TLDR? Manila is a neighborhood that has all kinds of services at hand, and is specialized in good food!
Medellin is a city full of tourist sectors and each one is distinguished by one specialty or another, whether it’s gastronomy, history, or nightlife.
El Poblado is a highly popular district among tourists. So if you are thinking of visiting Medellin, surely this will be among the first places to look for accommodation, as well as to spend time in different activities.
The best thing about this area is that it’s divided into different neighborhoods, and within these is Manila, an ideal area for digital nomads, tourists, and expats, full of good food and artistic experiences.
Find in this guide all the attractions that this neighborhood of Medellin has at your disposal and enjoy a stay in Manila, one of the many up and coming spaces in the City of Eternal Spring.
An Introduction to Barrio Manila
A century ago, Manila was a rural sector of Medellin full of summer houses and crops.
However, over the years it began to become a neighborhood in which each family bought a lot and built their house.
The curious thing was the uniformity of blue and white houses of one or two stories.
Later, the construction of buildings and residential units began to give Manila another face, turning it into one of the most modern neighborhoods of El Poblado, and one of the best sectors in the south of Medellin where the wealthiest paisas usually live.
Manila began to be characterized as a neighborhood very welcoming to foreigners and tourists, which is why more businesses began to expand such as cafes, coworking sites, and local artists’ shops in the city.
The trade then also managed to grow with hotels, as well as hostels, spas, restaurants, workshops and art galleries, among many other spaces available to new visitors as well as to locals, achieving the rich culture and industry that it has today.
How to Get to the Manila Neighborhood
Manila is in the southern area of Medellin, a 5-minute walk from Parque del Poblado.
It borders other neighborhoods and very touristy and attractive sectors such as Provenza, Parque Lleras, Altos del Poblado, El Tesoro, among others.
It’s a very accessible sector in any vehicle as well as in public transport – you can even get around by bicycle or on foot.
Best of all is the proximity to the Poblado station of the Metro system, 600 meters and a 9-minute walk.
Things to Do in Manila
Manila has different offers to enjoy leisure and tourism. There you will find many art galleries and places of interest to learn languages, especially Spanish, and to do cultural exchanges, as well as religious, sports, and entertainment centers.
If you are a lover of two wheels, adrenaline, and slightly more daring activities, the motorcycle tour is perfect to enjoy a day on the roads of Antioquia and Medellin.
This experience is one of the most sporting in which you can enjoy as a driver or as a passenger, depending on whether you are a good driver or if you prefer to go as a passenger to enjoy the landscape and the spring wind of Medellin.
Medellin has achieved recognition around the world for the graffiti that local artists have painted in neighborhoods that were once hit by violence.
Thus, the Comuna 13graffiti tour has become a must-visit when you visit the City of Eternal Spring.
The tour consists of visiting the San Javier neighborhood and walking through the murals and paintings that decorate this area, located on one of the mountains or slopes of the city that can be climbed on foot and through appropriate electric stairs to facilitate the ascent.
On this tour you can enjoy food experiences such as coffee and artisan ice cream, as well as enjoy dance shows and music by artists from the area.
Visit a Coffee Farm
Colombia is a country characterized by the cultivation of coffee for export in different cities. One of them is Medellin and its surroundings.
That is why in Manila you will find offers to take coffee farm tours where you can enjoy a complete experience walking through the farm, trying different coffees, and learning generalities about the cultivation process.
Discover Art Galleries
Manila is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding artistic districts of Medellin.
It’s a neighborhood with different workshops and galleries where you can enjoy all the local talent. So if you are a lover of creativity, these sites are for you.
Mundo Arte Gallery
It’s a house located around the corner from the Landmark hotel, one of the most luxurious and best equipped in the city, and its focus is directed towards paintings and digital art.
In addition, you can find elements to decorate interiors with different designs.
Carlos Orozco Gallery
It’s not easy to find a gallery specialized solely in sculpture, but on this site, you go straight to the point. Although it’s small, you can find great works of art.
From the entrance of this small green house you can see the variety and elegance of the designs that you will find inside.
