Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Last updated on: Apr 16, 2021

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

You may be asking why visiting Medellin, or Colombia for that matter, should be on your wish list? Well, Colombia is still one of the most underrated destinations in the world.  But that is rapidly changing thanks to a historic peace agreement and efforts at the local and national levels via organizations like ProColombia. Colombia is building a new identity rooted in innovation and resilience.

Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, is a remarkable city of 2.5 million people.  It’s one the largest cities to successfully implement participatory budgeting, a system that gives citizens an opportunity to decide how to allocate portions of the municipal budget.

View of Medellin - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Medellin Metrocable

Medellin has won several awards for innovation, including the Sustainable Transportation Award and the Innovative City of the Year, due to heavy investment in parks, libraries, schools, and urban revitalization projects such as the Medellin Metrocable.

Completed in 2004, the Medellin Metrocable was built to provide better access to the city core for people living within the steep hills that house poorer areas of the city.  This city definitely thinks outside of the box!

One thing you should do when visiting Medellin is take a ride on the Medellin Metrocable, and take the Medellin Innovation tour to learn more about its innovative projects.

Medellin Metrocable - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Comuna 13

One of the most amazing cultural experiences you can do in Medellin is visiting Comuna 13.  Once the most dangerous district in the world due to clashes between the paramilitary, government, and drug cartels, this community has transformed through various urban revitalization projects, which include the installation of outdoor escalators, as well as community walkways lined with incredible street art that makes certain parts of the community feel like an outdoor museum.

Comuna 13 - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Comuna 13 - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List  Comuna 13 - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List Comuna 13 - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish ListComuna 13 - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List


Just outside the city, a must-do day trip from Medellin is a visit to Guatapé, where a colorful town and El Peñól are the major draws.  Walk up nearly 700 steps to some incredible, sweeping views of the countryside!

El Guatape - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

El Guatape - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Afterward, visit the town of Guatapé, where you’ll find quaint little shops, churches, local restaurants, and the zócalo, a colorful main plaza that’s great for photo-ops.  It’s such a warm and friendly place with lots of bright colors, decorative bas-reliefs, and handmade items to buy.

Other places

Other places in Medellin worthy of a visit are the Plaza Botero, an open-air sculpture museum; the Medellin Museum of Modern Art, which is celebrating 40 years of existence; the Rafael Uribe Palace of Culture, which houses the Institute of Culture and Heritage of Antioquia; and Plaza de Cisneros, an artificial ‘forest’ of 300 light poles.

Parque de la Luz - Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List

Medellin has an energy that feels progressive.  The city’s emphasis on community empowerment;  connections with its people, history, arts, and culture; and pursuit of sustainable solutions make Medellin a model city for the rest of the world.  Medellin is the future!

Author Profile

Taryn White
With 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states crossed off her list, Taryn's wanderlust and wanderlist continue to grow! She loves historic places, off-the-beaten paths, and beautiful beaches. Follow her pursuits on Instagram and www.tripwishlist.com.

60 thoughts on “Why Visiting Medellin Should Be on Your Wish List”

  1. The street art in Medellin reminds me of the one in Valparaiso, in Chile. I love walking along streets like this, in colorful neighborhoods and just admire the street art.

  2. This is great. We were choosing between Medellin and Cartagena and went to Cartagena but Medellin is definitely on this list. Love the street art! Which city do you think had more vibrant street art?

    1. Hi Nomads4Life,

      I’d say Medellin has the better street art, though they both have incredible murals. The two cities are very different, as Cartagena has a Caribbean influence, and the food is completely different. I would love to go back to either city!

    1. Hi Scott,

      Great minds think alike, because I want to visit each one, too! I agree with you that Colombia gets a bad rap. That is often the case, but I like to see for myself. I’d love to hear about your Guatemala journey. That’s a wonderful place, too.

  3. What an amazing looking place! I don’t know a lot about Colombia but it looks very cool from what you’re showing 🙂

  4. I love that they are trying to upgrade the city and move it in a more positive direction. I keep seeing photos of Colombia and I’d love to visit someday!

  5. This place looks gorgeous! I love the artwork that you displayed in a town outside of the city, definitely a place I would love to visit one day. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow, Medellin looks like such a beautiful place. I have always wanted to visit Colombia as there is so much culture there. I love the bright colours and the street art, it looks stunning.

  7. What a visually striking place! I would definitely be interested to visit. We love the sound of the modern art museum.

  8. Wow, Medellin looks like such a beautiful, culturally rich city! I haven’t traveled to South America yet, but I’d love to spend some time there.

  9. Looks like a great place to visit. I’ll definitely go here one day with my family. Will be saving this! Next trip into here.

  10. I have never been in this place but it looks like a nice place to visit and love the architecture designs of their houses.

  11. I have never been there but definitely a nice place to visit and I really love their wall arts its really beautiful.

  12. The street art is very cool. I sometimes wish other places would let citizens do it, it could definitely spice up the environment.

  13. Wow.. this city is being added to my list of places to visit. I loved the city system allowing people to budget themselves for the city. Fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing the post.

  14. I had barely heard of Medellin and infact it being such an amazing place. Your blog seems to be interesting I will definately need to google some more info about this stunning place. Thanks for inspiring.

  15. I have a question! When you visited Comuna 13, did you go on a street tour of the street art and escalators, or was it more of a self-guided thing through all of that? Sounds scary, but absolutely gorgeous!

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