Need help deciding what to do while you’re in the City of Eternal Spring? Here are our top picks for the seven unmissable things to do in Medellin.
Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city after Bogotá, but it’s perhaps the most innovative and interesting city in the whole country.
With plenty to see, do, and eat in Medellin, your biggest worry is going to be figuring out how to fit everything in during just one visit.
Best things to do in MedellinHow do these rankings work?
What was once the city’s most dangerous neighbourhoods is now a vibrant stomping ground for some of the world’s most talented graffiti artists and entrepreneurs.
Take the colourful escalators up to the top of the neighbourhood and be sure to stop and browse around the local stores on your way up.
Or, reserve a spot in one of the walking tours to learn first-hand just how Medellin worked to transform the neighbourhood into what it is today.
Make sure you have your camera on hand as you’re going to want to snap lots of photos of the street art and the stunning views.
Fernando Botero is perhaps Colombia’s most famous artist, and his charitable gift to the city resulted in the creation of one of Medellin’s most visited plazas.
Plaza Botero is filled with disproportionate statues that are representative of the artist’s unique style. Be sure to rub the butts of a few as they’re said to be good luck.
Then, head to the Museum of Antioquia right across from the park to enjoy more of Botero’s art in the form of fantastic paintings.
Even though it’s a bit outside of the city, Guatapé is one of the best things to do in Medellin if you have the time.
Head to the city’s bus station and take a bus out to this colourful city. Snap some photos on the bright-coloured steps that make the little town famous and then head up to El Peñol.
The steep climb up to the top is no joke. You’ll have to make your way up about 600 steps, but the view of the lakes below is absolutely worth it.
4. Try Bandeja Paisa
If you’re a foodie, then you’ve come to the right place. Medellin and the rest of the paisa region are famous for bandeja paisa.
This larger-than-life dish includes rice, plantain, avocado, minced meat, chorizo, sausage, fried pork rind, and fried eggs.
While you can get this dish pretty much anywhere in Colombia, it’s better at restaurants that are actually in the paisa region.
One of Medellin’s most popular areas for tourists and locals alike, you’ll find Parque Lleras oozing with music and good drinks once the sun goes down.
You can either enjoy dancing the night away at one of the nearby clubs or bars that border the park. Or, you can buy a bottle of the local aguardiente and head to the park to drink it in the open-air as you mingle with locals looking to practice their English.
If you’re into dancing and want to enjoy local music, then check out La Chingona. Or, head a few streets over in any direction and enjoy a host of cool, trendy bars with outdoor seating and good vibes.
There’s a lot more to Medellin, and Colombia in general, than mainstream media likes to show.
Despite the city’s rough history, there is a lot a traveller can learn by walking through the city with a local guide.
Book yourself a ticket for a walking tour and open your mind to the beauty that is Colombian culture. We guarantee it’ll best one of the most memorable things to do in Medellin.
If you’re not planning on travelling outside of Medellin, then you’ll definitely want to visit Pueblito Paisa in order to see what small-town Colombia actually looks like.
This tops the list as one of the best things to do in Medellin both for the cultural value of the visit but also for the stunning views you get from visiting this little replica town.
You can’t miss the chance to take photos of Medellin’s beautiful mountains from one of this spot’s unique lookouts. Make sure you try local food and drink while you’re there.