Medellín is one of the most interesting cities in South America! Recently Medellín has undergone a modern renaissance, and it has been winning awards around Latin America for innovation and urban renewal.
In this article, I share why I love Medellín, my favourite things to do in the city, the best places to stay, and tips for a visit to the city!
Often referred to as the city of eternal spring thank to its climate, Medellín is one of the most popular places to visit in Colombia because of its many things to see and do.
Medellín is using tourism as a tool for urban renewal with Comuna 13, which was once one of the most dangerous collections of neighbourhoods in the city, is now one of the most popular tours. Comuna 13 has street art and graffiti tours, in addition, to live music, street performances, and other unique stories.
When To Visit Medellín
Medellín has the same climate year-round, with dry and wet seasons. The typical climate is warm, the temperatures you would typically find in the Medellín. The temperature typically stays around a high of 28c (82f) year-round.
Dry season tends to be from December to March which is also the high season, where things are typically more expensive. Between April and November is the low and wet season, where there are typically fewer tourists, and the rain often brings cooler temperatures.
Things To Do In Medellín
There are plenty of things to do in Medellín. I have visited the city many times and each time I visited I found something new to do. I do have my favourite activities and must-see recommendations which I have listed below:
1) Take A Day Trip To Guatape
Guatape is a colourful town located just outside Medellín, the small town has a local Colombian feel, with Chivas and tuk-tuk. Guatape is located on a very large lake with lots of smaller rivers off them, where you can take a boat trip.
In the middle of the lake, there is a large rock called El Peñol, this rock stretches high into the sky, and visitors can climb up to the top to get a great view of the lakes.
2) Explore Comuna 13 With A Tour Guide
Once one of Medellín most dangerous neighbourhoods, Comuna 13 has undergone major urban renewal with escalators replacing thousands of stairs and street art being displayed. Visitors can walk around the area with a guide looking at the street art, and seeing how the neighbourhood has transformed.
3) Take A City Tour Of Medellín
Take a city tour of downtown Medellín, visit the Botero Plaza with Botero’s famous sculptures, museums, and other attractions. A walking tour or guided tour is a great way to see the city, either by walking or on a tour bus. This is a great way to see local places while learning about the cities history.
4) Try Bandeja Paisa
Try Bandeja paisa which is a native dish to the area, it is made up of rice, plantain, arepa, chorizo, minced meat, beans, and a fried egg. Bring your appetite because these dishes are notoriously big!
5) Take A Cable Car Trip
Take a trip on the cable car and metro system over for great views of the city and to see different areas of the city. The cable car system is a great way to get around the city and has transformed the way locals live and work around the city.
6) Plaza Botero
Plaza Botero is a plaza located in Medellín, outside of the Museum of Antioquia. The plaza is famous for its 23 sculptures of Fernando Botero’s finest work. The sculptures include fat cats, voluptuous women, and fat birds.
7) Take A Day Trip Outside The City
There are lots of opportunities to take a day trip out of the city to explore small towns such as Jardin and Santa Fe de Antioquia. Other great destinations include the hiking spot of Parque Avi, the waterfalls at San Rafael, and the jungle of Cocorna.
Other Things To See in Medellín:
- Museo de Antioquia
- Parque Lleras
- Coffee Farm Tour
- Parque Explora
- Casa de la Memoria
- El Castillo Museo y Jardines
- Plaza Minorista
- Mercado del Río
- Cañón del Río Claro Reserva Natural
- Botanical Garden
Where To Stay In Medellín
My favourite place to stay in Medellín is the Click Clack Hotel in El Poblado. This hotel is beautifully decorated and in a great location for exploring the city, and close to public transportation links. There are three restaurants located within the hotel, the rooms are large rooms, and there are a number of common areas.
If you prefer to be in a quieter neighbourhood, consider Laureles with a laid-back vibe and a small number of restaurants and bars. For those looking for a budget or hostel option then you should look at Parque Lleras where more affordable accommodations can be found.
