What to See in Medellin
Once you know how to move around the city, and the precautions you should take to enjoy the city to the fullest, we will tell you what to see in Medellín, to get to know the capital of Antioquia in depth.
No visit to the city would be complete without a walk around this square, where many of his sculptures are exhibited outdoors (if you go on a rainy day you will have more chances to photograph them without so many people around, because the Plaza de Botero is an undisputed meeting point). )
Museo de Antioquia
Right there is also the Museum of Antioquia, one of the largest in the region, where there are from pre-Columbian works to a collection of paintings by Botero himself.
In addition to several works by the renowned artist in different rooms (some of which are highly recommended for children), the museum also has an interesting collection of works (many installations) of contemporary art.
- Timetable : Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 16:30.
- Price : 18,000 COP for foreigners, 12,000 COP for nationals
- How to get there: Metro line A (blue) and get off at Parque Berrío.
In spite of its curious name, it is a pleasant walk, and above all, a pedestrian one. It is full of shops, cafes, restaurants, and a beautiful building, the Palacio Nacional Shopping Center.
We walk along this avenue from the San Antonio Metro Station to the Plaza Botero. As I said, the tourist and central areas are very quiet to walk.
In fact, if you want to walk a little further, you can take a walk around Plaza Cisneros, Plaza San Antonio, and walk to the Alpujarra Station.
Poblado is one of the best areas in Medellín.
This is the place where leisure areas, the city’s finest restaurants, and hotels are concentrated.
Poblado is very safe both day and night, that’s why there are tons of options for sleeping in the neighborhood.
You can walk around its streets with no more worries than looking for a bar, a restaurant with the food you want.
Inside Poblado is the Lleras Park, a very pleasant place at night, since some of its streets become pedestrian. The lights and colorful stands will make you feel like you are at a festival.
This area of Medellín, is also the area where expatriates live.
Viewpoints to see in Medellín
Medellín is located in the Aburra Valley, so the entire city is surrounded by hills.
Along these hills, the different communes that make up Medellín go up unstoppable, and being able to take a look from the top of some of its viewpoints, will make you see how big the city is, and its strange but curious beauty.
The most famous viewpoint, and from where you can enjoy the best views of the city of Medellín is the Mirador de las Palmas. However, to get there you have to take a taxi.
Another viewpoint from which to enjoy the city is the one at the top of Comuna 13. Not only is graffiti a good attraction, but this viewpoint is as well.
From the Pueblito Paisa, you can also see a view of Medellín that will leave you without hiccups. Medellín is spread over the Aburra Valley and sometimes it seems to have no end.
The Pueblito Paisa is another option to see in Medellin.
The Pueblito Paisa is located on the Cerro de Nutibara and is a representation of the traditional villages of Antioquia. I recommend that you go to one of these towns and enjoy this traditional architecture first hand.
We went to Guatapé, and visited the Piedra del Peñol on the way, but we’ll tell you about that a little later.
In Pueblito Paisa there are also restaurants with traditional Antioquian food, so you can taste patacones, paisas trays and other hyper caloric and hyper delicious food.
Best things to do in Medellin for Cheap
Eating arepas at any street stall
Yes, street food can, and if there’s anything left in Medellin it’s hands on.
I had already told on my previous trip my weakness for cheese arepas.
The bad news is that my favorite job no longer exists.
The good news is that the Medellín City Hall has developed a program called #MedellinSiSabe, which aims to create different gastronomic circuits in the city that reflect the best of Colombian cuisine.
From the highest category restaurants to the street stalls, everything is summarized in their circuits.
The green line, or “La Reina” groups local producers, each with their secret recipe.
Traveling by subway
The Medellin subway is an institution.
It has the reputation of being the cleanest in the world and, although I don’t know all the subways in the world, the truth is that the years go by and the facilities are very well maintained.
For those of us who are used to the lack of structure, some rules may be a bit strict (you can’t eat or drink, sit on the floor and wait, or find street music in the hallways), but the results are there for all to see.
