Medellin is one of the most amazing and vibrant cities in South America, a place that has turned its tumultuous past into one of the hottest tourist destinations on the continent. Not only are there dozens of awesome things to do in Medellin, but this city is also a hotspot of art, music, culture, and museums! After exploring virtually every museum in town, I’ve found myself blown away time and time again… This article is meant to serve as your one-stop guide to all the best museums in Medellin.
Table of Contents
- More about Museums in Medellin
- Museo de Antioquia
- Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin
- Planetario de Medellín
- Cementerio Museo de San Pedro
- El Castillo Museo y Jardines
- Jardín Botánico
- Parque Explora
- Casa de la Memoria
- Casa Gardeliana
- Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo
- Museo Universitario Universidad de Antioquia (MUUA)
- Casa Museo Otraparte
- Museo del Agua
- Museo de Ciudad Medellin
- Parque de la Conservación
- Even More Museums in Medellin
- More About Medellin and Its Many Museums
- Planning Your Trip to Medellin
More about Museums in Medellin
These museums are not just art or history museums, but here you’ll also find amazing museums that go into depth about science, the universe, water, animals, and so much more.
Medellin does museums really well, and by that, I mean fun and interactive, rather than those dull, boring affairs that I remember as a kid. These top 26 museums in Medellin cater to all kinds of interests and are certainly worth a visit. You can expect the vast majority of them to be fun informative, interactive, and entertaining.
In this guide to museums in Medellin, we will first discuss the 15 most popular museums of the city (the best of the best, if you will) and what makes them special and unique from each other.
But we didn’t want to leave out some of the other smaller and lesser-known museums in the city, so we will also discover a few of these and the myriad of subjects that they specialize in. Also, good to know, that some are even free so there is no holding you back from visiting them. Let’s begin with the most popular Medellin museums…
Museo de Antioquia
The Museo de Antioquia is the most important museum in Medellin, flat out. If you visit only one Medellin museum, make it this one!
Medellin native, and Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero donated more than 100 of his artworks to this incredible museum. A massive collection of Botero’s artworks are exhibited in the 12 separate rooms and you’ll also find the totally free exhibit of his sculptures out front in Plaza Botero with a 23-piece collection of giant sculptures (a gift to the people of Medellin).
In the Museo de Antioquia, you can also find a range of other artists, including the history and culture of Colombian art through Pre-Columbian, colonial, 19th-century paintings, and contemporary artworks.
It’s home to an important library with thousands upon thousands of documents and films about the history and culture of the country. It also has a vast collection of the first publications in the country chronicling the recorded and published history of Colombia.
Try to get one of the handheld audio guides available at the museum so you can freely tour the different exhibit halls at your own pace. There is also museum staff around if you would like to ask questions to know more about the exhibits.
This is not only the most important museum in Medellin but also the second largest museum in all of Colombia, home to thousands of significant pieces of history, art, and culture of the country.
This museum sits in the heart of El Centro, so make a day out of exploring this part of the city, and stopping in at this awesome museum.
How to get to the Museo de Antioquia: Quickest and easiest way is via the Parque Berrio Metro Station
Location and Contact Details of Museo Antioquia in Medellin:
CRA 52 #52-53
TEL: (574) 251-3636
Monday to Saturday (10AM – 5:30PM)
$14.0000 pesos – Colombians
$21.000 pesos – Foreigners
$10.500 pesos – Students holding a current ID and those who are over 60 years old
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo de Antioquia.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin
Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum) or MAMM is another important museum in Medellin, located in the Ciudad del Rio sector of El Poblado. It is now housed in a refurbished industrial building which was a former steel mill. Known also as “El MAMM”, this museum highlights modern and contemporary art.
The museum’s newest wing (an impressively large and modern construction) is home to a vast collection of work by Débora Arango, a famous Colombian painter, and Medellin native. It also has regular cinema screenings that show independent films.
Located in the Ciudad del Rio neighborhood, this museum is an art lover’s dream. It has some world-class exhibitions of modern art and both permanent and temporary exhibits which promote the best of Colombian modern art.
El MAMM was founded by a group of artists who wanted the public to know more about modern and contemporary art. The museum was originally in a communal space that was originally intended for a church.
Later on, the museum was transferred to a refurbished steel plant, a small and modest warehouse, which was recently added on to, adding much more floor space for exhibitions. This move was also an homage to Colombia’s industrial past as the museum celebrated its 30th anniversary and a symbol of the rebirth for which Medellin has become known for.
Pro Tip: On the last Friday of each month, the museum has FREE entrance in the evenings, so definitely visit then if you’re low on cash.
