicious kebab to eat on the next street under a palm tree.

Day3 Lost in the lanes of Medellín Lost in the lanes of Medellín Lost in the lanes of Medellín I dreamed I stayed in Medellín To enjoy something I had to get lost somewhere.

There was a thunderstorm at night with thunder and lightning. I could hear “Whistle up” and barrels of rum and bags of cocaine rolled around in the hold. In the morning the thunderstorm calmed down, but the clouds came down from the mountains and the planned sightseeing of the city from the observation deck had to be canceled. We took the subway to the modern part of town. The subway in Medellin is one of the most beautiful and modern in the world. It’s on the ground and the train speed is 80km, but you don’t really notice it. You just fly over the city. Modern Medellín is a hug and a cry. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Like all cities located on the mountains, it is beautiful by the mountain panorama alone. But the houses, the offices, the stores, the road junctions, the lush vegetation and the exuberant imagination of the architect are magnificent. A long time ago, in 1992, I saw the new Paris and it struck me right in the heart. A lot of beautiful modern architecture cities: Toronto and New York, Irusalim and Bangkok, Istanbul and San Francisco. National flavor hides usually in the old part of town, usually not the cleanest and not the most ornate. It lies between the palms of the ancient mountains, its alleys are shady and spacious. The trees are full of mango fruit and different flowers from aleanders to some blue, from candle-like palms to the transparent green of bamboo.

Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture.

And then God sent us a small family restaurant where the menu had only two dishes: the first fragrant pea soup and the second: a mixture of different types of stew and smoked meat with an unexpected salad of cabbage apples and strawberries. In a tall foggy glass there was an old drink that tasted like currants.

## Day4 ## Away from the city, up in the sky, up in the blue ## To the gentle maiden of the woods That sits beneath the pine tree ## Not in my dreams, but in reality.

Away from the years I would flee From the mistakes, wrongs and sins In the high mountains Where only the AH On a simple path of shepherds.

I’d like to run away on the L Asiwedo Line, then Arvi Park Where in the forest blue Between dream and reality The young chief sings of love.

It was an interesting trip to Arvi Park. Usually people write little and bad about it. Do not believe it. You can take the subway to the Santo Domingo stop. And you take the regular subway to the Asiwedo station, then the funicular to Santo Domingo. You fly over the city and see everything: mountains, roofs of houses often tiled sometimes slate or iron. On many of them are bricks or stones, apparently to avoid being blown away by the wind, or for statistics about the brick on your head. And now the height of 2,000. The eagles are flying somewhere below in a grid of fog and clouds. Next, transfer to another cable car and a 15-20 minute flight over the forest. Arvi Park is 16,000 thousand hectares of forest at an altitude of 2,540m. The forest is unseen with unknown paths. Ship pines from Shishkin’s paintings, blue eucalyptus trees like in Ethiopia, banana palms, ferns, obviously suitable for feeding large dinosaurs, and so more than 3000 plants. Then you pick a path and go wherever you see it. Our eyes were on the path that snaked between the haciendas. The smell of pine and thuja and lots of flowers. There are still lakes and horse trails, etc., etc. It’s hard to imagine nothing to do in a forest like this. We got back the same way. The people in Medellín are different from Cartagena and are more Indian than Spanish.

It is common in Canada to take pride in one’s rural origins. It is a sign of deep roots. People have kept their estates for centuries, don’t sell, and keep the lore of the old days in their attics. Father’s rifle, grandfather’s saddle, the cradle in which great-grandmother was rocked. You don’t see much of this in Russia. I haven’t met any people who are proud of their rural past. They are embarrassed to mention their village. In Colombia it’s the same as in Canada. The farm is like a temple. It is worshipped. The villages of Colombia didn’t know collectivization. A farmer’s proud name means a lot in this country.

Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture.

Day 5 Preparing for departure, fooling around.

I’ll add a little to Natasha’s notes. The main feature of Medellín is its climate. This is especially well understood when you get away from the hot coast. The first two days I repeated like a mantra: Oh, how I feel good. And it was the absolute truth. The Lonely Planet guidebook speaks of several tourist attractions. We visited them all diligently. The cable car, the city hill, the Poblado district. The provincial museum.

Briefly, we can say the following. The sculpture by Fernando Botero (a Colombian genius). The modern architecture of the Poblado district (the best in the world.) The Arvi Park (funicular railway).

All this is world class. You don’t see that in the States or Europe. Not because it’s better or worse, but simply because it’s different.

It’s not that big of a deal. But it’s not about the sights. It’s about the fact that it’s nice to be in the city, it’s nice to live here. You can take the subway, which is as clean as the Toronto subway. People with some kind of intelligent faces. No one tries to shout over each other like in blessed Israel. No one is picking on each other. I would compare the people of Medellín to the people of Boston or Leningrad. They are simply and cleanly dressed. They smile. They give way to the elderly. They’re generally peaceful.

The Poblado neighborhood doesn’t let go at all. I want to walk there and walk around. The architecture is so bright and modern, I wondered if I had seen anything more talented before. Take a look at the pictures and you’ll see for yourself. There is no second city like it. It sits in my memory.

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The food in Medellín is cheap and beautiful. The prices in the restaurants are about half that of Cartagena. For 7 pesos you get: first, second and third. I liked the first one in all kinds, be it pea soup or corn soup. The second is always traditional: rice, goulash, salad, all on one big plate. For the third course in Medellín, they serve a morsel of some berry, very similar to lingonberries. Not too sweet and a good thirst quencher. The food is not spicy.

