Things to do in Medellín

Things to do in  Medellín

A city reborn

Having shed its troubled reputation under Pablo Escobar, Medellin has emerged resplendent as both the City of Eternal Spring and Colombia’s cultural capital. Encircled by lush mountains and home to a burgeoning culinary scene, things to do in Medellin range from browsing the world-famous artwork of Fernando Botero and exploring the city’s gorgeously green parks to riding the metro cable to revitalized barrios such as Comuna 13, now awash with street art and food stalls. Plus, pulsating salsa rhythms and some of Latin America’s most hospitable locals make this city one you’ll want to stay in for weeks.

Top 15 attractions in Medellín

Guatapé (Pueblo de Zócalos)

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On the shores of the Guatapé Dam and surrounded by lush islands, the 19th-century town of Guatapé is one of Colombia’s most photographed sites. It’s not hard to see why—the town’s brightly painted buildings and serene natural setting make for some stunning shots.More

Pueblito Paisa

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A short train ride from the skyscrapers and international art galleries of modern Medellín’s El Centro is Pueblito Paisa, a monument to Colombia’s colonial past. The little village (pueblito) is a re-creation featuring traditional white-washed houses, a picture-perfect central plaza, and spectacular views of Medellín’s surrounding mountains.More

Plaza Botero

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Plaza Botero is one of Medellín’s most important outdoor spaces, home to 23 bronze sculptures of chubby cats, voluptuous women, and fat fingers designed and donated by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Beneath swaying palms and native ceiba trees, snack on street food and snap photos alongside the larger-than-life sculptures.More

Jardín

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Located just a few hours south of Medellin, the town of Jardin is referred to as the Garden of Colombia. Colonial buildings here are surrounded by lush green landscapes that encompass mountains and plantations responsible for producing some of the country’s best coffee beans.More

Santa Fe de Antioquia

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The laidback antidote to bustling Medellín, Santa Fe de Antioquia is one of the country’s best-preserved colonial towns and the former capital of Antioquia. Sample locally produced coffee, admire whitewashed single-story buildings, and cross the oldest suspension bridge in the country—the Bridge of the West, now a National Monument.More

Metrocable

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Medellin’s Metrocable is far more than just a public transport system. Built to transform the war-torn city in the wake of Pablo Escobar’s reign, the urban cable car helps those living in the poorer hilltop barrios to access the city. Use Metrocable to explore formerly unreachable parts of the city.More

Medellín Planetarium (Planetario de Medellín)

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Families won’t want to miss the Medellín Planetarium, where science and space come to life through immersive film screenings and interactive exhibits. Explore the scale of the solar system, learn about the Mayas, and much more.More

Lleras Park (Parque Lleras)

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Lleras Park (Parque Lleras) forms the social center of the upscale neighborhood of El Poblado, a haven for gourmet restaurants, trendy cocktail bars, and youth hostels. The area is undoubtedly one of the safest Medellín neighborhoods to explore by night, when strings of lights illuminate the park and bars spring to life with DJs and young, fashionable Colombian crowds.More

Arvi Park and Piedras Blancas Park (Parque Arvi y Parque Piedras Blancas)

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An escape from the urban jungle of Medellín is only a gondola ride away. Arvi Park (Parque Arvi) and Piedras Blancas Park (Parque Piedras Blancas), neighboring parks in the mountainous countryside east of the city, are crisscrossed by hiking trails and dotted with lakes, scenic lookout points, and wildlife museums.More

Medellin Botanical Garden

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Medellín Botanical Garden represents the city’s radical recovery from war-torn terror, as well as its innovative use of space. Brimming with more than 5,000 plant species and wildlife from Latin America, the garden—which spans an impressive 40 acres (0.4 hectares)—provides a welcome break from the bustle of central Medellín.More

Antioquia Museum (Museo de Antioquia)

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Set in Plaza Botero, a square that showcases the disproportionate sculptures of Medellín-born Fernando Botero, the Antioquia Museum (Museo de Antioquia) houses a fascinating collection of classic and contemporary art. The third floor is dedicated entirely to Botero and exhibits such controversial works asThe Death of Pablo Escobar.More

Barefoot Park (Parque Pies Descalzos)