How to get to the Museo de Arte Moderno: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Industriales
Location and Contact Details of the Museo de Arte Moderno:
Carrera 44 #19A-100, Ciudad del Rio, MedellÍn
TEL: (+574) 444 2622
Tuesdays to Fridays (9AM – 7PM)
Last Friday of the Month (9AM – 10PM)
Saturdays & Sundays (11AM – 6PM)
Closed on Mondays except on Holiday Mondays
$18,000 pesos – General Admission for Foreigners
$12,000 pesos – Colombian Nationals
$ 9,000 pesos – Children and Students less than 25 years old; Adults older than 60 years old
FREE – last Friday of each month from 6PM to 10PM
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo de Arte Moderno.
Planetario de Medellín
Located in the northern part of the city, in the aptly named Zona Norte, the Planetario de Medellin is a planetarium and museum dedicated to the wider universe. The exhibits include exploration of space, planet Earth, and the solar system. What is also remarkable here is the 57-foot digital dome for experiential film viewing (the planetarium).
Planetariums might be thought of something as just for children but as an adult, you can also enjoy one of the most modern planetariums in Latin America. And for your convenience, this planetarium is also right near Parque Norte, Parque Explora, San Pedro Cemetery, and Jardin Botanico.
In the 1970s, local astronomers and fans of space sciences would view and share films about galaxies, planets, space programs, NASA, observatories, and stars. This interest sparked a movement to build a planetarium in Medellin. And on October 10, 1984, the planetarium opened with advanced instruments from Germany. Later in 2011, Parque Explora started running Planetario de Medellin.
The planetarium was named after Jesus Emilio Ramírez González, a priest who served as director of the International Geophysical Institute and was considered as the most respected scientist in Colombia. He dedicated most of his time to earth sciences and received international awards.
Inside the planetarium, there is an immersive film screening and two floors of interactive science exhibits. There are two floors that showcase the solar system, some fossils, the planets and the sun, and the chance of life in other galaxies. And if your Spanish isn’t good, don’t worry because there is an English translation. And if you would like to take a break, there is a great little coffee shop on the first floor overlooking the plaza.
This museum is a special place, in my opinion, and a fun and interactive place to learn a little bit more about our solar system and universe.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for special screenings in the planetarium with things like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon that we went to one year… So cool!
How to get to Planetario de Medellín: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Universidad
Location and Contact Details of Planetario de Medellín:
Carrera 52 # 71-117, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 516 8300
Tuesday to Friday (8:30AM – 5:30PM)
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10AM – 6:30PM)
$20,000 pesos – General Admission
$14,000 pesos – Children and Students with ID; Adults older than 60 years old
FREE – Children under 2 years old; low estrato residents of Medellin just show proof of address/billing
$48,000 pesos – Entrance fee for both Planetarium and Parque Explora
Click here to visit the Official Website of Planetario de Medellín.
Cementerio Museo de San Pedro
Cementerio Museo de San Pedro or the San Pedro Cemetery Museum is both an active cemetery and museum in Medellin. Isn’t that interesting? It was constructed in 1842 and declared a museum in 1998. Since it was a very important part of the architectural and cultural legacy, it was declared a National Monument of Colombia in 1999 and handled by the Foundation of San Pedro Cemetery.
In the cemetery, there is a small church with beautiful glass-stained windows, but the main draw here is the many tombs, mausoleums, and sculptures done in marble and bronze which were built for the many important Colombian figures in politics. Some of these date back more than 100 years and provide important insights into local history.
If you are lucky with your timing, you may be able to attend one of the cultural events on full moon nights such as shows, theater, dance performances, and concerts. These events have been popular with the hippie crowd and many tourists. Kind of strange, showing up at a cemetery at night, but worth doing!
Cemetery visits may seem odd or macabre for some, but there are free guided tours available for the Cementerio Museo de San Pedro. I highly recommend these guided tours because they have interesting stories about the architecture and art around the cemetery. And well yeah, the dead people who happen to be some of the most famous Colombians that shaped the trajectory of this country.
Certainly, this cemetery is a worthwhile visit when you are in the city and is another way to learn about the history and culture of Medellin. I took a long time to finally visit here, but it’s a place that’s definitely worth checking out.
How to get to Cementerio Museo de San Pedro: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Hospital
Location and Contact Details of Cementerio Museo de San Pedro:
Carrera 51 # 68-68, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 516 7650
Daily (7:30AM – 5:30PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Cementerio Museo de San Pedro.
El Castillo Museo y Jardines
You’re probably wondering what a huge Gothic-style castle is doing in the heart of Medellin… Or in South America. Oh well, El Castillo Museo y Jardines is one of the most unique and interesting places to enjoy in this city. Bask in the sunshine in the lovely gardens as you stroll and marvel at the castle grounds and the incredible view over the city.
There is a guided tour of the castle and its different rooms to discover the well-preserved collection of decorative arts, European artists, and Colombian masters. One can also find many antique furniture and fittings. There are also fine china, European porcelain, and Baccarat glassware that are kept in mint condition throughout this stately mansion.
