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Medellín is a fantastic destination for solo travellers. With plenty of hostels, tours and fellow adventurers to meet, there’s no risk of feeling isolated, but there’s also plenty to do by yourself. From excellent walking tours to beautiful botanical gardens, here are the 10 best things for solo travellers to see and do in Medellín.
As the Medellín Metrocable cable car system is a public transport system, it’s a cheap and convenient way to travel around the city and also have a tourist experience at the same time. The cable car was an essential part of the so-called ‘Medellín miracle,’ which transformed the city from one of the most violent on earth to an increasingly successful and innovative urban space. It’s cheap and easy to ride the cable car and you can enjoy the beautiful views of Medellín all by yourself.
Although this is an annual event and not one that you can enjoy every day, the Medellín Flower Festival is a perfect experience for solo travellers in Medellín, mainly because you are unlikely to end up being solo for very long! Colombians are famously friendly and sociable, and the fun and festivities of the festival are a great way to experience some of the local culture and meet local people at the same time.
Another excellent walking tour, this one takes in the formerly no-go neighbourhood of Comuna 13, an area of Medellín that was once plagued by gang violence and murder, but is now recovering, partly thanks to innovative public policies and cultural investment. A tour of Comuna 13 takes in the street art that has made the area famous and shows you the public transport innovation which helped to transform the neighbourhood. This is also a great tour on which to meet new people.
This excellent free walking tour of Medellín takes in many of the most important tourist sites and monuments in the downtown area of the city and also teaches you a great deal about the culture and history of the city and the region of Antioquia. It’s always busy and popular, so you’re guaranteed to meet fellow travellers, and there’s no risk of your solo status meaning that you have to pay more or that the tour gets cancelled.
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet in the city (and to enjoy the relaxation that comes with travelling solo), the Botanical Gardens are the ideal spot to spend some time. Free to enter, the gardens are a lovely, large space, with a lake and acres of lawns, woods and nature trails to enjoy. There are birds to watch, and if you’re lucky, you may spot iguanas and monkeys, too.
This interactive science museum and cultural space is a fun day out whether you are travelling alone or in a group. With a large aquarium, 3D cinema and a multitude of entertaining interactive exhibits, it may sound more like something for kids, but Parque Explora is a fun day out regardless of your age, and is a perfect place to enjoy solo.
Paragliding is a popular activity with travellers in Medellín these days, and there are almost daily flights from a site just outside the city. The good news is that, as a solo traveller, there are always enough people signing up to keep the prices the same no matter what. The flights are fun and secure, and the views will take your breath away.
It’s always good to escape from the noise and chaos of the city for a while, and a day trip to the little lakeside town of Guatapé is the perfect way to do that. It’s an easy two-hour bus trip, and the buses and fast and regular, meaning that there’s no need to worry about not having fellow travellers to team up with. You can climb the iconic giant rock of El Penol, take a boat trip out on the lake or simply stroll the streets of the colourful little pueblo.
There’s nothing like enjoying a delicious cup of Colombian coffee while you relax and watch the world go by, and Medellín is a great city in which to do this. With some world-class cafés like Pergamino and Aroma, you can take a book or laptop, enjoy the fast WiFi and try coffees from across Colombia in peace.
Colombians take football very seriously, and there are few teams with more support that Nacional in Medellín. Their home games are always a riot of colour and noise, and it’s one hell of a spectacle to experience, whether you’re a football fan or not. And the fans are so friendly that no matter if you go alone, if you show some support for the home team, you’re bound to make some new friends.