What’s new is that the Medellín Metro has incorporated cable cars into its public transportation system, as a way to integrate people who live on the mountainsides.
At the moment there are two, they can be combined with the subway lines and they lead us to the next point.
Best things to do in Medellin Tours & Activities
Free Walking Tour
“It is resolved by walking” – he had adopted as his crutch the English writer Patrick Leigh Fermor, famous for his epic on foot between London and Constantinople, in 1933.
It may have been about matters of the soul, but that is no less true in the field of travel. For me, there is no better way to get to know a city than on foot.
Walking is the most intuitive way to let curiosity guide you, to give space to other senses in the walk (how many times did you stop before an aroma or music that could be heard in the distance?), and to discover the city from a more palpable perspective.
In addition to visiting the most important places in the center, the tour is interesting to learn about the history, urban myths and some curiosities of the city.
City tour medellin
Okay, maybe it’s not the best way to start a tour of the city, and not because the tray still challenges the palate, but rather, the stomach.
Eleven ingredients make up this brutal dish, which can be ordered in any dining room: rice, beans, shredded meat, chorizo, black pudding, chicharrón (incredibly rich), avocado, banana, arepa, fried egg and hogao (a sauce similar to salsa criolla).
Participating in a coffee tasting
We all know that Colombia is one of the world’s most important producers of the win from which one of the most consumed hot drinks in the world is obtained.
What few of us know is the history and work behind every spoonful of coffee, the secrets that make one coffee more or less acidic than another.
El Laboratorio de Café is a company that is dedicated to compiling the highest quality productions in Colombia, with the aim of making “coffee always an experience, not a routine drink”.
In their offices in Medellín it is possible to participate in a cupping, learn the differences between beans and the different ways to prepare it.
A must for coffee lovers and a rather curious place for those who, like me, barely pass the Turkish coffee.
If you want to know more about this region of Colombia, don’t miss Vero Boned’s post “What to see in the Eje Cafeteto Colombiano
Exotic Fruit Tour
Yes, I’m eating, and Colombia does taste good. The country has more than 400 exotic fruits (yes, I didn’t miss any zero, there are four hundred).
So to avoid standing in front of the crates of the greengrocers and killing the greengrocer by asking questions, the best thing is this tour of the Plaza Retail Market.
Tree tomato, chontaduro, uchuva, mangosteen, pitahaya, lulo, zapote, borojó. The list is endless.
The good thing: it comes with a tasting included.
Here I leave you with more info (generally it’s done in English on demand, but if you get together in a group, you can order it in Spanish).
The lulo is quite acidic and is great in juices and smoothies. I don’t like it that much anymore, just to eat it with a spoon.
This is the tree tomato, a delicacy
The chontaduro is a typical fruit of the south of Coolombia, which by itself does not say much. It is quite dry and doughy. Now, add some honey and salt, and then tell me…
Pomegranate, another of my favorite fruits. On the outside, the shell is hard but inside it’s gelatinous. Breaking it is like breaking an egg.
And my favorite of all times: the mango! You can tell I had a good time on this tour, right? 🙂
Graffiti Tour Comuna 13
Without a doubt this is one of the best places to see in Medellin.
Comuna 13 represents transformation thanks to the urban art in the form of graffiti that tells the history of the commune.
Not in vain, nowadays, Comuna 13 is one of the most visited places in Medellín.
The best way to visit Commune 13 is with a person who lives there, and who has lived the transformation.
You can hire a free tour
When Medellín was one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Comuna 13 was the most dangerous place in Medellín.
The guerrillas, paramilitaries and later the narcos, with the help of Pablo Escobar (many of his hitmen left this commune), made this place a hell on earth.
You will be able to see the transformation thanks to several public initiatives, such as the metro cable that goes there, city buses that leave from San Javier Station (the starting point for the visit) and the escalators that allow you to reach the top of this commune.
The graffiti are spectacular, they tell different experiences and way of understanding the life in the commune.
