Medellin

Medellin is the second-largest city in Colombia. It’s located in the central region of the Andes Mountains in South America. The city has many cultural attractions that include about 40 museums, 21 public parks, 28 theaters, and several National Monuments of Colombia. It doesn’t matter when you decide to visit the city, you will always find yourself in exhibitions and festivals like the Festival of the Flowers, the Christmas lighting in Medellin, the International Poetry Festival, and the Jazz Festival among others. There is a threat of street crime in Medellin. You can still enjoy this beautiful city and what it has to offer as long as you take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Below, you’ll find more information on how to stay safe while traveling in Medellin.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in Colombia

Violent crime is not very common in Medellin, but it is important to be extra cautious when touring the city center, Comuna 13, Parque Lleras, Parque de las Luces, Parque San Antonio, Parque Periodista, Prado, Barrio Trinidad, La Sierra, and areas not covered by the metro system. Avoid these areas after dark unless you are companied by a guide or a private driver.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Street crime is an issue in Medellin, so standard safety precautions are recommended. Although violence against travellers does not occur often, there have been a few reports of robberies involving violence.  Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other major city.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation. Distraction is often the strategy, so always be alert and keep an eye on your belongings.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Muggings have happened in urban areas. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables. Express kidnappings or short-term kidnappings can also occur. Most cases in major cities involve victims that have been picked up by taxis stopped from the street.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other major city, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common. Thieves have been known to pose as police officers, so always ask to see official identification and record the officer’s name, badge number, and district. Do not hand them your passport or money for inspection as a legitimate Colombian police will never make such request. Insist on calling a bona fide police station if this happens.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, taxis and public transportation are safe. Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Medellin is subject to Flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

There is a general threat from terrorism that is linked to organised crime. Control of the drugs trade is one of the major drivers. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Women may be subject to verbal harassment as well. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Downtown (El Centro)

This was the city’s original economic and business hub. It was also home to the first shopping malls and skyscrapers. Today, it is a bit unkempt, but it preservers its character. Have a look at some of Fernando Botero statues at the Plaza Botero, and visit the Museo de Antioquia that has in display a fine collection of contemporary art. The sketchy thing about this area is that as a business district, the population decreases after dark, which leaves the streets empty.

El Poblado

This neighbourhood is known for its nightlife. The best bars, restaurants and clubs are found around Parque Lleras and Parque Poblado. El Poblado can be both upscale and laidback, so it caters to your every mood. Shopping malls, office buildings, banks, health clinics, and low-rise apartment towers are located in the Golden Mile, the stretch of Avenida Poblado from Parque Poblado to Parque Envigado.

Envigado

Although Envigado is technically a different city, you can’t really tell that you are no longer in Medellin. It ls located to the south of Medellin, and unlike Poblado, Envigado has a more historic feel to it. Visit the local market and the Parque Enviagado, a small plaza built around a church.

Useful Information

Most countries do not need a visa to enter Colombia when the purpose of the visit is tourism, and your stay is not more than 90 days. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your departure date. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso (COP). ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in main cities, but be careful of possible scamming and never leave your card out of sight.
Colombia has a diverse climate: tropical along the coast, eastern plains, and Amazon; cold in the highlands with periodic droughts.
The busiest international airports in Colombia are El Dorado International Airport, José María Córdova International Airport, and Rafael Núñez International Airport. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page