What To Do In Medellin
I lived in Medellin for 6 months, which means I had plenty of time to explore everything the city had to offer. If you’re only in town for a short time, make sure you don’t miss my top recommendations for what to do in Medellin!
The paragliding in Medellin is quickly becoming a top tour attraction. It’s pretty cheap and a great way to see the city. You don’t even need to sign up or prepay online, because all of the paragliding companies are in the same place. Take an uber or a taxi to San Felix and direct them to the paragliding – most will know where this is. You can choose between 20 minutes for $125,000 cop or 30 minutes for $165,000 cop. Now, take a deep breath, jump off the cliff, and enjoy your adrenaline rush (and the view of course!)
Night out in Poblado
There’s a reason why every backpacker leaves Medellin raving about the night life – it boasts one of the best on the continent! A night out in Poblado is a tourist destination in itself. Whether you like fine dining, hip bars, craft beers, or clubbing til the sun comes up, Poblado definitely has it all. Make sure you return for brunch as well, and hit up the cute little shops on Via Primavera while you nurse that hangover.
Medellin City Tour
We all know Medellin produced the infamous Pablo Escobar, but what else have you learned about it’s history? Take this three hour tour not only to see parts of downtown Medellin you wouldn’t otherwise explore, but also to learn about Medellin’s rich and interesting history, with the FARC, the Colombian cartels, and even, surprisingly, their metro system. Just make sure you book in advance because this popular tour fills up FAST.
Visiting Parque Arvi is one of my favorite things to do in Medellin. It’s great for two reasons. First, because It’s up and over the mountain from Medellin, creating a complete fresh escape from the crowds and into nature. The second reason why I love Parque Arvi is because of the way you get there. Taking the metro seems boring, but not in Medellin where their metro line is actually a cable car! Enjoy spectacular views while swinging over the city – and only pay $2,400 cop for the ride. Once you reach Parque Arvi, take some time to explore the market and grab some Colombian eats, then hit the guide desk for a map. There are plenty of great options to hike, and you definitely can’t see them all in one trip.
Read more about hiking in Medellin
The soccer season is long in Medellin and the games are really easy to get to. First, though, you have to decide which one of Medellin’s teams you support. National or Medellin? Once you got that down (aka once you figure out who is playing on the night you want to go), you can buy your tickets at the Happy Buddha Bar in Poblado, buy a jersey for $40,000 cop from a roadside vendor, and hit the stadium. After the game, walk down Avenida Nutibara and enjoy the festive atmosphere along with a few drinks.
Day trip to Guatape
While not exactly something to do in Medellin, it’s certainly easily accessible from Medellin. Guatape is the polar opposite of the city. Where Medellin is huge and modern, Guatape is the quaintest, most colorful Colombian town you’ll ever see. Climb the large rock for an amazing view of the man made lakes, wander the cobbled city streets and enjoy lunch in the sun, and take a boat out on the water for a tour of Pablo Escobar’s bombed out mansion. Beauty, nature, and history collide in this perfect day trip from Medellin.
Read more about how to take a day trip to Guatape
Try the local food
South American food can be hit or miss, but in Colombia, it’s definitely hit. Make sure you eat a papa rellena (meat filled potatos), empanadas, torta negra, fresh fried potato chips, and of course the famous bandeja paisa. Wash it all down with a refreshing limonada de coco. Colombia’s street food game is definitely strong.
If you can’t make it out to Guatape for a day, Pueblita Paisa is the next best thing. The small square is built on top of a hill so you get great views of Medellin. See how the locals once lived and enjoy the restaurants and lively square. It’s smack in the middle of the city, but still makes for a great escape from reality!
Check out a Festival
Medellin is known for some of their weeks long, wild festivals. Specifically the Feria de los Flores in July is a must see. If you haven’t planned your trip yet, check out this calendar of festivals in the city and see what’s coming up and which ones your interested in. Experience a little local culture and flair at these unique events!
Medellin is a beautiful, interesting, and must visit city when you’re traveling through Colombia. Whether you have one weekend or one year to spend exploring the city, don’t miss these attractions while in Medellin!
All my love,
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