10 Best Things To Do in Medellín Colombia

man comuna 13

Best Things to do in Medellín Colombia

Comuna 13

In the last decade Medellín has changed a lot and one of the neighborhoods that transformed the most is Comuna 13. Although Comuna 13 was once the most dangerous neighborhood of Colombia and the second in the world, it’s now one of the most bustling and living barrio’s of Medellín.

Go on a guided tour to learn more about the history from a local or wander around by yourself! Honestly, Comuna 13 is one of the best things to do in Medellín Colombia.

Medellín is called the ‘City of Eternal Spring‘ because of the pleasant weather all year round.

best things to do in medellin colombia

On a tour with ZippyTours

I highly recommend going on a tour with Zippy Tours. Our guide Laura grew up in Comuna 13 and is an amazing knowlegdable guide with interesting, but also heartbreaking stories. Even though the tour is free, it is based on a donation. Please tip your guide to make sure they’re able to keep doing what they’re doing!

zippytours comuna 13
comuna 13 medellin


More of an adrenaline junk or looking for some action? Among one of the best things to do in Medellín is paragliding! Admire the city from a different point of view and go find yourself high up in the sky. Tours start with flights of 15 min to 30 min with a professional guide, however 15 min felt fine for me!

I went with Blue Sky Parapente and can definitely recommend them! You can either book the tour through them or sometimes at your hostel.

paragliding medellin

Explore El Poblado

As a tourist/traveler, it’s most likely your hostel/hotel is located in El Poblado. This is Medellin’s most popular neighborhood for travelers and expats, filled with trendy restaurants, fashion boutiques, medellín’s best parties (in my opinion ;)).

Uber is the best & safest way to get around Medellín at night!

Go to a football match

If it’s football season and you’re lucky to be in Medellín when there’s a match, you really can’t miss this! Although, you may not be a football lover (like myself), this is an experience on it’s own and not like any other games.

The atmosphere of all the supporters are amazing and I absolutely loved the 2 hours of just watching people and cheering on the team with the locals!

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medellin football match

Free Walking Tour

The best thing to do in every city is starting off with a free walking tour around town. It’s the perfect way to get to know about the history, but also the best places to go, good restaurants, safety and more.

There are a few great tour operators offering free walking tours in all Colombia, Beyond Colombia as well as Real City Tours. Both of these will take you to all the hotspots in Medellín’s downtown.

Daytrip to Guatapé

Guatapé is a colorful town 2 hours outside of Medellín and therefore the perfect day trip from the city. It’s well known from the huge El Peñol rock and the surrounding lakes. Make sure to go on a sunny day if you want to have a clear view from the rock. Even though it rained quite a lot when I visited Guatapé, I still think it’s worth a visit!

You can visit Guatapé on a tour or as I recommend just by yourself. From Terminal del Norte, direct busses leave for Guatapé and take you there in about 2 hours.

Read my complete blog post about Guatapé, Colombia for visiting as a day-trip from Medellín!

guatape medellin
man guatape colombia
guatape town

Explore the nightlife in El Poblado, Medellín

The nightlife in Medellin is definitely one of the country’s best. Not only foreigners, but also lots of Colombian people make their way to Provenza at night. Almost every day of the week you’ll find a good party somewhere.

On Tuesday, make sure to head to Gringo Tuesday at Vintrash. Until 10pm this is a language exchange event but transforms itself to one big party until 4am. If you’re not sure where to go, going on a pub-crawl with your hostel is a great option. They bring you to several clubs/bars through the city!

  • Vintrash, Gringo Tuesday
  • La House, 3 floors with different music
  • La Octava Bar, the ballpit!
  • Salón Amador, house/techno
  • Social Club, bachata
  • Son Havana, salsa
bar medellin ballpit
nightlife medellin

Party tip! Every saturday Los Patios organises a party bus with a traditional chiva bus. Fun guaranteed!

Take Salsa or Bachata lessons

Even though Cali is the salsa capital of the world, Medellín is an amazing place to learn some dancing skills. Choose some private lessons or join free salsa/bachata group lessons, which can be find throughout El Poblado often. One of them are the lessons at Los Patios Hostel, however make sure to check their schedule.

Looking for a teacher? I can highly recommend @saborymasna or send me a message through the contact me page and I will send you their number.

salsa lesson

Credits to @saborymasna for this photo!

