Manila Neighborhood Review

rest area in landmark hotel overlooking the manila neighborhood

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

manila street with trees and some parked cars

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

village park with a view of the chapel

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.


"I love medellin" sign and the little town paisa in the background

Motorcycle Tour

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.

So don’t forget your helmet and the best posture, and plan a trip to Guatape, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Parque Arvi, or the surroundings of the city.

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.

Graffiti Tour

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 13 graffiti 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.

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.

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.

Milnueve32 Tienda de Arte Cafe Galeria

For lovers of coffee and art, this is a real hit!

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

people giving salsa dance 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.

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.

Attend a Holy Temple

Are you religious and looking for a place to spend a spiritual moment in Medellin?

Good news: in Manila there are three temples of different religions that offer events to the parishioners.

Iglesia de San Jose

One of the traditional Catholic churches of Medellin in the southern part of the city, ideal for receiving mass.

You can attend almost every day at times specifically established by the parish.

Diamond Way Buddhist Center

a chapel inside, decorated for a marriage

A unique Buddhist center in Medellin that also participates in public improvement activities in the city.

The place, located on the second floor of Almonte, has two meditation spaces a week as well as a weekly Buddhist seminar. 

In addition, once a week you can participate in a Ngöndro practice.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses

This site has a pro of your interest: if you practice this religion, you can attend a congregation in English that meets twice a week in the afternoon!

In addition to this, there are also regular meetings twice a week and times for Bible studies.

But on days when there are no events in the temple, it remains closed.

Where to Eat in Manila?

There are many delicious answers to this question. So we make you the best proposals and you decide.

Breakfast and Brunch

a delicious brunch with cereals, bread, yogurt, coffee and pancakes

The best meals of the day are breakfast and brunch. In Manila, there are places specialized in serving coffee, toast and eggs in the best presentations.

Don’t hesitate to visit:

  • Cambria: specialized in coffees with liquor and French toast.
  • Hacienda Manila: A place that serves typical Antioquian breakfasts.
  • Azai Natura: a slightly healthier option specializing in cups of acai and juices.
  • Almonte: very traditional morning dishes of the cuisine of Medellin
  • Smash cafe: avocado, vegan and healthy options for the morning.
  • Cafe hija mia: a hipster style for breakfast with a variety of coffees and bagels
  • Ganso y castor: gourmet, elegant and with exquisite flavors for breakfast.
  • Seco: a place specialized in toasts with different ingredients.
  • Colombia: It’s a perfect place to try bowls with exotic Colombian fruits.

Lunch and Dinner

a bandeja paisa with chicharrón avocado egg chorizo potatoes and salad

Manila is without a doubt a gastronomic district. Both paisas and tourists walk the streets of this neighborhood throughout the day to find the best flavors for their meals.

There you can find offers of all kinds of cuisine:

Asian Food

The offers of sushi, ramen and Vietnamese food are unique in this neighborhood, find restaurants like:

  • Halong Vietnamese
  • Sushi Gama
  • Tamagotchi Ramen Bar

Italian Food

Italian food has always been a great option. Find the best of pizzas and pastas in:

  • Pizzeria Olivia
  • Lorenza Pizza
  • Pane e Pomodoro 100% Italian Pizzeria

American food

Maybe there will be a time when you want to feel at home and savor some wings or ribs, or why not, a juicy hamburger. Find these products in manila by visiting:

  • Western Wings
  • Barbecue Burger and Beer Manila 

Healthy and Vegetarian Food

It’s not a secret that healthy eating is a trend as well as vegetarian and vegan food. Therefore, in this gastronomic district you can also find options for this lifestyle.

  • Helecho Vegan Sushi
  • Vegan & Veggie
  • AMA – Restaurante-Café-Mercado Orgánico-A Granel
  • Diverso – Unión de cocinas
  • Lavocadería Manila


Well, trends come but traditional food never goes away. For this reason, meat restaurants remain and in Manila you can delight yourself with these flavors in:

  • Malevo Restaurant
  • Tagliata Carne y Pasta

Colombian Food

You’re in Colombia and of course you should try the flavors that this Latin American country and that Medellin have within their traditions.

For this reason, in manila you can party with:

  • Herbario Restaurante
  • Idilico Restaurante
  • Mamasita Medallo
  • Lucho Arepas

Other Options

As if that were not enough, this neighborhood has so many options, including French, Peruvian, seafood, and even Middle Eastern restaurants.

In addition, there are sites with very representative concepts and environments of each specialty.

Live complete cooking experiences in places like:

  • Clandestine Restaurante Lounge
  • Oh La La Bistrot
  • Tal Cual
  • Restaurante peruano Uros
  • Restaurante Frutos del Mar
  • Restaurante Cafe Creta 

Coffees and Snacks

design of a leaf in the cup of coffee

We can’t leave out afternoon snacks, right?

