Medellín, Colombia. A city transforming from a war torn past of drugs & Pablo Escobar. Once a no go city, has shaped into a top travel destination not only for Colombians but people worldwide. Now with so much to choose from & so little time, what can you do? Keep reading to maximize your time & dollars in this wonderful city.
You have arrived and have checked into your hostel in Poblado. We will use Poblado as a reference point because:
- It’s where the majority of backpackers stay
- & It’s where the highest density of hostels are located.
Welcome to Colombia. Home to some of the top Coffee in the world. Start with a trip to Pergamino Cafe for some of the cities best coffee & pastries. Remember to grab a bag to bring home with you.
Post Pergamino head to your meeting location for your Free City Walking Tour with Real City Tours (Make sure to book this a day or 2 in advance). This is the ideal start to your Medellin experience as this 4 hour tour acquaints you with city, dives into the history of Colombia and allows you to ask any other questions you may have to your tour guide. Also, if you’re traveling solo this is an excellent tour to meet other travelers.
Post Free City Walking Tour: It’s time to eat, Colombia Style. Menu Del Dia or Bandeja Paisa. Menu Del Dia’s can be had all over the city for about 10,000 COP ($3). The Menu del Dia usually consists of: Meat, Rice, Fruit, Salad, Soup, and Juice. They will vary from place to place but something along these lines. Learn to love them as they are filling and will keep your wallet filled.
Cable Cars. You’ve probably seen photos of the Medellin cable cars shuttling people over the city deep into the hills. It’s now your turn for a completely different perspective of the city. Take a trip up to Parque Arvi to see some of the Park, or just ride up & enjoy the scenery.
Sunset at Envy. Hustle back to Envy rooftop and catch the sunset. You will be glad you didn’t miss this spot.
Park 37 for dinner & drinks. Post meal hang around outside and enjoy the bustling scene of Poblado before checking out a neighborhood favorite, Mad Records. Go with the flow as Poblado has much more than needed to make your night a memorable one.
Coffee to Start your day. Head over to the quaint and Aussie owned, Hija Mia for another taste of some of Medellin’s best coffee. Post coffee catch the metro to meet your group for your Communa 13 tour. Communa 13 tour will give you the scoop of one of the countries most dangerous barrios & an inside look at the transformation that is currently unfolding in Medellin.
Hop on the metro & take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of gorgeous scenery & tranquil vibes. Next to the Botanical Gardens you can also find the very popular Parque Explora. I didn’t have the chance to go but countless people I met enjoyed their time there.
Friday night in Poblado. Head to Parque Lleras, Poblado’s main nightlife center, and embrace the chaos that will be found around every corner. Grab a bottle of Colombia’s favorite, Aguardiente & have your pick at one of the many bars/discotecas at your disposal.
Today is a slower day as your Poblado evening most likely got the best of you. Catch an extra hour of sleep and when ready, head out to find Medellin’s most infamous dish, Bandeja Paisa. Props to those who can finish the massive serving of Eggs, Chicharrón, beans, rice & Avocado.
Paragliding. Post lunch it’s time to circulate the blood with an afternoon in the sky. A 1 hour bus ride will have you high in the mountains to para-glide just outside the city. GTopik was our outfitter and we can’t recommend them enough for their safety procedures and the excellent experience they provided. 15 minutes of soaring for roughly $50. These guys price match so you’re sure to have the most economical price for your time in the air.
Parapente with GTopik. Medellín, Colombia
Cafe Zorba for Dinner. Head back to Poblado for dinner at the always delicious & cosy pizza joint, Café Zorba before another night out. Calle 9+1 for the electronic music lovers or a whirlwind of craziness in the ball pit at Octava (Instagram Hot Spot).
This day can go many ways but should end with a tour as Medellin is a city full of them. If you want to learn more than just the inaccurate portrayal of Pablo Escobar in Narcos, then take the Pablo tour. You will be shuttled around the city to a number of spots that have played a major role in the history of this infamous Colombian. Theories will be discussed, personal opinions expressed, & a plethora of information you probably had no idea was true.
Back to Poblado for your belongings & a quick bite & it’s time to get back to the airport for your evening flight. Keep in mind the airport is far so give yourself time for the trek ahead. 1.5 Hour bus ride.
There are loads of other activities & things to choose from, but I have found these will give you the best taste & provide you with the best bang for your buck in this city. Have a better itinerary or an idea that can be included? Drop a line and let me know.
Sticking around longer? Head to Guatape without a tour or guide. No Tour Guatape
Neither of these destinations? Find some other of my favorites here: