We were supposed to celebrate Jaz’s birthday and Valentines together in Bolivia, but snow in Boston did not let it happen. So, Jaz flew to Medellin with her mom. She asked one of her friends who is also a travel blogger for some recommendations of what to do in Medellin. Jaz started with this list, which grew even longer once in Medellin. She fell in love with the city and hopes to come back someday with Steven and explore this gorgeous city together.
The flight arrived early in the morning to Medellin. There are several different options to get to the city from the airport. We opted for the cheapest option, which is a bus that takes you to San Diego Mall and then catch a cab to your hotel from there. From the airport a taxi charges 65,000 COP, a shared ride to San Diego charges 18,000 COP, and the bus costs only 9,500 COP.
Medellín Travel Video:
Walking Map of Medellin, Colombia
Top attractions in Medellin
Metro Cable de Medellín
Medellin is the only place we have visited where a gondola is part of the regular public transportation. From the Explora Park to the gondola you need to take the metro heading Acevedo. From there you head to the second floor and take the gondola to Santo Domingo. It has a beautiful view of the city. It is a short ride and is the same price as a metro ticket, 2,300 COP, so if you are using the metro as transportation it is worth the visit.
Parque Explora is an interactive science museum. It has the biggest freshwater aquarium in South America, nearly 300 attractions, a 3D auditorium, a planetarium, a tv studio and a vivarium. A great way to spend a day if there is bad weather.
Parque Explora is open Monday to Friday from 8:30AM to 5:30PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 6:30PM. Tickets cost 24,500 COP.
Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden
In front of the museum is the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden. It is a beautiful free public park to walk around and take stunning photos. Jazmin did not spend too much time in the park because there are countless iguanas, which she is afraid of.
Plaza Botero is an amazing square to photograph. It has many sculptures of the great Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. It is conveniently located near other attractions, however this area is more unsafe than others.
Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe
It is a beautiful building with a unique architecture. It is perfect for interesting architectural photos. The Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe houses the Institute of Culture and Heritage of Antioquia, home to many public archives.
Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria
Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria is a cute little church in front of a bustling square. Remember to watch out for pickpockets in this area, if you are careful and aware it is alright.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Medellin
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Medellin is located in a quiet square in a less safe area in Medellin. It is really only worth going if you would like to take a photo of the building.
Plaza Cisneros (Parque de las Luces)
A short visit to Plaza Cisneros makes for an amazing night time photograph. It is really just a quick stop to get the perfect shot of the artistic tree looking lights.
Plaza Mayor and Parque Pies Descalzos
The Plaza Mayor is a modern esplanade, with some event always going on. It is a great place to enjoy the modern architecture and grab lunch.
Next to the plaza is El Parque de los Pies Descalzos, one of the coolest parks we have ever seen. This barefoot park is basically a giant sandbox for everyone all of ages. Throw your shoes off to enjoy this zen inspired park.
Cerro Nutibara and Pueblito Paisa
The next stop is the Cerro Nutibara hill in the center of the city. There are several hiking trails that lead you to the Pueblito Paisa, is a small replica of a typical historic town of the region. It is such a colorful small area where you can get amazing photos and enjoy historical buildings.
Parque Llera is a lively plaza located in the upscale Poblado neighborhood. Streets are filled with restaurants, bars and clubs making it a must visit during the evening or night time.
We recommend to go up to the Envy Roof Top Bar in the The Charlee hotel, which is the perfect place for a fun drink overlooking the entire city.
Museo El Castillo
Museo El Castillo a 20th century, French inspired castle overlooking the city of Medellin. It is now a museum that tells the story of local philanthropist Diego Echavarría Misas’ family which once live there. Walking through each room in the house you experience a subtle step back in time with a lot of europa art pieces.
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9AM to 12PM and 2PM to 6PM, Saturdays and Sundays 10AM to 5PM. Tickets are 12,000 COP for adults, 7,000 COP for kids and students with a valid ID.
Our last stop is the grave of Pablo Escobar, one of the most famous drug lords and figure of Medellin.. It is a little bit far from everything else but it is worth the visit as it is a main attraction.