The Ultimate Guide To Medellin Nightlife
If you’re heading to Colombia, it’s likely that one of the things that attracted you in the first place was the promise of amazing Medellin nightlife. Well, friends, you won’t be disappointed. Medellin is fun beyond belief and is easily one of my favorite cities in the world to party in.
The thing about Medellin is that just being in the city feels like a party, and as day turns to night that feeling is amplified.
Seriously, there are so many things to do in Medellin at night!. I’m happy to say that Medellin’s nightlife did not disappoint. Here are some of the best things about it!
- The Paisas Know How To Party – Colombians party hard, and there is no doubt about that. They go out at 1 AM and party until the early morning. Most of them are out to just have fun and dance the night away, not looking for someone to go home with.
- The Locals Are Super Friendly – Going out in a foreign country when you might not speak the native language can be intimidating, but we found that the locals were quite friendly and easy to talk to. Most will even initiate the conversation and ask about you!
- Colombian Women Are Beautiful – Colombian women, especially the paisas, are known to be some of the most beautiful women in the world. If you are a man traveling in Medellin, then you are in luck!
- There Are Plenty of Venues To Pick From – From world-class nightclubs to relaxed lounges, Medellin has a venue for everyone. And with so many options, you can always find one that fits your mood.
- Nightlife Is Affordable – One of the best things about Medellin’s nightlife is that it is very affordable. Drinks are cheap, and most places don’t have cover charges. You can easily have a great time without breaking the bank!
A Bit About Medellin Nightlife
When you think of Colombia you’ll probably immediately think of salsa or reggaeton. And you wouldn’t be wrong. But Medellin nightlife is so much more than that. As well as hot and sticky dancefloors made for perreo (bumpin’ & grindin), there’s a huge electronic music scene that attracts world-class DJs.
Or, if you prefer to sip cocktails and chat with your amigos, there are dozens of gorgeous bars and lounges to choose from. If, like me, you enjoy a combination of sipping expensive drinks and grinding to J Balvin, you’re really going to love Medellin after dark.
Where To Go Out In Medellin
El Poblado is an affluent neighborhood in Medellin, and also the heart of nightlife
El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for nightlife in Medellin, thanks to all the expats that live here. It is one of the most tourist-friendly areas in Medellin. Not only will you find a higher police presence here, but many of the local paisas here speak English (which is an indication of their wealth).
Consequently, El Poblado is the heart of all the nightclubs and bars in Medellin. You’ll find everything from high-end dance clubs to more relaxed and intimate bars. This is the best area for those who want to enjoy Medellin’s nightlife scene to the fullest!
There’s plenty going on to ensure that you never get bored. Parque Lleras is the heart of El Poblado Medellin nightlife. This area is teeming with bars and clubs and it’s packed with locals and tourists every single weekend. If you head up the hill a little you’ll find Provenza: an equally popular but slightly classier area of El Poblado. Here you’ll still find great parties, but there are also some beautiful cocktail bars and rooftop terraces to enjoy, too.
El Poblado is a big neighborhood, and there are plenty of sections where nightlife is more thriving than others, such as:
- Parque Lleras
- La Provenza
If this is your first time in Medellin, then a night out at Parque Lleras is a must.
Parque Lleras is a small park in the El Poblado neighborhood, and on the perimeter of the park is full of bars and nightclubs. On a weekend night, you can hear all different types of music blasting from the different clubs in the area.
Perhaps what draws everyone to Parque Lleras is the variety of options there is. Visitors can find anything from heavy techno to reggaeton clubs and laid-back bars. No matter what your mood for the night is, you’ll find a place that suits you here. There is something for people with any type of budget here.
When I went out to Parque Lleras, the clubs were really fun, but what I actually enjoyed was just drinking in the park and mingling with the locals. That is usually what happens near the end of the night as the energy of the crowd dies down and people just want to chill and talk.
One of the disadvantages of Parque Lleras is that there are typically a lot more gringos and foreigners here than locals.
La Provenza is a small street a few blocks away from Parque Lleras uphill. Though walking distance away, the vibes of the two neighborhoods are very different.
While Parque Lleras attracts the party-till-the-sunrise crowd, La Provenza has a more relaxed environment. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to go crazy in, but the atmosphere is generally a bit more calm and organized.
The other main area to party is Laureles. This neighborhood is popular with long-term expats and has a much more local feel to it. La 70, which is a street running from Estadio metro station, is the bloodline for Laureles’ party scene. There are hundreds of bars in that area and you could go out every night and never hit the same spot twice. From tiendas, which are stores where you can sit outside and drink , to wild reggaeton bars, there’s something for everyone. I really love this area so even if you’re staying in El Poblado I’d recommend hopping on the metro or in an Uber and checking it out.
