• Katrina Julia

Top 10 Medellin, Colombia Things to Do

Medellin was once known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, A lot has changed with the city since the 1990s that will surprise you.


Medellin is known for its nickname the "City of Eternal Spring" for its constant spring temperatures year-round, immersion in nature, innovation evident in the city, varying neighborhoods, Memory Museum, picturesque villages like Pueblita Paisa within the city, colorful towns like Guatepe within 2 hours from the city, and food in places like Hacienda Junin.



Whether you will spend one day in Medellin, or close to 2 weeks like I did, you will love it!

It's not easy to narrow down Medellin, Colombia to a Top 10 Things to Do, but here goes!


My Medellin, Colombia Things to Do includes Walking Historical Tour, Comuna 13, Guatepe. Pueblita Paisas, Museo Memoria, Metro Cable, Miraflores, Park of Lights, Neighborhoods, and Foodie Favorites!



Medellin, Colombia


Medellin, Colombia

Twenty five years ago, Time Magazine named Medellin one of the most dangerous places on the planet. It would appear that Medellin is a city re-born.


Medellin, Colombia Highlights

  • Capital of Antioquia Province

  • Lies in a valley between two Andean mountain ridges

  • Famous for its coffee plantains, flower farms, orchids, and butterflies

  • Named Most Innovative City in the World in 2013 by Urban Land Institute

  • Known for the Most Bird Species in the World with Over 1,800+ Species

  • Boasts Over 550,000 Tourists Annually




Comuna 13 Tour with Airbnb Experiences

All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, Sony A330, and/or my iPhone 13 or via Airbnb.




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Where I Stayed in Medellin, Colombia

I flew into Medellin from Bogota on Avianca Airlines on January 26th. I initially booked an adorable studio near the center of town until February 1st. I let the host know I might extend to February 7th upfront depending on the location, noise, and comfort. The building, studio, and WiFi were all great.

However, for me I prefer quieter neighborhoods and less street noise. As a result, I left February 1.



Medellin Airbnb in Center

Airbnb


I decided to experience a different side of town for my last week. I stayed at Pandora Co-Living in Envigado for a week.



Pandora CoLiving

Airbnb



Top 10 Medellin, Colombia Things to Do

You will find many things to do in Medellin, Colombia far beyond the Top 10 Things to Do I share.

Keep in mind, I stayed in Medellin for about two weeks. Whether you spend a day, a week, or months in Medellin, always make any travels your own!


My Medellin, Colombia Things to Do includes Walking Historical Tour, Comuna 13, Guatepe. Pueblita Paisas, Museo Memoria, Metro Cable, Miraflores, Park of Lights, Neighborhoods, and Foodie Favorites!


In putting together the Top 10 Medellin, Colombia Things to Do, I considered how I would experience travels knowing what I know now to make it easier and more enjoyable for you.



Buenos Aires Neighborhood

 

1 Walking Historical Tour in Medellin

Starting off your travels in Medellin with a walking historical tour is the best way to get up close and personal with Colombia. Not only that, but you support local entrepreneurs and economy as well.


While Colombia may be known for cartels and cocaine, you will discover it is equally as rich as a country. You may be surprised to know that Colombia boasts coffee as its biggest export, second most biodiverse country in the world, and world famous flower exporter especially for Valentines.



Plaza Botero


Although Colombia may have colorful towns and a colorful history (which one doesn't?), it is absolutely bucket list worthy. While spending time in Bogota, I have felt safe as a solo female traveler. Keep in mind, I do most activities during the day and in tourist spots or with groups.



I loved my Walking Historical Tour with Beyond Colombia
Tip the Guides well! They are amazing!

The Walking Historical Tour started at 10 am. My guide was Sarah. I learned deeper insight into Medellin, Colombia's history, culture, and economy. During the Walking Historical Tour in Medellin, we experienced Plaza Botero, Parque Berrios, La Libertad, Parque de las Luces, Palacio Nacional and more.


I walked to the starting point by San Antonio Metro Station from my Airbnb a few blocks. It is easy to get an Uber in Medellin as well.


How I Got Robbed in Colombia, Prayed, and Got my Phone Back in <15 Minutes

At the same time, like many cities in the world, it is important to stay aware and mindful of surroundings. With travel to 30+ countries, I am hyper aware. After I did my walking tour on my first full day in Medellin on February 27th, I ate at Hacienda Junin.


