A guide on what to do in Medellin, Colombia

Shopping, nightlife, culture, and more – Medellin is a vibrant city and has a lot to offer. If you plan to visit Colombia’s second largest city make sure to include some of the activities below.

Metro, Metro Cable – Parque Arvi

Medellin is the only city in Colombia with a metro. This is why the people are very proud and take good care of it. One has to respect the metro culture. Taking the metro is very convenient and safe. There is service until 22.45 and one ride – no matter the destination – costs roughly 2,200 pesos (80 cents).

The metro is connected to the Parque Arvi by metro cable. Just take the metro line A to Acevedo and change to the cable cars. Parque Arvi is a recreational park and you could easily spend an entire day or two (camping is allowed) hiking and enjoying nature.

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Parque Norte

Parque Norte is an amusement park with rollercoasters, food and other activities. It is located right next to the metro station „Universidad“. Usually entrance is free of charge but you have to pay for the rides on the rollercoasters.

During Christmas time in 2016 the city of Medellin decorated the park with Christmas lights. Very nice experience just to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Also check out „Medellin – from the murder capital of the world to an expat magnet

More information on: http://www.parquenorte.gov.co/web/

Botanical garden

The botanical garden is just next to Parque Norte (metro station „Universidad“). It is a park mostly to relax and learn about some Colombian flowers and trees.

Planetario

As the Botanical Garden and Parque Norte you’ll find the Planetario around the metro station „Universidad“. You can learn about stars and the universe. The Planetario is part of the Parque Explora.

More information on: http://www.planetariomedellin.org

Parque Explora

Probably my favorite „park“ and definitely worth to visit – for kids and adults. Even more if you like science. It is an interactive museum where you can learn about science and more. The park is located next to the metro station „Universidad“ and consists of 4 different expositions where you learn about physics, the brain and mind, as well as time. Also there is a nice Aquarium inside the park. Make sure you have enough time to visit all of it. It is usually open from 8.30 – 17.30 and costs 23,000 pesos (8 USD) per person. You can get a special offer for both Parque Explora and the Planetario for 35,000 pesos (12 USD)

More information on: http://www.parqueexplora.org

City center – Walking Tour

One of the best free walking tours I’ve experienced. The guide Pablo was very knowledgable and the city’s history is super interesting. It is a good opportunity to get to know the city center. The tour is free of charge but a tip is expected.

More information on: http://www.realcitytours.com

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Graffiti-Tour, Communa 13

Another very recommendable tour is the graffiti-tour in communa 13. That neighborhood was one of the most dangerous neighborhoods back in the era of Escobar. You should still pay very good attention and not just walk around without guidance. The tour guide is one of the graffiti artists and talks about the graffitis as well as the invisible frontiers that still partly exist. Moreover, you will be taken to the electric stairs which were built to make the neighborhood more attractive to people from other parts of the city or tourists.

More information on: http://www.toucancafe.co/medellin-tours/medellin-graffiti-tour/

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Guatapé

If time allows take a one-day trip to Guatapé and La Piedra. Guatapé is a beautiful and colorful town near Medellin – a two hour bus ride away. Take the metro to „Caribe“ where you have access to the bus terminal north. You’ll find busses that take you to Guatapé for 13,000 pesos (4 USD). About 5 minutes before you arrive in Guatapé you pass a big rock called „La piedra“. You can climb the stairs (for a fee) to the top and enjoy a breathtaking view of the area.

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Nightlife El Poblado

If you want to experience the vibrant nightlife of Medellin, dance Salsa or shake to some Reggaeton music you should not miss to go to El Poblado. There is a huge amount of bars and nightclubs as well a restaurants and fast food street vendors. Tourists but also many local people go there to celebrate and dance to some Colombian music.

Mahalo 

Mahalo is a nice and relaxed restaurant as well a beautiful viewpoint. The food is delicious and the view – especially at night – beautiful. If you want to take out your better half for dinner or go on a date: this might be a good choice! However, it is a bit of a bummer but the service is rather bad. Not only they were not very attentive but they tried to charge us more than we consumed. Always ask for the bill!

Mahalo is a little outside town, though. You need to go by car. And take a sweater, it can get chilly at night.

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Shopping Mall Tesoro

There are many shopping malls in Medellin. However, Tesoro convinced me the most. It is beautifully arranged, a lot of nice shops, and the location allows a great view over the city. Tesoro is located further up the hill in Poblado.

It is rather hard to get a taxi from there! You need to be patient.

More information on: https://eltesoro.com.co

Visit a football game

Atlético Nacional is not only one of the best teams in Colombia but also in South America. It won the Copa Libertadores in 2016. The atmosphere in the stadium is unique: music, drums, and singing during the entire game. And the support is immense. When I was attending a game the team was losing 0-4 after like 75 minutes. People were still having a blast and those visitors who left early where booed heavily for not staying.

To get to the stadium take the metro until „Estadio“. It can’t be missed.

More information on: http://www.atlnacional.com.co

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Seasonal:

August: Feria de las flores, Santa Elena

Every year at the end of July, beginning of August there is „la feria de las flores“ when the city is decorated with flowers all over. It looks just amazing. The flowers usually come from within the region or towns very close to Medellin. One of these towns is called Santa Elena. A trip to Santa Elena during this time and you can see various bouquets as well as learn about different flowers.

Also check out „Medellin – from the murder capital of the world to an expat magnet

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December: Visit the Christmas lights

The city of Medellin is very known for having stunning Christmas lights. The themes change on a yearly basis and look fantastic. Usually the lights can be seen along the river in the center of the valley. In these years, however, they are at different places since there is construction work going on at its usual site.

Also check out „Medellin – from the murder capital of the world to an expat magnet

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