In this place in Manila you can combine the best flavors of the most famous caffeinated drink in the world while finding vinyl, books and many pieces of art for sale.
Take Some Classes
Dance Classes in El Candombe
If you are in Medellin for a long period of time, you may be looking for ways to invest your time and learn new things, and what better than learning to move your feet and hips the Latin way!
In this dance school in the area, specialized in tango classes, you can take group or private lessons in a new musical genre.
Blink Spanish Immersion School & Hostel
Spanish is one of the main motivations of many foreigners who come to Medellin wanting to perfect the language or even learn it from scratch.
So learn this native language of the paisas with packages of group or individual classes for weekly hours!
The best thing about this academy is the alliance with a salsa school, an excellent mix to learn to dance and even to sing this Latin music.
There you can also participate in the different activities and excursions organized by the team. It can be a great opportunity to meet new people!
In blink you can also stay in student accommodation and do some tours offered by the school.
OLSA Spanish English School
If your objective of learning Spanish is a little more academic or professional, this academy is ideal since you can obtain a visa with Spanish as a requirement after taking some courses.
There you can take group or private classes, conversation groups, and programs of up to 6 and 12 months.
Elefun Spanish School
Elefun has a different way of teaching Spanish in the Manila neighborhood.
It’s a school with an informal style that offers both Spanish classes as well as activities such as salsa classes, and local food tasting, as well as group tours. What better way to learn than by practicing?
Best of all, they generally offer discounts and there are free trial periods. So be encouraged to take yours and start practicing this language in Medellin.
On the other hand, if you decide you want a more elegant environment where you can taste a delicious wine and pair it, Urvino Vinos y Licores is an excellent option.
Now, are you a little more of a cheerful atmosphere and exotic flavors? You may try some cocktails.
Alta Gracia Restaurante/Café/Bar is a special place to have the best mixed drinks and snack on delicious food.
But let’s not leave out the Medellin rooftop bars that have an incredible panoramic view of this mountainous city.
In Manila you can enjoy Vrtice Rooftop and Los Tejados as ideal places to talk, enjoy good music and drinks.
The Shops in Manila
This Medellin neighborhood is something special not only because of its location and variety of things to do and food to try, but also because it has different shops on hand that will make you not want to leave the sector. You just have everything at hand!
Coworking are those spaces specially designed for you to carry your laptop and not get distracted during your work in a stay or restaurant.
Therefore, if you are a digital nomad this place is ideal for you!
This coworking space is special because you don’t rent a private table to develop your work, but you sit at a great table with different people.
The environment is industrial and collaborative, and has a coffee available for you to recharge energy when it comes to work.
This slightly more elegant place has private offices available for rent as well as space to develop presentations if your work team is a little larger or you are looking to meet with a client.
There you can reserve spaces for days or quarterly.
COWORK Medellín – by Los Patios Hostel
Although it’s a small space, it has the great advantage that, in addition to renting a comfortable place to work, you have access to the local pool as well as a pool table to play- not to mention, free coffee!
Yes, it’s a bit difficult to find a good place to get a haircut or nail design in a city you don’t know.
However, Manila has within its portfolio of services some women’s hairdressers, barbershops, and manicure and pedicure centers that work with the latest market trends.
For men, you can go to:
Vinke Barber Shop
Javier Suarez Barber
London Barber Shop
Women also have different options to choose a haircut, a dye and even a mounting of extensions!
Mundo de Extensiones
And well, the nails also require a bit of procedures that they only do in exclusive places that you find in Manila like:
Violeta Nails Spa Poblado
SOUSA Nails and Spa
On the other hand, if you love being tanned and need an ideal skin color for the night or simply to show it off on the streets of Medellin, Sol y Color Belleza Corporal can take care of a natural-style tan or simply give you a routine facial.
We will always need a store or supermarket to stock up on toiletries, snacks or any specific product that you want to keep in your cupboard or backpack.
Therefore, Manila has two supermarkets in the neighborhood with different offers.
Carulla: It’s a supermarket with premium products, and a variety of options for people with strict diets or special requirements.
D1: It’s a slightly smaller supermarket but with many varieties that is characterized by being a little cheaper than others.