Over 4,000 tourists from abroad descended on the city for the IDB Assembly in 2009. The event was a resounding success. It demonstrated the city's efficient infrastructure and ability to host global events. Medellín has numerous benefits and advantages on offer for tourists and businesses alike.
Medellín lies 400 kilometers to the northwest of Bogotá and is the second most important city in the country. It is one of the greatest industrial centers, not only in Colombia, but also in the wider region. Located 1,550 meters above sea level, Medellín's climate has given it the name 'city of eternal spring'.
A pleasant and glamorous city
Amid a comfortable temperature of 22ºC, the capital of the department of Antioquia grows at full speed as a tourist, cultural and trade center where a strong textile industry is one of its main strengths on account of manufacturing companies and of Colombiatex and Colombiamoda, two internationally renowned fashion events.
These fashion fairs show the creativity of Colombian designers, the beauty of the women and the hospitality of the city's residents to the world. The people are characterized by their love for their land and the warm welcome they give tourists, making them forget they are outsiders.
Out of all the plazas in the city, the one you have to visit is Berrío Park. This square is over 300 years old and dominated by the Church of La Candelaria and “Torso desnudo” (naked torso), one of the works donated to the city by painter Fernando Botero. He also donated 23 sculptures that are on display in Plaza Botero, in front of the Museum of Antioquia and near to the Rafael Uribe Uribe Cultural Palace.
In a different part of the city, in San Juan street, you will find Plaza Cisneros. In days gone by, this was where the farmers came down from Santa Elena to display and sell their produce. Beginning in the 1950s, this was the preamble to the now famous Flower Fair, celebrated in Medellín every August.
World class and innovative
With the opening of the Plaza Mayor InternacionalConvention Center, a few years ago, Medellín became an innovative location for international events. The complex offers 12,000 square meters for fairs, conferences and exhibits. It hosts grand fashion shows every year and was the site for the OAS General Assembly in 2008 and the IDB Assembly in 2009.
Plaza Mayor is part of a modern architectural complex that includes the Palacio de Exposiciones de Medellín, the Teatro Metropolitano, the Museo Interactivo, the Pies Descalzos Park and the Edificio Inteligente. All of them are close to La Alpujarra Administrative Center, home of the city's administrative offices, the Medellín Mayor's office and the offices of the departmental government.
Medellín is also famous for its flowers and Christmas lights, as well as business opportunities and a wide range of hotels, cusine and culture, all surrounded by magnificent architecture.
The city also has the only metropolitan train in the country and a cable car, called Metrocable, connecting outlying areas to the metro, downtown and business complexes in the city. The transportation system serves more than two million residents and hundreds of travelers. One of the many reasons for the city's cosmopolitan reputation.
Medellín is culture, party and fun
Touring the city is always a pleasure, given the number of open spaces reflecting the civic life and organization of the residents, presenting a modern and welcoming capital. Thanks to the long list of theaters, parks, museums and cultural and recreational activities, there is more than enough to keep visitors busy.
It is impossible not to go shopping in Medellín. The local textile industry has a well earned reputation, and is brimming with fashionable, must-have items. There is a host of modern shopping malls to choose from, as well as more informal shopping markets where you can pick up a bargain.
The capital of Antioquia is best known for the Feria de las Flores, or Flower Fair, and the magnificent Christmas lights that decorate the main avenues, parks and plazas in December. Take a trip to Pueblito Paisa, a replica of the main plaza of a typical village in the department. It has restaurants and sells handicrafts, but is best known for the spectacular panoramic view from the top of the Nutibara Hill, the highest point in the city.
The Lleras Park offers more entertainment. It is in the heart of the prestigious El Poblado neighborhood, and has an ample supply of restaurants, bars and clubs. A great place for discovering the enthusiasm of the paisa people and the beauty of its women.
Once you visit Medellín, you will see that its friendly reputation is not an exaggeration. This truly is a modern, cosmopolitan city, with beautiful people. It is filled with birds, orchids and flowers, and has perfect spring time weather year round.