Discover the electricity of Medellin nightlife! From vibrant clubs to sizzling salsa beats, this Colombian city knows how to party. I review the best places to experience the nightlife in Medellin as an American expat. Let the rhythms of reggaeton and the aroma of empanadas guide you through a Medellin adventure!

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What is the nightlife scene like in Medellin?

With a thriving Latin music and salsa dancing scene, as well as venues for electronic music, Medellin offers a variety of options for those seeking a night on the town. Whether you’re into brewpubs, techno clubs, or just a chill rooftop bar, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Medellin nightlife is clustered in 5 main zones, with the main tourist entertainment center in El Poblado’s Zona Rosa by Parque Lleras. Locals and expats here start the night late and stop at 4 AM. 

To help you plan your night out, the guide breakdown the main nightlife areas in the city and gives you an overview of my recommended bars, pubs, and clubs in Medellin.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

6 Quick Tips To Prepare For A Move To Colombia

TIP 1. Understand Colombia’s visa policy- A decade of experience living abroad taught me that a country’s resident visa and permit situation can make or break a plan to move overseas. Chat with a Colombian visa attorney.

TIP 2. Know your health insurance requirements- Starting July 2022, the government requires all expats living in Colombia to purchase specific medical coverage that includes accidents, illness, hospitalization, disability, repatriation, maternity, and death. 

TIP 3. Save On Moving Costs– International moves can get expensive. Save hundreds of dollars by getting accredited moving companies to compete for your business. Fill out a quick form, sit back and let our moving partners get you five free moving quotes from trusted and reliable international moving companies.

TIP 4. Set up a Traveling Mailbox- Change all your critical mailing addresses to a traveling mailbox. Don’t lose an important tax return, bank statement, credit card, or government document in the mail. Sign up for a virtual mailbox, and you can keep a permanent US mailing address and check your mail via your phone or PC.

TIP 5. Prove your onward ticket- If you only have a tourist visa Colombia requires a mandatory departure ticket. You need a onward travel with a date leaving the country before your visa expires. Save money by using  an onward plane ticket for just $16

TIP 6. Pick up some Spanish Skills- The most common difficulty experienced by expats in Colombia is English being less common than expected. Only 4% of the country speaks English. You can get a free 7-day Spanish language crash course to make your move to Colombia easier.

Colombia Identification Card: How Expats Get A Cedula De Extranjería
Colombia Digital Nomad Visa Requirements: How to Apply, Work Remote, And Live Cheap
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The Best Medellin Salsa Clubs [2023]
The Complete Expat Guide On How To Buy A Car in Colombia
How To Apply For A Colombia Tourist Visa [2023]
The Top 26 Reasons Why You Must Visit Colombia [2023]
The 5 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Medellin Colombia As An Expat [2023]

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Expat Guide To Medellin Nightlife: Best Clubs, Party Areas, Bars, and Dancing [Table of Contents – Click To Expand]

Where are the best nightlife districts in Medellin?

El Poblado at night is considered the best party area in Medellin

1. Zone Rosa- El Poblado

El Poblado, also known as Zona Rosa, consider the tourist heart of Medellin nightlife. As the area of El Poblado housing Lleras Park (Parque Lleras), the site is dubbed Gringolandia for the influx of tourists and foreigners renting apartments here. 

Most locals consider the area a tourist trap and stay away due to higher drink prices, safety concerns, and an alarming number of prostitutes. But Zona Rosa has its moments- after experiencing it once, you either love the vibe or want to shower and never return. 

Regardless of individual opinions, for foreigners experiencing Medellin’s nightlife for the first time, El Poblado’s entertainment hub rarely disappoints those looking for a memorable party night out.

Medellin's most visited spot is Provenza, making the nightlife in the area truly remarkable.

2. Provenza- El Poblado

Located in the vicinity of Parque Lleras, Provenza presents a distinct and sophisticated nightlife atmosphere compared to its vibrant neighbor. While Parque Lleras attracts a lively crowd, including hostel backpackers and bachelor parties, Provenza offers a more relaxed and upscale ambiance.

