2022 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Medellin

Food in Medellin is a big deal, and tourists and locals alike take it very seriously. At Two Travel, we firmly believe that your culinary experience in a country can make or break a vacation. That’s why we’ve made a list of the best restaurants in Medellin to ensure you are getting the most out of your trip. 

There are a handful of superstar chefs who have put Medellin on the culinary map. With innovative dishes, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, and Michelin-starred resumes, their projects in the City of Eternal Spring have been a roaring success. But the beautiful thing about Medellin is that you can also find incredibly flavorful food on any and every street corner. Local dishes are hearty and filling, and evoke a comforting sense of home; even if your grandma isn’t an old Latina lady. Which brings us to the following question…

What do people in Medellín eat?

Paisa (local to Medellin) cuisine is famous all over Colombia. The most famous dish is the Bandeja Paisa, which is a mixed platter of some of the most delicious local foods. It consists of rice, beans, avocado, chicharron (fried pork belly), sausage, mincemeat, sweet plantain, and a fried egg. After all, calories don’t count when you’re on vacation!

You can’t leave Medellin without trying an arepa, a delicious and versatile corn patty, served with pretty much everything. Mondongo is a traditional soup packed full of potatoes, yucca, meat, and tripe. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it; Paisas pride themselves on their mondongo recipe!

There’s no better way to start your day than with a delicious calentado, which literally means “heated up”. Yup, you guessed it, it’s last night’s rice-based leftovers, with a fried egg on top. The breakfast of champions! Many of Medellin’s best restaurants have adopted and adapted these traditional foods to put a contemporary and exclusive twist on them. 

Where are the best restaurants in Medellín?

On your trip to Medellin, you will come across a plethora of restaurants. Some of the best restaurants in Medellin are hidden in plain sight; and some are conveniently located for going out to party afterwards. And you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Medellin with a view in this list! As well as its exquisite variety in gastronomy, Medellin is also an excellent place to go out partying. Don’t miss our Guide to the Best Places to Party in Medellín!

The following places are our unmissable recommendations for foodies, so prepare your palate for some big eats at Medellin’s top restaurants. 

Its our passion to help you plan your trip from start to finish, and help you with the small details too! We can make restaurant reservations for you, create personalized itineraries, and even do your shopping. Get in touch with us today to enquire about Two Travel’s Concierge Services.

El Cielo – Best for a Michelin-starred experience 

El Cielo Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: El Cielo Hotel

El Cielo is an unmissable fine dining experience in Medellin. Its concept is proudly and undeniably Colombian, with avant-garde techniques that make it stand out in an exceptional way. Chef Juan Manuel “Juanma” Barrientos is a young chef who has achieved incredible things throughout his career, leading the path for molecular cuisine in Colombia and the USA. El Cielo D.C and Miami were both awarded a Michelin star, and its branches in Bogota and Medellin are on the same level. The menu is a 22-course sensory experience where you are encouraged to eat with your hands, play with your food, and truly enjoy yourself. This isn’t an experience to be rushed, so make sure you dedicate your evening to it, and let yourself be swept away by the creative innovation of Juanma and his team. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes, make sure to book early

Carmen – Best for locally inspired fusion

Carmen Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: Carmen Restaurant

If you’ve read our blog on the Best Restaurants in Cartagena, you’ll already have heard us sing the praises of Carmen Restaurant, which has branches in both Cartagena and Medellin. Carmen works with ingredients of the highest quality; locally sourced and expertly crafted. The restaurant itself is intimate and beautifully designed with its high ceilings and jungle-like conservatory. The cooking of head chef Carmen Angel takes Colombian classics such as the empanada, a stuffed fried patty common in Colombian street food, and makes it sophisticated. The meat is sourced from the nearby Andean mountains, and the fish is freshly caught in the Pacific Ocean. They also have a tasting menu with wine pairings that comes highly recommended. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes, book ahead 

Oci.Mde – Best for gourmet comfort food

Oci.Mde Restaurant, Medellin
Photo by: Oci.Mde

Home is slow-cooked meat. Home is big plates of delicious food to share. Head chef Laura Londoño has done an incredible job in creating a warm and inviting environment in her restaurant Oci.Mde. Families, groups of friends, and couples gather around tables piled high with food. They share mouthwatering dishes such as the 5-hour braised pork, or short ribs 12 hours braised in lemon and chili caramel sauce. It tastes like comfort food, but still packs enough punch with local Colombian ingredients and innovative techniques to keep you on your toes. Londoño trained at a 3-Michelin star restaurant in Paris, and brought her many years of knowledge to her home country to create her own concept. Although Oci.Mde´s speciality is slow-cooked meat, vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart / smart casual
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended, especially on weekends 

Colosal – Best for fine dining with a view

Photo by: Carlos Velez

If you want to make the most of the spectacular views on offer in the mountainous valley that surrounds Medellin, don’t think twice about heading to Colosal. Colossal is one of the best restaurants in Medellin with a view. Located in leafy Envigado, just a stone’s throw from Poblado, this restaurant stands out from the crowd. It offers outdoor dining, live bands and DJs, and impeccable service. The food speaks for itself, and has something for everyone. You can enjoy perfectly-cooked meat and fish, to delicious homemade pastas, and substantial salads. Colossal is the perfect place for a romantic evening, and their wine list is extensive and well-crafted.

