Medellin nightlife is one of the most diverse and exciting in Colombia, along with that of Bogota and Cartagena. It is a vibrant party city with dozens of nightclubs and hundreds of bars, spread into at least 3 nightlife districts. 

There is a scene for everyone, whether you are a digital nomad, a tourist, a backpacker, or even a (young) retiree. It is easy to blend in with Colombians from both the middle and the high class, or to hangout with other foreigners if that's what you are looking for.

There is also a great dating scene, as long as you are aware of some obvious scams (more on that below). Combined with the excellent weather and the affordable cost of living, this makes Medellin one of my favorite cities to stay in Latin America.

The city, especially at night, has its fair share of dangers, annoyances, and downsides. The busiest nightlife district, around Parque Lleras, can feel like a giant tourist trap with rampant prostitution, drugs and petty crime.

Read my guide below to know everything you need to enjoy a safe night out in Medellin: Where to stay, where to party, how to get around, what to expect, and how to meet people.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Quick summary of Medellin Nightlife
If you don't have the time to read my whole article, here is a quick summary:

Most bars and clubs in Medellin are in the Poblado district, specifically in the Calle 10 near Parque Lleras and in Carrera 35, in the Provenza neighborhood. A more local and cheaper area is Carrera 70 in Laureles, near the Estadio metro station. In all these streets, you can walk rather safely and easily from bars to bars.

Good hotels near the nightlife are 14 Urban (affordable) and Selis (upmarket), both in Poblado.

The most happening clubs and bars in Medellin are Perro Negro (Reggaeton, Perreo music), Teatro Victoria (mostly Latin and R'n'B) and Salon Amador (EDM, techno).

Medellin Nightlife Map
You can click on this image to open a Google Map of the best bars and clubs in Medellin:
nightlife map medellin

Nightlife Areas + Hotels
As you can see on my nightlife map above, most of the best bars and clubs in Medellin are located in one of three nightlife areas:

El Poblado
The main party area of Medellin is in the district of El Poblado. If you are new to the city, don't think too much and just go there. You can start your night out in Park Lleras, also called Zona Rosa, which is safe, walkable, and busy every day of the week. Some will think that it's too touristy, but there are still plenty of hidden gems.

Most venues are located along Calle 10 and in the nearby carreras, notably Carrera 35. The latter is in the neighborhood of Provenza which is the most happening in the city.

My most recommended hotels in El Poblado, walking distance to the nightlife and open 24/7, are:

15$: Yolo Hostel (dorms, great for meeting people, perfect for first-timers)
50$: 14 Urban (very good value for money, close to bars, clean, friendly).
100$: Selis (brand-new, central, walking distance from nightlife)
150$: Dann Carlton (Good pool, gym, spa and breakfast)
200$: Click Clack Hotel (One of the best hotels in the area, great gym, great beds, great service)

Where to Dance and Party in El Poblado?
- For crossover/mixed genres: Teatro Victoria (large club with different rooms, expensive), Vintrash (popular with foreigners, especially on Tuesdays since they have a language exchange event called Gringo Tuesday), Miranda (packed club), La House (big club, no cover)
- For Reggaeton/Perreo: Perro Negro (famous reggaeton club)
- For EDM and techno: Mad Radio (alternative crowd, eclectic music genres), Sonorama (techno), Salon Amador (various genres), Calle 9 (gay-friendly, more underground)
- Live music: Blue Bar (Rock), Son Havana (Salsa)
- Rooftop/cocktail bar: Envy (best view, on top of the luxury hotel Charlee)
- Tourist trap to avoid: Gusto (overpriced, lots of prostitution)

Another party area in Medellin is the district of Laureles. This is a less expensive neighborhood, more laidback, more local, and more flat (El Poblado can be quite hilly). It is perfect if you prefer bars/cafés to nightclubs. It also has less prostitution and it is less noisy.

If you decide to visit it, just go to the metro station Estadio and exit to Carrera 70. Many bars are on this street, most of them with Colombian music and a Colombian crowd. There is also some street food. The biggest nightclub of the area is La Logia (reggaeton, perreo). Don't forget to check Julieta as well (reggaeton too).

To be close to the action, you can stay in the Dorado Hotel which is very affordable and clean.

