Welcome to the enchanting city of Medellin, Colombia, known as the “city of eternal spring” for its warm and pleasant climate all year round. Once plagued by violence, Medellin has undergone a remarkable transformation and is now a thriving hub of development and a top tourist destination. Join us as we explore the five best reasons to visit Medellin and discover the unique experiences this city has to offer.
- Impressive Old Town:
Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Medellin’s old town. Explore Bolivar Park, a spectacular green oasis, and marvel at the Romanesque-style Metropolitan Cathedral and the charming churches of San Jose and Candelaria. Don’t miss the historic Veracruz Church, the oldest in the city, as you immerse yourself in the rich heritage and architecture of Medellin.
- Sculptures of Botero Square:
Art enthusiasts will be captivated by Botero Square, where 23 gigantic sculptures by renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero adorn the plaza. This stunning location is also home to the Museum of Antioquia, housed in the best-preserved art deco building in Colombia. Immerse yourself in the world of art and culture as you appreciate Botero’s masterpieces.
- Medellin Aquarium:
Located in the expansive Explora Park, the Medellin Aquarium is one of the largest in South America. Explore its 2,200 square meters, spread across three levels and 29 thematic areas, and encounter a diverse range of exotic freshwater and saltwater species. Marvel at marine dinosaurs and witness the majesty of pirarucus, the largest freshwater fish in South America.
- Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden:
Step into a haven of natural beauty at the Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden. Be sure to visit the iconic Orquideorama pavilion, known for its unique architectural design. Explore the 4,200-square-meter covered garden, home to a picturesque lake and a remarkable collection of orchids, carnivorous plants, and native species. The Labyrinth, Butterfly House, and Medicinal Garden are additional highlights awaiting both children and adults.
- Guatape: The Town of Zocalos:
Just 83 kilometers from Medellin lies Guatape, a town that seems straight out of a fairy tale. Admire its picturesque colonial-style houses adorned with vibrant colored skirting boards known as zocalos. Wander through the charming streets, take in the stunning views from the famous El Peñol rock formation, and immerse yourself in the authentic Colombian culture that Guatape offers.
Things to Do in Medellin:
- Explore Nutibara Hill: Enjoy panoramic views of Medellin from Nutibara Hill, home to a viewpoint, sculpture park, and an open-air theater. Don’t miss Pueblito Paisa, a recreation of a typical Antioquia town complete with a traditional plaza, shops, and restaurants.
- Embrace Nature: Discover Medellin’s abundant natural spaces, such as El Picacho, Santo Domingo, El Volador Hill, and Pan de Azucar. These areas provide opportunities to engage in outdoor activities, admire the breathtaking landscapes, and explore pre-Hispanic paths and remnants of indigenous settlements.
- Visit Parque de Los Deseos: Spend a day at this 12,000-square-meter theme park, home to the Planetarium and the House of Music. Enjoy the various play areas for the whole family and marvel at the reflection of the sky in the park’s water mirror. Contemplate astronomical phenomena and make a wish upon a shooting star.
- Take the Arvi Tourist Cable Tour: Embark on a six-hour panoramic tour on the Parque Arvi cable car. Marvel at the privileged views of Medellin and its surroundings as you ascend to the elevated park. Shared tours are available on weekends, while private tours can be arranged daily.
- Discover Tomas Carrasquilla-La Quintana Library Park: This picturesque hilltop park offers a serene setting to contemplate Medellin’s beauty. Engage in sports activities, dance, or sing while enjoying panoramic views. The park also provides free internet access, cultural programs for all ages, and a wide selection of books and magazines.
Where to Eat in Medellin:
Indulge in the delectable flavors of Medellin’s typical gastronomy at Delicias de Manila, a family restaurant offering high-quality meals at an affordable price. Tal Cual is another gastronomic gem, known for its delicious dishes, although slightly more expensive. Both establishments are located in the El Poblado neighborhood, ensuring a delightful culinary experience.
When to Visit Medellin:
The best months to visit Medellin are December, February, June, and August. These months provide excellent weather, with dry and sunny days ideal for exploring the city. However, it’s important to avoid October, the rainiest month of the year. If you plan your visit in August, you’ll have the added bonus of experiencing the spectacular Flower Fair, a truly unforgettable event.
