15 Things to do in Medellin: Making the Most of Medellín

Our trip to Colombia has morphed into a 6 month experience. It’s our first visit to Colombia and also our first time stepping foot in South America. We’re so excited to be here and are already planning escapades throughout this continent. I like to get ahead of myself, my eyes are often bigger than our budget and time window #doingthemost. Really, we’re just settling into Medellín and there’s enough to explore in our new backyard. So we secured an apartment with a short term lease and came up with our “Medellín Hit List” to start growing where we are planted and make the most of the time here. We are still planning see some neighboring countries and cites but we are starting with this list.

In no particular order, here’s hoping we check the box on all of them:

  • Eat as many ‘Menu del días’ from as many restaurants that we can. It’s the most affordable way to enjoy a traditional Colombian lunch. It’s always filling! Menu del día usually starts out with a soup, followed by an entree of meat, beans, rice, salad, plantain, potatoes and a drink. In some places, you might even get dessert. We’re way ahead of knocking this goal out of the park.

  • Drink as much coffee as our body will allow. Coffee shop hopping is a thing, right? The Starbucks of Colombia is Juan Valdez coffee and it’s pretty good but it ain’t the only one 🙂

  • That leads me to ‘Tour a Coffee Plantation‘ …when in Colombia!

  • SALSA – Learn. Sweat. Spin. Repeat. Dancefree offers free group classes twice a week. Once we get the moves, you won’t be able to tell us nothing!

  • Attend a futbol match! If you don’t attend a match, did you really go to Colombia?

  • Attend a local festival. There’s a huge flower festival ‘Feria de las Flores’ in August that we’ve got our eye on!

  • More tours – city tours, graffiti tours, market tours… Medellin is full of many FREE walking tours 🙂

  • Experience culture through points of interest such as parks and museums

  • Take a short bus ride (or ball out on a helicopter ride) to visit Guatapé and marvel at the breathtaking views atop Piedra del Peñol

  • Find out what their nightlife is all about and display newly acquired salsa moves

  • Explore the gastronomic scene

  • Hike these beautiful hills and trials. A note about the people…this is the most active culture that we’ve had the privilege to live among, so far. Everyday, gyms are packed, most enjoy hiking/camping, there are futbol fields in malls, streets close weekly across Colombia for ‘Ciclovia’ where residents take their bikes (and sneakers) to the streets for hours, and health food/vitamin stores are on every corner.

  • Ride the cable car to Park Arví. Witness stunning views of the Aburra valley. Read about our ride here.

  • Take Spanish classes or join in regular language exchange programs. Hablamos espanol … un poco.

  • Take a cooking class! One thing we take with from our travels is the recipes of cultural dishes. Food is such an intimate or staple glue in many societies. I can’t say we have loved food from everywhere but we definitely appreciate the experiences and try to carry and recreate recipes that we’ve picked up along the way.

We look forward to the stories these new experiences will tell. Thankfully, we haven’t had a tough time of getting by. The people are friendly, fun, and tolerate our broken Spanish *bless their hearts & patience.*

 

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