Ah, Medellin, the city of eternal springs, the second-largest city in Colombia after Bogota, and perhaps one of the most interesting and vibrant one in the country. It has so much to offer, from places to see, and things to do and experience, that you will more often than not, find yourself short of time to enjoy them all. So, make sure when you are planning your trip to Medellin, you allocate ample time to all the different activities and places so you don’t have to worry about trying to fit everything in a short window of time, because trust us, you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything that this city has on offer. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of all the unmissable things to do and see in Medellin, so buckle up, grab your notepad and pen, and begin making your itinerary.
Visit Comuna 13
How did one of Colombia’s most notorious and dangerous neighborhoods turn into a colorful and vibrant jumble of houses and streets, attracting graffiti artists, musicians, dancers, and entrepreneurs? To find out about the rich and very interesting history of Comuna 13 reinventing itself, book yourself a tour through the neighborhood. It will allow you to get a glimpse of the history and timeline of the transformation and take you on a journey of incredible fascination and inspiration.
Visit Plaza Botero
Talking of art, there’s no better place to see and appreciate contemporary and exquisite art in Colombia than at the Plaza Botero, which was given as a generous gift from one of the country’s most famous artists, Fernando Botero. This outside park is home to around 23 unique, disproportionate sculptures, all made out of bronze. It is commonly believed that rubbing the statues brings good fortune and love. So why not try your luck while you’re there, who knows what good might come your way from this?
Explore Parque Arvi
This ecological natural reserve in Medellin is a popular tourist destination and for good reasons too. Located in Santa Elena, this 39,500-acre forest can be accessed by a fifteen-minute cable car ride, going over the thick dense natural reserve underneath. Once inside, you can enjoy various outdoor activities like cycling, horseback riding, picnicking, or hiking on the 33 miles walkable trail. If you like, you can also book a guided tour through the reserve to get to know the flora and fauna of the place. There is a small fee that you have to pay to access the park, but the money spent is well worth it.
Go salsa Dancing
A trip to South America with no salsa dancing with the locals? That sounds like a trip incomplete. One of the best ways to experience the culture of a new place, other than having local food, is to try activities that residents of the place routinely indulge in, of which singing and dancing top the list. Doesn’t matter if you have never salsa danced in your life before, because Medellin is the place to start. With an array of places for groups and private classes, you’ll be confidently moving your feet and body on the dance floor in no time. The best places for free live salsa music and dancing and mingling with an energetic and fun-loving crowd are El Eslabon Prendido and Son Havana.
Spend a full day at Laguna de Guatape
Located on the outskirts of Medellin, Guatape is a must-see even if you are not an outdoorsy person or a nature lover. Admittedly, the climb to the top is no easy task. With steep inclines and a tedious climb of approximately 650 steps, when you finally reach the top and overlook the breathtakingly beautiful lake below, it makes the whole arduous task of reaching the top worth it. The views from that point are spectacular and many tourists list this as one of the most beautiful locations in Colombia, which gives another reason why it should definitely be on your itinerary.
Experience the nightlife of Parque Lleras
Want a good night out with drinks, lively chatter, lots of delicious food, dance, and music? There’s no better place to get it all in Medellin, than in Parque Lleras. The biggest hotspot for nightlife in the city, this is where the locals and tourists come together and socialize, exchanging ideas, conversations, and having a great time. During the day you will find street vendors selling local art and by night, the streets would be filled by club-goers, young crowd, fun lovers, and all those looking to have a good time. Surrounded by bars, parks, clubs, and restaurants, you’re bound to have an incredible night out here.
Try out the local cuisine
As mentioned earlier in the article, if you want to immerse yourself in the culture of any place, the best way to do that is to get acquainted with the food there. Medellin is perfect if you want to get a taste of true, authentic Colombian cuisine. Our top picks would be Bandeja Paisa, a local meat dish, served with beans, plantains, fried egg, rice, and avocado slices on the side. Some nice local restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Colombian dishes at affordable prices are Mondongos, Rocoto, Tabun, and Hatoviejo.
Browse the local fresh vegetable market
One of the largest and most famous farmer’s markets in the city is Plaza Minorista, which has vendors selling fresh produce, fish, meats butchered right in front of you, and a lot more. If you are an organic food enthusiast, then you would love the diversity of items available here, and those too at a very reasonable price. Even if you don’t intend on doing your grocery shopping from here, the market is still a great place to just walk through, snap pictures of the bright colors, taste fruits and sip on some freshly squeezed healthy juices and smoothies.
So what are you waiting for? As the vaccines for COVID-19 have started rolling in, now is the best time to plan your much-needed vacation and there is no better place than Medellin for your next trip! Have a safe stay.