Cable Car to Parque Arví

When you have some spare time in Medellín, Colombia, a fun activity is to take the cable car to Parque Arví and spend a few hours away from the city. This is a 16.000 hectares natural reserve full with wildlife, vegetation and restored native trees. The views from the cablecar over the city and the countryside is mindblowing.

It’s located just out of town and the system is really easy to navigate. At first, head to Acevedo Metro Station (easy accessible from El Poblado Metro Station). From there you have to take the line to Santo Domingo station, where you’ll transfer to the line to Parque Arví. The locals are always very happy to guide you in the right direction, so don’t be afraid to ask!

cablecar medellin
medellin view cablecar

Visit the Botanical Gardens

The perfect getaway to escape the city for the day. Wander around the beautiful gardens and admire the amazing architecture. And the best part, it’s completely free to visit!

To avoid crowds, try to go on weekdays as on sundays there tend to be a lot of locals having picnics and celebrations.

Opening times: every day from 9AM to 5PM.

Where to stay in Medellín?

As a traveler there are basically two neighborhoods you can choose from. Either El Poblado, a backpacker hotspot, filled with trendy restaurants and popular hostels, whereas Laureles offers a more local vibe.

I have only stayed in El Poblado and personally loved this area. It’s a perfect base for meeting new people, eating in trendy restaurants and nights out. As long as you’re staying in one of these areas, you’ll find lots of other travelers!

My favorite hostel in Medellín (and probably Colombia) is Los Patios. They have two buildings, one with a big rooftop where lots of parties happen and the other one with a rooftop pool and insane views (see the view down below!)

It’s the perfect hostel to meet people, has comfortable beds, great kitchens and they offer activities/events every day. Make sure to book in advance, because it’s one of the most popular places to stay in Medellín.

Book your stay in Los Patios here.

Looking for something else? Check out all the hotel options in Medellín!

rooftop view medellin

Best Restaurants in Medellin, Colombia

The nightlife in Medellin is definitely one of the country’s best. Not only foreigners, but also lots of Colombian people make their way to Provenza at night. Almost every day of the week you’ll find a good party somewhere.

  • Alambique, amazing food & cocktails!
  • Hija Mia, trendy breakfast/lunch (try the avocado toast!)
  • Mamasita Medallo, Colombian food
  • Vegan & Veggie, this one speaks for itself right?
  • Veg Station, healthy & affordable food
  • Os Mirador, burger restaurant with amazing city views (also veggie option!)

Get yourself a FREE Wise Card here for spending money abroad to save on fees!

medellin restaurants
restaurants medellin

Best time to visit Medellín

Medellín is known as the ‘City of the Eternal Spring’ and is possible to visit all year round. However the driest and probably the best months to visit Medellín are between December and February. These months are peak season so you might save some money coming at the end of November!

Even though they call it dry season, I’ve visited Medellín multiple times during these months and still had some rain. I guess that’s why they call it the city of Eternal Spring.. April, May and September till November are ‘rainy’ season, but the rainshowers often lasts only a few hours.

bus colombia

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houses medellin

How to get to Medellín

By Flight

There are 2 ways to get into Medellín. The first one is the most popular one and is by flight. Jose Maria Cordova International Airport has flights coming in from many countries in the world and is also well connected with other cities in Colombia, like Bogotá or Santa Marta.

By Public Transport

Traveling can also be done in a more sustainable way, which is by bus. Many budget backpackers will choose this option as it’s often cheaper but it’ll take you more time.

Bus durations:

Bogota – Medellín —> ± 9 to 11 hours

Salento – Medellín —> ± 6 hours

Cartagena – Medellín —> ± 15 hours

Jardín – Medellín —> ± 3,5 hours

Even though the busses leave on time most of the time, you can easily add 2 hours more to every bus schedule. Lately there have been lots of roadblocks or landslides due to rainfall in the area of Medellín, which can easily add more hours to your travel time.

Book all your bus tickets online on Busbud


Plan Your Trip to Colombia

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Simone Vromans

Simone is the owner and writer of Travel With Simone! By sharing these travel guides, she hopes to help you plan your epic adventures and inspire you to go on that long-overdue trip! 💛

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About Simone

Hi there, I’m Simone and the writer behind this travel blog. By reading my guides, I’m hoping to inspire you to travel more mindfully and have epic adventures all over the globe!

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