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TLDR? Medellin is safe to visit as a solo female traveler.
When I start planning a trip (and I’m sure when you do too), one of the first things I think about is safety.
A lot of that has to do with being a woman. While there are plenty of places that are safe for women to travel to alone, there are others that aren’t.
If you’re planning a girls’ getaway or are planning a wild, solo, backpacking adventure to Medellin, it pays to know a bit about safety.
Here’s what you need to know about safety in Medellin from a female’s perspective.
Before I dive right into talking about safety, let’s get a bit of housekeeping out of the way.
Medellin has had a pretty famously rocky history, which is why many people are wary of traveling there alone.
However, over the past 30 years, the city has come a long way. Not only have they made some pretty significant city improvements, but they’ve also gone on to win a few notable travelers’ awards.
For instance, Medellin has won the World Travel Award. And, it was also labeled one of the top two City Break Destinations in South America.
Aside from these awards, the city has also become a hub for rising artists and startups. For instance, Medellin is represented internationally by many artists such as JBalvin, Maluma, and Karol G.
All that has combined to create an attractive tourist destination that’s rich in culture and increasingly safe.
A few other things to note about Medellin’s safety include some crime statistics:
With that out of the way, it’s time to look a bit closer at Medellin and safety in general.
If you’ve done some research on Medellin, you’ve probably come up with countless posts written from a male perspective (we’ve got one too!).
And, while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can make it hard for girls like me to figure out whether they’ll be safe traveling alone.
The good news is, as long as you use your basic street smarts, you really shouldn’t have any problems traveling in Medellin alone.
Let’s take a deeper look at a few basic tips for staying safe on your trip.
Before I moved to Medellin I was terrified of taking taxis in the city. I’d heard horror stories of people getting kidnapped in taxis and thought that was going to happen to me too!
Thankfully, my fears were completely ridiculous.
In fact, getting around Medellin by taxi is not only convenient, but most of the taxi drivers are really helpful and can give you some great tips for your stay!
The one thing I will say about transportation, especially as a female, is that it’s better to use rideshare apps.
This doesn’t have anything to do with getting kidnapped, but it does have a bit to do with fares.
You see, while the majority of taxi drivers are good, hardworking people, there are a few who will charge tourists (and more so female tourists) extra.
If you use a rideshare app like Uber, however, the fares are predetermined. That way there’s nothing to contest when it comes time to settle the fare.
And, if anything does go awry? You can just report it to Uber and they’ll get it sorted out.
Pro Tip: take down the license plate of the taxi or Uber before you get into it. It’s happened to me before that I’ve gotten into the wrong one and had to pay for two rides!
Public transportation is another handy way to explore everything Medellin has to offer. And, tons of metro stops will take you straight to tourist destinations like Museo de Antioquia!
In terms of staying safe on public transportation, there’s not a whole lot to worry about.
People on the metro are super kind and often give up their seats for moms, kids, and elderly passengers.
While you may find the occasional pickpocket onboard the metro or bus, it’s not that common. Just keep track of your belongings during your ride and you should be fine.
Oh, and the metros and buses in Medellin are also guarded by local authorities 24/7. If anything does happen, you’ve got a police officer nearby who can easily help you out.
Meeting new people is one of my favorite parts of traveling alone.
When you’re on your own, you’re more likely to engage with other travelers and meet some cool people from around the world!
In Medellin, it’s fine to meet people, chat, and even grab a drink together.
Just make sure that if you’re going to go out for some food or drink that you only eat things that come from the kitchen.
This is an extra precaution, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
I’m also cautious about giving out too much information when I first meet someone. As I mentioned with the taxi drivers, sometimes you may find the odd person who’s happy to take advantage of you based on where you’re from.
Like I said, however, these situations are pretty uncommon. For the most part, Medellin is a fantastic place to meet new people and make new friends!
A big part of staying safe in Medellin is honestly just knowing where to go and where not to go.
Thankfully, all of Casacol’s properties are in fantastic neighborhoods where the likelihood of something bad happening is slim to none.
However, if you’re out and about exploring on your own, my advice is to make sure you stick to the touristy parts of town.
I’m speaking from experience here when I say that it’s all too easy to wander into a shady part of town when you’re engrossed in exploring a new place.
If you’re not familiar with Medellin and what spots are safe to visit and what aren’t, go on a tour!
There are tons of tours, including my favorite free walking tour, that will take you around town in a group.
The group setting already adds an extra layer of safety. Plus, the guides usually point out tips for where to go and where not to go.
It’s an awesome way to see parts of the city that you might not feel comfortable exploring on your own without wandering into an unpleasant part of town by mistake.
So, what is it actually like traveling alone in Medellin?
Medellin has really rebuilt itself into a technology hub full of amazing travel opportunities for men and women alike.
This city is full of friendly and helpful people who will help you out whenever they can and sell you things you didn’t know you needed!
In general, I’ve found that Medellin is a super-safe and fun place to explore. If I ever get lost or have an issue, there’s always someone that’s happy to help out.
And, what I’ve really loved about Medellin is that the language doesn’t have to be a setback. People here speak English, Portuguese, German, and even French and are happy to help out travelers from all backgrounds.
I feel safe pretty much anywhere I go in the city, and my other female digital nomad friends have said the same.
As I’ve stressed (and can’t stress enough), Medellin is a safe city. However, we all get into a pinch from time to time.
If you’re ever in a sticky situation, it pays to know who to call. In that case, here are the numbers you should dial:
You can also give local police a ring, whether you’re staying in Laureles or Poblado. You can find all the numbers you need here.
So, would I say that Medellin is safe for women? Definitely.
The city is a unique part of Colombia that’s come a very long way over the past few decades. It’s super safe and a great way to get a taste of Colombian culture.
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