40 Best Things to Do in Medellin (2022): What Travelers Love (+bonus)

40 Best Things to Do in Medellin (2022): What Travelers Love (+bonus)

I wrote down a complete list of the best things to do in Medellin and around so that you can decide the length of your stay there.

Despite its past as the most dangerous city in Colombia, Medellin has changed. Through this post, you will get insightful and practical information to decide what to do in Medellin. I put on the side all the useless stuff like visiting the commercial center or banal activities like eating a Bandeja Paisa.

Use our post to create a fantastic itinerary to explore Antioquia.

Also, there is a bonus at the end of this post. I give you a list of things to do in Medellin for each day of the week. Don’t miss it. 😉

👉 By the way, don’t forget to have a look at our selection of the best things to do in Colombia.

T. Contents: Things to do in Medellin

What to do inside Medellin, Colombia

Let’s start with the fun things to do in the incredible city of Medellin. Because of its growing popularity, new local agencies offer excellent tours and cool social events are scheduled every week.

Learn everything about Medellín

And avoid mistakes made by travelers.

Entertainment in the city

Things to do in Medellin

Many travelers stick to El Poblado when traveling to Medellin. Don’t hesitate to venture to other districts to be soaked in the city’s atmosphere.

#1 Drink beers in the 3 Cordilleras factory

It’s one of my favorite places to hang out in Medellin. You pay a cheap cover to drink 5 tasty craft beers and listen to some live music.

  • Where: Ciudad del Rio | 10 min taxi from El Poblado
  • Duration: 2-4 h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Get there early to have a table. Only on Thursday and Friday.
  • Website: 3 Cordilleras

#2 Dancing Salsa in Medellin

Travelers love to party in El Poblado, but they miss the opportunity to learn some Salsa moves. There are free classes during the week in various bars.

  • Where: Son Havana (Laureles) and Social Club Academia (South of El Poblado).
  • Duration: 1h
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Wed – Thu > Son Havana. Thu – Sat > Social Club. Better to arrive early
  • Website: Son Havana | Social Club

#3 Play Tejo in Medellin

It’s a national game where you throw a metal disk and hope for loud explosions. You MUST drink beers. It’s a fun thing to do in Medellin and some locals are super skilled!

  • Where: Cancha de Tejo Polideportivo Sur (Envigado) | 25 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Avoid the rush hour from 5 to 8 pm.
  • Website: You can practice with these guys!

More than 3000 travelers have already used our Colombia travel guide

I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015 and put all my knowledge into one Ebook. It’s free and accessible now. 👇

#4 Watch a football game at the Stadium

Colombians love football. Players’ performances on the field aren’t spectacular, but the atmosphere is a lot of fun. Don’t wear the wrong colors! It’s the most authentic experience to do in Medellin.

  • Where: Estadio (Laureles) | 20 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: 6h
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: There is a game twice a week. Ask locals to know the dates. Buy your ticket in advance.

👉 We recommend: Go to a game with locals!

#5 Ciclovia on Sunday in Medellin

Colombians are fond of the “Tour de France”. Every Sunday morning, they close several main roads so that inhabitants can ride -almost- all over Medellin.

  • Where: Avenida Poblado, from the south in Envigado until El Centro in the north
  • Duration: From 7 am to 1 pm – Sunday
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Only on Sunday and Public holidays
  • Article: Ciclovia in Medellin

#6 Paragliding above Medellin

From the sky, the city of Medellin is quite impressive. Head to San Felix and pick one of the several certified companies.

  • Where: San Felix | 1-hour drive from the Bus Terminal North
  • Duration: 15 – 30 min
  • Price: $$
  • Tips: There is a clearer sky in the morning.

👉 Learn more about Jules’ profile and the paragliding options he offers with his local agency.

#7 Horse riding in the green hills

Horse riding Medellin

Traveling is a great opportunity for experiencing new things. Ask Andres to pick you up wherever you want in Medellin and explore the surroundings on a well-trained horse.

  • Where: Sabaneta | 45 min away from El Poblado
  • Duration: 3h
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Morning activities are always better

#8 Rafting on the most beautiful Antioquia’s river

Rio Verde and Rio Samana are two beautiful rivers hidden in the hilly landscapes of Antioquia. You can pick a 1 or 2-day rafting trip. The local agency takes care of everything. I’m a big fan! It’s a thing to do in Medellín if you like adventures.

