a view of Medellin


Unveiling Medellín: A Recent Trip to The City of Eternal Spring

November 10, 2022

Medellín, a city of revival and rebirth, full of humanity and energetic vibrancy, defied our expectations captured our hearts during a recent trip here. It showed us why Medellin, Colombia is swiftly emerging as one of the fastest-growing cultural hubs of South America and the perfect destination for your next unforgettable adventure.

Medellín’s Cultural Renaissance

Over the past few decades, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into a dynamic center of culture, innovation, and creativity at an impressive pace.

The city’s commitment to urban revitalization, coupled with investments in cultural infrastructure and community development, has fueled its emergence as a prominent cultural destination within Colombia and the broader South American region. Medellín’s burgeoning arts scene, vibrant music festivals, and thriving culinary scene are all indicators of its rapid cultural growth and evolution. Ones which we were able to enjoy during our week stay last month.

Medellín’s Contemporary Food Scene

Medellín’s food scene is a fusion of traditional Colombian flavors and innovative culinary trends. Here you can indulge in traditional staples like bandeja paisa (a hearty platter featuring beans, rice, meat, and plantains), arepas (cornmeal cakes filled with various savory ingredients), and sancocho (a hearty stew). But, for a taste of Medellín’s contemporary cuisine, I recommend heading to one of the city’s trendy restaurants or food markets, where innovative chefs are reimagining traditional dishes with a modern twist.

Our Favorite Restaurants

Some of our favorite restaurants we tried during our trip to Medellín that we can recommend are:

  1. El Cielo: Known for its innovative take on Colombian cuisine, El Cielo offers a unique dining experience that combines art, gastronomy, and storytelling. Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos takes diners on a culinary journey, with each dish meticulously crafted to evoke emotions and memories.
  2. Carmen: Located in the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado, Carmen offers a contemporary twist on traditional Colombian flavors. The menu features dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the diversity and richness of Colombian cuisine.
  3. Ocio: With its stylish ambiance and creative menu, Ocio has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The restaurant offers a diverse selection of dishes inspired by global flavors, along with an extensive wine list and handcrafted cocktails.
  4. Mondongos: For a taste of traditional Colombian cuisine in a modern setting, head to Mondongos. This restaurant specializes in classic dishes like bandeja paisa, sancocho, and mondongo (tripe soup), served in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
  5. Relato: Everything here is photo worthy at this spot in the Provenza neighborhood. The interior design is sleek and contemporary, with elegant lighting and stylish decor. Relato offers fine dining with an eclectic menu. In fact, it combines Asian, Mediterranean, and Latin flavors. Known as one of the top ten restaurants in Medellín, this one is definitely our favorite.

Off The Beaten Path: Medellín’s Hidden Gems

It is, of course, important to visit Medellín’s contemporary art and nightlife during your trip to Medellín. However, to explore the deeper heartbeat of the city, it’s important to visit its roots. One of my favorite places to visit was La Mayoría in Envigado. The first thing you notice when you arrive is the deep respect for tradition. La Mayoría is pure Colombian style. Characterized by colorful facades, with buildings painted in bright hues such as yellow, red, blue, and green. It is set against the stunning landscape of the city below. However, what truly makes La Mayoría stand out is its rich cultural heritage.

You can feel this cultural heritage as soon as you sit. The slogan on the placemat reads: “Donde bailan los caballos.” Which, when translated, means “Where the horses dance.” And each night the cowboys of Medellín come out and show their horses in full display to the restaurant guests. In addition to the best experiences in gastronomy, you are also able to view the traditional Colombian way of life up close, with locals proudly displaying their customs and traditions.

Insights and Tips for Your Own Adventure in the City of Eternal Spring

  1. Embrace the Climate: Medellín’s mild, spring-like climate makes it enjoyable to explore year-round. Pack layers to accommodate changes in temperature throughout the day, and don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses for protection from the sun.
  2. Explore Beyond the Tourist Areas: While popular attractions like Parque Lleras and Pueblito Paisa are worth visiting, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path. Explore neighborhoods like Laureles, Envigado, and Belén to discover local markets, authentic eateries, and hidden gems.
  3. Learn Some Spanish: While you can get by with English in tourist areas, knowing some basic Spanish phrases will enhance your experience and allow you to connect more deeply with locals. Consider taking a language class or using language learning apps before your trip.
  4. Engage with Locals: Colombians are known for their warmth and hospitality, so don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with locals. Whether you’re chatting with vendors at a market or sharing a meal with newfound friends, interacting with locals can lead to meaningful connections and memorable experiences.
  5. Respect Local Customs: Colombians take pride in their culture and traditions. Therefore, you want to be respectful of local customs and etiquette. Learn about Colombian customs regarding greetings, dining, and social interactions to ensure a smooth and respectful experience.
  6. Stay Safe: Medellín has made significant strides in improving safety in recent years. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant, especially in crowded areas and at night. Avoid displaying valuables openly and be cautious when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Final Thoughts

I hope you come to love this city as deeply as we fell in love with her on our recent trip to Medellín. I’d like to say a figurative thank you to this experience that simply put was, Colombia. For showing us her colors, her beauty, and most importantly, her kindness. To the city of eternal spring- a city of revival and rebirth, full of humanity and energetic vibrancy, we were welcomed with open arms. I know she will to you, as well. Safe travels.

To see our wedding with Sarah and James in Medellín. Click here.

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MEET Jennifer

An Artist, Traveler, and Storyteller

Trained in film photography with an eye for all things beautiful, I take an authentic approach to my work and my life. Both fun loving and detail oriented, with a background in travel and language, I see every scene and situation as a chance to create something beautiful. I bring deep connection and meaning to my work, and on my lucky days I get to capture it with my camera with you.

Editorial film wedding photographer telling your story with artful excellence and purpose.

Jennifer Conti

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