Medellin Nightlife: Best Bars and Nightclubs (2018)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
Note: I have never been to Medellin, but my friend Sam is familiar with the city and wrote this guide for me. Thibaud.

Medellin, Colombia, is a fantastic party city filled with some of the most beautiful women in the world. Trust me, they're damn sexy. I remember the first time I partied around Parque Lleras on a Saturday night. In every club I went into, I would snap my neck from looking back and forth at the stunning "Paisas" (Medellin girls) that moved all around me. 

Nightlife in Medellin is filled with stunners. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. 60% are above 6, 40% above 7, 20% above 8, 10% above 9. But beware, it is also filled with hookers, drug dealers, sex tourists, unsavory characters, and tables filled with big groups.

If you don’t know how to navigate this city, you’ll get lost in a sea of "prepagos" (half-hookers), scopolamine (rape drug), and horny gringos. That’s not what you want, and that's where I come in. 

After spending some time in Medellin, I wanted to create this detailed Medellin nightlife guide that’s sure to show you how to make the most of the party in the City of Eternal Spring. 

What to Expect at Night in Medellin
Partying in Medellin has its own characteristics. Here are a few things you can expect on a big night out in town:

Big Groups: Latin people tend to go out in big groups of friends. They buy a bottle and stand around their table. Then they dance with each other. Not ideal for meeting new people. Some venues, called "bottle clubs" specialize in this and they should be avoided if you are hoping to meet girls.

Working Women: There are lots of "prepagos" in Medellin. Those girls make a living from sleeping with guys or from dating them. It's a form of prostitution, but it's sometimes just not as obvious as in Europe. If you’re in clubs where all other foreigners go, you can expect a lot of the pretty girls to be working.

Latin Music: Reggaeton, salsa, and merengue rain supreme in Medellin. If you don’t like Latin music, then you may not enjoy most of the discos here. 

Constant Threats: If you haven't visited the country yet, the question Is Colombia dangerous?  is probably your main concern.

There’s always the threat of getting drugged or robbed in Medellin. That’s just the way it goes. Guard your drink, take taxis, observe your surroundings and keep your wits about you. Don't get drunk to the point where you lose control. Personally, after 4-5 drinks, I always switch to water.

Lots of Foreigners: If you think you are the only white guy who had the idea to get laid in Medellin, you will be disappointed. Horny foreigners are found all over Medellin and they don't attract as much attention as they used to from normal girls (unless they are actually living there with an expat contract). If you want to be the only foreigner in the disco, don’t come here. 

Meeting Girls: I always say this, but the best way to meet girls (as a tourist) is to prepare your trip in advance. ColombianCupid is a great website for that. Colombian girls who use this website won't mind chatting with you even if you leave abroad. Therefore, you can set up several dates before arriving, and hopefully get lucky before you leave.

If you do not prepare and hope to score using Tinder, you have a 90% chance of failing.

To summarize:
- If you live in Colombia or if you are very handsome: Use Tinder
- If you don't live in Colombia or if you are average looking: Use ColombianCupid.

Drugs
Drugs are rampant in Colombia. Why? Because they’re cheap. You’ll probably find a few people enjoying white powders while in the bathroom of a Medellin nightclub. It’s common here. In the techno clubs mentioned below, pills of ecstasy are also very easy to find.

Best Areas to Stay If Medellin Nightlife is a Priority

Medellin is a huge city of nearly 3.5 million people these days. As such, there are tons of places to party. That said, as a foreigner, most of the bars and nightclubs you'll go to will be located in the small neighborhood of Parque Lleras. I recommend you to stay there so you can be walking distance from all the action.

My most recommended hotels in terms of location and quality are located in Poblado, near from Calle 10. This area is lively, touristy and rather safe. You’ll be walking distance to 70% of Medellin nightlife and have the ability to walk home, even if you are a bit wasted.

25$: Yolo Hostel (dorms, great for meeting people, perfect for first-timers but not girl-friendly)
50$: Hotel Florencia Plaza (very good value for money, close to bars, clean, friendly).
100$: Diez Hotel Categoria (brand-new, central, walking distance from nightlife)
150$: Dann Carlton (Good pool, gym, spa and breakfast)
300$: The Charlee (The best hotel in the area, great gym, great beds, great service)
For a bachelor party: Icon Suites (450$ for 8 people) or Poblado Sky Villa Penthouse (1500$ for 8 people).

If you want a more quiet neighborhood, you can also try to find a hotel in Laurales - Estadio (click to see a list of options).

Something funny in Medellin is that there are highly sophisticated short-time love hotels (called Moteles). Colombian guys use them to bring their girlfriend, their lovers, or prostitutes. They can be quite kinky, with erotic furniture and sex toys provided. If you are interested, you can check 3D Suites or Thematic Suites.