Price: $$
Dress code: Dress to impress
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended

Panka – Best for Nikkei Japanese-Peruvian fusion

Photo by: Panka

If you fancy something different and full of flavor, make sure you head to Panka. This restaurant is located right in the heart of Provenza, the hottest Medellin district for nightlife and partying. Its our favorite choice for Peruvian-Japanese fusion. Dishes at Panka are colorful and flavorful, and a wide variety of textures and techniques are used. We love the Nikkei risotto with octopus, and the shrimp and salmon maki. The dark, leafy interior of the restaurant gives an intimate and glamorous feel. Don’t leave without trying one of their many craft cocktails; they are exquisite and make a great accompaniment to your meal. It also makes Panka a great place to start your night, before heading down to the bars at Parque Lleras just a few blocks away.

Price: $$
Dress code: This restaurant is in one of Medellin’s hottest neighborhoods, so dress chic!
Reservations needed?: Recommended but not strictly necessary

Mondongo’s – Best for a hearty local Sunday lunch

Photo by: Mondongos

Mondongo’s is the place to head for a Sunday lunch when you need some hearty home cooking to rectify a hangover caused by a heavy night out. Its generous portions, friendly service, and local vibe make it a favorite amongst Paisas and tourists all over the city. Make sure you try its namesake, mondongo soup, served with avocado, fried plantain, lime and arepas. Here is also a perfect place to try the famous bandeja paisa, a traditional lunch in Medellin. Its popularity means that queues can sometimes lead out of the door, but they generously provide bottles of water and the queue moves relatively quickly. Come hungry and prepare yourself for a true local Colombian dining experience.

Price: $
Dress code: Casual
Reservations needed?: No reservations, get there early to avoid queues on weekends.

With so much choice and gastronomic variation in the city of Medellin, this guide is your best go-to for checking all the culinary boxes during your vacation. Let us help you plan all the other details, too!

Medellín Nightlife – the Best Places to Party in Medellin

Medellin apartment

There has never been a better time to visit Medellín, Colombia. This vibrant, international city has recently been awarded 3rd best city to visit in the world by Time Out magazine. While we are proud of this achievement, we are by no means surprised. Alongside impressive architecture, sleek startups, and incredible gastronomy, Medellín’s nightlife has been internationally recognized as being one of the best in the world. 

Medellín is the birthplace of famous Reggaeton and pop artists J Balvin, Karol G, and Maluma. Next time you find yourself singing along to “Provenza” by Karol G, you’ll realize that she is singing about the famous party neighborhood frequented by the young and beautiful crowd of Medellín. There is so much to be discovered in Medellín at night. But with so many bars and clubs in Medellín, it’s often difficult to know where to head first.

Where is the nightlife in Medellín?

Medellin at night

El Poblado (Parque Lleras and Provenza)

From Hipster to High-Class, for a perfect Medellin night

The majority of the best clubs and bars in Medellin are located in el Poblado, a vast and affluent central neighborhood. As el Poblado is so big, you’ll want to be specific about where you’re headed, so make sure you keep this guide at hand. The famous Parque Lleras is a Medellín nightlife must-see. Here, you can find a ton of bars, restaurants, and clubs. It’s a great place to wander around to start your night and soak up the party mood. Parque Lleras is a tree-lined square filled with people, music, and mischief. It is the beating heart of Medellín´s nightlife, with a high density of clubs and bars. At night, the atmosphere is electric.

Our personal preference, however, is to go out to clubs a little more off the beaten track than right in central Lleras. For example, Provenza is a smaller locality, situated within el Poblado. Just a stone’s throw from Parque Lleras, Provenza is definitely the place to see and be seen. Expect classier vibes compared to Lleras. From hipster hole-in-the-wall bars to three-storey clubs, there is something for everyone in this trendy neighborhood. Prices are higher in some of the better clubs and bars compared to other neighborhoods, as good taste doesn’t come cheap. Provenza and Lleras, and everything in between, are often teeming with foreigners and Colombians alike, as they are some of the most touristic spots in Medellín, but for good reason. Here, you will find stylish decor and banging tunes, from Latino beats to EDM.

Laureles

La 70 – For an authentic Colombian fiesta

If you want something less gringo and more Colombian, head to Laureles. In La 70, or “La Setenta”, as it is locally known, you are sure to find a lot of color, lights and dancing. Here, booze is cheaper and there are fewer foreigners. Step out of your comfort zone and take a salsa class. Two left feet? Not a problem, the paisas (locals from Medellín) are so friendly, you’re sure to find a friendly Colombiana (or Colombiano) to teach you some new moves. La 70 is the center of the Laureles party scene, and it’s an awesome place for bar-hopping. While some bars and clubs in Provenza and Poblado can give European / American vibes, parties in this neighborhood are undoubtedly Colombian.

Las Palmas

For a more exclusive vibe

If you want to try something different away from the masses, yet still experience some incredible local clubs, we highly recommend a night out in Las Palmas. This neighborhood is just a short taxi ride from El Poblado, yet you are sure to have a super fun nightlife experience away from the masses. Las Palmas, also an incredible location for exclusive villas and apartments, is at a higher altitude, so the temperature is cooler than in Poblado. Here, enjoy beautiful views of the Medellín valley at night as the entire city sparkles beneath you.

Okay, so now we know the hottest areas to head in Medellin at night. But where exactly should you go? What follows is just a few of our Medellín nightlife recommendations. If you want a whole weekend planned, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our Medellín Nightlife Recommendations

Salón Amador

A truly unmissable experience in Medellin. Salón Amador is the flagship club for electronic music in Medellín, where house, indie dance, techno and many other forms of dance music reel in punters from across the region. They host big events with famous DJs, both nationally and internationally-known. Salón Amador even plans to launch its own record label to promote local talent. The light shows and intimate feel together with flawless playlists and perfectly mixed drinks make for an unforgettable night. 