The castle was first built for the founder of Farmacia Pasteur (a local pharmacy chain) and later acquired by an extremely wealthy family that dedicated themselves to decorating it with important art to convert it into a museum and cultural center for the city.
From the castle, the panoramic views of the city are exquisite. The gardens are perfect for a picnic or just to relax for an hour or two (bring lunch). If you’re lucky, you might see the local scarlet macaws swooping overhead.
The story of the family that converted it into a museum is unique and also tragic (the father’s story ends in a very Medellin way, sadly). I won’t ruin the story here!
Keep in mind that photos are not allowed inside, but it isn’t every day you are in a castle anyway, so just relax and enjoy.
How to get to El Castillo Museo y Jardines: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Aguacatala
Location and Contact Details of El Castillo Museo y Jardines:
Calle 9 Sur 32-269 Loma Los Balsos, El Poblado, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 266 0900
Mondays to Fridays (9AM – 5PM)
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10AM – 5:00PM)
$18,000 pesos – General Admission
$ 12,000 pesos – Children and Students
Click here to visit the Official Website of El Castillo Museo y Jardines.
Jardín Botánico is a huge respite of peace and tranquility in a big bustling city, where you’ll find more than 34 acres of land with more than 1,000 plant species from different regions. These botanical gardens were declared a Cultural Heritage of Medellín in 1985.
The Jardin Botanico is divided into zones: Caldas Lake, Tropical Forest, Garden of the Orquideorama, The House of Butterflies, Desert Garden, and Garden of the Palms. The zones are designed to follow the ecosystems and also serve as habitats for different birds and insects.
Jardín Botánico is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Medellin. Many families, couples, students, and tourists spend many hours relaxing in the open green spaces. The gardens also host several events over the course of the year. Orquideorama is one of its outdoor event areas.
My favorite way to enjoy the botanical gardens is to just bring along a picnic lunch and hang out in one of the beautiful spaces, especially the area surrounding the lake, where you can catch all sorts of birds and wildlife, including the resident iguanas who may try and steal a bite of your lunch.
Another great way to enjoy the gardens is to try any of the three restaurants. The most popular (and pricey) is the open-air restaurant In Situ. It is somewhat romantic with good food and service and is known as one of the best restaurants in the city.
In Situ also has an extensive bar with French wine, brandy, beers, and other liquors. The two cafes are Café del Bosque and El Vagon. Café del Bosque is near the entrance of the gardens and El Vagon is in the former train carriage.
If you are visiting in August, you can catch the garden’s display of orchids for Feria de las Flores, or in September they host events for the Book and Culture Festival. Needless to say, whatever month or date, there is still a myriad of activities and things to do in the botanical gardens. Tip: Check out their website for the calendar of events in the gardens.
How to get to Jardín Botánico: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Universidad
Location and Contact Details of Jardín Botánico:
Calle 73 # 51D-14, Medellin
TEL: (+574) 444 5500
Daily (9AM – 4:30PM)
Note: Some days the property is closed because of special events that the Jardín Botánico is hosting.
Click here to visit the Offical Website of Jardín Botánico.
Parque Explora — when I first heard about it, I thought that it was just a park but it is so much more than that… It is actually a science museum with the largest freshwater aquarium called Explora Aquarium, which is also the largest in South America. It has more than 4,000 species and 400 of which are native to Colombia.
Aside from the aquarium, it has more than 300 interactive attractions, a 3D auditorium, a terrarium, a vivarium, a TV studio, and an outdoor dinosaur exhibit. Alejandro Echeverri, the museum’s architect, designed the spaces to be a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces which are all highly interactive (and fun!).
Located in Zona Norte (the area north of Medellin’s downtown), Parque Explora is next to Jardin Botanico and the Planetarium. You can even buy tickets together with the Planetarium since they are both administered jointly.
Enjoy both areas for the day, and stop in at the Botanic Garden for a break… I’d say to also hit the cemetery, but all four is probably too much for one day.
How to get to Parque Explora: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Universidad
Location and Contact Details of Parque Explora:
Carrera 52 # 73-74, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 516 8300
Tuesdays to Fridays (8:30AM – 5:30PM)
Saturday, Sundays, and Holidays (10AM – 6:30PM)
Closed on Mondays except on Holiday Mondays
$32,000 pesos – General Admission
$23,500 pesos – Children and Students with ID; Adults older than 60 years old
FREE – Children under 1.1 meters
$48,000 pesos – Entrance fee for both Planetarium and Parque Explora
Click here to visit the Official Website of Parque Explora.
Casa de la Memoria
Medellin and Colombia have had some difficult times in the past, which is putting it mildly. If you are interested to know more about the trying times of Colombia and just how resilient this country and its people are, then this newer museum in the city of Medellin is a good place to do just that.