I left to walk to get my Herbalife Nutrition package. On my way, it started to rain so I decided to stop to take an Uber near Parque Berrios. That's where I got robbed in Colombia with having my iPhone 13 taken (but then returned in less than 15 minutes).


It definitely caught me off guard, increased my awareness, and created an opportunity for a miracle.










A Cultural Walking Tour is a Must in Medellin, Colombia


 

2 Comuna 13 Tour Experience

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Comuna 13 was one of the most dangerous places in Medellin. It was run by drug trafficking organizations using the sprawling hillsides for transit routes in and outside the city.


Innovative and community focused projects like metro cables, outdoor escalators, and street art have transformed Comuna 13. Comuna 13 are now one of the Top 3 Things to Do in Medellin almost everywhere and in every blog you look. It shows a visual representation. of a real-life community walking in transformation.


I went on a Comuna 13 tour with Big Tours Medellin with Sebastian as a guide. He lives in Comuna 13, and at every turn he knew almost everyone. I loved experiencing the Medellin subway, Metro Cable, and Comuna 13. The experience with the five of us and Sebastian was priceless!



Comuna 13 Tour





One of the BEST View of Medellin hands-down at sunset.




 

3 Guatepe Day Trip

Guatapé is an Andean resort town in northwest Colombia about 80 km east of Medellín. It’s world famous for its Piedra Peñol with over 700 steps to reach indescribable views of a man-made Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir, and breathtakingly beautiful colorful town of Guatepe.


Since it is only two hours to reach from Medellin, a visit to Guatepe is perfect for a day trip!

I went with Tours Guatepe via an Airbnb Experience and loved it. They picked everyone up from Poblado Park. The experience included round-trips transportation, Piedra Penol, Colombian Lunch, Boat Ride, and Walking Tour of Guatepe. An absolute fantastic and priceless value with our guides Alejandra and Elizabeth!







 


4 Pueblit0 Paisa Visit

Pueblito Paisa is a great example of learning of things to do from locals! After my walking tour on my first full day in Medellin, I met a father and son, both Josephs. They ended up telling me about Pueblito Paisa in the city. I researched Trip Advisor, as well as blogs and articles about Medellin and no other source shared Pueblito Paisa.


Pueblito Paisa

It is one of the most adorable colonial towns I have visited in the world. It combines crafts, gastronomy and architecture along with vast views of Medellin and the surrounding mountains.


I ended up visiting on a Sunday. It is a perfect relaxing activity to do including hiking in the nearby nature, admiring architecture, and typical Colombian street food and crafts.

Pueblito Paisa was inaugurated in 1978 and was built with elements and materials from the old town of El Peñol in eastern Antioquia, which was flooded to form another of the most famous destinations in Antioquia, the El Penol-Guatepe reservior. Throughout its history it has had different renovations.


The most current one took place between 2019 and 2020, in order to align the space with Medellín's commitment to being an eco-city, promoting green spaces, and ensuring sustainable mobility.

 

5 Museo Memoria Experience

The Museum of Memory in Medellin is a must to learn about the history of Colombian wars and conflicts offering different perspectives from journalists, citizens, families, and the government.


I ended up going on my walking tour with Beyond Colombia Miraflores. It introduces you step by step to the history, cultural, impacts, and personal stories of families and revolutionaries.






Museo Memoria in Medellin

 

6 Metro Cable Ride in Medellin

The Metro Cable began operation cerca 2004 in Medellin complementing the Medellin Metro providing access to reach the city's settlements on the steep hills.


Metrocable is a gondola lift system implemented by the City Council of Medellín, Colombia. It is one of the most advanced and cleanest metros I have ever experienced. In 2013, Medellin was awarded as the most innovative city in the world for its developments.


I learned a lot about the Medellin Metro and Metro Cable during my Comuna 13 Tour, as well as my Miraflores Tour. I rode the Metro Cables 4+ times during my travels to Medellin. You will love the incredible and Instagrammable views of the city!



Metro Cable in Medellin

 

7 Park of Lights

One of my favorite stops during my Cultural Walking Tour is the Park of Lights or Parque de las Luces near Plaza Libertad in Medellin. It is a great photo stop and a must for Instagrammable spots in Medellin.