Top Things To Do In El Poblado Medellin

The Last Guide You’ll Ever Need

el poblado medellin 5

Top Things To Do In El Poblado Medellin

The Last Guide You’ll Ever Need

In terms of where to stay in Medellin, where to go and what to do, let’s get one thing straight.

Stay in the neighborhood of El Poblado.

Don’t think twice, don’t research any other areas, just book your accommodation in El Poblado Medellin and you can thank us later.

Between the incredible restaurants, gorgeous mountainous skyline and extremely lively streets, we just know you’ll fall in love with El Poblado just as much as we did!

In terms of what to do in Medellin, there are a bunch of Medellin Tours that will keep you busy during the day, and a bunch of partying to keep you busy at night!

Medellin undoubtedly has some of the best nightlife in all of Colombia, that we just couldn’t manage to stay away from during our time there!

Keep reading to find out all the Top Things to do in El Poblado Medellin!


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Top Things To Do in Medellin


Explore El Poblado Medellin

It’s not hard to understand why exploring El Poblado is one of the best things to do in Medellin!

This area is quite a touristy area that is jam-packed with an assortment of delicious restaurants, cute little shops, and bars all within walking distance.

One of our favorite restaurants to eat at was Criminal Tacqueria… If you want some delicious tacos and burritos then check this place out!

At night the streets are jam-packed with people, both locals and tourists ready to get their drink on and go out to all the bars and clubs in El Poblado Medellin.

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Comuna 13 Medellin

This is, in my opinion, one of the top things to do in Medellin and a way to open your eyes as to the deep history of the city and what they have managed to overcome.

If you’re unsure about what Comuna 13 is, it means ‘District 13’ and it was once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world.

Read this blog to learn about the rich history of Comuna 13 Medellin, I assure it will astound you.

If there’s one thing you must do in Medellin, it’s a tour of Comuna 13.

There are plenty of free Comuna 14 walking tours that are available that do an excellent job of introducing you to the cities turmoiled past

Though most of these walking tours are free, be aware you are supposed to tip your guide at the end of the tour.

While tipping isn’t compulsory, it is strongly advised and at the end of the day, it’s only a few dollars out of your pocket that would help your tour guide greatly (50,000 COP is acceptable).

You can Google ‘Free Commune 13 Tours’ in Google, and you’ll find a bunch.

This is the one we did.

Just reserve a spot and you’ll get an email confirmation as to where you will meet your assigned guide and group to get started on the Comuna 13 tour.

Oh, and if you’re worried about all those steps you’re going to have to walk up as you trek along the steep hillsides of Medellin, which is where Comuna 13 is located.

Don’t worry too much, because they have actually installed escalators throughout the steepest parts of Comuna 13.

Therefore you no longer have to find the strength to walk up hundreds of steps while you’re (quite possibly) extremely hungover from the night before.

Seriously though, out of all the Medellin tours, this is the one you don’t want to miss out on.

self-guided Comuna 13 tour

Discotecas Medellin (Medellin Nightclubs)

Medellin nightlife is some of the best in all of Colombia, so although I’m almost 100% sure this was already on the agenda for most of you, I had to add it to the list of top things to do in Medellin, just to be sure.

You’ll find mostly reggaetón music blaring through the streets of El Poblado Medellin, as this tourist area is almost flooding with different bars and ‘discotecas’ and is basically one big club.

Most of the bars and clubs in El Poblado close at around 3-4am.

However, if you’re lucky you might be able to find an after-hours bar open late if you want to continue the party!

You just have to know where to look!

Read Our Full Medellin Colombia Nightlife Guide Here.

happy buddha hostel

Parque Explora

If you have some spare time then you might want to visit Parque Explora.

It’s a science museum that has modern interactive exhibitions with optical illusions, brainteasers, and exercises to keep you busy.

It also is home to Explora Aquarium, South America’s largest freshwater aquarium.


All of the exercises and interactive games are in Spanish, so be sure to break out that Duolingo.

Click here to find out more information on Parque Explora.

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Cable Cars

For the best aerial views of Medellin, you must take a little trip on the cable cars in Medellin!

To find the cable metro from El Poblado Medellin, you need to get on the train from Poblado station, take the A-line towards Niquia and stop at Acevedo station and from here you can get off the train and get on the K-line which is the cable metro.

