10 Things you need to know before coming to Medellin
If you’re new in town or if you’re considering a trip down to Medellin, there are many things you need to keep in mind. Tricks on how to get around, useful communication pointers, and last but not least, helpful advice that will have you enjoy your time here as much as possible.
Whether you’re coming for business, pleasure or a bachelor party trip, you can always use some friendly advice to help you get by. Here is, 10 Things you Need to Know Before Coming to Medellin.
Uber Instead of Cab
First on our list of tips and tricks is how to get around in this unfamiliar yet fascinating city, VIP Transportation. Cabs and Ubers are inexpensive and easy to hail but Uber is not only frowned upon but can also be dangerous. Many ubers have been desecrated and even burned due to taxis not agreeing with the company’s illegal status in the country. Taxis can be sketchy if you hail off of the street, especially late night. Realistically, the best way to keep big groups together, arriving everywhere at the same time, is private transportation in Medellin. For a fixed fee per night, you will have an 18 passenger Mercedes-Benz sprinter with a set itinerary on what you will see and do. This way, the non-Spanish speaking groups don’t have to try and brush up on their 10th grade Spanish in order to communicate. For smaller groups, we also offer smaller vans and SUVs.
The airport is outside the city
This tip can sound really obvious but you have to be conscious about the time between the international airport and your Airbnb / Hotel. The main airport is not in the city and it will take an hour to arrive from El Poblado. We have a domestic airport that is in the city but it is only for a few regional routes. So be aware of the distance between the city and the airport and plan your travel accordingly.
People will talk to you!
The Paisa people (paisa is short for paisano or compatriot) are very warm and welcoming towards everyone. They’re proud to know so many Americans love Medellín and will probably treat you better than they treat each other. You’ll notice this when many of them stare at you and smile or when you ask for directions and find that they’ll do their best to all but take you to the place you where you need to go. They appreciate your effort to communicate with them in their language and tend to take kindly to foreigners.Picture of woman
Don’t leave the city without visiting the best restaurants in Medellin
The city has a growing food scene which is why we strongly recommend you not leave here without hitting up a few places we personally recommend. We made sure to say eat specifically at Carmen because we consider it the best restaurant in town. Also, don’t leave Medellin without trying the city’s signature dish, Bandeja Paisa at Mondongo’s Restaurant, Hatoviejo or La Hacienda.
Don’t limit yourself to the city alone
Medellin might be an extremely popular travel destination, but there is so much more to Antioquia – the department of which Medellin is the capital city – than just the urban areas. Many travelers visit the city for a few days on their way between the coast and the Coffee Region and make the mistake of not heading out of the city into rural areas. Small towns like Sante Fe de Antioquia, Guatape, Jardin, Tamesis have different activities to do and get to know these beautiful and interesting places where you can enjoy nature, people and gastronomy. Also, you can practice trekking, climbing, jumping into clear rivers, and walk into caves. Have a look at our tours https://medellinvip.net/tours/
Don’t Expect Variety in the Alcohol Department
America is the land of opportunity, where even the most random flavored distilled beverages make it to the shelves and end up selling by the millions. You can find Bacon, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Popcorn and even smoked salmon flavored vodka on the shelves of a few of your local liquor stores. Surprising yet true but here in Medellín there are 2 main alcoholic beverages that you’ll find in every corner store, liquor store and even house parties. Aguardiente and Ron. Aguardiente Antioqueño is made from the anise plant and contains 35% alcohol, it’s pretty bad. Ron is just a local rum aged 3 years and is also quite popular with the locals. Not to say you can’t get anything else but if you leave the Poblado part of the city, it will be harder to find the desired distilled beverage.
Don’t Wander off by Yourself
The last thing you want to do is get lost in a strange part of town so make sure you have Wi-Fi wherever you go, an emergency number to call, your address is written down and if you haven’t already, get Uber on your phone for emergencies. The city is, for the most part, safe but if you wander into the wrong neighborhood dressed nicely, by yourself and speaking English, you will possibly draw negative attention to yourself. When you’re in the Poblado area during the day, feel free to walk around and even walk over to the Santa Fe and Oviedo shopping centers, an easy 15-minute walk and it’s a good way to see the financial district.
Expect a fully developed city and no dirt roads
One of the most common misconceptions about Medellin is, people, expect the city to be covered in dirt roads, and ghetto looking neighborhoods everywhere. That may have been the case 20+ years ago but it is now 2019 and this city is cleaner than most US cities, more developed and safer too. The list came out of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world and Medellin is not on it. American cities such as Baltimore, St. Louis and Chicago make the top 30, while Caracas, Venezuela is #1 on this shameful list.
Don’t go everywhere in shorts and flip-flops
Medellin is known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’ and the weather clearly got the memo on the name: the climate in the city is wonderful, with regular hot days and blue skies. Naturally, it’s common for travelers to wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops during the day as they explore Medellin, but the locals themselves are rarely found so casually dressed. Colombia is a deceptively formal culture, and long trousers and shirts are generally the norms. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t wear your more casual, hot weather clothes, but be aware of the conventions and avoid these outfits in restaurants and clubs.
Prepare for an Awesome time
There is probably a lot going through your mind before visiting Medellin and you probably have a few people that are trying to deter you from actually visiting. They seem to have the idea that Medellin despite everything is still a bad place and no good can come from visiting. It’s understandable because a bad reputation is hard to get rid of but the 90s are long gone and the city has come a long way. Medellin is now a hub for great nightclubs, amazing restaurants, beautiful women and guaranteed good time. Don’ hesitate to contact us to get more information about our VIP services in Medellin.
What is the best tip or curious thing you did not know about Medellin City?