Located in El Centro, near the Boston neighborhood, Casa de la Memoria is hard to miss because of its unique and striking architecture (although it is in a part of town that you’re not likely to just stumble across it).
Museo Casa de la Memoria was established to remember the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, the people who suffered in the middle of the various power struggles. It highlights the many sad stories of these victims and their families of how they suffered from conflicts between FARC, ELN, or the paramilitaries.
Colombia is misunderstood even today. But Casa de la Memoria is a testament and a testimony of how Medellin and Colombia, on the whole, are turning a new page in their history, one of progress and forward-thinking, eager to put behind the conflicts of yesterday for a brighter future. Entrance is free so there is no reason not to go in and learn more about the troubled history of the city and the country.
How to get to Museo Casa de la Memoria: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Tranvia station Bicentenario
Location and Contact Details of Museo Casa de la Memoria:
Calle 51 #36-66, Parque Bicentenario, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 520 2020
Tuesdays to Fridays (9AM – 6PM)
Saturday, Sundays, and Holidays (10AM – 4PM)
Closed on Mondays
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Casa de la Memoria.
Casa Gardeliana is dedicated to tango music and the French-Argentine singer and actor Carlos Gardel. Even if you do not have any idea about Gardel, just know that he was the biggest superstar of tango (you’ve probably at least heard Por Una Cabeza — Hollywood’s unofficial official tango theme song).
Located in the Manrique neighborhood, the museum is on the hills above the Jardin Botanico and Zona Norte.
But what is the connection of Carlos Gardel to Medellin? Well, Carlos Gardel died in a plane crash at the Medellin airport in 1935 and forever tied this city to tango forever. There is even an International Tango Festival annually in Medellin.
Casa Gardeliana is a small and unique museum to visit with the music memorabilia and artifacts about the life and work of Carlos Gardel. A lesser-known museum, even some Medellin locals don’t know about, but Casa Gardeliana is a celebration of tango — the dance and songs and the passion that surrounds it.
A plus for visiting this museum is going around the Manrique neighborhood and grabbing some street food. Manrique is usually not a place that foreigners would be seen going around so it’s pretty fun to wander off on this side of the city.
Remember, every Saturday night, tango enthusiasts and all the musicians, singers, and tango dancers in the city come together to perform tango. Experience the best tango if you can.
Another note about tango, be sure to visit Salon Malaga near the San Antonio metro station for their incredible live tango nights.
How to get to Museo Casa Gardeliana: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metroplus station Gardel
Location and Contact Details of Museo Casa Gardeliana:
Carrera 45 # 76-50, Manrique, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 444 2633 Ext. 112
Monday to Saturday (9AM – 5PM)
Free (Voluntary donation if you can)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Casa Gardeliana.
Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo
Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo is one of the most important cultural museums in Medellin. This museum was opened by the artist’s family in 1975 to highlight the life and works of Gomez. He was known as a muralist and is one of the most famous and well-known artists in Latin America. After his death in 1984, his estate donated the house to continue to be used as a museum.
Gomez is a very prolific artist with a collection of murals, oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, sculptures, engravings, and wood carvings which were exhibited in this house museum.
He has done more than 2,200 square meters of murals all over Colombia and in this museum, 160 square meters of murals are on display. There are more than 2,000 artworks that are exhibited in rotation.
He was also known as a philosopher, engineer, and urban planner. Master Gomez was the one who helped plan and designs the neighborhood of Laureles in Medellin. He also did a set of 11 murals at the Municipal Palace in a contract with the city of Medellin.
This museum is an important landmark in Medellin because of the life and art of Pedro Nel Gómez. His art also has depicted and reflected his nationalism and his comments about the social and political landscape in Colombia in his time. Definitely worth visiting!
If you’ve visited Medellin’s Centro near Parque Berrio, you may have already seen the prominent mural by Pedro Nel Gomez on the backside, street-level area.
How to get to Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Universidad or Hospital
Location and Contact Details of Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo:
Carrera 51B # 85-24, Aranjuez, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 444 2633
Monday to Saturday (9AM – 5PM)
Free (Voluntary Donation if you may)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo.
Museo Universitario Universidad de Antioquia (MUUA)
40,000 archaeological and natural history pieces serve as the almost overwhelming foundation of the Museo Universitario Universidad de Antioquia (MUUA). The most interesting part is the exhibits about the anthropology and natural sciences on two floors, but the other floors house some temporary art exhibits.
Founded in 1803, the University of Antioquia is one of the oldest public universities in Colombia, as well as one of the most respected. The campus of this beautiful university with lavish gardens, fountains, and concrete buildings, is located in the Zona Norte, adjacent to a number of other museums we’ve discussed.
