Unicentro is the largest and most popular mall in the Laureles-Estadio comuna of Medellín. Laureles-Estadio only has one other Western-style mall – Centro Comercial Viva – which is much smaller and located at the far western part of Laureles.
Over seven years ago, I lived for three months in the Fatima barrio near Unicentero mall. I found the mall convenient and used to shop at the Exito at the mall for groceries, ate frequently at the food court and also went to several movies at the Cine Colombia movie theater located in the mall.
History of Unicentro Mall
Unicentro Mall originally opened in November, 1991. This was about 19 years after San Diego mall opened, which was the first Western-style shopping mall in Medellín.
A few years ago, Unicentro completed a major remodeling project with several updates to the mall including an update to the food court area on the second floor.
Furthermore, there are also Unicentro malls located in Bogotá and Cali.
The Shops in Oviedo Mall
The anchor tenants of the mall include Exito, Cine Colombia, Happy Land Park and Smart Fit. In addition, the mall has about 270 shops and businesses of all types.
The shops and businesses in the mall include banks, male and female fashion, children’s and youth clothing, footwear, jewelry, sporting goods, stationery, furniture and decoration, lingerie, opticians, travel agencies, restaurants and fast food places.
Also, there are shops in the mall for the three major cellphone providers in Colombia: Claro, Movistar and Tigo-UNE.
The banks in Unicentro mall include Banco Caja Social, Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente, Bancolombia, BBVA, Davivienda, and Itau. In addition, Unicentro has a few currency exchanges.
Movies at Cine Colombia in Unicentro Mall
Cine Colombia has a movie theater in the Unicentro Mall with five screens located on the top floor of the mall. In this location, Cine Colombia sometimes shows some movies in English with Spanish subtitles. Furthermore, you can see the full schedule of movies on the company’s website.
Cine Colombia is the largest movie theater chain in Colombia with 43 movie theaters located in 13 cities in Colombia. In the Medellín metro area, Cine Colombia has six movie theaters in the Los Molinos, Oviedo, Santafé, Unicentro, Viva Envigado and Vizcaya malls.
Cine Colombia has the Cineco frequent moviegoer card that provides discounts for movies. The card costs 10,000 pesos. And for every 1,500 pesos in spending at Cine Colombia you receive one point. Points can be redeemed for movie tickets and food products. For example, for 100 points you can get one 2D general admission movie ticket.
Exito Supermarket in Unicentro Mall
Exito is a large supermarket chain in Colombia that also sells appliances, electronics, clothes, home furnishings, kitchen items, and many other things. Most noteworthy, an Exito in Colombia is similar to a Walmart in the U.S.
The Exito at Unicentro mall is frequently busy, particularly after work and on weekends and before holidays.
Exito has 26 of its large grocery stores in the Medellín metro area. Also, it has some smaller Exito local markets. In addition, Exito owns the Carulla grocery store chain, which has several locations in Medellín.
If you shop frequently at Exito and/or Carulla you should sign up for Puntos Colombia, which is a program that used to be known as Puntos Exito. Puntos Colombia is a frequent shopper program where you accumulate points for each purchase. You can use these points to purchase items in the future.
To sign up for Puntos Colombia you just need a Colombian cedula ID. And it’s essentially like getting 1 percent cash back on your purchase that you can use for future purchases. With the program you get 1 punto for every 700 pesos in purchases. And that 1 punto is worth 7 pesos.
Exito frequently has sales on appliances, TVs and other electronics. Jumbo is another chain of big box stores like Exito that also frequently has sales. If you are furnishing a place, make sure to check out the sales at both Exito and Jumbo.
Happy Land Park in Unicentro Mall
For kids and families there is also a Happy Land Park in Unicentro Mall on the second floor. Happy Land Park is owned by Happy City, which is a chain of arcades in Colombia with all kinds of games for kids and families.
Happy City is a Colombian company that was formed to produce, promote and market recreation spaces for children and families. Since 1982, Happy City has manufactured, marketed and administered family recreation spaces in Colombia. And Happy City belongs to the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions).
Happy City has locations in several malls in Medellín including Forida Parque, La Central, Mayorca, San Diego, Santafé and Viva Envigado. And they have additional locations in many other cities in Colombia.
Smart Fit in Unicentro Mall
Smart Fit is a Brazil-based fitness chain that expanded to Colombia with the help of MAS FIT and Grupo Bio Ritmo.
The “Plan Smart” membership at Smart Fit costs 90,000 pesos to sign up and 59,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos. This plan provides access to a single location.
And the “Plan Black” membership at Smart Fit costs 45,000 pesos to sign up and 69,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos. This plan provides access to all Smart Fit locations and permits you to invite a friend.