There is another clubbing street in Manrique on Carrera 45 (at the crossing with Calle 69-71). There are very few foreigners who go there so I don't recommend it if you are new to the city and if you don't speak any Spanish. One of the best nightclubs in Manrique is Zenith (EDM).

Medellin Nightlife Tips

Cost of partying:
It is relatively affordable to party in Medellin. The popular clubs like Salon Amador will usually charge an entrance fee if you come after midnight, between USD 5-10 per person on weekends. Beers should cost between USD 3-5 and cocktails around USD 10. You can normally ask for trago (a glass), media (half a bottle) or botella (whole bottle). For the latter, the cheapest ones will cost around USD 50-60 (or even less if you order Aguardiente, the most famous Colombian spirit).

Walking around at night
It is generally safe to walk at night in places like Parque Lleras or the more upscale areas of Laureles, as long as you are surrounded by other people. Avoid being alone in a street and, in any case, don't bring with you more than what is necessary.

Personally, this means I roll around with an old iPhone and no more than USD 80 in Colombian pesos.

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.

Dating scams
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 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.

In the vast majority of cases, everything goes well, but there are also some horrible dating stories. The most talked about involves being drugged (with scopolamine or benzodiazepines) and robbed by someone you met on a dating site, often on Tinder.

Is it common? Based on my experience, I don't think so. In most cases, the scams are pretty obvious and could be avoided with common sense. For instance, if you are a middle-aged average-looking guy who matches with a pretty 19-year-old, be suspicious. Don't assume that because you are European or American, girls who are way above your league will fall directly into your arms. If you are a 5 in your home country, then maybe you are a 6 in Colombia, that's it.

You can take a few extra steps to improve your safety:
- Check if the person you matched with is verified, and add their Instagram/Facebook.
- Make a video call
- Plan the first date during the day, in a safe environment such as a busy café or a mall. Never, ever go on a date in an unfamiliar or sketchy neighborhood.
- Be on the lookout for any potential red flags. For instance, if the guy or girl deletes your match right after you gave him or her your WhatsApp.
- Avoid taxis and order instead your own Uber or Cabify.
- Don't drink or take drugs to the point that you lose control. 
- Always keep an eye on your glass

Drug tourism is a thing in Colombia, especially in Medellin. Prices are very low, a gram of cocaine costs USD 3-5 and a pre-rolled joint US 50 cents. In techno clubs, the drug of choice, 2-CB, is called "tusi". It is known in Europe as "pink cocaine" (though it doesn't contain any cocaine). The reality is that most pills sold are fake and contain various substances (ketamine, MDMA, caffeine, or even more dangerous stuff).

If you go on a night out in Medellin, you will almost certainly be offered drugs at some point, either on the street or within a club.

Is it legal? Weed is somewhat decriminalized as long as you have less than 20 grams on you. Cocaine and 2-CB are not, but your chances of getting caught are low and the police will probably just try to get some dollars from you.

The biggest danger when you take drugs in Medellin, in my opinion, is that you are making yourself more vulnerable to scams or robberies. Be smart about it.

Prostitution is legal and very common in Colombia. Unsurprisingly, Medellin 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 of La Candelaria/Villa Nueva (also called El Centro).

In this neighborhood, Luna Lunera is famous among foreigners: It is a huge, crazy bordello with strippers and escorts, open 24h. Many will go there to celebrate bachelor parties among other things.

Best Dating Sites in Colombia
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.

If you do not prepare, you are most likely to struggle getting quality matches on the dating apps in Medellin (unless you are really handsome).

If you are planning to stay long term in Medellin, it will be easier. I found that several dating apps were working well. Bumble was easily the best for me. I had average success on Tinder, Happn, OkCupid, and Hinge (mostly American users). is popular with mature guys who are financially stable. While it is more expensive than the competition, it has the unbeatable ratio of 4 female members for each man.

Best Nightclubs/Bars in Medellin [Photos]

House and techno club on two floors in the heart of El Poblado.

Maybe the most famous nightclub in Medellin, quite touristy nowadays. Expensive and they might not let you in if you are just guys.

One of my favorite party spots in Medellin. Great music and underground vibe.

Nightclub with 4 different rooms including a rooftop.

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. It is next door to Salon Amador.

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.

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