Colombia : Safety by CityColombia - safety as a country
Medellin is the second biggest and most populous city in Colombia with 3 million people, located in the region of the Andes Mountains in South America.
It is very well known for its festivals that tourists can experience throughout the year if they decide to come to Medellin.
The Festival of the Flowers, the Christmas lighting, the International Poetry Festival, and the Jazz Festival are just some of them.
The must-see sights in Medellin are the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Junin pedestrian street from the Coltejer Building to Bolivar Park, Museo de Antioquia, and Parque Berrío.
This beautiful city has many things to offer in terms of culture, architecture, and entertainment.
Warnings & Dangers in Medellin
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
The overall risk in Medellin is at the medium level since it is a city where both petty and violent crime acts can sometimes happen against tourists. To remain safe here and minimize the risk of trouble, you should perform activities during the daytime, avoid walking alone, call taxis by phone and do not show electronic devices, credit cards or money in public.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
The best advice in terms of taxis is to call them from your accommodation and always ask the driver to turn on the taxi meter. Driving in Medellin is horrific, so avoid driving your car. If you are a pedestrian, do not rely on traffic signs, since they are not respected. Remain very watchful when crossing the street, even on the marked pedestrian crossings.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Even though Medellin is considered a safe city for tourism, the crime rate does not support that fact. Petty crime is a serious problem and the theft of wallets, electronic gadgets and passports are increasing. Tourist sites are full of the police, so you can feel safe there, but try to avoid parks El Poblado and Laureles.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Flooding, landslides, and earthquakes are common natural disasters in Medellin. In case you happen to be there during any of these disasters, follow the advice of the local authorities.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Violent crime against tourists is not very common in Medellin, but it is important to avoid Comuna 13, Parque Lleras, Parque de las Luces, Parque San Antonio, Parque Periodista, Prado, Barrio Trinidad, and La Sierra especially after dark. Mugging strategies are at a high level and the process lasts a few seconds. It happens everywhere, at any hour, and if you happen to be the victim, just give them what they want. There is no point in arguing or defeating since that can make you more trouble.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Recent reports show that organized crime, related to the Medellín Cartel, a highly organized drug cartel in Colombia, has occurred repeatedly as a consequence of the fight against them. Tourists are not the direct targets but may be victims in case they find themselves at the place of the attack.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
The possible problems travelers can encounter here is the counterfeit money, so they should always exchange it at the airport or in a bank. Do not exchange money on the street even if they offer you a better rate. As in any other huge city, taxi drivers take advantage of tourists, thieves transform themselves into police officers and credit card skimming is frequent.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Since many women who visited Medellin had no issues, it is considered a quite safe city. Verbal harassment, like cat-calling or whistling, is frequent, but women just need to remain polite if this happens. They should be careful when on bus stations and in taxis, especially at night.
So... How Safe Is Medellin Really?
This city is the economic and business center and a place full of shopping malls and skyscrapers.
Tourists are attracted by its culture, museums, and architecture.
While exploring the city’s landmarks, they need to be aware that the huge wandering population decreases after dark, and leaves dangerous streets susceptible to thieves and lawbreakers.
In case you are a vigilant and watchful person, who manifests self-esteem, there is no reason to worry about your well-being and you can enjoy your holiday in Medellin.
How Does Medellin Compare?
- Visas - For most nationalities, a visa is not necessary when coming to Colombia, as a tourist and stay less than 90 days. On the other hand, there are countries whose citizens need to acquire a visa before they enter Colombia. Your passport must be valid during your stay here.
- Currency - The local currency is the Colombian Peso and it is advisable to exchange your money since US dollars and Euros are rarely accepted. Credit cards are used here, but not to that extent as in other more developed countries. In case you need to use an ATM, those found in a shopping mall or large superstores are more secure than those on the street because there is a risk that somebody will rob you.
- Weather - The 'City of everlasting spring' is the nickname for Medellin due to its climate. The weather is quite mild with an average temperature that ranges from 15 to 30 degrees C. Humidity is comfortable and cool air comes from the mountains surrounding Medellin. This provides Medellin with the perfect climate.
- Airports - José María Córdova International Airport located in Rionegro is the airport that is used when coming to Medellin. Other airports which can be used as an alternative if you decide to come to Colombia are El Dorado International Airport, José María Córdova International Airport, and Rafael Núñez International Airport with non-stop flights to many places.
- Travel Insurance - Colombia is a country where accidents can happen, in terms of luggage lost or theft, so what you need to have when coming here is travel insurance that will cover not only medical problems but any kind of loss of personal belongings.
Medellin Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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3 Reviews on Medellin
Columbia correctly spelled is Colombia…
I got a chance to see all of the must-see sights found in Medellin like Parque Berrío, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Museo de Antioquia, the Junin pedestrian street from the Coltejer Building to Bolivar Park. Everything was exceptional and we are already planning another trip in Colombia, in Medellin and other cities as well.
Fun place for young people
I wanted a vacation really badly so I booked a two-week stay in Medellin because it was dirt cheap, had warm weather and I can speak Spanish rather well.
Colombia gets a bad rep if you spend more than a few days in their country and watch local news you will see why. However, most of the incidents are gang-related, gruesome, but gang-related.
All of the locals I interacted with were happy to give me directions or simply to chitchat, don’t believe the naysayers, these people are not out to get you. Yes, they have pickpockets. Yes, they have scammers that will bump you in the street trying to sell random stuff because ‘gran descuento’. Yes, they might overcharge your cab ride – I always ask for an estimate beforehand. What country doesn’t have these flaws?
They excel when it comes to nightlife, you wont run out of clubs and they’re quite inclusive, if you’re gay you will have zero problems blending in. Plus, you will have your pick of gay bars and clubs.
Colombia as a country has a huge problem with pollution so if you’re asthmatic or have any other allergies you might find it rather hard to pace your breath. I can’t remember the last time I used my inhaler more than I did during my two-week stay there.
I was not a fan of the food, though… Local cuisine is not my cup of tea, if you’re a vegetarian you’ll have trouble finding decent salads that are something other than a couple of green leaves sprinkled with some oil.
So, watch your cash, phone, camera, avoid sketchy neighborhoods – believe me, you know it the second you see it. Walking around mindlessly with your eyes glued to the phone is simply asking for trouble, regardless if you’re in Medellin or NYC.