Writer’s note: This is the fourth story in a monthly series on the “best of” Medellín and the surrounding area. To read the third story, click here.
This post was updated on March 14, 2015. We do our best to keep information current, however, nightlife venues tend to have a short lifespan in Medellín. Please double-check the venue’s website or Facebook page before heading out.
No end of the world, no need for us to ever be scared, no nothing. The new year is here.
Have you made a resolution yet?
If you haven’t, how about this: visiting these bars and clubs during 2013, bars and clubs I consider among the best in Medellín.
I actually wanted this post ready for New Year’s Eve but my internet access has been spotty the last week, and I’ve been busy being part of a wedding for two good friends, all the way down south in Pitalito, a small city in the department of Huila.
You’ll read more about that soon. But for now, let’s stay focused on bars and clubs. As always, suggestions are welcome.
Happy New Year!
It’s the first bar I ever went to in Medellín and I loved it immediately. It plays mostly rock music, my favorite type of music, and sometimes has live bands.
They celebrate St. Patrick’s Day too, something I always did in the states.
You’ll like the atmosphere too, the dim lighting, the friendly staff and the mix of seating — at the bar, on one of the couches, or at many of the small tables, some of them on an outdoor patio.
So when you’re walking between Parque Lleras and Parque Poblado, take Calle 9 instead of Calle 10. Then you can stop in at Dalí.
This place is all about the Cuban-flavored salsa, and it gets overlooked compared to the popular Es La Bon, or even El Tibiri, the famous salsa place on La 70 (Carrera 70) in Laureles. But Son Havana is the best salsa club in Medellin.
Son Havana just doesn’t have the cache of Es La Bon or the location of El Tibiri, but it doesn’t need it. It’s so much better.
Every Thursday and Saturday there is live music and the energy will get you dancing, even if you don’t know salsa.
I’ve been trying to tell everyone I can about it because of how much fun it is, and Dave wrote a story about it too.
I usually have to give directions. It’s tucked away on a quiet corner north of the San Juan (Calle 44) at Carrera 73, an area that I wouldn’t call dangerous but definitely not one for a nighttime stroll alone.
But don’t let that stop you. Taxis are cheap and the fun you’ll have here will be priceless.
I had no idea this club existed until we went one night for a friend’s going-away party.
It’s got crossover music, and it’s very local. We were the only foreigners there.
The dance floor isn’t huge, but it’s big enough and there’s a nice courtyard in the back.
The place doesn’t really get going until 11:30 p.m. or later so you don’t have to rush.
In Barrio Colombia, you have a lot of nightclubs to choose from, but there’s no doubt you should pick Luxury.
I like the layout, with the high tables you stand next to with the ice pit in the middle for your beer, the small stage that often has live acts, and the upstairs VIP seating.
I enjoyed their Halloween party this year too.
For this club I might go a little early, if you want to have a high table to stand next to.
The funky atmosphere and music make this a special place near Parque Lleras.
It’s more of an alternative crowd here, with people dancing to funny 80’s songs and contemporary house music.
On those clear, cool nights it’s great because they can leave the canopy open.
Like El Cuchitril, Calle 9 doesn’t start to pick up until later so there’s no point in showing up early.
This place gets packed!
It’s mainly reggaeton and people will dance almost anywhere they can find space, even if it’s between two small tables.
It’s hard to say what night is the best night because I always see quite a crowd there when I pass the Calle 33 club, near the Unicentro. At one point, it seemed that they closed but apparently it was a change in ownership or some minor renovations.
I’m happy it’s still open.
This is my favorite sports bar, a great place to watch football or fútbol.
Or, even on Sundays when the New England Patriots’ season is already over, to hang out and meet the locals who live in this hilly area of Envigado.
If you don’t want to just watch sports, participate. There’s a small halfpipe and a paintball field.
You can have a lot of fun here.
The Shamrock has quite a lot to offer.
All the sports you want. Great food. Live music some weekend nights. This year a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
The manager, Zach, is a good guy. If he didn’t go back and forth from behind the bar for parts of the night, you would think he’s just a friendly customer.
A lot of expats go there so it’s a great place to meet other travelers.
Editor’s Note: As of March 2015, Palmitas is closed.
Located on Las Palmas, you can’t miss it. The sign on the club is big and bright.
Even if you’re not ready to dance, the colorful surroundings will motivate you to do so.
If you want to be up late, Palmahia is the place to go.
This club is known for its events and late nights.
It is one of a handful of clubs in Itagui that you can see from the Autopista, the primary north-south highway through the city, and if you’re trying to decide which one is best, consider this a recommendation.
Now go have fun.