Besides its incredible nightlife and plethora of fine dining restaurants, this place is friendly, welcoming, and just a great place to explore on your travels to Medellin in general!
If you’ve already read the New York Times article, then you already have an idea of what makes this neighborhood so great. In this guide, we’ll go even more in-depth and give you all the ins and outs of what to do during your visit here!
El Poblado Neighborhoods
This is called the Big Barrio (neighborhood) because it is indeed the biggest one in the city. As mentioned El Poblado, is one of the 16 communes of Medellin, and as such, it has several neighborhoods within it.
If we want to be a little more specific, the whole commune has an area of 23 square km (about 9 square miles). It’s also made up of 24 neighborhoods, the majority of which are the better neighborhoods in the city:
Altos del Poblado
As some of the most representative ones of the commune. It’s surrounded by other communes such as La Candelaria, Buenos Aires, and Guayabal as well as the nearby towns Envigado and Santa Elena.
How to Get to El Poblado
The metro system runs through a lot of El Poblado, making it a convenient way to get around the area. There’s Estación Poblado if you’re in a central part of the neighborhood. Otherwise, take Estación Industriales or Estación Aguacatala.
Even Though you have that option, you’ve also got the option of taking taxis or using transportation apps in case you want to avoid public transportation. Or, they’re a great way to get around more quickly.
Another option is renting a car. If you go this route, you should check the GPS. Traffic in El Poblado can get pretty bad, especially around midday.
Because of its gardens and good-looking spots, it is perfect for an excellent photo shoot or a lovely romantic date. Also, since it’s a museum, the place has temporary exhibitions and special events for decorative arts, antiques, and more.
The entrance fee is around $4 USD, but this is subject to change. Make sure to check their website to get the most accurate and up-to-date info.
El Poblado is a symbol of luxury and exclusiveness. If you want to really experience that, a great way to do so is to check out one of the many malls in the area!
One great mall is the Santafe mall. In the middle of the mall, there’s a giant space that’s decorated according to the current season or cultural events happening in the city. For instance, if you go to this mall during Ferias de las Flores or Christmas, you’ll get to check out some amazing indoor displays.
Another mall is El Tesoro Mall. This is a smaller one (but it’s still huge!), for chilling and having a meal or a snack. Sometimes there are concerts for you to attend. Or, you can catch a movie at Cine Colombia in the mall.
If you’re looking for something more natural, like parks and hiking, there are a couple of things you can do.
Another place to check out is Mercado del Río, or Mercado del Río la Strada. This place has over 50 restaurants where you can try different types of food.
Finally, you can head over to Parque Lleras. Although this isn’t actually a park, it’s a leafy green neighborhood that’s nice to hang out in for a wall. Here you’ll find a good chunk of bars, live music events, and restaurants, so it’s a great place to go for nightlife.
Where You Can Stay in El Poblado
With around 24 neighborhoods, the best places to stay in El Poblado are the ones we’ve listed below!
Central Poblado is the perfect place when you want to experience all El Poblado has to offer. It’s the epicenter for shopping malls, boutiques, markets, restaurants, and rowdy nightlife scenes. Parque Lleras is also located within the area.
If you plan to look for accommodation in Central Poblado, we recommend checking out The Charlee Lifestyle Hotel. It boasts intricately beautiful exteriors to make your stay relaxing. Overall, Central Poblado suits the younger crowd because it does get pretty entertaining and wild at night.
Another famous location for dining places and late-night bars is Provenza. It’s only up a hill from Central Poblado, so you can mix and match the places between these two neighborhoods. Provenza is more common for ex-pats and locals because the overall culture in this place speaks loudly of Colombia.
Manila is an up-and-coming El Poblado neighborhood that’s also starting to become popular among tourists. It’s slowly becoming everyone’s go-to place next to Parque Lleras because it’s quieter and less crowded.
Manila has several exceptional places for your coffee needs. It’s also walkable from any metro, particularly, it’s only ten minutes from Central Poblado!
Like Manila, Astorga is also an emerging neighborhood because of its antique stores, shops, galleries, and cafes. It was once a finca, a weekend country estate before it became a crowd’s favorite.
