10 reasons why you should travel to Medellin instead of Bogota

Aytan Akhundova03 April 20215046 views9 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Medellin instead of Bogota
Colombia. Both cities combine traditional and modern influences in a melting pot of nightlife, hotels, architectural styles and historical attractions.

Where is Medellin on the map?

medellin on the map Medellin on the map is located in northwestern Colombia. It is the capital of the Antioquia Department and had 2.4 million inhabitants in 2006. After Bogota, the city is the largest in the country. Medellin is located in the Valle de Aburra and in the same metropolitan area of the Valle de Aburra (Aburra Valley). It is an area with more than 3.2 million inhabitants and an industrial and commercial centre. The Medellin River runs along with the town. Although Medellin is not listed on the map as the capital of Colombia, many people prefer it. So, Medellin or Bogota?

1. Medellin weather

medellin Bogota is located at an altitude of 2500 m, right in the Andes. It is also located in a valley that traps clouds and moisture. The temperature ranges from x to x, and there is a lot of rain. Let's say no one goes to Bogota for the Bogota weather. Of course, some people don't like the heat or the sun. In that case, it's perfect. It can be quite chilly at night in Bogota, so if you're going outside, you'll need a jacket with you every day. Remember that Colombia is at the equator, and the sun sets around 6 pm. On the other hand, it is said that Medellin has an eternal spring. There are very few seasonal differences in Colombia, so the temperature and Medellin weather are the same all year round. The difference in climate depends on the altitude above sea level and the proximity to it. Like Bogota, the city of Medellin is located in a valley but 1,000 m lower in altitude, so the temperature is much warmer. But the more rarefied air keeps the temperature below 30 degrees most of the time. Many consider the climate here to be ideal.

2. Trips to Medellin Colombia

plane to medellin The main entrance to Colombia is via El Dorado International Airport in Bogota. Medellin also has an international airport (im. Jose Maria Cordoba), although with less traffic. The actual Medellin Airport is located about a 45-60 minute drive from the city of Rionegro. For further travel from Colombia to other cities in South America, Bogota's connection is much better. It will also be cheaper (in most cases) to fly from here. The journey time from Bogota to Medellin by air is about 1 hour. Add to that the (possibly slow) journey to El Dorado Airport and the journey from Rionegro to Medellin's centre, and you're talking about a half-day journey. You are expected to pay about $70. The journey from Medellin to Bogota by bus takes about 8 hours. The fare is about $30. But before travelling to Colombia, please check Colombia visa requirements for your nationality in order to have a smooth journey.

3. Traffic jams

medellin city Bogota is one of the most densely populated cities globally, so even though Medellin has its problems, they are nothing compared to the capital's daily traffic jams. If you can avoid driving a car in Bogota for 2-3 hours during rush hour in the morning and evening, your life will be much better. Both cities in Colombia have public transportation, but they pale in comparison to other major world centres. In Bogota, there is a rapid tram that runs between opposite lanes of the main highway. This can save you a lot of time. However, it becomes bustling, and there is only one route. The city is long and narrow (which makes the problem even worse), with 8 million people living here, so the trip may take some time. Medellin, in comparison with it, is 4 times smaller, and the tram system works better. The tram system is a metro that runs over the city in some sections. Using the metro here can save a lot of time and money. A great feature of the Medellin metro system is the connection to the cable cars that transport people to the hills surrounding the city. There are two main lines, from north to south and east to west, and a tram line. The metro also connects to bus routes. See the map of metro, tram, and bus routes. The fare is cheap, trains run from 4 am to 11 pm. Medellin is superior to Bogota in terms of public transport.

4. Medellin culture

medellin festival You might think that because Medellin and Bogota are cities in Colombia, the culture will be identical. The reality is completely different. Medellin or Bogota? Whose culture attracts you more? Paisas (as the residents of Medellin call themselves) is proud that he is not from the capital of Colombia. It's a city of salsa, outdoor parties, and even tango (Carlos Gardel, the greatest tango singer who ever lived, performed regularly in the city). The food that the residents of both Colombia cities prefer is very different from each other. The Rolos (as the inhabitants of Bogota are known) are much colder in temperament than the more fiery inhabitants of Antioquia (the region of Colombia where is Medellin located in the main city). People spend much more time outside in Medellin, especially at night when the temperature hovers around the delicious 20 degrees. Bogota is often too cold, so people spend much more time indoors.

