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What’s the best mall in Medellin?

The best mall in Medellin is the Oviedo Mall in the Aguacatala area of the Poblado neighborhood. It’s directly across from the Santa Fe Mall, which is also a totally great mall, despite a bank machine there stealing my cash (What I did when an ATM in Colombia ate my money). But in a city full of massive malls, here’s what makes Oviedo Medellin’s best…

The Oviedo Mall is a tropical forest

The Oviedo Mall is designed like a small town with separated buildings and open-air green spaces throughout, taking full advantage of Medellin’s endless spring weather. 

There are huge trees towering up through atriums, lush flowering plants blossoming outside of the shops, and the sound of raindrops or fountains replacing typical mall muzak. It’s enjoyable just to walk around or sit there and have some ice cream while you answer emails. You could sit there all day. It seems like they genuinely want you to…

The Oviedo Mall wants you to cowork and loiter there

There is so much seating. There are large picnic tables, nap pods, benches everywhere. There are coworking desks with outlets. There’s a library with books you can read in comfy chairs. There is FREE internet. 

One issue to watch for with the internet: You need to input a Colombian phone number to sign up. They won’t text you or anything. It’s just an unfortunate design hiccup. But when I sat down at Mundo Verde for lunch, I initially couldn’t open their online menu because I didn’t have a Colombian phone number. Luckily, I found an Exito grocery store receipt in my bag that had the store’s phone number on it. So I input that and it worked perfectly.

That tall wicker basket thing shaped like a rain drop? That’s a nap pod. And notice how many empty seats there are throughout the mall. You have a pretty good chance of finding the perfect spot to work for a few hours.

If you're looking for gifts to share, try Evok

Evok sells locally-sourced chocolates, coffee, herbal teas, and an assortment of accessories, all in beautifully designed packages that illustrate Colombia’s natural wonders. They make for excellent gifts or you can just savor the flavors yourself.

Full disclosure: they gave me a free cookie when I was at the Oviedo Mall Evok shop. You can find Evok stores elsewhere in the city, and there is one in the domestic terminal area at Medellin’s airport, but only the shop at Oviedo Mall gave me a cookie.

Honorable mention: the Mayorca Mega Plaza is best for sportswear

If you’re looking for sports and workout gear, I wouldn’t recommend Oviedo Mall. You can definitely find it there, but the selection is bit limited and more expensive than taking an adventure down to Sabaneta and the Mayorca Megaplaza. It’s a short walk from the Itagüí metro station and the mall is packed with sportswear stores. You’ll find several name brand stores, like Adidas, Speedo, and Nike, as well as multiple discount shoe stores and stores devoted to specific sports. If you need to gear up for the gym or some weekend bike rides to Guatapé, Mayorca Mega Plaza is the place to go. Here’s a Google Maps link to get you there:

A stack of Nike sneaker boxes at Viva Envigado Mall

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