Discover Living Medellin: Your Ultimate Guide.

Discover Living Medellin: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you considering a move to Medellin, Colombia? Look no further! This ultimate guide will cover everything you need to know about living in Medellin, from its fascinating history to its top neighborhoods, cost of living, best restaurants and bars, and must-visit tourist attractions.

A brief history of Medellin

Medellin was founded in 1616 by a Spanish conquistador and was originally a small mining town. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Medellin began to grow, thanks to its booming textile industry. By the mid-20th century, the city had become known as the "City of Eternal Spring" for its mild weather and abundance of flowers.

However, in the 1980s and 90s, Medellin gained international notoriety due to the violence of drug cartels, particularly the infamous Pablo Escobar. In the past two decades, the city has undergone a remarkable transformation, with government investment in infrastructure, education, and security leading to a decrease in crime and an increase in tourism and foreign investment. Today, Medellin is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that has shed its dark past and is now considered one of the most innovative cities in the world.

Top neighborhoods to live in Medellin

Medellin is a city of neighborhoods, each with its unique character and charm. Here are some of the top neighborhoods to consider when looking for a place to live:

  • El Poblado: Known as the most upscale and luxurious neighborhood in Medellin, El Poblado is home to many expats and offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and shopping options. It’s also known for its lively nightlife, with several popular clubs and bars located in the area.
  • Laureles: Located in the west-central part of the city, Laureles is known for its tree-lined streets, beautiful parks, and laid-back vibe. It’s also considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Medellin and is popular with young professionals and families.
  • Envigado: Located just south of El Poblado, Envigado is a quieter, more residential neighborhood that offers a more authentic Colombian experience. It’s known for its colorful streets, excellent restaurants, and friendly locals.
  • Belen: Located in the western part of the city, Belen is a diverse neighborhood that offers affordable housing and easy access to transportation. It’s also home to several large shopping malls and is considered a good option for families.

Cost of living in Medellin

One of the biggest draws of living in Medellin is its affordable cost of living. While prices vary depending on the neighborhood and type of housing, here are some general estimates of what you can expect to pay:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in El Poblado: $500-$800 per month
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Laureles: $400-$600 per month
  • Groceries for one person: $150-$200 per month
  • Local transportation (bus or metro) per trip: $0.70-$1.00

Overall, you can expect to pay about half of what you would pay in a major city in the United States or Europe for the same quality of life in Medellin.

Best restaurants and bars in Medellin

Medellin is known for its excellent cuisine and nightlife scene. Here are some of the top restaurants and bars to check out:

  • Carmen: Located in El Poblado, Carmen is considered one of the best restaurants in Medellin. It offers an innovative tasting menu that showcases local ingredients and flavors.
  • El Cielo: Another high-end restaurant in El Poblado, El Cielo offers a unique dining experience that combines food and art. Their tasting menu features dishes that are inspired by Colombian landscapes and traditions.
  • La Octava: Located in the trendy Laureles neighborhood, La Octava is a popular spot for drinks and live music. They offer a wide variety of cocktails and craft beers, as well as a rotating lineup of local and international musicians.
  • Hija Mia: This cozy restaurant in Envigado serves up delicious Colombian comfort food, including empanadas, arepas, and bandeja paisa (a traditional dish that includes beans, rice, plantains, avocado, and meat).

Must-visit tourist attractions in Medellin

Medellin has plenty to offer for tourists and locals alike. Here are some of the must-visit attractions:

  • Parque Arvi: Located just outside the city, Parque Arvi is a nature reserve that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can hike, bike, or take a cable car to get there.
  • Comuna 13: Once known as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Medellin, Comuna 13 is now a symbol of the city’s transformation. It’s known for its colorful street art and lively atmosphere, and you can take a tour to learn more about its history and culture.
  • Plaza Botero: This public square in the heart of downtown Medellin features several large sculptures by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. It’s a great spot for people-watching and taking photos.
  • Jardin Botanico: This botanical garden is located in the Laureles neighborhood and features a wide variety of plants and flowers from Colombia and around the world. It’s a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city.

In conclusion, Medellin is a vibrant, welcoming city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. Whether you’re looking for a place to live or just visiting as a tourist, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic Colombian city.

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