Parque Sabaneta is arguably the nicest city park/plaza in the Medellín metro area. And Parque Sabaneta is worth visiting particularly during the Christmas season. In addition, Sabaneta is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the Medellín metropolitan area.
Sabaneta is a separate municipality located directly south of Envigado. And Envigado is south of El Poblado. Sabaneta is one of 10 separate municipalities in the Aburrá Valley also known as the Medellín metropolitan area by many foreigners.
The daily life in Sabaneta is typically centered around Parque Sabaneta, which is a one square block plaza that is filled with trees for shade. In addition, this park is surrounded by several small restaurants, bars and shops.
This city park in Sabaneta definitely comes alive on the weekends with many people and families from around the Medellín metro area visiting the park.
Along the streets near the park on the weekends you’ll find many stands selling typical Colombian street food and arts and crafts.
Parque Sabaneta is considered by locals to be a convenient place in Sabaneta to meet up with friends. In addition, this park is considered to be the epicenter of public events in Sabaneta. Outdoor concerts are sometimes held on the street nearby.
I have been living in Sabaneta for nearly three years. And Sabaneta is becoming increasingly popular with foreigners. I now hear English several times each month in Sabaneta. When I first started living in Sabaneta, I rarely heard any English.
What is Near Parque Sabaneta?
Next to the park you will find the Merkepaisa grocery store that has prices which are typically a bit lower than Exito for many items. Merkepaisa also conveniently offers domicilio (home delivery) services.
Also next to the park and Merkepaisa is a food court with several fast food places you will typically find in the malls in Medellín including Frisby, Qbano and Subway.
In addition, in the same area near the park and Merkepaisais is a small Ferris wheel and some other attractions for children.
About a five-minute walk from the park is Aves Maria mall. This shopping mall has an Exito, Cinemas Procinal movie theater, gymnasium, several banks and several shops. It’s a relatively small mall that has some vacancies due to the much larger and more popular Mayorca Mega Plaza mall located in northern Sabaneta.
The Church at Parque Sabaneta
Iglesia de Santa Ana is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located at Parque Sabaneta, which is worth seeing. There are many pieces of religious artwork to be found throughout this church including many beautiful stained-glass windows.
This church is particularly popular on Tuesday each week when thousands of devotees from across the Medellín metro area flock to this church. And to the right of the church you can find some stores selling religious memorabilia.
We previously wrote about Iglesia de Santa Ana, which is one of many beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area.
Parque Sabaneta at Christmas
There is a Christmas lights display in Parque Sabaneta each year. And families from around the metro area come to Parque Sabaneta during this time of year. During the Christmas season, this park is normally full of people every weekend.
In 2017, on the road next to the park they had lights strung above the road. And every year booths are set up selling many types of arts and crafts. Also, there are food carts selling many types of Colombian street food.
2019 Christmas Lights in Sabaneta
Sabaneta will have its largest Christmas lights display in 2019 with a record number for the municipality of 5 million LED lights on display from November 29 to January 6.
The Christmas lights display in Sabaneta in 2019 is primarily located at Parque Sabaneta but there are Christmas lights in several other locations in Sabaneta, including:
- Parque Cuatro Elementos
- Major roads
The Christmas lights display in Sabaneta for 2019 had 150 employees working on the design, installation and maintenance.
Good Food Near Parque Sabaneta
Around Parque Sabaneta there are many food carts selling Colombian street food and there are many nearby restaurants. Furthermore, many of the restaurants in the area sell traditional Colombian food.
There are several restaurants located in a pedestrian food alley to the right of the church at the park. And within a few blocks of the park beyond the traditional Colombian food restaurants you can also find Italian, Mexican, steak and pizza restaurants.
Next to the park to the right of the church is the El Peregrino restaurant that is famous for its buñuelos. This place makes normal size buñuelos as well some giant buñuelos that are more watermelon size.
Seven of my favorite restaurants near the park in Sabaneta are:
- El Sombrero – authentic and very good Mexican food
- Mama Santa Parrillada – good steaks located a six-minute walk from the park
- Picnic – Italian food with good Lasagna
- Pizza en Leña – very good brick oven cooked thin-crust pizzas
- Ragazzi – very good thin-crust pizzas served on a skillet to keep the pizzas hot
- El Viejo John – good traditional Colombian food
- El Peregrino – famous for its buñuelos but also has good traditional Colombian food
I have eaten at all seven of these restaurants many times and the food is consistently good. All seven restaurants are located within a few blocks from the park. Addresses of these seven restaurants are as follows:
- El Sombrero: Carrera 43C # 66Sur-27, Sabaneta, +57 4 301 9182
- Mama Santa Parrillada: Calle 72 Sur # 46D-56, Sabaneta, +57 311 719 1298
- Picnic: Carrera 45 # 67 Sur-92, Sabaneta, +57 4 301 9315
- Pizza en Leña: Carrera 44 cl # 70 Sur-32, Sabaneta, +57 4 611 9569
- Ragazzi: Calle 71 Sur # 43B-31, Sabaneta
- El Viejo John: Carrera 45 # 70 Sur-42, Sabaneta, +57 4 288 7022
- El Peregrino: Calle 70 Sur # 43b-55, Sabaneta
How to Get to Parque Sabaneta
An easy way to get to Parque Sabaneta is to take the Medellín metro Line A south to the Sabaneta metro station. And the Sabaneta station is only about 10 minutes from the Poblado metro station.
Parque Sabaneta is located about a 10-minute walk east from the Sabaneta station. In addition, there are many people walking on the streets to/from the metro station. So, it’s relatively safe during the day and even after dark – but not too late.