You can either stay on this K-line cable metro all the way up and let it take you back down to Acevedo station, or you can get off the cable metro at Santo Domingo and get on the L-line which is the cable metro that takes you all the way to the top of the hill to Parque Arvi.

Another cable metro you can take is the one near Comuna 13.

To take this cable metro you will have to take the A-line from Poblado station towards La Estrella and get off at San Antonio.  Then get on the B-line to San Javier, and then J-line metro cable.

For a detailed infographic of the Medellin metro, click here.

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Day trips from Medellin


Although we all love Medellin’s vibrantly lively city, you may want a little break from the busy lifestyle for a day and head to Guatape for some time with nature!

Guatape is one of the most colorful and beautiful towns hidden almost 2 hours away from Medellin!

The scenery surrounding Guatape is just stunning and I know you won’t be able to put down your camera when you’re there.

You can reach Guatape from Medellin by bus, taxi, or by booking a tour that will organize all of this for you (such as the Pablo Escobar Paintball Tour mentioned below).

To get to Guatape by bus or taxi, you must first reach Terminal Norte, which is located in the outskirts of Medellin.

It is at Terminal Norte where you can purchase a bus or taxi ticket to Guatape.

A bus to Guatape takes 2 hours and will cost 15,000 COP each way.

A taxi to Guatape will take 1 hour and 20 minutes, and costs 18,000 COP each way per person. Keep in mind the taxi is not private (unless there are 4 of you) and it will be full of passengers also going to Guatape.

Guatape is one of the best day trips from Medellin and we strongly advise you don’t miss out on this during your stay in Medellin!

la piedra del penol girls on top

Piedra Del Peñol Guatape

During your Guatape day trip from Medellin, apart from exploring the colorful Guatape Town, you can visit La Piedra De Peñol and climb all the way to the top for the best panoramic view of Guatape!

This 721-foot rock is roughly 650 steps up, but once you’re up there it is well worth the effort.

There are a few food and drink stands where you can quench your thirst with a refreshing Michelada (or water if you want to be boring) and grab a quick bite to eat!

Read This Blog For More Information About Piedra Del Peñol Guatape

la piedra drone shot


Pablo Escobar Paintball Tour

One of the coolest day trips from Medellin is the Pablo Escobar Paintball Tour.

The tour will:

  • Pick you up from your hostel in Medellin
  • Take you to Guatape
  • Show you around one of Pablo Escobar’s mansions (pictured above)
  • You will get the opportunity to play paintball in the stables on one of the properties owned by Pablo Escobar himself (you also have the option to skip the paintball portion of the day trip for a cheaper price)
  • They will tell you the history of Pablo and how he affected Colombia
  • Provide lunch
  • Let you explore Guatape Town for a couple of hours before bringing you back to Medellin!

This tour costs 175,000 COP per person including 4 paintball games.

This tour is absolutely awesome and if you’re looking for something fun to do, this is one of the best day trips from Medellin!

pablo escobar mansion

Coffee Tour Medellin

There’s more to Colombia than partying and beautiful beaches.

As you may or may not know, Colombia is known for having some of the best coffee in the world.

Therefore, taking a coffee tour in Medellin (or anywhere in Colombia) should be a staple in anyone’s Colombia backpacking itinerary.

There’s a bunch of Coffee Tours in Medellin that you can be part of where you will learn everything there is to know about Colombian coffee and the entire process of creating it.

These are tours you can book online if you just Google search ‘Coffee Tours Medellin’ or maybe your hostel will be advertising some Coffee Tours that may interest you.


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El Poblado Medellin Nightlife

This wouldn’t be a proper Wild & Away blog without having an entire section about the Medellin Colombia Nightlife!

There are a bunch of bars and discotecas in Medellin that will have you dancing to reggaeton music all night long!

If you want to stick around the touristy places, El Poblado Medellin is where you’ll want to be, however, the bars here close around 3 or 4 a.m, so if you want to continue the party, you’ll have to take a short taxi to some other bars.

Click here to read our full Medellin Colombia Nightlife guide!

la octava ball pit bar

When the El Poblado Medellin bars close for the night, you can definitely find some spots that are open later, but they are located in an area called Itagui and require a 10-minute taxi ride in order to reach.

Keep in mind, these areas have much fewer tourists and many more locals.

