Medellin has firmly cemented its reputation as one of the most popular traveler cities in South America in recent years, thanks to its beautiful climate, fun nightlife, interesting culture, and the very fact that travelers can now visit a city that was once one of the most dangerous places on earth. And of course you’ll be wanting a souvenir or two to remember your time in Medellin; here are the best places to buy them.
Museo de Antioquia
The Antioquia Museum, aside from being one of the best museums in Medellin (maybe even in Colombia), is also an excellent spot to pick up a souvenir related to Medellin’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero. Botero, famous for his sculptures and paintings of plus-sized people and animals (he called it “exaggerated perspective”), was born in Medellin and has contributed many of his most famous sculptures to the city. There’s a large exhibition dedicated to his work at the museum, and the gift shop is full to bursting with Botero souvenirs, from mini-statues to coffee-table books.
This replica Antioquia village is perched on Nutibara Hill overlooking downtown Medellin. It’s a fun place to visit to enjoy a coffee, see the stunning panorama of the city, and check out what traditional villages in the region look like. It’s also a great place to pick up local Colombian souvenirs. Admittedly, the souvenirs for sale here aren’t exactly unique or one-of-a-kind, but if you’re shopping for little gifts from Colombia for family and friends, Pueblito Paisa is as good a place as any to find them.
One of Medellin’s best independent coffee shops, Pergamino is located in the popular neighborhood of El Poblado. Aside from serving a cracking cup of coffee, Pergamino also sells their best coffee in beautifully presented gift boxes; you can buy a bag on its own as well, but the best souvenir is surely the box that contains two different bags of coffee, as well as some beautiful postcards of the regions from which the coffee is sourced. You can’t very well leave Colombia without a bag of coffee, and Pergamino is the best spot in Medellin to buy some. They also sell lovely souvenir mugs, which would make a great gift for the coffee-lover in your life.
Pergamino, Cra. 37 #8A-37, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia, +57 42686444
Pre-ordena nuestro nuevo mug alto en honor a nuestros ciclistas colombianos que tanta alegría nos han dado. Lo bueno de pre-ordenarlo no es solo que aseguras tu mug (tenemos unidades limitadas), sino que al momento de despacharlo (a finales de septiembre) incluiremos una bolsa GRATIS de Lomaverde recién tostado para que puedas estrenarlo. Y para el que tenga el ojo entrenado, sí… la silueta es de una @tinnocycles. Disponible SOLO en www.pergamino.co.
Monstera is a lovely little craft shop tucked away on the edge of El Poblado, and is definitely the best place to go to pick up a beautiful and unique souvenir of your time in Colombia or to buy a gift for those slightly more discerning members of your family. Monstera’s products are handmade crafts from all over Colombia, usually made in traditional styles, but often with a modern twist. With a great selection of artisan bags, hats, jewelry, kitchen utensils, and much more, Monstera is definitely the place to shop for more high-end souvenirs.
Monstera, Cl. 8 #42 42-65, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia, +57 43128326
Just a couple of blocks from Pergamino (so you can pick up your must-buy bag of coffee at the same time), Makeno Tienda is another lovely design boutique selling beautiful clothes, jewelry, and crafts made by Colombian designers. These aren’t your traditional cheap airport souvenirs; Makeno’s products are unique and special and would make wonderful gifts for birthdays or anniversaries. And, of course, if you’re something of a clotheshorse, then you can find beautiful designs at Makeno that you won’t see anywhere else.
Located in the heart of Medellin’s downtown Centro neighborhood, the Palacio Nacional is about as far from the previous two boutique stores as it gets: a huge shopping mall located in the palatial (hence the name) former government headquarters. There are over 400 shops crammed into this space, mostly selling clothes. Most of the goods on offer won’t grab your attention, but it makes the list because it’s also arguably the best place to pick up a Colombian football shirt at a reasonable price. If Medellin has particularly grabbed your attention, you could always take home an Atletico Nacional jersey to go with the bright yellow Colombia one.
San Alejo Craft Market
This monthly craft market has taken place on the first Saturday of every month in Parque Bolivar since the mid-’70s. With over 500 artisans selling a huge variety of handmade jewelry, bags, clothing, ceramics, woodcarvings, and much more, San Alejo is the ideal place to visit if your idea of souvenir shopping is to also have a real local experience. You can also barter for your souvenirs here, but be warned: haggling is encouraged, but make sure to do so with a smile, as hard-bargaining is not generally appreciated in Colombia.