There are many nightlife zones in Medellin, but there’s only one Parque Lleras. Come the weekend locals from all over Medellin flock to this Disneyland for alcoholics to enjoy night full of fun, dancing and aguardiente. Bars line all sides of the park and even down the streets that lead away from it. Most bars pump out reggaeton, salsa, ballenato and latin flavoured beats. Locals tend to go out in groups and buy bottles of spirits, for a great price, relative to comparable clubs in other western countries. The park itself is also a premium people watching spot if you’d like to buy a beer and kick back on a concrete step.
Whilst some people unfairly stereotype Parque Lleras as the place gringos go to find hookers, the reality is that it’s 99% young Colombians looking to drink and have fun with their friends. Gringos, and hookers for that matter, make up a very small minority of the crowd.
Here is a rough overview of the most popular/best of the Lleras establishments:
- Woka – Posh bar/restaurant on a third story with a slight view of the city playing older tunes and decorated in a faux rain-forest theme. Great for enjoying some cocktails with friends or a date
- Octavia: Rock music, up-beat bar and club
- Chupitos – Shots bars where anything goes
- La Chingona – decoarted in Colombia fonda style playing music to guarantee your in Colombia
- Tropical Cocktails – brightly colored and artificially flavored slushy cocktails set to the beat of the latest electronica.
- Skybar – Swanky, high-class rooftop bar with pool no one goes in. Amazing view of the city. Exclusive and well worth a visit.
- Open Sky Lounge – large cocktails with a background of electronica
- Blue – A club to dance to rock music. At times, throwback western rock songs that might catch you happily off-guard
- El Deck – Foreigners and locals come here to listen to good music and dance. Often times crowded due to international dj’s
- Calle 9+1 – Known simply as Calle “9,” this is the bar that a majority of the foreigner, as well as LGBT crowd visits. It’s mostly electronica music, and seems to attract a more youthful/hipster type of crowd. You don’t need to dress up like some of the other more formal clubs
- Salon Amador – drink gin and tonics until the wee hours dancing to hip music and international dj’s
- Mansion – small, techno and house music club. Pretty tucked away and only open Friday and Saturday nights
- Lady Luck – popular gay nightclub pumping out the best pop, electronica and reggeaton mix
- Bendito Seas – Decorated in Colombian style with an odd assortment of cheesy decorations. Popular for the younger crowd to come to drink and dance and sometimes enjoy a live act
- Havana – want to dance salsa on a Monday night or any night for that matter? You can at Havana
When you get bored of Parque Lleras you have more great options just by walking 5 mins to both the north and south of Parque Lleras.
Around Parque Poblado
- Latineria – Located on the corner of the park its hard to miss this colorful Mexican inspired cocktail & shots bar. Drinks are cheap and they play great Latin music to dance to
- El Guapo – trendy hipster bar with expensive but strong cocktails which means most people buy a beer nearby and drink outside on the street
- Vintrash – Restaurant on the main floor, cool underground dance floor underneath. Hipster young crowd but interesting enough place for all
- Alta Gracia – A small but trendy coffee shop during the day and a bar at night starting at 8 pm. Great cocktails and shots. Worth a visit. Electronic music some nights
- El Social – if the tv series “Friends” was shot in Medellin this is certainly where they’d hang out. Busy local bar, no thrills but occupying a cosy corner location, it draws crowds every night of the week