Medellín Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Medellín

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    El Poblado

    by mircaskirca Updated Apr 5, 2010

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    Calle 10
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    El Poblado became the new place to live for wealthy residents of Medellín. Located about 4 km south of the city centre, much of the neighbourhood is set in steep hills which means it is less humid than other parts of Medellín. The hillside setting offers incredible views of the city, while views of El Poblado from other parts of the city are quite spectacular because of the number of high rise buildings jam-packed together.

    The neighbourhood is packed with best hostels and stylish hotels, upscale restaurants, trendy bars and cafés, and it's a popular area with travellers. Parque Lleras (the so-called Zona Rosa) has some of Medellin's best nightlife and Parque Poblado is where the more alternative scene hangs out. For some fine shopping head to the upscale malls, such as Oviedo and El Tesoro.

    El Poblado is safe to walk around at any time. There are a lot of trees, plants and flowers, and it has several streams that descend from the mountains towards Medellín's river. Although large open green spaces are not common, Parque Lineal de la Presidenta is a welcome exception. One evening Natalie from Hostal Tamarindo asked me to join her on a walk to the park. We made a circle around the area and she kindly explained about the notable sights.

    The best way to get to El Poblado from the city centre is taking the metro to Poblado station and then walk up Calle 10 for about 10 minutes. Alternatively you can take the bus no. 133 from which leaves from Parque Berrío but it takes much longer.

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    Pueblito Paisa

    by mircaskirca Updated Apr 4, 2010

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    Built at the top of the 80m-tall hill called Cerro Nutibara, Pueblito Paisa is a rather well-constructed miniature replica of a typical traditional Antioquian town. With a colonial-style architecture, it's one of the region's favourite tourist sites and receives a lot of attention in the travel literature. Despite being completely tourist-oriented, the place is worth a trip as there is something rather charming about it.

    The pueblito is constructed in the shape of a horseshoe with a cobblestone town plaza where you find the little faux church, a fountain, two-storey houses with wooden balconies and mayor's residence. It offers decent souvenir and handicraft shopping as well as an excellent restaurant that serve the traditional bandeja paisa, a typical dish of the Paisa region. From the adjacent platform there are magnificent panoramic views of Medellín which are particularly impressive during December/January for alumbrados (Christmas lights).

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    Pueblito Paisa is within walking distance from the metro station Industriales. The walk from the bottom of the Cerro Nutibara requires hiking uphill for a while.

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    Jardín Botánico

    by mircaskirca Updated Apr 4, 2010

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    Across from the Universidad de Antioquia is a beautiful Jardín Botánico. It was founded in 1972 in memory of one Antioquia's most respected naturalist, Joaquin Antonio Uribe. This garden is a wildlife refuge where a number of Colombian animal and plant species are found. Since opening the garden has grown in size and stature and is now a wonderfully green space with more than 600 spices of trees and plants, including a vast collection of orchids.

    There is a small open-air auditorium with frequent concerts at weekends. Other attractions include a lovely lake full of beautiful white water lilies, a herbarium and Orquideorama which houses a significant display of orchids in March and April. If walking makes you hungry, there is a gourmet restaurant called Itu, serving mostly traditional food and drinks, and Café del Bosque. And even better, you can enjoy this quiet, relaxing surroundings having your own picnic :)

    At the end of my walking tour I visited La Tienda del Jardín, a shop with some beautiful pieces of art, all made from natural materials. I was pleasantly surprised to also find Natura, an eco-friendly Brazilian cosmetic brand that I like a lot.

    This well worth visiting botanical garden is open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm and admission was free (December 2009).

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    Parque Explora

    by mircaskirca Updated Apr 1, 2010

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    Open in December 2007, Parque Explora is a large complex (25.000 square meters) with various science museums and displays and the biggest freshwater aquarium in South America. The place is educational and fun. Young visitors can learn about science and technology through interactive experience. Themes include physics, biology, technology, media and geography. They can learn about robotics, make their own snapshot videos and take infrared photos. The interactive display on geography includes an earthquake stimulator and they can watch how a tornado is made.