The MUUA is in the main square and was founded in 1942. To gain access to the grounds of the University, you MUST bring your passport or ID.
For the Archaeological floor (the largest collection of archaeological pieces in Colombia), it has over 20,000 pieces that also have models or reconstructions of the lifestyles and is particularly well known for everything available on the local indigenous cultures.
While the Natural Sciences floor has over 18,000 pieces which include skeletons, wet-preserved specimens, fossils, naturalized animals, skins, minerals, and scientific illustrations.
There are guides on hand who are available to answer some of your questions about the exhibits. If all your questions have been answered, then you might fancy some time at the gift shop or a visit to the small auditorium and library. You probably need a day or two to explore this rich museum and really do it justice.
How to get to Museo Universidad Antioquia (MUUA): Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Universidad
Location and Contact Details of Museo Universidad Antioquia (MUUA):
Address: Calle 67 # 53-108, Bloque 15
Telephone: (574) 219 5180
Monday to Thursday (8AM – 5:45PM)
Friday (8AM – 3:45PM)
Saturday (9AM – 12:45PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Universidad Antioquia.
Casa Museo Otraparte
Casa Museo Otraparte is a house turned into a museum in the northern end of Envigado (to the south of Medellin). This house museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Colombian existential philosopher and writer Fernando González. It showcases the works of the writer in Spanish along with temporary exhibits.
Fernando González is one of the most original and most recognized writers of his time in Colombia. He wrote about morality, theology, sociology, art, and history. He was very important in writing about Latin American identity and Colombian identity.
González was born in Envigado and came back to this area to build his villa which he called La Guerta del Aleman or The Garden of the German. With the onset of World War II, he later renamed it Otraparte (Another Place).
The museum tries to preserve the appearance and the character of the villa at the time of González. The museum itself is pretty small and of probably limited interest to most foreigners, but the real draw here is just the space, the outdoor gardens, and the adjacent café…The gardens are exquisitely taken care of and are such a sweet spot in Medellin to kick back with green spaces and water fountains.
Apart from the grounds, Casa Museo Otraparte is a center for cultural activity in the city. Some of the events that happen here are film screenings (international or independent films), concerts, poetry readings, coffee tastings, and workshops. I went to a great coffee cupping demonstration here and even a talk on Walden’s Pond if you can imagine.
The must-try in Casa Museo Otraparte is the Cafe del Otraparte which is known to be one of the best coffee shops in Medellin. They serve delicious coffee, excellent food, and numerous desserts in a quiet space in an otherwise busy and bustling Medellin.
They have also recently constructed an incredible new modern library adjacent to Otraparte which includes a relaxing roof top terrace with seating overlooking Otraparte and the gardens. It is a must visit in Envigado.
How to get to Casa Museo Otraparte: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Ayurá
Location and Contact Details of Casa Museo Otraparte:
Carrera 43A # 27 Sur-11, Envigado
TEL: (+574) 448 2404
Monday to Friday (8AM – 8PM)
Saturday, Sunday (9AM – 5PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Casa Museo Otraparte.
Museo del Agua
Museo del Agua might sound kind of boring, but this overlooked museum is actually a hidden gem, in my mind. The Museum del Agua is a museum that explains water and how it is vital to all of us and to our planet. This is considered a science, art, and technology museum. The local public utility company Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) created Museo del Agua.
The exhibits are dedicated to explaining the importance of water to our planet and will walk you through the different stages of our planet’s evolution and the start of the Homo sapiens. The expert guides will help you through the combination of technology, entertainment, and interactive models to explain all of these. One of the coolest parts is the displays of the varied ecosystems of Colombia in the different rooms to explain forests, plains, and deserts – perhaps beneficial to your future travels throughout Colombia.
The museum also explains the process of drinking water in Medellin by EPM, and how it is that Medellin is one of the few cities in Colombia with potable drinking water (a given for most of us, but a luxury here in Colombia).
Also, it highlights nature conservation and waste management. All in all, the museum is surprisingly entertaining and interactive not just for kids but also for adults and tourists. I would recommend stopping by if you’ll be in the area, or perhaps visiting the famous Barefoot Park located nearby.
Afterward, don’t forget to walk over to Parques del Rio, one of the newest and coolest parks in town that is very pedestrian friendly and connects the east and west side of the Medellin River.
How to get to Museo del Agua: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Alpujarra
Location and Contact Details of Museo del Agua:
Carrera 57 # 42-139, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 380 1790
Tuesday to Friday (8:30AM – 5:30PM, but last admittance 4PM)
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays (10:30AM – 6:30PM, but last admittance 5PM)
Monday – Closed for Maintenance
$ 6,000 – General Admission
Free – For under 5 years old and over 60 years old
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo del Agua.
