5 things to do in Medellin, Colombia

Medellin looks stunning at night.

Medellin looks stunning at night.

The city of Medellin was once considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but with an influx of tourists over the last 15 years, it has been transformed into one of Colombia’s the most modern and popular centres.

Safety has improved significantly and there are now large areas, infrastructure and resources that have sparked tourist growth in the region. Medellin is popular with younger people and is quickly becoming a cosmopolitan playground, helped by the popularity of hit Netflix show Narcos.

If you are planning to visit Medellin, there is plenty for you to enjoy. To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are five things that you can experience in Medellin, Colombia.

Explore the parks and plazas

There are many different parks and plazas that visitors can enjoy and have a stroll around. This is a perfect way to relax in the heat that Colombia experiences all year round. Many people, both locals and tourists, spend sunny days sat outside bars and restaurants here, enjoying delicious Colombian cuisine such as arepa, bandeja paisa and empanadas.

Visit the famous Plaza Botero, which is named after well-known artist Botero, who was originally from the city. In the plaza, you will find 23 of Botero’s sculptures that visitors regularly get pictures with, as well artists and various street performers, who all come together to provide an entertaining atmosphere.

Visit Jardín Botánico

The Orchidarium at Medellin Botanical Garden. Image credit:    Staticshakedown   /   Creative Commons

The Orchidarium at Medellin Botanical Garden. Image credit: Staticshakedown/Creative Commons

The well-maintained and large  Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden offers a quiet and calm retreat from busy Medellin. Throughout the year, many different events such as festivals and concerts are held here, while the gardens themselves are ideal for an afternoon walk. There are around 5,000 different flowers for you to explore across the park’s 34 acres, with around nearly 140 different bird species that call the garden home.  

Go on a walking tour

A look at what you can expect to see on a walking tour of Medellin.

A look at what you can expect to see on a walking tour of Medellin.

If you want to immerse yourself in everything that the city of Medellin has to offer, then you should consider going on a walking tour around its  streets. This is a great way to explore a new city and by going on a walking tour, you can get the inside track with a local, knowledgeable guide. There are even some free walking tours available that are provided by Real City Walking Tours, which are a great way to get to know the city.

Learn Spanish

Very few people speak English in Colombia, as virtually all of the locals speak the nation’s official language – Spanish – so why not try and learn a few phrases before you go? Even better, you could learn when you’re actually in Colombia at Medellin’s language school. You can take classes here and will also be able to benefit from free access to the online lessons that are included in the program.

Take a food tour

You will be spoilt for choice when looking for something to eat in Medellin. If you want to try and enjoy a varied selection of everything that the city’s cuisine has to offer, definitely go on a food tour, takingyou to the city’s popular hotspots as well as unearthing some lesser-known gems.