Здесь 2 района для туристов. Центр и Побладо. В Центре немножко суматошно. В Побладо всё причёсано и прилично. Наша гостиница в центре вполне нас устроила. Хорошая рекомендация от Lonely Planet не подвела. Всё было на месте: и горячий душ, и большая комната, и телевизор, и Wi-Fi в номере. Все в отремонтированном состоянии, хороший рассекатель в душе. Рядом мясной магазин и супер. Уличные торговцы продают фрукты-овощи. Цены нас сразили: килограмм великолепных помидор (сладких и ароматных) стоит 1 песо! Мясная вырезка 12 песо за кг. Так, что мы здесь не голодали! Вот название и адрес гостиницы: Hotel Conquistadores hotelconquistadores@gmail.com ; Carrera 54 Cúcuta No 49-31; s/d COP$28,000/34,000; После весьма интеллигентного разговора на ресепшн (женщина почти не знала Английского, а я в Испанском полный ноль), обычная цена 48 превратилась в 34 песо за double room. Я же вам говорю, что это Рига (Ленинград). Это не Сочи. И так было во всём. Номер дали нестандартный, а с двухспальной и односпальной кроватями. Матрасы ортопедические, бельё меняют каждый день. Кафель моют до блеска. Один раз закупились в супере. Цены более, чем приятные. И обслуживание достойно всяческих похвал. На 30 песо мы закупили столько, что три дня не могли сьесть. Холодильник в гостинице всегда есть. Должен сказать, что мы всегда путешествуем со своей рисоваркой-пароваркой, иначе трезвеннику и язвеннику долго не продержа d:DATA_DISCDATASamPhotos

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Medellin for Dummies (4 days). City of modern sculpture, architecture.

Colombia reviews, travelers stories about Colombia, holidays in Colombia, expeditions to Colombia reviews

This forum is currently viewed by: no registered members and guests: 1

Like:

Medellin for Dummies (4 days). City of modern sculpture, architecture.

Alexander Khazanov ” 27 Aug 2014, 23:26

The day is warm, and at night cool There is no snowy sadness and melancholy Colombia chocolate-colored offers fruit and socks.

The Andes reserve valley Breathes the fragrance of flowers And in the churches of ancient Medellin Hides the collections of dead gods.

Day1 Flew from Cartagena to Medellín in 1 hour and $50. From the plane we watched the mountain splendor. Andes. . The name alone stirred the imagination. Incas and Indians with multicolored feathers on their heads could be seen in the mountain gaps. Rum-smelling, crooked-footed conquistadors carried trunks full of gold, the sheen of which drove them mad. A comfortable bus took us in an hour down the scenic serpentine road to Medellín, the city of innovation and mafia, the city of textiles and art. The city of eternal spring. The Conquistodor hotel seemed to be the height of bliss and comfort compared to Cartagena’s dormitory. Hot water and white towels, a window, shower and two beds. And the best part – it wasn’t hot! The rest of the day was spent withdrawing money, looking for stores “food with a human face”, showering, eating their food and watching the news, ie, as they say in such cases, zeroed in.

Day 2 We visited Plaza Botero. Captured the spirit. I saw a real contemporary art. Apparently the author was so fed up with subtlety that he rebelled, filled everything with vital volume and fundamentality. He laughed at the canons. He sang the Joy of Life.

And lies on the neck of the mountain Medellin like a medallion Like a rebellious Spaniard In love with a scarlet rose. Medellín is full of red fruits and vegetables. For example, a fruit with the amazing name of Tamarilio, which I have never seen before. If you take off its skin and add it to any vegetable salad, the Caribbean with all its scents and languid passion will appear on your plate. It’s the kind of banderillo bullfighter you see in Hemingway’s books. And seductively pink guavas too, capable of bringing the dead back to life with their flavor and scent. And wonderfully sweet peppers that sparkle like rubies and smell like sunshine. All red-all beautiful.

Death with a cardboard scythe, black hood Gothic, erotic, and orchestras clanging Children, naive, dressed up in masks Amusing images from a fairy tale On stilts they dance, drums they beat Eyes of fire cast here and there It’s not madness, but a gauntlet of fun In Medellin the car-na-val rages.

Unexpectedly in the evening we were at the carnival. Due to lack of knowledge of the language we did not understand whether it was representatives of different countries or different cities of Colombia, but it was an amazing show. Flowing imagination, a riot of colors, hundreds of different bands, each delegation was playing a mini performance. There were a hundred Charlie Chaplins, dozens of Elvises, dressed in gothic Pink Floyd, brass bands in white uniforms, beautiful women from harlots to queens casting flaming looks, hundreds of vampires scaring people who wanted to be scared, dancing on stilts, etc., etc. I endured it for an hour and then I realized that the music, the colors and the dancing would overflow and I’d get stuck in the whirlpool.

Leaving the merry carnival we wandered to the unrecommended People’s Square of Semyon Bolivar. Bolivar and his horse differed sharply from Cartohenny’s. There was a young, spunky beauty on a shining horse. Medellín Bolivar was already of age, with sadness and anxiety on his forehead. His horse was tired and dusty. Already his end was in sight, when he gave away all his money and lands and castles, secluded himself, and spent the rest of his days in contemplation of the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The square was democratic in every way, smelling of fried fish, piss, and oranges, and people listened to local singers with their guitars singing ditties of sorts, interrupted by bursts of laughter. The church on the square was old, big, and dirty. The fountain gave inexpressive jets, reminding us of old age and powerlessness. We bought a delicious kebab to eat on the next street under a palm tree.

Day3 Lost in the lanes of Medellín Lost in the lanes of Medellín Lost in the lanes of Medellín I dreamed I stayed in Medellín To enjoy something I had to get lost somewhere.

There was a thunderstorm at night with thunder and lightning. I could hear “Whistle up” and barrels of rum and bags of cocaine rolled around in the hold. In the morning the thunderstorm calmed down, but the clouds came down from the mountains and the planned sightseeing of the city from the observation deck had to be canceled. We took the subway to the modern part of town. The subway in Medellin is one of the most beautiful and modern in the world. It’s on the ground and the train speed is 80km, but you don’t really notice it. You just fly over the city. Modern Medellín is a hug and a cry. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Like all cities located on the mountains, it is beautiful by the mountain panorama alone. But the houses, the offices, the stores, the road junctions, the lush vegetation and the exuberant imagination of the architect are magnificent. A long time ago, in 1992, I saw the new Paris and it struck me right in the heart. A lot of beautiful modern architecture cities: Toronto and New York, Irusalim and Bangkok, Istanbul and San Francisco. National flavor hides usually in the old part of town, usually not the cleanest and not the most ornate. It lies between the palms of the ancient mountains, its alleys are shady and spacious. The trees are full of mango fruit and different flowers from aleanders to some blue, from candle-like palms to the transparent green of bamboo.

Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture.

And then God sent us a small family restaurant where the menu had only two dishes: the first fragrant pea soup and the second: a mixture of different types of stew and smoked meat with an unexpected salad of cabbage apples and strawberries. In a tall foggy glass there was an old drink that tasted like currants.

## Day4 ## Away from the city, up in the sky, up in the blue ## To the gentle maiden of the woods That sits beneath the pine tree ## Not in my dreams, but in reality.

Away from the years I would flee From the mistakes, wrongs and sins In the high mountains Where only the AH On a simple path of shepherds.

I’d like to run away on the L Asiwedo Line, then Arvi Park Where in the forest blue Between dream and reality The young chief sings of love.

It was an interesting trip to Arvi Park. Usually people write little and bad about it. Do not believe it. You can take the subway to the Santo Domingo stop. And you take the regular subway to the Asiwedo station, then the funicular to Santo Domingo. You fly over the city and see everything: mountains, roofs of houses often tiled sometimes slate or iron. On many of them are bricks or stones, apparently to avoid being blown away by the wind, or for statistics about the brick on your head. And now the height of 2,000. The eagles are flying somewhere below in a grid of fog and clouds. Next, transfer to another cable car and a 15-20 minute flight over the forest. Arvi Park is 16,000 thousand hectares of forest at an altitude of 2,540m. The forest is unseen with unknown paths. Ship pines from Shishkin’s paintings, blue eucalyptus trees like in Ethiopia, banana palms, ferns, obviously suitable for feeding large dinosaurs, and so more than 3000 plants. Then you pick a path and go wherever you see it. Our eyes were on the path that snaked between the haciendas. The smell of pine and thuja and lots of flowers. There are still lakes and horse trails, etc., etc. It’s hard to imagine nothing to do in a forest like this. We got back the same way. The people in Medellín are different from Cartagena and are more Indian than Spanish.

It is common in Canada to take pride in one’s rural origins. It is a sign of deep roots. People have kept their estates for centuries, don’t sell, and keep the lore of the old days in their attics. Father’s rifle, grandfather’s saddle, the cradle in which great-grandmother was rocked. You don’t see much of this in Russia. I haven’t met any people who are proud of their rural past. They are embarrassed to mention their village. In Colombia it’s the same as in Canada. The farm is like a temple. It is worshipped. The villages of Colombia didn’t know collectivization. A farmer’s proud name means a lot in this country.

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Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture. Medellin for Dummies (4 days). The city of modern sculpture, architecture.

Day 5 Preparing for departure, fooling around.

I’ll add a little to Natasha’s notes. The main feature of Medellín is its climate. This is especially well understood when you get away from the hot coast. The first two days I repeated like a mantra: Oh, how I feel good. And it was the absolute truth. The Lonely Planet guidebook speaks of several tourist attractions. We visited them all diligently. The cable car, the city hill, the Poblado district. The provincial museum.

Briefly, we can say the following. The sculpture by Fernando Botero (a Colombian genius). The modern architecture of the Poblado district (the best in the world.) The Arvi Park (funicular railway).

All this is world class. You don’t see that in the States or Europe. Not because it’s better or worse, but simply because it’s different.

It’s not that big of a deal. But it’s not about the sights. It’s about the fact that it’s nice to be in the city, it’s nice to live here. You can take the subway, which is as clean as the Toronto subway. People with some kind of intelligent faces. No one tries to shout over each other like in blessed Israel. No one is picking on each other. I would compare the people of Medellín to the people of Boston or Leningrad. They are simply and cleanly dressed. They smile. They give way to the elderly. They’re generally peaceful.

The Poblado neighborhood doesn’t let go at all. I want to walk there and walk around. The architecture is so bright and modern, I wondered if I had seen anything more talented before. Take a look at the pictures and you’ll see for yourself. There is no second city like it. It sits in my memory.

The food in Medellín is cheap and beautiful. The prices in the restaurants are about half that of Cartagena. For 7 pesos you get: first, second and third. I liked the first one in all kinds, be it pea soup or corn soup. The second is always traditional: rice, goulash, salad, all on one big plate. For the third course in Medellín, they serve a morsel of some berry, very similar to lingonberries. Not too sweet and a good thirst quencher. The food is not spicy.

There are 2 neighborhoods for tourists. The Center and Poblado. The Center is a bit hectic. In Poblado it’s all combed up and decent. Our hotel in the center suited us just fine. A good recommendation from Lonely Planet didn’t let us down. Everything was in place: hot showers, a big room, TV, and Wi-Fi in the room. Everything is in refurbished condition, good spreader in the shower. There is a butcher store next door and a super. Street vendors selling fruits and vegetables. The prices blew us away: a kilo of gorgeous tomatoes (sweet and flavorful) cost 1 peso! The meat loin is 12 pesos per kilo. So, we did not go hungry here! Here’s the name and address of the hotel: Hotel Conquistadores hotelconquistadores@gmail.com ; Carrera 54 Cúcuta No 49-31; s/d COP$28,000/34,000; After a very intelligent conversation at the front desk (the woman barely knew English, and I’m a total zero in Spanish), the regular price of 48 turned into 34 pesos for a double room. I told you that this is Riga (Leningrad). It’s not Sochi. And it was like that in everything. The room was not a standard room, but with a double and a single bed. The mattresses are orthopedic, the linen is changed every day. Tile wash to shine. Once shopped in a souper. The prices are more than pleasant. And the service is worthy of all praise. For 30 pesos we bought so much that we couldn’t eat for three days. There is always a refrigerator in the hotel. I have to say that we always travel with our rice cooker, otherwise a teetotaler and a sober person wouldn’t last long d:DATA_DISCDATASamPhotos2014SouthAmericaColombiaMedellin4Send. Three times a week, we eat out. The rest of the time, we push home-cooked meals.

