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Over the past ten years, Medellin has seen a steady growth in tourism. Today it’s one of the most popular South American cities for backpackers, travelers, and nomads to explore.
With lots of open spaces, safe neighborhoods, and opportunities to meet new people, Medellin has some great places for women to travel alone.
Medellin has had a notoriously violent past. Decades of violence once shook the city to its core, shattering whole communities.
Today, with the popular Netflix show Narcos, a new interest in the cartel wars of the 1980s and 90s has resurfaced.
So you may be wondering, is Medellin safe now?
For the most part, yes. In the daytime, you can walk around most central parts of the city by yourself without any issues.
Being sensible and taking the proper safety precautions, like avoiding yellow taxis at night, not having your phone out on the road, or showing off too much bling, will help ensure a smooth time in the city.
While in Medellin, you must experience its nightlife at least once! Partying into the night can be perfectly safe for women. However, I don’t get too complacent and am always in control (don’t get too drunk).
Also, it’s better to get an Uber back to your hotel when it’s really late, even if it’s within walking distance.
The city’s bustling neighborhoods have many fantastic places for everyone to explore. As a solo female traveler, Medellin is your oyster!
Group tours are a fun way of meeting new people and taking the tedious planning part out of travel.
This neighborhood group tour is one of Medellin’s top attractions. Comuna 13 was once the most dangerous place in the city.
Today you can learn from an expert local about the troubling past and how it rose from the ashes to become a more peaceful and vibrant place.
The tour is great for everyone but especially exciting for solo travelers who want to interact with other tourists and locals.
Tours guides are usually bilingual and lead you through the steep and narrow streets that form Comuna 13. Here you will find street performers, businesses, and lots of incredible graffiti!
If you’re itching for a taste of Medellin nightlife but don’t fancy going alone, a group bar-hopping experience may be perfect for you.
Clubbing in Medellin can be really fun, but like anywhere in the world, you’ll need to keep your wits about you and take precautions as a solo woman.
The group bar hopping activity is ideal for Medellin newcomers as you’ll be safely shown around Poblado’s party district by fun group leaders.
You’ll be with a group of like-minded people; the experience tends to be a favorite with solo travelers and foreigners.
Medellin has some of the best luxury malls I’ve been to, including my home city of London.
These spaces have mega cinemas, national and international brands, food courts, car showrooms, spas, and theme parks; basically, anything you could imagine.
It is a whole experience.
With 24/7 security and cool air-conditioning, it’s ideal for a relaxing weekday visit, even if you just come for some food and don’t plan on buying a car!
My favorite mall is El Tesoro, but other notable ones are Santafé, Viva Envigado, and Oviedo.
This beautiful tropical garden breathes an air of tranquility onto a sometimes chaotic city.
Located north of Medellin, it houses 4,500 different types of flowers, 139 bird species, a butterfly sanctuary, a cactus garden, and turtles and iguanas.
It’s an enclosed garden, but general admission is completely free! So, after relaxing on the grass, you can head for a spot of lunch at one of its two restaurants.
Situ Restaurant serves delicious seafood and desserts, while Del Bosque is a more casual cafe, perfect for pastries and light snacks.
Address: Cl. 73 #51d-14, Medellín, Aranjuez, Medellín, Antioquia
Now, if you’re a beginner at Spanish like me, don’t be put off by the idea of a language exchange.
Yes, it’s a place to talk with locals in Spanish. But there’s also a strong social aspect to these meetups.
Language exchange evenings usually take place in hostels or bars and attract foreigners and locals that are eager to practice English or Spanish.
A karaoke or games night over a few drinks is the usual format and the perfect way to break the ice.
This free and weekly get-together encourages goers to have fun while practicing language skills. Meet-ups take place in Poblado and are open to everyone!
Time: Every Friday at 7 pm
Address: Cra. 43E #12-11, El Poblado, Medellín
Taking place at the popular Provenza bar, Vintrash, this free weekly gathering provides a fun and casual way to touch up on your language skills.
Time: Every Tuesday from 4 pm – 3 am
Address: Cra. 35 #8A-39, El Poblado, Medellín
Offering free language exchanges through karaoke nights and relaxed meetups, Dulce Posion is a more chilled option for language learners.
Time: Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays, from 8 pm to midnight
Address: Cra. 35 #8A-39, El Poblado, Medellín
Medellin is one of the cultural centers of Colombia. It is home to many free sites and museums.
Spend the afternoon enjoying the city and learning about Colombian art, culture, and history. Here are a few free sites to visit:
Located just 2hrs from Medellin, this colorful town is ideal for a day trip or overnight stay.
Trying the traditional Colombian dish Bandeja paisa, Climbing the famous giant rock, and taking a boat ride along the river, are just some of the fun things you can do here.
Group tours leave Medellin daily. Prices start at $30 and include return travel, breakfast, lunch, a bilingual guide, and a boat tour.
Guatapé is perfectly safe to visit alone; you can catch a bus from Medellin’s Terminal de Norte.
However, if you want to have some expert knowledge about the town and mingle with other travelers, I recommend booking a tour.
You can get a Colombian small-town experience without even having to leave the city!
Pueblito Paisa is a life-size replica of a traditional colonial town. Location right in the center of the city on Cerro Nutibara, it gives an amazing aerial view of Medellin.
Once you get to the foothill on Calle 30A, it’s a steep upward hike to the town. So, for safety reasons, it’s best to take a taxi to the viewpoint.
Here you’ll find mini restaurants serving authentic meals like Bandeja Paisa and shops selling ice cream and souvenirs.
It gets pretty busy on the weekends with Colombian tourists, but a weekday visit can provide the opportunity to relax, take in incredible views, and enjoy nature!
Address: Calle 30 a, Cerro Nutibara, AutoSur, Medellín, Antioquia
With all the exploring you’ll be doing, you’re going to need some relaxing downtime. Medellin’s spas offer a variety of soothing treatments at affordable prices.
Hotel Celestino’s newly renovated spa has a sauna and Turkish bath. Rejuvenate yourself with their body scrubs, facials, and massages.
You can wind down with an aromatic facial, massage, and hot cup of tea at Sousa SPA y Belleza. This spa hosts parties for those who want to get their friends in on the action too!
If you’re looking for a strong, no-frills, deep-tissue massage Sports Massage Medellin provides just that. The staff are highly skilled and knowledgeable.
Medellin has plenty of safe and women-friendly fitness studios dotted around the city, like the mega gym SmartFit.
However, if you want to enjoy women-inspired fitness classes in curated feminine spaces, you can try some of the below sessions!
Combining dancehall and Latin dance with Twerk, this Poblado dance studio hold fun and inclusive dance-fit classes.
It’s a great place to experience free expression through dance and to meet other women!
Address: Cra 43D #10-84 Int. 201, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia
Located south of the city in Itagui, this boxing and Martial Arts gym holds special women’s self-defense classes.
These specific sessions are held infrequently, so you’ll have to reach out to the gym for specific event times and dates.
WhatsApp: +57 300 344 9971
Address: Cl. 37b #43 – 31, Germania, Itagüi, Antioquia
Specializing in pole sport and body conditioning, fitness studio Fuerza y Figura offers aerial hooping, acrobatics, rumba, and pole dancing classes.
Address: Cra. 76 #32e-16, Medellín, Belén, Medellín, Antioquia
Medellin has something for everyone. So whether you want to relax, party, or explore the city, you can have a great time as a woman traveling solo!
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