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Barefoot Park (Parque Pies Descalzos) is a fun, interactive space where travelers and locals can quite literally kick off their shoes and play. This sensory experience for your tootsies consists of three separate zones—Sand, Forest, and Water—each with different surfaces and textures to provide a natural foot massage.More

Explora Park (Parque Explora)

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With its modernist facade, bright red roof, and funky urban design, it’s clear from the outset that Explora Park (Parque Explora) is no textbook museum. Fun, interactive, and engaging for all ages, it’s one of Colombia’s most popular science museums and boasts a whopping 120,000 square feet (37,000 square meters) of indoor and outdoor exhibitions.More

El Castillo Museum (Museo El Castillo)

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Behind heavy, iron gates in the affluent neighborhood of Poblado, you’ll find El Castillo Museum (Museo El Castillo, a 17th-century castle built in the style of those in France’s Loire Valley. French and Spanish art lines the walls of the museum, which harbors a poignant family history.More

San Pedro Cemetery Museum (Museo Cementerio San Pedro)

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Filled with open-air sculpture exhibits, elaborate marble mausoleums, and monuments, Medellín’s San Pedro Cemetery Museum (Museo Cementerio San Pedro) is an unusual attraction you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Look out for the resting places of Colombian businesspeople, politicians, and artists, as well as art which pays homage to the dead.More

Top activities in Medellín

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All about Medellín

When to visit

There’s a reason Medellín is affectionately known as the City of Eternal Spring. Throughout the year, Colombia’s second city boasts a bright and cool climate enhanced by a breeze from the surrounding mountains. There’s the least chance of rain between December and February—this also coincides with school and university holidays, when the majority of locals leave the city on vacation, making it far less crowded on the weekends.

Getting around

The completion of the Medellín Metro in 1995 signaled the beginning of the city’s transformation and allowed residents living in marginalized parts of the city to access the center with ease. It combines two train lines and multiple bus routes with seven Metrocable lines, whose panoramic views make the journey almost as exciting as the final destination.

Traveler tips

For a true taste of local life, head to Plaza Minorista Market—Medellín’s largest farmers market. You’ll see hundreds of different types of Latin American fruit and vegetables, plus everything from furniture and clothes to coffee and chips. Make sure you grab an arepa and a cup of tinto (black coffee) from one of the stalls, too.

Local Currency
Colombian Peso (COP)
Time Zone
COT (UTC -5)
Country Code
+57
Language(s)
Spanish
Attractions
25
Tours
962
Reviews
35,559
EN
d7e0923e-6226-466a-9d51-070392653060
geo_hub

People Also Ask

What is Medellin best known for?

Medellin is best known for its pleasant climate—which has earned it the nickname, city of eternal spring—and for its thriving cultural scene, which comprises both street art and galleries featuring work by artist Fernando Botero, born in Medellin. It also has a respected gastronomic and nightlife scene.

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Is 3 days enough in Medellin?

Yes. You could spend a week exploring Medellin, but plan three days for the highlights, including the Museum of Antioquia, Plaza Botero, and Comuna 13. You’ll also have time for a day trip to either lush Jardin, the colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia, or Guatapé, home to Peñol Rock.

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Is Medellin worth visiting?

Yes, Medellin is worth visiting. It boasts a rich history and fascinating art and culture scene, and it's a wonderland for nature lovers looking to explore. The Metrocable makes moving about the city a breeze, while several parks—including Parque Lleras in Poblado and Barefoot Park—offer respite from the city buzz.

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What’s the best time of year to visit Medellin?

There’s a reason Medellin is referred to as the city of eternal spring—it boasts year-round pleasant weather. Although the winter months of June through Aug. see more sporadic downpours than other times of the year, they’re when vibrant festivals dedicated to tango and flowers take place.

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How can you spend a day in Medellin?

Start in the city center, where you’ll find cultural big-hitters such as Plaza Botero—with sculptures by Medellin native Fernando Botero—and Pueblito Paisa, a replica of a traditional village. In the afternoon, take the Metrocable to the Comuna 13 neighborhood to admire the street art and learn about the city’s history.

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What are the best outdoor activities in Medellin?

The best outdoor activities in Medellin are paragliding over the city and going hiking—top walking trails include Paloma Lookout Trail and Pan de Azucar Hill. You can also take a day trip to Guatapé, home of looming Peñol Rock. Reach the top by climbing more than 700 steps.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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