Medellin is the city with the highest growth in volume of visitors in Colombia, and after you read this article, you will understand why. Although 32 can be an extensive number of plans to accomplish during your trip, I wanted to bring here the entire range of options that you can find in the city to enjoy to the fullest.

Before we start this journey through all the things you can do in Medellin, I must warn you of something. Medellin can be a city with many faces. From being a destination with an offer of nature and calm, to becoming a city full of life, movement, and some chaos. It depends on you which city you want to experience.

Next, I want to share with you the 33 plans that, for me, as a Medellin resident, are really worth enjoying at least once. Many of them are grouped by nearby areas so that you can perform multiple activities in a single day.

Watch a soccer game at Atanasio Girardot Stadium

Medellin is Colombia’s most soccer-loving city and one of the most passionate in Latin America. Atlético Nacional, winner of 2 Libertadores cups and 17 local leagues, and its eternal rival, Independiente Medellin, play in the Atanasio Girardot Stadium. Going to a soccer game and having a beer outside the stadium is one of the best ways to vibrate with the local culture.

Here youl’ll find everything you need to know to go to a game at Atanasio Girardot.

Book your soccer game tickets

See the transformation of Comuna 13

One of Medellin’s historically most violent areas is today the city’s main tourist attraction. In Comuna 13, you will learn dozens of stories of families and young people who transformed their reality thanks to cultural expressions and urban transformation. My main advice is to visit it in the morning and, if possible, on weekdays to avoid crowds.

Do you want to visit Comuna 13? Don’t go before you read this guide.

Book the Grafiti Tour in Comuna 13

Shop vegetables and local fruits in Plaza de la América

If you want to know how the most traditional families of Medellin do their market shopping, this is the best place to appreciate it. Take advantage of buying flowers, fresh fruits, and eating a delicious lunch at Nhora and Lina’s restaurant (Serafín Gourmet).

Do the Pablo Escobar Tour

Pablo Escobar was one of the greatest drug traffickers in history and was born in Medellin. But beyond being an iconic figure in popular culture around the world, he was the leader of a war that ended the lives of thousands of innocents. Learn where he lived, operated, and where he died on this tour that shows you the most representative places for the head of the Medellin Cartel.

Haz el Tour de Pablo Escobar

Go partying in Parque Lleras

Lleras Park is the sector with the highest offer of bars and nightclubs in Medellin. If you are into partying, meeting people, and dancing until dawn, you can add it to your list of activities.

Read our guide of Parque Lleras

Dine and drink in Provenza

Provenza Street is rated as one of the coolest streets in the world by TimeOut magazine. And also, one of my favorite places to eat and drink in the most cosmopolitan places in the city.

Do you want to know why this street is so famous? Here I tell you.

Try delicious dishes in Parque El Poblado

A few blocks down from Parque Lleras is Parque El Poblado, a slightly quieter area but with a great offering of interesting bars and restaurants. You’ll also find one of my favourite rooftops in the city there, as well as hotels with very reasonable prices and good gastronomic options.

Go eat in Mercado del Río

When it comes to going out to eat in a group, I don’t think there’s a better option than Mercado del Río. It’s a large plaza with local and international food options, where each person can order their own preferred food and eat together at the same table. The atmosphere is great and there are options for every budget. Find out how to get there and which are the best restaurants at Mercado del Río here.

Learn more about Mercado del Rio by reading this guide

Riding ‘Chivas’

One of the traditions of Antioquia towns is to travel in a Chiva, which is a type of bus with decorations alluding to popular Colombian culture. In Medellín, you can tour the city in one of them and even spend a night partying. If you’re a foreigner, you have to do this at least once in your life. Take the free Chiva tour here.

Enjoy this Chiva+Food Tour

Become a coffee farmer

Although Medellín isn’t a coffee-producing city, you can see the entire production process of the beverage that has made Colombia famous around the world. On the tour, you’ll visit a real coffee farm and even take a short horse ride.

