Slow and steady in Medellin

(Aug 2017)

We visited the city for a couple of days, slowly and steady (the belly doesn’t want any stress), and although there were plenty of things we didn’t see, wander and a few tours that no one should ever miss, we loved it. At least we got to enjoy the first part of the Feria de las Flores festival.

Medellin has become more and more touristy and safe, but it wouldn’t be wise to forget common sense so, be careful around the busy areas. That being said, we didn’t feel unsafe at any time, although it was easy to perceived how the city changes from one place to the next.

The city is located in a valley and a population over 2 million inhabitants, so just 3 days as we planned, wasn’t enough to see it all (or at least not at the pace we needed to go).

Some routes you could do in Medellín

Old town and around

You could start at the Botero Sculptures Square just as you walk out of the metro station Parque Berrío. From this square you can see the Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe closer to the station and on the other side the Antioquia Museum. Even you don’t enter the museum, the square offers many sculptures of the local artist.

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However, the museum is worth the visit. Beyond the pieces of Botero, you’ll find other pieces representing the culture of the area from the prehispanics and two temporary rooms. During our visit we decided to go to the one called 89 nights that analysed sexuality in the neoliberal world.

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Silueta de una ciudad hecha con preservativos / Skyline made with condoms

Leaving the museum behind we wander around the Pedestrian Walk Carabobo full of little shops and then you’ll see the Veracruz church that stands out among the buildings; from there we arrived at Plaza Cisneros or Plaza de la Luz (where the silleteros sold their flowers as we explained in the previous post). In this square you’ll find the modern EPM Library, behind it the Liberty Square and a fancy building.

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Keep going to the west and you’ll find two last recommendations in the area: the Intelligent Building and the Pies Descalzos park. The first one is a sustainable building while the second one is a park with a zen philosophy, where both children and adults can enjoy the wonders of water through different pools and stimulate their feet.

Northern area

This route is focused in parks and we thought it was a great area to share with the little ones. You get off the Universidad station, and leave on the one side the Planetarium, the House of Music and the Deseos park. On the other side you’ll find the Orquideorama and the Botanical Garden (they were closed getting ready for some exhibitions during the festival), the Explora Park and the Parque Norte (which is also a theme park). You can look left or right, there is nature all around, it also offers lots activities for the family and it seems that you are away from the city.

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Paisa Village

We had to go to the Paisa Village, it is a representation of an Antioquia village at the top of a hill. From the entrance at the bottom you can choose to go up from a taxi, walking along side the rod or going up the 800 steps (no, we didn’t count them). Although at night shows a beautiful sight of Medellin, we believe it is best to get there a bit earlier and see it with day light. It is smaller than it looks in most pictures, you’ll find souvenir shops, a church, a view point and the Museo Ciudad where we got to see a model of the city and a few graffiti.

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Night life in Medellín

An area difficult to miss is Parque Lleras. Full of bars, pubs, discos, restaurants and hotels, you can start your afternoon with a beer and end your day watching the sunrise. We only tried J&C delicias and its delicious arepas, but there is no doubt you can find whatever you are looking for in this area.

Carmen

Carmen, that’s its name, and it is a name not to forget. It is a restaurant that melted us with it exquisite food. True, it’s not the cheapest one (or even more, it is pretty expensive if you think of the prices in Colombia) but it is worth every bite. What we loved the most was that you had two options, either choose from the menu (we were recommended by a friend to try Cerdo 2 veces and we’ll have to try it in our next visit) or choose from a 5 or 7 dishes testing menu (that the chef will change). This 5 dishes option was what we chose and we were delighted (and we could also ask the chef to avoid certain food).

Korean tacos: Korean marinated beef with purple cabbage and carrot and some Asian pears.

Empalmados: tempura shrimp with bittersweet sauce and avocado pure.

Chicharrón: roasted pork rind with bbq sauce and tuber cream.

Butifarra de conejo: rabbit butifarra with citric curry.

5 chocolates: a dessert combination based on chocolates.

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And after that, you can only cry when you see any other dish someone else serves you.

Costs:

Accommodation: 3012 COP/per night (~24’3€ or ~$28’5)

Metro fee: 2300 COP (~0’65€ or ~$0’77)

Antioquia Museum fee: 18000 COP (~5’12€ or ~$6)

Taxi minimum fare: 5000 COP (~1’4€ or ~$1’7)

2 testing menus (one of the with 5 types of wine) at Carmen restaurant: 360000 COP (~100€ or ~$120)

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