A Gay City Guide to Medellin

A Gay City Guide to Medellin

Welcome to the City of Eternal Spring!

Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city after the country’s capital Bogota. With a population of over 2.5 million, it’s got nearly as many residents as Chicago – but on only two-thirds of the area! Medellin is a cultural and economic hub. There are incredible restaurants, buzzing bars and exciting events all year round. It’s become somewhat of the hipster hub of South America! The region around Medellin is also known for its coffee plantations, and for its flower farms, orchids and butterflies. It’s got the right mix of natural beauty, rich culture and history, and vibrant (gay) nightlife. Find out more about gay rights in Colombia, the best places to go and stay as a gay or LGBTQ+ traveler, and more!


Gay rights in Colombia

Homosexuality and gay marriage are legal in Colombia, as is adoption. In 2011, Congress passed a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in 2016, the Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage, making Colombia the fourth South American country to do so. Larger cities such as Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena have a vibrant gay scene with dedicated bars and clubs, as well as gay saunas. However, although the country is good on paper, in practice it may look a bit different, unfortunately. After Brazil, Colombia is perhaps the most dangerous country in the Americas for LGBT+ people.

Be especially careful when walking around at night and in rural areas. Avoid PDA (public display of affection) – Colombia still is a predominantly Catholic and conservative country that can make it difficult to be openly LGBTQ+.

That being said, big cities such as Medellin, Cartagena and Bogota are generally welcoming and accepting, and have fantastic gay scenes that you should definitely check out when you are visiting these cities.

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Gay bars & clubs in Medellin

Medellin has an exciting and thriving gay scene. Most gay venues are centered around the El Poblado district, Medellin’s gayborhood.

Start off your evening at Bar Chiquita. A vibrant cafe by day, buzzing bar by night. The large outdoor terrace is a great place to have a relaxed drink. Inside, you will find lots of live entertainment, from DJs to drag queens.

Just around the corner is Donde Aquellos, a chic gay bar with outdoor space and fantastic cocktails. This bar has become a famous institution in El Poblado, and a popular hangout for the LGBT community.

From Donde Aquellos, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to QUERIDA, an LGBTQ+ bar, dance and nightclub. Enjoy great cocktails, drag shows, and dance the night away to pop, reggaeton, and classic bangers!

If you are looking to party outside El Poblado, then we recommend checking out Industry, and Happy. Industry is a lively dance club that is popular with the LGBTQ+ community and plays mainly electronic music spread over 2 dancefloors. They also have drag shows and gay-specific events.

Happy is a gay bar and club. It’s mainly a safe space for queer women, but everyone is welcome. They have regular dance nights with international DJs. The interior is something you need to see – Happy is where it’s at on the weekend!

Check out all gay bars, gay dance clubs, and gay saunas in Medellin.

Gay Bar Medellin

Gay hotels in Medellin

Similar to Medellin’s gay bars and clubs, you will find the best gay-friendly hotels in or around El Poblado.

The botanical-themed Celestino Boutique Hotel is located on a tree-lined street with lively restaurants and bars in El Poblado. All rooms feature free wifi and air-conditioning as well as flat-screen TVs and modern bathrooms. Superior and deluxe rooms add city/mountain views and/or balconies. There is a chic restaurant on-site, as well as a rooftop terrace with a hot tub and views of the city. Two of Medellin’s best gay bars are literally around the corner from Celestino Boutique Hotel!

In the heart of El Poblado, you can find the chic Marquee Hotel. This 4-star hotel has a selection of amazing eateries and bars on-site to suit any mood. Relax in the jacuzzi, swim in the pool, and enjoy panoramic views of the city below from the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Again, some of Medellin’s best gay bars are less than a 5-minute walk from this trendy hotel!

If you are looking for something a little quieter, but not completely away from all the action, then we recommend the Landmark Boutique Hotel. Each room features a smart TV, wifi, A/C, and a balcony. Suites and deluxe rooms offer separate living areas, loft bedrooms, and/or in-room whirlpool tubs. The on-site restaurant offers healthy and natural food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The rooftop terrace provides stunning panoramic views as well as a swimming pool. The Landmark Boutique Hotel is located centrally, in Barrio Manila, close to tourist attractions, and only a short walk to gay venues.

Landmark Hotel Medellin

Gay pride in Medellin

Festival Antioquia Vive Diversa is a month-long celebration of diversity and gay rights in Medellin, finishing off with the acclaimed Pride parade on the final weekend of June or the first weekend of July. The celebrations include several circuit parties, cultural activities, exhibitions and events throughout the city over the entire month.


Getting around Medellin

Getting around Medellin is as easy as in any other big city. There is a pretty good metro system in place that takes you from one end of the city to the other. Metro lines run from north to south, and from the center to the west. Alternatively, there are plenty of buses that cover most of the city. A single ticket costs between 2,580 and 4,000 COP (60-90 cents). You can also use the Cable metro to get around, this costs around 11,000 COP (2.5 USD) and takes you to some of Medellin’s settlements in the steep hills.

You can also get a taxi – make sure to use an official radio taxi for the best rates, they’re available 24/7. Fares vary, but you can expect to pay around 73,000 COP (17 USD) for 10km (6.2 miles)



US, UK and EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. However, you must hold a passport that is valid for at least six more months on entry with one blank visa page. Also make sure that you have proof of your booked flights available.


The currency in Colombia is the Colombian Pesos (COP). 10 USD is around 45,000 COP, 1000 COP is around 22 Cents. Strangely, most banks in Colombia do not exchange money, so you should look out for ATMs. These offer fair rates and charge no more than 14,000 COP (3 USD). You can also change money at the airport or at your hotel, but this might come with challenges – they might not accept all currencies, or have expensive rates and fees. Avoid street exchangers (in major cities mainly) as they are known to use counterfeit bills or unfair exchange rates.

When to visit

Medellin is known as the City of the Eternal Spring, which means that is has agreeable weather all year round. Warm days and cool nights, temperatures in the high 50s to low 80s (16 – 29 C), and air made cool by light winds. Medellin has wet and dry seasons – spring and fall are rainy pretty much every day, whereas summer and winter are fairly dry. You can expect quite a bit of rainfall during the summer months though.

The best time to visit Medellin is from July to August, or from December to February. In January and February especially, the rainy season eases up and the schools and Universities are out on holiday so Colombians head out of town for a vacation. Be aware of price increases over peak tourism months – April, May and December.

Published: 21-Jul-2022 by Sarah Langenmayr   |   Last Updated: 25-Jul-2022
On: Gay Medellin

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