8 of the Best Things to See & Do in Medellin

Medellin has something for every nomad. From innovative architecture and art to wide open green spaces, our local insider Jacqui handpicks the city's best.

1. Library Parks

Dotted throughout Medellin, you'll find several library parks – each with their own style and architectural personality.

The library parks offer visitors the chance to spend time in free internet cafés, read a book, magazine, or newspaper, participate in workshops, or just relax outside in the public green spaces.

For great views of Medellin, take a cable car ride (via Metrocable) to visit the Santo Domingo Savio Library Park, which sits on the eastern mountain slopes. Built with Spain’s support, the library complex has positively changed this poor neighborhood, which was once controlled by dangerous drug cartels.

2. Parque Arví

From the Santo Domingo Metro stop, buy another ticket and switch to Line L, which'll take you even further up the mountain to Parque Arví.

This huge ecological reserve offers several activities including guided hikes through the forests, paddling boats, camping, and the sampling of local food and snacks.

3. Parque Explora and Botanical Gardens

Spend a few hours at the interactive science museum Parque Explora to observe marine life at Latin America's largest freshwater aquarium.

Across the street, you'll find Jardín Botánico, a large green space to sit, do yoga or eat salpicon con helado, a Colombian fruit salad with ice cream.

4. Botero Plaza

Fernando Botero is a figurative artist born in Medellín. He is internationally recognized for his “Boterismo” style, in which he creates exaggerated and voluptuous figures.

As part of an urban revamping program, Botero himself donated 23 bronze sculptures that now make up the Botero Plaza in downtown Medellín.

Besides photographing the crazy statues, you can buy souvenirs or just people-watch while enjoying freshly cut fruit or ice cream from street vendors.

5. Museum of Antioquia

Bordering Botero Plaza, you'll find the Museum of Antioquia. The museum displays the work of Colombian artists Fernando Botero and Pedro Nel Gómez, as well as pre-Hispanic artifacts and contemporary artwork, photographs, sculptures, and international pieces.

If modern art is more your taste, take a peek at the stylish Museum of Modern Art, which hosts new exhibitions every few months.

6. Pueblito Paisa

Built atop the 80m (263 ft) high Nutibara Hill is Pueblito Paisa, a small replica of a typical Antioquian town square, including a church, town hall, barbershop, and school.

The 360-degree view of Medellin and the surrounding mountains make the visit worthwhile.

You can also enjoy the Sculpture Park that can be found at the foot of the hill. Open from 6 am to midnight, this open-air park showcases several modern abstract sculptures created by national and international artists.

7. Feria de las Flores

As the “city of eternal spring”, it’s no surprise that Medellin hosts an annual flowers fair, which promises 10 days of flower and car parades, live concerts, and cultural exhibitions.

Highlights include the famous Silleteros Parade, where people carry large flower displays on their backs in a traditional structure called a silleta.

8. Free Walking Tour

Real City Tours take visitors on an fun, informative and FREE (donation-based) walking tour around downtown Medellin.

With locals as your guide, spend 4h understanding the city’s turbulent history, its unique culture, and why it is now Colombia’s most developed city.

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