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Medellin vs Bogota: Which City is Better to Travel to?

May 13, 2021
Bogota and Medellin are two of the most popular cities in Colombia. They are very different from each other, and both provide a one-of-a-kind experience for an international student in Colombia.It’s hard for us to tell you which one is better than the other. Obviously, it depends on your preferences which of the two you would enjoy more during your semester abroad. We have listed the factors students consider while traveling to a new country, to help you pick either Medellin or Bogota. If you still struggle, feel free to reach out to us so we can answer your questions. WhatsApp: +31630619754.

Is Medellin safer than Bogota?

Both Medellin and Bogota have been regarded as dangerous for a very long time. However, continuous efforts of the government and people have made way for the amazing transformation of the cities. There is also an increase in police presence in these cities. Being the bigger city, Bogota can feel more chaotic and obviously, some neighborhoods are more preferred than others. Staying in good neighborhoods like Chapinero, Chico and Zona Rosa ensure that you will have a great time and face no issues regarding safety. To make sure everyone has a great stay in Bogota, we are gathering the best student houses in Bogota. Medellin has worked up its way to improve the safety, and travelers sure have no complaints about the safety in the city. Neighborhoods like El Poblado, Laureles, and Envigado are particularly popular among visitors. In both the cities, however, there are some sketchy areas that you need to stay away from. Neighborhoods like Ciudad Bolivar and San Cristóbal are better to be avoided in Bogota. In Medellin, stay away from areas like Bello and Santo Domingo. The overall judgment would be that Medellin is considered safer than Bogota. The capital attracts more pickpocketers, thieves, and more areas seem unsafe at night. You need to be cautious and use your good judgment. No matter where you are, just use basic safety precautions, and you will be fine.

Where are more things to do, Bogota or Medellin?

The cosmopolitan Bogota is an important business center in Colombia. The sheer number of international restaurants, concerts, festivals keep the visitors occupied in the city. The hike to the Monserrate Mountain is also a popular activity for visitors, just like many of the other day-trips and weekend breaks near Bogota. Medellin is not too far behind in providing exciting entertainment options. The city has no shortage of shopping options and restaurants, although being smaller in size, the number of entertainment options is less compared to the capital city. The main difference is the recent history of Medellin that has created many sights and attractions for tourists and international students. Popular trips include Commune 13, Plaza Botero, Pablo Escobar’s villas and the free city tour. Trips to Guatapé and Santa Fe de Antioquia are popular among visitors who want to go for adventure activities.

The difference in Culture, Medellin vs Bogota

If you are interested in learning about Colombian history, then Bogota is the place to be. The city has a lot of colonial buildings, and the large number of galleries and museums provide a lot of options for visitors to learn about the Colombian art scene and culture. Museums like the Gold Museum and Botero Museum are the most famous attractions in the city. Also, Bogota’s amazing graffiti has become an integral part of the city’s identity. Medellin is known for its urban and contemporary vibe. This innovative city is very popular among many foreign travelers. Events like flower festival, Christmas light festival and Colombiamoda (Colombian fashion week) reflect the community spirit of Medellin and attract huge crowds to the city every year.

The weather difference between Medellin and Bogota

Medellin is the undisputed winner in this area. The city is renowned for its ‘perfect weather’. Medellin boasts spring-like weather all year round and provides a pleasant experience to the visitors. Bogota, on the other hand, is colder than its Colombian counterpart, as it is located in a high altitude region. The weather in the city changes a lot throughout the day. The mornings can get quite chilly, and as the day progresses it might get warmer before the temperature drops again in the evenings.

Does Bogota have better universities than Medellin?

Both cities consist of some of the best universities in Colombia. Bogota, being the capital city consists of a larger number of universities than Medellin. There are over a hundred universities in the city, where Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia Universidad del Rosario are considered the top Colombian universities in Bogota. Although the number of universities in Medellin is around 30, in terms of ranking and popularity, Medellin consists of numerous prestigious Colombian universities like The University of Antioquia, EAFIT University and Pontifical Bolivarian University. You will find a large student population in these cities due to the presence of various renowned universities.

The people in Bogota vs Medellin

Colombian people are known to be friendly, and this is no different for the two most important cities of Colombia. However, generally the Paisas (the people of Medellin) are considered more helpful and friendly than Rolos, the people from Bogota. This could be due to the capital being more of a business city than Medellin and people having less time. However, this is all based on opinions and I do challenge you to go to both cities and create your own opinion on it.

The difference in Spanish accent, Medellin vs Bogota

The Spanish accent from Medellin is called the Paisa accent and the Spanish accent from Bogota is called the Rolo accent. The Paisa accent is characterized by its sing-song tone. Both the accents are known for the clarity of pronunciation. This makes it easy for students to improve Spanish in their daily life. Also, don’t forget to read about the 4 reasons why Medellin is the place for you to learn Spanish. Both Medellin and Bogota are great for practicing Spanish, with the availability of numerous language schools and universities offering Spanish classes.

Is the nightlife in Medellin better than Bogota?

The nightlife in Bogota is considered to be the best in Colombia. The city offers a wider range of options for nightlife than Medellin. However, you will find a vibrant nightlife scene in Medellin as the city is increasingly becoming popular among foreign travelers. In Medellin, Parque Lleras in El Poblado is where you will find all the nightlife attractions. In Bogota, Zona T is where the city’s best bars and nightclubs are located.

Cost of Living comparison between Bogota and Medellin

As far as the cost of living is concerned, overall, Medellin is more affordable than Bogota. A huge part of the monthly budget of a student usually goes to the rent. In comparison to Bogota, the rent prices are approximately 18% lower in Medellin. So living in Medellin is more affordable as your monthly expenses would go down significantly. Other costs that are lower in Medellin among others are going out to a restaurant with 11%, consumer prices with 6% and taxies with 73%.
Both the cities have their own charm and uniqueness, and regardless of which city you choose to live in, you will surely have a memorable study abroad experience in Colombia.

With a remarkable track record of hosting over 250 students from diverse corners of the globe, Tellanto is an expert in the realm of student housing. Having gained invaluable firsthand experience of studying abroad, Tellanto possesses an unparalleled understanding of the information students require and the experiences they can anticipate. With this wealth of knowledge, Tellanto stands as a trusted guide, offering comprehensive support and ensuring that students' needs are met during their transformative journeys.

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