Where?:  Calle 10 #40-30, El Poblado

Salón Amador, Medellin nightclub

Bolívar

Bolívar Medellín brings the heat and sabrosura of the Caribbean to the mountains of Medellín. Inspired by 1940s Cuba and 1980s Miami, Bolívar is a treat for the senses. Dance your socks off to reggaeton, dancehall, champeta, trap, and every last Latin hit on the charts. And if you can’t dance, you can find some beautiful and scantily-clad professional dancers who have got all the moves. Grab a tropical cocktail, join us on one of the most beautiful dance floors in town, and feel the Caribbean heat in el Poblado.

Local tip: There’s no cover charge on Thursday nights, which makes it a great option for mid-week debauchery.

Where?: Cra. 36 # 10-38, El Poblado

Bolivar nightclub, Medellín

Vintrash Bar

Vintrash is an upcycled club providing four floors of fun. Right in the heart of Provenza, it attracts a good mix of locals and foreigners. You can enjoy various ambiances; from indie, to Latin, to electronic. Head up to the rooftop to cool down after a long night’s dancing. They also serve food, which makes it a great place to start your night and line your stomach before a heavy night out on the town. We love taking bachelor and bachelorette groups to Vintrash because it’s a great place to go wild, and a guaranteed fun night out.

Where?: Cra. 35 #8A-39, El Poblado (Provenza)

Vintrash, Poblado Medellin

Gusto Nightclub

Located right in central Lleras Park, Gusto nightclub will never disappoint. Nightly escapades at Gusto involve laser light shows, beautiful girls and expertly-poured drinks. It is a great option in this super touristic area that doesn’t feel like a tourist trap.

Where?: Calle 9A, Parque Lleras #38-26

Gusto Nightclub, Medellín

Envy Rooftop

Before heading to Gusto Nightclub, however, make sure you have a sunset cocktail or two at Envy Rooftop. This stunning rooftop has an aquarium-style pool where you can cool off in the afternoon sunshine. It boats gorgeous views of the city, and has light Asian style appetizers which go down perfectly with pre-drinks. They have a live DJ and their lounge playlists are perfect for chilling before a big night out. 

Where?: Calle 9a #37-16, El Poblado

Envy Rooftop, Medellin nightlife

La Oculta Medellín

Do you ever wonder where the young locals go to party? What if we told you it was in a speakeasy-style joint, hidden behind a bookshelf? La Oculta is, like its name suggests, hard to find, but a total gem once you get in. This intimate club is small but perfectly formed, and its glittering chandelier adds a boujee touch to your night. Great to share a bottle of whiskey with a group of friends and listen to local Latin beats. 

Where?: Cra. 35 #7-114, El Poblado (Provenza)

La Oculta Medellin

Finding out secret passwords to get into hidden clubs is so much easier when you book our nighttime concierge services! Enjoy everything that Medellín’s nightlife has to offer – Click below to get a quote and a key to the city.

La Tienda de la 70

Although “tienda” technically translates to store, La Tienda de la 70 is so much more than a neighborhood store. With quintessentially paisa decorations and music, coming to this bar is more of a cultural experience than anything else. Embrace the stereotype and order a bottle of aguardiente – or guaro as the locals call it – and you’ll find yourself dancing on the tables in no time.

Where?: Bulevar Libertadores De América (Carrera 70), Laureles, Medellín

La Chula Medellin – Las Palmas

Grab a big group of friends, get plenty of drinks in, and prepare to have the time of your life at La Chula. This Mexican-themed bar-cum-club, or “Fonda”, as referred to by Medellín locals, will transport you to the loudest and most colorful corner of Mexico, right in the heart of Las Palmas. Down a shot of tequila (or three) while you listen to live mariachis in this awesome spot. If you want to party with locals, La Chula is the place to go. Right next door to La Chula, you can also find La Chula Urbana, where they play all the latest reggaeton hits. We like moving from one club to another to live the local experience.

Where?: KM 3, via Las Palmas

La chula

With a seemingly infinite list of options to choose from, Medellin nightlife is something that has to be experienced first hand. If your night ends queueing in Provenza to buy hot, freshly-made empanadas to soak up all the booze before heading back to your private villa, you know it’s been a successful night. We truly can’t wait to show you the biggest and best of this incredible city and its nightlife, in all its hedonistic glory.

Contact us today to receive customized guidance on how to book your trip of a lifetime in Medellín!

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2022 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cartagena

Marea Cartagena
Marea Cartagena

Foodies, rejoice! Gastronomy in Cartagena is BIG. Hidden amongst the cobbled streets of the walled city are some of the most talented chefs in Colombia. Wining and dining is our passion. We know all the best restaurants in Cartagena, from the classics to the new kids on the block. Read on for our definitive 2022 guide to the best restaurants in town.

Cartagena, being a touristic city, is a gastronomical melting pot. You can find an abundance of traditional dishes from the Colombian coast such as coconut rice, fried fish, and patacones. However, you can also find a varying range of flavors like Asian, Italian, Lebanese, Spanish, and everything in between. Due to its privileged location on the Caribbean coast, you can also expect some of the best (and freshest!) seafood of your life. It’s possible to eat at a different restaurant for lunch and dinner for every night during your trip to Cartagena, and still not even scratch the surface of the incredible restaurants that are on offer.

Along with the enormous variety in cuisines, Cartagena also has a huge variety of prices. From haute cuisine fine dining experiences at Alma or Carmen, to casual courtyard dining at La Cevichería, to $2 street pizza at Zazzy’s, there is something for everyone on the Cartagena restaurant scene. Some finer restaurants do have a dress code, so keep this in mind and save your sliders for the poolside, and get your long pants pressed! In Cartagena, high season is almost all year round, so make sure to make reservations in advance, especially if you have a bigger group and are looking to dine out on a weekend.