How to Get to Medellin:
By Plane: Travelers can take direct flights to Medellin from Madrid, Spain, with airlines such as Avianca and Iberia. The flight duration is approximately ten and a half hours. Upon arrival, Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in Rionegro is just 29 kilometers away from Medellin. Buses and taxis are available for transportation to the city center.
By Public Transport: While train travel is not currently possible to reach Medellin, the city has a well-developed public transportation system, including the iconic Metrocable cable car. This system provides both efficient transportation and breathtaking views of the city.
By Car: If you prefer to explore at your own pace, renting a car is an excellent option. Driving from Bogota to Medellin offers the opportunity to enjoy picturesque mountain landscapes along the way. The journey takes approximately ten hours.
By Bus: Buses depart from Bogota’s Terminal Salitre and arrive at Medellin’s Terminal Norte. Renowned bus companies such as Rápido Ochoa, Flota Magdalena, Expreso Bolivariano, and Expreso Brasilia operate routes between the two cities. Choose a direct bus route with minimal stops to minimize travel time, which typically ranges from ten to eleven hours.
Where to Stay in Medellin:
Medellin offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. The Manrique neighborhood is known as the “tango neighborhood” and is a vibrant cultural hub. Comuna 13, famous for its street art, offers a unique and immersive experience. For those seeking elegance and safety, El Poblado is the neighborhood of choice, known for its upscale atmosphere and vibrant nightlife.
Getting Around Medellin:
Public Transport: The Metrocable cable car system is an efficient and popular means of transportation in Medellin. It provides not only convenient access to different parts of the city but also offers panoramic views along the way. The standard fare for a Metrocable trip is COP$2,300.
Taxis: Medellin’s taxi system is well-regarded, and companies like Easy and Tappsi provide reliable service. You can conveniently request a taxi through their applications or websites. The approximate cost of a one-hour taxi ride is cheap in dollars.
Car Rental: Renting a car is a great option for travelers who plan to explore beyond Medellin. By booking your vehicle in advance, you can secure a daily rental rate starting from COP$110,296. This flexibility allows you to visit other areas of Colombia while enjoying the convenience of your own transportation.
Cost of Living in Medellin:
Medellin offers affordable prices, particularly for European & American tourists. Once you get off air bnb the cost of living drops dramatically. Shopping enthusiasts can explore various markets, including the San Alejo artisan market, held on the first Saturday of each month in Parque Bolivar. The Junin pedestrian passageway and Via Primavera are also popular shopping destinations, showcasing the best of Colombian and international designers.
Medellin, a City to Love:
Medellin has undergone a remarkable transformation, from a city plagued by violence to an international symbol of development and tourism. Its pleasant climate, characterized as the “city of eternal spring,” welcomes visitors with open arms. Explore the impressive old town, admire the iconic sculptures at Botero Square, and immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity at the Medellin Aquarium. The Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden and the picturesque town of Guatapé are also must-visit attractions.
Engage in outdoor activities by exploring the Nutibara hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views, visit the Pueblito Paisa, and experience traditional Antioquia culture. Medellin’s natural spaces offer opportunities for sports, contemplation, and discovering the historical legacy of the indigenous settlers.
For a memorable experience, spend a day at Parque de Los Deseos, where you can explore the Planetarium, the House of Music, and various play areas for the whole family. Take advantage of the Arvi Tourist Cable Tour for breathtaking views of Medellin and its surroundings.
Medellin offers a range of accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. Whether you prefer the vibrant neighborhoods of Manrique and Comuna 13 or the elegance of El Poblado, you’ll find comfortable options to enhance your stay.
Plan your visit to Medellin during the optimal months to enjoy the city’s pleasant weather. Explore the city’s rich gastronomy at local restaurants or try international chains. Experience the convenience of Medellin’s public transportation system, including the Metrocable, taxis, and car rentals.
Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture, friendly atmosphere, and breathtaking landscapes. Medellin is a city that captures the hearts of its visitors and offers an unforgettable experience for travelers from around the world.