Colombia’s second-largest city has seen a stark rise in tourism in recent years. It’ll take more than a day to experience all Medellín has to offer, but if you find yourself limited to 24 hours in the city you can fit in a few of the hot spots. Best of all, you can do it on a budget.
Start with breakfast at Al Alma Café. This quaint little eatery serves breakfast foods all day and offers some of the best coffee in the city. A meal here will cost $10.
Spend the morning exploring Medellín’s historic Centro neighborhood. Here you’ll find the Botero Plaza, the cathedral and the Parque de las Luces, all free to wander. You’ll also want to make a stop at the Plaza Cisneros (Plaza of Lights) and the National Palace, now a beautiful shopping center.
Head to Hacienda for a traditional Colombian bandeja paisa with rice, eggs, beans, meat, chorizo and avocado for a hearty lunch. It’s a staple in the local diet and will only cost you around $10.
Medellín’s transportation system is lauded as one of its best attractions. That’s mostly due to the Metrocable, which opened up the hillside barrios to the rest of the city back in 2004. This wonderful cable car ride takes you up through the region to let you experience the once dilapidated housing sectors as they continue to climb out of ruin. Make sure you stop at Santo Domingo to have a look around before continuing on to Parque Arvi to explore the natural trails and check out the overlooking views of the city. A ticket to ride the cable car and get you to Parque Arvi will cost you roughly $10 from beginning to end, depending on how many stops you make.
Finally head back to the city center and find one of the two Mondongos. These hip restaurants attract both locals and tourists alike thanks to the delicious servings of sopa de mondongo, a rich tripe with avocado and plantains. Dinner will cost roughly $20.
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