TLDR? The ideal itinerary for 1 week in Medellin includes tours throughout the urban area as well as on the outskirts!
I’ve often said you need at least a week to really discover a place. That’s true whether you’re touristing, digital nomading, or doing some other form of travel.
If you’ve got one week in Medellin and aren’t sure how to spend it, I’ve got your back.
Keep reading and discover how to spend a week in Medellin. With this guide, you’ll be able to put together the perfect itinerary for your time in the City of Eternal Spring.
Activity: Downtown walking tour
Breakfast: SMASH Cafe
Activity: Parque Explora
Breakfast: Ganso & Castor
Activity: Museo del Agua EPM
Activity: Parque Arvi
Breakfast: El Jardin del Oriente
Breakfast: Azul Selva
Activity: Coffee farm tour
Breakfast: Hija Mia
Activity: Santa Fe de Antioquia
Lunch: Berracas de la 13
Activity: Comuna 13
Activity: Botanical Gardens
Lunch: La Fonda del Pueblo
Activity: Pueblito Paisa
Lunch: Cafe Arvi
Activity: Parque Arvi
Lunch: La Amistad
Activity: Piedra del Peñol
Activity: Paragliding in San Felix
Lunch: La Comedia
Activity: Puente de Occidente
Dinner: La Causa Laureles
Activity: Nightlife on La 70
Dinner: In Situ
Activity: Planetarium Show
Dinner: Carmen XO Experience
Activity: Museum of Modern Art
Activity: Nightclubs in Provenza
Activity: Jazz at Z Bar
Dinner: Vista a Vuelo
Activity: Views from San Felix
Activity: Salsa Dancing at Son Havana
Where to Stay
Before we jump right into the itinerary, let’s take a second to talk about where to stay during a week in Medellin.
While there are plenty of great places around the city, in order to be centrally located, you should really go for Laureles or Poblado.
For the best nightlife, pick Poblado. For a quieter scene, Laureles might be your best bet. Either way, they’re good jumping-off points for getting out and exploring.
Now, without further ado, here’s a one-week itinerary for exploring Medellin!
Day One: Downtown and Comuna 13
Your first day in Medellin is the perfect time to get out and about and check out Medellin’s main sights and sounds! Here’s how to spend every part of your day in the area
Of course, if you’ve caught an early flight or a red eye, you’ll want to grab some grub first. Luckily, there are a number of excellent restaurants where you can pick up a meal, and many of them aren’t too far from the center of the city.
My personal pick would be Hatoviejo, a traditional Colombian restaurant located right by all of Medellín’s top sights.
You can get anything on the menu and know it’ll be good, but my personal pick would be a black coffee and a calentado. It’s a hearty paise breakfast that will have you fueled up for a day of exploring.
Once you’ve had your fill, walk literally out the doors of the restaurant and stroll around the main attractions right there in the center. You can even take a free walking tour with Real City Tours if you don’t want to explore these things on your own.
During your tour, self-guided or not, be sure to check out:
In these places, you can find great works by Antioquian masters such as Fernando Botero and other icons of the city.
After exploring downtown for a bit, it’s time to hop on the metro and head to the San Javier station to explore Comuna 13.
Comuna 13 is one of the most-toured areas of Medellin. It’s a neighborhood that was once a center of trouble and violence. Today, however, art and dance have transformed the area.
You can either take a guided tour of the neighborhood, or you can walk around on your own. While the tours give you some more backstory into the murals, I think walking around alone is the best bet. That way, you have a bit more freedom.
Speaking of freedom, if your stomach is rumbling, head up to one of the rooftop restaurants in the neighborhood. I’d recommend Barracas de la 13, a gorgeous rooftop restaurant with delicious traditional food.
Once you’ve eaten, grab a michelada from one of the many street vendors around the area. Check out the urban artists doing dance and singing shows.
Make sure you take the escalators in the street up and down the mountain.
Once you’ve had your fill of walking around Comuna 13, it’s time to head back into the more central part of town for dinner and some nightlife.
This time head over to the Laureles neighborhood for some of the happening nightlife in the area. There are tons of great restaurants to check out in the area, but my favorite would have to be La Causa.
After you’ve eaten, be sure to head up La 70. There are tons of hopping bars and clubs to check out. A few recommendations include:
There are tons of other great places, so be sure to check out what’s along the street. Who knows, you might find something I haven’t seen before!
Day Two: Exploring the Northside
Day two is another day to really get up and at ‘em! Grab your walking shoes and head down the metro line to Universidad for a great day.
Start your day with breakfast at SMASH Cafe. This place is open early in the morning, so you can fuel up and start your day without wasting any time.
After you’ve had your fill, head to the metro and ride the A Line to Universidad. There, you’re going to make a beeline for Parque Explora, an interactive and educational science center.
After you’ve explored (no pun intended) Parque Explora, head next door to the botanical gardens.