Well, you don’t need to leave Manila to indulge in good food between lunch and dinner, as well as a coffee while you do some remote work.

To do this you can go to special sites such as:

  • Filetes y bistró de Filadelfia
  • Amorato
  • JamaiCamarón
  • La Fabryka Panadería & Café
  • Mija

Party, Bars, and Pubs in Manila

the counter of a bar with a mix of drinks on it

Medellin’s nightlife is undoubtedly a 10/10 according to many magazine rankings, and well, those who have visited this euphoric city.

Manila is one of those places where it houses some of the best nightlife in the City of Eternal Spring.

Now, what kind of night events do you enjoy the most? What are your favorite drinks?

If beer tops the #1 drink list for a cool night in this city’s exceptional spring cloak, head to:

  • 20Mission
  • Foxey Pub
  • Bipolar Brewing Co
  • Fugitivo Manila

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

fashion store in manila neighborhood with many dresses for women

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 Places

coworking cubicles surrounded by plants

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!

Open Space

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.

Zona 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!

Beauty Centers

beauty salon where we can see several cubicles available

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
  • Victoria Peluqueria

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
  • Peluqueria Fanel
  • 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


supermarket beer section

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.

Clothes Shops

fashion store in manila neighborhood with many dresses for women

Medellin is the textile city of Colombia. That’s why the lots of stores and local brands created by country designers abound.

Manila is one of the best places to exhibit these works, with unique stores such as:

  • Turqsa Swimwear: specialized in swimwear for women.
  • Plan Alma: Exclusively designed jewelry and clothing accessories, ideal for gifts!
  • Tricycle Clothing Store: fashion for young men but with a stylish twist.


library with tables to read your books

Yes, a bookstore in the middle of this neighborhood with so much to offer, best of all, it’s not one of those that are usually super commercial.

In Pequeña Gran Libreria you find a selection of books so you can choose the one that most appeals to you. You can also find books in English.

How to Handle Money in Manila

money exchange over the counter

Although many businesses have digitized their payment methods, and most receive cards or bank transfers, cash can’t be missing from your wallet in case of emergencies.

For this reason, Manila has two ATMs available: one from Red Aval and another from Bancolombia where you can withdraw cash without any inconvenience.

In case you bring cash in another currency, you can find a Western Union office to change the amount you want to Colombian pesos without having to leave this southern area in Medellin.

Healthy Life in Manila

Health Centers and Medicines

hospital room with a gurney

You need to be clear about something when you think about staying in any sector: where there is a nearby medical center, and a pharmacy to get medicines.

In Manila you don’t have to worry, there are two places nearby where they can attend you in case of an emergency such as Metrosalud, or Be You for dental cases. It never hurts to have this data!

Now, if you think you can handle a flu or minor scrape yourself with over-the-counter medications, keep in mind that you can find neighborhood pharmacies such as:

  • Mundo Farma
  • Full Medics
  • La Rebaja Plus

Consider translating the name of your medications or try to explain to the pharmacist which ones are your symptoms to receive some advice.


stationary bike show

We know that discipline can be stopped by no trip, storm, or different city.

Therefore, in this sector of El Poblado you can find two of the best physical conditioning centers to comply with your daily routines:

  • Smart Fit Gym 
  • Athletic Gym Manila

Ask about the days of free entry and the plans offered by each gym.

What Else Can You Find in Manila?

Laundries, car rentals, legal services, car services and even delivery offices!

Manila has dozens of offers on hand so you don’t have to spend a lot of effort looking outside.


washing machines

If you can’t wash your clothes at your place of stay, there are three different places where you can do it without any problem:

  • Clear Service Laundry
  • Stinky’s Laundry
  • NODO Laundry


salesman handing over the keys to the customer who just rented the car

If you want to rent a car to go sightseeing around the city and even its outskirts, don’t hesitate to visit these sites to quote the best vehicle for your stay in Medellin:

  • Europcar
  • Executive Car Rental

In addition to this, in the neighborhood there are different options for you to wash the vehicle and even to keep it in a safe place in case you need a parking space.

You can go to:

  • Lavadero y Parqueadero La 43 D
  • Jigautos Car Wash
  • City ​​parking
migration man handing passport to girl

It’s possible that you are in Medellin for some legal procedures. Maybe you want to deal with real estate in this city or you need some document with an important seal.

That’s why you can go to Notaries 20 and 2 of the city located in the southern zone, near Manila.

Now, if your procedures require the sending of a document to another address or city, you can contact the companies Envia and Servientrega with offices in the same neighborhood.

Manila: an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood

If you are thinking about your trip to Medellin, Manila is one of the most recommended sectors to visit, either to stay, or to enjoy the best deals on food, classes, bars, and even parishes.

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