Don’t speak Spanish, or simply don’t fancy spending your well-earned vacay on hold? We got you! Just hire our concierge services. We can call in for you and make any and all reservations you need.

Carmen Cartagena

Carmen Cartagena – Best for fine dining Colombian fusion

Head chefs Carmen Angel and her husband both studied at Le Cordon Bleu, the most prestigious culinary institution in the world. Their experience and passion for local, fresh ingredients make Carmen Cartagena stand out above the rest. The restaurant is situated in an intimate and elegant colonial house downtown, and the menu is a celebration of local flavors, many of which are unique to Colombia. At their Cartagena restaurant, they also serve freshly caught lobster, octopus, and crab, presented in unique and creative ways. At Carmen, every plate is a work of art. Their à la carte menu is your best option for an optimal dining experience. Every tiny detail is executed to perfection, from the attentive service to the award-winning wine list and the innovative craft cocktails. For anyone looking to impress – think proposals, anniversaries, or milestone birthdays, Carmen is the place to come. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart 
Reservations needed?: Yes

La Cevicheria restaurant Cartagena
La Cevicheria

La Cevichería – Best for seafood and people-watching from the plaza

If you went to Cartagena and didn’t pass by La Cevicheria, did you really even go to Cartagena? This cute seafood restaurant perched on the corner of Plaza San Diego may seem small and unassuming, but don’t underestimate it, as La Cevichería is infamous in Cartagena. It even appeared in restaurant magazines and TV shows when Anthony Bourdain visited on his show ‘No Reservations’. Its blue and white color scheme and outdoor dining tables give off a Mediterranean vibe, with a Caribbean twist. The food is also fresh, healthy, and Mediterranean-inspired with a distinctly Colombian flavor. The use of coconut gives a strong nod to the Caribbean, and its homemade hot sauce is unbeatable. So grab a seat, and enjoy the spectacle in the plaza put on by the famous Cartagena street performers (here, Michael Jackson is well and truly alive and comes out to dance every night).

Price: $$
Dress code: Casual
Reservations needed?: No reservations accepted, get there early and queue!

Alma – Best for a romantic gourmet meal

Alma Cartagena

Situated in the super stylish boutique hotel Casa San Agustín, Alma is fast-becoming known as one of the unmissable culinary experiences in Cartagena. Its gastronomic concept pays homage to Caribbean Colombian cuisine and its traditional flavors, with a high-class and contemporary twist. We love going on weekends to enjoy the live Cuban son music, and the atmosphere is always warm and inviting. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic meal. Although fresh fish and seafood are the stars of the menu, Alma also offers vegan options and premium cuts of meat.

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart. Long pants and closed shoes for men are a must.
Reservations needed?: Yes

La Unica restaurant Cartagena
La Unica

Restaurante La Única – Best for authentic Mexican food

If, after a few days in Cartagena, you have eaten yourself into a ceviche and lobster stupor and want to try something different, we absolutely love La Única. It’s a Mexican restaurant that actually has branches in Mexico – so you know it’s legit. This modern cantina will take you far away from the stereotype of a Mexican restaurant and allow you to focus on the quality and artistry of its food. From tacos and guacamole to grilled octopus and juicy steaks, La Única Cartagena will not disappoint. This restaurant is the perfect place to come with a group of friends, as it has a fun, playful vibe and has great music – from in-house DJs to live mariachi bands. Share a tequila or two with friends and let the good times roll!

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart/ Casual
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended 

Buena Vida Marisqueria
Buena Vida Marisqueria

Buena Vida Marisquería – Best for cheat day and good times

Everything about Buena Vida Marisquería – from the decoration, to the music, to the menu – characterizes the Cartagena we know and love. Colorful, fun, and irresistible are three words we would use to describe this seafood restaurant. While its dishes, such as the crab nachos, seafood mac and cheese and desgranado de camarones aren’t light on calories, they sure are full of flavor. It’s no coincidence that this restaurant’s name means Good Life, as you are guaranteed to have a good time at this restaurant, which consists of 3 floors of deliciousness. The first two floors are for the seafood restaurant, and the top floor is an adults-only rooftop bar with an impressive cocktail menu and smaller snack options from the restaurant. Come with a group of friends to start off an unforgettable Cartagena night. 

Price: $$
Dress code: Casual chic
Reservations needed?: Highly recommended

Candé Cartagena
Candé

Candé – Best for an immersive Cartagena experience 

If Cartagena were a restaurant, she would be Candé. A lot of the culture of a city may come from its gastronomy, but we mustn’t forget about the rest. Music, dance, and traditional dress are all things that Candé incorporates into its dining experience to ensure that its diners are fully immersed in the Cartagenero experience. Enjoy the live musical show at both lunchtime and dinner time, and watch professionals dance the Mapalé and Cumbia, traditional Colombian dances. Stimulate your senses whilst you tuck into some incredible food. Make sure you leave room for dessert, however, as their menu features local delicacies you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Culture, music, and tradition all come together at Candé to provide an unforgettable experience for families, groups, and couples alike. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Dress smart!
Reservations needed?: Yes. Make sure to request a table where you can see the show.