All of the other barrios in Medellin boast their own party scene, but if you’re in town for the first time you’d be best served sticking to these two key areas.
If you are someone that likes to mingle with the locals and party with them instead of a bunch of expats and travelers, then Laureles is the neighborhood to go to.
Laureles is a lot less touristy than El Poblado, so the prices of drinks and food here are a lot cheaper. Plus, this neighborhood feels much more authentically Colombian than El Poblado. You’ll find plenty of salsa clubs and locals out to have a good time.
A lot of the nightlife venues are not as fancy as the ones in other parts of the town, but that is exactly the charm of Laureles. As long as there’s music, Colombians know how to let loose and have fun!
Similar to El Poblado, there are plenty of sub-sections in Laureles for nightlife. Here are some of the best ones:
- La 70
- La 33
La 70 (La Setenta)
La 70, or La Setenta in Spanish, refers to Carrera 70, or Lane 70 in Spanish. This short street stretches from Pontifical Bolivarian University to Atanasio Girardot Football Stadium and is home to some of the cheapest bars and clubs in town.
Its affordable prices attract plenty of locals to come here for happy hours or to pregame before heading to more expensive venues. You won’t find any luxurious cocktail bars or the likes here, but you’ll find plenty of locals chugging a beer and watching a game of football on the TV.
This area is home to two of the best salsa clubs in Medellin – Son Havana and El Tibiri. So if you are into salsa dancing, or want to admire some Colombians that can seriously move on the dance floor, then head to La 70!
La 33 (La Trenta y Tres)
La 33 or Lane 33 is a little bit more upscale than La 70. In comparison, La 33 is a long avenue that features a wide variety of bars and clubs, with some more high-end than others.
Compared to El Poblado, La 33 is a lot less popular with foreigners. The clubs and bars are most likely going to be filled with locals, especially since the prices here are a lot more affordable than El Poblado.
From our experience, if locals want to party with themselves, they’ll likely head to Laureles. But if they want to meet travelers or expats, then they’ll head to El Poblado. This means you might not find a crowd that is always happy to meet foreigners when you are in La 33.
Las Palmas is arguably the most luxurious place to party in Medellin. This hilltop neighborhood is home to some of the most extravagant nightclubs and bars in the city. Its location means that it offers some of the best night views of the city.
Combined with a nice atmosphere and upscale surroundings, it is certainly the perfect place for a romantic evening.
Getting into the clubs here is going to be somewhat challenging. The cover charge is high and some even require you to have a certain ratio of men vs women before allowing you in.
Barrio Colombia is a neighborhood situated outside the city center of Colombia. This area is known for its massive clubs that are perfect for dancing the night away. The best nightlife venues in this part of town tend to be a bit more upscale, but the experience of partying in these mega clubs in Medellin is something you shouldn’t miss!
The Best Bars In Medellin
If you’ve got two left feet fret not: there are loads of bars where sitting isn’t frowned upon. Here are some of the best bars in Medellin.
El Social is my favorite place to sit outside and enjoy a michelada or five while soaking up El Poblado’s night-time vibe. This bar has been here for decades and hasn’t always particularly special, but now it’s my go-to place for relaxed drinks with my pals. There are a couple of floors with seating and tasty bar snacks are available if you need to line your stomach for a big night out.
Bogota Beer Company in Provenza
Perhaps the most famous bar in not just Medellin, but all of Colombia, is Bogota Beer Company, or BBC for short. As the name suggests, this bar started in Bogota and made a name for themselves, and now has shops all over Colombia.
The one near La Provenza has an old English pub brewery style and features tons of Colombian craft beer and seasonal beers to choose from. Along with a nice relaxing atmosphere and some good music, it is the recipe for a nice good night out.
The venue has both an indoor and outdoor space, as well as a pool table for guests to enjoy. The downside is the crowd is typically more gringos than local Colombians, but other than that, the place is amazing.
If you’re feeling a little fancier, Alambique is dreamy. It’s a bugger to find – the entrance is an unmarked door and when you find your way in you might mistake it for an art gallery. But if you head up to the top floor you’ll find one of the most gorgeous drinking spots in Medellin. The cocktail list is killer and if you’re hungry, the food is equally heavenly. It’s best to book a table at the weekend as it’s a popular spot (as it should be).
