Medellin with kids is really fun! We visited this Colombian city for 6 days and were not bored for a moment. You have fun children’s activities in Medellin, you can eat great food and, of course, the history of this city is immensely interesting. In addition, you can take a nice day trip from Medellin to a colorful village in the area. In this blog, we list all the children’s activities in Medellin!
Table of contents
#1 Paragliding in Medellin
One of the most fun activities you can do in Medellin with kids is to go paragliding. If your kids are 5 years old or older, it is already possible to go paragliding under the supervision of an instructor. You can go paragliding with several companies and they are all a little outside Medellin about a half-hour drive away (in San Felix).
If you do not have your own car, then it is convenient to arrange transportation through the paragliding company as well, since cabs often do not want to drive all the way there. We went paragliding with Parapente San Felix and it was super well organized. They are the largest paragliding company in Medellin and we were picked up at our hotel by the owner of the company.
After a half-hour drive, we arrived at the top of the mountain and were able to go paragliding right away. All three of us jumped with an attendant and basically you don’t have to do much yourself. The guide sits behind you and you basically just have to walk down the mountain with you and then the guide does the rest.
You can choose between 15 minutes/ 20 minutes and 25 minutes in the air when paragliding. The total amount included insurance and the photos and videos they take during the flight. The guides carry a GoPro and take photos and videos in the air, so you have a nice memento. By the way, you can also take your GoPro or phone into the air yourself. Then, of course, it is at your own risk that you do not drop anything.
We really thought it was a fantastic experience in the sky. We had a beautiful blue sky with some clouds and you can see the city of Medellin below you in the valley at high altitude. Finally, we were in the air for 15 minutes and landed back in the same place where we had started. Our 8-year-old daughter also thought it was super fun and was absolutely thrilled afterwards.
We did this activity around nine in the morning. It seems that mornings are often the best for paragliding. We got back to the hotel around 11 or so and spent the rest of the day enjoying ourselves at the pool. If you don’t have much time in Medellin, then it’s also fine to do an afternoon activity in the city.
#2 Comuna 13 tour
A second highlight of our city trip to Medellin with our daughter was the Comuna 13 tour. This neighborhood was one of the most criminal neighborhoods in Medellin years ago, and after the city’s mayor expelled the guerrillas from the neighborhood, a real turnaround in the neighborhood took place. Today it is the city’s best-visited neighborhood and really a cool place to go.
In principle, you can easily go to Comuna 13 on your own, but we booked a tour there anyway. On the tour, we went by subway and bus to the neighborhood and also went by cable car over the cottages. We were given an explanation of the neighborhood during this tour and then we took a walk around the neighborhood.
Throughout the neighborhood you have different dance groups performing hip-hop and also many different rappers. You can go watch these shows and give a small tip to the performers afterwards. Our daughter really enjoyed these dance performances. In addition, the neighborhood is super colorful with lots of street art and therefore very photogenic.
We were explained by our guide about the various graffiti artworks in the neighborhood and along the way we ate another special ice cream made by the residents of the neighborhood. Thus, money also flows back into the district. We ended our tour somewhere at the top of the neighborhood at a café with a beautiful view of the neighborhood (this was the café with a big green hand where you can take a picture).
We found this tour well worthwhile in retrospect. Of course, we could have done the trip ourselves just fine, but we found that having a guide gave us just a little more background information about the neighborhood. In the end, this tour took four hours and we had to gather at the Poblado metro station at 9 a.m. and were back at the same metro station around 1 p.m.
This tour also goes in the afternoon if you don’t want to get up too early. Keep in mind that the neighborhood is very crowded. If you’re going on your own then it’s smart to visit the district around 11 a.m., for example, so you’re just between tour groups and it’s a lot less crowded at the various sights in the district.
For more information on the tour we did, take a look here.
#3 Day trip to Guatapé
A very nice day trip from Medellin is to the colorful village of Guatape. We did not initially plan to go here at all, yet we were told by many people in Medellin that this is one of the main attractions of Medellin, so we booked a tour to Guatape anyway.
The bus left from park El Poblabo as early as 7 a.m. and after about three hours (with a half-hour layover) we arrived at Mount El Penol. This mountain is impressive and a whole bunch of stairs are built against it. In total you have to walk up 730 steps, but then you really have a very impressive view. We did not expect the surroundings to be so beautiful. Truly highly recommended! We stayed here a total of about 1.5 hours, which was fine.
Then we continued by bus to the colorful village of Guatape, where we were first given a tour by our guide. After this we had lunch by the water (that included our tour) and then we had a boat ride on the water (which we ourselves didn’t think was very much). In the end, we had just over an hour to explore the village of El Guatape itself before taking the bus back to Medellin. Here we were back around 6:30. Quite a long day, but well worth it.
By the way, you can also do this tour on your own, but we ourselves found that far too much hassle. You can take the bus from Medellin to Guatape and then from Guatape take a cab or tuktuk to El Penol and back. Of course, this may be a little cheaper, but it is also a lot more hassle. Of course, what is an advantage is that you can then plan your own day.
#4 Cable car to Park Arvi
On the last day of our trip to Medellin with our daughter, we went to Park Arvi by cable car. In the end, this was a bit disappointing. If you go by subway, get off at the Acevedo subway station. You can take the cable car to Santo Domingo from this metro station with your metro ticket. You’re already going over whole neighborhoods here and there’s plenty to see here. Definitely fun!
