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Things to do in Medellín

Things to do in  Medellín

Welcome to Medellín

Medellín’s modern infrastructure, artistic heritage, and bandeja paisa (platter) cuisine make it the jewel in Colombia’s urban crown. In recent years, the South American city has shed its troubled reputation under Pablo Escobar and emerged as the City of Eternal Spring, with temperate weather making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities in Antioquia. Immerse yourself in street food, markets, and public art on a sightseeing tour; or pose beside Botero’s grossly disproportionate sculptures in Plaza Botero.

Top 15 attractions in Medellín

Guatapé (Pueblo de Zócalos)

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

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


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

Plaza Botero

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

Antioquia Museum (Museo de Antioquia)

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

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

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

Lleras Park (Parque Lleras)

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

Barefoot Park (Parque Pies Descalzos)

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

Medellin Botanical Garden

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

Explora Park (Parque Explora)

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)

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

Santa Fe de Antioquia

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


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

Medellín Modern Art Museum (Museo de Arte Moderno)

Medellin, birthplace of sculptor Fernando, Botero, loves modern art. The remodeled Medellín Modern Art Museum (MAMM) debuted in 2009 in a converted steel mill with a theater to show independent films and lots of space to show off its growing collection, including works by local painter Débora Arango.More

Medellín Planetarium (Planetario de Medellín)

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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Medellín

Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour and Street Food
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Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour and Street Food

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Coffee Tour In Horse Riding and Lunch In Medellin
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ATV Tour 3 Mountains Medellin

ATV Tour 3 Mountains Medellin

Private Guatape and coffee tour

Private Guatape and coffee tour

Guatapé & Coffee farm, all in one day
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Horseback Riding in Medellin: Private Tour
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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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