Medellin Free City Guide

Medellin Tourism Figures

With Medellin’s improvement in safety the level of both tourists and expats in Medellin is rising significantly.

Government statistics claim that Medellin is Colombia’s 3rd most popular city for tourism after Bogota & Cartagena. About 2.5 million tourists visit Colombia every year – up from 540,000 in 2002 when Colombia was still considered a fairly unsafe place to travel. Of this Medellin sees about 550,000 international visitors a year. However 11% of those are here for business. About 20% of Medellin’s tourists are from the United States and 16% from Europe (mostly Spain, Germany, France and UK).

To give an example of the rapid growth of tourism in Medellin, in 2010 there were only about 5 hostels catering to foreign tourists. These days, the number of hostels is close to 50. Medellin’s expat community is also steadily rising. It was recently reported that there are 1,647 expats who own property in Medellin but the number of long term expats – including retirees, those working officially (English teachers etc) and those working unofficially (digital nomads etc) could easily raise this number to about 5,000 people.

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