Museo de Ciudad Medellin
Museo de Ciudad Medellin or Medellín’s City Museum is dedicated to showing the social history of the city of Medellin. The well-preserved photos of the 1890s until the 1950s are curated to explain the history of the city. Located at the top of Nutibara Hill, also known as Pueblito Paisa, means this small museum is pretty easy to find.
A whopping 1.7 million images have been collected since the Biblioteca Publica Piloto de Medellín started to collect the visual journal of the city in the 1980s. Alongside this is a scale model of the whole city of Medellin (a permanent exhibit).
It’s a great way to start your travels here in Medellin, by understanding the history of the city where you are, so you will know how it was in the past and you’ll have a deeper understanding of its present.
Start with Museo de Ciudad Medellin to understand this city more, and you can take in a pretty awesome view of the city as you step out and enjoy Pueblito Paisa. This small recreated village is also a good place to grab some souvenirs to take home.
How to get to Museo de Ciudad Medellin: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Exposiciones, but then you’ll want to grab a taxi
Location and Contact Details of Museo de Ciudad Medellin:
Calle 30 # 55-64
TEL: (+574) 444 2633 Ext. 113 and 114
Monday to Sunday (10AM – 6PM)
Parque de la Conservación
Parque de la Conservación, otherwise known as the Medellin Zoo, is located in the heart of the city near the Olaya Herrera Airport (not to be confused with the bigger airport in Rio Negro).
It covers about 10 acres with more than 1,000 animals mainly from different places around Central and South America. There are 220 mammals, 230 reptiles, and 470 birds or over 230 species in Medellin’s most popular zoo.
Parque de la Conservación also sits under the canopy of more than five hundred trees and plants which includes acacias, fruit-bearing trees, palm trees, and local endemic plants of Colombia.
Inside the Medellin Zoo, you can also find a museum called Casa Sante Fe Museum which opened in 1960. Constructed in Republican architectural style, it has big bedrooms and wide corridors. The patio features a beautiful fountain adorned with Arabic tiles. Casa Santa Fe highlights religious images and Egyptian and Arabic furniture.
There are maps in every zone of the zoo to help you navigate the different locations and find your favorite animals to visit. There is a restaurant on-site just in case you want to get some refreshments or relax.
While one always feels a bit conflicted about visiting animals in captivity, this zoo has been pivotal in helping locals understand the important roles that animals play in the ecosystem and how we can best protect them, such as educating them that some animals like opossums are not dangerous or how the spectacled bear needs protecting.
This may not be as grand as the giant zoos in the States but the good diversity of these exotic animals is remarkable and makes it worthwhile to visit.
NOTE: It is easy to criticize zoos as bad or immoral when you live in a society that already has a relatively high level of protection for wildlife and wild spaces, but they are even more important where those types of protections are not really in place and certainly not enforced.
How to get to Parque de la Conservación: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Industriales and then going by cab.
Location and Contact Details of Parque de la Conservación:
Carrera 52 # 20-63, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 444 7787 Option 2, Ext 2111
Daily (9 AM – 5 PM)
$20,000 pesos – General Admission (13 yrs old and up)
Free – Children under 2 years old
Click here to visit the Official Website of Parque Zoologico y Casa Sante Fe.
Even More Museums in Medellin
The first 15 museums that were mentioned above are the most popular ones in Medellin, and probably where you’ll want to first focus your efforts, but I also wanted to highlight some of the other museums that are under the radar.
While these places are usually smaller and less visited, that does not, in any way, mean they are less interesting, particularly if they fall in line with your own passions. Even though Medellin is not a capital city and only recently really exploded population-wise, it actually has a ton of museums, arts, and cultural institutions, at least if you know where to look…
Toucan Museo Del Cafe opened during the last quarter of 2018 and it is dedicated to the history of coffee in the world along with the process of making coffee. It also highlights the history of coffee in Colombia. The Toucan Spanish School, which also owns a cafe and offers Medellin walking tours and coffee tours, created this cafe museum in El Poblado.
How to get to Toucan Museo Del Cafe: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Poblado
Location and Contact Details of Toucan Museo Del Cafe:
Carrera 41A # 10-28, El Poblado
TEL: (+574) 311 7176
Daily (8AM – 5PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Toucan Museo Del Cafe here.
Museo Viztaz is not a physical museum but the Viztaz Museum is a unique traveling tour featuring different periods of photography and the different equipment used for each period.
There are also historical photographs taken by these cameras. The Museo Viztaz website offers millions of photos about Medellin and Colombia whether antique or contemporary photos. They also have displays on Cerro Nutibara.
How to get to Museo Viztaz: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Exposiciones, then by taxi to Cerro Nutibara
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Viztaz here.
Area Cultural Banco de la Republica or Cultural Area Bank of the Republic has facilitated many artistic exchanges whether in performing arts, dance, or visual arts, which they display. It also has a library about the socio-political history of Colombia and Latin America.