Cuzco Cocina Peruana – Best for Peruvian fusion

Feel free to cancel your upcoming flight to Peru, because Cuzco Cartagena has everything you need. Cuzco has really put itself on the map as one of the best restaurants in Cartagena. However, it is so much more than just good food. The entire experience offered at Cuzco Cocina Peruana makes for a fantastic night out. Enjoy live music by the glowing pool, some of the best ceviche in the city (and that’s saying something!), and romantic moments below the Colonial arches. Make sure to try chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian drink, but stay for the lobster risotto, a Two Travel favorite. The three varieties of sangria are enough to give you a merry start to your night. If you’re looking for a lively restaurant with a youthful feel, you can also go next door to Baruco by Cuzco. There, you’re also sure to find awesome food and great cocktails to boot.

Price: $$
Dress code: Smart chic
Reservations needed?: Book a couple days in advance

Celele one of the best 50 restaurants in South America
Celele

Celele by Proyecto Caribe Lab – Best for a gastronomical experience 

Hidden away in an unassuming colonial house in Getsemani, the bohemian neighboring barrio to Cartagena’s walled city, lies Celele. Voted as one of the “50 Best Restaurants 2020” and winning multiple other awards for their innovative menu and concept, chefs Jaime Rodriguez and Sebastian Pinzón have really hit the nail on the head. Celele is more than just a restaurant; it is a study of gastronomical anthropology. The chefs have travelled Colombia, talking to indigenous peoples and rediscovering long-forgotten flavors and methods. The food is visually stunning, and each dish has a profound cultural significance behind it. Celele restaurant celebrates the rich biodiversity of Colombia, taking humble ingredients and giving them a high-class spin. 

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart casual
Reservations needed: Yes

Want to know more about bars in Cartagena? Check out our Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena!

Marea Cartagena

Marea  – Best for a romantic night on the waterfront

Marea, perched on the edge of the convention center and offering gorgeous views over the harbour and of the walled city entrance, is a romantic and intimate space. It is located on the water on Cartagena bay. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the menu is designed around the fresh fish and seafood brought in by local fisherman every day. Marea also offers terrific views of some of the most iconic architectural structures of Cartagena. Marea and El Gobernador, another top Cartagena restaurant, were owned by the Rausch brothers until recently. Rausch, a well-known chef and Masterchef judge, left a lasting impression on the Cartagena restaurant scene.

Price: $$$
Dress code: Smart
Reservations needed?: Yes

Even more great Cartagena restaurants!

With so many restaurant choices in Cartagena, and new ones popping up every day, this list really could go on forever. We feel the need to make a few honorable mentions for some old favorites of ours with the Two Travel seal of approval. For those days when you really need a great steak, Quebracho Argentinian Grill is your best bet. They offer prime cuts any Argentinian would approve of. If Italian is your thing, Don Ignazio will transport you to the backstreets of Florence. Don’t forget to stop by Verona for some of the best pizzas in Cartagena. If you loved Cuzco and are craving more Peruvian food in your life, definitely check out Gran Inka Gastro Bar. And finally, if you had a long night out on the town and dinner feels like a long time ago, head to Zazzy’s Pizza in the Clock Tower Square to get an authentic New York slice until 3am.

Dining in Cartagena is nothing short of a cultural experience. Don’t forget that we are here for you to make life as easy as possible. We can call and make reservations on your behalf, as well as resolve any other issues or questions you may have!

Don’t work harder, work smarter, and let Two Travel Concierge take care of you and your group!

2022 Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena

El Baron, Cartagena
El Barón, Cartagena

Cartagena is a party city. Tourists and locals love the Cartagena nightlife, but with so much choice, it’s easy to miss the best cocktails. Read on for our 2022 Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena. From the ever popular Townhouse brunch to Alquimico and El Barón, these are the Cartagena party places not to miss.

The buzzing, vibrant city of Cartagena comes alive at night. When the heat of the day cools down, a new city emerges. And part of what makes Cartagena’s nightlife so unforgettable is its many bars. Most of the best bars are located within the picturesque walled city in Cartagena. From Instagram-worthy rooftops lined with palm trees to three-storey mansions serving uniquely crafted cocktails, Cartagena’s bars are built to impress – and they don’t disappoint. If you’re wondering where to find the best bars in Cartagena, look no further. It’s been our pleasure to try out every one of the following bars to give you the best recommendations.

Alquimico for craft cocktails

The award-winning Alquimico is a must for any trip to Cartagena. The mixologists are true artists making craft cocktails in minutes. The menu is a treat for the senses and we love how they use local flavors and ingredients, grown on their organic farm in the Colombian countryside. They frequently change their menu, always keeping it fresh!

Alquimico, Cartagena

We guarantee you’ll never have another cocktail like this one. Colombian rum infused with borojó (a locally-grown fruit also known as an aphrodisiac), anyone? If you’re into dancing, there are two ambiences to choose from. The DJ on the first and second floors plays popular Colombian tunes and throwback classics. Meanwhile, up on the rooftop, you’ll be treated to more tropical vibes. No matter what day of the week it is, Alquimico is bound to be buzzing. Get there early to avoid the inevitable queues!

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for Alquimico’s party here.

Townhouse for Brunch

Townhouse rooftop bar, Cartagena

If day drinking is more your vibe, we couldn’t recommend more highly the Boozy Brunch at Townhouse.

On Saturdays and Sundays, for $30 USD per person, you can have bottomless food and drink from 11am until 3pm. Yes, you heard us right. Unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, beers and juices, accompanied by delicious bite-sized brunch plates to help absorb the booze. Sounds like the perfect hangover cure to us!

It also helps that the Townhouse rooftop is a super cool place to hang out, with a birds-eye view over the walled city, a cute plunge pool to cool down in, and Instagram-worthy neon signs to pose next to once the fourth mimosa has kicked in.

