One of the reasons why Medellin has become one of the main tourist destinations in Colombia, as well as one of the most desired cities for those who want to move to this country, is its innovative public places.
From green areas where the best plan is to spend a few hours relaxing and picnicking, to spaces where art is the protagonist, the choice of squares and parks in Medellin is unbeatable. Here are our recommendations:
1. Medellin Botanical Garden
This is probably one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and comforting places in the city, with more than 14 hectares that house thousands of plant species, a central lake, and other attractions.
It is located in a central area of the city, its entrance is free of charge and here come families, young people, tourists, artists and all those who enjoy outdoor activities. Besides being a garden full of nature, with more than 10 thematic collections, there are also cafes, a restaurant, a commercial nursery, a gift store, and a library.
But probably the most popular place in the Garden is the Orquideorama, a wooden construction inspired by hexagonal shapes that evoke petals and honeycombs, which serve as a shelter for groups of exotic flowers such as orchids, anthuriums, bromeliads, ferns, and palms.
Some days a week there are yoga classes and if you visit their website you will find the event’s agenda, which is always very interesting and inclusive.
2. Barefoot Park
Traveling with the family? There is no better plan than bringing the kids to a place where taking off your shoes is a requirement to have a good time.
The objective of the Barefoot Park is precisely to feel the energy of the earth with the soles of your feet, either in the large sandy areas or in the freshwater pools.
And you don’t have to be a child in age to enjoy this plan, you can also be a child in spirit, take off your shoes and play with your children in these uncomplicated spaces that allow you to reconnect with the simplicity of life.
On weekends it is usually very crowded, but there are more activities around these games, such as a small shelter of cane trees, several restaurants, and the Water Museum, with interactive tours that seek to familiarize visitors with the vital liquid through the stimulation of the senses and very entertaining experiments.
3. Nutibara Hill and the Pueblito Paisa
This wooded hill, whose name recalls a brave cacique, can be seen from several high places in Medellín and is located next to the river, amidst houses, bridges, and buildings.
Less than 10 years ago it was declared an Urban Recreation Area and Ecological Park, but its tourist and cultural importance dates back to several decades ago when a representation of the typical paisa village was built at the top and thematic trails were created to promote walking tours along its slopes.
Although these trails are currently somewhat neglected, it is much more rewarding to reach the top after a short walk accompanied by birdsong (no more than 30 minutes) than climbing by car or cab to the parking lot.
Once at the top, the place has the main buildings that make up a village in the region of Antioquia: the central square and around it the church and parish house, the mayor’s office, the school, the barbershop, the inn, the store, the typical house … all on a wide cobblestone street and decorated with plants and antiques rescued from the area.
Nowadays there are traditional food stores, handicrafts for sale, and a lot of movement in the evenings, especially on weekends and Christmas. In addition, there is an outdoor theater where various plays are presented and a museum with traveling exhibitions, which will have until the end of 2015 the work of photographer Henry Agudelo.
4. Botero Square
Also known as Sculpture Park, it is an almost surrealistic space where the giant sculptures (both in height and proportions) of the master Fernando Botero are superimposed on passers-by, fruit sellers, preachers, tourists, street artists…
For fans of the style of this painter, sculptor, and draftsman from Medellin, who has become the most famous plastic artist in the world during his lifetime and has permanent exhibitions in several countries, visiting this attraction is a luxury.
This Plaza is his largest outdoor gallery, with more than 20 sculptures distributed in a space of no more than 7,000 m2, among which there is a giant head, his famous horse, men, women, animals, and even a tender mother.
In addition, on one of the sides is the Museum of Antioquia, with more works by Botero and other national and international artists.
5. Ciudad del Rio Linear Park
Behind the Museum of Modern Art, located in a residential neighborhood called Ciudad del Rio, this park is the ideal place for an evening picnic accompanied by wine, music, and relaxed people enjoying the good weather of Medellin.
The park itself has no major historical and cultural attractions, but in its southern area there are buildings suitable for sports such as cycling, skating, and parkour, and this atmosphere also attracts those who enjoy circus activities such as weaving, and juggling, stilt walking, etc.
In the northern part, the green areas are larger and there are picnics, groups of musicians rehearsing, artisans selling glass objects, seeds, and recycled products, and small businesses offering delicious salt and sweet dishes, fruit juices, or the most popular hot dogs.
In addition, the MAMM organizes some outdoor activities every month such as film screenings or concerts, and admission to the Museum is another plan not to be missed. Especially if you want to enjoy the collection of one of the greatest exponents of painting in Colombia: the artist Débora Arango.