Bogota vs. Medellin

In today’s article, we’re going to be discussing the pros and cons of Colombia’s two biggest cities, Medellin, in Bogota and so this is gonna be a very thorough guide. For those who are choosing to move there or to live there, and so this discussion is going to be broken down into several points, we’re going to have an introduction. We’re going to talk about the climate, the culture, the friendliness of the locals, entertainment and things to do, their bit of the ability to travel elsewhere. If you need to, the ease of living, corruption and you’ll understand what I mean by that. Once we get into that and some final thoughts. In my opinion, and my advice for you, if you were planning to go there, OK, so in terms of before we begin the introduction, I just want to tell you that I spent about two years living in Colombia. I spent about 8 months, nine months living in Bogota, Anne about the same period of time, living in Medellin. And so I have actually been there and this is going to be an honest look at which is a cool city in which city you should kind of go into. OK, so Having said that, let’s start. So in terms of the introduction, Bogota is Columbia’s biggest city. It’s also the capital, and as you can expect, it’s it’s a city with a lot of people, all kinds of different people, all kinds of nationalities, all kinds of Colombians, as well as foreigners from all over the world, whereas Medellin is Colombia’s second largest cities located in the center of the country, and it has less people an it’s more homogeneous, so there’s less people from outside Medellin outside the immediate region. The second point is I want to talk about the climate and this is a very interesting point. And for many people this might be the deciding factor or which city to live in, because the climate varies very differently between these two cities and also varies very differently in Colombia in general because Colombia is actually a tropical country, but because of high altitude you have various climates that are in place in different cities and regions and so on. When it comes to climate. Bogota is a city that’s always kind of Grey. It’s at high altitude and so you have these temperatures that would be around 50 degrees to maybe 70 degrees or maybe even something like from 40 degrees to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and so you have a constantly very great climate. It never gets too cold, it never gets to help too hot. But in general it gets a little bit too too cold for my liking. OK, so you always need a kind of jacket or sweater to get around, especially in the evening when the temperature drops. In many cases substantially. On the other hand, Medellin is known as the city of eternal spring. It’s always a very, very comfortable climate. It’s always 25 degrees Celsius or around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and so you never really need anything over there, maybe sometimes at night you might need some sweater or a jacket, a very light one. But during the day it’s always sunny, and it’s always very comfortable weather. Point #3 the culture, and friendliness of the locals, and so this is obviously my personal opinion, but like anywhere else, like in any other country, I would say like the bigger city the capital is going to be much more open than some of the smaller cities. And this is definitely the case in Colombia because in Colombia you have Bogota which is the capital and a very cosmopolitan city in the country, and so you have people from all over the place. In fact you have a lot of people that are not from Colombia. In general you have a lot of people. Uh, a lot of foreigners. A lot of people from different parts of the country are living in Colombia in Bogota. But in Medellin, you mostly have a lot of people that are from there, right? So there’s less open, it’s more closed. It’s a little bit more closed minded. I’m not saying that Medellin is less friendly than Bogota, but generally speaking Medellin is going to be suited to that in my opinion, is going to be tougher to integrate than Bogota. Point #4 entertainment and things to do so. Both cities have shopping centres, malls, they have movie theaters, restaurants and all kinds of things. But of course Bogota being the bigger city in the capital. There are a lot more things to do. There are a lot more opportunities, a lot more stuff going on in Bogota then in Medellin. And in fact if you spent enough time in Bogota magazine is going to feel like a little village by comparison. It’s not. It’s not. A village is not a small city. But in general, there’s going to be a lot more things to do in Bogota, more neighborhoods, more diversity, and that kind of thing, if that is important to you. Point #5 the ability to travel elsewhere. I guess I could have put this as the last point, but I will tell you that if you’re somebody who is, you know a foreigner and you are looking for a city that you want to travel elsewhere. You wanna go somewhere else. Then in my opinion Bogota is going to be the city you wanna visit often because being the capital is gonna have international flights to the rest of Latin America to the rest of the world. It’s going to be a lot easier. To go to other countries as well as easier to travel inside Colombia than in Medellin? You’re going to be kind of limited. In terms of where you can go, it is in the center so that makes it easier to kind of, you know, take a bus somewhere, maybe take one of these local airlines, but still, in Bogota it is going to be easier. The next thing I want to talk about is ease of living now, ease of living, I suppose is kind of covered by some of the other points, but I will tell you that it really, you know, Bogota and Medellin. It’s kind of hard to say which is easier for living and I would say like in general I would probably say Medellin is easier for living and the reason for that is actually very subjective, but I will tell you anyway and that has to do with corruption and that is why we’re getting to the next point. About corruption, no corruption is a very subjective area, it’s you know it’s kind of hard to quantify. And yeah, you could probably get some numbers here and there, but I will tell you that in my opinion Medellin is less corrupt. You’re going to have less problems than in Bogota and I’m basing this experience on the fact that in Medellin I never had a taxi driver try to rip me off. I never had problems with people you know. Played games with me and things like that. In fact, out of all the cities I’ve been in, Colombia was the only city where people were very fair and kind of honest, at least in my. In my perspective, I did not have anybody try to rip me off or things like that. Whereas in Bogota, I have had unscrupulous individuals taxi drivers, things like that tried to rip me off, so your mileage may vary as they will say, but in my opinion I have had very good experience in Medellin. And then in terms of final thoughts, and this is something I want to get to, is that in my opinion, Medellin is one of the most organized and well behaved. If you can say that cities that I’ve been to all over Latin America and that is a crazy assessment, but it’s absolutely true in Medellin. I just I just felt everything was working. Everybody was on time and it felt in many ways kind of like Europe, although it’s far from Europe. But it definitely felt like Europe. Where is Bogota? Is your typical big city in Latin America, and so you know you. You just kind of have to go with it now. I will say that. Having said that, I will say that for the most part, Columbia is an extremely organized, extremely well behaved country. And that is simply not the case in countries like Peru or Brazil, which is much less much less, are organized, and so I can tell you honestly that you know Columbia is very organized, but managing is also very organized and so take it for what you will. There are major differences between the two, and so if I had to do it all over again, I honestly do not know where I would live. But that’s kind of the major difference, and so you kind of have to go by each point and decide What is more important for you and just go from there. OK, so I hope it made things clear and thank you so much for reading this.



Victor Crespo

Victor is a road junkie who has spent the past 6 years wandering around Latin America. After discovering Colombia, he decided to make it home and never look back.

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