Where To Eat In Medellín
Medellín has many restaurants with great places to eat in different neighbourhoods of the city. El Poblado is well known for its world-class restaurants and unique dining establishments with a variety of cuisines.
Here are a few of my favourite restaurants in Medellín:
Bars & Hangouts In Medellín
Colombians are known for partying, they love to socialise with friends, family, colleagues, either during football matching, the weekend, or even after work in the evenings. For this reason, Medellín has countless bars and restaurants from rooftop bars, luxury cocktail bars, side corner hidden hole in the wall bars, and street vendors who serve alcohol.
Here are a few of the best bars in Medellín:
- Panorama Rooftop Bar
- Del Patio Bar
- La Octava Bar
- El Social
- La Tienda La 70
Where To Go From Medellín
Colombia is slowly becoming a top tourist destination and is appearing on everyone’s travel bucket lists. While many destinations and cities are becoming more popular with tourists the quieter and countryside towns still have a local feel.
Medellín is a great place to visit in Colombia whether it’s for a week-long trip or a weekend stopover. You should consider visiting other cities in Colombia such as Cartagena, Cali, Bogota, and Santa Marta.
Colombia has everything including Caribbean Islands, a Caribbean coastline, tropical rainforests, an ancient Lost City, Amazon rainforest, desert, Pacific Coastline, whale watching, bird watching, plains, countryside, and more!
Related Article: How To Get The Most Out Of 7 Days In Colombia
What To Know For Visiting Medellín
The typical visa to visit Colombia allows you a free 90 day stay depending on your country of nationality. Be sure to check the official Colombian visa website for the latest information.
The currency used in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP). The current exchange rate is approximately 1 USD to 3,400 COP. You can check the latest IDR exchange rate on Google.
While travelling, our number one tip is to use a free Charles Schwab Debit Card which gives unlimited worldwide ATM Fee Refunds and the true exchange rate.
Best Tours In Medellín
Some of the best tours and things to do in Medellín are:
Where To Stay In Medellín
Medellín’s El Poblado is our recommended area to stay when visiting the city. We recommend booking your hotels on Booking.com to get the best rate and many hotels offer free cancellation in case your plans change.
Some of our favourite hotels in Medellín are:
AirBnB is also a great option in Medellín!
Best Books About Medellín
Read more about Colombia before you go! Some of the best books about Medellín are:
- Short Walks From Bogota: Journeys in the New Colombia
- One Hundred Years Of Solitude
- The Rough Guide to Colombia
What Power Adapters Do You Need
Colombia uses standard 2 prong Type A or B adapters also commonly used in the United States.
You can buy a universal adapter that will work in any country and has extra ports for USB cables to charge your phone and other devices.
We also always travel with a portable battery pack which is great to keep your phone charged on long journies.
Transportation In Medellín
- Public Transportation: Medellín has a great public transport system with a metro and cable car system which transports people around the city, in addition to buses.
- Rental Cars: It is possible to rent a car at the airport in Medellín, though driving might be challenging due to bad road congestion, local rules, and specific driving times.
- Taxis: Uber is not available in Colombia anymore but there are many taxi applications such as Tappsi. Do not catch a taxi from the road, always prebook or organise with the reception at your hotel.
Our top recommended travel insurance companies for Medellín are:
- World Nomads: Comprehensive coverage for medical, travel delays, and electronics.
- SafetyWing: Cheaper monthly coverage primarily for medical.
More Articles About Colombia
- How To Get The Most Out Of 7 Days In Colombia
- Ultimate Guide To The Lost City, Colombia
- 6 Reasons To Sail From Panama To Colombia
- Where To Stay In Bogota, Colombia: A Guide To The Neighbourhoods & Hotels
- Where To Stay In Cartagena, Colombia: A Guide To The Neighbourhoods & Hotels
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Medellín. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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