In our comparative post between Medellín and Bogotá, this last one won in the Art and Culture category for its rich and diverse offer. It’s not for nothing that Colon Theater, the most important and with the longest history in our country, is located there. But that doesn’t mean the capital of Antioquia falls short in terms of theater.

In fact, Medellín has more than 30 theaters, without counting the enormous number of companies and groups that carry out their trade without their own physical facilities. So, if you have an interest in performative arts and you look for something to do today, you will surely discover an overwhelming list of halls, all with one or several shows per night.

To make your choice easier, I’m going to share my 10 favorite theaters, answering questions such as where they are located, what their programming is, how much does their tickets cost and what type of plays are represented in each one. I can guarantee you that the ones on the list are the best in their respective specialties.

The network of performing arts in Medellín is always changing. Every year you can hear about newborn projects, old groups that close their doors and others that change location or transform for different reasons. Here is an updated guide for you to support this sector and, above all, enjoy your visit with a unique experience.

Top 10

Theaters in Medellín can be divided into two categories: those without a fixed troup of performers and those that has one. Usually the ones that lack a group of actors are medium and large format facilities, where large theatrical and musical shows and events sponsored by private or public entities are carried out.

Although I recommend you to know them, your visit there will be conditioned by their not so frequent schedule. And since they all host quite well-known artists, you can’t just trust there’s going to be an available box office from one day to another. It’s best to check the billboard at the beginning of the month and buy your tickets in advance.

You should know that currently Medellín does not have a unified virtual billboard where you can buy tickets for all the theaters. Most of them have an official website or social networks where you can book directly. Below I leave some info about it.

Finally, those theaters with fixed groups have more frequent programming during the season (especially on weekends), which makes them perfect for a spontaneous night out. On top of that, almost all the places on the list have a cafeteria, bar and even restaurant service, in case you wanna have a drink before the show begins.

Theaters without a fixed group of actors 

Metropolitan Theater  

Back of the Metopolitan Theater building

The José Gutiérrez Gómez Metropolitan Theater tops the list because, together with the University of Medellín’s Theater, it has the largest seating capacity (1,634 seats) and its facilities are the best equipped for performing arts. It’s also one of the few that has a private parking lot.

It was inaugurated in 1987 in the Alpujarra sector, near the city’s Administrative Center. Its impressive and sober 10,000 m2 structure is the headquarters of the Medellín Polyphonic Studio and the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra. Therefore, its emphasis is the conservation and dissemination of classical music.

Throughout its history it has received a wide variety of famous national and international artists such as the Academy of St. Martin in The Fields, Sankai Juku, Joaquín Sabina and many more. The cost of the presentations varies according to the function and can exceed the 200,000 COP (41.41 usd), in the same way that it has some events with no fee. 

Check their official page.

Address: calle 41 No. 57-30.

Pablo Tobón Uribe Theater 

Pablo Tobón Uribe’s entrance at Av. La Playa

After the fall of the Bolívar and Junín theaters, two of the most emblematic in the history of Medellín, which were replaced by a mall and the Coltejer Building respectively, the city needed a new theater: this is how the Pablo Tobón Uribe was born.

Inaugurated in 1967 thanks to the collaboration of a patron with the same name, the Public Improvement Society and the national and regional governments, this site became a cultural center that hosts artistic, dramatic, comedy, musical and literary shows. The cost of entry varies.

Its building is located in the downtown, at the beginning of Av. La Playa, and has a capacity for 883 people. The easiest way to get there is by taxi, mobility apps or private vehicle. Although it does not have a parking lot, you can find one nearby in the surroundings.

Check their schedule.

Address: carrera 40 No. 51-24.

Theater House of Poblado 

Despite the fact that a large part of the city’s theater circuit is focused in La Candelaria (commune 10), there are other areas with theaters and, without a doubt, the most important in the south of Medellín is the Theater House of Poblado.

It’s a cultural center with attractions such as a public park in the surroundings, an art gallery and a delicious café-restaurant. To get there your options are taxi, mobility apps and private vehicle; the facilities have limited parking.

Going and enjoying the space is free, but the cost of entry to the performances varies, as does its diverse programming, which includes comedy shows, dances, concerts, talks, literary readings, as well as business and institutional events.

Schedule here.

Address: carrera 47B No. 17B Sur – 30.

Ateneo Porfirio Barba Jacob Theater 

The entrance for this theater is downstairs, at the center of Bomboná’s Towers

Located in downtown, inside the Bomboná Towers, this place welcomes the visitor at every step with a verse from the “Song of deep life”, written by the Colombian poet whose name honors the theater.

The Ateneo Porfirio Barba Jacob Corporation was created in 1994 and since then it has been generating meeting spaces to strengthen contemporary critical thinking, with the participation of nationally and internationally recognized intellectuals.

Its facilities have three spaces: the Ateneo art gallery, the Porfirio Café (where you will find drinks at a very good price) and the Theater, with capacity for 350 people. Although they do have their own company, most of the presentations are from other groups and many of them have free admission.

You can search here its programming, which is strong in rock and heavy metal concerts, plays, comedy shows, dance, storytelling, poetry recitals and academic conferences, among other things.

Address: calle 47 No. 42-38, Bomboná Towers.