In Provenza, you’ll discover numerous bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that provide a fun-filled nightlife without the prominent presence found in Parque Lleras.

Acknowledged as one of the “World’s Coolest Streets,” Provenza is renowned for its elegant wine bars, DJ lounges, and trendy cocktails. Though the prices may be higher due to the upscale setting, Provenza guarantees a fashionable and enjoyable nightlife experience in Medellin’s el Poblado area.

3. La Setenta – 70 Street In Laureles

While Laureles grows in popularity as a residential area for long-term expats fleeing the tourist crowds in Poblado, La Setenta (La 70) remains an authentic Colombian night entertainment hotspot. La 70 attracts locals and expats alike because of its lively bar scene. 

Stroll down La Sententa and hear the Latin rhythms bumping from renowned salsa bars like Son Havana and El Tibiri, two of the most well-known salsa places in Medellin, or head for the laid-back and cozy ambiance of La Charcu for some wonderful cheese and meat plates and tapas. 

Cheaper drinks and fewer tourists make La 70 a great place to go bar hopping or hang out with Paisas over a chilled beer and a football game.

Have an authentic Medellin nightlife in La 33 with its chill bars.

4.Trenta Tres- 33 Street Laureles

Locally known as La 33, in Laureles. This vibrant avenue teems with exciting clubs and chill bars that cater to locals and offer more authenticity than touristy nightlife areas. Soak in the weekend atmosphere as you stroll down Calle 33. 

Enjoy affordable cocktail lists and fewer crowds than its counterpart, El Poblado. Embrace the local culture, mingle, and make unforgettable memories at La 33!

Topping the list of the best bars in 33 Street Laureles are Addict Shots 33, Ping Pong Drinks, and one of my favorite alternative bars, La Rockola Videobar.

INSIDER TIP: Leave your car at the apartment. Not only is Uber cheaper and safer, but Colombia has the strictest DUI laws in Latin America. There is a Zero Tolerance policy, and just a .02% BAC is considered under the influence. There is no reason to drive your car in Colombia under the influence.

Las Palmas nightlife area in Medellin offers lively bars with music and stunning rooftop views.

5. Las Palmas

Las Palmas, located near the metro station “Expositiones” in Medellin, offers a variety of nightlife, from lively atmospheres and live music to stunning rooftop views. 

Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy a relaxing drink under the stars, or have a unique and playful experience, these bars have something for everyone. Las Palmas shows that there is more to Medellin’s nightlife than just El Poblado and Laureles.

Las Palmas in Medellin is a remote and exclusive neighborhood known for its lively nightlife scene. It attracts partygoers with its trendy atmosphere, diverse music scene, and creative cocktail bars. With luxurious nightclubs, breathtaking views of the city, and cooler temperatures, 

Las Palmas offers a unique and appealing experience for nightlife enthusiasts.

Seeking an iconic nightlife scene in Medellin? Las Palmas is your go-to district! This luxurious hilltop neighborhood, known for its fantastic night city views, boasts some of Medellin’s finest nightclubs and bars.

INSIDER TIP: Brush up on your Spanish skills- The more local and authentically “Colombian” you get, the fewer people around you will speak English. Less than 4% of Colombians speak English, and that number drops further outside of El Poblado. 

To blend in or make friends with the local crowd, brush up on your Spanish lessons. You’ll need at least survival-level Spanish; otherwise, even routine things like ordering drinks or reading a menu will be a struggle

The highlight of Medellin Nightlife is its lively bars and clubs.

What is the typical dress code for a night out in Medellin?

No shorts and sports gear. Locals in Medellin generally like to dress well when going out at night, and there is an expectation to dress to impress. While there are no strict dress codes in most places, untorn jeans and a nicer T-shirt will get you by in most areas.

In party areas like La 70 or Lleras Park, the dress code is more casual. You can feel comfortable wearing casual attire.

The dress code for bars in Medellin tends to be more relaxed. Especially in backpacker bars like Calle 9+1, the atmosphere is laid-back, and casual wear isn’t looked down upon. The Blue Bar is another option for old-school music lovers, and again, there is no specific dress code.

