Medellin, Colombia 🇨🇴 Gringo's Guide
The most popular city in Colombia...
Medellin, Colombia 🇨🇴 is all the rage these days.
And for good reason…
With its statistically-perfect climate, incredibly open + friendly locals, and amazing party scene — Medellín has a lot to offer people. Not to mention the gorgeous mountains surrounding the city.
If you are an adventurous expat/digital nomad type, this is a great place to consider for an extended stay. Especially if you enjoy “network” with other travelers too.
Of course, nowhere on earth is paradise, and the city of Medellín definitely has its downsides.
Let's take a deep dive into Medellín, aka the:
"City of Eternal Spring"
Medellín, Colombia 🇨🇴
People are often surprised at how modern and up-to-date Colombian cities are with their infrastructure. Medellín is probably the best example of this. You really don't feel like you're in the "third-world" at all here.
I'm also very happy to report that Medellín is a very clean and orderly city. The local residents take pride in keeping up the place's appearance, and it shows.
It's also interesting that, despite not having any beaches near it, Medellín is now Colombian's No. 1 destination for international and domestic tourism, edging out Cartagena just recently.
Core: 2.5 million
Metro: 4 million
Medellín is a surprisingly suburb-oriented place. You don't find this dynamic much in Latin America.
About 2.5 million souls live within the actual Medellín city limits, with maybe another 1.5 million people living in the surrounding areas.
Some of these areas include places such as:
The city is essentially a long strip of land taking up a river valley that cuts through the mountains, running north to south. Neighborhoods extend up the hills on either side of this valley.
As you might guess, people living in these hills are usually very poor or very rich!
Locals love to brag about Medellín's weather. It's not hard to see why, looking at the climate data.
They don’t call it the “City of Eternal Spring” for nothing!
There's not much else to say about this topic, except for to note that it does rain quite a bit here, from time to time:
To avoid rainy season in Medellin, skip April, May, September, and October. Outside of those months, you will get some rain — but it’s nothing to worry about.
With an average temperature of around 72°F year-around, the weather here is never too cold and rarely too hot.
Why Visit Medellín?
Lots of people have "voted with their feet" and decided to stay in the city of Medellín. This included bother foreigners and Colombians who have moved to the city from other parts of the country
Here are some of the reasons why:
It has just about the best climate you can expect on Earth
Incredibly friendly and hospitable people
A well-organized and functional city with actually pretty great infrastructure — not what people expect out of Latin America at all
Great amenities, including high-rise apartments, fast WiFi, etc.
They are never not partying in Medellín
We could go on and on here, but the reality is…
Medellin is popular with people from all around the world…for damn good reasons.
Getting to Medellin, Colombia 🇨🇴
While Medellin is not the major travel hub that Bogota is, the MDE airport is still quite easy to get to.
There are direct flights to and from 32 different cities in 11 different countries, including:
You won’t have any issue finding a flight, often direct, to get to Medellin.
It's important to know that there are actually two different airports in the Medellín area.
The main one, MDE, is actually located east of the city, on the way to the municipality of Rionegro. Without traffic, it will take 40-45 minutes or so to get to your Medellín destination from here. With traffic, it could be two hours or more!
If you're already in Colombia, some planes will also fly to Olaya Herrera airport (EOH), which is located in town. If you're traveling light enough, you can even get around Medellín's traffic by taking the metro out — it's only a 10-minute walk from this airport.
You can take the bus to Medellin from other cities in Colombia, like Cali or Bogota.
This is NOT recommended, as the bus rides are 8-12+ hours long and don’t really save you that much money.
Plus, they go through the mountains and if you’re prone to getting sea-sickness, you may vomit cruising through the Colombian mountainside by bus.