Medellin Info


· Weather / clothing

· Local transportation

· Water

· Spanish

Colombian News

Here is a list over national and local newspapers and useful news, weather and stock exchange website click here: Colombia News. Alternatively, you can catch up on the local news & Medellin info in the main newspaper, El Colombiano. 

Weather/ clothing requirements

Average temperatures:

Day: 82 F/ 27C

Night: 62F/ 16C

Temperatures are generally ideal all year round. There are 2 rainy seasons. The first is from March to May and the second from September to November. The rain can be heavy and torrential at times but generally, it does not rain all day long.

The rest of the year tends to be very sunny with the odd refreshing shower.

In Medellin, the day is warm and comfortable. It can get fairly warm, especially in the center of the city between 1pm and 3/4pm when it can be nice to relax by the pool.

Because of the altitude it tends to cool down to comfortable sleeping temperatures by the time you go to bed.

Comfortable light cotton clothing is ideal. Short sleeved shirts and pants will cover just about any situation. Dress up if you want for dinner. Smart casual does the job. Be cool, be hip, be sophisticated but you will probably stand out a little more here. Shorts and sandals should suffice most of the time, but personally I dress up a little more.

At night you may want a thin outer jacket/ sweater or similar.

Jewelry. My suggestion is to go easy on the diamonds, especially if you’re in one of the poorer parts of town. The minimum salary here is about US$200/ month so you get the idea. Why invite problems?

· Day trips and clothing

The exception and important Medellin info. If you’re driving into the hills you can easily climb to 2500m (8200 feet) and even at this latitude it gets cooler. Midday temperatures are fresh and comfortable but the night can fall to only a few degrees above freezing.
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Local transportation

Rental car, buses, taxis and the Metro…, walking?

· Rental cars

Gives you greater freedom but driving in Medellin takes some skill. Having driven both here and Rome, I would take Rome any day. You get the picture.

· Buses

Cheap. Noisy and take time. Hmmm. Each to his or her own.

· Taxis

Also very cheap. Minimum is 3200 COP or US$1.40. For US$5 you can drive across town. I recommend this form of travel unless you live here. (In which case buy a car)

It is recommended to book taxis through your hotel. Ask them for info. I often hail cabs and take a good look at the driver before getting in. Use your judgment but if in doubt don’t get in. I will mention that I have never had a problem. Don’t bother haggling over a few pesos though, it’s not worth it. Do however, insist that the meter is running.

· The Metro

Cheap & extremely clean. It runs over ground and is an excellent way of seeing the city. Recommended experience. Beyond that, it doesn’t branch out beyond its + shape running North/ South & East/ West so you may need to get a taxi to get to where you’re going.

· Walking?

Well, yes. Still works. Seriously though, early in the morning when the temperatures are nice and cool it’s a pleasant way of taking in the atmosphere and getting a closer look at things.

People often greet you and there is an abundance of places to stop for a coffee or refreshment. Especially in the center, it’s a good way of seeing the sights.

I find myself walking more and more the longer I live here. Clearly it’s a big city so I keep it local.
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Excellent! Some of the best in South America. Drink it to your heart´s content!

That’s it. Nice and simple. Enjoy.
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Up-market hotels and restaurants will cope with English.

Some well educated Colombians speak some English but far from all. It’s a little hard to guess or generalize actually. Until recently, people often studied French as their second language. If someone shows signs of speaking some English, chances are they understand quite a bit but get little practice. Therefore, a combination of shyness to an earnest willingness to try is often the attitude of those who know a little from before.
Possibly one of the most important notes when giving Medellin info, is that your trip will doubtlessly be more enjoyable if you learn some Spanish.

A few points to consider: over 330 million people speak Spanish as their first language on a global basis. Own music, entertainment, TV channels and culture.

Therefore, although English is on the increase, you need to use some Spanish to get around. Smiles, gestures and creative approaches tend to work fairly well. I.e. Say to a taxi driver, “Hotel del Poblado por favor” (Hotel Poblado please) with a big smile and you’ll get there. 
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Colombia Real Estate

Colombia Real Estate has been booming for the last 10 years or so. When we first moved to Medellin, in the more expensive part of town known as El Poblado, 1m2 cost you on average about 1 million pesos. Now, that figure can be as high as 4 million in certain areas but you can still find better deals, especially in other parts of town where prices are significantly cheaper.

