The first time I went to the stadium I was 5 years old and when the ball crossed trhough the air I used to get distracted by the pigeons that flew out of the field. The Atanasio Girardot stadium is a vibrant place, where not only have I spent some of the happiest moments of my life, but it is also the scene of two of the passions that most identify Medellin’s people: soccer and music.

The Medellín stadium is the second largest sports arena in Colombia, with a capacity of 40,000 spectators, only surpassed by the Estadio Metropolitano in Barranquilla, which has an available capacity of 46,000 people.

This coliseum is the sports home of Atlético Nacional, the most important soccer team in Colombia in terms of fans and titles. And also from Independiente Medellín: his main rival in the Colombian soccer league.

Location

The soccer stadium is located in the middle of a sports unit, between the neighborhoods of Laureles and Los Colores, two traditional middle-class sectors of Medellín. In part, this is what makes it pleasant for visitors, since unlike other stadiums in the country, it is located in a very central and residential point where it is easy and safe to walk.

But apart from its good location, what makes the stadium special is its proximity to other venues. The stadium is located in a sports unit where almost all the sport-leagues in the city are: basketball, volleyball, tennis, athletics, swimming, baseball and gymnastics leagues. Many of them have free admission to the public to appreciate not only training but also competitions that eventually take place.

Getting there

The best way to get to the Atanasio Girardot is by Metro. There are three stations very close to the sports complex, all of them on the “Line B” of the transport system.

The first is the Estadio station, which is the closest station of all and has direct access to the sectors of “Oriental” (east) and Sur (south) grandstands.

On the other hand, there is the Floresta station, which, although it is a little further away, is close to the sectors of Occidental (west) and Norte (north). Finally there is the Suramericana station, which is the furthest of the 3, but which is less than 15 minutes away on foot.

If to get to the Stadium your starting point is the south of the city (El Poblado, Envigado or Sabaneta), my suggestion is that you take the metro on “Line A” heading north and transfer to line B at the San Antonio station. There you can take the train that will take you to one of the 3 stations that I mentioned.

But if you are staying in sectors like Laureles, La Floresta, Los Colores or near the west, you have two options. The first is to take a Taxi, which in the worst case will cost you $10,000 Colombian pesos (approximately $2 dollars) or the other is to walk. As I mentioned, the surroundings of the stadium are quite safe and calm.

Entrance to the stadium

Unlike iconic stadiums in the world such as the Azteca, the Maracaná, La Bombonera, the Santiago Bernabeu or the Camp Nou, the Atanasio Girardot stadium does not offer a guided tour for visitors to the city during the non-competition city. The only two ways to get in are by attending a soccer game or a concert.

Fortunately, the Colombian soccer league has a fairly intense schedule. And therefore, almost every week of the year there are matches to watch. Most often, the matches take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays (always at night) or on Saturdays and Sundays (afternoon and night).

If you are thinking of going to a game, you should know that each of the city’s teams offers ticket sales independently. Depending on the team you want to go see (Nacional or Medellín), you must buy on the channels that offer directly.

In the case of Atlético Nacional, you can purchase tickets through the Siempre Verdolaga (not available in English) page. To do this you must create a free account and you can make the payment by credit card (if you are a foreigner) or with your savings account through the PSE platform (if you are Colombian).

If the game you want to attend is Independiente Medellín, you must download the “Dim Plus” app on your smartphone and create an account (only available in Spanish). There you can buy your tickets with your credit card.

Every week I see dozens of foreigners visiting the stadium. But must of them don’t go by their own. Tourist prefer to get a guided tour instead. If you would like to take Yours, I highly recomend this one that has a lot of great reviews

Stadium Sectors

The Atanasio Girardot Stadium is made up of four sectors (East – oriental – , West – occidental -, South – sur -and North – norte). When it comes to concerts, normally the southern sector is disabled, to locate the stage.

The prices of each of the locations depend on which is the local team (Medellín or Nacional) or which is the show that you are going to see.

In my opinion, the best location of all to enjoy a game is Oriental, since it mixes a very lively atmosphere, with an affordable price and a comfortable view.

But If you are going to the Atanasio Girardot for a concert, perhaps the best location is Occidental, since it has a good view of the stage and is covered by a roof. In my opinion, this has the best quality / price ratio.

If you’re going to soccer, have a little more budget and want to watch the game in total comfort, it’s worth paying for the Occidental ticket, which is the only grandstand in the stadium that has a roof to cover you from the rain.

However, for a bit of comfort and price you are going to sacrifice some of the “vibe” you get in the Oriental grandstand.

To be completely honest with you. I don’t recomend for tourist to go to the “Sur” sector during Atletico Nacional matches, nor to the “Norte” sector during Independiente Medellin matches. Those locations are quite unsafe, specially if you are not Medellinian.

In the following tables you will find how much it costs to go to a Nacional or Medellín game, depending on the town and area you want to attend.

Tickets price: Atlético Nacional 2023

GrandstandSectorPrice
NorteGeneral$40.000 cop ($9 usd)
SurGeneral$40.000 cop ($9 usd)
OrientalBaja$60.000 cop ($13 usd)
OrientalAlta$70.000 cop ($15 usd)
OccidentalBaja$105.000 cop ($23 usd)
OccidentalAlta$115.000 cop ($25 usd)
OccidentalPlatea$175.000 cop ($39 usd)
OccidentalVIP$290.000 cop ($64 usd)

Ticket price 2023: Independiente Medellin

GrandstandSectorPrice
NorteGeneral$34.900 cop ($7.5 usd)
SurGeneral$34.900 cop ($7.5 usd)
OrientalAlta$55.900 cop ($12 usd)
OrientalBaja$43.900 cop ($9.5 usd)
OccidentalCentro$78.900 cop ($17 usd)
OccidentalLateral$68.900 cop ($10 usd)
OccidentalVIPNot available
OccidentalV.VIP$254.900 cop ($50 usd)

Is it safe to go to the Atanasio Girardot Stadium?

For more than 10 years, going to the stadium in Medellín has become a fairly safe plan. Not only because of the investment in infrastructure and security that the city has made, but also because of the work of coexistence that the different city halls have carried out together with the fans of the teams.

Even if you visit the stadium to see your hometown team, you can wear your club’s jersey and badges without any risk. The only important thing is that you always maintain a respectful attitude towards the local fans and avoid any type of confrontation or provocation.

However, there is a golden rule that I recommend you follow. If you go to a match in Medellín, avoid going to the “North” stand. Just like if you go to a national match, avoid going to the “South” stand. These are the stands where the “barras bravas” of each fan are located and where the experience for the visitors is not very pleasant and can become unsafe.

Best matches to watch

Undoubtedly the best match to watch at the stadium is the classic paisa, which is played between Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín. The atmosphere in these matches is unbeatable, since the two fans share the stage and offer a show like no other in the world.

The only problem is that this match only takes place a couple of times a year, so here I share a list of the best matches in which the stadium will have a very good atmosphere.

National vs Medellin

National vs Millionaires

National vs America

National vs Junior

National vs. Cali

Medellin vs Junior

Medellin vs Millionaires

Medellin vs. Cali

Medellin vs America

Also, any game in the home run phase can be very exciting. These are normally played in the months of June, November and December.