The 10 Best Bars and Clubs in Medellín

El Eslabon Prendido
The band gets silly at Dalí.
The band, including one of the owners (Juan Carlos, front right), gets silly at Dalí.

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!

1. Dalí

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.

Live music at Son Havana makes for a fun night.
Live music at Son Havana makes for a fun night.

2. Karma Son Havana

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.

3. Eslabón Prendido  El Cuchitril

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.

Luxury is a great high-energy club.
Luxury is a great high-energy club.

4. Dash Luxury

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.

5. Hamburgo Bar Calle 9

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.

The dance floor is usually busy at Imperium.

6. Palmitas Imperium

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.

7. Imperium Mahalo Action Sports Cafe

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.

There is almost always a good party on the weekends at the Shamrock.
There is almost always a good party on the weekends at the Shamrock.

8. Underground Shamrock

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.

9. Son Palmitas

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.

So is the atmosphere in a place that dubs itself a “tropical lounge,” especially on occasions such as Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

Even if you’re not ready to dance, the colorful surroundings will motivate you to do so.

10.  Mangos Palmahia

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.

What’s your favorite bar or club in Medellín?

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  1. Sinko bar is along Complejo val del Rio among the posh shops – It is a posh sports bar serving food. Seems like a place to be seen and there are occasional salsa bands but little dancing. There is a nice veranda looking out on to the main drag that runs down from el Poblado – probably somewhere nice to take a date or meet up pre clubbing. There is a house photographer who snaps the prettiest for their FB page

    Featuring 10 Televisions HD / A 50 ft HD 3-D TV for the BIG Game or Movie
    NFL / College Football, NBA, Hockey, Baseball, Rugby, Colombian Soccer
    2 Slingboxes for all USA Interenet Sports Chanels
    10 Draft Beer’s and a Vast Selection Imported Beers /Whiskey’s
    Best Cocktails and Food in Town !
    2 Pool Tables !!
    FACEBOOK – Patrick´s Irish Pub Medellin
    Monday-Thursday 4:00 A.M. To 12:00 P.M.
    Friday- 4 :00 A.M. To 2:00 A.M
    Saturday / Suday 12:00 To 2:00 A.M.
    Carrera 37 A #8A-43
    Medellin, Colombia
    Phone – 4 311 5607

    • hmmm, sounds good. is this patrick, as in the owner? i’ve actually been to your place once. i like the atmosphere. i would have stayed but the friends i was meeting there had already moved on to another bar. but i’ll come by soon…

  3. Hi Ryan,

    I wouldn’t include Mangos in a top 10 Bars and Clubs in Medellin list. The old Mangos was a not-to-miss wild-west themed discoteca that would definitely be in my top 10 list, but unfortunately it closed its doors in March 2012.

    The new Mangos that has since reopened in the same location in Itagui is nothing like the former club that had claimed to be one of the largest in Latin America. It is now a much smaller bar with no stages. It sill has the western theme and the few waitresses in the bar all wear western outfits. But it is now more of a bar/cafe and has no stages with dancers performing like the old Mangos. In fact, the sign in front of the place now says “Tropical Cafe – Mango’s”. I was there last weekend and Mangos now has no cover and is more just a bar with a western theme. There was only a handful of couples there drinking late night last Friday – nothing really special.

    Much better is the discoteca that is now next door to Mangos in Itagui – the second location of Dulce Jesus Mio. It is similar to the Dulce Jesus Mio found in Las Palmas, however the Itagui location doesn’t require the una botella per table that the Las Palmas location does (which is expensive). I prefer the Itagui location of Dulce Jesus Mio, which only has a cover of 10,000 COP. Plus I didn’t see any gringo tourists evident last Friday night that are clearly to be found in the Las Palmas location.

  4. Ha un bar de Salsa con un ambiente increíble, en una casa en la vía Provenza cerca al lleras, ambientada en cosas cubanas , salsa clásica y moderna, se puede simplemente hablar o bailar y comer, aprender sobre la historia de la salsa hay música en vivo ocasional y hacen los mejores mojitos de la ciudad. Lo recomiendo, se llama Mojito salsa guaracha y son. en face lo encontré como mojito bar medellin el poblado

  5. I’m not sure if something has changed recently, but i recently read one of your article and decided to check out Imperium on avenida 33, apparently it is the place where a lot of bad people hang out now according to my taxi driver. So, to anybody reading this, make sure to take note of that. The bartender wanted me to pay 50,000 pesos for a drink and the vibe was just ‘off’ overall. To be honest, regardless, it is a really small place and if you’re not in big group of friends it wouldn’t be the best time anyways in my opinion.