Rumba, marcha, fiesta, jangueo, reventón, party. No matter how you call it in your country, if you’re looking for a place in Medellin to have drinks, meet new people, dance and sing until your throat hurts, that place is Parque Lleras.

“The Lleras”, as it’s known among the locals, is a neighborhood located in El Poblado, where you can find the highest concentration of bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Medellin.

A couple of decades ago it became the city’s ultimate Zona Rosa, but over time it has also transformed into a meeting and entertainment place for tourists from all over the world, who want to experience firsthand what the city’s party is like.

The Park itself is a small square, surrounded by trees, benches and informal local artisans’ commerce. But don’t be mistaken, the square itself doesn’t offer much attraction and it’s more of a reference point for all the entertainment options that are around.

For more than 10 years I have frequented Lleras quite regularly and in this guide I will tell you everything you need to know to make your night in the park as fun as possible.

Location

Locating the Parque Lleras sector is easy, as it is located three streets up from Avenida El Poblado and Parque El Poblado, and just one block away from the famous “Calle 10”. However, remember that when we talk about Lleras, we refer to an entire area and not just a park.

If you walk uphill from the main square, you can consider that the limits of Lleras extend up to 3 blocks above. Or to identify it more easily, until the more “wooded” area, where you begin to see more upscale shops and bars. There, you can consider that Lleras ends and what is known as Provenza begins.

From south to north, the limits of Lleras extend to La Presidenta Park, which is a linear park where the commercial life of the sector “ends”.

Between Provenza and Lleras, you will find dozens of nightclubs and bars. Lots of options, lots of movement, lots of life, and of course, lots of noise.

Getting There

If you are staying near Avenida El Poblado or Calle 10, the best way to get to Parque Lleras is by walking. But if you are in another part of the city, you have two options: the Metro or a taxi (or ride-hailing apps like Uber, Didi, and Cabify).

To get there by Metro, you just need to take Line A and get off at Poblado station. From there, you can take a 20-minute walk up to the park via Calle 10, or take one of the green bus lines that can be found at the Metro station’s exit. Make sure to ask the bus driver if it goes to “Calle 10”.

Outside the Poblado Metro station, there is also a taxi stand where you can get a ride to the park in just 5 minutes.

What to do?

Parque Lleras is the best place for a very specific purpose: going out to party or to have some drinks. Although there’s a varied offer of cafes and restaurants, I suggest you walk a few blocks up and take advantage of the Provenza sector, which is a lively and bustling area, but with places more suitable for having a conversation with someone without too much background noise.

Now, if what you want is to party, you’re in the right place. But not all types of parties are the same, right? So here I will tell you about the different places you can find in Lleras.

Party in Fondas

Fondas are crossover nightclubs (play all kinds of music) with a very particular decoration style that reminds of traditional Antioquian towns. If you’re a foreigner or from a place in Colombia where this type of venue is not very common, it’s worth going to a fonda at least once.

The most common thing is to go to a fonda in a group, drink aguardiente and snack on some food to go with the drinks (empanadas, small arepas, meat cuts, etc.). And while you eat and drink, listen and dance to very typical Colombian party music (vallenato, merengue, salsa and, of course, reggaeton).

Enjoy the rooftops

Due to its location in a high area of Medellin, the Lleras has popularized the commercial offer of rooftops, where you can not only go partying but also appreciate incredible views of the city. These types of places are usually a bit more expensive, but they have a party style that enjoys a very good reputation. If you like urban rhythms (such as reggaeton, R&B, Hip-hop) or electronic music, these are good alternatives.

.

Ir a Sports-bars

Medellín is a very sports-oriented city. And usually, Lleras is one of the places where fans of the city meet to watch their two teams (Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín) play. If you want to experience the city’s sports atmosphere and you have already visited the stadium, I recommend sitting in one of the sports bars in the area, having some beers, and immersing yourself in the atmosphere.

Get some drinks in the Licoreras

The “licoreras” are places where you can buy liquor at a very good price to consume on the spot. Usually, in the Lleras area, you can find some where they sell you the bottle and give you a comfortable space with good music. This is the type of place recommended if you don’t want to dance, but rather chat and spend time with friends and family.

Best nightclubs, bars and restaurants

Knowing all the offerings in El Lleras is impossible. There are dozens of places where you could spend the night and new businesses appear every month. But below, I’ll share a list of some iconic places where you can go to dance, drink, and eat with guaranteed quality.

La Octava

An instagrammable place, with good music, incredible shots, reasonable prices, and excellent service. In my opinion, this can be one of the best places to party for several reasons.

The first is that you don’t have to pay to enter, so if you don’t like it, there’s no risk. The second is because it has a very fun ball pool to take photos in, like no other place in the city, and the third is because in the same place you have two environments, one of rock music (more like a bar) and another of crossover music (like a disco).

If you want a drink recommendation, I suggest you try the “Russian Cocaine”, which is a shot of vodka, lemon, sugar, and coffee. Very good.

