Best Things To Do In Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

Table of Contents

Welcome to our vibrant guide to Colombia’s city of eternal spring. In this enchanting corner of the world, tradition and modernity merge, offering a unique cultural tapestry. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning explorer, Medellin’s blend of urban landscapes and lush greenery promises an unforgettable experience. From innovative transportation and lively salsa rhythms to tranquil retreats, the city is a diverse haven for all. Join us as we navigate the best things to do in Medellin from the 10 must-see attractions to places to stay and eat. Prepare for an adventure that captures the essence of this captivating Colombian gem.

10 Things to Do in Medellin

1. Explore El Poblado

El Poblado, known for its vibrant nightlife and chic cafes, is the heart of modern Medellin. This trendy neighbourhood offers an eclectic mix of gourmet restaurants, boutique shops, and bustling bars. Stroll through its leafy streets, where the fusion of Colombian culture with international influences is palpable. Whether you’re in search of a lively evening or a cosy coffee spot, El Poblado caters to all tastes, making it an essential stop in your Medellin itinerary.

2. Visit the Medellin Botanical Garden

The Medellin Botanical Garden is an oasis of tranquillity amidst the city’s hustle. Spanning over 14 hectares, this green haven is home to over 1,000 species of flora and fauna. Walk through the lush gardens, enjoy the serenity of the butterfly house, or simply relax by the lake. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat from the urban landscape, offering a glimpse into Colombia’s diverse plant life.

3. Discover Comuna 13’s Street Art

Comuna 13, once notorious for violence, has transformed into a vibrant community full of life and colour. This neighbourhood is now famous for its street art, which tells powerful stories of resilience and hope. Guided tours are available, offering insights into the area’s tumultuous history and its inspiring journey towards peace and creativity. The graffiti here is not just art; it’s a testament to the city’s spirit and a must-see for any visitor.

Medellin City Tour
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4. Ride the Metrocable

For a unique perspective of the city, take a ride on the Metrocable. This cable car system is not just a means of transportation but an attraction in itself, offering stunning aerial views of Medellin’s landscapes and neighbourhoods. Glide over the hills and valleys and witness the city’s vastness and diversity. The Metrocable also provides access to further attractions like Parque Arvi, combining a thrilling experience with practicality.

5. Visit the Museo de Antioquia

The Museo de Antioquia, located in the heart of Medellin, is a cultural landmark showcasing a wide array of Colombian and international art. The museum houses an impressive collection of works by the famous artist Fernando Botero, a native of Medellin. His signature style of voluminous figures is both intriguing and endearing. The museum also features pre-Colombian, colonial, and contemporary art, making it a window into Colombia’s rich artistic heritage.

6. Stroll Around Plaza Botero

Adjacent to the Museo de Antioquia is Plaza Botero, an outdoor space displaying several of Fernando Botero’s larger-than-life sculptures. Walking among these oversized artworks offers a unique interactive experience. The plaza is not only a tribute to one of Colombia’s most famous artists but also a lively public space where locals and tourists alike gather, making it a perfect spot for people-watching and immersing oneself in the local culture.

7. Experience the Nightlife in Parque Lleras

Parque Lleras is the epicentre of Medellin’s nightlife, buzzing with energy and excitement. This area is a magnet for night owls, boasting a wide array of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away to salsa beats or enjoy a relaxed evening with cocktails, Parque Lleras offers a night-time adventure for every taste. The vibrant atmosphere here is quintessentially Medellin, making it an essential experience for any visitor.

8. Take a Day Trip to Guatapé

Just a short journey from Medellin lies the picturesque town of Guatapé, known for its colourful streets and the iconic El Peñol rock. Climbing the 740 steps to the top of El Peñol offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and islands. Guatapé itself is a burst of colour, with its beautifully painted buildings and charming squares. This day trip is a perfect escape into the Colombian countryside, offering cultural insights and stunning natural beauty.

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9. Explore the Local Markets

Diving into Medellin’s local markets is an experience rich in colours, flavours, and aromas. Markets like Mercado del Rio and Plaza Minorista offer a glimpse into the daily life of Medellin’s residents. Here, you can sample local fruits, indulge in traditional dishes, and observe the bustling trade of goods. These markets are not just about shopping; they’re about experiencing the essence of Colombian culture and community.

10. Relax in Jardín Botánico

Concluding our list is a visit to Jardin Botanico, a different experience from the previously mentioned Botanical Garden. This tranquil spot is ideal for those seeking a peaceful day surrounded by nature. With its well-maintained paths, diverse plant species, and serene atmosphere, it’s a perfect place for relaxation and reflection. It’s a reminder of the calm and beauty that exists within the energetic pulse of Medellin.

How to Get To Medellin

Arrive by Plane

Flying into Medellin, you’ll land at José María Córdova International Airport, the city’s primary gateway. Located about 20 kilometres from downtown, the airport offers various transportation options, including taxis and buses, to reach the city centre. It’s well-connected to major cities worldwide, making air travel convenient for international visitors.

