During my first week in Medellin, I did basically what everyone else did and stayed in Poblado. While I understand the appeal of Poblado as it is full of many excellent cafes and resturants and close to the nightlife, I wanted something different for my second week. I decided to go with Envigado, and it was one of the best decisions I have made on this trip. If I go to Medellin again, I will for sure stay in Envigado again.
Envigado is not part of Medellin proper. It is technically considered its own town. Although, it is just one or two stops on the Metro from what counts officially as Medellin and 5-10 minutes on the bus. You can be in Poblado square in less than 20 minutes on the bus.
While Envigado is known for where the Escobar family lived and had a seedy reputation in the 1990s, it has become a thriving new part of Medellin in the last years while still being unspoiled by tourists. It has lovely streets that vaguely resemble the uptown district of New Orleans. You can find an array of local and international fare. One of the best places that I’ve eaten at was a Mexican place called Restaurant Cantinflas. It was an authentic place owned by a real Mexican. I noticed that other Latin American nations just as a European tend to do just as a horrible job impersonating Mexican food. This place was not the case at all. I also really enjoyed this Aerapas place down the street from my airbnb
One of my favorite parts about the area is interacting with the locals. They seemed to be relaxed and often seen socializing in front of convenience stores. While there are some cute pubs in these districts, a common thing is to put chairs in front of a convenient store and enjoy your beverage there instead of paying more in a bar/pub. This reminds me of something people commonly do in Berlin at these ” Spatis”.
The only downside to staying in this area is it can feel far away from ” the action”. I had two friends staying in Laurales which was on the other side of town, so any time I would meet them in their area it was a bit time-consuming. But the transport in Medellin in great for Colombian standards and a taxi or uber is quite cheap. I was not too bothered by it.
If you are looking for something less on the grid and for a more local experience of Medellin, I would highly recommend Envigado. You can also access some interesting places to the south of Medellin such as a coffee farm, La Cathedral ( Pablo Escobar’s self designed prison), and some nice nature to walk around while being 20-30 from the excitement of
Recommended places in Envigado
- Air BNB: My host Marco was awesome! https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/23549970
- Restutant Cantinflas – Excellent Mexican food
- Resturant Lemonchillo- Vietnamese
- La Sazon De Matrica- Local fair
- Chocolatte cafe- Nice cafe
- Tienda- bar el Pescador
- Atlenal- Vintage Football bar
- La Cabana del recuerdo- Bar