The Best Bars In Medellin

Welcome to the vibrant and captivating world of Medellin’s bar scene!

  1. Kick off the evening at Berlin Bar, serving delicious beers till 2 AM.
  2. Elevate your experience, literally, at the Envy Rooftop, which boasts an astonishing view.
  3. Missing non-Latin music? La Octava Bar breaks the monotony till 4 AM on weekends.
  4. Tikuna Bar delights with inviting staff, deep house music, and frequent DJ sessions.
  5. Pet-friendly El Social impresses with its open-air ambiance.
  6. For the posh-night seekers, Alambique and Envy Rooftop at the Charlee Hotel are must-visits.
  7. 20 Mission Cerveza and Bogota Brewing pour delicious brews.

The Blue Bar in El Poblado, Medellin is known for its a lively rock music and preformances.

The Blue Bar

Nestled in the heart of El Poblado, the Blue Bar (Bar El Blue) is a haven for rock genre enthusiasts. This bar stands out from the rest with its energetic ambiance and regular live rock performances. 

Seat yourself near the stage for live bands on Fridays for a loud and unfiltered experience.

The reasonably priced drinks and signature cocktails (especially considering the proximity to Parque Lleras) add to the appeal of this establishment. 90s rock is a Blue Bar staple, making it a favorite among the older crowd looking to rock out all night long.

La Charcu of Laureles, Medellin, offers a relaxed ambiance, ideal for a relax Medellin Nightlife.

La Charcu

Located on La 70 Street, La Charcu is a laid-back and relaxed bar for a casual night out in Laureles. This spot provides the perfect setting to unwind with friends, enjoy a drink, and people-watch. 

La Charcu stands out for its excellent selection of craft beers from around the world, making it a haven for beer enthusiasts. In addition to its impressive beer menu, La Charcu serves tapas and delicious sandwiches to share with your friends.

Berlin Bar 1930 offers an old-school charm side of Medellin Nightlife.

Berlin Bar 1930

Looking for a break from the snooty high-end bars of La Provenza? This classic neighborhood dive bar pulls in a mixed crowd with its irresistible old-school charm, affordable drinks, and live music.

Step into an inviting ambiance where the blend of cold beers, a game of pool, and upbeat tunes keep the vibe cozy and engaging. This pillar of nightlife in El Poblado is appreciated for its wallet-friendly prices and fantastic service. It’s not just a bar; it’s an experience! 

Don’t miss out – Berlin Bar stays open till 2 AM, so plan your evening well. Remember, this place is not just about booze – it’s about mingling in a relaxed atmosphere with both locals and tourists.

Alta Gracia is a relaxed café by day and cozy bar at night in Medellin.

Alta Gracia

Nestled in the heart of Provenza, Alta Gracia is a laid-back bohemian café by day that transforms into a cozy little bar at night. With its leather seating, red and blue neon signs, and an inviting party mood, Alta Gracia is the perfect venue for night owls seeking great blues, jazz, and smooth house beats.

Their specialty cocktails steal the show with fruity concoctions like the lychee sangria made with red wine, lychees, and strawberries. Other delectable options include the citrus vodka with apple and kiwi and the Calychee featuring vodka, lychee, pineapple, and vanilla.

Have a vibrant yet relaxed Medellin Nightlife in El Social Tienda Mixta desde 1969.

El Social Tienda Mixta

A favorite place in Provenza to kickstart the night, El Social is a small bar with a relaxed and inviting vibe. It’s the perfect venue to enjoy a meal and a few beers while engaging in lively conversations with friends. This bar offers excellent people-watching opportunities as the night unfolds.

With its prime location in the bustling nightlife district, El Social Tienda Mixta desde 1969 is a great place to meet both tourists and Colombians alike. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy the entertainment that this bar has to offer.

Fugitivo Laureles is a must-visit self-serve craft beer bar in Medellin.

Fugitivo/Forajido Laureles

For beer enthusiasts, Fugitivo Laureles is a must-visit. This remarkable venue allows you to serve yourself draft beers by the glass, giving you complete control over the quantities. 

With a card system in place, you can choose the beers you want to try and enjoy at your own pace. The laid-back ambiance and friendly staff make it a great place to relax and enjoy a few drinks.

