Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why I love Medellín

It's about time Medellín started getting more positive press. It has just been awarded with the accolade of "Most innovative city of the year 2013" and more and more people are clicking on to the desirability of living in Medellín. I've already been raving about Medellín to friends and family so I might as well add my two cents to the blogosphere.

Regional Pride
It sometimes borders on the extreme but Paisas (People from Medellín) and Antioqueños (People from Antioquia, the region around Medellín) are very proud to be from the area. In fact, the slogan for Antioquia is "la más educada" which I think in any other situation would be seem arrogant, just adds to the charm of Antioqueños. To be fair to Antiqueños, the reason why the slogan is "la más educada" is to do with their development plan which nicely brings me on to my next point...

You can see why Medellín are deserving of the most innovative city title when you can mavel at such sights like the MetroCable or Biblioteca España. Public facilities are well maintained - the Metro is spotless and places like the Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Giradot in Estadio rivals the London Olympic facilities. Medellín has a real entrepreneurial spirit and I think this has really contributed to the city's turnaround.

Bairon García Londoño
Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Giradot, Estadio. Facilities include a football stadium, swimming pools, gymnastic hall, softball stadium amongst others!

I have been awful for doing the cultural activities that you're meant to do but one bit of Paisa culture that I know very well is the nightlife. In some regards it is quite similar to British nightlife in the fact that they love a good prelash. However, you're allowed to drink in public places so everyone goes to the park (no one is freezing their nads off though) and shares a bottle of everyone's favourite, aguardiente. Medellin is big on salsa so no matter what, you're likely to be forced encouraged to give it a go. Where the night will take you, who knows, but my guess is wherever you go, it will make for an unforgettable night!

People watching
I love a good nose. Luckily, there's never a dull moment in Medellin and a quick walk to the supermarket will mean that you will encounter all sorts of characters. The constant yelling of "AGUACATE! PLATANOS MADUROS" down a microphone as a man passes you by with a trolley full of vegetables; the vendors hassling you to buy chiclets;  the stall-owners making their goods on the spot - you always notice something new everytime you leave the house.

Guatape: One of the many pueblos closeby to Medellin

Ashamedly, I have not left Medellín since returning from Cartagena. However, I have heard so many good things about the pueblos surrounding Medellín. I love the fact that it is fairly easy to escape the daily grind and find tranquility in just a few hours.

If you have been to Medellín, what did you enjoy about the city?


  1. I LOVED Medellin, and I was only there for about 48 hours. I would love to go back and experience more of it a bit slowly. I stayed with a Colombian family-friends of a friend-and had a great time dining and dancing and of course drinking aguardiente with them! I think I was most surprised by how much green was around. I was amazed by the teleferico that shuttles people living in the surrounding poorer areas into the center of the city. From the information I received, it is making a huge difference in the lives of the people there, allowing people to find better jobs and education. I would love to learn more about it!

    1. That's great you were able to experience Medellin with Paisas themselves (even if you didn't know anyone, it wouldn't be hard to meet them!) The MetroCable is such a great invention, it has cut transport time to Medellin from 2 hours to 30 mins! Paisas are very entreperneurial and innovative and I think this has massively contributed to Medellin's turnaround.

  2. I loved Medellin too! I couch surfed there and got a great introduction to the city from my host - especially the nightlife (I sense a theme!). Have you been to Guatape and La Piedra Del Peñol yet? Brilliant mini excursion and such a colourful town!

    1. The couchsurfing community in Medellin is great! I'm so glad I chose to come to Medellin, Paisas are such a friendly bunch. I haven't been to Guatape but I have plans to go the weekend after next - heard so many good things about the area!

  3. Isn't Guatape just lovely?? Glad you got to make it there.

  4. The Spanish also like drinking in public before going out. It's the best! Sadly the police are starting to crack down on it. It makes me so sad. "Botellon"ing is one of my favorite things about nights out in Spain!

    I'd really love to get to Medellin sometime soon. It sounds awesome!

  5. Botellón is great, and I'm annoyed they're stopping it too. I think there would be trouble if it they tried to stop it in Medellín! But do make it there soon (and the rest of Colombia) it is just a beautiful country with incredible people and it deserves its time in the limelight (for the right reasons).

  6. One our recent trip to Colombia this summer, everyone told us that we MUST make it Medellin. It's at the top of the list for our next trip!

  7. Yes, you should! It's a special place. When you go, I'm more than willing to share my insider knowledge!

  8. Great, thank you!