Medellin 2024: A Safety Overview


Medellin, the City of Eternal Spring, has blossomed from its turbulent past, transforming into a vibrant hub for culture, cuisine, and innovation. Although its crime-riddled past has significantly improved, it is important for expats to remain aware and proactive about their safety.

Today, Medellin presents itself as a safe haven for tourists and expats alike, boasting of a warm, welcoming populace and an ever-watchful city authority. However, like any major city, Medellin too has some pockets of concern, especially during the night. With the right precautions, you can experience the magic of Medellin safely and secure.

Avoid Loneliness at Night

Darkness ushers in certain risks in Medellin, more so if you’re traversing the city alone. We advise opting for Uber or local taxis to stay safe after dark. Generally, it is safe to take a taxi at the “acopio,” which is the dispatch center.

Keep Your Valuables Under Wraps

Displaying expensive gadgets or accessories can draw unwanted attention. To blend in with the locals, keep your shiny items out of sight or leave them at home. Never leave your phone unattended, as skilled thieves can easily distract you or snatch your belongings without detection.

Downtown Medellin

Be cautious: Medellin downtown can be a bit dangerous, especially after dark. Stay alert, secure your belongings, and try to visit during the day. Although the nightlife in the city center is interesting, it is important to note that it is a place with crime, prostitution, drug use, and homeless people. An expat will not go unnoticed.

Avoid Sensitive Conversations

Topics such as FARC, narcotics, or Pablo Escobar can ignite passionate debates. Colombians face stereotypical discrimination worldwide because of this, so it’s best to steer clear of such discussions to maintain peace. As a general rule, save the following conversations for people you know and trust: religion, politics, and sports

Nightlife Safety

Be careful who you celebrate with, remember that Colombia is a low-income country, and although you are generally not in danger, some people could take advantage of you to rob you. As a general rule, if something seems too good to be true, it probably it isn’t. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and be cautious when interacting with strangers. Keep your belongings safe and do not share personal information with people you don’t know well.

Travel Light

When heading out, carry only what you need – phone, keys, cash, identification, and a credit card. Your passport would be safest at home.

Say No to Drugs

Avoid getting involved in narco-tourism. Politely refuse drugs if offered to avoid unnecessary legal issues. Keep in mind that the potency of local narcotics may vary significantly from what you’re accustomed to. If you still choose to take the risk, please consider the potential harm to your health.

Drink smart

Be mindful when consuming alcohol: Excessive intoxication can make you vulnerable. Enjoy your drinks, but remain aware of your surroundings. Drink in the company of friends and do so responsibly. No one wants to read a news headline about a tourist being found deceased in their hotel room.

Avoid Resistance in Case of Robbery

In case of theft, avoid resisting: if you find yourself facing a thief, prioritize your safety over your belongings. Don’t be reckless: material objects can be replaced, but your life cannot.

Wrapping Up: Medellin’s transformation is a testament to its resilience. While the city promises a fulfilling expat experience, it’s paramount to take the necessary precautions for your safety. By keeping our tips in mind, you can enjoy the best of what Medellin has to offer while staying safe and secure.