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7 Interesting Facts about Medellin Colombia You Need to Know

aerial view of Medellin Colombia
Our list of interesting facts about Medellin Colombia should give you an idea why it’s a great travel destination.

If you want to travel to a quaint and laid back city, but with the comfort and convenience of modern amenities, Medellin Colombia is the place to be.

Located in the Aburrá Valley, Medellin is considered the second largest city in Colombia.

As can be expected in any highly industrialized city, people from different parts of Colombia flock to Medellin in search of better opportunities. This means that the city’s population is ethnically and culturally diverse, making it an even more interesting place to visit.

To further pique your curiosity, we’ve made a list of interesting facts about Medellin Colombia you may not have heard about.

What Facts about Medellin Colombia Do I Need to Know?

If you plan on traveling to the city, it would definitely help to know which places and activities to check out. Being the second largest city in Colombia is not enough reason to add Medellin to your travel bucket list, so we’ve gathered some tidbits of information that will help you learn more about the city’s history and how it came to be.

To start with:

1. It’s the most innovative city in the world.

Back in 2013, a non-profit research and education organization called the Urban Land Institute named Medellin the most innovative city in the world for its advancement in education and politics, among other things.

The city is also known for its outdoor escalators. They were built in an effort to increase mobility for more than 12,000 residents in the Aburrá Valley, including those from neighborhoods that were inaccessible to vehicles. These outdoor escalators also connect Comuna 13 to the center of the city.

While the city is known for its violent history of drug trafficking and gang wars, it managed to establish improved security for both citizens and tourists over the years, thanks to the efforts of multiple organizations and leaders who fought for the safety and security of the people.

The improved security of the city is also evident in the open public spaces that were created to promote social interaction.

2. The first in the world to have cable car transit.

cable car in Medellin Colombia
Experience Medellin Colombia like a local by taking a ride in one of their cable cars.
Photo Credits: Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most interesting facts about Medellin Colombia is that in 2004, a French company built a gondola lift system that would serve as a public transportation service. It is regarded as the world’s first ever cable car public transit. Not a bad way to get around, right?

More mobility options were provided as the city worked on infrastructure projects for people to conveniently access different areas throughout the city. The outdoor escalators are just one example of these projects that have made the city a more livable and sociable community.

3. Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja Paisa is the national dish of Colombia, which is even more popular in Medellin. Almost every single restaurant in the city serves this delicious meal.

This dish is made of rice, fried egg, fried beans, ground beef, sausage, and many more. Do yourself a favor and try it out instead of reading about it. It will be one of the best dishes you will ever have.

4. It is full of life and color.

Comuna 13 in Aburrá Valley
On our list of Medellin facts is the evolution of the infamous Comuna 13.

Medellin is perhaps one of the best cities to live in all of Colombia. While there are a lot of other colorful cities to visit, like the city of Cartagena, very few can top what Medellin has to offer.

If you go to a place in the city called Comuna 13, you will be greeted by a plethora of enormous street art. There are even tours for it guided by none other than the local artists that did some of the murals themselves.

Comuna 13, also known as San Javier, is known for being one of the most dangerous places in Medellin Colombia due to the extreme crime rates that occurred in the area. But since the significant drop of criminal activity in the 21st century, Comuna 13 is now a famous tourist attraction in the country.

5. The City of Eternal Spring

Next on our list of fascinating facts about Medellin Colombia is that flowers are a common sight all around the city. They are hung and displayed in public establishments, apartment balconies, parks, and terraces.

In fact, there is even a festival in Medellin called the Festival of the Flowers. Medellin is the City of Eternal Spring because flowers bloom everywhere in the city all year round.

6. Museum of Antioquia and Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture

photo of the museum of Antioquia
A trip to Medellin wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Museum of Antioquia.
Photo Credits: Jorge Láscar from Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Antioquia, also known as Museo de Antioquia, is home to a huge collection of Colombian modernist and historic art. Some of these works are from famous artists like Fernando Botero and Pedro Nel Gómez, both of whom are natives of Medellin Colombia.

Tourists and locals praise the museum for its Botero gallery, not to mention the Botero sculptures in the plaza right outside.

If you’re on a tour around Medellin, visiting the Museum of Antioquia will give you a grasp of what the culture is like around the area.

Another notable cultural institute worth checking out is the Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture. The architecture itself is a sight to behold. The best thing about it? It’s right next to the Museum of Antioquia! So there’s no reason for not visiting both places if you’re in the area.

Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture is a national monument dedicated to Rafael Uribe Uribe, a famous Colombian journalist and politician who played a role in the establishment of trade unions in Colombia. He mainly served as a leader who cared about the rights of Colombian workers.

7. Hiking Trails with a History

Last on our list of interesting facts about Medellin Colombia is a major bonus for thrill seekers and adventurers alike. If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, you’ll be excited to know that there are a lot of hiking trails in Medellin and the Aburrá Valley.

One example is the Cerro Pan de Azucar (also known as Sugar Loaf Hill). Not many tourists know about this place since it’s along the slopes of the Aburrá Valley. It boasts an incredible view of Medellin.

An interesting fact about the area is that it’s part of The Metropolitan Greenbelt project, wherein they plan to create more recreational parks within the city. Among the many benefits to look forward to from this project include economic and sustainable food growth, more trees and flat areas, and various job opportunities.

Another example is the Cerro el Valador, which is the largest nature park in Medellin. Other than hiking, you can bike, jog, or hang out and enjoy the serene environment.

Within the park is a small museum where you can learn about the indigenous people that used to live in the area, also known to be the first inhabitants of the Aburrá Valley.

Don't Just Read about Medellin, Give It a Visit!

It would be a sin not to consider visiting Medellin if you’re planning a vacation to Colombia or Latin America. There are a plethora of places for you to visit and activities to do so you can further immerse yourself in the culture. Most of these things are even free of charge!

Our list of Medellin facts and trivia should give you a good idea of why it’s one of the best places to visit, even though it’s the second largest city in Colombia. In terms of whether it’s a safe place to travel, the city has gone through great lengths for improved security for both locals and tourists.

By the way, did we mention that the city is also brimming with gorgeous single Colombian women? You can definitely add that to your list of cold hard facts about Medellin Colombia. If you don’t believe it, why don’t you take a look at the profiles of single Medellin ladies here on our site?

Simply sign up for free and you’ll have access to thousands of profiles of single women instantly. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and experience the advantages and perks of dating a Latina from Medellin Colombia!

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