Every week flocks of tourists come down in Medellin while thousands back home wonder whether or not the city is safe and worth visiting. You remember the bad rep the city had in the 90s due to infamous villain, Pablo Escobar and think, is this place safe? Short answer, yes.
Long gone are the years where Medellin was unsafe and questionable and for over 10 years now, the city has opened its doors to eager visitors who wish to embark on a new adventure in a country new to travellers. So for those wanting to know what to steer clear of, here is “10 Things NOT to do in Medellin”.
Don’t Wander off by Yourself
I know we’re adventure seekers and Medellin is just as safe as anywhere else but there are some pretty rough areas in this city that are not advertised (or even spoken of). Chances are you’ll be staying in the Poblado area where the city’s best apartments and nightlife is and you’re going to want to do some sightseeing but the important thing to remember is, the further you go from El Poblado, the more difficult it is to find someone that speaks (or even understands English) not to mention possibly ending up in a rough area where you might run into the wrong people.
Tip: As human beings we know when we’re out of our comfort zones which is why it is important to be with someone who remotely speaks Spanish or at least have a dictionary present. Have your address and ID with you at all times and avoid wearing expensive jewellry. That being said, find a place that has a long line of cabs (these places are easy to find and safe) and have one of them take you home.
Don’t Eat from Anywhere
Medellin is one of the only cities in Colombia where you can drink tap water but that alone will not do. Coming from a place where sanitary rules are the norm, your body is used to different types of foods so in order to not disrupt that, please refrain from eating from just any old street vendor. In every corner you’ll see vendors offering burgers, hot dogs, kebabs, etc. You be the judge, if you see a place with questionable hygiene, go with your gut. Nothing ruins a trip more than stomach problems, believe me.
Tip: Street food might be delicious (believe me, it is) but unless you’re with someone that knows the area or vendor, avoid buying street food. There are plenty small restaurants and fast food chains everywhere so you can go without trying street food. We recommend our concierge service to ensure you have someone that is always one step ahead.
Don’t Take Unknown Cabs Alone at Night
This rule applies basically everywhere in South America and you’re safe in the Poblado area but when the sun sets, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Parque Lleras may be where the hustle and bustle is but if you’re drunk and obnoxious (and alone) there’s a possibility that you might take just any random cab off the street. This is fine during the day but at night there are more people likely to take advantage of your current state of insobriety. If you find yourself alone, be sure to find a place that has a long line of cabs (generally called an “acopio de taxis”) this is your best bet. If there is no acopio in sight and you’re alone, avoid getting drunk, you shouldn’t be inebriated while on your own anyway.
Tip: If you want to be extra safe, download Easytaxi or Tappxi apps on your smartphone. These apps are exactly what they sound and are the best way to get around, if you have wifi that is.
As the gurus for all things Medellin related we want you to enjoy your stay in this wonderful city and go home with great stories to tell your friends and family. For that reason we want you to feel free and email us asking anything. Regardless of what you’re here to do, we’ve seen and done it all. Contact us today to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 562-4913.