Medellin’s transportation is exemplary. Everywhere our brother tourist needs to go there are subway stations with the same name: Poblado, Metrocable, etc. The subway will not leave you in trouble: they will take you to the ticket office, to the right line and help you to change lines. Remember that the L and K lines of the Medellín Underground are cable cars, which are great fun to ride!

Oh, how I would love to be here again: to visit the theaters (music and ballet), art galleries, and cafes. Finally learn a few phrases in Spanish. All this takes months, not days.

The rest will be told by the photos. And the video from the theater festival we shot in the city center.

Bottom line. Medellín fell into our hearts. For some reason I was reminded of my business trips “from the factory,” 45 years ago, to Riga and Leningrad. I was imbued at the time with the spiritual qualities of the inhabitants of those cities against the backdrop of the general Soviet swamp. In Medellín it seemed to me that people were particularly intelligent and friendly. And what cafeterias, what stylish restaurants! And not at all expensive, I must say. We were not particularly lucky with the weather. There was a constant fog in the mountains. We didn’t get good pictures. But we were lucky with learning the city. I couldn’t get to the synagogue (Lonely Planet assures us that Medellin was founded by Jews who had escaped from the Holy Inquisition), but my wife and I breathed the “Catholic air”, which was very nice. It made us feel at peace and penetrated.

No one shouts or talks loudly here, though people’s emotionality can be seen with the naked eye. The English have this quality, which is well called epithet. Kind of restrained in our way. That’s what I would like to say about the Medellians. Frankly, we did not want to leave. On Day Five, just lying on the couch in the room and thought: To hell with Peru-Argentina? Let’s give up our tickets and stay here and learn Spanish in this beautiful place for the winter. But our passion for the unknown won out. We got off our butts, packed our bags, and flew to Cali.

A tick in my mind: Good city for a winter getaway! Just what a Canadian retiree needs.

Alexander Khazanov member posts: 152 Photo: 242 Registered: 26/05/2012 City: Toronto Thanks a lot: 65 times. Thanks: 51 times. Age: 70 Countries: 52 Reports: 7 Gender: Male

Medellin

I didn’t know much about Medellín before traveling through Colombia, and the facts I had heard didn’t seem conducive to a tourist trip. The fact is that the city was the birthplace of famous drug lord Pablo Escobar, and it was the epicenter of Colombia’s terror and cocaine wars. However, more than 20 years after the fall of his empire, Colombia has risen to its feet and Medellín has become one of the safest cities in the country. The image of Pablo Escobar has survived only in bookstores and souvenir stores – on T-shirts, mugs and postcards – and tourists enthusiastically and somewhat embarrassedly buy these things, as if doing something forbidden.

I don’t know if the sad and difficult period in Colombian history is really the main reason for the influx of tourists to Medellín, but the city is the second most visited settlement in the country after Cartagena, even ahead of the capital, the stylish and unique Bogotá.

Anyway, Medellín really has something to do at any time of the year. The locals, even in a cursory conversation, earnestly persuaded me to return here at least a few more times, for example, to see the orchids blooming in the local parks in July – like all Colombians, Medellín residents love everything they have and are insanely proud of it. The city has many unofficial names, such as “capital of the mountains,” “city of eternal spring,” “beautiful village,” and “orchid capital.

But perhaps the most favorable atmosphere for tourists is created by the city’s infrastructure and location. As a major metropolitan area nestled in the stunning mountains, Medellín truly has it all, from cultural activities to eco-tourism and active sports.

How to get there

As a rule, Medellín is an important point in the itinerary of a trip to Colombia. Therefore, there are plenty of ways to get here. The easiest and cheapest way to get to the city is from the capital, Bogota, by bus or plane. But in order to get to Medellin from Russia you’ll need to take a tricky route – long transfers and flights, alas, are essential.

Fly to Medellín by plane

The fastest and easiest way to get to Medellín from Russia is to take Iberia, which offers flights from Moscow with one connection in Madrid. This way is more economical (round-trip ticket prices start at 1200 USD), but also the most comfortable, especially if your destination is the city of Medellín. The total travel time is about 20 hours one way. Given the good reputation of Iberia, which cares about the comfort and mood of the passengers, I think that this time should fly by as smoothly as possible on a transatlantic flight. Plus, you won’t need a transit visa to transfer in Madrid.

If you want to save on the ticket, and your list of obligatory places to visit, includes not only Medellín, the best option is to fly from Moscow or St. Petersburg to Bogota with one connection (companies AirFrance, AirEuropa and KLM offer tickets from 750 USD return), and there use one of the local airlines, which will take you to Medellín in an hour (for example Avior or Avianca with daily flights from 50 USD round-trip).

So, a flight to and from Medellín from Russia will cost you only 800 USD, but you will need at least two connections. There are no direct flights from Russian cities to the “capital of orchids”. Before you buy tickets you should calculate all your options (including price). You can do it on well-known search engines, or, for example, here.

Airports. How do I get to the city center?

Throughout my time in Colombia I was pleasantly surprised by the development of their tourist infrastructure. One of the surprises for me was that there are two modern airports in the vicinity of relatively small Medellín.

  • The large international airport Jose Maria Cordoba is located 30 km from the city. It serves flights from Europe and the U.S., neighboring Latin American countries and even domestic flights from Bogota. The airport has everything you need for vacationers: souvenir shops, cafes, travel agencies and more. You can get to the city in two ways: by bus for 4 USD per person or by cab – the car will cost you from 15 USD and above, depending on the seriousness of your appearance and the ability to bargain. On average, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the city. Terrible traffic jams and problems with traffic in Medellin I have never met.
  • Olaya Herrera Airport is located right in the city limits. Only domestic flights land and take off here. Getting into the center of the city from this airport is very simple – a cab to any hotel in Medellin will not cost you more than 10 USD. And for those who prefer public transportation, there is a 15-minute walk from Olaya Herrera on branch A of the city subway – as far as I know, the only one in all of Colombia.
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It would seem that the division of responsibilities between airports goes as well as possible, and yet there is one nuance that I want to point out to travelers: flights from Medellín to Bogotá. Sometimes when buying a ticket passengers do not pay attention to the name of the airport and go straight to the nearest Olaya Herrera. Of course, they do not realize that from there they will have to rush all the way to the suburban José María Córdova. Therefore, when planning such a flight you should pay attention to the airport, which will certainly be listed on your ticket.