And if the brunch is so good it turns into sunset drinks, Townhouse also offers an evening menu. The music is always spot on. It’s the perfect place to chill with friends or pre-game at the start of your night.

Cafe Del Mar, Cartagena
Cafe del Mar, Cartagena

Café del Mar Cartagena for sunset by the sea

A trip to Cartagena wouldn’t be complete without visiting the renowned Café del Mar. Perched on top of the historic city wall and boasting some of the best sunset views, Café del Mar is a great option for groups and couples alike. This Ibiza-style upscale lounge has frequent DJ live sessions playing ambient house and Balearic beats with incredible views over the walled city. We recommend getting there early, around 5pm, to grab a good seat for the sunset, which will usually be at around 6pm. Or you can hire our concierge services, and we will make a reservation for you. Alongside delicious cocktails, liquors and local & imported beers, you can enjoy fresh seafood snacks as you watch the sun sink into the Caribbean Sea.

El Barón for artisan cocktails

El Barón, once a tiny hole-in-the-wall, has recently expanded due to its popularity amongst locals and tourists alike. This award-winning Cartagena bar boasts some of the best artisan cocktails in town. It wins the prize for some of the most visually pleasing food and drinks. Enjoy people-watching from one of its outdoor tables in San Pedro Square with a Gin Basil Smash in hand. Or head indoors after dark to peruse their extensive wine menu. We absolutely love the intimacy of this bar, which seems to have it all: great coffee and food for the daytime, and unique, avant-garde cocktails at night. They even have a Cuban cigar menu, where you can match your puro to your rum, Scotch, or Cognac, and enjoy Cartagena to its fullest.

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for El Barón’s party here.

Mirador Gastro Bar for dancing with the locals

If you’re looking for somewhere to get your boogie on, look no further than El Mirador. It’s a trendy rooftop bar with privileged views overlooking the famous Clock Tower and towards bohemian Getsemani. This bar has a great mix of Colombian locals and foreigners, which means one thing: dancing is inevitable. El Mirador is an awesome place to visit on a Saturday night and share a bottle of whiskey or rum with a group of friends. Its central location means that it is easily reachable on foot from your villa in the walled city, so you and your group can walk home without needing to split a taxi.

Don’t have your villa booked yet? Contact us, and we can hook you up with the best and most exclusive properties in town.

Movich Hotel Rooftop for the best rooftop view

The Movich Hotel has made a name for itself as another one of the best sunset spots in Cartagena. The bar of this swanky hotel is located on the rooftop. It’s open to the public as well as hotel guests. Get there early for the best table and enjoy the view over the picturesque rooftops of the walled city. This bar creates a perfect chill ambience with its soft house playlists. Kick back on the comfy lounge furniture and enjoy the soft breeze bouncing off the terracotta tiles of Cartagena. If your sunset drinks leave you feeling peckish, you can enjoy Caribbean-style bites. The menu is paired perfectly with their exquisite cocktail menu.

La Movida for the best party in Cartagena

La Movida Club and Bar is where the beautiful and elite of Cartagena hang out. Often dubbed as the “best party in town”, La Movida is a fusion of old-school American Speakeasy and Latino lounge. Make sure you come dressed to impress, as the bouncers on the door may turn you away if you rock up in flip-flops and shorts. Open Wednesday to Sunday until 3am, La Movida really starts kicking off after midnight. Don’t forget to ask your Two Travel concierge to book you a VIP table, as this small joint really fills up on the weekends. La Movida Cartagena is a unique experience, so grab a Gin & Tonic, and come and party with us in its colorful courtyard.

La Jugada Club House for the cool crowd

La Jugada is one of the tallest clubs in Cartagena’s old town, with four floors in total; three inside, and a beautiful tropical rooftop terrace. If you’re seeing a trend here, you’re not wrong in thinking that rooftop bars are big in Cartagena. There’s never a dull moment in La Jugada Club House, as they like to occasionally set off fountain fireworks from the Pink Flamingo bar on the roof. Why? Because it’s Saturday night in Cartagena, what better reason do you need? Its 1920-style art deco decoration is enchanting, and the interior filled with mirrors and wrought iron is a nod to the decadence of past decades. If you were planning a night in La Movida, you should know that they are also the same owners of La Jugada. Their impeccable taste and penchant for attracting the young and beautiful crowds will soon become clear.

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for La Jugada’s party here.

51 Sky Bar for those that like heights!

The only contender from our list outside the walled city, 51 Sky Bar is a must-see on your trip to Cartagena. This bar is on the 51st floor of the Hotel Estelar Cartagena de Indias in the modern and exclusive neighborhood of Bocagrande, Cartagena’s own answer to Miami. It boasts 360° views over the modern skyscrapers, which light up impressively at night, and further on, towards the seemingly endless Caribbean Sea. Enjoy live music and light bites such as sushi and Peruvian ceviche, but stay for the cocktails, which are perfectly crafted and well-balanced. We love to get things spicy with their tequila-based cocktail, Atrevido, shaken with jalapeños and black pepper.

51 Sky Bar operates with a strict reservations policy, so make sure you book before you go. Or let our concierge do it for you, and don’t show up late to your reservation! This super modern bar will give you a new perspective on Cartagena, and is sure to take you up to dizzying heights.

Casa Cruxada, Cartagena

Casa Cruxada for any time of day or night!

