One of the questions I get asked the most by foreigners is what they can do during the middle of the week.
It’s safe to say I can now give them my honest opinion and tell them to go on a bar crawl with the crew over at the Poblado Pub Department.
When my sister came in September, I mentioned the bar crawls on Wednesday nights in El Poblado but we later found out the girls (Erin and Hillary) were out-of-town. She didn’t get to go on the bar crawl with me but I still planned to try it out solo.
Flash forward a few weeks and I was ready for my night out in Parque Lleras. At 9:30 p.m. I was on my way to meet the crew of the Poblado Pub Department.
The night began over at the Happy Buddha Boutique Hostel on Via Provenza where we played games like flip cup and drank beer from a two-story tall beer funnel.
After signing in and getting my wristband, I was immediately given a beer and a shirt from the girls that says “Trust me, you can salsa. – Guaro”
The wristband costs 25,000 pesos ($13) for men and 20,000 pesos ($10) for women and pre-sale, and includes shots at every location we stopped at, including a round at the Happy Buddha as well as free beer for the drinking games. On any given night you can expect to visit four or five bars.
You don’t always visit the same places; they switch between a few different bars in the area so if you plan on going on different occasions it won’t be the same tour.
A normal group of crawlers ranges between 55 to 70 people, most of them foreigners, but a few locals go too.
We played games for about an hour and after waiting for and meeting all the crawlers, it was time to head over to our first location, a bar called Gunner a few blocks away. Again a round of shots was given and where there are shots there are games.
After 10 minutes at Gunner, it was decided that it was time for body shots. The first person to get on the bar was actually a guy, but throughout our time at the bar, plenty of people made their way up to take or give shots.
The next game was limbo. The winner takes home prizes depending on what is being offered that night. Surprisingly, the person who won was almost two meters, the tallest person on the crawl with us!
Our second stop was La Octava, a very popular bar close to Parque Lleras. Of all the places we visited that night, it was the fullest. Another round of shots were given out and again it was decided that body shots would be a great idea.
There were a few shots left over so Erin and Hillary walked around the bar offering the shots on the condition that the person did some sort of trick.
They tried everything from handstand push ups to flashing the photographer to get the last few shots and it was easily one of the funniest moments of the night.
A bit before midnight, we made our way to the third bar, Calle 9+1, where both locals and foreigners started dancing to their unique style of music.
The night I went on the bar crawl there was a smaller crowd of about 35 people. It wasn’t until I got to Calle 9+1 that I realized that larger groups could literally fill any empty bar or club.
Even though it was a smaller group, we had taken up about half the space of any club or bar we stopped at.
Our last stop was at Urbano, a club close to Parque Lleras that plays a little bit of everything. We had a lot of fun dancing to reggeaton, salsa, bachata and other styles of music.
When we got there, the first thing we all did was stop at the bar, order new drinks and continue partying the way every foreigner should in Medellín.
This was my first bar crawl but it definitely won’t be my last. I look forward to partying with the Poblado Pub Department again.