Then get off at Santo Domingo and you can transfer to the next cable car that goes all the way to Park Avi. This cable car is quite pricey and here we paid about 20 euros in total for three people. This cable car is very long though and you really have a great view of the city of Medellin from the cable car here which is located in a valley.
You take this cable car all the way across the mountain and you really get into a nature reserve. You then also immediately feel like you are really out of town. And then we arrived at Park Arvi and then it was all a bit disappointing. We had read that Park Arvi would be free. This is partly true because it is a huge area and you can basically visit some parts for free. But those stretches are at your own risk and there are occasional incidents of muggings etc.
We didn’t really like that. The only paid option was a walk near the cable car, but there you still paid about 12 euros per person. We asked other tourists if the hike of about an hour was worth it, but they were not super enthusiastic.
So you can either take a paid hour-long walk in the park or go to the public road and get dropped off on another stretch, but this is at your own risk. With our daughter, we didn’t like that ourselves and so we actually turned around after 15 minutes.
So the big question is whether the cable car is worth it? We find that difficult to determine. The view is most certainly beautiful, but if you want to do something in Park Arvi, the safest option is a paid walk through the park.
Other children’s activities Medellin
Of course, there are other children’s activities you can do in Medellin. We were only there for 6 days and obviously did not do everything. Below we list some other things to do in Medellin with kids:
#5 Parque Norte: You can also go to an amusement park in Medellin with kids. The park has several attractions and the entrance fee is not super high (less than 10 euros per person). You can visit the park just fine by metro (Universidad metro station). You have attractions for both young kids and older kids.
#6 Zoo Parque de la Conservacion: you can also go to the zoo in Medellin. This zoo is not super big, but you can have a great time here for a few hours. You have three different zones in the zoo, with all kinds of different animals.
Pablo Escobar tour
We did hesitate for a while to do the Pablo Escobar tour. Surely this is the most famous resident of the city of Medellin. Online, reviews were very mixed. You will take the tour to various places that link to Pablo Escobar such as his grave and his home. Because of the mixed reviews and we also didn’t find it super interesting for our daughter, we didn’t do this tour.
You also go to the museum about Pablo Escobar run by a cousin of Escobar. This is a small museum with some attributes of Pablo Escobar including, for example, some cars. Because the government took many of the items, there are not super many items in the museum. Decide for yourself whether you want to visit this tour with your kids.
Transportation in Medellin
The public transportation system in Medellin is praised by many and is also definitely doable. You have the subway lines through the city and attached to them the cable cars. The subway is cheap and it is clean. Still, the subway can also be very crowded and then you have to keep a close eye on your belongings.
In addition, it can be quite a bit of a walk from, say, the hotel where you are staying. So you walk from the center of the tourist district of El Poblado about 20 minutes to the El Poblado metro station. With the many vagrants in town and all sorts of fringe characters, it can sometimes feel a bit unsafe. Still, we used the subway lines several times.
Still, we used an Uber cab most of the time and it was super well organized. We bought a phone card at the Medellin airport (second floor at a stall, ask at the airport) for a few euros and then we had internet on our phone for a week.
We always had a cab arranged after a few minutes and the cab prices were always a few euros. We also paid about 5 euros for the slightly longer rides. A big advantage is that this way you also see a lot of the city without having to walk around the city yourself. In many places in the city you really do see a lot of poverty and many people lying in tents in the bushes.
Family-friendly restaurant Medellin
You have plenty of nice restaurants in Medellin where you can grab a bite to eat with the family. Around Parque Lleras in the tourist district of Poblado, you have a whole area that is cordoned off, where you have many different restaurants located. There are gates here through which they also kind of keep the vagrants and vendors out of the area. This succeeds quite nicely, despite the fact that there are still several characters running around.
In this section, we ate at:
Bonhomia: We liked the food here very much. It is not super cheap, but we found the price-quality ratio of the food very good. You can order various drink boards here, as well as a pizza, a sandwich or a salad. We also found it cozy (outside) sitting in this restaurant. Kids also get a coloring page with coloring at this restaurant.
37 Park Medellin: This restaurant is opposite the Bonhomia restaurant. You can sit here in the garden and in the restaurant itself. Then you sit a little higher and have an excellent view of the street. Our daughter had a pizza here and we had a pasta. These were delicious. However, when we ate there, there did sit several groups especially drinking and they were quite noisy. No idea if we were just unlucky or if this is always the case.
We also had Indian food just outside this section at different joints and that was also delicious. You just have a lot of different restaurants in this section and there is something for everyone.
Family-friendly hotel Medellin
We slept at the Four Points by Sheraton Medellin during the six days we were in Medellin. This hotel had very good value for money. We had a room here with two large box-spring beds. The room was very nice with good air conditioning, a hot shower and a nice desk where we could do school.
In addition, the hotel is located in the tourist district of El Poblado and has an outdoor pool with beds. There is also a Jacuzzi, a sauna and a steam room. We used this quite a lot as a family. After spending a day in the city, we loved to go for a bit in the jacuzzi and sauna. Breakfast here was also very good. For more information about the Four Points by Sherathon Medellin hotel, take a look here.