By bus

You can get to Medellín by bus only from other Colombian cities. Therefore, for travel from Russia, this mode of transport is not a solution, but it can be a great means for the final part of the route. For example, if you fly into Bogotá and there is no suitable flight to Medellín at the moment, the bus is a great substitute. When traveling in Colombia I always took the buses – they’re comfortable and modern, most of them have Wi-Fi and they show movies as entertainment (usually action movies from the 80’s and 90’s, though, so I preferred to enjoy the views outside the window).

Thanks to its good location in the heart of the country, it takes 8-11 hours to get to Medellín from any major city in Colombia. Ticket prices start at 20 USD per one way (e.g. if traveling from Cali or Bogota). You can buy tickets in advance online. However, given that each carrier (Coopetran, Bolivariano, Rapido ochoa and Expreso brasilia) offers several flights a day, I would recommend going directly to the station before you leave – there you will have a chance to haggle a bit.

Train stations in Medellín. How do I get to the city center?

There are several major bus terminals in the city, but the most popular are the North and South terminals, where all intercity buses arrive, depending on the destination. Both are conveniently located within walking distance of the subway (you can see it on the map below), so getting anywhere in the city is easy.

Local cab drivers will start offering you their services as soon as you set foot on Medellin land.

By Car

Getting to Medellín by car from Russian cities is not easy. I can’t say it’s impossible, because last year I personally followed the news of a famous traveler. He bought an old van in Europe, took it on a ferry to the U.S., and from there he went straight to Colombia on the excellent American roads.

And yet this case is rather an exception to the rule. Most tourists logically prefer a more comfortable way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. And the automobile is used mainly to get to Medellín from other cities in Colombia.

A rental car will allow you to get to the orchid capital easily, thanks to the excellent location of the city. Plus, it will give you a great opportunity to get out of your car from time to time to enjoy the spectacular views that only the Andes have.

The roads in Colombia are good and the infrastructure for travelers is well developed – in the flat areas you will see motels and cafes about every 50 km, in the mountains – a little less often, but even there you will pass peaceful villages where you can rest and have a snack. I’ll tell you in details, how to rent a car, in the relevant section.

When it is the season. When it’s best to go

Medellín is called the city of eternal spring for a reason. It is located in the mountains, but at a relatively low altitude – about 1500 above sea level. And if in the high-mountain Bogota (2400 meters) prevails constant coolness, the climate in Medellin can safely be called ideal: it is almost never hot or cold, and the temperature stays at a mark of +20 to +25 degrees.

Rainfall is not uncommon in the city, with most occurring between April and May and September and November. Even then, however, they don’t interfere with long walks (especially if you’ve brought a compact umbrella or windbreaker).

Medellín is a pretty big city (by Colombian standards), so you can find lodging and other tourist services at reasonable prices. However, during holiday seasons, like around the July Flower Festival or Catholic Christmas, the influx of tourists increases and prices go up, especially for hotels and restaurants in the city center.

Medellín in summer

Summer in Medellín is considered a relatively dry season. There is almost no rain during this time, and the air temperature warms up to +25 ° C. The Festival of Flowers falls in mid-July, but even after the festival ends, the beauty of nature continues to unfold. By the end of summer, unique orchids bloom in the city parks and neighborhoods.

Medellín in Autumn

Autumn is the rainiest time in Medellín. The heaviest rainfall is in October. Of course, we’re not talking about harsh tropical downpours. Medellín’s bad weather is probably a lot like ours. So if you’re planning a trip to Colombia in the fall, don’t rule Medellín out as a must-see. Just stock up on warm clothes and a reliable umbrella.

Medellín in Spring

Spring also brings rain to the city, especially in April and May. However, this is when the Catholic Easter (which in most Latin American countries lasts a week) is celebrated. So Medellín comes alive and prepares for the holiday despite the bad weather.

Medellín in Winter

Perhaps winter is the best time to visit Medellín. To be honest, New Year’s Eve in Latin America has always seemed like an ironic event to me – with Santa Claus sweating in the heat and Christmas decorations on palm trees.

In Medellín, however, the atmosphere is wonderful. The streets are dry and moderately warm, and the city is dressed up in stunning illuminations that give residents and tourists a real Christmas feeling.

Medellín – Monthly Weather

Districts. Where to live

In Medellín I managed to stay in two neighborhoods at once, and each of them left a very different impression on me. In general, there is no problem at all with the choice of accommodation in this beautiful, green and modern city – hostels and hotels are conveniently scattered around Medellín, offering a wide variety of options for the most selective guests. Finding accommodations locally is easy, plus it allows you to bargain a little. However, if you have certain requirements for a future hotel, it is better to find and book in advance online. You can do this, for example, on Bookings.

  • The district of Candelaria holds the very heart of the city – its historical center. This is where I usually went in search of accommodation when I arrived in Medellín. Usually life in the central part of Latin American cities is a merry affair, full of concerts, music and idle young people. But the center of Medellín seemed a little different to me. First of all, there are very few hostels here, and I could barely find a room for 25 USD per night, which is pretty expensive for Colombia. Secondly, at any time of the day there are a lot of people here, and therefore a lot of pickpockets. During only 3 days in the area, I witnessed crimes twice. I must say that the police work in a well-coordinated manner, and both times the thieves were taken away by the guardians of the law, but, as they say, the residue was still there. Yet it is in the Candelaria district that most of the city’s museums, concert halls, and other attractions are located. Here you can stay in a premium hotel (from 60 USD per night) and watch Medellin life unfold under your windows – such as it is.
  • The Poblado area is considered the most modern and safest in the city. You’ll find more hotels, stores, and restaurants in the area, and the nightlife scene never fails to amaze. In Poblado, you can walk around during the day or at night, and the area is always buzzing with life. The main accommodation options in this area are 4-5 star hotels starting from 80 USD per room and stylish hostels, where you can stay for 40 USD or more. Whichever option you choose, it is better to compare prices in advance (for example, here). Another advantage of this upscale neighborhood is that it is close to the Olaya Herrera Airport, the southern bus terminal, and the Metro and other public transportation.
  • A little north of the domestic airport is another popular tourist area, Laureles. This is where I spent my last days in Medellín, tired of the noise of the city center, and I was very happy with it. It is more budget-friendly, quiet and green, with lots of parks and a few restaurants in the streets. I would recommend paying attention to this area for vacationers who appreciate peace and harmony, as well as families with young children. One of the major pluses I learned from my stay in Laureles are the well-equipped hostels and the large supermarket within walking distance. After all, the variety and freshness of food in Colombia is literally mind boggling, and you can’t just try them all for a lot of money in restaurants. For example, in my hostel, where I stayed in a tiny room for 15 USD per night, in addition to a modern kitchen there was a grill in the courtyard. Usually the guests were too lazy to build a fire, so only I and two elderly teachers from the former GDR, who were constantly practicing their Russian on me, used the unit. Thanks to the grill, I was able to taste the best creations of Colombian cuisine, the crowning of which was a fried piranha – fresh fish sold in the supermarket for 2 USD per kilogram.