This is a space full of vegetation and hundreds of species of flora, as well as birds, butterflies, and small ponds.
You can pretty much spend the whole afternoon there, so I’d recommend starting by getting a picnic lunch from the reception area. You can take that with you into the park and enjoy a romantic date or just some me-time amidst the foliage.
Then, stroll around the park and take in your surroundings.
After a day at the Botanical Gardens and Parque Explora, it’s not uncommon to be a bit tired.
My recommendation would be to head over to the gourmet restaurant at the park called In Situ. Treat yourself to a cozy meal before heading outdoors and wandering around the nearby Parque de Deseos.
If you’ve still got the energy, you can go to the Medellin Planetarium for an evening show. They regularly run sound and light shows which make you feel like you’re in outer space!
Day Three: Exploring the West of the City
Your third day is the time to get to know the west part of the city. It’s another day with a lot of walking, so make sure you’re well-rested!
Start your day with breakfast at Ganso & Castor, an amazing brunch spot. They’re open early, so you can enjoy either coffee or mimosas, depending on your vibe.
From there, head down to the Parque de Los Pies Descalzos and the Museo de Agua EPM. The park is a nice place to splash around and cool off.
And, next door is the Museo de Agua. This is a really cool environmental museum to learn more about how important water is to our planet.
Take some time to read the signs and check out what the place is all about. When you’re done, head over to Parques del Rio and take a short stroll along the banks of the Medellin River.
By the time you’ve finished at the museum (and possibly the park), my guess is you’ll have worked up an appetite again.
That means it’s the perfect time to head over to Cerro Nutibara. Cerro Nutibara is one of the 7 tutelary hills of the city where you will find Pueblito Paisa at the top.
Pueblito Paisa is a restored village of typical Antioquian houses built with the architecture of yesteryear and with the characteristic colors of houses you’d have seen back in the day.
When you’re done, you can walk around the area and buy traditional sweets, souvenirs, snacks such as solteritas or empanadas, and fruits, or just sit down to have a couple of beers while you take in the views of the city.
Once you’ve finished up at Pueblito Paisa, continue your journey to the south of the city and head over to the Museum of Modern Art.
The Museum of Modern Art is home to some of the newer works of art of the last century. It’s big but not too big, and is a great way to finish off your afternoon.
Once you’re ready for dinner, hop on the metro and head back up to Poblado for dinner at the Carmen XO Experience. This place will let you try a bunch of different flavors at one unique restaurant!
Day Four: Hiking in Parque Arví
The fourth day in town is a great time to get outdoors and explore some of Medellin’s countryside. After all, at this point, you’ve spent a lot of time in the city!
Start your morning with breakfast at Pergamino. Pergamino is a coffee shop located in Provenza, and has some pretty spectacular breakfast items.
Make sure to eat a lot, because Parque Arvi is an all-day activity!
To get there, just take the metro system and go to the Santo Domingo Metro Cable. At this last station, you’ll have to take a cable car up to the park. The ride takes about 20 minutes and takes you high into the mountains.
When you get there, you’ll immediately notice the cold weather. Because it’s at a higher altitude, the park gets pretty cool.
Once you arrive, you’ll have a couple of things you can do, including:
Self-guided tour of the area
Regardless of what you choose, you’re bound to have a good time.
The best thing to do for lunch is to treat yourself to some Colombian coffee at the park’s café. They’ve got tasty pastries, quiches, cakes, and other meals for you to enjoy.
Once you’ve eaten, you can also wander around the outdoor farmer’s market. This is a great place to try typical regional desserts such as merengon or strawberries with cream.
After lunch, you can walk around some of the close-by trails or get ready to head back to town. Remember, it’ll take you about an hour to get from Arví to Poblado, so make sure you’re prepared!
Once you make it back to Poblado, head straight to Oci.Mde for one of the best meals of your trip. This restaurant offers a twist on classic Colombian dishes, and they’re all delicious.
After dinner, it’s time to get the party started! Medellin is one of the best cities for nightlife, according to Time Out Magazine.
There are many places where you can enjoy the best of the paisa-style night. But, a few top picks in the area include:
Fonda La Chismosa
Day Five: A Day Trip to Guatapé
Guatapé is probably the best day trip from Medellin and is certainly one of the must-see attractions. On your fifth day, there’s nothing better than a trip to Guatape to get you going!
Here’s how to do it.
You can absolutely go to Guatape on your own, but I highly recommend taking a tour. The tours are not only easier, they give you a chance to explore places that can be tough to reach via public transport.
You’ll start your day getting picked up at your hotel. Then, the bus will stop off at a breakfast place called El Jardin del Oriente. The breakfast is hot chocolate, arepas, calentado, and cheese.
After breakfast, it’s time to hit the road! Your tour will take you out to the old town of Guatape, where you’ll catch a boat tour of the lake. Have your camera ready because you’ll see the big stone from a distance!