Enjoy Medellin Nightlife and know the average drink prices in local bars.

What’s the average price of a drink in a regular bar in Medellin?

In Medellin’s nightlife scene, the prices of drinks vary depending on your preference. For example, beers from popular average clubs like Club Colombia or Aguila would cost you around 4000 COP.

If you prefer artisanal beer, a 330 ml bottle of 20 Mission IPA at their microbrewery would be priced at 10500 COP, which is approximately 2.50 USD.

Cocktails, especially those made with imported liquors, tend to be more expensive. You can expect to pay around 30,000 COP for a cocktail at most bars or clubs.

Medellin’s Alternative and Unusual Bars

A Medellin Nightlife will never be boring with Ping Pong Drinks' ping pong, billiards and drinks.

Ping Pong Drinks

Ping Pong Drinks bar on La 33 in Laureles combines entertainment and delicious libations. This unique establishment offers patrons the opportunity to play table tennis and billiards while enjoying their favorite drinks. 

With three ping pong tables and a billiard table, Ping Pong Drinks is the perfect venue for those who want a little friendly competition. Their affordable hourly rate of 10k includes rackets and a ball, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. 

Remember to try their signature cocktails, such as the Ping Pong Martini or the Billiards Brew, which perfectly complement the lively atmosphere.

 La Rockola Videobar's iconic music videos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s is perfect for a nostalgic Medellin Nightlife.

La Rockola Videobar

A nostalgic haven on La 33, La Rockola Videobar takes you back in time with its music videos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This bar provides the ultimate throwback experience, allowing you to sing along and dance to the iconic tunes of yesteryears. 

The ambiance is delightful, with a cozy and pleasant vibe that encourages patrons to let loose and enjoy the music. While it may lack a parking lot, the convenient location makes it easily accessible by public transport. 

Sip on reasonably priced drinks as you indulge in the unforgettable jukebox video bar experience.

La Octava Bar is a good kickstart for a fun Medellin night with friends.

La Octava Bar

La Octava Bar is the perfect venue to kickstart your night with friends near Lleras Park. As you descend into the bar, you’ll be greeted by an old-school ball pit and a DJ spinning tunes in the background. 

Feel free to let loose and jump into the ball pit, adding an element of fun and playfulness to your night. La Octava Bar’s playful atmosphere serves as an ideal pre-drinking spot before hitting the clubs. It’s a place where you can unwind, socialize, and get in the party mood.

La Chula Las Palmas is a vibrant Mexican-inspired that offers live mariachi, dancing, and delicious drinks.

La Chula Las Palmas

This quirky bar stands out with its Mexican-inspired decor and lively atmosphere. The vibrant crowd and live mariachi band create an incredible ambiance. 

While there may be a cover charge, the evening entertainment, including dancing and drinking, sets the right mood for a memorable night. Make sure to arrive after 10:30 PM to fully experience the fun. 

Remember to try their delicious cuisines and drinks, including their homemade rum punches.

Andrés Carne de Res is an exuberant, electrifying hotspot in Medellin's nightlife scene.

Andrés Carne de Res

Step into the exuberant world of Andrés Carne de Res, the haut monde of Medellin’s electrifying night scene. Located in the heart of El Poblado, this pulsating club isn’t just a place; it’s an experience.

With its flamboyant decor radiating Colombian flair, it magnetizes an enthusiastic crowd eager for infectious tunes and scintillating performances. But what sets it apart is its melding of a vivacious club with mouthwatering gastronomy, offering a memorable evening right at the crossroads of pleasure.

Las Palmas offers a unique and appealing experience for nightlife enthusiasts.

INSIDER TIP: Arrive early to grab a coveted table, prep your taste buds for tantalizing Colombian flavors, and don’t forget your dancing shoes – you’re in for a rambunctious fiesta!

Best Rooftop Bars In Medellin

If you’ve got a penchant for starlit skies, towering city views, and tantalizing cocktails, Medellin’s rooftop bars are just the ticket for you! Let’s swing around to some of the city’s elite hotspots, where the nightlife is in full bloom.