What are the prices for vacations

Prices for tourist services as well as entertainment and food in Medellín vary greatly from area to area. One striking example for me was that the price for a pack of coffee in a hypermarket on the outskirts of the city was exactly 10 times lower than the same pack in a souvenir store in a central area. So you should pay attention to the prices in Medellín, compare them and do not rush to make purchases on the first day.

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If you want to make your stay as budget as possible, I would advise settling close to the big stores. You can always check their availability with a map or in the description of your hostel on any booking site. It’s also a good idea to choose hostels or apartments with a kitchen because, as I said above, cooking on your own in Colombia is a pleasure.

Meals

Anything not related to tourist entertainment will cost considerably less. After all, Medellín is more residential than touristy. This allows you to save a lot of money on food, even if you’re not used to cooking for yourself. Like the rest of Colombia, Medellín has a well-developed catering system – people open cafes on the first floors of their homes, train stations and markets, offering visitors delicious and hearty meals for ridiculous money. For example, a dinner in a cafe for locals will cost you 2-3 USD, while in a tourist restaurant it will cost from 15 USD and higher.

Accommodation

As elsewhere in Colombia, the prices for accommodation in Medellin start at 15 USD for a hostel room and go up to 100 USD for a room in a 5-star hotel. If these prices are extremely unacceptable for you, and comfort is not the main point in a trip, it’s not difficult to find a room with a local person by means of couchsurfing. It works just fine in Colombia.

Excursions

In Medellín I did not have to take tours, because the main attractions are concentrated in the center of the city, and the rest are located outside the city, and it was much easier to get to them on my own by public transport. However, there are enough agencies in the tourist streets of the city, which offer day and night tours of Medellin from 15 USD, and tours of one day in the surrounding area for 30-40 USD and more.

014SouthAmericaColombiaMedellin4Sendться. Раза 3 в неделю, едим в ресторанчике. Остальное время нажимаем на домашнюю пищу.

Medellin’s transportation is exemplary. Everywhere our brother tourist needs to go there are subway stations with the same name: Poblado, Metrocable, etc. The subway will not leave you in trouble: they will take you to the ticket office, to the right line and help you to change lines. Remember that the L and K lines of the Medellín Underground are cable cars, which are great fun to ride!

Oh, how I would love to be here again: to visit the theaters (music and ballet), art galleries, and cafes. Finally learn a few phrases in Spanish. All this takes months, not days.

The rest will be told by the photos. And the video from the theater festival we shot in the city center.

Bottom line. Medellín fell into our hearts. For some reason I was reminded of my business trips “from the factory,” 45 years ago, to Riga and Leningrad. I was imbued at the time with the spiritual qualities of the inhabitants of those cities against the backdrop of the general Soviet swamp. In Medellín it seemed to me that people were particularly intelligent and friendly. And what cafeterias, what stylish restaurants! And not at all expensive, I must say. We were not particularly lucky with the weather. There was a constant fog in the mountains. We didn’t get good pictures. But we were lucky with learning the city. I couldn’t get to the synagogue (Lonely Planet assures us that Medellin was founded by Jews who had escaped from the Holy Inquisition), but my wife and I breathed the “Catholic air”, which was very nice. It made us feel at peace and penetrated.

No one shouts or talks loudly here, though people’s emotionality can be seen with the naked eye. The English have this quality, which is well called epithet. Kind of restrained in our way. That’s what I would like to say about the Medellians. Frankly, we did not want to leave. On Day Five, just lying on the couch in the room and thought: To hell with Peru-Argentina? Let’s give up our tickets and stay here and learn Spanish in this beautiful place for the winter. But our passion for the unknown won out. We got off our butts, packed our bags, and flew to Cali.

A tick in my mind: Good city for a winter getaway! Just what a Canadian retiree needs.

Alexander Khazanov member posts: 152 Photo: 242 Registered: 26/05/2012 City: Toronto Thanks a lot: 65 times. Thanks: 51 times. Age: 70 Countries: 52 Reports: 7 Gender: Male

Medellin

I didn’t know much about Medellín before traveling through Colombia, and the facts I had heard didn’t seem conducive to a tourist trip. The fact is that the city was the birthplace of famous drug lord Pablo Escobar, and it was the epicenter of Colombia’s terror and cocaine wars. However, more than 20 years after the fall of his empire, Colombia has risen to its feet and Medellín has become one of the safest cities in the country. The image of Pablo Escobar has survived only in bookstores and souvenir stores – on T-shirts, mugs and postcards – and tourists enthusiastically and somewhat embarrassedly buy these things, as if doing something forbidden.

I don’t know if the sad and difficult period in Colombian history is really the main reason for the influx of tourists to Medellín, but the city is the second most visited settlement in the country after Cartagena, even ahead of the capital, the stylish and unique Bogotá.