But not all that glitters is gold, the gangs still exist, but now for them, tourists are a good way to earn money without having to resort to violence. This is because, for every tourist who enters the commune, the guides have to pay a small amount, less than one euro.
In short, you can’t leave Medellín without visiting the Comuna 13 and its spectacular graffiti. In addition, you will learn more about the history of Medellín, through the history of Comuna 13.
See also : Comuna 13 Colombia : Complete Travel Guide
Free Tour Medellín
A good way to get to know Medellín is through the Free Tour. We couldn’t book one, and the one we went to, when we arrived it was already finishing.
But since the experience we had in our Free Tour in Bogota was so good, we wanted to repeat it in Medellin.
The Free Tours are tours that people who live in the city take. They usually show you the most representative places and others not so representative. But on top of this, they tell you dozens of anecdotes that would otherwise be almost impossible for you to know.
If you want to book your Free Tour in Medellín, and not stay without it, as we did, you can take a look at this link, Free Tour Medellín.
Best Things to do in Medellin with Families
Spend an afternoon at Explora Park
The museum is designed for children, but who doesn’t have a child inside?
Definitely one of my favorite places in Medellín, Explora Park is an interactive museum dedicated to science, the human body, technology, and nature.
There are huge aquariums, reptile houses, a planetarium and several themed rooms.
My favorite: “Mind, the world inside”, dedicated to the brain and its relationship with the human body.
There are games to test the senses, challenges, optical illusions.
To spend the afternoon without realizing it.
Visit the Arvi Park
Arvi Park is a protected area in the mountains that seems impossible as close to a city as Medellin.
Activities range from hiking to picnics and horseback riding.
If you have time, I recommend you spend a whole day there.
The Park is a special place.
If you are short on time and it is the season, don’t miss the orchids.
Best things to do Close to Medellín
Visit Guatapé and El Peñol
The best excursion from Medellín you can make is to visit Guatapé, the town of the baseboards, and climb to the top of the Piedra del Peñol.
Let’s just say it’s two tours in one, and both are very worthwhile. I’m also telling you, if you can go on a day that’s not a weekend, better than better. It is such a beautiful and different place that both El Peñol and Guatapé are typical Colombian destinations.
We went on a Sunday, and we loved it, but there were so many people. So if you prefer to enjoy these two places, close to Medellin, with more tranquility, go from Monday to Friday.
If you want to know how to get there, prices, what to see and what both Guatapé and El Peñol are like, you can take a look at the article we have written about these two places, Guatapé and Piedra del Peñol, what to see and what to do.
This small, colorful Paisa town is located about 140 km from Medellín, and is surrounded by nature, so besides taking a few pictures of its colorful houses, you can venture out on a hiking trail and visit some of its nearby caves.
From Medellín you can get to Jardín by bus from the southern terminal in about 3 hours.
Two companies that make the trip are Rápido Ochoa and Transportes Suroeste, and the ticket costs about 25000 COP (7 euros).
If you have time, the ideal is to stay a few nights in Jardín, to be able to visit the town and its surroundings more calmly.
- Fami Hotel Vive Jardin (80000COP – 22 Usd – double room with shared bathroom)
- Hosteria El Paso (170000 COP – 46 Usd – double room with private bathroom)
Santa Fe de Antioquia
One hour from Medellín is Santa Fe, a small city where you can stroll around admiring its historic colonial buildings and get a closer look at its long hanging bridge, an important Colombian engineering work from the end of the 19th century.
If you don’t want to go on your own, you have the possibility of hiring a day tour to Santa Fe de Antioquia from Medellín
The region of Antioquia (to which Medellín belongs) has many more interesting towns and places, so if you have time, don’t miss out on exploring them.
So if you also want to go deep into the green of the coffee plantations dotted with those thousand colored villages, in this guide to the region we tell you everything you need to know to enjoy it to the fullest.
Video : What to Do in Medellin Colombia
I hope that you enjoyed my guide to the best things to do in Medellin
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:
Do you have any questions about Medellín ?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite tips about this destination ?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.