Sabaneta is an up-and-coming area that is part of the Medellín metroplex, which we first looked at last week. Foreigners are now starting to discover Sabaneta, which is part of the Medellín metroplex located just south of El Poblado and Envigado.
This is the second part in a three-part series looking at Sabaneta in detail. This week we look at the lifestyle in Sabaneta, including points of interest, restaurants and nightlife as well as shopping and grocery options in the area.
Parque Principal Sabaneta
Much of the daily life in Sabaneta is centered around Parque Principal Sabaneta, which is a nice one square block-sized plaza filled with trees, shops, stalls, restaurants and is located about a 10-minute walk from the Sabaneta metro station.
On one side of the plaza is Iglesia de Santa Ana, which is a Roman Catholic church that opened in 1930. The church is beautiful inside and has many stained glass windows. Located on the other three sides of the plaza are several restaurants, bars as well as shops.
Parque Sabaneta comes alive on the weekends with many locals and visitors from other parts of the city. Next to the plaza are a small Ferris wheel and other rides for the kids so you will see many families as well.
There are also street food stands and artisans selling products from many small stalls. Plus there are many bars and restaurants within a few blocks of the plaza area, with several having some outside seating.
Sabaneta has seen the addition of many restaurants opening near the popular Parque Sabaneta. Within a few blocks of the plaza you can now find many types of food including Mexican, Italian, Steaks, Pizza and typical Colombian food.
Restaurante El Viejo John is located about a half block from the plaza and serves typical Paisa dishes and is highly recommended. The menu is complete and is local fare at its very best. Portions are huge and prices are affordable. Be prepared to wait 10-20 minutes for your table.
Another recommended restaurant in Sabaneta is La Doctora, which is located about a 10-minute walk from Parque Sabaneta. La Doctora is known for its meats, especially ribs, but the restaurant also serves fish and typical local dishes.
You can find many fast food places like AsiaWok, Dominos Pizza, El Corral, Frisby and QBano in Centro Comercial Mayorca, which is conveniently located next to the Itagüí metro station. You can also find a few restaurants in Centro Comerical Aves Maria, which is located about a 5-minute walk from Parque Sabaneta.
Sabaneta has a well established nightlife area, which is located right behind the La Doctora restaurant and along the main road running further south. Behind the restaurant are several fondas, which are a typical type of bar/discoteca you would find in many pueblos in Colombia. This La Doctora nightlife area in Sabaneta is nicely separated from the residential areas but is also not located very far away.
Sabaneta has two Western-style shopping malls and both of the malls have movie theaters. Centro Comerical Aves Maria is located about a 5-minute walk from Parque Sabaneta. The Aves Maria mall has over 100 shops, which include stores selling clothes, shoes, home furnishings and several other categories. The mall has some vacancies but with many new apartment buildings being built nearby this likely will change.
In the northwestern corner of Sabaneta is located Centro Comerical Mayorca, next to the Itagüí metro station. Mayorca may be one of the most economical and largest malls in Medellín with good prices and a focus on discounted clothes and shoes. There are over 250 shops in Mayorca and the mall is undergoing a major expansion that is planned to open next year.
Also in Sabaneta you can find many small shops around Parque Sabaneta, which sell clothes, shoes and many other products.
Sabaneta has several groceries stores including an Exito, which is located in the Aves Maria mall and a new Euro (which opened in November 2014), which is located about a five-minute walk from Aves Marie mall.
Sabaneta has three Medellín metro stations serving the area:
- Itagüí station – located near the north-west corner of Sabaneta;
- Sabaneta station – located along the western border of Sabaneta within about a 10-minute walk from Parque Sabaneta; and
- La Estrella station – located further south along the western border of Sabaneta.
Sabaneta also has a bus service that goes between the metro stations, Parque Sabaneta, Aves Maria mall and Mayorca mall. There are also bus routes that leave Sabaneta to other parts of the metro area including Envigado and El Poblado.
Similar to Medellín, you will also find many inexpensive yellow taxis in Sabaneta.
We are repeating this list of why we see Sabaneta as an attractive area for foreigners:
- Many parts of Sabaneta are flat areas for walking and retirees, compared to the hilly El Poblado
- 10 minutes on the metro to El Poblado
- Several apartment buildings within walking distance to metro stations
- Grocery stores within 10 minutes, including Exito and a new Euro
- Several quiet neighborhoods: no bars or discos
- One of the nicest parks in the Medellín metro: Parque Principal Sabaneta
- Lower real estate costs than found in El Poblado
- Established nightlife area away from residential areas (La Doctora area)
- Selection of good restaurants in the area
- Two modern shopping malls with movie theaters
In this second part in our three-part series about Sabaneta we looked at the lifestyle in Sabaneta. Next week we plan to look at real estate costs in Sabaneta.