Once the boat ride is over, you’ll drive out to the town of Guatape. This is where you can walk around and check out the famous zocalos decorating the houses. Make sure to snap a photo on the umbrella street, too!
After a busy morning, your tour will take you out to the Piedra del Peñol. There, you can grab a meal at the base of the rock. La Amistad is a no-frills place that offers good food for cheap, and most tours include your meal there.
Once you’re fueled up and ready to go, hike up the 704 steps that take you to the top of the stone, where you can see the entire Guatape dam from above!
The tours take you back to Medellin at around 4 pm. You’ll arrive in the city at around 6 pm, the perfect time for dinner!
After a long tour, tonight’s the time to head to Abbiocco by Carmen. This is a spectacular Italian restaurant that has some pretty incredible dishes.
Once you’ve had your fill, head downstairs to Z Bar, the jazz bar in the basement. It’s a great way to finish off the night with some cocktails and live music!
Day Six: El Cuturral Coffee Farm
We all know that Colombia is famous for its coffee, so while in Medellin, make sure to visit a coffee farm! Here’s how to spend the day.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Azul Selva in Provenza. The restaurant is right by some of the best boutique hotels in town, so it’s super convenient. Plus, they’ve got everything from coffee and pastries to hearty brunches and mimosas.
After breakfast, it’s time to head to a municipality called Copacabana. This is about 30 minutes from the city, and is the home of a coffee farm called El Cutural.
At the coffee farm, you’ll receive a tour of the coffee plantation and get the chance to taste different varieties of organic coffee.
It’s the perfect pick-me-up after a morning of walking through the tall coffee plants.
Once your tour is over, get back on the road toward Medellin. You can find different roadside restaurants that offer the best typical Colombian dishes.
I’d recommend Rancherito, which has traditional staples like bean casserole.
Then, as you head back toward Medellin, make a detour through San Felix. San Felix is a small hamlet located on a mountain approximately 20 minutes from the city.
This place is famous for paragliding and is the perfect way to finish off your afternoon! You don’t need any experience, and your flight will last between 15 and 30 minutes. You can see Medellin from above and have an incredible experience while watching the sunset.
Talk about a great finish to the day!
After your flight, treat yourself to a meal in San Felix. There are many places to dine while enjoying a great view of the city.
In Vista al Vuelo, you can enjoy chorizo and French Fries paired with hot chocolate with cheese. It sounds a bit unorthodox, but it’s definitely a worthwhile pick!
Enjoy the view and a hot drink (or a cup of wine, if you prefer) before heading back into the city to relax and unwind before your next day.
Day Seven: A Day Trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia
They say you should go out with a bang, and with this itinerary, you can. Here’s how to spend your last day in Medellin!
You’ll want to start your day with a hearty meal, so I’d recommend grabbing some grub at Hija Mia. Hija Mia has delicious dishes with tons of vegan and vegetarian options. They’ve also got some wicked coffee.
After breakfast, it’s time to set off on a tour to Santa Fe de Antioquia. This is a colonial town located approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Medellin.
Once again, you can go it alone, but I’d recommend taking a tour. The tours pick you up from your hotel or from Parque Poblado, which is up the street from Hija Mia.
During the morning part of your tour, you’ll be given a historical walking tour of the village. You’ll get to see the colonial streets and churches and learn more about the area.
After a morning exploring Santa Fe de Antioquia, you’ll have a bit of free time on your own. Grab some lunch at La Comedia.
La Comedia is one of the best restaurants in this town with a theme between colonial and bohemian that offers delicious and high-quality gourmet dishes!
After lunch, you’ll get a chance to walk around the Juan del Corral Museum. This gives you even more context about the town and how it came to be.
Finally, your tour group will take you out to the Puente de Occidente. This is located 10 minutes by car from the town and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the region. Take a five-minute walk across the bridge and enjoy the landscape.
After exploring the bridge, you’ll make your way back to Medellin for your final night. Since it’s your last night, I’d recommend treating yourself to dinner at Egeo.
Egeo is a bougie restaurant bar with a super exclusive feel. And, it’s located right near the party atmosphere of Provenza but tucked away enough that it feels extremely private.
After dinner, get your dancing shoes on and head to Son Havana for some salsa dancing! You can stay as long or as short as you like, depending on how early your flight is.
Then it’s time to head back to your hotel and get ready for the trip back home in the morning.
Make the Most of 1 Week in Medellin
While 1 week in Medellin might sound short, that’s actually more than enough time to enjoy all the attractions that this city has within its urban area as well as on the outskirts.
Enjoy checking out the best of the downtown area as well as some of the unique attractions in the surrounding villages.
Pack your bags and get ready to enjoy a week in the City of Eternal Spring!
If you like this blog, you might like the Casacol Instagram page to keep up with all the new articles. Anything we need to update or correct? Care to contribute? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.