    The aquarium is fascinating and contains the most representative species that inhabit fresh waters in Colombia as well as marine life with all colours of fish, corals and sea anemones. There are displays and information about waterways and ecosystems in Colombia and South America.

    Parque Explora is open Tue-Fri 8:30am-6:00pm, Sat & Sun 8:30am-6:30pm (closed Monday). There is so much to do and see that you should allow several hours here. The entry fee depends on how many activities you want to do. Staff are very helpful with the explanations and audio guides are available in Spanish and English.

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    Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 30, 2010

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    Facing Parque Berrío is Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, the most important church of Medllín. It dates back to the 1776 and served as the city's cathedral from 1868 to 1931. It was restored in 1997. Other churches stood here before, the first one from 1649 was made of wood and with a thatched roof.

    Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is a colonial style construction. It looks quite unusual in the surroundings of 1970s high-rise office blocks. The basílica contains some beautiful interior decoration, including an ornate ceiling with stunning recessed panels, and important religious art, such as the painting of the Virgin of la Candelaria, belonging to the most typical Spanish colonial style.

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    Parque Berrío

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 30, 2010

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    Parque Berrío is the main square of the city and a good place to start the walking tour of the historic downtown. Adjacent to the busiest metro station Parque Berrío, it's a lively meeting place where people sit on benches and chat, others play vallenato, there are fruit vendors and people offering minutos or llamadas (phone calls).

    The park is dominated by a colonial Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. There is the Stock Exchange building and Banco de la República in front of which you find La Gorda (the Fat Woman), a sculpture of Fernando Botero. In the centre stands the statue of Pedro Justo Berrío, an important Colombian politician in the 19th century.

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    Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 30, 2010

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    Next to Berrío metro station is an impressive black-and-white building, Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe. The palace was constructed by Belgian architect Augustín Goovaerts between 1920 and 1938. Built in a Renaissance style with a touch of Gothic, its dome was imported directly from Belgium. The building seemed very exotic for its time but nowadays it is considered a unique architectural monument. For many years it was the seat of government of the department of Antioquia.

    From 1986 it is home to all cultural programs of Antioquia. Palacio de la Cultura hosts concerts, theatre, art expositions, library, conferences and workshops. Its dome serves as auditorium and a place for showing the films.

    It is open Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm and Sat 8:00am-2:00pm; admission is free.

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    Plazoleta de las Esculturas

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 30, 2010

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    City planners have prohibited new constructions in central Medellín that doesn't include public art. The result is a glorious outdoor gallery Plazoleta de las Esculturas at the doorstep of Museo de Antioquia. Fernando Botero, the most famous artist of the city, donated 23 of his sculptures to the city which placed them on this square. The plaza is now known as Plaza Botero in his honour.

    His sculptures are famous for the exaggerated forms of the figures. The majority of them are naked women but there are also a few men, and animals - cat, dog and horse. Lots of people pass through the park every day and these oversized sculptures are the much-photographed site of Medellín. The sculptures are attractive, they invite people to touch them. Colombians tend to believe that Botero's sculptures bring good fortune.

    Besides the Plazoleta de las Esculturas, you can see his massive bronze of woman's torso, La Gorda, in front of the Banco de la República in Parque Berrío while in the Parque San Antonio three of his sculptures include Pájaro de Paz (Bird of Piece).

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    Museo de Antioquia

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 30, 2010

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    mural of Pedro Nel G��mez
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    Museo de Antoquia, located in the heart of the centre, is Colombia's second-oldest museum and one of the finest. It was founded in 1881 and occupies a building which once served as a working place of the Mayor of Medellín. Located in front of the Plazoleta de las Esculturas, the museum offers visitors the opportunity to appreciate pre-Columbian, colonial and modern art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs and murals by national and international artists. The main attraction are works donated by Medellín born artist Fernando Botero. It's the biggest collection of his works which includes 108 paintings.

    The museum has restaurant, shop with some really nice books and other things, and a spacious inner courtyard where is a coffee shop Terraza Sophia. While Museo de Antioquia seems big from the outside, much of its space is used for large corridors. Exploring the building you will also get the occasional glimpse of the downtown Medellín from one of the few windows on route.