How to get to Area Cultural Banco de la Republica: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Parque Berrio
Location and Contact Details of Area Cultural Banco de la Republica:
50 Street # 50 – 21, floors 3 and 4
TEL: (+574) 444 2633
Monday to Friday (8AM – 5PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Area Cultural Banco de la Republica here.
Museo Etnografico Madre Laura is dedicated to the legacy of Saint Mother Laura who lived and died in Medellin in 1949. Madre Laura’s museum has four small halls exhibiting 1,500 pieces of pottery, woven garments, ceramics, musical instruments, and baskets made by indigenous Colombia tribes. These are the tribes that the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and Saint Catherine of Siena (Mother Laura) worked with.
How to get to Museo Etnográfico Madre Laura: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station San Javier
Location and Contact Details of Museo Etnográfico Madre Laura:
Carrera 92 # 34D-21, Barrio Belencito, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 252 3017
Monday to Sunday (9AM – 12PM and 2PM – 5PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Etnográfico Madre Laura here.
Museo Etnografico Miguel Angel Builes (MEMAB) is a museum dedicated to ethnographic pieces highlighting the cultural diversity of Colombia. There are 2,000 pieces highlighting the daily life and rituals of the various ethnic groups.
How to get to Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Floresta
Location and Contact Details of Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes:
Carrera 81 # 52B-120, Barrio Ferrini, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 320 4488
Monday to Friday (8AM – 12PM and 2PM – 5:30PM)
Saturday (8AM – 12PM)
Sundays and Holidays (Closed)
Suggested Donation of $ 5,000 pesos per person
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes here.
Museo Entomologico Piedras Blancas or the Piedras Blancas Entomological Museum and Butterfly Sanctuary is an insect exhibit located in Parque Piedras Blancas up in Parque Arvi, above the city. An exhibit of 15,000 preserved insect specimens from the different regions of Colombia will certainly wow you. And what is amazing is there are also living insects on display just like the butterflies in their natural environment.
How to get to Museo Entomológico Piedras Blancas: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Arví
Location and Contact Details of Museo Entomológico Piedras Blancas:
Vereda Piedra Blancas near Parque Arvi or Santa Elena
TEL: (+574) 460 1100 ext. 327
Wednesday to Sunday and Holidays (9AM – 5PM)
$ 7,500 pesos Entrance to the Museum
$ 5,700 pesos Additional Entrance to enter the park
Free – Children under 7 years old
Click here to visit the Official Website of Piedras here.
Museo de Geociencias de la Universidad Nacional is a small museum of earth sciences or geosciences. The displays in this museum are of fossils, rocks, and minerals from Colombia and from different parts of the world.
How to get to Museo de Geosciencias de la Universidad Nacional: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Floresta
Location and Contact Details of Museo de Geosciencias de la Universidad Nacional:
Carrera 80 # 65-223, Bloque M3, second floor, Facultad de Minas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 425 5129
Monday and Saturday (9AM – 2PM)
Tuesday to Friday (9AM – 5PM)
Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Salle is a science museum that reflects the biodiversity of Colombia and the relationship of each organism to the existing ecosystem. This acquires, researches, and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of human beings.
How to get to Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Salle: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Tranvia station Buenos Aires
Location and Contact Details of Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Salle:
Calle 54A # 30-01 Barrio Sucre, Medellín
Monday to Thursday from 8AM to 12PM and 2PM to 6PM
Friday from 8AM to 12PM and 2PM to 5PM
Saturday from 9AM to 1PM
Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe is located in the El Centro neighborhood of Medellin and is one of the most iconic buildings downtown. This building was designed by Belgian architect Agustin Goovaerts in the Gothic Revival style and is commonly mistaken for a church.
Most tourists only stop by to take a picture of this magnificent architectural gem of the city, but you can go inside! If you are visiting Plaza Botero and Museo de Antioquia, please do pop in because it is just right next to it.
They’ve got temporary rotating art exhibits on the first floor, but the highlights are definitely the basement courtyard and the fourth floor which offers up-close views of the dome and great views of the city. Definitely check it out!
How to get to Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Parque Berrio
Location and Contact Details of Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe:
Carrera 51 # 52-01, El Centro
TEL: (+574) 320 9780
Monday to Friday (8AM – 5PM)
Saturday (8AM – 2PM)
Sundays and Holidays (Closed)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe here.
Museo Madre Maria Berenice is a small religious museum dedicated to the life and works of Mother Maria Berenice. In 1943 Mother Maria founded the Religious Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Annunciation, which is now in 15 countries all over the world. Their order teaches spirituality, humility, and simplicity. This museum is located in a school and you need to be buzzed so you can enter the museum.
