Los Molinos is the only Western-style mall in Belén. This is somewhat surprising considering that Belén is Medellín’s largest comuna with a population of over 194,000.
The mall originally opened in May 2006 and was last expanded in October 2011. It is located in an area originally home to a textile factory.
Los Molinos is five blocks from Universidad de Medellín. Being located near a big university plus being the only mall in the biggest comuna in Medellín can make Los Molinos a fairly busy mall.
While Belén has Los Molinos as its single Western-style mall located within its borders, there is another mall located very near to Belén along the border with Laureles.
Unicentro, which is located in Laureles, is a mall located very close to the Fatima barrio of Belén.
I live two blocks from Los Molinos so I go there frequently. Unlike the malls in El Poblado, you are unlikely to hear English spoken there. Over the past year, I have heard English being spoken only twice.
The Shops in Los Molinos
The anchor tenants of Los Molinos are Exito, Cine Colombia, Home Center and La Polar.
However, I noticed that the large La Polar store looks to have recently closed as all the entrances to the La Polar store are now closed. La Polar in Los Molinos was never very busy so this isn’t a surprise to me.
The Los Molinos mall has over 170 shops, which include stores selling clothes, shoes, home furnishings, mattresses, eye-care and several other categories.
Exito is a supermarket that also sells electronics, clothes, kitchen items and home furnishings similar to a Walmart in the United States. The Exito in Los Molinos has grocery prices that are somewhat lower than the prices found in Exito stores located in El Poblado.
Make sure to sign up for Exito Puntos (points). This is a frequent shopper program where you accumulate points that can be used to help purchase items on sale in the future. To sign up you just need an ID: cedula or passport.
An Exito savings tip is that fruits, vegetables and meats are 20 percent off every Wednesday.
Home Center is similar to Home Depot stores in the States but with the addition of home furnishings like a Bed, Bath & Beyond store including items for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Home Center frequently has sales, which can be found in an advertisement posted as you walk in the store. This store is where I purchased several items when I was furnishing my apartment.
Cine Colombia in Los Molinos is a movie theater with seven screens. They shows movies in Spanish as well as some in English with Spanish subtitles.
Cine Colombia is the largest movie theater chain in Colombia. In Medellín, it has five locations located in Los Molinos, Oviedo, Santa Fé, Unicentro and Vizcaya.
Sometimes, as I have done, it is possible to see new movies premiere here in Colombia before they open in the States.
No larger mall in Medellín is complete without several lingerie stores and I counted 10 lingerie stores in Los Molinos.
Colombia is reportedly the third largest producer of lingerie globally.
Many malls in Colombia have a Studio F store, including Los Molinos. Studio F is a Colombian company which designs, manufactures and markets women’s clothes with the latest Latin fashion trends.
Studio F is popular with women, especially their jeans, but the store is fairly expensive as well.
The food court in Los Molinos is located on the second floor. On the third floor are some additional fast-food options. Between these two floors you have over 20 different options to choose from.
You will find several of the typical fast food places in Medellín here including Asia Wok, Burger King, El Corral, Frisby, Kokoriko, McDonalds, Qbano and Subway.
You will also find some restaurants in Los Molinos including Ay Caramba!, Crepes and Waffles, El Rancherito, Il Forno, J&C Delicias, Parmesano and Sarku Japan.
Pro’s – Los Molinos is the only Western style mall in Belén and it’s a nice mall with an Exito for groceries, a seven-screen CineColombia movie theater, a Homecenter for buying things for the apartment, a convenient food court and several shops with good prices.
Con’s – Since it is the only mall in Belén it can be pretty busy, especially on the weekends or holidays.
My Verdict – I am biased since I live two blocks from Los Molinos. I think it is one of the better malls in Medellín. Since I live close to Los Molinos, I don’t really have to go the malls in El Poblado, which tend to be more expensive.
How to Get There – You can take the Metro to the Industriales station and then hop on the Metroplústo the Los Alpes station, which is located about two blocks from Los Molinos. Several bus routes also go to Los Molinos including Circular Coonatra, Circular Sur, Santra 315, 316 and Belén Terminal 174 – 173.
It’s a pleasant mall tucked back behind la 80, but I’ve heard (and read in the local papers) many times about people being mugged at gunpoint by ladrones on motos at the atms outside Los Molinos, even in broad daylight. I’ve been lead to believe this mall and its environs have a reputation for hold-ups. Have you heard or seen anything similar around there?
I have been going to Los Molinos in Belén for over a year since I live two blocks from the mall and I have not seen or heard that. I also read the local El Colombiano newspaper each day and haven’t seen stories like that.
I walk two blocks to the mall all the time and feel safe going to the mall and returning with bags at all hours. There is also sometimes a police presence outside the Exito on Calle 30A that I have seen. The Calle 30A side of the mall with the Exito where I always enter the mall has several small restaurants, shops and bars along the street. Also students frequently walk along Calle 30A from Universidad de Medellín to the mall. So Calle 30A normally has quite a bit of foot traffic where I would be surprised if muggers would be active.
I am also not aware of any atms outside Los Molinos – they are located inside the mall. I wouldn’t recommend using atms in the street in Colombia. There also may be some confusion with a Los Molinos mall located in Caracas, Venezuela.
A few streets near the Los Molinos mall in Belén are pretty deserted residential streets so probably not a very good place to walk, especially when it is dark.