Walking around the Artsy district – Comuna 13 Medellin [+My New Ink]

comuna 13 animals art

It is no surprise that the upscale city of Medellin is an art lovers paradise. From street art to graffiti, the city is plastered with vibrant colors, trying to defy authority at every nook and corner. The Comuna 13 district in particular fascinated me so much that I even got the coordinates inked on my right inner arm, towards the end of my trip to Colombia.

I would definitely recommend taking a Comuna 13 Medellin tour to fully grasp the history of this ghetto neighborhood and try to decipher the artworks as a group.

Comuna 13 – Is it safe to visit?

The first thing that pops up in your mind while visiting one of the most notorious neighborhoods of the world is obviously safety. However, Medellin was once the most dangerous city in the world so as per my personal theory, if you made it this far safely and are street smart, in general, you will be just fine.

Medellin has changed drastically over the last decade or so and jumped from being one of the most dangerous cities to one of the most upscale, vibrant, and sought after destination for tourists and digital nomads traveling to South America.

Comuna 13 has been totally reinvented by adding excellent infrastructure like escalators and cableway to make it more accessible to tourists. Locals are friendly and the district has quirky cafes and interesting artwork of all shapes and sizes all around.

Comuna 13 artwork

Cute artwork wherever you go!

This has pushed Comuna 13 from a dark labyrinth of shady alleyways to one of the most visited spots of Medellin. With a footfall of over 25,000 tourists every week, embarking on a Comuna 13 tour while in Medellin is an absolute must.

Since safety is still a bit of a concern in the area, taking a guided tour is highly recommended. There are no real drug cartels loitering around but there is often news of tourists being caught up in some gang war crossfire so it doesn’t hurt to have a local with you.

What to Expect at Comuna 13 Medellin?

comuna 13 medellin

Walking around Comuna 13 and other parts of town as well as nearby spots like Guatape, made me fall in love with Medellin.

Pretty much on day 1 itself, I figured out why Medellin is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. I had one mind to just come back and semi-move to this lively city for a year.

Keeping my digital nomad plans aside, Comuna 13 was a breath of fresh air – mountain air that too!

comuna 13 views

Stunning city views from Comuna 13

You can expect picturesque city views, long winding roads, cute cafes, live performances by street artists, and a whole lot of meaningful art and graffiti. It is easy to spend an entire day here gawking at the lovely views and admiring the bold artwork.

murals comuna 13

Hundreds of pretty murals and graffiti all around

There is even a neon art gallery where you can walk in with 3d glasses and take in these jazzy hues.

neon 3d art comuna 13

Neon 3D gallery

One of the most popular murals is ‘The Animal Kingdom’ which depicts several different animals and birds in one frame. How many can you spot? Check out the mural below and test your grey cells –

comuna 13 animals art

The animal kingdom – Look closely you will see more then a Lion!

Most Comuna 13 tours only last for 3-4 hours but you can also explore yourself after the tour. I would recommend hiring a local guide at first to learn about the history, artists, art forms, etc but once you have the basics down, you can walk around and take pictures at your own pace.

Check out and book some of the most popular Comuna 13 tours here.

Story of my Comuna 13 Ink

All my crazy adventures and spontaneous decisions have an interesting story behind it. I am a very social person and making friends on the go is integral for my awesome solo traveling experience. In Medellin, I quickly became ‘party pals’ with three guys from a nearby hostel.

One day the boys decided to get matching Comuna 13 Medellin coordinates inked on their arms. As someone who is always up for crazy ideas, I jumped right in and decided to gift myself a memory from this beautiful city as well.

comuna 13 ink

Getting inked in Medellin

Lo behold, a few hours and several beers later, all four of us had Comuna 13 GPS coordinates permanently inked on our bodies as a reminder of the good times, the amazing city, new friends, and a whole lot of randomness.

comuna 13 tattoo

Ink buddies 🙂

comuna 13 gps coordinates

…And the final result 🙂

Tip – I got my tattoo done from Dibujarte Tattoo Medellin in Parque del Poblado, Cra. 43b #N. 10 – 13. The artists are excellent and my ink costed just around $30. If you wish to get inked in Medellin – they are your guys!!! 

Getting to Comuna 13

From the heart of Medellin, El Poblado, you can easily get to Comuna 13 using the series of cableways and metro. Most tours start from a metro station and your guide will take you right to the winding alleys of Comuna 13.

Views from the cableway are exceptional and absolutely worth the ride.

Comuna 13 Medellin Map

So have you visited Comuna 13 in the lovely city of Medellin, Colombia? If not, put it high up on your bucket list and add it to your Colombia itinerary now. 

4 Comments

  1. I keep hearing and reading raving reviews of this place, so now I really want to go there. Up for a month-long stint in Medellin?

  2. Loved the place. The art is so trippy. Now I wanna visit it too

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