A development in Medellin that looks great, but upon closer observation, was impractical. 4 floors with steep staircases. Each floor a large room. Doesn’t make sense to me. 

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Construction is very much alive and not always high quality. Fittings tend to be cheap, break easily and all-in-all, the quality of newer housing has declined over the decades to fairly generic but in many ways functional apartments.

Same development. Stairs everywhere:

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I find the layout to be a bit strange at times with servant quarters and too many bathrooms, over sized living rooms and sometimes awkward and wasteful layouts. The more you study the details, the more problems you discover.

I’m being very tough and should confess that I did buy here some years ago but do consider pricing to have gone rather high over the last years.

A better alternative with a spectacular view:

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US Dollar Decline

A major factor when considering purchasing Colombia real estate, is the declining US dollar which has essentially made everything here more expensive if you’re coming out of that currency. I remember a peak of 3000 pesos per USD, now we’re at 1825. That’s a 64% difference!

Rural vs. Urban

As is almost always the case,the major cities such as Bogota, Medellin and Cali are more expensive than elsewhere. Cartagena has some of the highest prices in the country, particularly in the old city which is probably as expensive as you get here.

There are however, expensive areas outside of the cities such as Llano Grande above Medellin, which is now more exclusive than the city due to its nature and life quality with no pollution or noise from the city.

Will it continue to rise?

Hard to say, but if the economy continues on track, it seems likely. There’s a strange resilience here to selling anything at a loss, so even in a down market, there is a huge reluctance to selling at a loss. It has happened however.

Another alternative: 

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Legal & Tax

Purchasing property in Colombia can be difficult. The extreme precaution taken by the banks to reduce money laundering make it difficult to transfer money into the country and it is virtually impossible to open a bank account with a Cedula Extranjeria ID card. If you become a resident, you need to investigate tax implications with the DIAN before transferring money from abroad. I urge you to speak with a tax-adviser and get some rock-solid advice before becoming a tax resident here.

You must also be aware that the bureaucracy here is extreme as is corruption, miss-informed and opinionated advice and rules, even by authority figures.

Yes, it can be done and it may well turn out to be a worthwhile investment or home even, but you need to do your due diligence which can be tricky in a country where the grey zone for everything is confusing and in many ways, simply doesn’t make sense.

It’s difficult to come with one simple answer because it really does depend on your specific circumstances.

Bottom Line

Bottom line, Colombia real estate is relatively cheap, particularly in some areas. Renting is however, a feasible alternative and also, relatively cheap ranking from a few hundred dollars per month for a small apartment to thousands for a house. 

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Welcome to Medellin Colombia

Medellin Colombia, also known as «The city of eternal spring», most likely offers the best climate off all the major cities of Colombia. The «paisas» as the locals are known, are friendly and proud of their city.

I know Medellin particularly well, because my wife is from this city where we now live.

Learn Spanish Learn Spanish Today Learn Spanish – Learn Spanish on-line for free, using interactive audio/visual lessons.

Useful info.

You begin by reading up on general information about Medellin to get you started.

The Medellin Metro system is modern, safe and clean. It runs North / South and East / West but is limited in the number of areas of the city it covers. Nevertheless, if your route fits with the stops on the 2 lines, it is extremely good.

Perhaps you want some information if you’re wanting to learn Spanish in Medellin. This is a great place to do it!

Where to eat?

Restaurants in Medellin used to serve mainly traditional fare consisting of plantain, rice, arepa (corn bread), beans, soups or broths. The raw ingredients are fresh, rich in flavor and generally local or national produce.

The amount of new restaurants, ranging from authentic Spanish Tapas to Italian has literally exploded over the last few years. It used to be difficult to find a good restaurant here, but that has changed.

My top picks are:

«New Colombian Cuisine»
«Burgers and fries»

Next to the new MAMM (Museum of Modern Art, Medellin)

The new Ciudad del Rio project in the middle of the city just South of downtown, is a great success. Having moved the Museum of Modern Art from the Carlos E. Restrepo area to this new development, injects a large dosage of culture into this part of town.

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Bonuar is terrific. Another example of «New Colombian Cuisine» as I like to call it. We tried the shrimp gumbo, large shrimps over a bed of risotto-style rice. Light and tasty. Then, the «Lomito de cerde con chutney de guayaba agria» (Pork chops with guava chutney). Really delicious. I love the use of fruity sauces that are being used more and more frequently in the newer restaurants here.