If you’re seriously boujee, you’ll want to check out the Envy Rooftop at the Charlee Hotel. The hotel itself is seriously luxe, but if your pockets aren’t deep enough for a night’s stay you can fake it at their rooftop bar. The views are unreal at sunset, so I’d recommend heading over for an early evening gin to start your night right. It’s wise to book for Envy, too. Again, it’s pretty popular.
Envy Rooftop Bar in Parque Lleras
If you are looking for a nice luxurious place to watch the sunset or spend the evening, then Envy Rooftop Bar is the place to go. Situated at the top of Charlee Hotel, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city as they sip on delicious cocktails and enjoy some sushi.
There is also a rooftop pool, but never have I ever seen anyone use it at night. Coupled with the live DJ that they have for most nights, Envy Rooftop Bar always has a good vibe. But that is if you don’t mind splurging a bit on your night out!
La Chula Las Palmas in Las Palmas
La Chula Las Palmas is one of the most quirky places in Medellin. The decor is very Mexican-inspired and they even have a mariachi band that plays live there.
Everything from the crowd and the music to the venue is just incredible, and the atmosphere is always lively. However, there is a big cover charge, especially targeted towards foreigners. When we went, there was a minimum spending of 1 bottle but we have already spent more than that on food and other drinks. Eventually, the issue was fixed but it did leave a sour taste in our mouths.
This is a great place not just for dancing and drinking, but the evening entertainment sets the right mood for the rest of the night. Just remember to come after 10:30 PM as that is when things start to get fun!
My main hang spot in Laureles is Barrio Central. This pub is owned by an English dude and is my go-to place for taking dates. It’s pretty chill but always busy enough to have a good vibe, and the crowd is mainly young and always fun. There’s plenty of outdoor seating and they often show big sporting events if that’s your thing. If not, turn your back to the telly and enjoy cheap beer and great food among the youth of Laureles.
La Tienda de la 70 in La 70
La Tienda de la 70 is a traditional Colombian restaurant that becomes quite the hangout spot after dark. Throughout the day, they serve authentic Antioquian cuisines such as Bandeja Paisa in a charmingly decorated property that resembles the beautiful colonial houses in Jardin and Salento.
As it gets later into the night, the venue becomes more crowded and the music begins. This place is a local hotspot, meaning that you typically won’t find too many gringos here. But in return, you are unlikely going to find any other kind of music besides Latin American music such as reggaeton and salsa.
If you want to party with the locals at night, La Tienda de La 70 is a good choice.
Another option is La Charcu, which is on the corner of La 70 and the perfect spot for people watching (I love people watching). They have a brilliant selection of beers from around the world, and their cocktails aren’t too shabby, either. Service is impeccable and it’s way too easy to stay at this spot all night.
La Octava Bar in Parque Lleras
La Octava Bar is one of my favorite bars in the Parque Lleras neighborhood of El Poblado. The front of the property looks like an exotic speakeasy while the back features a giant ball pit for guests to jump in. It is the definition of an adult playground!
The crowd is usually very friendly and the vibe is quite relaxed. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve enjoyed my time. Don’t forget to try the Cocaina Rusa (Russian Cocaine) shot! It is delicious and a sure way to get you loose!
Vintrash in Provenza
Vintrash is a nightlife establishment in the La Provenza district. It features three floors with each playing a different type of music. The two main floors play electronic and reggaeton music, which are our favorite two types of music!
Besides the music, Vintrash is a pretty average place when it comes to bars in Medellin. None of the decor really stood out to us and the cover charge is quite expensive. However, it is also guaranteed to be crowded on a weekend night, and the crowds are usually quite friendly.
Trilogia Bar in Barrio Colombia
If you are into live bands and don’t mind spending a bit of money, then check out Trilogia Bar in the Barrio Colombia neighborhood. This bar typically has live band that features anything from salsa to rock to merengue and old-school classics.
Because of its high prices, it is not a place that people go to every weekend. Locals usually come to this pub/Discoteca to celebrate something, whether that is a promotion or a birthday!
The Best Nightclubs In Medellin Colombia
If you’ll excuse the generalization, Colombian people love to dance. And, they’re bloody good at it, too. That’s probably why Medellin nightclubs are the most fun places in the entire world (probably). There are many, many contenders for the best nightclubs in Medellin, but here are some of my favorites…
Let’s start with salsa. Colombia is one of the best places in the world to dance salsa and there are literally dozens of clubs dotted around Medellin that offer a place to dance every night of the week. If you’re a salsa novice it’s worth taking classes to get your skills on point before heading to a salsa night.