Book your Coffee Tour here

Go to the Shopping Malls

One of the favourite plans of Paisas (people from Antioquia) is to go shopping at the malls, and there are dozens of them in Medellín. If you want my recommendation on which one to visit, go to the Centro Comercial Santa Fe or Viva Envigado, which are two of the largest and most modern with beautiful places to take great photos.

Buy at the Lowest prices in Medellin’s Downtown

If you want to shop on a budget, the Centre of Medellín is the perfect option. In fact, in this guide, I explain why it’s one of my favourite plans for shopping. You’ll find a little piece of China in Medellín, with very curious products, a wide variety, and super cheap prices. Don’t forget to haggle.

Have a ride in the Tram

The Tranvía is one of those works that gives the city very interesting contrasts. It’s like a piece taken from European cities but placed in the middle of the popular neighbourhoods. If you want to visit the Casa de la Memoria Museum or any of the Medellín Metrocables, take advantage of this tour.

Appreciate Botero’s Artworks

Fernando Botero’s “Gordas y Gordos” have graced the streets of Paris and New York, but no other city has a permanent public collection as big as Medellín’s. If you’re wondering how the works of one of Latin America’s most prestigious artists come together with the popular culture of a city, this is a must-visit. Check out our guide to Plaza Botero to learn everything so you won’t be surprised.

In our guide about Plaza Botero we’ll show you everything so you enjoy your visit.

Listen to tango at Salón Málaga

Few people know that several decades ago, Medellín was one of the cities with the greatest tango tradition. In fact, singer Carlos Gardel died in a plane crash in Medellín. The city’s greatest tribute to the tango is found in this traditional salon in the city centre, where you can go for a drink and enjoy live music. Although the place is located in the centre and the best atmosphere is at night, it’s a safe visit since it’s right outside the San Antonio Metro station.

Seeing the City from MetroCable

Medellin was the first city in Latin America to build an aerial cable car system as public transportation. These works have been one of the keys to the transformation of the city, and for me, it’s the best way to see Medellin from above. You can take a MetroCable ride just by paying a Metro fare. Here I advise you on which are the best MetroCable lines.

Take a ride on the Metro

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love to do when I travel is to ride on the Metro. And the one in Medellin is a very safe, clean, and convenient option to get to different tourist attractions. Although the Metro is easy for almost everyone, we prepared this guide to help you avoid getting lost.

Enjoy Sabaneta Park

Although Sabaneta is an independent municipality of Medellin, the truth is that it’s like another extension of the city. But this extension has something very special: a park that preserves the essence of the most traditional towns of Antioquia. Besides, if you’re a devoted person, its church is iconic for being a temple where the faithful go to ask for their most important desires. Visit on a Sunday afternoon and delight yourself with all the delicacies that are in that square full of color, flavor, and life.

Walk through Parque Arvi

The largest ecological reserve within Medellin is just a MetroCable ride away. And the best part is that it’s free. If you like nature, walks, streams, and forests, you have to go to Parque Arví. In this guide, I tell you everything you can do there.

Enjoy this Tour in Parque Arví

Take a tour of the Silleteros in Santa Elena

The farms where the flowers are grown and the “silletas” for the Feria de las Flores are made are only 40 minutes away from Medellin, in a rural area called Santa Elena. There you can visit and learn about the history of the families that parade every August with their giant Silletas.

Book your Silleteros Tour

Go to Pueblito Paisa

On a small mountain located in the middle of the city of Medellin, there’s a scale replica of a typical Antioquia town. Pueblito Paisa is a good place to eat typical Antioquia food, buy souvenirs for your loved ones, and take panoramic photos of the city. The entrance is free, but if you go by car, you must pay for parking.

Fly in Paragliding

Thirty minutes from Medellin is San Felix, a rural and mountainous area where paragliding flights are performed every day. Besides being a very beautiful viewpoint of Medellin, it’s an excellent option if you like more extreme activities. Although my nerves are not enough to do it myself, it’s a safe activity practiced by hundreds of people every year.

