Despite winning plaudits for urban innovation, Medellín still has many areas for improvement when it comes to accessibility for those with reduced mobility.
While all metro stations are now wheelchair accessible, other mass-transit options, including the small buses that link many other destinations, are not. Medellín's topography makes it a challenge for travelers with limited mobility. There are stairs on many public roads, especially in neighborhoods higher up on the hillsides.
Most shopping centers, airports and major museums are accessible for travelers with disabilities and usually have dedicated wheelchair-friendly bathrooms. Private businesses are less likely to have ramps and other facilities, although most top-end hotels and some midrange places have at least some accessible rooms.
Dangers & Annoyances
- While Medellín is for the most part a safe city for visitors, robberies are not unheard of. Take care especially after dark in the center when office workers and retailers head home and the streets empty fast.
- Pickpockets have been reported on buses and the metro – keep a close eye on your belongings.
Embassies & Consulates
Emergency & Important Numbers
Entry & Exit Formalities
Migración Colombia For visa extensions. From El Poblado take the Circular Sur 302/303 bus heading south along Av Las Vegas.
Most shopping centers and many public places, including some parks, have free wi-fi access points, although speeds are not always the best. Almost all cafes and most restaurants offer wi-fi for clients. Generally all hotels and hostels have good wi-fi available, although it does not always reach into the rooms.
While not as developed as that in Bogotá, Medellín has a small but vibrant gay nightlife scene. Many bars are located in the center and in the area of Calle 33 out near Laureles. For listings of bars and events, visit Guia Gay Colombia (www.guiagaycolombia.com/medellin).
There are numerous ATMs throughout the city including near Parque Berrío in the center, along Av El Poblado and around Parque Lleras.
There are money changers, ATMs and bank branches in Centro Comercial Oviedo.
Banco de Bogotá ATM in the center of the city.
Banco de Bogotá ATM in El Poblado.
Banco Popular Downtown ATMs.
Bancolombia ATM in El Poblado.
Bancolombia Downtown ATM.
Bancolombia ATM near Parque Lleras.
Citibank ATM in El Poblado.
Giros & Finanzas Currency exchange and Western Union agent.
Opening hours in Medellín are standard for Colombia.
Banks 9am–4pm Monday to Friday, 9am–noon Saturday
Restaurants noon–3pm and 7pm–10pm
Bars 6pm–midnight Monday to Thursday, to 1am Friday to Saturday
Clubs 9pm–3am Thursday to Saturday
Shops 9am–5pm Monday to Saturday
Medellín makes it easy to get tourist information through a network of Punto Información Turísticas (PIT) offices, operated by courteous and knowledgeable bilingual staff.
There are also branches in each of the airports and bus terminals.
Travel with Children
Medellín is one of the more child-friendly cities in Colombia, with cool public transportation, including cable cars and trams, and many kid-oriented places to visit.
Among the attractions likely to interest younger travelers are Parque Explora, with its fantastic aquarium chock-full of fabulous fish, and the Jardín Botánico, which boasts a butterfly enclosure, lakes and plenty of grass on which to run around. Outside town, Parque Arví is another good option with its easy hiking trails, ziplines and play areas.
Pavements in Medellín vary greatly. In newly redeveloped areas they tend to be wide and good, while in traditional neighborhoods they can be blocked or nonexistent, with most locals walking along the road. Note that in mountainous neighborhoods, pavements often feature a series of steps, which makes visiting these areas with a pram a challenge.
Care needs to be taken when walking in the center and other populated areas as traffic does not always stop for those on foot. Likewise crowded buses that hurtle along at full speed with open doors are best avoided.
Diaper-changing facilities can be found in more upmarket malls and museums, but they are by no means universal.