SALSA IN LAURELES
This article has all the information you need to choose the right dance school for you. My favorite salsa spots are in Laureles, and Son Havana is my go-to salsa club for Friday night dancing. The live band is awesome and the atmosphere is welcoming enough to not be intimidating to first timers. If you like your salsa extra steamy you might want to head to Tibiri. This basement salsa club is hotter than the sun and attracts serious dancers who don’t mind sweat dripping from the ceiling. Even if you don’t make this your regular salsa spot, you should really check it out at least once during your stay in Medellin.
Night club picture made with long exposure, no recognizable faces
Son Havana Bar in Laureles
There is no better place to dance salsa and move those hips than Son Havana, arguably the best salsa club in Medellin. This small intimate place attracts some of the best salsa dancers in town, and you’ll find a nice crowd any night of the week. On some nights, you’ll even find a live band, which really turns the atmosphere up a notch.
If you are a salsa beginner, Son Havana Bar has free salsa lessons at 8 PM. Not only is it a great place to meet other salsa learners, but you get to learn from some of the best salsa dancers in Colombia. This is one of the best things to do in Medellin, so don’t miss out if you are there on a Wednesday!
El Tibiri in La 70
Perhaps the most popular place in Medellin for salsa dancing is El Tibiri in La 70. This unassuming venue is small, underground and often crowded, but that doesn’t stop people from coming here every night of the week to show off their dancing skills.
The venue has very little to offer. Everyone that comes here purely enjoys the art of salsa dancing and nothing more. It is truly an authentic salsa bar in Medellin. It might be a little intimidating if you’ve never danced salsa before, especially since most people there have a good amount of experience with it. But if you know a bit and can get into it, it is surely a night of fun!
PARTY IN EL POBLADO
If El Poblado is your favorite barrio to party in, I recommend that you check out Buena Vista. Located close to Parque Lieras, this central spot plays a variety of Latin music so isn’t technically a salsa bar. But I love the authenticity of dancing in between tables full of locals drinking guaro (the nickname for Aguardiente, which is a local liquor) so much that I couldn’t leave this place off my list. For Cuban salsa vibes, check out Mi Habana. This joint was opened by a group of Cuban immigrants and offers awesome food, live music, and all the Cuban salsa dancing you can handle.
For an alternative to Poblado and Laureles, check out Social Club in Aguacatala. It’s sometimes a little quiet but I love it as a ‘starter club’ for big salsa nights out.
Club Diecinueve92 (1992) in Provenza
Club Diecinueve92 is a popular club in the La Provenza area. It plays lots of crossover music, so you’ll find little bits of salsa, reggaeton, and every genre in between. This is great if you don’t want to just listen to salsa music or reggaeton all night.
Cub 1992 is usually quite crowded, thanks to its good selection of music and reasonable prices for drinks. The venue is not exactly the biggest, so you can expect a big crowd here on the weekends. There is a cover charge that you need to pay to get in.
Calle 9+1 in Parque Lleras
Calle 9+1 is one of the most popular nightclubs for backpackers because you don’t have to dress up to get in. You can even rock up in your sandals and a tank top!
The venue isn’t massive as it has only 2 rooms. But the atmosphere is always quite intimate and there’s usually a big crowd.
This is one of the few clubs in Medellin where you won’t find any salsa or merengue music, which could be a blessing if you’ve been in Colombia for too long. The music is more alternative and funk with an upbeat vibe, perfect for people that aren’t very good at dancing!
Black Dog Club in Provenza, Poblado
If you are a lover of reggaeton music, then Black Dog Club might just be the perfect nightclub for you. This intimate nightclub is known to play both new and old-school reggaeton music that’ll have you shaking your hips and twerking in no time!
This nightclub in Poblado usually has a live DJ that throws out some amazing remixes.
The venue is quite intimate and the space is quite small. If you want to be able to dance freely, make sure you come before 11 PM, otherwise it’ll start getting crowded. Plus, you are likely going to have to pay a cover charge then.
Later into the night, Black Dog Club can get so jammed-packed that you can barely move. If you are someone that enjoys this kind of atmosphere, make sure you check out this nightclub!
Dulce Jesús Mío in Las Palmas
Sweet Jesus Mine is one of the most iconic nightclubs in Medellin. It is an entertainment venue where visitors come grab a table, order some food and drinks, and watch a performance. Throughout the night, as the crowd gets more and more drunk, it becomes a nightclub with lots of dancing and music.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this nightclub is the interior decor. Everything is kitschy and overdone with splotches of colors everywhere. It is colorful, it is quirky, and it is one of the all-time best places to go at night in Medellin.
So if you are not sure where to party in Medellin, check out Dulce Jesus Mio!
