Oh the beauty of the unknown. Is that the beauty of travel? Not knowing what smell, sound or sight is around the next corner. For some that is a complete nightmare whereas myself and many others, ideal.
Arriving in Medellín, I had no idea of what to expect except for hoards of people nestled into a section of the Andes mountain range. After 1 month in this bustling city, here is a list of what I have regularly seen while roaming the streets of Medellín. These are in no particular order but particularly normal.
Futbol uniforms. For a country that is as passionate as Colombia is about futbol, it’s no surprise to see the ubiquity of Futbol uniforms around. One day in the city and you’ll understand what I’m describing. There’s no shortage of people wearing and selling these popular pieces of clothing.
Menu del días
The infamous food offerings found everywhere throughout the city. Enjoy these meals as they are filling & easy on the wallet. These are primarily for Lunch but some places offer them all day. Laureles, is home to some of the cities best. Don’t miss out.
Food, clothing & whatever else your mind can conjure up is sold on the streets of Medellin. The highest variety of goods are sold in the city center. It Can be annoying with everyone constantly trying to sell you something, such as a hair straightener, flashlight or pack of glue, but a kind “no gracias” usually will suffice.
Medellin to no surprise is dense city. There are a lot of people who make up the population, and those people have to get to and from work. Thankfully, Medellin is blessed with an impressive Metro. However, these Metro lines are no joke during rush hour. If you can, pre purchase your tickets during slower hours, as cues can be painfully long during peak hours.
Tres (3) Bandas
Colombians are known for their personalities and abilities to create fun. Tres Bandas is just another way a majority of Colombians enjoy their leisurely time. Expect to see this game being played in just about everywhere barrio, poor or rich. I still don’t understand this game and probably never will but it’s a staple here for sure.
Well here’s a shocker, Salsa. Probably the most recognized Colombian activity worldwide, Salsa plays a major role in the fabric of this country. Everywhere and anywhere has it. Although as not infamous as Cali, you can’t go one day without finding somewhere to Salsa.
Sold everywhere & about every time of the day, it’s impossible to miss or not try this staple street food. As bad as they are for the body, they are delicious and easy on the wallet. Just another way you can stretch your budget here.
Some with queso, chocolate or neither. Have your pick as they are available throughout the day just about anywhere.
Colombia’s national drink of choice. Sip, don’t shoot. Slow, not fast. Is the motto of this beverage. I can GUARANTEE you will be offered this drink at some point throughout your trip. I recommend accepting as Colombia’s don’t take to kindly to those who decline.
There seems to be a never ending amount of tours in Medellin, which is great, but choosing the best can be challenging. Follow my 4 Day Backpackers Guide in Medellín for some of the best tours the city offers.
Upon entering my first taxi it was clear that drivers in Medellin are reckless. I think it’s calculated recklessness but be careful on yields as drivers rarely stop for pedestrians.
Waiting for this one weren’t ya? Well, it’s true. Coffee can be found everywhere here. Some better than others but another important piece of the puzzle in Medellín. There is a distinction to be made here. Just because it’s everywhere doesn’t mean I’m advocating all of it. The street, Tinto Coffee, is sold in tiny cups on most street corners for about .50 cents and is terrible. It’s really just a cup of sugar with low, low grade coffee. Find the good stuff here: 5 Medellin Cafes to Slip into
Street Performers are special people. Not only is what they do extremely challenging but having to execute the performance in front of a group of people is equally impressive. Some of the best street performers I have ever seen in my life have been in Medellín. Walk down just about any street and a red light will welcome you with a memorable show. ALSO, IF YOU STOP & WATCH, TIP.