If you are planning a trip to Colombia, Medellin is probably high on your list. This amazing city has been growing in popularity recently.
Medellin has grown in popularity over the past couple of days and the city managed to cope with this growth amazingly. They are constantly coming up with new and improved ideas to help the city.
You will notice that this is the only city in Colombia that has a metro. This Metro is not an ordinary metro since there are three or four lines that are operated by cable cars instead of conventional public transportation. As a tourist, this is a safe and easy form of transport to use and the easiest way to get between the Communas. There are only single tickets, so you will have to pay the full price every time you take a new transport method.
Another thing to know is about where to stay. There are two areas people usually stay in. I stayed in Poblano, which is one of the two. I loved staying here since it was very peaceful and many things to do in the area. The best hostel to stay in is Los Patios Hostel, which you can check out here. I have heard from many people who stayed somewhere else then moved to Los Patios. It costs about 15 dollars a night, but they have great rooms, a bar, a gorgeous kitchen, and many activities you can do through the hostel such as pub crawls, city tours, and so much more. I loved my stay there and so will you.
Morning - City Tour
I love city tours, especially free walking tours since you receive information that you would not usually know. In this place, that has changed so much during the last twenty years has changed so much, it is especially important. I enjoyed my tour because of the local insight it gave me into the evolvement of Medellin.
Your tour might also include a trip on many different types of transport. We went up with one of the cable cars for a great view of the city and to learn about the people living up there. It is a fascinating concept that really helps connect the whole city. You will also walk around the center and see many of the important places to visit and see.
Be aware that these tours tend to last around four hours. Since it takes a long time to get through the city from one sight to the other, so that takes up a chunk of that time. There is also history and stories you should learn that the tour guide will tell you throughout the tour to make fully understand and appreciate the city.
Noon - Local Lunch
One of the things you will hear about throughout your trip is the food. There are many different opinions so you should try it and make up your own mind about it. One of the most important dishes in the country is Bandeja Paisa originally from Medellin. After walking around the city for a couple of hours, you will be very hungry and wanting to eat at one of the cute little restaurants around the center. They all serve Bandeja Paisa and many other traditional foods. You will surely find something you will like.
Afternoon - House of Memories Museum
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to visit this specific museum but have heard so much good that I decided to include it on this itinerary. This is a museum made up of stories and pictures to give you a feel about what the city was like during the Pablo Escobar era and after. It will make that time period more real and give you a deeper understanding of it.
It is usually open during the week, but make sure you check the opening on the website very carefully. My friend tried to visit it while we were there and they were closed due to a holiday a couple of days earlier.
Evening - Going out in Medellin
Medellin, while being one of the most beautiful cities in the country, is also a party city. If you are staying at a hostel, they will most likely have a pub crawl organized for you to see some of the most fun places around the neighborhood. There are many bars, clubs, and other places to enjoy. Be aware that since you are in Latin America you will be hearing a lot of reggaeton music around everywhere. If that is not something you enjoy, the night will not be as fun for you. Also, the other songs will be a bit behind which can be fun since they are songs you have not heard for a while.
Morning - Comuna 13 Tour
Comuna 13 is a phrase always floating around when talking about Medellin. There are many stories about this Comuna and all the things happening here. After being cleaned up a few years back, the locals are working really hard at trying to give it a better reputation. While I was there, it was safe to walk through during the day alone, so it has changed dramatically.
I decided to do a tour by Zippy, which was the first company to organize tours in this neighborhood. All the guides live in that Comuna and most have grown up there. Along with information about the graffiti, you will receive stories about living in this area and what has changed. I enjoyed my tour a lot even though it was 3 to 4 hours long. You need to book them in advance since the tours are very popular and usually full. Further, they run twice a day both in English and Spanish. If you want to find out more, you can read about them here.
Afternoon - Guatape
During so much of my trip have I heard about going to Guatape. While it is absolutely lovely, it does not need a full day. My suggestion is you go there in the afternoon or towards the evening and stay there overnight. That way you have time to explore in the evening and in the morning and can head back to Medellin right the moment you are done.
If you go there, you need to climb the rock. I would leave this to the next morning since it tends to be crowded in the morning. In the afternoon, you should enjoy the beauty of the city and do some water activities if you would like to. You can have dinner at some of the cute restaurants and maybe spend the evening in one or two bars that exist in the town. That way you will see the real town not just filled with tourists.
That is my suggestion for two days in Medellin. I liked my time there and I hope you will as well. Definitely worth putting on your list for Colombia destinations. I am sure there are many things I have missed, so if you have more tips, please share them in the comments below or on social media. I would love to hear that.
If you are heading to Salento from Medellin, check out my guide on what to do in that adorable town.