If you need to escape from the salsa music and reggaeton that you will inevitably hear in the Colombian coast, head down to Casa Cruxada. Here, you can hear live DJs play minimal techno beats and deep house. This club / bar / restaurant is in an enormous, crumbling Colonial building that feels like it is coming apart at the seams, in the best way possible. Its dark ambience and far-from-flawless decor only accentuate the perfection of its menu and playlists. But Casa Cruxada in the daytime is also a sight to behold. The light illuminates what in the nighttime becomes dark nooks and crannies, revealing the stunning architecture. The Spanish owners have crafted an incredible menu that is a gastronomical treat from breakfast to dinner. This multi-faceted bar is the perfect place for dinner and drinks, and after-midnight cocktail schmoozing, and everything in between.

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for Casa Cruxada’s party here.

Find out more about the beautiful city of Cartagena, choose a villa in centro, or contact us craft a special itinerary for you and your group. We promise you’ll get the best out of the city.

What to do for New Year’s Eve in Cartagena

If you’re planning to be in Cartagena for New Year’s Eve 2022 and New Year’s Day 2023, you’re in for a treat!

Colombia is known for its extensive festive New Year’s traditions, and Cartagena in particular offers some of the best opportunities for visitors to participate in the celebrations. Let’s be honest, Cartagena is not afraid of a party!

Tickets for the hottest events are now being announced!

We work with many party promoters, bars, clubs and restaurants in Cartagena. They are starting to release tickets for the hottest events in October or November. If you want to be first on the VIP list to access tickets, message us today!

Buy Tickets for these NYE Events

El baron square
Alquímico

And while you wait for more hot New Year’s events, here’s everything you need to know about visiting Cartagena, Colombia for the turn of the year.  Get in touch and we will help you celebrate in style!

How to Spend New Year’s Eve in Cartagena

These traditions are a lot of fun, but you may still be wondering about what exactly to do on New Year’s Eve in Cartagena. If so, check out this list of the top 5 ways to celebrate the New Year during your Cartagena vacation!

1. New Year’s Eve Restaurant Reservations

If you’d like to ring in the New Year in style, we’d recommend reserving a spot at a Cartagena New Year’s Eve Feast. Several of the top restaurants, hotels, clubs, and bars will have special events, feasts, or parties planned. Many of the more popular events sell out well in advance, so be sure to book your reservations ahead of time!

For a dinner you won’t forget, we highly recommend these restaurants. We know they will all do something really special for New Year – Lobo del Mar, Carmen Restauran Cartagena, Celele, La Cocina de Pepina and La Única. If you’d like to find out more about the restaurants in Cartagena, check our our Cartagena restaurant recommendations.

2. NYE Fireworks at Parque de la Marina

One of the most popular Cartagena NYE activities is the fireworks at Parque de la Marina. Most locals will arrive well before dark with a picnic dinner and chairs or blankets to sit on. If you don’t feel like bringing all that, you can also pick up some delicious Colombian street food on your way and then rent chairs and tables at the park.

NYE Fireworks at Parque de la Marina

The firework show doesn’t start until midnight, but you’ll need to arrive early in order to find a place to camp out in the park. If you don’t make it in time to save a spot in this crowded square, you can also usually find a place to watch the fireworks at Muelle de los Pegasos or Cafe Del Mar, and then dance in the streets until dawn!

3. Tickets to the Best Cartagena New Year’s Eve Events and Parties

Tulum party boujee bar

If your idea of a great New Year’s Eve celebration is exciting nightlife, Cartagena is the place for you! There are dozens of popular clubs and bars that stay open late on New Year’s Eve. Some, especially those in El Centro, host amazing festive New Year parties with live music. It’s best to head out for some dancing after dinner or other celebrations, as most locals won’t be venturing out to the bars until after midnight on New Year’s Eve.

If you’re looking to get a little bit more exclusive, we have the parties for you.

Special New Year’s Eve events are being announced,
and we can offer you first VIP access to the best with the best prices too.

Wild Brunch

Wild Brunch is one of the most famous parties in Cartagena, and also sells out FAST! You’ll discover that Cartagena is ready to party like there’s no tomorrow at Wild Brunch. This really is our top recommendation! It takes place Dec 29, so you get a day to recover, before New Year’s Eve!

El Barón

El Barón is famous for its cocktails and five star menu. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in this beautiful spot in San Pedro Claver square and don’t forget to dress to impress! Cartagena’s famous cocktail lounge will be sure to lay on live music, amazing food, and champagne! Get in touch and we’ll help you get tickets when they’re released!

Alquimico

Another favorite place for New Year is also one of the world’s best bars. Alquimico will no doubt have an exclusive party planned, with international DJs. Tickets for a sought-after table on the rooftop will sell out within days of release.

Casa Cruxada

This new club was developed by the highly talented team that made Bogotá nightlife a mainstay.  Its dark ambience and far-from-flawless decor only accentuate the perfection of the night this team will be throwing. Enjoy NYE dancing to international DJs with Tropical Vibes and Dark Disco. Get individual tickets here or get in touch for exlusive deals on tables, special drinks deals and more for groups of 4 – 20 people.

La Jugada

Immerse yourself with the best Cartagena has to offer. This event is sure to bring down the house. With top DJs, fireworks, dancers and many surprises, this NYE is one you’ll never forget. You can get a seat at a table on one of the three indoor floors (one of them is VIP) or go for the best of the best with the seats on the rooftop. All tickets include drink credit!

We also recommend Townhouse and Santa Clara for fantastic New Year’s Eve Celebrations.

4. Cartagena New Year’s Eve Street Party

Perhaps the most looked-forward to Cartagena New Year’s event is the traditional street party in San Diego Square. Located in one of Cartagena’s trendiest plazas, the BYOB event includes live music, dancing, and drinks. This is one of the most popular events in the city and seating is limited. So, you’ll definitely want to book your tickets well in advance to make sure you can welcome in 2023 at this Cartagena New Year’s party!

