How Safe Is Medellin for Travel?

Updated On November 7, 2023
Medellin, Colombia
Safety Index:
52
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
73
* Rated 73 / 100 based on 6 user reviews.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

CitySafety Index
Medellin52
Bogotá46
Cartagena82
Barranquilla47
Cali52
Santa Marta33
Cucuta32
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80

Useful Information

Visas

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

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

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

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

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.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Medellin Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 23° C
Feb 23° C
Mar 23° C
Apr 23° C
May 23° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 23° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 22° C
Nov 22° C
Dec 22° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
282828272728282827272727
Low
°C
171818181818171717171717
High
°F
828282818182828281818181
Low
°F
636464646464636363636363

Colombia - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Barranquilla47
Bogotá46
Bucaramanga32
Cali52
Cartagena82
Cucuta32
Leticia70
Manizales47
Medellin52
Popayan31
Santa Marta33

Where to Next?

6 Reviews on Medellin

  1. Columbia correctly spelled is Colombia…

  2. Wonderful trip!

    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.

  3. Q
    Quentin says:

    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.

  4. Dont let down your guard

    i visited with my girlfriend and got mugged at Cerro el volador. it happened very fast, they were armed and Took all our stuff. maybe it was our mistake for going into a park with few visitors. we talked to some locals and they told us muggings like these do happen very often and more violent crimes are also not rare. on average 20 tourist get killed in medellin every year, most of them in Connection with prostitution or if they try to play the hero when getting mugged. Check colombian newspapers if you dont believe me. i dont want to spoil anyones fun or spread horror stories, i Just want to warn you: be careful! yes, Medellin is not as dangerous as it was 30 years ago, but it is still in no way a city in which you can be carefree. only take with you the valuables you really need, dont wave them around in public, take a copy of your Passport, leave the original in your Hotel. only take registered Taxis or uber. Metro felt safe too. dont walk around at night. avoid empty streets, even in broad daylight. ask your Hotel staff about Security risks and unsafe areas. and most inportantely: listen to your gut Feeling. If an area seems sketchy to you, it possibly is and should be avoided. even the centro around the big Museums can be seedy and doubles as a red light district. dont take unecessary risks, dont let Strangers into your Hotel room/ Airbnb. There are a Lot of muggings connected to tinder dates in the last years. dont leave your drink unprotected (this applies to men too!) and dont think that i am exaggerating because you know some people who had no problems at all – i definitively believe that the majority of tourists never encounter any serious crime, but some do and it can spoil your holidays or even worse – it is a serious Problem and not as rare as you might think. colombia is a beautiful country with charming people, but dont forget that it is also a very poor country compared to almost every western one. this means desperation and also crime. you will be a target for some. stay Safe!

  5. A
    Anonymous says:

    Not heading in the right direction

    Things have been going downhill in Medellin since 2023. Lots of guys getting killed meeting women down there. If not drugged, then kidnapped and stabbed or shot. Also, spontaneous robberies seem to be on the rise. There are still some relatively safer areas, such as Envigado and the graffiti area of San Javier, but these are more outliers. Even then, you still have to get from the airport to these areas, and then transportation back and forth. El Poblado is becoming more dangerous.

    I had a good time when I went in October, but I also knew people there before I even arrived, and these were people I knew well enough to trust. If you don’t have any contacts down there, it’s more risky. If you go, don’t display your phone on the street, dress like a local, and never hail a taxi from the road. Also, if you are meeting a chica down there, it had better be someone you know exceptionally well.

  6. 2.5 stars. Wonderful place BUT in Dec 2020 as a single young female I was nearly kidnapped/robbed on arrival! My Uber (correct plates) set me up and stopped on the highway 10 mins in with the doors unlocked and windows down, didn’t explain why (he knew I spoke Spanish) and started texting someone long messages for close to 10 mins. I got out of it by yelling at him to drive but when I got to my Airbnb I could barely walk… Felt like I was moving through quicksand and had the worst headache of my life! Took 5 mins to cross the street. I stayed in the whole day but the rest of the trip was awesome! I really want to visit Bogota and Ctg but am afraid after that. I have extensive solo travel and this is the only place besides Rio during Carnival I ever felt fearful (nothing hpnd in Rio bc I look Brazilian, learned the language, and dressed like locals). The next time I booked a flight to Colombia there were massive demonstrations that left hundreds dead and blocked travel btwn cities. Luckily I canceled the flight same day! A friend visited that year and said some paramilitary or something blocked exits where she was and had machine guns and they were stuck maybe 2 days? I’m putting Colombia dead last in places to return to. Sad bc outside of crime it has so much to offer!

Medellin Rated 3.67 / 5 based on 6 user reviews.

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