How to get to Museo Madre Maria Berenice: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Tranvia station of Buenos Aires
Location and Contact Details of Museo Madre Maria Berenice:
Carrera 21 # 40-135, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 221 9820
Monday to Sunday (9AM – 12PM and 3PM – 6PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Museo Madre Maria Berenice here.
Fundacion Aburra is an art museum with more than 3,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic and religious art. It promotes the history of Antioquia’s culture and identity. The exhibit is done in a rotating fashion so there are different artworks and pieces to view each time.
How to get to Fundación Aburrá: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Estadio
Location and Contact Details of Fundación Aburrá:
Calle 44A # 72-35, Barrio Florida Nueva, Medellín
TEL: (+574) 413 7436
Monday to Friday (9AM – 5PM)
Click here to visit the Official Website of Fundación Aburrá here.
Museo Choza Marco Fidel Suárez or the Marco Fidel Suarez Hut Museum is a National Monument which exhibits the life and achievements of Colombia’s past president Marco Fidel Suarez. The museum is housed inside the hut where Suarez was said to have been born. If you want to learn more about the humble beginnings of a man who went on to become Colombia’s president, then this is a good place to start.
How to get to Museo Choza Marco Fidel Suárez: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Bello
Location and Contact Details of Museo Choza Marco Fidel Suárez:
Carrera 50 # 52-57, Bello
TEL: (+574) 275 8995
Museo Biciclasicas y Antiguas or the Museum of Classic and Ancient Bicycles located in Bello is the first museum of classic and ancient bicycles in Colombia. If you are a biking enthusiast or cyclist, then this is a unique attraction for you. In case you didn’t know, competitive cycling is absolutely huge in Colombia and a few have risen to international levels of competition.
How to get to Museo Biciclasicas y Antiguas: Quickest and easiest way is via the nearest Metro station Bello
Location and Contact Details of Museo Biciclasicas y Antiguas:
Calle 47 # 46-41, Bello
TEL: (+574) 597 2956
Daily (8AM – 5PM)
Check the Official Facebook Page of Museo Biciclasicas y Antiguas here.
More About Medellin and Its Many Museums
Medellin has had a rich but often difficult history. But now the people of Medellin are eager to turn the page on this troubling past by investing in urban development, infrastructure, art, and culture, and working to improve the daily life of its inhabitants who were left so far behind. Things aren’t perfect here, of course, but no other city on earth has had such a fast and dramatic turnaround as Medellin.
The Museo de Antioquia, state-of-the-art science museums, stunning botanical gardens, modern art museums, and any of the other 20+ interesting museums stand as a testimony to the significant changes that continue to take place in this beautiful city and how they wait with open arms for tourists to come and discover the city.
Honestly, I think that we can all learn a thing or two from Medellin and the people who call this valley home.
Planning Your Trip to Medellin
Exploring all that Medellin has to offer? Be sure not to miss my ultimate guide of things to do in Medellin or read more about where to stay in Medellin, including the best Medellin hostels, to plan an unforgettable trip.
Book your lodging on Booking.com now to save, or if you plan to stay longer, I highly recommend looking for a place on Airbnb. And don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for Colombia that will help protect you against illness, injury, and theft. I recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing which are both made for backpackers or digital nomads, and provide great coverage at an affordable price.
Read Next: Guide to Traveling to Colombia
Colombia Travel Tips
Important tips and resources for planning an amazing trip to Colombia, based on my years of traveling and living in Colombia.
Colombia Trip Planning
- Book a cheap flight to Colombia with Momondo, or better yet, start travel hacking so you can fly for free. Traveling between major cities is much better by flying, trust me.
- Plan a rough itinerary and how long you will spend in each destination. Use an itinerary planning service for custom recommendations and pick up Lonely Planet Colombia.
- Work a little every day to teach yourself Spanish, you'll want to know as much as possible before you arrive.
- Book cheap accommodation in advance, at least for the first destinations -- For hostels use: Booking, for cheap hotels use: Hotels.com, for apartments use: Airbnb.
- Reserve your on the ground tours and activities through Get Your Guide.
- Purchase travel insurance for Colombia with World Nomads or SafetyWing to protect yourself from illness, injury, and theft while in Colombia. VERY important. And be sure to read my article: "Is Colombia Safe?" for my honest opinion and safety tips.
- Sign up for my free emails about planning a better trip to Colombia, and be sure to check out my comprehensive guide about traveling to Colombia.
- Learn more money-saving tricks with my top budget travel tips.
- Put together your Colombia packing list.
- Enjoy this incredible country!
I hope this helped you plan your travels in Colombia! I know it can be a struggle to find accurate and on the ground information when traveling to a new place like Colombia, which is why I started writing so extensively about it!
If you have any questions about Colombia, budget travel, or anything else shoot me an email at email@example.com.
(I love getting questions! That is how I get ideas for my blog posts and what to write about!)
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