Medellín vs Cartagena - Medellin Guru
Medellín vs Cartagena. We comprehensively compare the two cities in Colombia in 19 categories to see which is the better city to live in for expats.

Medellín vs Cartagena: Which is the Better City to Live In?

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10 thoughts on “Medellín vs Cartagena: Which is the Better City to Live In?”

  1. Nice article. Cartagena is miserably hot and expensive, no way I could live there.

  2. Thanks Jeff, very helpful. I have been to beautiful beaches in Thailand. They are more beautiful from the hotel room and less beautiful when you begin sweating on the beach and jump into water that is warm as a bathtub.
    2 countries I am curious about are Portugal and Croatia……..they rank high in every category…. but are further from USA.

  3. Nice Report, Jeff! Congrats for this wonderful blog.
    I’ve visited Colombia this year for the first time and Medellin and Cartagena where those places that really amazed me.
    You already said it in one of your categories, however, I would like to find out more about job opportunities for expats.
    What would you recommend to someone like me, an European who is searching for a new adventure in one of these two cities? I have a University degree and work in finance/accounting. Do you know about any (Western) firms that hire those Kinds of professionals?

    Best regards,

    • Hi Moe, thanks. Cartagena has very few Western firms except for some hotels. Medellín has more Western firms but you will find even more in Bogotá. But keep in mind that most of the better jobs in Colombia will require Spanish.

  4. Isabela October 7, 2017

    This is a good comparison of the two cities. Cartagena is nice with all its history but it´s pretty miserably hot during the day. It´s nice for a vacation but no way I would want to live in Cartagena.

  5. Mary Johnson October 6, 2017

    Nice article. I like Cartagena with all its history and the walled city but it´s too freaking hot to live there. It seems you have to change clothes a few times each day when in Cartagena.

  6. Nice comparison. The beaches in Cartagena aren´t very good and I hate constantly being bothered on the Cartagena beaches by pushy vendors trying to sell things or trying to sell massages. Playa Blanca is a better beach but need to take a boat to get there and it can be crowded.

  7. Good comparison.
    Don’t agree with the safety comparison.

    • Hi Joe, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I couldn’t find official crime statistics for Cartagena to enable comparing the cities with statistics, so decided to use the survey of Colombians in the link in the article about how surveyed Colombians feel about safety in Cartagena and Medellín. Colombians surveyed living in Cartagena clearly believe Cartagena is less safe than Medellín.

      I haven’t had a safety problem in either city. But both cities have neighborhoods where expats shouldn’t go after dark.

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