Also, there are frequent and inexpensive metro buses that use Civica cards that currently cost only 2,200 pesos, which run from the Sabaneta metro station to and from the park. Most noteworthy, these buses don’t drop you at the park, they drop you about a block from the park. And the integrated fare including both the metro train and Sabaneta metro bus is only 2,9025 pesos.
In addition, there is a taxi stand at the Sabaneta metro station, which normally has taxis available. Furthermore, any taxi in Medellín will know where Parque Sabaneta is located. It’s also normally pretty easy to catch a taxi at the park.
Another way to get to Parque Sabaneta from the Sabaenta metro station is to borrow a bike from the Encicla station at the Sabaneta metro station. Encicla is Medellín’s free city bikes system that permits you to borrow bikes from many stations throughout the Medellín metro area. Also, we have a guide to using and signing up for Encicla.
In addition, there is a another Encicla station at Parque Sabaneta. So, you could borrow a bike at the metro station and ride to the park and check it in at the station in the park. And when you are ready to leave, borrow another bike from the Encicla station to ride back to the metro station after you have spent time in Parque Sabaneta.
Parks and Plazas in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at 12 different parks and plazas in the Medellín and Aburra Valley area:
- Parque Arví – a very large nature reserve, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Medellín.
- Parque Lleras – the top nightlife district in Medellín.
- Piedras Blancas – an ecological park near Medellín worth visiting.
- Parque Sabaneta – arguably the nicest park in the Medelllín metro area.
- Plaza Botero – a popular outdoor plaza with 23 sculptures by Fernando Botero.
- Plaza Cisneros – Parque de las Luces, Medellín’s Park of Lights in El Centro.
- Jardín Botánico – the popular Medellín botanical gardens.
- Parques Del Río – Medellín’s ambitious River Parks project along the Medellín River with the first stage open.
- Plaza San Antonio – a large plaza with four Fernando Botero sculptures and sometime has concerts.
- Cerro el Volado – a huge park with incredible views of Medellín.
- Cerro Pan de Azucar – a park with amazing views of Medellín.
- Parque de los Deseos – a popular park in Zona Norte offering a wide variety of free cultural activities.
The Bottom Line: Parque Sabaneta
Parque Sabaneta is one of the most popular parks in the Medellín area. Locals from around Medellín come to this park in Sabaneta, particularly on the weekends and on holidays.
Many local Colombians I have talked to prefer Parque Sabaneta to Parque Lleras. Parque Lleras in El Pobaldo is seen to cater too much to foreigners. Parque Lleras is filled with restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs. And most of these places are expensive, more pretentious and considered to be non-Colombian.
In comparison, Parque Sabaneta is surrounded by Colombian-style bars and fondas as well as many restaurants with local Colombian food. So, this park in Sabaneta is more of an authentic Colombian experience.
Furthermore, Parque Llleras has been experiencing problems with drugs and prostitution resulting in an increased police presence. You won’t find those problems in the more family-oriented Parque Sabaneta.
I live about a 10-minute walk from Parque Sabaneta and I go there frequently to have lunch in one of the nearby restaurants. In addition, I sometimes meet other expats for a drink at the park in the evening. It’s a good place to sit and have a beer and people watch.
The bottom line is that Parque Sabaneta is expected to remain a very popular park. And during the Christmas season, this park is even more popular and can be packed with people each weekend.
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Editors note: updated on April 3, 2018 with new metro bus fares.
Editors note: updated on December 9, 2018 to add 2018 Christmas photos and add the Ragazzi pizzeria.
Editors note: updated on January 22, 2018 to add the Encicla bicycle stations at Parque Sabaneta and the Sabaneta metro station.
Editors note: updated on November 25 to add information about the 2019 Christmas lights in Sabaneta.
Great article, thanks! I agree that Parque Sabaneta is the nicest park in Medellin. It is a more authentic Colombian experience plus it is family friendly. I plan to go tonight with my neighbor and her kids to see the Christmas lights there and eat at Pizza en Lena that has some great pizza.
Yes, Pizza en Lena has some great thin crust pizza. And Parque Sabaneta is a nice place to sit and drink a beer. I need to try out Picnic next time I am there.
Thanks for this wonderful article. I will have to try out Parque Sabaneta next week. Parque Llleras is overrun with gringo backpackers in shorts and I hate going there. Will the Christmas lights still be there after Christmas?
Hi Sam, thanks. Yes, the Christmas lights at Parque Sabaneta will still be there until early January if like last year. They probably schedule the Christmas lights the same days as Medellín from December 2 until January 8.
Great writing Jeff and I would have to agree. I spent the month of July in an airbnb next to the park. It has very good food choices and a laid back atmosphere. Definitely the area I will be looking at next year.
Great article. Sabaneta is a nice place indeed. Sssst, we want to keep it that way 🙂
Jeff, can say where the best parking is located to see the Christmas lights? Or is that not at all practical? Thank you.
Hi Bob, there is some parking across from the Markepaisa grocery store next to Parque Sabaneta. But if going on the weekend to see the Christmas lights at Parque Sabaneta, I recommend taking the metro, as it’s hard to get to that parking lot and it fills up. Also, there is parking along some of the streets near the park but that fills up on the weekend with so many coming to the park on the weekends.
How long a taxi ride is it from Laureles to Sabaneta?
Depends on traffic. Since it’s a holiday today probably about 25 minutes. During rush hour on working weekdays much longer. You can get an estimate for how long on a mobile app like Waze covered in our top mobile apps article – https://medellinguru.com/best-mobile-apps/
Nice article. Sabaneta is a nice place to live, wish you would keep it a secret.