There’s also a burger and fries section to the restaurant. A counter to the far end of the room by the red booth-type seating.

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The service is good, if a tiny bit slow, and the location is great if you want to drop in on the museum (free). There’s outdoor seating and the decor/ layout has a nice rustic feel to it, even though the place in brand new.Good food comes at a price. You can expect to pay between COP 20-35.000 (US$ 10-18) for a main meal, but it’s definitely worth it.

One of the better restaurants in Medellin.

To check out everything from breakfast and lunch spots, to Colombian or Japanese, follow this link for more info. about restaurants in Medellin.

Bars & Nightlife

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Medellin and Colombia are known for partying. If going downtown at night,a great choice it the Eslabon Prendido.

Hotels in Medellin

There is a large and ever-increasing selection of hotels in Medellin. TheDann Carlton Medellin is considered one of the main luxury hotels in Medellin Colombia. It’s not my taste but it might appeal nevertheless.

Far more appealing, is the Intercontinental Medellin where my mum has stayed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another name you might come across online is the Poblado Plaza Hotel that is well situated next to the Oviedo mall but lacking in charm and next to a noisy street.

Alternatively, there are is a wide selection of cheap Medellin hotels andhostels such as the Blach Sheep and Casa Kiwi in Medellin Colombia.

Renting an Apartment

Renting apartments in Medellin is fairly cheap for a very high standard and not too complicated if you go about it the right way.

Flights and car rentals

Medellin Airport, situated in the city of Medellin Colombia is a practical and fast way to fly into the city but serves mainly domestic destinations.

Flights to Medellin from abroad bring you to the small and comfortable Jose Maria Cordova international airport directly from cities such as Madrid, New York and Miami.

Medellin car rental is something I used to think was a bad idea because of driving habits here but it does make sense, especially if you plan on taking day-trips out of the city. Personally, I rented a car to visit the coffee region from Budget and found the process professional and pricing fairly cheap.

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The City & Things to do

Here are some of the top things to do in Medellin.

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Plaza Majorista is doubtlessly the most impressive market in Medellin Colombia. It is officially known as the Central Majorista, located in the Santa María neighborhood to the South of Medellin in the city of Itagüí, boasting a total area of 288.015m2. Itagüí by the way, joins Medellin seamlessly and is about a 20 minute drive from El Poblado.

There is an enormous selection of grains, vegetable and fruits with some stores selling other items such as food fodder etc.

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Food is shipped in directly from farms both in Antioquia and nationwide and is of the freshest quality. It is organized by different industrial halls in a sense, subdivided into numerous smaller stores that tend to specialize in a limited number of items. The different halls are divided by type, ie. fruits or vegetables.

There is of course still curiosity about the history and background of this place if you want to read more about Medellin.

Medellin City is growing and has much to offer, especially beyond the typical tourist attractions, if you know where to look. Shopping is huge here and there are an abundance (too many?) of Malls in Medellin.

Centro Medellin (downtown Medellin Colombia) is worth seeing but also not at all like the more up-market areas such as El Poblado and Laureles.

On a practical note, especially if you’re moving here for a while, it’s practical to now about the utility and Internet (through Une) provider, Empresas Publicas de Medellin.

Parque Lleras is the just the place to have a drink, once you’ve had enough of exploring the city and if you really not to get some air under your wings, I highly recommend paragliding in Medellin Colombia, considered a world-class site up in the hills at San Felix. The views are incredible!

You can also visit the botanical gardens that is not as impressive as you might imagine, but makes for a nice outing and has an excellent restaurant on the premises called In Situ.


Antioquia is the department that is home to Medellin; a beautiful and mountainous region where there are an abundance of towns and places to visit either for a day-trip or a weekend if you prefer.

Festivals and events

The Medellin Christmas lights are charming and a great opportunity to mingle with people from the city.

Feria de las Flores (flower festival) is undoubtedly the most well-known festival of Medellin Colombia.

If fashion and design are your thing, then Medellin Fashion Week, or Colombia Moda as it’s known to locals, is one of the biggest of its kind in Latin America. Held yearly: end July/ early August.

Local Food & Customs

Well, you can’t get around having to try the Bandeja Paisa! This is a wholesome lunch to say the least. We’re talking meat with beans and egg and rice and plantains and the list goes on. Bit much if you’re not working the fields as they did back in the day…


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