  • Where: San Francisco | 2-hours jeep drive from Medellin
  • Duration: 1 or 2 days
  • Price: $$$$
  • Tips: Fantastic experience. You can get there on your own to reduce the cost.

👉 Wanna do it? You can contact jule’s agency through their profile page.

#9 Language Exchanges: have a chat with locals

Colombian woman

I know that it is not easy to talk with locals when you don’t speak Spanish. Look on the internet the Language Exchanges events to practice and meet new people! It’s one of my favorite things to do in Medellin.

  • Where: There are various cafes and hostels in Laureles and Envigado. I let you my favorite places and their Facebook page. Just check the events!
  • Duration: 1 – 4 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Just show up and smile. People will come to you.
  • Facebook page: Dimeli | Cafe Ondas |Barrio central | Wandering Paisa

#10 Mountain bikes and adrenaline rush

mOUNTAIN BIke Medellin

Ask Medellin Adventure tours to show you their favorite biking spots. Breathless landscapes and unforgettable experiences. They’ve got excellent pieces of equipment.

  • Where: They pick you up In Medellin or at the Jose Cordova Airport
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Book it only if you’re in an excellent physical condition
  • Website: Medellin adventure tours

Free Walking Tours

Things to do in Medellin

A free walking tour is a cheap and informative thing to do in Medellin. You join a local guide who shows you his city and give you tons of information. Then, you give a tip at the end.

I love it because it’s an excellent way to understand a city/country and get a more in-depth travel experience.

#11 A free walking tour to visit the center of Medellin

Real City Tours does a great job to explain to you the complicated past of Medellin while showing you the various monuments and places. Do it if you can’t afford to book a private tour. It’s an enlightening experience to plan in Medellin.

  • Where: Alpujarra Metro Station | Near the city center
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip
  • Tips: Book it a couple of days in advance
  • Website: Real City tour

#12 Sad Histories, street art but not Pablo Escobar: Visit the Comuna 13 in Medellin

This neighborhood is sadly famous because of all the violence that took place there during the armed conflict in Colombia. If you have seen the name of Pablo Escobar associated with comuna 13 it is a confusion. Pablo Escobar never had any real influence in this part of the city. The stories behind the street art in Comuna 13 are super interesting. The only problem is there are too many tourists nowadays.

  • Where: San Javier Station | 15 min by metro from Laureles
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: Free, but don’t forget to let a tip
  • Tips: Pick the morning tour. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
  • Website: Zippy Tour

Best cultural tours to explore the city

Things to do in Medellin

While Free walking tours are an excellent choice when you travel on a shoestring budget, you can’t compare it with a private tour (or at least a small group size).

Also, you don’t interact much with your environment when strolling randomly among the streets – without mentioning the fact that big Colombian cities aren’t sexy.

If you really want to learn from this trip, then booking at least one cultural tour is the thing to do in Medellin.

#13 Bike tour to visit several districts at once

Moutain bike Valle de Cocora Salento

Medellin is situated in a valley. It means the roads are mostly flat. Also, there are many cycling routes, so you won’t die hitten by a truck (hopefully).

  • Where: Departure from El Poblado. 19 Km.
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Do it in the morning.
  • Website: Bici tour

👉 If you prefer the E-bike, you should book your tour here

#14 Food tour to la Minorista Market

I love eating street food and fruits when I’m in Colombia. It’s even better when you do it in a massive market with hundreds of stands. There is no interest if you don’t do it with a tour as you’ll miss all the interesting explanations. It’s a must-do in Medellin.

  • Where: La Minorista Market | 15 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Don’t eat before the tour!
  • Website: Real City Tour

# 15 Visit a local brewery in Medellin

Microbrewery is becoming a big thing in Colombia. Pay your entrance fee to get 5 samples and visit the Apostol’s Factory.

  • Where: Sabaneta | 30 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: 3 hours.
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Every Thursday, at 6h30 pm. Better to make a reservation. Spanish only.
  • Facebook Page: Apostol

#16 La Sierra: A great alternative to Comuna 13

Be an insider and go where 99% of the tourist are not. Jump on one of the cable cars that will take you to the district of La Sierra. One of the most dangerous in Medellin. Learn its history. Fantastic view of Medellin.