Laureles Theater 

Even though this project, founded a few years ago, is one of the most recent in Medellín, its facilities are very well equipped to offer a complete cultural entertainment experience.

As its name indicates, it is located in the Laureles sector, on Av. Nutibara, two blocks from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. The building has three auditoriums for holding business and corporate events, a café-bar at the level of the other restaurants in the area and a theater with a capacity for 250 people.

Regarding the type of shows, here they have a very marked focus of stand-up comedy, music and dance. You can check their schedule on Instagram.

Address: transversal 39 B, circular 2 – 46.

Theaters with a fixed company 

El Águila Descalza’s Prado Theater (Comedy)

Front of the mansion located in the neighborhood Prado Centro

This is the house of Cristina Toro and Carlos Mario Aguirre, who make up the most recognized humorous theater duo in Colombia.Therefore, El Águila Descalza is a cultural and touristic reference. 

If you want to laugh non-stop, you should go see one of their plays, which are characterized by dealing with traditional themes of our daily lives. Its headquarters are located in the Prado neighborhood, inside a mansion that has been named an architectural heritage of the city. 

Today the Prado Museum Theater has a capacity for 460 spectators, a gallery with plastic works by Carlos Mario Aguirre and a café where you can hang out before or after the show.

Two recommendations. First, keep in mind that the area is somewhat unsafe (especially at night), so it’s best to schedule your transportation in advance to avoid exposing yourself on the street. Second, book your entry early because tickets sell out fast. 

The cost of these usually exceeds 50,000 COP. Check here the programming, which varies according to the work available per season. Within their catalog they already have 29 and several of them are true comedy classics.

Address: carrera 45D No. 59-01

Pequeño Theater (Drama) 

We arrived at the main representative of the theater circuit in Medellín’s downtown. The Pequeño Teatro was founded in 1975, so they’re one of our groups with more history, which is why the company is considered part of the city’s cultural heritage.

The headquarters, a republican-style house that, in turn, was declared an architectural heritage site, has two halls (one with a capacity for 450 people and the other for 78), an acting school, a thematic library, a cafeteria and a gallery of art.

Pequeño’s specialty is dramaturgy. Within this broad category, they offer classical and contemporary theater, academic productions, and adaptations of Colombian literature such as “A la diestra de Dios padre,” one of his most iconic plays.

Another thing that distinguishes this group is that all their functions have free admission with a voluntary contribution (above 10,000 COP) that is paid upon departure. Therefore, it is better to arrive at least half an hour before to reserve your spot.

Look at the schedule here.

Address: Carrera 42 No. 50A – 12

La Fanfarria Theater (Puppet show)

La Fanfarria is located in the neighborhood La America

Here you can find the true experts in puppet theater and I’m not just talking about the city, because La Fanfarria has been declared not just a cultural heritage of Medellín, but a Historical Hall of Colombia and has represented the country in different international events.

The theater is located in commune 12, two blocks in front of the Iglesia la América. Within its repertoire children’s works predominate, but I assure you that they are quality entertainment for the whole family.

Unfortunately, La Fanfarria does not have an official website and its social networks are not kept up to date either. So to find out about its programming and make a reservation, you must call or go directly to the venue.

Address: carrera 84 No. 42C – 54

Casa Clown Theater (Clowns)

This is the headquarters of the Infusion Theater Collective, which was founded in 2008 and has been carrying out projects such as the Clown School. The collective bets daily on the study and creation of gestural theater and Clown.

Its old headquarters were in the Manrique area. However, a few years ago they moved to downtown, very close to the Bomboná Towers and La Pascasia, which is an ideal meeting point to eat and get to know the art scene in Medellín.

The price of the tickets ranges between 20,000 COP and 30,000 COP (they are cheaper if you buy online). You can find their schedule and book on their Instagram profile.

Address: carrera 42 No. 44 – 46

Acción Impro (Improv) 

Curiously, the last theater on our list is the first to have been founded within the Poblado area. Acción Impro was born in 2004 and it’s a unique project in its style because, as they themselves affirm, they are pioneers of this type of scenic representation in the country.

Its headquarters are a few blocks from Parque del Poblado and it has a stage for 110 people. The price of the shows varies, you can find some with free admission and those with a box office usually have a cost starting at 30,000 COP.

This kind of works are perfect if you like to be more than a passive spectator, since often in improv theater the public participates and even becomes the focus of the show.

Here you can see their schedule.

Address: Calle 9 No. 43B-80

I hope you have a clearer understanding of the theatrical context of the city after reading this post. You already know that, when choosing, if you are looking for a show of great proportions you should aim for one of the theaters without a group such as the Metropolitan or the Pablo Tobón Uribe. Remember to reserve your ticket in advance.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a more modest experience in terms of staging but equally impressive, you can choose between the theaters with a group, depending on the genre that interests you the most (comedy, drama and tragedy, puppets, clown or impro).

To finish, I leave you the following recommendations:

  • If you are visiting us from abroad and you don’t speak Spanish very well, keep in mind that at the moment Medellín doesn’t have bilingual theaters.
  • It is a sign of respect to keep the cell phone silent during the play.
  • Try to arrive half an hour before the performance begins. All the theaters in the city try to be very accurate with the timing and you definitely want to be there when the curtain opens.