    It is open Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:00pm, Sunday and public holidays 10:00am-4:00pm.

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    Museo de Antioquia

    by IrishFem Updated Nov 8, 2009
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    Museo de Antioquia displays a collection of contemporary art including many pieces, paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, one of the most important sculptors in the world. The Plaza Botero holds several large sculptures just in front of the museum and is free of charge. Open: Mon - Fri 10 AM-5 PM and Sun - Holidays 10 AM-4 PM. Metro station Parque Berrio.

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    Parque Bolívar

    by MalenaN Written Nov 26, 2008

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    Parque Bol��var
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    Parque Bolívar is one of the parks in the centre of Medellín. It was inaugurated in 1882 and in the middle stands a statue of Simón Bolívar. It was made in 1923 by the Italian artist Eugenio Maccagnani. In front of the cathedral there is a fountain.
    The park is a lively place with street vendors, musicians, homeless people sleeping, people strolling around or sitting down for a talk.

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    El Poblado

    by MalenaN Written Nov 26, 2008

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    Calle 10, El Poblado
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    El Poblado district is the wealthiest part of Medellín. It is situated about 4 km south of the city centre and it can be reached by metro. Here you will find upmarket hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and night clubs. Many of the restaurants and nightclubs are situated around Parque Lleras (that area is also called Zona Rosa).

    It was around what today is Parque de el Poblado that the first Spaniards settled in the Aburrá Valley in 1616. Later the inhabitants moved more north.

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    Paragliding

    by MalenaN Updated Nov 21, 2008

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    Getting started
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    The wind currents in Medellín are very good for paragliding and the landscape is beautiful with green valleys. So I thought it was a good place for me to do a first tandem flight. I asked in the reception of the hotel for a good paragliding club and the receptionist made a telephone call to get a number which she gave me. I called and talked to the secretary Jessica, who gave me directions in Spanish. In the evening the instructor Ricardo called me to confirm the flight and he gave me instructions in English.

    The next morning I took the metro to Caribe and Terminal Norte. There I took the 8 o’clock bus for Belamira (desk 17). I bought a ticket to San Felix for 2600 pesos (July 2008). I had been told to get off at a restaurant called Voladero. On the opposite side of the road there was an airplane and the bus ride here took about 45 minutes. The Aeroclub is in the red building. Soon the instructor Ricardo arrived with Andrés, who was also doing a tandem flight.

    We walked up the hill (not a long walk) to the starting and landing place for the paragliding. It was a sunny Sunday morning and there were many people there. Several had their own equipment and some did a course and a few made a tandem flight like me.

    For the flight it is good to have long sleeves, sunglasses, sun block and a camera. Below us was Bello (north of Medellín) and a valley. To the south was Medellín and another valley. The flight was lovely and it felt very safe. It lasted for 22 minutes. Then I waited for Andrés and we went to the restaurant above before taking the bus back to Medellín.

    I can absolutely recommend this Aeroclub and the instructor Ricardo Esgerra Flórez.
    The flight was 70 000 pesos (July 2008).

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    Tribute to the first Town of Medellín

    by MalenaN Written Oct 12, 2008

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    Monumento en Homenaje al Primer Poblado
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    In Parque de el Poblado, in Poblado, I came across this bronze monument with the full name: Monumento en Homenaje al Primer Poblado, 2 de Marzo de 1616. The monument was made by the sculptor Luz María Piedrahita B in 1997.
    There are fine details and on one side you can see an Indian village from the time before the Spaniards arrival. On the opposite side you can see scenes from the Indian’s life, like hunting, and scenes from the arrival of the Spaniards, ships, horses and monks. On the two ends there are three Indians and three Spanish soldiers.

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    Biking on Sundays

    by MalenaN Written Oct 12, 2008

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    Next to Caribe

    As in many other places in Colombia you will on Sundays see many people in , or outside, Medellín on a bicycle. On the photo you can see how a major road next to Caribe metro station has been closed for motor vehicles on a Sunday and it is taken over by cyclists, pedestrians and joggers. Also along the road to San Felix (outside Medellín) the bus passed many cyclists and as the road is mostly going uphill it is very good exercise.

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