Medellin, known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, has turned over a new leaf since the 90’s when it was known as being one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Medellin is now a vibrant and progressive city that is gaining popularity with visitors who enjoy its thriving cafe culture, vibrant nightlife, friendly locals and stunning views thanks to its unique canyon location.
Named the most innovative city in the world in 2013, Medellin is overflowing with creativity and has become a popular choice with digital nomads in recent years. The low cost of living, subtropical climate, reliable internet, dedicated co-working spaces, plus youthful vibe all help to draw people into Columbia’s second city including Spanish-language students and retired American expats. The English-speaking expat community is continually growing with a good number of meetup events held each month but few locals speak English so in order to get by and feel comfortable a grasp of the Spanish language is needed.
The manana way of life forces visitors to slow down, go with the flow, and give up control of the things that really don’t matter so much! In Medellin life, you remember what’s important - Family and friends, good health, fun, laughter, and enjoying the small things.
If you’re in a slump and need inspiration for work or simply a boost of joy you’ll find it on the city streets. Visit an art museum or go on the hunt for street art, walk in the cities green spaces and watch local life go past. Take the time to savor a simple yet hearty Colombian meal and taste the exotic fruits as you work on replenishing both mind and body. Browse the boutiques, join an impromptu party and dance on the streets, or enjoy the national pastime and cheering on the local soccer team! The possibilities are as endless as the festivals and events held throughout the city!
Best Time to Visit Medellin
Medellin isn’t known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’ (La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera) for no reason! The subtropical climate means that the temperature varies very little throughout the year making year-round travel very pleasant, no Winter coat needed! The temperature is best described as being ‘pleasant’, not too hot, not too cold so neither heating nor air-conditioning is needed. But this Spring-like weather does mean showers are common, Medellin experiencing just 2 seasons, 1 wet, 1 dry (or drier) - An umbrella best carried throughout the year.
The Summer season lasting from December to March is the optimal time to visit Medellin to guarantee as many dry days as possible - European and North American visitors will love late December and early January for the climate and the Christmas festivities!
December-March: December through March are the months with the least amount of rainfall, January being particularly dry but March being unpredictable. An early morning mist covers the city throughout most of the year with temperatures and humidity remaining fairly constant with the city enjoying at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. In December the city lights up with Festival de las Luces y Alumbrados Navidenos (The Festival of Lights and Christmas Lights) and the New Year starts with a bang with plenty of New Year parties and firework displays. A bullfighting festival known as Feria Taurina de la Candalaria takes place in January followed by the store sales when bargains can be picked up - The event is called Medellin es una Ganga which translates as ‘Medellin is a bargain’!
April-November: April to May and September to November are normally the wettest months with rain falling approximately 20 out of 30 days. In Medellin the rain is short but sharp, rain rarely lasting all day and rarely in all parts of the city at the same time. July and the start of August are typically the warmest months of the year with some respite from the rain but August can be rather windy.
In terms of activities, there’s almost always something happening around the city… Holy Week aka Semana Santa (the week before Easter Sunday) is a popular time for Paisas to travel which can leave the city rather empty though church services and religious processions still take place for those who remain. In June the parks, plazas, and squares fill up for the International Tango Festival but it’s not until the start of July that the city truly comes alive for the month-long Flower Festival. The city literally blooms for Le Ferla de las Flores with an array of fun and festivities taking place with the piece de la resistance; the flower parade. From August until September the International Music Festival gets toes tapping around the city followed by the Medellin International Jazz Festival. In October the Flamenco Festival is held and then in November, the Colombia Salsa Fest.