Exploring the El Poblado district, Medellin

Exploring the El Poblado district, Medellin

Medellin is the second-largest city in Colombia and is located in Antioquia, north-west of Bogota. A lot of people probably only know the city from watching Narcos on Netflix. Medellin is still perceived as a very dangerous city by a lot of people, but my experience has been that it’s a great and easy city to visit, even as a solo traveller. When I travel to places that might have more security issues I do a lot of research before venturing out so I can locate the safe neighbourhoods (such as El Poblado) and explore some of the city hassle-free.

In Medellin, one of the best places to go is El Poblado. I was staying in the San Fernando Plaza Hotel, which was about a 15-minute walk from this part of the city. This is probably one of the only redeeming factors about this hotel though, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a longer stay in Medellin. But back to El Poblado; it’s a great little neighbourhood that’s relaxed by day and comes alive at night.

Take a break for your morning coffee

I didn’t have a lot of time in Medellin on this trip unfortunately, but I did have a few hours free the morning I left. I headed straight to my favourite coffee shop, Café Pergamino. I’ve been here a couple of times before, and I just love it. They do an amazing selection of coffees, frappes and cakes and also sell their coffee beans from different parts of Colombia.

After breakfast, the sun had come out and I went for a wander around the streets of El Poblado before heading back to my hotel. It’s a compact district and in the day you’ll find coffee shops, beauty salons and boutique shops open for business. There’s not a lot of traffic in El Poblado so you can spend time enjoying the peace and quiet away from the main roads in Medellin.

Wander the vibrant streets

The main reason to head to El Poblado in the day is to enjoy all the colours. For me, Colombia is colour, and Medellin has an abundance of it. Brightly-painted buildings in turquoise, fuchsia and marigold are contrasted against a never-ending backdrop of lush, tropical vegetation wherever you look due to the humid and warm climate. And don’t forget to look down for some interesting street art!

Discover the best of Medellin’s nightlife

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat and drink in the evening, then El Poblado transforms by night. The streets are strung with lights and the bars and restaurants have open fronts so the air is filled with music. Both locals and tourists gather in El Poblado in the evenings to unwind so the atmosphere is fantastic. I walked to El Poblado in the evening with colleagues and it was perfectly safe, but I wouldn’t recommend walking around Medellin on your own in the dark.

What’s your favourite part of Medellin? Let me know in the comments below!