Anyway, Medellín really has something to do at any time of the year. The locals, even in a cursory conversation, earnestly persuaded me to return here at least a few more times, for example, to see the orchids blooming in the local parks in July – like all Colombians, Medellín residents love everything they have and are insanely proud of it. The city has many unofficial names, such as “capital of the mountains,” “city of eternal spring,” “beautiful village,” and “orchid capital.

But perhaps the most favorable atmosphere for tourists is created by the city’s infrastructure and location. As a major metropolitan area nestled in the stunning mountains, Medellín truly has it all, from cultural activities to eco-tourism and active sports.

How to get there

As a rule, Medellín is an important point in the itinerary of a trip to Colombia. Therefore, there are plenty of ways to get here. The easiest and cheapest way to get to the city is from the capital, Bogota, by bus or plane. But in order to get to Medellin from Russia you’ll need to take a tricky route – long transfers and flights, alas, are essential.

Fly to Medellín by plane

The fastest and easiest way to get to Medellín from Russia is to take Iberia, which offers flights from Moscow with one connection in Madrid. This way is more economical (round-trip ticket prices start at 1200 USD), but also the most comfortable, especially if your destination is the city of Medellín. The total travel time is about 20 hours one way. Given the good reputation of Iberia, which cares about the comfort and mood of the passengers, I think that this time should fly by as smoothly as possible on a transatlantic flight. Plus, you won’t need a transit visa to transfer in Madrid.

If you want to save on the ticket, and your list of obligatory places to visit, includes not only Medellín, the best option is to fly from Moscow or St. Petersburg to Bogota with one connection (companies AirFrance, AirEuropa and KLM offer tickets from 750 USD return), and there use one of the local airlines, which will take you to Medellín in an hour (for example Avior or Avianca with daily flights from 50 USD round-trip).

So, a flight to and from Medellín from Russia will cost you only 800 USD, but you will need at least two connections. There are no direct flights from Russian cities to the “capital of orchids”. Before you buy tickets you should calculate all your options (including price). You can do it on well-known search engines, or, for example, here.

Airports. How do I get to the city center?

Throughout my time in Colombia I was pleasantly surprised by the development of their tourist infrastructure. One of the surprises for me was that there are two modern airports in the vicinity of relatively small Medellín.

  • The large international airport Jose Maria Cordoba is located 30 km from the city. It serves flights from Europe and the U.S., neighboring Latin American countries and even domestic flights from Bogota. The airport has everything you need for vacationers: souvenir shops, cafes, travel agencies and more. You can get to the city in two ways: by bus for 4 USD per person or by cab – the car will cost you from 15 USD and above, depending on the seriousness of your appearance and the ability to bargain. On average, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the city. Terrible traffic jams and problems with traffic in Medellin I have never met.
  • Olaya Herrera Airport is located right in the city limits. Only domestic flights land and take off here. Getting into the center of the city from this airport is very simple – a cab to any hotel in Medellin will not cost you more than 10 USD. And for those who prefer public transportation, there is a 15-minute walk from Olaya Herrera on branch A of the city subway – as far as I know, the only one in all of Colombia.

It would seem that the division of responsibilities between airports goes as well as possible, and yet there is one nuance that I want to point out to travelers: flights from Medellín to Bogotá. Sometimes when buying a ticket passengers do not pay attention to the name of the airport and go straight to the nearest Olaya Herrera. Of course, they do not realize that from there they will have to rush all the way to the suburban José María Córdova. Therefore, when planning such a flight you should pay attention to the airport, which will certainly be listed on your ticket.

By bus

You can get to Medellín by bus only from other Colombian cities. Therefore, for travel from Russia, this mode of transport is not a solution, but it can be a great means for the final part of the route. For example, if you fly into Bogotá and there is no suitable flight to Medellín at the moment, the bus is a great substitute. When traveling in Colombia I always took the buses – they’re comfortable and modern, most of them have Wi-Fi and they show movies as entertainment (usually action movies from the 80’s and 90’s, though, so I preferred to enjoy the views outside the window).

Thanks to its good location in the heart of the country, it takes 8-11 hours to get to Medellín from any major city in Colombia. Ticket prices start at 20 USD per one way (e.g. if traveling from Cali or Bogota). You can buy tickets in advance online. However, given that each carrier (Coopetran, Bolivariano, Rapido ochoa and Expreso brasilia) offers several flights a day, I would recommend going directly to the station before you leave – there you will have a chance to haggle a bit.

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Train stations in Medellín. How do I get to the city center?

There are several major bus terminals in the city, but the most popular are the North and South terminals, where all intercity buses arrive, depending on the destination. Both are conveniently located within walking distance of the subway (you can see it on the map below), so getting anywhere in the city is easy.

Local cab drivers will start offering you their services as soon as you set foot on Medellin land.

By Car

Getting to Medellín by car from Russian cities is not easy. I can’t say it’s impossible, because last year I personally followed the news of a famous traveler. He bought an old van in Europe, took it on a ferry to the U.S., and from there he went straight to Colombia on the excellent American roads.

And yet this case is rather an exception to the rule. Most tourists logically prefer a more comfortable way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. And the automobile is used mainly to get to Medellín from other cities in Colombia.

A rental car will allow you to get to the orchid capital easily, thanks to the excellent location of the city. Plus, it will give you a great opportunity to get out of your car from time to time to enjoy the spectacular views that only the Andes have.

The roads in Colombia are good and the infrastructure for travelers is well developed – in the flat areas you will see motels and cafes about every 50 km, in the mountains – a little less often, but even there you will pass peaceful villages where you can rest and have a snack. I’ll tell you in details, how to rent a car, in the relevant section.

When it is the season. When it’s best to go

Medellín is called the city of eternal spring for a reason. It is located in the mountains, but at a relatively low altitude – about 1500 above sea level. And if in the high-mountain Bogota (2400 meters) prevails constant coolness, the climate in Medellin can safely be called ideal: it is almost never hot or cold, and the temperature stays at a mark of +20 to +25 degrees.

Rainfall is not uncommon in the city, with most occurring between April and May and September and November. Even then, however, they don’t interfere with long walks (especially if you’ve brought a compact umbrella or windbreaker).

