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TLDR? With just 24 hours in Medellin you can explore some of the best food and walking tours in town.
Medellin is a place where you could spend your whole life without getting bored. The city is constantly evolving, so there’s always something new to explore. And, of course, the weather is perfect year-round.
However, you only have one day in Medellin, so you’ll have to make the most of it. But what are the city’s most important things to see and do?
And how do you organize your time so that you don’t miss anything important? Lucky for you, I’ve been there done that. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the perfect day in Medellin, step by step, so that you can make the most of your time in this amazing city.
Medellin is a city with endless things to offer. No matter what your interests are, you will find something to do in this vibrant city. From exploring the many museums and parks to enjoying the nightlife, there is always something to keep you busy in Medellin.
Being the City of Eternal Spring, Medellin has great weather year-round. This makes it the perfect place to visit any time of year.
If you do come during the rainy season (April – May), don’t worry – the rain usually comes in the form of short, intense showers that quickly clear up, leaving the rest of the day bright and sunny.
In addition, the storms usually start in the late afternoon, so you can still enjoy most of your day without worrying about the weather. Nonetheless, always pack a light rain jacket just in case.
Before we get into the perfect day in Medellin, let’s look at what you need to know before you come.
Have these essential items packed and ready to go before you arrive in Medellin:
Packed for the day? Let’s get into what you should do on your perfect day in Medellin.
First and foremost, grab some coffee and breakfast. Colombia is known for its coffee, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on this.
If you’re staying in El Poblado – the most popular tourist neighborhood – there are plenty of great cafes to choose from.
In addition, if you are staying in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Laureles, you can also find several great places to have breakfast.
If you aren’t intermittent fasting, grab an empanada or arepa con queso (a Colombian cheese-filled cornbread) to tide you over until lunch.
Once you have your caffeine fix and are ready to start the day, I’d recommend taking a free walking tour. This is a great way to get oriented in the city and learn about Medellin’s history, culture, and architecture.
There are many different companies that offer free tours, but our favorite is Real City Tours or Guru Walk. Their English-speaking guides are professional and passionate about Medellin, and they offer a great variety of tours to choose from.
These tours are usually 3-4 hours, depending on how many people show up, and they start around 9 am. A free walking tour will show some of the city’s most historical and important places.
Remember that even though the tour is free, the tour guide relies on tips for their livelihood, so be sure to tip them at the end of the tour.
It will be time for lunch once you finish your free walking tour. After walking for a few hours, you are sure to be hungry.
There are plenty of great places to eat around the city, but you need to seek bandeja paisa if you want the quintessential Medellin experience.
A bandeja paisa is a typical dish from the Antioquia region of Colombia, and it is a huge plate of food that comes with:
After eating a bandeja paisa, you are probably going to want to walk it off. Medellin is an innovative city with a metro system that is expanding daily.
Use the metro to get to the Botanical Gardens, which are huge and beautiful. They are free to enter, and they make for a great place to relax and take in some of Medellin’s nature.
Afterward, you can visit Parque Explora, which is adjacent to the Botanical Gardens. This is a great place for kids and adults alike, as it has an aquarium, a butterfly garden, and a planetarium.
If you want to get outside of the city and into nature, Parque Arvi is the place to go. The cool thing is that you get to ride the cable car to get there, which is an experience in and of itself.
Parque Arvi is a huge park with plenty of hiking trails, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon if you love being outdoors.
This huge park is located just outside Medellin and is a great place to hike, bike, or just relax.
There are many different trails to choose from, so you can easily find one suitable for your fitness level.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can take the cable car up to the top of the park for some stunning views of Medellin.
After a full day of exploring Medellin, you are probably going to be ready for dinner.
There are many great restaurants, but we recommend trying some traditional Colombian food. However, Medellin has a diverse selection of restaurants, so you can find just about anything you are in the mood for.
You can find fine dining, fast food, and everything in between. If you are in El Poblado or Laureles, you will have plenty of great restaurants to choose from.
If you are up for it and want to try some traditional Colombian food, we recommend taking a street food tour.
Guilty Pleasures Food Club has an evening street food tour that takes you to some of the best places to eat in the city.
You will get to try a variety of different dishes, and you will learn about the history and culture of Medellin through food.
This is a great way to experience the city and a lot of fun. The tour also ends with a night ride on the cable car so that you can see the city from a different perspective.
After dinner, you can head out for some drinks and dancing. Medellin has a thriving nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs to choose from.
If you want to experience traditional Colombian music, we recommend going to a bar with live music.
You can also find clubs that play a mix of Colombian and international music.
No matter what you are in the mood for, you are sure to find it in Medellin.
Medellin has many different neighborhoods, each with its own unique character.
If you are only in the city for a day, we recommend staying in El Poblado. This is the most tourist-friendly area of Medellin and has the best selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
It is also centrally located, so you can easily walk to many of the city’s attractions.
If you are on a budget, we recommend staying in Laureles. This is a more residential area, but it is still centrally located and has plenty of great restaurants and bars.
There are other differences between the two besides price. For example, El Poblado is going to have more tourists and English speakers, while Laureles will have more locals.
So if you want to experience Medellin like a local, we recommend staying in Laureles.
If you don’t already have a set itinerary, then you can use this as a perfect day trip from Medellin. We recommend going to Guatape.
Guatape is a small town located about 2 hours outside of Medellin. It is famous for the monolithic rock El Peñon, which you can climb for stunning views of the surrounding area.
Many colorful houses and buildings also make it a great place to take pictures. In addition, you can do a boat tour, rent jet skis, or go swimming in the Guatape reservoir.
If you want to experience some of the best Colombia offers, we recommend spending a day in Guatape.
If you only have 24 hours in Medellin, then following this itinerary will help you make the most of your time. Who knows, it may even inspire you to stay longer!
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