Laureles charms with its local vibe and strong digital nomad scene. Belén intrigues with its cross-section of people and cultures and low cost of living. El Centro attracts tourists with authentic attractions and colorful markets.
But when it comes to ranking the best districts in Medellín for travelers, El Poblado comes out on top. Located on the southeast side of the city, El Poblado comprises 22 barrios, or neighborhoods, packed with world-class dining options, hip cafés, exciting nightlife venues, and high-end shopping spots.
To learn more about this much-loved neighborhood, here are four reasons El Poblado reigns as Medellin’s most popular area for travelers:
Delicious local and international restaurants abound in Medellín, but the bulk of the city’s most celebrated dining spots can be found in El Poblado. The food scene in El Poblado is eclectic, ranging from authentic local eateries to trendy international eateries to fine dining. We’ve listed just a handful of the incredible dining spots below.
- Carmen (Carrera 36 #10A-27): Often hailed as Medellín’s best restaurant, Carmen is run by a Coron Bleu-trained couple that folds regional ingredients into modern and traditional dishes. Try the chef’s tasting menu, which includes seven courses and wine pairings.
- Café Zorba (Calle 8 #42-33): Café Zorba is one of the city’s best vegetarian and vegan pizzerias. Ovens fire up both red and white pizzas, like the spinach pizza with toasted pistachios and whipped macadamia creme or the sweet cucumber pizza with bittersweet onions and blue cheese.
- La Provincia (Carrera 42 #3 Sur). With a focus on Italian and French cuisine, La Provincia shines when it comes to seafood—like the lobster in fresh ginger and lemongrass coconut curry and ceviche with shrimp from the Colombian coasts. Seafood, meats, and pasta can be paired with pours from the impressive wine list.
- Mondongo’s (Calle 10 #38-38). Mondongo’s goes for a more traditional Colombian culinary experience, serving up classics like the Bandeja Paisa—a hearty breakfast heaped with red beans cooked with pork, ground meat, chicharrones, fried egg, plantain, chorizo, black pudding, avocado, rice, and arepa.
A reliable WiFi-connected café scene is critical to the city’s large digital nomad community. Rivaled only by Laureles, El Poblado is often preferred by remote workers with its vast selection of coffee shops. The area is dotted with trendy, comfy cafés with WiFi and plenty of outlets. We’ve shared a few of our favorites below.
- Pergamino (Carrera 37 # 8A-37 and Calle 10B #No 36-38): A coffee-lover hotspot in Medellín, Pergamino is packed with locals and foreigners seeking its renowned single-origin specialty coffee. Luckily, both locations have ample seatings and plenty of power outlets.
- Urbania Café: (Calle 8 #43B – 132): At Urbania Café, single-source, single-origin, locally roasted coffee is served in a warm, wooden interior. For those getting peckish, the cozy café offers paninis and grilled wraps.
- Al Alma Provenza ( Calle 8 #35- 37): With three locations in Poblado, Al Alma pairs house-roasted coffee with crispy bagels and warm croissants. Pop by during brunch to try their creative renditions of breakfast classics—like smoked salmon eggs benedict or egg florentine with avocado.
The heart of nightlife in Medellín, El Poblado is jammed with buzzy watering holes ranging from dive to swanky. Much of the nightlife is concentrated around Poblado’s Zona Rosa, or nightlife district, which can be found around Parque Lleras. We’ve shared a few spots popular among travelers and locals alike below.
- Calle 9+1 (Carrera 40 #10-25 ): Tucked into a side street of Calle 10, Calle 9+1 would be easy to miss, were it not for the line of partygoers that tends to form outside. Instead of your typical salsa, merengue, or reggaeton, the hipster-friendly dance club booms with electronic music spun by guest DJs.
- Babylon (Carrera 41 #9 – 22): A Medellín hotspot for more than three decades, Babylon is beloved for its open-bar and no-cover specials. On its notorious Ladies Night Thursdays, Babylon treats gals to free admission and an open bar.
- Berlin (Calle 10 #41-65): With its din lighting, pool tables, and grungy soundtrack, Berlin is perhaps one of El Poblado’s only true pubs. The bar fills up as the night grows later as backpackers, digital nomads, and young paisas gather over one last Aguila.
Whether you’re looknig for trendy apparel, playful souvenirs, or local crafts, Medellín shopping caters to every budget. Compared to much of the rest of the city, El Poblado shopping options tend to be higher in price but higher in quality. In addition to sleek, sprawling malls with brand names, the area offers an eclectic mix of funky local boutiques. We’ve explored the range of shopping options you’ll find in El Poblado below.
Centro Comerciales: Some of the most prominent modern malls, or centro commerciales, are located in El Poblado. El Tesoro, Oviedo, and Santa Fé are soaring, high-end shopping meccas packed with international brands like Diesel, Crocs, Victoria’s Secret, and Forever 21. All of these malls have massive food courts with local and international eateries and modern movie theaters. You can also find entertainment centers like arcades and go karts.
Vía Primavera (Carrera 37): This tree-lined avenue sits between Parque Lleras and Provenza and is packed with some of the city’s hippest boutiques and local shops. Try Galería Diseño (Carrera 37 between Calle 10 and 36) or VidaMia (Carrera 37 #8a- 81) for one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories designed in Colombia.
Vía Provenza (Carerra 35): Two blocks up from Vía Primavera lies Via Provenza, a fast-emerging avenue with a booming selection of local shops. Don’t miss Buenos Hábitos (Carrera 35 #7-83) for sustainability-focused designer apparel or Pardo (Carrera 35 #8A-85) for upscale menswear.
Please note that due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 we recommend you check the website and social channels for each business mentioned for the latest hours and availability before you go.