  • Where: The tour starts in San Antonio, then you take the tramway and the cable car to get to La Sierra (30 min).
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Contact the local agency before showing up. There are many stairs.
  • Website: La Sierra Tours

#17 Visit a coffee farm in Medellin

You can visit a coffee farm even if you don’t plan to visit the coffee region. Ask Andres to pick you up at your Medellín hotel then visit a Finca in Sabaneta. Andres knows tons of stuff about coffee. It’s a tour we did last year in Medellin and we loved it.

  • Where: Andres picks you up wherever you want. The farm is in Sabaneta, a 35-min drive from El Poblado.
  • Duration: 3 hours on-site.
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Do it in the morning.

#18 Coffee and walking tour in La Floresta

Stroll in the district of La Floresta and Santa Lucia with your local guide and speak about coffee and architecture. You’ll visit a coffee roaster!

  • Where: Tour starts at La Floresta Metro Station. | 10 min taxi from Laureles.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Contact the local guide by Whatsapp first. He speaks English.
  • Facebook page: Urban coffee tour

#19 Cook delicious meals with locals in Medellin

Cooking is a universal language and an excellent way to bring some delicious memories back home. Go shopping to a traditional market then cook with a lovely Colombian family. It’s a tasty thing to do in Medellin.

#19′ Smell the colorful flowers of Santa Elena

Santa Elena

The Flower Fair is an important event in Medellin. Each year hundreds of Silleteros parade to show their creations. Learn about their traditions in Santa Elena.

  • Where: Santa Elena | 45 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $$$
  • Tips: Don’t go there if you’re not interested in flowers.
  • Website: More information here

Lovely hikes to do in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

There are several hikes you can do to admire the city of Medellin. You can also find many hiking tips around Medellin on this post. It is a different way to visit Medellín.

I don’t recommend Arvi Park (boring).

Because the most dangerous areas of Medellin are on the outskirts, you should always ask around you before hiking somewhere in the city.

#20 Sunday hike to 3 Cruces in Medellin

Colombians love to hike to 3 cruces on Sunday. It’s super steep, and the view from the top is outstanding. Besides, it’s also a funny thing to do in Medellin to observe the fashion style of its inhabitants.

  • Where: Start from the Collegio Padre Manyanet | 20 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: 1h to get to the top
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Take a bottle of water and a hat. There is no shade. Do it early morning on Sunday.
  • Website: Kinkaju organizes many hikes around Medellin

Places, museums, and gardens

Things to do in Medellin

While there are not so many interesting museums in the Medellin downtown, some of them are worth visiting if it’s a rainy day.

You won’t find lots of content in English or French inside the museums.

#21 Museo del Castillo in Medellin

Museo del Castillo

A wealthy Colombian, fond of the middle age, built the castle in 1930. Now, it belongs to the State. You can admire the gardens and there is a tour to contemplate the piece of art inside.

  • Where: Next to El Poblado
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Take the time to lay back in the garden. Visit only in Spanish
  • Website: Museo El Castillo

#22 Get to know el Señor Fernando Botero in Medellin

Botero is a world-famous artist who loves to exaggerate the proportions of his subjects. Many of its sculptures are in front of the Museo de Antioquia in the Plaza Botero which you can also visit to learn more about his life. It’s an interesting thing to do in Medellin.

  • Where: Plaza Botero | city center | 15 min from Laureles
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Website: Museo de Antioquia

#23 Museo Moderno del Arte in Medellin

The modern art museum is a beautiful building with a small art collection, various exhibits throughout the year. It’s also a good option to watch independent movies and the view from the terrace is quite nice!

  • Where: Ciudad del Rio | 10 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Price: $
  • Tips: There is an open house every last Friday of the month, at 6 pm.
  • Website: MAMM

#24 Museo Casa de la Memoria in Medellin

Visiting Casa de la Memoria is an instructive thing to do in Medellin to get a better understanding of the various conflicts in Colombia. Many different communication supports make this visit very interesting.

  • Where: In the center | 30 min from El Poblado
  • Duration: There is a lot of content, but your brain will probably blow up after 2 hours.
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Take a cab to get there, the neighborhood is dodgy. Go early to avoid the crowd. Spanish only.
  • Website: Museo de la Memoria

#25 Parque Explora in Medellin

Parque Explora

I’m a big fan of that park/museum located in front of the botanical garden Joaquin Antonio Uribe. You can visit the aquarium and learn in a playful way through many experiments. It’s a fun thing to do in Medellin with your family.

