Welcome to Medellin! The city where most people immediately think of Pablo Escobar. In the past, it was not safe to travel to Medellin. This is a long time ago and it is now completely safe to travel. Medellin has transformed and is becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people want to discover the city that was once regarded as the most dangerous city in the world. Of course, there are neighborhoods where you shouldn’t go but we tell you where you can go without any problem. There is a lot to see in Medellin, in this Medellin travel guide you read the best things to do in Medellin Colombia and why you need to stay in the neighborhood El Poblado.
Tip: if you want to travel large distances in the city, it is recommended to use the metro, which is easy, cheap, and fast.
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What are the best things to do in Medellin?
Medellin is a large city where you can do a lot. To explore the city and to do the best things in Medellin you need 3 full days. In this article, you read the 6 best things to do in Medellin.
#1 Discover Medellin with a free city tour
One of the best things to do in Medellin is to take a free city tour. Medellin is a city where a lot has happened and can be seen. By using a free city tour you walk with a local who tells you the history. Together you will explore the historic districts in a 3.5-hour, because of the stories you get a better understanding of the city and Colombia in general. During the tour, you will pass several important parks, streets, and squares, where you see the artworks of Fernando Botero. The stories behind the artworks are really special and will surprise you. We are very enthusiastic about this tour and therefore recommend it. After all, this tour will help you better understand how Medellin and Colombia have created a certain stamp in the world and what they are doing about it to change it. You can register via the real city tours page.
Tip: if you like free tours you can also do other tours with real city tours.
#2 Go paragliding and experience the view above Medellin
Do you want to challenge yourself? Do you like adrenaline? Then paragliding is something for you, it is one of the best things to do in Medellin! Colombia is one of the cheapest places in the world to do it. Medellin and San Gil are the best places. We did it with Zona de Vuelo and recommend it. This flying school has 17 years of experience and arranges everything perfectly. Everything is well explained in advance in English or Spanish. During the flight, you can communicate with your partner via the walkie-talkie, which is great if you are both in the air at the same time. Finally, you can use the pick-up service. Price starts from $36 per person.
#3 Discover the colorful village: Guatapé
Guatapé is worth a visit! It is for sure one of the things to do in Medellin that you don’t want to miss. It is a picturesque place popular for its colorful houses. It is an ideal day trip, as it is only 2 hours away from Medellin. Guatapé is especially nice to walk around and enjoy the Colombian relaxed atmosphere. Before you arrive in Guatapé you pass the rock El Peñol, you can climb this rock from where you have a fantastic view over the lakes and green area.
If you prefer to visit Guatapé with a tour, we recommend to book below tour.
Full-day tour Guatapé | $30 per person
How do you get from Medellin to Guatapé?
Take the metro to Caribe, get off there, and walk to the bus station called Terminal de Transporte Norte. There you take the bus to Guatapé or Pierda. We advise you to buy a ticket for Pierda because it is better to first climb the rock on arrival and after this activity, you can rest in the village at a restaurant.
Tip: upon arrival in Guatapé or Pierda, it is recommended to buy your bus ticket immediately for the return journey, as this saves a lot of waiting time. If you forget this and you buy your ticket on departure in the evening, you may have to wait 1.5 to 2 hours before boarding the bus.
#4 Discover street art from Comun 13
The most beautiful graffiti works can be found in today’s tourist district Comun 13. It is one of the most special things to do in Medellin. Until 2010, this district was considered the most dangerous neighborhood in Colombia. It is transformed into a district that is safe and beautiful to watch. Today it is easy to visit Comun 13. You have to take the metro from San Antonio to San Javier, once you get off you walk to the left and you arrive in Comun 13. Nowadays you can visit Comun 13 yourself, but you can also do a tour with a local guide. Book your ticket via the below link.
Tour Comun 13 | $41 per person
#5 Go for a ride with the cable cars
If you visit Comun 13, the ride in the cable car from San Javier to La Aurora cannot be missed. The view is very nice and you have a good view of the neighborhoods that you pass. Once you arrive in La Aurora you can get off and climb the stairs opposite the station. Beautiful graffiti artworks can be seen on these stairs. Another ride is from Acevedo to Arvi, this is also fun to do because here you get a nice view of the city. At the station, Arvi is a national park where you can take a nice walk. If you like viewpoint this is one of the things to do in Medellin that you don’t want to miss.
Tip: do not get off at the intermediate stations at the cable car, because this is not safe. This is only possible in Santo Domingo. Also, the metro ticket is valid for the cable car as long as you stay at the station.
#6 Discover the nightlife in Parque lleras
There’s nothing like a night out in Medellin, a good location to do this is in Parque Lleras. Around this small square are restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. It is located in the district of El Poblado, the safest area for tourists. The best eatery in Medellín we found the Korean restaurant “Eden Bistro” which is only 3 minutes walk from Parque Lleras. You cross main street calle 10 and walk into Carrera 37, then you will see the Eden Bistro on your right.
Where to stay in Medellin? Stay in El Poblado
The best neighborhood to stay in Medellin is El Poblado. This is the safest district. In El, Poblado are a lot of restaurants and bars that you can visit without any problem. In El, Poblado is many accommodations. We have selected our two favorite accommodations based on the price/quality ratio. Both accommodations have a good price. If you now book through Booking via our link, you can change your reservation two days in advance, which is nice to maintain flexibility. Finally, both accommodations are very popular, so it is strongly recommended to book in time.
Rango Hostel Boutique
Rango Hostel Boutique is located in the middle of the El Poblado district, the best area to stay as a tourist. It is a nice hostel to meet easily other people. With a 9.4, this hostel is rated excellent. In the hostel you can play table tennis, swim and have a drink at the bar. Both the dorms and the double rooms are comfortable.
Price per night from:
$ 14 dorm | $ 66 double room
Epic Boutique Hotel
If you really want to relax in a busy city, Epic Boutique Hotel is for you. The building looks great from the outside, but from the inside, it is even more beautiful. The interior of the rooms is great. You can book a room yourself with a private hot tub. This hotel has everything to make your stay unique!
Price per night from:
$ 68 double room
Hopefully you enjoyed our article, the next destination is Cartagena. At least if you follow our Colombia itinerary. Open our travel guide of Cartagena via the link. Other places which you can also visit from Medellin are Santa Marta, Palomino, Tayrona National Park, Minca and Salento.
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