Book your Paragliding fly

Appreciate the city from Las Palmas

The road that connects Rionegro Airport with Medellin is also one of the city’s most famous viewpoints. If you want a romantic and economical plan to go with your partner, I recommend visiting one of its two viewpoints at night. Just remember to bring a jacket to avoid suffering from the night cold.

Have a picnic in the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a green oasis in the heart of Medellin. To give you an idea, it’s like a smaller version of famous parks around the world such as Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo or Chapultepec Forest in Mexico City.

Its main attraction is its wild species (such as iguanas and turtles) and its perfect lawns for a picnic afternoon. Please note that bringing in food is not allowed, but there are picnic and food options directly within the garden.

Check out our guide to the Botanical Garden here.

Have lunch at Parques del Río

One of my favorite places in Medellin is Parques del Río, a linear park perfect for having lunch on a sunny day, watching pets, people exercising, or practicing dance. I promise you delicious food, a super enjoyable walk, and very Instagrammable photos.

Here I show you everything you need to know to plan your visit to Parques del Río.

Visit Ciudad del Río

Ciudad del Río is a residential area close to the Museum of Modern Art and Mercado del Río. A good plan is to eat at one of the restaurants in the area or eat sweets and beers offered by street vendors after visiting the museum.

Learn here what to do in Ciudad del Río.

Visit the best museums in Medellín

Medellin has 27 museums. But which ones are worth visiting? Our list of favourite museums are: the Museum of Antioquia, MAMM, Parque Explora, the Water Museum, and the Memory House Museum. We did not include some popular places on the Internet, such as El Castillo Museum, because beyond the aesthetic appeal of the place, its content and experience fall short compared to others.

Live the Feria de las Flores

The Feria de las Flores usually takes place every year in the first week of August and is one of the best times to visit Medellin, as the city will be full of both public and private activities. In addition to the most famous events during the fair, such as the Silleteros Parade and the Antique Car Parade, I recommend going to the trova festival, which is a very typical improvisation and repentance contest in Medellin and will make you have a good laugh.

See the Christmas Lights

The Christmas lights in Medellin are famous for their grandeur and extension. They are usually located in the main squares and parks of the city. But if you want to make the most of them, I invite you to take the nighttime tour in Parques del Río, where the main exhibition is concentrated. My advice here is to arrive at the place between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. to avoid large crowds.

Go to Guatapé and climb the Piedra del Peñol

A large rocky formation of over 200 meters is located between El Peñol and Guatapé, one of the most touristy towns in Colombia. If you feel energetic enough to climb its 702 steps, at the top you’ll find an impressive and unique view in the world as a reward. My main advice is to try to visit the Piedra during weekdays to avoid the long queues that form on weekends for admission. But if you can’t go during the week, try to arrive before 9 am to be one of the first in line.

Find great tours and activities in Guatapé

Tour to Santa Fe de Antioquia

The area of Santa Fe de Antioquia is an area with country houses and summer hotels where the weather is warm all year round. And the best thing is that it’s just 1 hour away from Medellin. This town is worth a visit for a weekend to wander through its colonial streets (similar to those of Cartagena) and take advantage of its pools and sunshine.

Book your tour to Santa Fe de Antioquia

Viajar a Río Claro y la Hacienda Nápoles

A very common trip that visitors to Medellin (especially those who are in the city for a week or more) take is to go to the Doradal region, where two authentic tourist attractions are located. On one hand, there is the Rio Claro Canyon, which is one of the clearest and most beautiful rivers in Colombia. And on the other hand, there is Hacienda Napoles, which was once owned by Pablo Escobar and today is a theme park that houses several of the wild animal species that the Medellin Cartel boss had.

Keep in mind that this area is 4 hours by road from Medellin, so I don’t recommend visiting and returning in a single day, as the road is not very comfortable. At least take a couple of days to make the most of it.

Book your tour to Hacienda Nápoles