Medellín, from the outside, doesn’t appear to be much more than a city struggling to recover from its sordid past. Yet this isn’t an accurate picture of the city. In fact, Medellín has come a long way and was recently voted one of the top 10 cities in the world to live in. Here are some things you might not know about Medellín that prove it is so much more than meets the eye.
A brief history of Medellín
The city of Medellín is named after its location in the Aburra Valley, which is why the word “Medellín” means “place in the valley.” It was founded in 1616 as a small village called “San Gil de Barquillo.” The village was declared a “city” in 1675. The city experienced rapid growth in the late 1800s due to the discovery of the nearby Andes Mountains of Colombia of abundant coal, which was used in the nearby towns of the Caribbean Sea.
A railway system was built to transport the coal, and Medellín, being the central city near the coal mines, was an important stop. The Medellín of the 20th century, however, is better known for its infamous drug lords, particularly Pablo Escobar, as well as paramilitary violence. Medellín was once listed as the most dangerous city in the world by the United Nations and in the top five of Forbes’ Most Dangerous Cities.
7 Reasons to Move to Medellín Right Now!
The city is rich in culture and has a unique identity. In fact, Medellín is home to the world’s largest Parque de las Esculturas or Sculpture Park.
The city’s location in the Aburrá Valley makes it warm and sunny year-round.
Medellín has been voted one of the top 10 cities in the world to live in. - You can enjoy world-class health care at a fraction of the cost.
You can learn Spanish or English at a fraction of the cost.
You can enjoy low crime rates with a low cost of living.
You can enjoy a higher standard of living than you could in other Latin American cities.
The city has a warm and sunny climate year-round.
What you probably didn’t know about living in Medellín
- The city’s crime rate has fallen by more than 80% in the past 15 years. - The city’s transportation system is excellent, with buses and Metro rail. - There are many options for international flights to and from Medellín’s José María Córdova International Airport.
- There are many free things to do in Medellín, including the Botanical Garden. - Medellín is one of the most educated cities in Colombia. - The city’s weather is warm and sunny all year round.
- The city’s cost of living is much lower than in major Latin American cities. - Medellín is home to many universities and other educational institutions. - The city is a hub for artistic expression, including visual arts, dance, and music.
- The city’s public transportation system is inexpensive, safe, and efficient. - You can explore the city’s many neighbourhoods using the Metro and other public transportation.
Culture and Entertainment in Medellín
- Sports and Recreation: Medellín is home to the Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex, the home stadium of the Atlético Nacional soccer team. The city is also the home of the Medellín Cartwheel Club, a gymnastics club that attracts top athletes from around the world.
- Museums and Art Galleries: Some of the top museums and art galleries in Medellín include the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (Museum of Modern Art), the Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum), the Museo de la Historia (History Museum), and the Museo de Arte Países Andinos y Amazonicos (Amazon and Andean Art Museum).
- Performing Arts: Medellín is the home of several performing arts organizations, including the Ballet de la República, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Norte de Colombia, and the Teatro Comunitario de Medellín. These organizations present dance, music, and drama throughout Medellín.
- Nightlife: The nightlife in Medellín is described as friendly and approachable. Many of the best nightclubs are in the Poblado district.
- Other Entertainment: Medellín is also the home of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, the City Museum, the History Museum, and the Amazon and Andean Art Museum.
Transportation in Medellín
The transportation system in Medellín is excellent and has improved dramatically in the past 15 years. Medellín has an excellent Metro system that is safe, affordable, and efficient. In addition, there are many buses that travel throughout the city and its surrounding areas.
The city’s airport, José María Córdova International Airport, services both domestic and international flights. There are flights to Medellín from cities all over the world, including New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Medellín also has a very good bus system, the Metrovia bus system. The Metrovia bus system can take you all around the city and to the neighbouring towns. You can also take the Metro line to get around the city.
The Good News from Medellín
The city’s crime rate has fallen dramatically in the past two decades. - The city’s health care system is excellent, with world-class hospitals and low costs.
The city’s public transportation system is safe, efficient, and inexpensive.
The city is home to many universities and other educational institutions.
The city’s economy has grown significantly in recent years. - You can enjoy a higher standard of living than in other Latin American cities.
The city is a hub for artistic expression, including visual arts, dance, and music.
The city’s reputation precedes it, so some expats may have preconceived notions.
Things to consider in Medellin
- The city’s climate is tropical and humid, so warm and light clothes are recommended.
- While the city has improved significantly, there are still some areas you should avoid whereas, in Caldas Antioquia 30 minutes from Medellin, this jewel offers a fabulous and warm neighbourhood.
- English is not widely spoken in Medellín, so you may want to consider learning Spanish.
Medellín is a city that is on the rise and is definitely worth considering as your next destination. It is a beautiful city with a rich culture and a unique identity. It has warm and sunny weather year-round and is a hub for artistic expression. It is also home to top-notch health care at a fraction of the cost. Also, it is a great place to learn Spanish or English with friendly native speakers.