From Salento we caught a minibus to Medellin where we spend a week exploring the wonderful city. We stayed in an area called El Poblado and most hostels are here. It is a wealthy suburb of Medellin and I highly recommend staying here. For a city that has been tormented by drug related crime for decades you would be amazed at how upmarket and trendy it has become. I would happily live in El Poblado without a second thought.
We chose to stay in Casa Kiwi and I would again in a heartbeat. Great hostel in the perfect location. Medellin is a huge party city as well for travellers so because of that I don’t have as many tips for you as I should. Being hungover will do that.
WHERE TO EAT:
Naan – Indian restaurant that we spotted was really busy at lunch so we went in. It did not disappoint at all. Shared one curry, naan, rice and vegetables. Cost 20000 each. Good option if you are wanting an Indian fix and feel like sitting down in a nice restaurant. Cra. 35 #7-75, Medellín, Antioquia
Sumo Ramen – Ramen fast food sort of place. 12000 for one. Only a few things on the menu but pretty good ramen run by Japanese. Cra. 36 #8A-131, Medellín, Antioquia
Criminal Taqueria – Mexican taco place which is just a hole in the wall. Small tacos for around 5000 peso each. You will need about three or four to be a meal but really delicious. The steak was my favourite. Really fast too if you need a quick bite.
Mu Fucking Good Ribs – Ribs place only open on Fridays and Saturday nights. Go prepared to share as there’s only two options on the menu one is big and the other is bigger. Get there early as after 8 there is a line out the door for a table. Delish!!! Calle 7, 35/56 Provenza; Medellín, Antioqui
Querido Food and Love – Cafe just up the road from Casa Kiwi. Great menu with brunch and lunch options. 7-163, Cra. 35 #7-123, Medellín, Antioquia
WHAT TO DO:
El Museo El Castillo – Castle where a rich family used to live and has now been turned into a Museum and Venue. It is pretty amazing to look around at the beautiful grounds and inside the house. Tour in Spanish but you can go in with them and look around. 12000 to get in. You can also pack a picnic and have it in the grounds which I wish we did. It’s a peaceful place for a busy city.
Escobar paintball tour to Guatape – this tour is a popular one and you can only book the day before. You start early with a drive to Guatape and then head to one of Pablo escobars houses to look around and play paintball if you choose. After this you have lunch and get a boat to Guatape to have a look at the colourful city before finally climbing 760 steps up a huge rock for amazing views. Good tour which costs about 120,000 but I would say it is worth it if you are into Pablo.
Free Walking tour – everyone will tell you to do this and you should. You need to book a day in advance to get in but gives you a good overview on downtown Medellin and some history of the city as well. Number one on tripadvisor so it is easy to find.
La mansion – Club which seems to be one of the only real non Latin music options in Medellin. Trance music usually so you need to be on that level. Costs to enter and the price changes each night. We paid 10000.
Go to a soccer/football match – We went to one match for the Medellin team and it was a really good experience like nothing we have at home. Our hostel organised it for us so we were in a group which is an easy and safe way to do it however you can go on your own and buy tickets if your with a couple of people and this is cheaper for sure.
Also recommend the nail and beauty place just around the corner from Casa kiwi if you are in need. I got a pedicure and my eyebrows done for 15 nzd and they did a great job!! The body techs in the shopping malls are also amazing gyms if you feel you need a workout.