40 Best Things to Do in Medellin (2020): What Travelers Love (+bonus)

40 Best Things to Do in Medellin (2020): What Travelers Love (+bonus)
  • Save

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

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. 😉

Must read: Our top-notch Medellin Travel guide

Table of Contents: Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

  1. Entertainment
  2. Free walking tour
  3. Paid cultural tours
  4. Museums and places
  5. Hikes in Medellin
  6. Outdoor activity paradise
  7. Colonial towns
  8. Hikes around Medellin
  9. Things to do during the week
  10. Start deciding which places you visit
  11. Lay back while we do the hard job

Stop being stressed and ask us to plan your trip

What to do inside Medellin, Colombia

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

Entertainment in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

#1 Drink beers in the 3 Cordilleras factory

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

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

Must read: Our Medellin Nightlife guide to party like a local

#2 Dancing Salsa

  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

Get some fun: Explore Medellin by night with these guys

#3 Play Tejo

  • Save

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!

Information (+)

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

#4 Watch a football game at the Stadium

  • Save

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!

Information (+)

  • Where: Estadio (Laureles) | 20 min from Poblado
  • Duration: 3h
  • Price: $
  • Tips: There is a game twice a week. Ask locals to know the dates. Buy your ticket in advance.
  • Website: none.

Get some fun: Hang out with locals before and during the game!

#5 Ciclovia on Sunday

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

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

#6 Paragliding above Medellin

  • Save

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

Information (+)

Make it easy: Ask these guys to drive you to San Felix

#7 Horse riding in the green hills

Horse riding Medellin
  • Save

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.

Information (+)

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

We recommend: Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#8 Rafting on the most beautiful Antioquia’s river

  • Save

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!

Information (+)

  • 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.
  • Booking: We always work with these guys.

Travel stress-free: Go watching a movie while we add it to your itinerary

#9 Language Exchanges: have a chat with locals

Colombian woman
  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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 | Colombia Immersion | Barrio central | Wandering Paisa

#10 Mountain bikes and adrenaline rush

mOUNTAIN BIke Medellin
  • Save

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

Information (+)

  • 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

Make it easy: Add it to your Colombia itinerary

Free Walking Tours in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

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 Visit the center of Medellin

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • Where: Alpujarra Metro Station | Near the 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 Visit the Comuna 13

  • Save

The stories behind the colorful streets of Comuna 13 are super interesting, but there are too many tourists nowadays.

Information (+)

  • 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

Must read: Pick the right district in Medellin

Paid Cultural tours in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

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 Colombia 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
  • Save

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).

Information (+)

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

We recommend: Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#14 Food tour to la Minorista Market

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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 of a local brewery

  • Save

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

Information (+)

  • Where: Sabaneta | 30 min from 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

  • Save

Be an insider and go where 99% of the tourist are not. The district of La Sierra was one of the most dangerous in Medellin. Learn its history. Fantastic view of Medellin.

Information (+)

  • 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

  • Save

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 hotel then visit a Finca in Sabaneta. Andres knows tons of stuff about coffee.

Information (+)

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

We recommend : Travelers love to do it with that guy!

#18 Coffee and walking tour in La Floresta

  • Save

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!

Information (+)

  • 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

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

#19′ Smell the colorful flowers of Santa Elena.

Santa Elena
  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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.

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

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • Where: Start from the Collegio Padre Manyanet | 20 min from 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 in Medellin, Colombia

Things to do in Medellin

While there are not so many interesting museums in Medellin, 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. We know some excellent local guides if you need it.

#21 Museo del Castillo

Museo del Castillo
  • Save

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 arts inside.

Information (+)

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

#22 Get to know el Señor Botero

  • Save

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, that you can also visit to learn more about Botero’s life.

Information (+)

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

#23 Museo Moderno del Arte

  • Save

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!

Information (+)

  • Where: Ciudad del Rio | 10 min from 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 de la Memoria

  • Save

An instructive thing to do in Medellin to get a better understanding of the various conflicts in Colombia. Many different communication supports.

Information (+)

  • Where: In the center | 30 min from Poblado
  • Duration: There are lots 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

Parque Explora
  • Save

I’m a big fan of that park/museum. You can visit the aquarium and learn in a playful way through many experiments. Perfect for families.

Information (+)

  • Where: Metro station Universidad | 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
  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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

Cable Car
  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

Must read: Our favorite Medellin day trips

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 pleasant towns 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 in this region.

Travel Stress-Free: Watch Game of Throne while we plan your trip.

Towns that offer many outdoor activities

Things to do in Medellin

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

#28 Tubing in San Rafael

San Rafael
  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

#29 Canyoning in San Carlos

  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

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

Tamesis Antioquia
  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

#31 La Peña, the paradise for rock climbers

  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

#32 Magical stay in Rio Claro

  • Save

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

Information (+)

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

Be inspired: Take a look at our Colombia itineraries

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 from 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
  • Save

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

Information (+)

  • 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.
  • Travel guide: Guatape

Make it easy: Ask these guys to show you around if you’re in a hurry

#34 Santa Fe de Antioquia and its famous bridge

  • Save

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”.

Information (+)

  • 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.
  • Website: More information here

#35 Horizontes, our best-kept secret

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

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

#36 Jerico, a religious colonial town

Jerico Antioquia
  • Save

Jerico is a colonial town made up of colorful houses and magnificent churches. It’s ideal for staying a couple of days and be soaked by the atmosphere.

Information (+)

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

We recommend: This kick-ass tour to Finca Ariel

#37 Jardin, cowboys’ land and waterfalls

Jardin Antioquia
  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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.
  • Travel guide: Jardin

Travel stress-free: Get more ideas for you Colombia itineraries

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

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

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

#39 Cerro Tusa, the biggest natural pyramid

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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

  • Save

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.

Information (+)

  • 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

Things to do in Medellin for each day of the week

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

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Things to do after Medellin

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

All you need to create your itinerary

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Things to do in Medellin (1)
  • Save

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 

Things to do in Medellin
  • Save
I fell in love with Colombia 5 years ago. Through this website, we help every month thousands of travelers to plan their trip to this beautiful country. Use our Premium service on the site www.Colombia-insider.com if you want us to take care of everything for the organization of your trip to Colombia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.