Medellín is a pretty big city (by Colombian standards), so you can find lodging and other tourist services at reasonable prices. However, during holiday seasons, like around the July Flower Festival or Catholic Christmas, the influx of tourists increases and prices go up, especially for hotels and restaurants in the city center.

Medellín in summer

Summer in Medellín is considered a relatively dry season. There is almost no rain during this time, and the air temperature warms up to +25 ° C. The Festival of Flowers falls in mid-July, but even after the festival ends, the beauty of nature continues to unfold. By the end of summer, unique orchids bloom in the city parks and neighborhoods.

Medellín in Autumn

Autumn is the rainiest time in Medellín. The heaviest rainfall is in October. Of course, we’re not talking about harsh tropical downpours. Medellín’s bad weather is probably a lot like ours. So if you’re planning a trip to Colombia in the fall, don’t rule Medellín out as a must-see. Just stock up on warm clothes and a reliable umbrella.

Medellín in Spring

Spring also brings rain to the city, especially in April and May. However, this is when the Catholic Easter (which in most Latin American countries lasts a week) is celebrated. So Medellín comes alive and prepares for the holiday despite the bad weather.

Medellín in Winter

Perhaps winter is the best time to visit Medellín. To be honest, New Year’s Eve in Latin America has always seemed like an ironic event to me – with Santa Claus sweating in the heat and Christmas decorations on palm trees.

In Medellín, however, the atmosphere is wonderful. The streets are dry and moderately warm, and the city is dressed up in stunning illuminations that give residents and tourists a real Christmas feeling.

Medellín – Monthly Weather

Districts. Where to live

In Medellín I managed to stay in two neighborhoods at once, and each of them left a very different impression on me. In general, there is no problem at all with the choice of accommodation in this beautiful, green and modern city – hostels and hotels are conveniently scattered around Medellín, offering a wide variety of options for the most selective guests. Finding accommodations locally is easy, plus it allows you to bargain a little. However, if you have certain requirements for a future hotel, it is better to find and book in advance online. You can do this, for example, on Bookings.

  • The district of Candelaria holds the very heart of the city – its historical center. This is where I usually went in search of accommodation when I arrived in Medellín. Usually life in the central part of Latin American cities is a merry affair, full of concerts, music and idle young people. But the center of Medellín seemed a little different to me. First of all, there are very few hostels here, and I could barely find a room for 25 USD per night, which is pretty expensive for Colombia. Secondly, at any time of the day there are a lot of people here, and therefore a lot of pickpockets. During only 3 days in the area, I witnessed crimes twice. I must say that the police work in a well-coordinated manner, and both times the thieves were taken away by the guardians of the law, but, as they say, the residue was still there. Yet it is in the Candelaria district that most of the city’s museums, concert halls, and other attractions are located. Here you can stay in a premium hotel (from 60 USD per night) and watch Medellin life unfold under your windows – such as it is.
  • The Poblado area is considered the most modern and safest in the city. You’ll find more hotels, stores, and restaurants in the area, and the nightlife scene never fails to amaze. In Poblado, you can walk around during the day or at night, and the area is always buzzing with life. The main accommodation options in this area are 4-5 star hotels starting from 80 USD per room and stylish hostels, where you can stay for 40 USD or more. Whichever option you choose, it is better to compare prices in advance (for example, here). Another advantage of this upscale neighborhood is that it is close to the Olaya Herrera Airport, the southern bus terminal, and the Metro and other public transportation.
  • A little north of the domestic airport is another popular tourist area, Laureles. This is where I spent my last days in Medellín, tired of the noise of the city center, and I was very happy with it. It is more budget-friendly, quiet and green, with lots of parks and a few restaurants in the streets. I would recommend paying attention to this area for vacationers who appreciate peace and harmony, as well as families with young children. One of the major pluses I learned from my stay in Laureles are the well-equipped hostels and the large supermarket within walking distance. After all, the variety and freshness of food in Colombia is literally mind boggling, and you can’t just try them all for a lot of money in restaurants. For example, in my hostel, where I stayed in a tiny room for 15 USD per night, in addition to a modern kitchen there was a grill in the courtyard. Usually the guests were too lazy to build a fire, so only I and two elderly teachers from the former GDR, who were constantly practicing their Russian on me, used the unit. Thanks to the grill, I was able to taste the best creations of Colombian cuisine, the crowning of which was a fried piranha – fresh fish sold in the supermarket for 2 USD per kilogram.

What are the prices for vacations

Prices for tourist services as well as entertainment and food in Medellín vary greatly from area to area. One striking example for me was that the price for a pack of coffee in a hypermarket on the outskirts of the city was exactly 10 times lower than the same pack in a souvenir store in a central area. So you should pay attention to the prices in Medellín, compare them and do not rush to make purchases on the first day.

If you want to make your stay as budget as possible, I would advise settling close to the big stores. You can always check their availability with a map or in the description of your hostel on any booking site. It’s also a good idea to choose hostels or apartments with a kitchen because, as I said above, cooking on your own in Colombia is a pleasure.

Meals

Anything not related to tourist entertainment will cost considerably less. After all, Medellín is more residential than touristy. This allows you to save a lot of money on food, even if you’re not used to cooking for yourself. Like the rest of Colombia, Medellín has a well-developed catering system – people open cafes on the first floors of their homes, train stations and markets, offering visitors delicious and hearty meals for ridiculous money. For example, a dinner in a cafe for locals will cost you 2-3 USD, while in a tourist restaurant it will cost from 15 USD and higher.

Accommodation

As elsewhere in Colombia, the prices for accommodation in Medellin start at 15 USD for a hostel room and go up to 100 USD for a room in a 5-star hotel. If these prices are extremely unacceptable for you, and comfort is not the main point in a trip, it’s not difficult to find a room with a local person by means of couchsurfing. It works just fine in Colombia.

Excursions

In Medellín I did not have to take tours, because the main attractions are concentrated in the center of the city, and the rest are located outside the city, and it was much easier to get to them on my own by public transport. However, there are enough agencies in the tourist streets of the city, which offer day and night tours of Medellin from 15 USD, and tours of one day in the surrounding area for 30-40 USD and more.

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