The best things to do in Medellin
The City of the Eternal Spring
I will start by telling you that Medellin is in the center of Colombia, in the region known as the valley of Aburrá, which is in the central cordillera of the Andes Mountain Range. This location not only boasts a delicious and temperate climate, but also the opportunity to interact with its enchanting locals: friendly people with a great sense of humour, who each year during 10 days of the month of August welcome domestic and international visitors to celebrate the emblematic Fair of the Flowers (or, “Feria de las Flores”), which is a fair that is celebrated in honour of the farmers who cultivate flowers all year round, and who, for this Fair, who parade the fruits of their labours.
Things to do in Medellin
Medellin is one of the most highlighted cities in Colombia because of its modern infrastructure and efficient public transport system. There is, for example the Metro, which is a system of public transit that has stations in the city’s most visited places. Take the example of the University of Medellin Station, which is located at a strategic point where you will find a complex that is a cultural, academic and scientific hotspot. Among the places closest to this station are the Planetarium where, in an attractive dome, astronomical exhibits as well as other scientific and cultural exhibits.
But this city isn’t only about exhibits; if you like adrenaline, North Park is located in the immediate area around the Planetarium. This park boasts 2000 square meters of space dedicated to rides and platforms with different attractions. Another notable site to visit close to the University Station is the Botanical Garden of Medellin; a beautiful space with a wide array of exotic plants on display where you will also find, inside, the Butterfly House and the Orchid Tree, which is a beautiful structure housing a broad collection of orchids. As you can see, this Metro station is key when it comes to experiencing many different entertainments of the city.
More things to do in Medellin: The most interesting neighbourhoods
Medellin is divided into 16 urban sections. Among the most famous and commonly visited is the commune 14, which is called El Poblado; this is where the high class residences of Medellin can be found, and even some national architects and foreigners consider it as one of the most beautiful urban sites in the world. For many tourists it is the best part of Medellin. In the neighbourhood of El Poblado there are several commercial centers and luxurious hotels, as well as pleasant parks surrounded by beautiful vegetation in which to take a nice, quiet walk. In terms of nightlife, I recommend to you Park Lleras, in which you’ll find the “red zone” (in Colombia, the party zone) of Medellin. You can find bars, clubs and restaurants there for tastes.
The Comuna 13
You can see the opposite of El Poblado in the picturesque Comune 13 neighbourhood called “San Javier”. Despite being one of the poorest zones of Medellin, you can visit with no worries because in the last few years it has been converted in a touristic site that simply cannot be missed; there is history behind every piece of graffiti that adorn the walls of this striking municipality. You can see more information about Comuna 13. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Medellin.
The Comuna 10
Another interesting municipality to visit is the Comuna 10, “La Candelaria”, where there are many architectural attractions; one of these is in the neighbourhood called Boston, where you will also find the Bicentenario Park, a pretty park adorned with displays of light and water. Even more interesting about this park, though, is that this park has the Casa de La Memoria. This museum tells us the history of the violence that Medellin and its inhabitants suffered in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and how they managed to free themselves of it.
The famous Pueblito Paisa
And there are more things to do in Medellin. Without leaving the city, very close to El Poblado, you can find the beautiful architecture of the traditional houses of the coffee-producing regions. To see this, you can go to Cerro Nutibara, on whose peak you can find and appreciate the famous Pueblito Paisa. It is a typical and colourful replica of the Antioqueño towns, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. You can buy a wide range of original artisanal goods or eat a delicious Bandeja Paisa in oen of the restaurants of this enchanting place. I also recommend that you try a delicious and refreshing “salpicon” (a typical drink with chunks of fruit) – it’s delicious!
The center of Medellin
It is very recommended that you go into the center of Medellin, for this is where the city was born, which means that many historical sites can be found there, as well as sites of commerce and culture. These spots are full of life, like the Plaza Botero. This is an open-air museum where beautiful sculptures of Fernando Botero, an important Colombian painter, sculptor and cartoonist are displayed. Close by, you can visit the famous Muy cerca puedes visitar el famoso Race Monument (Monumento a La Raza, see here), a beautiful construction that towers at an imposing 38 meters tall.
Also, walking around the center of Medellin, you will find the Plaza Cisneros, or the Park of the Lights (Parque de las Luces) as it is popularly known because of the quantity of lights that can be seen at night. Nearby one can observe more beautiful Colonial architecture which is conserved in the center of Medellin. I definitely recommend that, if you are to take this tour, please take precautions and don’t openly display valuable objects on your person.
For the Nature-lovers
It’s difficult to break away, what with all the things to do in Medellin. That’s why, if you like being in touch with Nature, because of the geographic placement of the city, there are many easily accessible activities in nearby natural parks. For example, you could visit the Ecotourist Arvi Park, which is only an hour away from the city. Because of its exuberant beauty, nearly all tourists that go to Medellin also visit this park. This extensive ecological park can be traversed via its 54 kilometers of trails which cover part of several municipalities close to the city, so if you are going to visit this park, make sure you are prepared with comfortable shoes for walking and clothing for colder weather (around 6 degrees less). To get there you have various options, such as the Metrocable or bus. The Piedras Blancas Park is also close by, and this park will soon become part of the gigantic Arvi park.
With all of the previous recommendations, it’s enough to say that, in Medellin, you can have an entertaining, surprising and pleasant time. But, please, do not go to Medellin without trying the delicious typical foods like arepas, empanadas, buñuelos, chorizo antioqueño, which you can find anywhere in this area because of the abundant food-carts in which you can find these super delicious treats.
There’s so much to say about Medellin; here, I want to tell you a little about its history, climate and how to get there. I also want to tell you about an enormous rock with 700 stairs, from the top of which you’ll have the most spectacular view of the Guatape Reservoir – don’t worry, I have advice for you about how to get there by means of our map.
What do you think about the places to see in Medellin?