5. Food and drink

medellin food Bogota is the clear winner here in terms of diversity and quality. Bogota is more cosmopolitan, with more ex-pats and immigrants (from Colombia and abroad). In Bogota, you can find almost any cuisine you like, while Medellin is more limited. Local, regional cuisine is the most famous type of cuisine that you will find anywhere. If you don't like Paiza cuisine, you may find it difficult to eat, unless you like pizza and McDonald's. Most of the best restaurants can be found in the barrios of Chapinero and Chicó Norte. There are some good ones in La Candelaria, too. Poblado, a poor area of Medellin, has the best selection of mid-to-high-end restaurants in the city. But there are also plenty of cheap places in this area, known for its community of foreigners and expatriates.

6. Enjoyable Activities in Medellin

aquapark  For outdoor activities, Medellin benefits from its climate and proximity to mountains, jungles and lakes. None of the cities is located close to the ocean, but Medellin has a Guatape for windsurfing, boating, and swimming. If you love to dance, then salsa is everywhere, and you will have no trouble finding salsa classes and nights in any of the Colombia cities. In Medellin, you will probably be offered more authentic salsa classes, while in Bogota, there will be more options for choosing other styles. Learning Spanish in both cities in Colombia is easy, although Bogota has a wider choice of schools. The Paisa-style accent is probably a little harder to learn, but if you've learned any Argentine Spanish, you might recognize some similarities (like the use of "vos"). There will be much more buyers in Bogota, and visitors to cinemas, concerts, and nightclubs will also find much more options here. Colombia's largest city has a long history. The churches, buildings, town squares, and other sights left behind by the colonialists are more impressive than anything in the provincial capital.

7. Noise level in cities

medellin people The noise level in both Colombia cities is generally the same. The difference between them is very small. The main factor is your location in each city. You can find quiet places everywhere, but right next to the highway or in the city centre, any city can be noisy and chaotic. Bogota does feel a bit more chaotic and crowded (it's much bigger than Medellin), so it's much harder to find absolute silence, but the overall noise level is pretty much the same in both places.

8. Natural environment

nature of medellin Colombia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. There are more different types of plants and animals here than in almost any other country. Only Brazil (a much larger country) is the best country in the world in terms of its flora and fauna's breadth. As the country develops more and leaves behind a brutal past, tourism is becoming increasingly important to the economy. In many cases, countries ignore their natural environment until it is in their economic interests to pay attention to it.

9. Is it safe to travel to Medellin?

security in medellin If you grew up in the 70s, 80s, or even 90s, you probably associate Colombia, on some level, with drugs and violence. Pablo Escobar and the drug cartels dominated the news from this country throughout the 1980s. Now the country is much safer, both for its citizens and for visitors. There are still problem areas, and In Colombia, Medellin and Bogota don't come close to Singapore or Tokyo's security level (most cities can't do that). Still, they are much safer than many Latin American cities. The main thing is to know where you are going. Even if you don't know it, pretend you do. Most criminals are opportunists and can see an easy target from a mile away. If you wander around downtown Bogota or Medellin at night, asking for directions in English and knocking out your shiny new phone, your chances of being robbed are high. Medellin was a stronghold of the Escobar cartel, but now there are only tours of his estate and homes. Violence rarely happens outside of slums. According to statistics, riding a motorcycle or driving a car is the most dangerous activity in Colombia. A question that you will often hear from friends and relatives if you travel around the capital of Colombia: "Is it safe to travel to Bogota?". Security in Bogota is better than in Medellin, but the latter somehow seems a little less dangerous. It must have something to do with the sunny weather and the relaxed locals. You'll probably get the same question about Medellin's security from anyone who remembers the ' 80s or has seen the TV series Narcos.

10. Prices in Medellin

traditional bazaar Prices in cities is a very important topic, especially for people who plan to spend more than a few days in each city. A long-term stay in a location forces you to look at the smallest details of each potential cost. Rent, food, transportation, entertainment, and medical bills all play a role. As is almost always the case, Colombia's capital is the most expensive city anywhere in the world. With the largest number of businesses, tourists, ex-pats and city dwellers, prices in Bogota will always rise higher than in Medellin. Rents in Bogota are about 20% higher, and food isn't that far behind. Some things are a little cheaper, thanks to the supply and competition, but you can usually calculate a 15-20% increase in cost if you choose to stay in Bogota rather than Medellin. Which city is better? Colombia and Medellin or Colombia and Bogota? Only you can answer this question. This applies to your budget, what you like to do, your tolerance for hot or cold weather, and your lifestyle preferences. Visit every city with an open heart.

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