Envy Rooftop

If you have a good budget and want to enter one of the highest-rated places by Lleras tourists, I recommend this rooftop, which has one of the most incredible views of the city. Envy is located on the terrace of “The Charlee” hotel and you can go for a party at night or for a brunch at noon.

My main recommendation is to choose well how to dress if you plan to go to the place, as they have a dress code, and if you have clothes like shorts, sandals, or too casual attire, you probably won’t be allowed to enter.

La Ruana de Juana

If you want a very Colombian party, in the tavern with the most history and tradition in the sector, you can go to La Ruana de Juana. An economical, but very lively party. Liquors at a good price, crossover music, and on occasion, you may be lucky enough to enjoy live musicians.

Patrick’s Irish Pub

I love sports bars. And this place is very interesting because it gained a second life with the city’s tourist boom. It is an Irish-style bar, full of screens, with a great selection of craft beers and American-style food. The last time I was there, I think I was the only Colombian. So it can be a great experience if you want to watch an NFL or NBA game.

Lico-express

It’s like a large neighborhood liquor store, but in the middle of Lleras. If you just want to sit and talk with friends, watch a soccer game or have a drink without spending too much of your budget, this is my recommended option. Perfect for enjoying local soccer games.

Mero-Bar

Two blocks down from Parque Lleras, there is a very different entertainment option. It’s a comedy bar (not very common here in Medellin). The humor is very local since most of the comedians who perform are from Medellin or other cities in the country. If you are from Colombia or speak Spanish, it can be a great experience. Prices are also very affordable.

Il Castello

This is not only my favorite Italian restaurant in El Lleras, but also in all of Medellin. Il Castello offers a super wide variety of pastas and pizzas, and has a selection of breads baked in its own stone oven that are finger-licking good. Not only is the food of the highest quality, but also the atmosphere of the place makes you feel like you are in a real Trattoria.

If you are lucky, you can show up and ask for a table. But the most normal thing is that you have to make a reservation through WhatsApp. Even so, I highly recommend it, it is definitely worth it!

Pesqueira

Undoubtedly the best seafood offer near Parque Lleras. A place that makes you feel like you are in a small hut in the middle of the Colombian Caribbean. Although their prices are high, it is a place that is definitely worth it. My recommendation is the seafood platter, accompanied by a house juice (my favorite is lulo).

Parque Lleras at Night

One of the things you should know is that during the day Parque Lleras is a very lonely place that is not worth visiting if you are looking for a festive atmosphere. In fact, before 4 p.m. most shops will not be opened. Starting at 7:00 p.m. you will start to see activity in the different places.

.

Drugs and Prostitution

On various internet portals such as TripAdvisor you will find reviews that refer to the situation of prostitution and drugs inside Parque Lleras.

Although this has been a reality for many years, in mid-2023 the Medellín mayor’s office carried out a transformation plan that involved renovating the park’s architecture and putting up some pedestrian barriers to shield it from this situation.

These barriers are made up of 100 fences around the park that allow Lleras to be a 100% pedestrian space and very pleasant to explore. Additionally, these fences are guarded by police officers who will control them to prevent access to prostitution and drugs in the area.

Although these changes have significantly improved the experience within Lleras, you will still be able to find prostitution and drug sales in the streets surrounding the sector, due to the demand of some tourists for this type of service.

Safety tips

Everything I told you about previously has made Lleras a safer place. However, I recommend you follow these tips to avoid bad experiences:

Do not give money: especially on Calle 10 you will find many people begging. Avoid putting yourself in a risky situation and do not take out your wallet to give money to others.

Keep your belongings in a visible place: carry your wallet in your front pockets, as well as your phone and documents. Especially when you are among crowds.

Avoid buying from street vendors: avoid interacting with street vendors as much as possible. Some of them are known to offer drugs or could take advantage if you have any important belongings out of your sight.

Do not accept drinks from strangers: it is not common for a stranger to invite you for a drink in Medellin. If they do, be suspicious and for safety, do not accept.

Ask for “sealed” drinks: if you are going to order a bottle of some drink, ask them to open it and serve it at your table, to ensure that you have absolute control over what you are drinking.

Is Parque Lleras Worth it?

Currently, Parque Lleras is a place of love and hate. As Medellin locals, we cannot deny that prostitution, drug dealing, and street vendors have made the area much more precarious than it used to be when it was the most exclusive sector of the city.

However, the truth is that thousands of people today enjoy the party scene in the area because it offers a lot of variety at a very affordable price for all kinds of budgets.

If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan, stylish, and high-end party, I can already tell you that you won’t like El Lleras. The same applies to the food and restaurant offerings in the area. In that case, my recommendation is that you walk a couple of blocks to the Provenza sector, where the offerings are much more gourmet.

But if you have an open mind and the above-mentioned details are not something that bothers you, it’s worth at least giving Parque Lleras one of your nights in Medellin and forming your own opinion