Free Things to do in Medellin, Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 8 Comments

Maybe you’ve arrived in Medellin at the end of your trip, money is running out. Perhaps you’ve spent a little more on beer or the amazing food in Colombia and your budget is tighter than you planned. Whatever the reason, just because you’re looking to pinch pennies during your visit doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself in your dorm room. We’ve put together a quick list of the eight best free things to do in Medellin (or almost free at least) to help you get the best out of your pocket change.

Just to clarify, by “almost free” I’m referring to maybe spending a few dollars at most – typically just for transportation reasons. Unless otherwise noted in the description, the only cost involved would be the metro fare to reach the location. At time of writing, a one-way ride costs only 2400 COP (or just under $1 USD).

If you do happen to have some money to spend, have a look at our full list of fantastic Medellin activities!

One additional bonus, Medellin has free WiFi hot spots spread throughout the city! You should have no problem getting online while relaxing in a park or any other major public space.

Pueblito Paisa

Pueblito Paisa is a re-creation of a small Colombian village perched atop Nutibarra hill, just west of El Poblado. The setting itself is more of a tourist spot than anything else, souvenir shops and food stalls filling most of the space. Nevertheless, the views from up top are outstanding!

You’ll find families walking through the park and kids flying kites in the field up top. Young couples often spend their afternoons making out in the trees, and bikers taking advantage of the steep trails lining the hillside.

If you want, Pueblito Paisa is easy to reach by taxi, but only about 25 minutes walking from Industriales Metro station. Come later in the afternoon for some amazing sunset views.

A small, colourful village with the sun setting in the background

Head up to the Pueblito later in the day for some fantastic photos!

Ride the Medellin Cable Car

The metro-cable is one of the highlights of Medellin. The ease of access to unique barrios is the best part, but the spectacular views of the city are worth the ride alone.

View of rooftops from above

There are two main cable lines running from the main metro. Line K leaves from Acevedo on the northeast end of town, while Line J heads up from San Javier in the west. Whether you decide to hop off and explore the neighbourhoods on either end or not, both rides offer a beautiful perspective of the city below.

This is the only one that literally has a price-tag attached, though it’s no different than most of the others. Whether you’re heading up to Santo Domingo or La Aurora, it’s only the base metro rate of 2400 Pesos to ride. And since you’ll most likely be arriving by metro anyway, your price of admission will have already been paid!

Comuna 13

The area west of San Javier station has a troubled reputation, and rightly so. Comuna 13 was one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in all of Medellin until only a few short years ago. In recent years, it’s improved significantly, but still has it’s issues.

Now, don’t let that scare you off! Comuna 13 is a part of the city that stands out above the rest. The government has pushed a ton of money in recent years to help with infrastructure, helping make massive changes for the locals and outsiders as well.

The local residents are extremely proud of the progress, and welcome visitors with beaming smiles. Visiting the area is best done on one of the famed walking tours (see below), but can also be done on your own. Take in some of the spectacular graffiti, local hip-hop artists and breakdancers performing in the streets. If you’re able, pick a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for some of the liveliest activity.

It’s roughly a 15 minute walk from San Javier Metro station. Stick to daylight hours, as with many parts of Medellin, things get sketchy around dark. Also, check the local news before visiting, as we learned recently the situation can change at any time.

Breakdancer performing on a colourful surface

Weekends tend to have the most action

Plaza Botero

The famous “fat statues” of Fernando Botero can be found only a few short minutes from Parque Berrio.

Botero is a great son of Medellin, born and raised. His unique sculpture style is recognizable around the world. Tourists and locals alike flock to the park to snap pictures of the unique statues, ranging from dogs and horses, to naked women and Roman soldiers – also naked.

While you’re there, visit the Palace of Culture, a stunning building of Gothic architecture towering ominously over the plaza. Entrance is free and there are several exhibits displaying the history of the area within. Also, the rooftop is a great spot for photos!

Statue of large woman standing on a head

The Famous Sculptures of Plaza Botero

And while you’re in the neighbourhood…

Parque Berrio

Spend the afternoon relaxing in the bustling Parque Barrio. The park is found right in the heart of Medellin, outside the Metro station of the same name. It’s been a focal point of the city since the 17th century and remains as such today.

The park itself is a simple open space with a few trees, a statue dedicated to it’s namesake and benches scattered throughout. Buskers and other musicians will regularly appear in the afternoon while locals gather to sing and dance along. If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon a salsa dancing party!

I should add, while public drinking is technically illegal in Medellin, the rules seem to be overlooked on these festive afternoons.

Simply combine this with a visit to Plaza Botero to save on a metro ticket.

Botanical Garden of Medellin

The botanical gardens of Medellin are a spectacular spot to get away from the chaos of the city, without actually leaving it. The best part, is that there is no entrance fee whatsoever.

Spend a few hours wandering through the pathways while breathing the fresh clean air. Sit down near the pond and have a snack while you watch the birds and turtles. Check out some of the unique flora from around the country and if you’re lucky maybe see one of the resident iguanas walking through the grass.

The easiest way to reach the gardens is to take the A-Line to Universidad station.

A bench surrounded by beautiful green trees

Explore the beautiful park, or simply relax on a bench and enjoy the WiFi

Maybe you haven’t completely run out of money yet, or perhaps you’re just planning ahead.
Check out our complete Colombia travel guide to help with the rest of your visit!

Free Walking Tours

City walking tours are becoming very common these days and Medellin has some of the best!

The two most popular tours and the two we recommend the most, are though Real City Tours and the Graffiti Tour of Comuna 13. Both tell an in depth story about the history of the city and don’t skip the recent past that makes it what it is today.

While the tours themselves are technically free, the guides are donating their time and are often well-educated in the subjects. Tips are greatly appreciated, but if you don’t have the money to spend, it’s not required.

Ride Bikes in Medellin

The city of Medellin has a brilliant bicycle rental system set up for both locals and visitors. The bikes are free to rent and locations are set up all over town. It’s a great way to cruise through along the river paths or even get around town and save on transportation!

Simply visit this website to sign up.


As mentioned at the start, Medellin is one of our favourite cities in the world. We hope you get the chance to visit some day and want to encourage you to explore as much as you can, even if you are tight on cash!

In Medellin already and wondering where to head next? Why not go to Jardin, the beautiful mountain town? Or head out to see one of the most colourful towns in Colombia: Guatape.

Like It? Pin It!

Pinterest Pin Graphic
Pinterest Pin Graphic
About the Author

Mark Stewart

Facebook Twitter

Mark is the co-founder, photographer, author, and part-time editor of These Foreign Roads. A former chef, he left the professional kitchen in search of interesting experiences and unique cuisines from around the world.

Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Mark StewartAnjali WSupriya (SuBhaSun)JohnnyGabby Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

the Pueblito looks so cute! What a great free attraction in Medellin. I hear so many good things about Colombia, I need to visit – this post only adds to the wanderlust!


I’m a budget kind of traveller so I always love it when I read these type of posts, especially if it’s a destination across the atlantic and with continental travel being more expensive. Will definitely come back to this guide for reference if I think about going Colombia.

Johnny | The Travel Connoisseur

Supriya (SuBhaSun)

Good information. Would love to explore these. I always love an idea of exploring botanical gardens in peace. Thanks for sharing!

Anjali W

I usually travel on budget and this is such a resourceful listing! Would love to explore all these places when I travel to Medellin!