Note: Tickets to this event cost upwards of $75 per person. Information about the music line-up and other details of the party will be released closer to the date.

If you want to ring in 2023 the right way, you can bet that this is one city you won’t be disappointed to visit during this time.

5. Join a family celebration

As in all of Colombia, Cartagena New Year’s Eve celebrations tend to be much more family-oriented than they are in many other countries. You’ll find that most locals spend the day and evening at home with their families. Some of the younger members head out to clubs and bars, but usually only after midnight when the family celebrations are over. So if you’d really like to celebrate the New Year like a local, try to make some friends and get invited to a family celebration. Then you’ll be able to naturally participate in all the unique Colombian New Year’s traditions along with your host family!

While you’re here, why not take a deeper look at Cartagena? There are plenty of villas, private islands, experiences and yachts to make the most of! We still have some villas available over Christmas and New Year. Get in touch today!

Tulum’s Nightlife and Party Hotspots

Women dancing

Tulum isn’t just about beautiful beaches, yoga and matcha lattes. It’s also home to some of the hottest music events in the world and people travel from far and wide to enjoy Tulum’s nightlife.

Tulum is renowned worldwide for its nightlife and party scene. It’s slightly more upmarket than its neighboring towns of Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Art installations and trancey electronic beats echo the Burning Man Festival: a hipster’s dream.

As the sun sets, hips sway to the beat, chiselled jaws and toned midriffs at every glance, as the Tulumaniti come out to play. Leave your heels behind sister, grab your fedora and slide your best flats on, Tulum always delivers.

Read on to find out why Tulum’s nightlife is the place to party this year!

Who are the Tuluminati?

Tulum ati

Well, at first glance the Tuluminati seem to be an elite group of aesthetically pleasing people who come from an exclusive gene pool, almost like a private members club! They live, travel, blog and pose for Instagram. They float around barefooted, and scantily clad, riding their bicycles sipping a spirulina juice. However, you have to admire them, as they have chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world to live.

Tulum’s nightlife and party scene

The nightlife in Tulum is lively! Whether you’re on the hunt for a relaxed jungle vibe, or are looking to dance the night away, the nightlife in Tulum can take you from a laid-back bar with a mariachi band to a dance party on the beach under a full moon and shooting stars.

COVID-19: at the time of writing, precautions such as mask wearing were in place for venues and at times, closing times can vary depending on the current risk. Please contact us if you want advice on the current situation.

Chill out Bars

Begin the evening at one of these chill rooftops where you can enjoy dinner along with a drink or two (some spots have great happy hour specials). Most bars have live music or DJ sets starting from 10 pm till late.

Tulum night life party cocktail

Naná Rooftop Bar in Tulum town is a great bar to start your evening. Choose one of many mezcals from different regions of Mexico, or select a cocktail prepared with fresh juice, fruits, and herbs. The atmosphere is sophisticated, yet casual. Expect underground electronic and house music.

Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar is located in the heart of Tulum town. Be sure to spot the converted VW beetle which is used to press sugarcane to add to mojitos. Expect unusual flavours like a dragon fruit martini or a lemon and rosemary gin.

Pasito Tun Tun. For a relaxed pace, join friends in the garden patio and listen to live bands.

Santino Bar Tulum. If you are a fan of reggae, head here and join the locals.

Boujee Bars

Tulum party boujee bar

La Zebra Hotel is located in the hotel zone on the beach. It’s a classy restaurant with a sexy mezcal bar in the back, and hosts live DJ nights with a cool, bohemian vibe. Expect bespoke cocktails and authentic cuisine. There’s live music on Friday afternoons, and salsa dancing on Sundays.

Casa Jaguar is a fashionable Caribbean restaurant with an open-air jungle setting. One of the original restaurants to hit the Tulum nightlife scene with amazing food and an even better ambience on days with live music. Their signature Thursdays are still the hot spot to be! Local and international DJs set the tone with electro and house tracks.

Gitano is the place to be on Friday nights for all-night drinking and dancing under a jungle canopy.

IT restaurant – mentioned in our Best Restaurants in Tulum, ‘IT’ is also famous for its wild parties. Taking inspiration from their sister restaurants in Ibiza and London, enjoy dinner and dancing while some of the biggest DJs in the world take to the decks.

For queue jumps, Tulum nightlife reservations and VIP tables to the latest party hot spots, Two Travel can assist you with all your party needs! Get in touch to Build your journey.

Drinks Tasting Experiences

 Drinks Tasting Experiences

First, pick your poison! Rum, gin, mezcal or Colombian craft spirits. Enjoy a welcome cocktail as you’re taken on a journey through the history of your chosen liquor, before learning about the aromas and flavors with a flavor board, and tasting five delicious varieties of your chosen liquor. We can also pair up these experiences with chocolate or tobacco tastings.

Evening Welcome Tour

Cartagena bay sunset

Perfect for wedding parties and larger groups, we can organise a sunset excursion in Cartagena From the Spanish Inquisition to the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cartagena is one of the most interesting cities in Colombia from an historical perspective.

See the sunset from the walls, walk the city in the evening, as people come out to enjoy the cooler temperatures. You’ll see the city from a new perspective and we’ll finish up with a delicious cocktail.

Sunset Boat Trip in the Bay

Cartagena bay at sunset

Perfect for wedding parties and larger groups, we can organise a sunset excursion in Cartagena bay. Watch the sun go down from your own private boat or luxury catamaran, and start your evening with style and a cocktail in the bay, before heading back to the city to continue your evening with a drinks reception or exclusive dinner reservation.