Envy Rooftop is Medellin's luxurious gem for its scenic views.

Envy Rooftop Bar

Envy Rooftop bar is a luxurious gem nestled in the heart of Parque Lleras. Unique for having the best panoramic views of Medellin, luscious cocktails, and an enticing sushi menu, it’s a paradise at the upper level of the famous Charlee Hotel.

Expect an upscale crowd buzzing to the rhythm of live DJs, relishing the delightful atmosphere. Its unique features, such as the rooftop pool – though rarely used at night, add to its exclusivity.

Dive in for that glorious sunset paired with a cocktail or dance the night away, but remember to bring your wallet, as this premium experience comes with a price tag. Trade your flip-flops for dancing shoes for salsa nights on Wednesday.

Panorama Rooftop Bar offers drinks, dining and Medellin Night views with a pool in.

Panorama Rooftop Bar

Welcome to Panorama Rooftop Bar, the ultimate oasis for those seeking Latin American fusion dishes and crafted drinks. With two locations in Medellín, it’s a lush and green escape from the concrete jungle. 

While the views may not be the city’s best, Panorama uniquely offers a rooftop pool, innovative cocktails, delectable dining, and thumping music from Thursday to Saturday.

The Panorama opens for sunset, so come early to avoid crowds and take full advantage of Golden Hour hitting Medellin’s skyline. Come prepared- Prices reflect the upscale atmosphere and the cost of mingling with Medellin’s high-end crowd.

Best Breweries in Medellín

20Mission is a stylish beer garden in Medellin with tasty brews, live music and patio seating.

20 Mission Cerveza

20Mission is a lively and vibrant place to enjoy a beer. The interior is spacious and stylish, and there’s a large outdoor patio that’s perfect for people-watching. There’s also often live music playing, which adds to the atmosphere. 

And they use only the highest quality ingredients to brew their beers, and it shows. Their beers are flavorful, well-balanced, and consistently good. They offer a wide variety of styles to choose from, so there’s something for everyone. Also, they don’t just serve beer. They also have a menu of delicious food that pairs perfectly with their brews.

BBC Pub is a famous craft beer bar in Medellin with indoor and outdoor seating.

Bogota Beer Company (BBC)

While the name says Bogota, this classic English brew pub-inspired bar is still one of Medellin’s most famous breweries.

BBC Pub pours a wide selection of 100% natural Colombian craft beer and seasonal brews. The indoor and outdoor spaces provide ample seating options, and guests can even enjoy a game of pool. 

While the crowd tends to lean more towards foreigners than locals, the relaxed atmosphere, good music, and extensive drink options make BBC a fantastic choice for a night out.

Medellin Nightlife's dance floor heats up as always with Salsa.

Best Places For Salsa Dancing In Medellin

Medellín boasts numerous venues where salsa enthusiasts can dance the night away to high-energy tropical beats. Three popular spots stand out for their authentic environments and vibrant salsa scenes: Buena Vista, Son Havana, and El Tibiri.

Buena Vista lives up to its name with a massive dance floor perfect for showcasing traditional and modern salsa styles.

The iconic Son Havana offers intimate venues in Laureles and El Poblado for dancing alongside talented live musicians.

For a truly nostalgic experience, El Tibiri’s basement location reverberates with classic “Old Guard” salsa sounds that transport dancers back in time.

To know more about ideal places in for salsa, try to see and read our Best Salsa Bars in Medellin.

Medellin’s Best Nightclubs

Salón Amador is a flagship electronic dance club in Medellin known for techno, trance and house music.

Salón Amador

Salón Amador reigns as the flagship club for electronic music in Medellin. Prepare for an electrifying night filled with heart-pounding techno, trance, and house beats mixed by renowned international DJs.

Plants and chandeliers hang from the ceiling, portraits adorn the wall space between arched windows, and an omnipresent disco ball illuminates the city’s hardcore ravers shuffling across the checked dance floor. 

EDM lovers will appreciate the two-level dance floor, bass-heavy sound system, and immersive light show that sets the stage for an exhilarating night out on the town.