These after-hours discotecas Medellin include:

  • Seven (more touristy)
  • Fahrenheit (more locals than tourists)
  • Palmahia

Seven and Farenheit are two bars that are located on the same street giving you two excellent nightlife options within walking distance of each other.

Palmahia is a bar about a 5-minute walk away from Farenheit or Seven, and here you’ll find a bunch of other bars to party at as well.

The bars in this area close at around 6 a.m.

Medellin Colombia Weather

Medellin doesn’t get that tropical weather that the coastal cities do, such as Cartagena and Santa Marta.

However, being located so close to the equator, Medellin Colombia weather is usually at a consistently comfortable temperature year-round.

You can expect temperatures to be between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30 degrees Celsius).

Medellin is also 1495 meters in elevation so it’s naturally a bit cooler than cities located in northern Colombia.

Therefore don’t forget to bring pants and a hoody (not just shorts and summery clothing) because you’ll most likely need them, especially at night!

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Time In Medellin: How Long To Stay

How much time should you spend in Medellin? Well, that all depends on what and how much you want to do there.

You can probably get away with 5 days in Medellin to see everything including day trips like Guatape.

Pro Tip
Although you can party in Medellin every night, the best partying is to be had on weekends.

So if partying is a priority for you then be sure your visit to Medellin includes some days over the weekend!

Where To Stay in Medellin

There’s no doubt that the best place to stay is El Poblado Medellin.

This is the ‘touristy’ zone where the vivacious streets are filled with countless hotels, hostels, restaurants, and bars.

Read This Blog For A Full Guide On Where To Stay In Medellin!

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Happy Buddha Hostel

If you’re looking to party, then book your stay at Happy Buddha Hostel, because this is undoubtedly the best party hostel in Medellin.

It’s perfectly located in the heart of El Poblado Medellin in the middle of all the fun!

Pro Tip

Head to Happy Buddha Hostel for some pre drinks before you hit the discotecas in Medellin… this place is the best spot to pregame and meet people!



Casa Kiwi Medellin

If you want a quieter option than a party hostel but still want to be located in the middle of El Poblado’s craziness, Casa Kiwi Medellin is the hostel option for you.

It’s only one street away from Happy Buddha Hostel, meaning you are only steps away from the best restaurants and bars of El Poblado Medellin.

It’s one of the best hostels in Medellin for a reason, so definitely check this one out!



Los Patios Boutique

Let me just start with the fact that this hostel won the award of HostelWorld’s Best Hostel in Colombia (and all of Latin America) for 2019.

Yes, it’s located in the middle of El Poblado Medellin, in fact, their rooftop terrace offers some of the best panoramic views of the gorgeous city of Medellin!

Los Patios has proven they can do no wrong!



El Poblado Medellin FAQs

Is El Pobaldo Medellin Dangerous?

El Poblado Medellin is full of tourists and police on basically every corner so it’s considered quite a safe area for travelers.

During the day and night, the streets are incredibly lively and booming with people everywhere, however, it does get quiet after 4 a.m once the bars shut down for the night.

That being said, El Poblado is the safest place in Medellin for tourists to be.

where to stay in Medellin Colombia


Are the clubs safe?

Clubs and bars in El Poblado Medellin are quite safe.

Just like any other place, don’t do anything to get yourself in trouble and you’ll be fine.

A majority of the clubs in El Poblado Medellin are filled with mostly tourists, and the more local places are in an area called Itagui about a 10-minute taxi ride away.

At first glance the places outside of El Poblado do feel a bit sketchier than the bars in El Poblado, however, we partied there quite often and had no issues.

The bars in Itagui are more local than they are touristy, so be aware that depending on how you look, you may stand out among the locals.

Just make sure you are in a group and to take Ubers to and from this area.


Do I have to do a Comuna 13 tour or can I do it on my own?

You can do a tour of Comuna 13 on your own but it’s not recommended.

When you do the tour you will find out all of the deep history that comes with it, and you will most likely have a tour guide that grew up in Comuna 13 themselves.

There’s no one better to teach you about this once incredibly dangerous neighborhood than someone who went through the trauma first hand.

The tour guide will take to all the places you need to see and explain everything along the way, and without them, it’s just a mere tourist experience with no meaning.

Click Here To Read Why You Should take A Comuna 13 Tour.


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