Is it Safe to Walk Around at Night?

Safety is a huge issue in Colombia. I won’t beat around the bush here. You need to keep your guard up, even in upscale areas like Parque Lleras. Criminals know where foreigners hang out in Medellin. They know the police will be around, but they also know where they can get away with a crime.

It is safe to walk around at night in places like Parque Lleras or the upscale areas of Laurales. However, as a general rule, you should never leave your hotel with more than you’re willing to lose.

Personally, this means I roll around with an old iPhone 5s and no more than $80 USD in Colombian Pesos when I go out to enjoy Medellin nightlife.

The one way to get stabbed, shot, and/or killed in Colombia is to resist a robbery. If someone wants to rob you, do not resist. Just hand over what they want and remain passive. Do not fight back.

Also, you must give your robbers something. You need to have a phone and cash on you. If you can’t give them a phone or cash, they may kill you for wasting their time. So, always have a cheap phone and a bit of money to give them.

10 Best Nightclubs and Bars in Medellin

Enough about the downsides of nightlife in Medellin. Let’s talk about the good stuff!

In such a big city, there’s bound to be a couple great spots to meet sexy Colombian girls and have a great time. The good news is there definitely is. Here are my favorite clubs and bars in Medellin (I added a link to their Facebook or Instagram, just click on the name):

This is the absolute best club to meet easy women in Medellin. Go here on a Thursday for ladies’ night. The quality won’t be super high and you might meet a few prepagos, but this is the spot Paisas go to when they want to meet foreigners. 

A somewhat high-end club that’s now in Poblado. If you’re looking to grab a bottle and party hard on a Saturday night, Luxury is a solid place to do so. 

One of the most popular spots in all of Parque Lleras. The Blue Bar gets a crowd almost every night. Go here to enjoy a crossover vibe and pretty low prices overall. 

Son Havana
A classic salsa bar in Medellin, Son Havana is the spot to be on Wednesday. All the salsa schools come here to practice. You can even get some lessons here. Later at night, things start to heat up as the drinks flow. 

Kukaramakara Club
High-end club in Rio Sur. Head here if you want to spend some money on a bottle or have a hot date. Sometimes live music, sometimes crossover music. 

Babylon
Not sure what else to call this place, but a “shit show” on Thursday nights. You can definitely still have a good time here, but Babylon isn’t what it used to be. The crowd can be shady and there are usually too many gringos. 

Sixtinna Club
Another high-end spot in Rio Sur. Sometimes they have big concerts here, other times they play electronic music. It’s right next to Kukaramakara Club. Lots of good-looking people who party in groups. Not recommended if you are alone.

Gusto
Located in Parque Lleras, this disco is not very sophisticated but it's fun. Many (not all!) of the women inside are freelance prostitutes. Usual music mix from Latin vibes to international hits.

Mixology
A great place to take a date in Medellin. This is one of the best places to find a solid cocktail around Poblado. Highly recommended. 

Palmahia
Late night club in Medellin. Come here if you want to party past 2-3 am. Can get filled with shady characters. 

Techno Clubs
If you are more a techno head than a salsa dancer, you will love Medellin. There are at least 5 good nightclubs with anything from minimal to tech-house: MuteMansion, Calle 9+1, Heard From and Salon Amador.

Check their Facebook pages to know which DJ is playing on the night of your visit.

Prostitution
Striptease in Fase Dos
Prostitution is very common, and the city is home to a large contingent of sex tourists.

It may take many forms, from a freelancer working discreetly in a regular nightclub to a flashy bordello in the city's red-light district.

To be honest, I have never visited them, but I know you are curious so I'll drop a few names.

The most famous strip clubs, naughty spas and sex centers in Medellin are located in the Northern part of the city. In particular, the highest concentration can be found in the red-light area of La Candelaria/Villa Nueva (also called El Centro). Some of the places there are Conejitas, Maracaibo, Barra Ejecutiva (all 3 have striptease shows) or the cheap massage parlor New Life.

For high-end services, two places are recommended:

Luna Lunera: A huge, crazy bordello with strippers and escorts, open 24h. They have packages for bachelor parties.

Fase II (Fase Dos): A smaller place, with a very high concentration of outrageously siliconed ladies.

Your Medellin Nightlife Guide

The nightlife in Medellin can be fantastic. It can also be filled with a lot of unpleasant things. Depends on how you look at it.

If drugs and hookers make you uncomfortable, the nightlife throughout Colombia may be too much for you to handle. It’s not everywhere, but it’s always around. Something to think about before partying here.

With this in mind, just hit the spots I listed above and you’re sure to enjoy your time partying in the city of eternal spring!

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