The Blue Bar in Parque Lleras
If you are looking to dance to some electronic and rock music, then the Blue Bar in Parque Lleras is perfect for you. If you spend a night in the Blue Bar, you’ll surely hear some of the most iconic rock songs from the 90’s.
The crowd is always good at the Blue Bar, and the price of drinks at the bar is quite affordable.
The only downside is that the old school rock music attracts an older crowd, so if you are a young backpacker, then this might not be the best nightclub for you.
DID SOMEONE SAY REGGAETON?
If you’ve ever met me you’ll know that reggaeton is my favorite musical genre, and if I could I’d spend every weekend perreo-ing my way around a dancefloor. My prefered way of finding somewhere to dance reggaeton is by following my ear.
La 70, the main party street in Laureles, comes alive with the sound of reggaeton at night, so I’d recommend just picking whichever club looks the most lit (and is playing the Nicky Jam). In El Poblado, Vintrash has the perfect sweaty dance floor for bumpin’ and grindin’ and has a fun mix of foreigners and locals. There’s also a bar upstairs where you can catch your breath/mop your brow/drink some drinks. Sky Bar is another popular place for reggaeton and is perfectly located on Parque Lleras. Some of my favorite Medellin nights have ended in Sky Bar and it’s always a fun place to be.
BEST PLACES FOR A BIT OF EVERYTHING
Crossover clubs, or fondas, are fun places to dance reggaeton, salsa, bachata, and pretty much any other Latin genre you can think of. La Tienda de la 70 is my favorite fonda in Laureles, Oye Bonita is the best one in Envigado, and one of El Poblado’s best fonda is Fonda la Catrina.
If you hate Latin music (what is wrong with you??) there are plenty of EDM clubs dotted around.
Fahrenheit and Salón Amador are two of the best clubs in El Poblado, and Calle 9 + 1 a very close third. Technically, Radio City is a bar, but they have great DJs playing electronic music on weekends and it’s a fun place to sink cervezas and do some dancing.
Salón Amador in Parque Lleras
If you are looking for a big party playing techno and house music, then Salon Amador is perfect for you. Nearly every weekend, the club invites a DJ to play some live music for the crowd.
This place is a little bit more pricey than the other venues in the area, and the club is usually packed. If you want a good time, you might have to pay for an overpriced table so you can have a little bit of space.
Medellin nightlife is extraordinary, and that is because it is very different from other parts of the world. If this is your first time going out at night in Medellin, you might be shocked. Here are some tips so you can enjoy the nightlife in beautiful Medellin:
- Thursday Is Ladies’ Night – Every Thursday of the week is ladies’ night, which means some nightlife venues offer free admission to ladies and sometimes even free drinks. Thursdays are great nights to party too because the free alcohol usually attracts a more balanced crowd (instead of it being more men than women).
- Take An Uber or call a Taxi When Getting Around – Medellin is generally safe, but that doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen. Most of these incidents occur at night with people that not in a group. Just to be safe, we recommend taking an Uber to get around at night. We also have a taxi driver www.taxienmedellin.com
- Watch Your Drinks – Though this has become a lot less common nowadays, drink spiking is not unheard of. You should always watch your drink no matter which part of the world you are in, but you should be a little extra cautious in Colombia thanks to Scopolamine. If someone offers you a drink, make sure you know where it came from.
- Take Only Cash Out – Taking only cash on your night out will ensure that not only do you not spend more than what you want to, but you don’t run the risk of losing your credit card. If you could, take a copy of your ID or passport instead of the actual thing as well.
- Know When To Say No – This tip goes out to the women travelers in Medellin. Machismo culture is very much alive in Colombia and if you are a blonde European with blue eyes, Colombian men are going to fall in love with you. However, their approach might not be exactly smooth (especially after a few drinks), and sometimes it can make you feel uncomfortable. Respectfully decline them if you are not interested. It is okay to say no.
- Prepagos – If you want to have fun in Medellin well it’s better to call a girl than take one from the streets, you can find a couple of safety websites to call girls, the prices are around 200.000 Colombian pesos an hour, also if you need pills for ED the best pharmacy is the one located at calle10 and Carretera 42 el poblado, the name is San Ignacio Pharmacy, you can find here Cialis, Levitra, Viagra and more. (If you need more information write me, I will happy to help you at firstname.lastname@example.org)
So there you have it: my guide to Medellin nightlife. I hope you love this city after dark as much as I do. And if you don’t, maybe the problem is that you just haven’t downed enough Aguardiente yet. PS if you are worried about safety in Medellin, take a read of this.
I hope you enjoy this post .