"Medellín - the capital of Antioquia" Medellín by skullcrusher
Medellín Travel Guide: 136 reviews and 459 photos
After finally fleeing from the gritty national capital of Bogota, I took an overland trip of about ten hours which eventually landed me in the nice city of Medellín - which is the capital of the department (state) of Antioquia. I spent five days here and had a wonderful time. I liked Medellín because it's what Bogota isn't.
First: It's relatively compact and much easier to get around by foot. If you need to travel to the outer areas of the city then (unlike Bogota) it has a superb Metro system. In my experience the taxi drivers don't try so hard to rip off Gringos either. Second: it's much cleaner than BOG. Granted, this is South America and there simply isn't a large city down here that isn't dirty, but Medellín is certainly better. Third: it's much warmer and you can actually see the sun for at least half the day or more. In BOG it's too cool and cloudy too often. Fourth: People seem friendlier here and it doesn't FEEL as dangerous. Overall, Medellín is simply a much prettier and laid-back city. Sure, BOG has a few good things things about it; but I could actually imagine living in Medellín.
Medellín has many lovely old buildings and thanks to a law requiring public art there are several interesting sculptures and paintings that help to improve the views. The back drop of the mountains which surround the city make for pretty views all by themselves. Two great places to admire public art is at Parque San Antonio (check out the two ''Bird of Peace'' sculptures - one of which is riddled with holes due to a terrorist bomb attack) and also the Plazoleta de las Esculturas which is a wonderful place to people watch and in the same area are some good cafes, a major metro stop, a nice church, and the Museo de Antioquia which is a fine museum that has everything from ancient artifacts to modern art. A lot of the artwork you'll see is from a popular local artist named Fernando Botero; whom likes to make images of fat people & animals. Some of his stuff is pretty good.
Another good place to wander, grab a bite, and shop is the pedestrian area of Carrera 49 between Calles 50 & the Parque de Bolivar. This little stretch is also known as Pasaje Junin. There are some good restaurants and places to shop here, and I especially like a place called the ''Salon de Te'' which serves my favorite form of beverage .... along with other tasty treats.
Paisas like to have fun and the nightlife in the city is very good with many hot latinas. It took me awhile, but I eventually found a great gym to workout at which is located by the Olympic style stadium and training facilities to the west of town (a very nice neighborhood). The gym is called ''Forma Estadio'': on Calle 50 69-92 and for a mere 11,000 Pesos you can workout 'til your heart's content for a day. I checked out a few others that where much cheaper, especially in the center of town, but this place had the best equipment by far.
There are of course many other museums and you can take a tour known as ''Turibus'' that you can hop on & off of to tour the city, but it's just as easy to go to most of these sights on your own. If you have an extra day to kill then you may want to take a 2.5 hour trip (one way) to a huge volcanic outcropping known as El Penol that looks a lot like Rio de Janeiro's Sugarloaf Mountain. Or perhaps visit some of the haciendas or paisa towns that are nearby.
Me? Mostly gym and nightlife. Viva la Rumba!!
- Pros:Nice, warm weather. Friendly folks. Mellow city. Great Metro.
- Cons:Downtown can be dodgy, especially at night when the streets are left to the crooks & druggies.
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