  • Where: Medellin Metro station Universidad in front of the botanical garden | 20 min from Laureles.
  • Duration: You can easily stay 6h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Go early and during the week.
  • Website: Parque Explora

# 26 Jardin Botanico & butterflies

Jardin Botanico

You won’t learn a lot about flowers but it’s a lovely place to hang out for 30 min. Visit the butterfly garden and look for the iguanas. You can pair it with Parque Explora.

  • Where: Metro station Universidad | 20 min from Laureles.
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Price: Free
  • Tips: Go early to be able to enter in the butterfly garden. Have lunch at In Situ.
  • Website: Jardin Botanico

#27 Take the Metro Cable in Medellin

Cable Car

It’s not a secret, and every traveler does it. Get to Santo Domingo at sunset and admire the city by night.

  • Where: Metro Station Santo Domingo
  • Duration: 30 min by metro from Laureles
  • Price: $
  • Tips: Don’t wander too far away from the metro station.

Things to do around Medellin, Colombia

The region of Antioquia offers many opportunities for day trips from Medellin.

Colonial towns in the region, with colorful wooden doors and gigantic main squares, are among the most charming cities in Colombia. Also, travelers who like adventure trips will be spoilt for choice.

With all our suggestions, you can easily travel for one month just in Antioquia.

Use the following information to decide your favorite things to do around Medellin.

Where to get your adrenaline fix

Things to do in Medellin

There are beautiful rivers that flow through the hilly landscapes of Antioquia.

#28 Tubing in San Rafael

San Rafael

San Rafael is a little town surrounded by natural pools and waterfalls. It’s an excellent place for tubing.

  • Where: 3h bus drive from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Stay in San Rafael and visit Guatape on the way back.

#29 Canyoning in San Carlos

San Carlos is a little town that offers stunning canyoning opportunities and lovely hikes.

  • Where: 5 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: You can include Guatape and San Rafael in the loop.

#30 Tamesis, a town with a mind-blowing view

Tamesis Antioquia

You won’t meet many travelers in Tamesis despite being an excellent spot for extreme sports and outdoor activities.

  • Where: 4 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: You must stay at least one night at the Hotel Monte Magico.

#31 La Peña, the paradise for rock climbers

Stay at Casa en El Air hostel or at La Peña Abejorral and plan your climbing activities.

  • Where: 5 hours from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Book many days in advance, and avoid the weekends.
  • Website: La Peña Abejorral

#32 Magical stay in Rio Claro

Rio Claro is a nature reserve with crystal-clear water and lush vegetation. The park offers various activities like zipline, cave exploring, and tubing. You can stay overnight!

  • Where: 4 hours from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Customer service isn’t great
  • Website: Rio Claro

Lovely colonials towns around Medellin

Things to do in Medellin

There are many cute colonial towns in Antioquia that are perfect for a multi-day trip from Medellin. Don’t hesitate to take the Chivas (colorful buses typical of this region) to move from one town to another.

There is one thing you must keep in mind: You can’t rush if you really want to enjoy the experience.

#33 Guatape and El Peñol

Hikes around Guatape

Every traveler plans a trip to Guatape. The view from el Peñon (the rock in the picture) is fantastic, but the town is a bit overrated.

  • Where: 2 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: Day trip or stay overnight near the lake
  • Tips: Avoid going on a public holiday. You can continue your trip to San Rafael, it’s just 45 min away.

#34 Santa Fe de Antioquia and its famous bridge

It’s a lovely colonial town with some beautiful hotels – pick one with a pool. You can learn about gold seekers and contemplate the bridge “El Puente del Occidente”.

  • Where: 1.5h bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: Day trips or 2 days
  • Tips: It’s not worth it if you don’t book a tour. You will miss 95% of the experience.

#35 Horizontes, our best-kept secret

Horizontes is a tiny colonial town, up a hill, with a great view of the valley. The inhabitants all know each other and you won’t find any tourists. It’s an excellent tour if you pair it with Belmira and Santa Fe de Antioquia.

  • Where: 2h bus to Belmira (Terminal north) + 2 h Chiva to Horizontes.
  • Duration: Package 3 days

#36 Jerico, a religious colonial town

Jerico Antioquia

Jerico is a colonial town made up of colorful houses and magnificent churches. It’s ideal for staying a couple of days and being soaked by the atmosphere. That is also a good place to learn about Colombian coffee. I don’t recommend a day trip to Jerico, this is too far away from Medellín.