While the venue may be a bit more pricey and packed, the experience of dancing alongside a good-looking crowd in one of Medellin’s hottest underground dance floors is worth it.

Las Palmas offers a unique and appealing experience for nightlife enthusiasts.

INSIDER TIP: Bouncers and the velvet rope- Doormen here will judge you and try to keep a balanced gender ratio. Single men are scrutinized, so they come in a mixed group. Even women will get judged for dress code. 

Look the part and avoid any outfits that screen urban ghetto. For most parties, the first 100 people don’t pay an entry fee or cover change. Doors open at 10 PM.

Black Dog Club is a popular reggaeton nightclub in Medellin known for its dance parties and celebrity sightings.

Black Dog Club (Club Perro Negro)

A quintessential Medellin reggaeton club, Black Dog Club is a trendy nightclub in Provenza that packs a good-looking crowd ready to grind the night away. The DJs keep the energy high with a popular mix of reggaeton hits, while the doorkeepers ensure a local vibe by keeping big groups of guys at bay.

Single guys, you’ll need to strategize your entry. Note there are plenty of working girls looking for sponsors to get them in. With its shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, beach-themed decor, and infectious energy, Black Dog Club is the place to be for a memorable night of dance and fun.

Even celebrities like Bad Bunny have been know to party at Perro Negro.

It gets crowded post 11 PM, so arrive early and enjoy the freedom to shake to your heart’s content.

Dulce Jesús Mío is an iconic nightclub in Medellín known for its eccentric decor and pulsating dance music.

Sweet Jesus Mine (Dulce Jesús Mío)

Step into the vibrant and wild world of Dulce Jesús Mío, Medellin’s ultimate party destination. Nestled in the lively El Poblado neighborhood, this iconic nightclub oozes eccentricity and pure entertainment. 

Brace yourself for a sensory overload of vivid colors and quirky decor that sets the stage for a wild night of pulsating dance music.

Designed to be strikingly kitschy, the club plays host to an array of performances that gradually segue into a full-blown clubbing experience as the night ebbs. Let loose on the dance floor as the irresistible rhythms of salsa and Latin tunes ignite the atmosphere. 

Immerse yourself in the tropical beach Caribbean-themed ambiance and sip on exquisite cocktails while embracing the city’s zest for life at Dulce Jesús Mío.

Calle 9+1 is a laid-back electronic music club popular with backpackers in Medellín's Parque Lleras area.

Calle 9+1

Tired of salsa and reggaeton? Pack your dancing shoes and head to Calle 9+1. This backpacker hangout thumps electronic music to the tourist masses near Parque Lleras.

Calle 9+1 gets your heart pounding with its eclectic mix of alternative and funky beats. It’s the perfect place to showcase your unpolished dance moves. Here, it’s not about the steps but about letting your spirit loose on the dance floor.

LGBTQ friendly and no dress code- this eclectic hangout welcomes you regardless of pronouns or your flip-flops and tank tops!

INSIDER TIP: Ladies’ Evening- Take advantage of ladies’ night: Every Thursday in Medellin is ladies’ night, which means many nightlife destinations offer free admission for women and sometimes even free drinks. 

This not only saves you money but also attracts a more balanced crowd, making for a better overall experience.

Best Place For Nightlife Each Day Of The Week

The nightlife in Medellin typically starts by Thursday and carries on through the weekend, with action every day if you know where to go.

  • Sunday – Envy Rooftop Bar- Last Sunday All You Can Eat Brunch
  • Monday – 20 Mission Brewery- Beers for No Reason
  • Tuesday – Panorama Rooftop Bar- Sunset Drinks
  • Wednesday – Son Havana – Free Salsa Classes and 2 x 1 Cocktails
  • Thursday –Dancefree- Free Salsa Classes
  • Friday – Dulce Jesus Mio – Latin Music
  • Saturday – Salon Amador – EDM

INSIDER TIP: Payday Parties- Colombian love to let loose on paydays. Crowds and energy spice up when they cash their paychecks on the 1st and the 15th of every month, regardless of the day of the week. 

If payday falls on a Friday or Saturday, prepare your dancing shoes because Paisas will be out to party.

