Nov 6, 2023

The Best 7 things to do in Medellin, Colombia

Activity agenda for a 7 day vacation to Medellin

Medellín, Colombia offers a wide range of activities due to the city's unique culture, history and geography. The pleasant climate (75 degrees almost everyday), lush surrounding mountains, and vibrant culture contribute to a host of outdoor and indoor activities. Visitors can enjoy exploring the city's innovative architecture, parks, and museums, or partake in outdoor adventures like paragliding and hiking.

The city's transformation and innovative urban development projects like the cable car system are linking marginalized communities to the city center. The warm and welcoming nature of the locals, known as 'Paisas,' add to the overall positive experience in Medellín.

  1. Day 1: First day, a travel day, stay local, and close to your hotel or airbnb.

    Provenza/Parque Lleras, both provide a vibrant experience. Known for its trendy atmosphere, Provenza specifically offers a variety of upscale restaurants, bars, and boutiques. You can start your evening by dining at one of the many gourmet restaurants that serve a mix of traditional Colombian cuisine and international dishes. After dinner, take a stroll along the tree-lined streets and explore the area's unique shops and art galleries. As the night progresses, you might decide to visit one of the local bars or clubs where you can enjoy a drink, listen to live music, and dance the night away. Dress to impress.

    Parque Lleras (May 2023) just completed construction and a total remodel. Lively, colorful, and spirited, this area of Poblado is known for its bustling nightlife, trendy restaurants, and fashionable boutiques. The park itself is a popular gathering spot for both locals and tourists. During the day, it's a peaceful place to relax, while at night it transforms into a hotspot with numerous bars, clubs, and cafes, offering a diverse range of dining and entertainment options.

    The rooftop bars in Provenza and Parque Lleras are a perfect way to see Medellin at night. As you exit the elevator on the top floor, the lighted pools, music and the extraordinary views will instantaneously give you the VIP feel. Usually full of a blended mix of “Paisas” and foreigners alike, the rooftop bars have a private, invite only sensation.

  2. Day 2: Comuna 13 * A must do in Medellin. Take a guided tour of Comuna 13: * recommended

    Only a 15 minute ride from your hotel, Comuna 13 is famous for its transformation from one of the most dangerous areas in the world in the late 20th century, to a symbol of urban renewal and innovation. Once plagued by violence from drug cartels and guerrilla warfare, Comuna 13 has seen significant redevelopment.

    One notable feature is the installation of outdoor escalators, helping residents navigate the steep hills of the neighborhood and fostering greater accessibility and connectivity. The colors, the graffiti, the dancing and the views are simply breathtaking! You will be mesmerized by the culture and for four hours, you will never see the same thing twice. Truly memorable. Get the micheladas, spicy!

  3. Day 3: Guatapé: The Rock. Take a day trip to Guatapé. Take a professional tour for this event. Plan this in advance.

    Guatapé is a small, picturesque town located about two hours from Medellín, Colombia. It's renowned for the colorful zócalos (baseboard facades) that dress up the buildings in the town center. The umbrella colored walkways are an instant post on instagram and the leather shops for belts, wallets and man-purses are hand made and culturally authentic. No doubt, you will leave with a bag of goodies.

    The massive granite rock, known as La Piedra del Peñol, is magnificent. Visitors climb the 649 stairs to the top of the rock for panoramic views of the lake and mountains. The views will leave you without words. The area around Guatapé offers opportunities for boating, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Spend the night in Guatapé if possible. This small, quaint town in the evening is relaxing and gives you a special feeling of what Colombia is really about.

  4. Day 4: Bicycle city tour: Medellin

    The bicycle city tour is a perfect way to see and learn about the different barriós of Medellin. This is a guided tour of the city and if you are worried about the elevation changes, the tours offer an electric bicycle option. You will see many of the iconic destinations of the inner city of Medellin (Plaza Botero, Museum's, Palace of Culture, and Parque Rio).

    It's amazing that this bike tour can cover so much ground, so many different sites and architectural scenery in such a short action packed ride. The coffee and juice stops give you the opportunity to meet others on your ride and recharge for the next excursion.

  5. Day 5: El Castillo Museum and Gardens (Museo El Castillo)

    This Colombian museum sits in the Poblado district of Medellin. A relaxing location, this museum is different. First, this Museum looks out of place. It looks European and when you first arrive you will ponder “Is this a Medieval Times in Medellin?” The castle design is real and you won't believe it. The design was inspired by French architecture, yet resides on the mountainside of Colombia.

    The exhibitions of porcelain, glass, stained glass, artifacts and sculptures will leave you curious for more and you will have questions. The tour provides the answers to these questions and the history, the story behind this incredible home and now a museum, is incredible and sad.

    The grounds of El Castillo are lush, green and inviting. You can request a picnic, you will visit the beer stands, a green house, and observe an incredible classic car collection on the grass outside the museum. This museum is unique. You will leave, talking to your friends for hours about the museum itself and more about the story behind it.

  6. Day 6: Estación Metrocable Arví/ Parque

    Parque Arví is a large park and nature reserve located in the mountains of Medellín, Colombia. Covering an area of about 16,000 hectares, it serves both as a place of recreation and as a conservation area. Here are some highlights about Parque Arví:

    When you arrive at Parque Arvi, take the cable car (Metrocable) that treks along the tree line high over the barrió. The cable car then traverses over the lush green landscape below. The rivers, the bridges and the wildlife will astonish and inspire you.

    This ecological wonderland is designed so well. The hiking trails are well established (over 60 individual trails), the bridges are beautiful and safe, and the water is cold. Dare you to undress (down to your skivvies) and jump into the river pools which will no doubt invigorate you. If you enjoy mountain biking, this is the location to spend hours with friends exploring the terrain. Advanced to beginner trails, with huge elevation changes, the parque is suited for all levels.

    Parque Arví places an emphasis on environmental education and is a beloved spot for both locals and tourists seeking a soul inspiring break from the urban environment and provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature.

  7. Day 7: Relax and Shop

    Spend your last day shopping. Start off going to one of the new and modern malls. El Tesoro Parque Comercial is an architectural marvel with tremendous views of Medellin. Beautifully designed, these open air malls provide shock value. If you have any preconceived notions of what these (Colombians refer to malls as Central Comercials) look like in Colombia, prepare to be mind blown. These modern shopping centers with Nike outlets, modern gymnasiums, and spectacular food courts would fit comfortably anywhere in the United States.

    If you have time before your flight, spend the last few hours visiting local storefronts. Provenza, Parque Lleras, and Calle 10a, have shopping boutiques lining the streets. Local designers have opened their own storefronts giving you the ability to find something totally different and unique. Don't forget the street vendors either. Colombian jewelry is creative, colorful and fashionable.

Make sure to book tours and accommodations in advance and confirm their operational status. Enjoy this magnificent city.