  • Where: 3.5 hours from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Tips: Don’t miss the Finca Ariel and the waterfall Arco Iris

#37 Jardin, cowboys’ land and waterfalls

Jardin Antioquia

Jardin is a vibrant town where the inhabitants drink coffees all day on a vast and flowery main square. It offers several beautiful hikes to reach mighty waterfalls. You will really feel the coffee culture there. In some coffee shops of the village, you will have the opportunity to taste really good coffees.

  • Where: 4 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Tips: There is a Chiva Jerico-Andes twice a day, and you can do a 2-day hike to Tamesis.

Hikes to plan from Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

There are many opportunities around Medellin if you’re a mountain lover.

#38 The Paramo de Belmira

A tough 11km hike to get to the laguna and come back through the Paramo. You can hire a local guide in Belmira. Departure from town.

  • Where: Belmira, 2 hours bus from Medellin | Terminal North
  • Duration: 7 hours hike (in total)
  • Tips: Leave super early from Medellin.

👉 You are interested? Jules’ local agency offers to organize this trek.

#39 Cerro Tusa, the biggest natural pyramid

A super steep hike to reach the super-sharp end of the mountain. The view is beautiful. You must get a bus to Venecia first, then ask for a local guide.

  • Where: Venecia, 2h from Medellin | Terminal South, Flota Fredonia
  • Duration: 2-3 hours to get to the top.
  • Tips: Stay overnight in Venecia. Stay in Las Palmas. Do it during the week.
  • More information: Here

#40 Multi-day hike to El Paramo del Sol

A stunning 2 or 3-days hike to get to the highest point in Antioquia. Dreamy sceneries and super cold. You can take a local guide in Urrao and get your camping gear.

  • Where: Urrao is 5h away from Medellin | Terminal South
  • Duration: 2 or 3-day hike
  • Tips: Be a maximum prepared and opt for the 3-day tour
  • More information: here

Events you can do in Medellin

Medellin is a vibrant city, and you will always find something to do (if you know what to look for).

I want to give some cool weekly events you can add to your Colombia itinerary.

The schedule of the event can regularly change, so double-check on the Facebook/Instagram pages.

You can find a cheat sheet of the weekly events (for Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellin) in our Free travel guide.

Things to do in Medellin on Monday

Things to do in Medellin on Tuesday

Things to do in Medellin on Wednesday

  • Listen to live music at Cafe Zorba (delicious pizza) | 8 pm | Poblado
  • Free Salsa Class at Son Havana | 8 pm | Laureles

Things to do in Medellin on Thursday

Things to do in Medellin on Friday

Things to do in Medellin on Saturday

  • Listen to live music at El Arranque | 8 pm | Poblado
  • Listen to live Salsa Music at Son Havana | 11 pm | Laureles
  • Electro DJ’s at Club 1984 | Ciudad del Rio
  • Language exchange and live music at Dance Free | 8 pm | Poblado

Things to do in Medellin on Sunday

Where to stay in Medellín, Colombia?

Depending on the atmosphere you are looking for and your budget, there are different areas where you can book your hotel in the city of eternal spring.

Need more help to find suitable accommodation in Medellín?

I published several handy articles:

Where to travel after Medellín

There are excellent destinations to visit in the department of Antioquia:

Here is a list of our travel guides:

Tomplanmytrip’s sections

INFORMATION: PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME LINKS ARE AFFILIATE S AND AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU, I EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU MAKE A BOOKING. IT’S A NICE GESTURE TO THANK US FOR THE MANY HOURS WE DEDICATE TO TOMPLANMYTRIP 🙂
Things to do in Medellin

I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

2 comments

  1. Jules says:

    What company did you use to go paragliding? Your article is about one company, but then when I click “Fly over Medellin” it links me to a different company. Why is that? Thanks!

    • Tom says:

      Hi Jules, we used the service of Parapente San Felix. Unfortunately, their website doesn’t work right now. We have to update our Paragliding article. The “fly over Medellin” button link to an Airbnb Experience with excellent reviews. These links are affiliate links and allow us to earn a few $ for each booking. We recommend different kinds of local agencies: the ones we’ve met and liked, and the ones with excellent reviews.

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