In Medellín, Smart Fit has 10 locations plus an additional three locations in Envigado, two in Itagüí, one in Bello and one in Sabaneta. So, it has 17 locations in the metro area.
Smart Fit reportedly has a total of over 50 locations in Colombia with additional locations in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, Ibaqué, Manizales, Montería, Neiva, Palmira and Popayán.
Unicentro Mall Food Options
Unicentro has several locations in the mall with food options. And there are over 25 fast food places and restaurants in the mall. There is a food court on second floor of the mall. In addition, there are several restaurants also located on the second floor.
Fast food options include CBC California Burritos, Frisby, Kokoriko, El Corral, J&C Delicias, Montolivo, Presto, Qbano and Subway.
Restaurants in the mall include Crepes & Waffles, Cuisine Appetit, Il Forno, Mundoverde and Parmessano.
How to Get to Unicentro Mall
Unicentro Mall is located close to the Setenta (La 70) entertainment district in Laureles. And it’s across the street from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB). The mall is located in the Conquistadores barrio of the Laureles-Estadio comuna.
One way to get to the mall is via the Medellín metro. To get there you could take the A line to the Industriales metro station and then take the Metroplús integrated bus line west to the Fatima station. Unicentro is located about a 10-minute walk from the Fatima Metroplús station.
Furthermore, any taxi driver in Medellín will know where this mall is located. And it’s also fairly easy to catch a taxi at the mall with usually several taxis lined up in front of the mall and by the Exito store.
Address: Carrera 66B # 34A-76, Laureles, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 350 7050
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday and Holidays: 11 am – 8 pm. And the restaurants and fast food places in the mall can be open later.
The Most Popular Malls in Medellín
Several readers of Medellin Guru have asked for information about the malls in the Medellín metro area.
So, we have provided up-to-date guides to the 14 best and largest malls in the Medellín metro area in a series on this website:
- Viva Envigado – one of the newest malls in the Aburrá Valley located in Envigado, which is reportedly the largest mall in Colombia
- Santafé – one of the largest malls in Medellín located in El Poblado
- Mayorca Mega Plaza – a popular mall in Sabaneta with several outlet shops
- El Tesoro – Medellín’s popular mall with a view in El Poblado
- Premium Plaza – one of Medellín’s largest shopping malls with entertainment on the third floor
- Puerta del Norte – the largest and most popular mall in Bello
- Arkadia – the newest mall in Medellín and the nicest mall in Belén
- Los Molinos – the oldest Western-style mall in Belén
- Oviedo – the oldest mall in El Poblado.
- San Diego – the oldest mall in Medellín.
- Unicentro – the largest and most popular mall in Laureles-Estadio
- Monterrey – Medellín’s technology mall in El Poblado
- Florida Parque – the only Western-style mall in the Robledo comuna in Medellín
- La Central – the only Western-style mall in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín
Also, we included Unicentro in our article about the 14 best malls in Medellín.
The Bottom Line: Unicentro – the Most Popular Mall in Laureles
Unicentro is a nice mall with a Cine Colombia for movies, an Exito for groceries and many fast food and restaurant options. It also has big selection of shops with about 270 shops. It’s also the largest and most popular mall in the Laureles-Estadio comuna, which is a neighborhood that is popular for some foreigners living in Medellín.
However, it’s mainly a local mall with customers that are usually from the nearby area. It’s not as much of a destination mall like Santafé or El Tesoro in El Poblado or Mayorca Mega Plaza in Sabaneta.
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Editors note: updated on August 20, 2018 to reflect the change in Exito’s frequent shopping program that has changed from Puntos Exito to Puntos Colombia.
Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 to add the new Viva Envigado mall.
Editors note: updated on November 14, 2019 to add the Arkadia mall, which is the newest mall in Medellín.
Thanks Jeff, good to know, can also exchange money there. Is it comparable to most of the other malls? Or would it make sense to travel a bit and shop elsewhere?
Hi Brock, yes Unicentro is comparable to several other malls. Several malls in the metro area have money exchanges. Also, some malls are larger like Santafe and Mayorca with a bigger selection of stores. And if you are looking for technology products, Monterrey is a good place with many small technology stores. And if looking for outlet stores, Mayorca has several with good prices.
Thanks Jeff, your a wealth of information!!
Thanks, I live in Laureles and go to Unicentro frequently. I agree it’s a nice mall but the checkout clerks at Exito there must be the slowest in the world.
LOL. That isn’t just at the Exito in Unicentro – slow clerks sometimes happen at other Exito stores.
I live close to it and go there all the time. I see basically the same stores that I see in the other malls around town. It seems most of them are repeats so no need to venture too far away. That said, it isn’t a high end place as far as specialty shops are concerned. As pointed out, most of the customers are from the area right around there. The place is well maintained. When it opens every morning the floors are brilliantly clean and I can find most of what I want.