Patio Bonito is the perfect place where you love admiring nature’s beauty. Translating to “pretty patio” in English, this area in El Poblado boasts beautiful trees and colorful flowers surrounding every street or avenue. There is also a wide range of hipster hangouts if you’re interested.
Why El Poblado is Perfect for First-Time or Budget Travelers
As Medellin’s biggest neighborhood, it’s no surprise El Poblado is also the perfect destination for budget and first-time travelers. Several tourists and locals love returning to this neighborhood because it’s filled with clubs, restaurants, bars, hotels, cafes, and more shops.
Moreover, it has one of the most entertaining nightlife scenes in Medellin, especially in Parque Lieres. It’s considered the district’s nightlife mecca, and you can enjoy a wide variety of sensual pleasures and fun drinking scenes.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in El Poblado, here are our top recommendations based on your budget:
Affordable: Los Patios Hostel – an award-winning hostel with co-working stations, a garden, a rooftop pool, a gym, and other amazing amenities
Midrange: Nomada Hotel Origen – features delicious buffet-style breakfast in a chic hotel and rooms with kitchenettes, bathtubs, exposed brick walls, and terraces
High-end: The Click Clack – design-friendly hotel with outstanding rain showers, free breakfast, and complimentary snacks
What Can You Find in the Neighborhood
Manila Gastronomic Area
El Poblado is also famous for its wide range of gastronomic offers – from affordable fast food chains to elegant restaurants, particularly in the Manila neighborhood.
Manila, El Poblado, is located between the tenth and the fourteenth street in Medellin. Here you can find all types of restaurants ranging in various cuisines, such as Japanese, Italian, vegetarian, and the typical Colombian. Bandeja Paisa Tray is also part of the neighborhood.
Parque Lineal Ciudad del Río
The Ciudad del Rio Linear Park is an all-around nature park where you can engage in various activities, including urban art and skateboarding tracks. There are also spaces for recreation, and it’s near the famous Museum of Modern Art of Medellin.
Visiting this park is one of the most relaxing activities because it’s not too far from El Poblado’s busiest areas. It also allows guests to enjoy a perfect balance of tranquility from nature and hectic city life.
Parque Lineal Ciudad del Rio is commonly more famous during the weekends because of the market and fast food stalls.
Mercado del Rio
The famous market inside the park is Mercado del Rio, which is also one of the main reasons Parque Lineal Ciudad del Rio gets packed with visitors. With more than 50 restaurants, this gastronomic market features fusions of international and Colombian cuisines.
Inside the market are bars open daily for lunch and dinner. If you want a more modern branch, visit Avenida El Poblado and head to Mercado del Rio La Strada. Prices in both branches are not the cheapest in Medellin, but they are affordable enough to date yourself or celebrate with friends.
San Jose Church and El Poblado Park
In the neighborhood’s main square is Parque El Poblado, one of the busiest meeting points in the district because of its central location. The park is located explicitly between El Poblado metro station and Parque Lleras.
This nature park is packed with lush green trees that give it the right shade to hide from the sun. After strolling around to relax and unwind, head to San Jose Church nearby, on the park’s front. It’s a small brick building and one of El Poblado’s most recognized symbols.
Nightlife in El Poblado
A trip to El Poblado will not be complete without experiencing the district’s nightlife scene. Here are the best places to have fun in the neighborhood.
Parque Lleras is the nightlife trademark of El Poblado. It’s a small square packed with restaurants and late-night bars. If you stop by Parque Lleras, you’ll see music bars or fondas that play traditional Colombian rhythms, such as vallenato. There are also gay nightclubs, Mexican-style taverns, and sports bars.
Another busy nightlife scene is in Calle 10. You can find a wide variety of venues, including dance halls, electronic music with pop beats, and tropical and Latin rhythms. You can also enjoy pop, reggaeton, and bachata venus because they are starting to become popular around the area.
Plus, salsa and vallenato nightclubs are also common! With a variety of dances and nightclubs to enjoy, Calle 10 gives you an ultimate nightlife experience in Medellin. Even better is that it’s one of the most gay-friendly areas within El Poblado!
Spend a Day in El Poblado
El Poblado is easily one of the biggest and best neighborhoods in the city. Whether you’re looking to get your dancing shoes on or you’re wanting to find a new place to eat, El Poblado has something for everyone.
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