Does Bogota or Medellin have better nightlife?

When comparing the nightlife, Bogota and Medellin offer unique experiences that cater to different tastes. While Bogota’s Zona T takes the nightlife crown, Medellin’s Parque Lleras ranks second. But the vibe between the two cities is drastically different.


Bogota is the capital and financial hub of Colombia. With a population of 8 million people, it is almost four times the size of Medellin. The crowds in Bogota are more sophisticated and have a more cosmopolitan attitude. 

Upscale or elite clubs here enforce a dress code, and wearing a t-shirt will prevent you from getting in or standing out with Bogotanos wondering, “Who brought the Gringo?”

Medellin is much more of a tourist destination. The crowds are more relaxed and, especially outside of El Poblado, more open and friendly. 

While many clubs have dress codes, it’s less about being pretentious and more about not allowing sportswear. It’s more acceptable to wear a nice T-shirt in Medellin and not require a button-up shirt to fit in.


Bogota’s nightlife is authentic and mainly for locals, but tourists are welcome too. They can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere alongside a diverse mix of international visitors at popular venues throughout the city.

On the other hand, Medellin nightlife has this gringo bachelor’s night out vibe; this is because it caters to backpackers and tourists, which contributes to a lively and international ambiance. This vibe is particularly evident around Parque Lleras, attracting a younger and more free-spirited crowd.


Bogota’s nightlife, oh boy, it’s pulsatingly intense! Its infamous Zona T, fueling wild adventures, will leave even the bravest tipsy and battered. But at nearly four times the size of 

Medellin, you’ll find more bustling venues serving various tastes, from grungy rock to pulsing techno clubs. Its music? A kaleidoscopic medley of Latin beats – reggaeton, bachata, cumbia, salsa, vallento, and merengue.


Oddly, even with the financial capital, going out at night in Bogota is cheaper than in Medellin. Since Medellin has more expats and tourists, prices, especially in bars and clubs catering to foreigners, are about 25% higher. 

At an average neighborhood bar, a bottle of Club Colombia beer would cost you 4000 COP ($1) in Bogota vs. 5000 COP ($1.25) in Medellin.

Is the nightlife in Medellin or Cartagena better?

An easy way to generalize this comparison is to say that Medellin nightlife is more touristy and casual but has a more hooky-and-druggy element than Bogota. 

Using the same comparison, Cartagena has the most tourists, the most relaxed atmosphere, and the most prostitutes and open drug deals of the three major Colombian cities.


The atmosphere in Cartagena is much different than in Medellin (or Bogota, for that matter). This is not a cosmopolitan big city; Cartagena is and feels like a Caribbean island tourist hub.

During peak season, tourists from 30 cruise ship lines flood Cartagena’s UNESCO old town for fun, sun, and a night on the town. The cruise ship industry generates 40-60 million dollars for Cartagen’s tourism annually


Cartagena’s historic charm and warm sea breeze create the perfect backdrop for a tropical party. While it’s easy to picture yourself sipping cocktails in hip bars tucked into 17th-century mansions, dancing to sultry salsa beats in vibrant clubs, or enjoying beachfront venues with sand between your toes.

Nightlife in Cartagena is centered around the historic walled city, particularly in the vibrant Getsemani neighborhood. Here, you’ll find a mix of late-night restaurants, open-air bars, and trendy clubs with a casual island atmosphere. 

The music in Cartagena’s clubs leans more towards Caribbean and tropical beats, including salsa, reggaeton, and champeta. Dress codes are rarely enforced. Shorts and t-shirts are standard, as even at night, Cartagena is hot, sticky, and sweaty.


The city’s seductive blend of historic allure and party beach vibes also attracts the seedy side of tourism. At night, all the parks and pedestrian streets in the tourist areas are flooded with dressed-up working girls cooing at drunken foreigners. Dealers collect money and palm drugs to willing tourists openly.


Think of all the crappy parts of Medellin’s Lleras Park, multiply it by 3, and ploop it on the Carribean coast. Plus, the prices for everything are about 30% higher in Cartagena. That bottle of Club Colombia beer you paid 4000 pesos for in Medellin is 7000 COP in Cartagena.

