In Medellin there is always plenty to do. It’s more likely that people get stuck in Medellin then that they don’t like the place. But still I’ve been living 9 months in Medellin and I summed up the thinks you can do while you’re in Medellin.
First of all, do the Free Walking Tour this 4 hour walking tour gives a lot of information about Medellin and Colombia. I would recommend to do this tour the very first day you arrive in Medellin. It’s fun and you’ll learn a lot!
The metrocable to both sides, line A and line B have metrocables and both are very different. Do get out at Santo Domingo, but not at the end of line B (San Javier) since there is not a lot to see.
Escaleras electronicas, the escalators from San Javier you can walk or take a bus to go to these escalators. Trey claim to be the longest outdoor escalators… Not sure about that but it has changed the neighborhood, made it safe and tourist can now come to comuna 13, bring your camera because you’ll have a beautiful view and nice graffiti!
On the weekends especially Sundays there is not a lot to do in Medellin, but Cuidad del rio is a very nice park to spend some hours. This is a hippie park that has become a bit commercial. They sell a lot of stuff but you’ll see many people doing slackline, acroyoga, skateboarding and oher interesting sports to look at.
To sleep, find a nice hostel if you like to party Poblado will be the best place for you, if you like it a bit more quiet then Laurelles/Estadio is a better place to stay. If you prefer to be among locals instead of mostly tourists or expats then you can try to find a place somewhere else. In Prado is a very nice hotel called, 61 prado, for sure you can find other hotels around Medellin as well.
Going out, there are many many bars in Poblado and if you’d like to you can go out every single night. There is a variety of music you can find whatever music you desire. Many party’s start at one of the party hostels where everyone can get in. And later people will go to a bar or discotheque to dance a bit more.
At la Estadio or la 70ta is a street with many bars and restaurants as well. There is a famous Salsa joint called Tibiri where people show their incredible moves. Sol Havana is a place where every Saturday is live music and it’s just behind la 70ta.
For Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a live salsa music at El Eslabon, this place is close to parque periodista.
On Friday and Sathurday night if you would like to meet local students you can go to the street they call Bantu. There won’t be many (or any) other foreigners in this street, there will be a lot of drinks, music everyone will be outside.
On the way to/from the airport there is a discotheque, the most bizarre one I’ve ever been! It’s called Dulce Jesus mio y los mil jugetes. This place have toys everywhere dancers in bikini’s, people in crazy costumes, toilets as cartoon figures and it’s just overwhelming and nice and crazy! (and a bit more expensive)
To know whats hip and happening there is, parties, meetups, openings, etc. The Catalyst Weekly “Catalyst weekly is an event calendar and directory for Medellin” is their modest opinion. 😉
Spanish classes, there are several Spanish school in Medellin. The paisa (Medellin region) accent is easy to follow and understand. My first recommendation is to find a school that is located where you’ll find locals who only speak Spanish. If you stick at Poblado then you will only practice during your classes and will find it hard to speak Spanish with locals because in Poblado they all want to practice their Spanish on you. While in other neighborhoods most of the people are too scared to practice any English but are very willing to have a conversation, in Spanish.
I think that Colombia Immersion is a very good place to start your Spanish, they offer classes not only in the classrooms but they are also going with the students to the streets to practice in shops and wherever you might go during a normal day. Also they have reccomendations on some local volunteering you can do with a group of students.
Also UAFIT is an official university where you can learn Spanish but then you’ll have to register at the government to study at the universiy.
Intercambio de idiomas, exchange of languages is every now and then. Meet locals speak half of the time in Spanish and the other half in English it’s a win win situation. Every Friday there is one at Colombia Immersion in Envigado, but there are many, many language exchanges in Medellin on different days of the week.
Markets, Every first Sunday of the month there is a ‘green market’in Jardin Botanico (next to Parque los deseos, metro Universidad) Every first Sathurday of the month there is a big artesanias market in Parque Simon Bolivar.
Salsa, I’ve been going to Dance Free many many time to learn and improve my salsa and bachata moves. They start officialy at 20.00 every Thursday it used to be for free and the other days they charge. Last time I was there it was 11.000 COP but I guess prices have been going up ever since.
At Timbale (la 70ta) they have salsa classes as well at some nights and hostels offer some basic classes too.
Sports, I’ve been running up cerro volador, on the top of the hill they have some sports equipment. And any day, during the day there are many people doing their exercises.
Yoga you can do that in many different places in Medellin, a weekly schedule on where and what on http://www.atmanyoga.co/new/horario-general-de-yoga/
Meeting people, There is a big meetup community in Medellin due to all the expats that are living in Medellin. www.meetup.com You’ll have to register and can meetup for whatever you’re interested in. language exchange, hiking, cycling, computer stuff and a lot more.
Some fcebook pages in Medellin are: Colombians and expats in Medellin, senderismo antiouia, sitios para recommender en Medellin, and many more.
Volunteer in Medellin,
Fundacion Visibles that will meet every Thursday at 20.00 at metro station cisneros to give hot chocolate and bread to homeless people.
Chocolate pa’l compa de la calle, once a month a group of students meet up to work in the centre with homeless and do activities with children, you’ll have to subscribe to their facebook.
Techo, visit people in the communas, do interviews and see what they’re needs are.
And see my projects page to see more volunteer possibilities.
Day trips, Besides the well known: Guatape, Santa Fe de Antiquia, Parque Arvi/Santa Helena and the waterfalls next to Envigdo called Salto del Angel, you can also visit small villages around Medellin like Rio negro, Jardin, La Ceja and many more.
Some websites I can recommend if you are staying longer are:
If you can add anything on my list pleade let me know! 🙂
Hasta la proxima!