I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many activities you can choose to do in Medellin. And many more that I wish I could have done while I was there in the two visits I’ve made. I can share what I’ve done, cool things others have done, and maybe even the things I wish I could have done if I stayed there longer.
Medellin is commonly known for its temperate climate and renaissance culture, which attracts travelers to explore the city. The city offers numerous activities for those who have the first time and longer-term visitors. For both types, looking for an unforgettable experience, these are the best things to do in Medellin:
- View Antioquia by Hang Gliding
- Eat Bandeja Paisa
- Take a Tour with a Free Guide
- Fill Your IG with the Styles of Boterismo
These are only four things, but the truth is there is so much more to see and do in Medellin. I listed those four things as not to be overwhelming! You can’t do everything, but you can do fun things! And these are ways to enjoy Medellin.
View Antioquia by Hang Gliding
You’re probably wondering what Antioquia is. It’s simple; it’s the region Medellin is in. Kind of like a Wake is the county of Raleigh. Antioquia is like that to Medellin.
From a hang gliding perspective, you can view this region. Medellin is so much more than the buildings and metros that fill the valley’s center. It is also nature and beauty that surround it.
You can take summit the sides of Medellin to find places to hang glide to experience this.
I never did this on my visit, but the friend I was with did. He found this experience a highlight of the trip.
Looking back, I should have just sucked it up and went. I’m not usually the biggest fan of heights.
Eat Bandeja Paisa
Make sure you do the exhilarating activities first before you eat this meal.
If you’re looking for something that leans on the keto diet, this meal seems to define it. Plus, several extra calories.
I like trying out different foods when traveling, and it wasn’t any different when I went to visit Medellin. There is this snack or a side dish that was made out of congealed animal’s blood, which I tried. I wouldn’t have tried it, if unprompted. My rating for it was okay.
Bandeja Paisa is definitely several steps above the other local cuisine.
Bandeja Paisa is filled with fresh pork, meats, eggs, avocado, and eggs – all of which I love. And also, I told you it’s a very keto-friendly meal. The only thing is that it can come with a side of plantains, which has some starch in it.
This meal will leave you full to the brim.
When I took a day trip from Medellin to Guatape, I ate Bandeja Paisa, which served as an excellent post-workout meal. Okay, I didn’t really work out in Guatape, I did take a massive hike up to see a view from a rock called Piedra de Penol.
If you’re looking to replenish calories, this is definitely a meal to get. Otherwise, I would recommend sharing it with a travel food enthusiast.
Tour with a Free Guide
Is it really free?! Of course not.
But there are tours that advertise it that way because there are no initial upfront charges.
If you’ve been on free tours in other countries before, you know that this is a pretty common thing to advertise.
The tour has no upfront charges, but it is expected you provide a tip to the local guide. After all, it is courteous to show love after they’ve shown you their city from a local’s perspective.
Plus, they can take you to parts of the city you probably would not go to by yourself. If you do, they do provide helpful hints to navigate throughout.
I found myself learning more about the city in these tours, a feel for the political landscape, as well as safety tips. They’ll also introduce you to the culture Medellin has through its structures. Like a gothic building and artistic works.
Some of these works are a must for your Instagram. For instance, the Boterismo style which is an icon of Medellin.
Fill Your IG with the Styles of Boterismo
Yeah, these statues were designed with a sense of humor. As you walk through the city, you can’t miss these.
Some statues are of birds and naked people. They’re done in a way that they are proportionately more bubbly. Below is a photo I took so you know what I mean.
Kind of funny, right?
I have yet to see similar statues that are designed like that, which makes it iconic to Medellin. If you go on the tour, they will also mention it’s a sad historical fact involving these statues, as well as hope. That theme embodies Medellin, especially it coming out from a time when certain groups had created an atmosphere that was less than ideal.
Other things to do
Medellin is notable for many other things. So the best things may be focused on the events you are interested in.
During the Christmas season, there is an event called Alumbrado, lighting in English. This a spectacular visual sight where the entire city of Medellin and neighborhoods are decorated with lights. I’ve not seen anything like it.
There are also flower festivals in the middle of the year. I’ve been told that’s something I should go too.
I recommend checking the events hostels have too. It’s a good place to connect with other travelers and locals. I was able to share a couple drinks and practice a bit of my Spanish there too.
Like, I said there is so many things to do. These are just some of things that were on the fore front of my mind and I’ve hard have been an incredible experience.