Arrive by Bus

For those travelling domestically or from nearby countries, buses are a viable option. Medellin’s main bus terminal, Terminal del Sur, is well-connected to major Colombian cities. Buses offer a cost-effective way to travel, with the journey itself unveiling the scenic beauty of Colombia. The terminal provides amenities and regular services, ensuring a comfortable travel experience.

Places to Stay

For an in-depth look at accommodations in Medellin, be sure to check out my separate blog post dedicated to this topic. However, to give you a quick taste, here are two highly recommended options in El Poblado, arguably the most popular area to stay in Medellin.


Los Patios Hostel

Los Patios Hostel in Medellín is a stylish and upscale hostel that has garnered acclaim for its impressive array of facilities and overall experience. It’s situated in a prime location in El Poblado, just a short distance from El Poblado Park and within walking distance of Lleras Park.

Binn Hotel

If you’re seeking a peaceful yet elegant experience in El Poblado, the Binn Hotel is an excellent choice. This hotel exudes a calm and stylish ambiance and offers numerous facilities to enhance your stay. Guests can enjoy dining at the hotel’s restaurant and bar, relax on a terrace equipped with BBQ amenities, take a dip in the swimming pool, or unwind in the spa.

Where To Eat

I’ve written a blog dedicated to Medellin’s culinary scene but here are 2 places popular dining options that stand out.

Mondongo’s

a beloved spot for traditional Colombian dishes. It’s renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, especially during Sunday lunch when it’s bustling with locals. Mondongo’s is an ideal place to immerse yourself in local flavours and culture.

Mondoverde

On the other hand, for those seeking a vegan option, Mondoverde is a top choice. It’s known for its healthy and tasty menu, perfect for a refreshing lunch. With a focus on salads and fresh juices, Mondoverde offers a delightful dining experience for those looking for vegetarian-friendly options.

When to Visit Medellin

Medellin’s unique climate, known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” offers year-round appeal, but certain times of the year may suit different preferences.

1. Dry Season (December to February)

  • Ideal for outdoor activities and city exploration.
  • The city is vibrant with clear, sunny days.
  • Key events: The famous Medellin Christmas lights, known as ‘El Alumbrado’, illuminate the city with spectacular displays.

2. Flower Festival (August)

  • A culturally rich period to experience the famous Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival), a week-long celebration with parades, music, and flower displays.
  • Perfect for experiencing local traditions and colourful festivities.

3. Wet Season (April to November)

  • Characterized by intermittent rain but is still pleasant.
  • Lush greenery and blooming flowers enhance the city’s beauty.
  • Ideal for those who prefer fewer tourists and a more laid-back atmosphere.

4. Shoulder Seasons (March, September to November)

  • A balance between the peak and off-peak seasons.
  • Mild weather with fewer tourists.
  • Beneficial for those seeking a more authentic experience of Medellin’s daily life.

5. Cultural Events

  • Throughout the year, Medellin hosts various cultural events and festivals worth experiencing.
  • Research specific events and festivals to align your visit with these cultural experiences.

No matter the season, Medellin offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of festive celebrations or the tranquillity of the off-peak season, the city’s ever-present charm and pleasant climate make it a year-round destination.

How Many Days to Spend in Medellin

The ideal duration of your stay in Medellin can vary depending on your interests and itinerary. Here’s a guide to help you plan:

1. Short Stay (3-4 Days)

  • Perfect for a quick glimpse of the city’s highlights.
  • Focus on key attractions like El Poblado, Comuna 13, and the Botanical Garden.
  • Spend an evening experiencing the vibrant nightlife.

2. Medium Stay (5-7 Days)

  • Allows a deeper exploration of Medellin and its culture.
  • Visit additional sites like the Antioquia Museum, Plaza Botero, and take a day trip to Guatapé.
  • More time to enjoy local cuisine and leisurely explore different neighbourhoods.

3. Long Stay (1-2 Weeks)

  • Ideal for a comprehensive experience of Medellin.
  • Opportunity to venture into lesser-known areas and engage with local culture.
  • Time to take multiple day trips to surrounding towns and natural reserves.
  • Participate in local events or language classes for a more immersive experience.

As we wrap up our exploration, it’s clear that there are many things to do in Medellin with a mosaic of experiences, brimming with cultural richness, natural beauty, and an infectious spirit of resilience and joy. From the vibrant streets of El Poblado to the serene Botanical Gardens, Medellin offers a journey through contrasting worlds. The city’s transformation from a turbulent past to a beacon of innovation and culture is not just inspiring; it’s a testament to the indomitable spirit of its people.

Have you been inspired to explore the vibrant streets and lush landscapes of Medellin? Share your thoughts and plans with us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

If you’ve already visited, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to contact us for a collaboration.

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