The LGBTQ+ community boosts the Medellin nightlife fun even more.

Gay Nightlife In Medellin Colombia

While Bogota has a reputation as Latin America’s mecca for gay nightlife, Medellin is no slouch. Medellin still offers a plethora of gay hangouts, primarily located in the Poblado neighborhood.

LGBT Nightlife Spots

Medellin boasts several LGBT clubs that offer unforgettable experiences. Donde Aquellos Bar, Bar Chiquita, and Cantina de Javi are popular Medellin gay-friendly bars, while Industry Club and Viva Auditorium are a couple of the most popular LGBT clubs in the city. 

These venues feature different types of music, ensuring that the party continues until dawn. With luxury shows featuring impeccable imitations of iconic LGBT artists, internationally renowned DJs, drag shows, and top-notch service, these clubs guarantee nights filled with aesthetics and fun.

La Calle Barbacoas in central Medellín is a street filled with LGBT-friendly bars and clubs playing diverse music.

La Calle Barbacoas: The Heart of the LGBT Movement

Located in the city core one block from Plaza de Bolivar, La Calle Barbacoas is a street dedicated exclusively to the LGBT community. Since the 1980s, this street has been the heart of the LGBT movement in Medellin. 

With a diverse range of rhythms, such as salsa, cumbia, guaracha, electronics, and tango, visitors cannot resist the joy that fills the dance floor. The street is divided into two sections of bars, one catering to gays and lesbians and the other to trans women, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Key Takeaways- Enjoying A Night Out In Medellin

Enjoying Medellin’s fun and affordable nightlife is one of the main reasons expats are flocking to live in Colombia. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away at a lively club, enjoy drinks at a rooftop bar, or indulge in a delicious meal at a restaurant, Medellin has it all.

FAQs- Nightlife In Medellin

What time does the nightlife start in Medellin?

While bars open around 7 PM, they will be empty. Nightlife in Medellin typically starts in the late evening, around 10–11 PM for bars and 1 AM for clubs. Some clubs may offer free entry before midnight, but clubs don’t get crowded until after 1 AM and last until 4 AM.

For pubs, 10 PM is generally an excellent time to arrive. A few rooftop bars open earlier in the day to catch the sunset and cocktail crowd, most bars in Medellin will be ghost towns until later in the evening, around 11 PM or even midnight.

How late can you party in Medellin?

Different zones have regulations regarding the operating hours of nightlife establishments. Popular tourist party areas like Parque Lleras are your best options for late-night partying till 4 AM. Bars and clubs in more residential areas may close earlier due to local ordinances or licensing restrictions.

What type of music is usually played at Medellin clubs?

Salsa and reggaeton are undoubtedly popular genres, but the city’s nightlife is not limited to just these styles. Medellin boasts a small but thriving electronic music scene that attracts world-class DJs, making it a hotspot for EDM enthusiasts.

In addition to electronic music, Medellin clubs also play a mix of different genres throughout the night, creating a diverse and dynamic atmosphere.

Some of the commonly played genres include salsa, reggaeton, merengue, vallenato, cumbia, bachata, famous rock, and electronica; one minute, you’ll be in a salsa rhythm, the next, swaying to solid reggaeton.

What you will be hard-pressed to find is a place to dance to hip-hop or chill to old-school rap.

What is the party district of Medellin?

El Poblado, Medellín’s party district, is a vibrant epicenter of social activities and entertainment in the city. Home to swanky nightclubs, quirky bars, and gastronomical delights, offering experiences for every budget.

The famed Lleras Park forms the heart of this district. Whether you’re up for a night of posh partying in La Provenza.

What’s the bar scene in Medellin like?

The bar scene in Medellin offers something for everyone. Whether you love chilling out in a relaxed brewery like BBC, jumping into a ball pit at La Octava Bar, rocking out to live bands at Blue Bar, or upscale people-watching at Envy Rooftop Bar, Medellin’s nightlife will not disappoint.

About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last five years to over 40 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, Huffington Post, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Best Life, CW Network, Dr. Wealth, and others. [view press...]

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