The weekend has finally arrived and with weather as perfect as Medellín’s, it’s difficult to stay in bed past 10 am without deep feelings of guilt. If you’re not too hungover from the night before, Saturdays in the City of Eternal Spring are the prime time to explore like a local – whether visiting famous landmarks, discovering a new hidden gem or soaking up the Paisa lifestyle, here are the best things to do in Medellín on Saturdays:
What better way to begin the weekend than stretching in the sunshine among Medellín’s lush nature? If you’re one of the lucky people who wakes up on Saturdays with boundless energy, there are a few places across Medellín that offer morning yoga classes. In Envigado, Café Otraparte has group yoga starting at 8.30am and is free to join, while over in Ciudad del Rio at Telemedellín, yoga guru instructor Jaime Escobar leads classes at 8.30am (voluntary contributions are encouraged). For a slightly later start, Jardín Botánico hosts yoga sessions starting at 10 am with Atman Yoga (again, participation is free but tips are welcome).
Brunch has well and truly established its presence in Medellín and no longer is arepa and chocolo the only option to start the day. All over the city are a range of brunch spots serving delicious dishes and coffees to enjoy with a group of friends. Ganso & Castor is a Medellín-based restaurant that rustles up eggs, avocado toast, pancakes and more to hungry guests, while Al Alma specializes in artisanal bread, and the Swiss Bakery has a range of sweet and savory treats in addition to rich Colombian coffee. A lesser-known brunch spot gem, La Miguería has numerous locations across Medellín and bakes mouth-watering pastries for extremely modest prices. It’s a hit with locals, so arrive early to avoid standing in line.
Looking to bag a bargain? The place to go is downtown El Centro. Calle 48 # Carrera 51 and 52 – the streets connecting Parque de las Luces with Parque Berrío – are lined with shops and malls selling everything from clothes, kitchen utensils, electronics, DVDs, food and more. Pretty much anything you could possibly need is available in El Centro, plus, it’s one of the cheapest areas in the city. Granted, most of the clothes and shoes are replicas, but the genuine likeness is impressive. Be sure to practice your haggling skills here and always barter for a lower price – a great way to put your Paisa slang to the test!
Even if you’re not keen to shop, El Centro is a fun experience in itself; it’s loud, busy and entertaining. While we don’t recommend coming here with a hangover, the market is perfect to people-watch and admire the chaos.
For a little culture and breath-taking views of the city, head over to El Castillo just south of El Poblado. Having been built in 1930, the Gothic-esque castle is perched on top of a hill and has fountains and manicured gardens perfect for a picnic or simply strolling around the grounds. Visitors here can take a guided tour around the castle, seeing the grand décor and precious collections, as well as learn about the former residents and the building’s transformation into an arts center.
On Saturdays, there are normally food stands at El Castillo, so guests can buy snacks and drinks to relax with on the lawn. Alternatively, visitors can purchase picnic packages for special occasions, including food and drink, a tablecloth, cutlery, and decorations. El Castillo is open from 10 am until 5 pm on Saturdays, and entrance costs $13,000 COP for adults, $9,000 COP for children and students.
Soccer is the biggest sport in Colombia, and although there isn’t a match every Saturday, if you’re lucky enough to be in town when there’s a game on, you have to go. While the games themselves are never too dramatic, the atmosphere from the stands is incredible. The main stadium is Estadio in Estadio-Laureles, and is where thousands of fans descend on game nights to show their support. The two teams from Medellín are Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín, and while both of them have an avid following, Independiente is known for being louder and wilder.
It’s best to buy tickets in advance from official vendors at the stadium or from touts on the day. Tickets cost between $10.000 COP to $50.000 COP and it’s worth noting that no alcohol is allowed in, or served at the stadium.
Naturally, every Saturday night in Medellín is worthy of a fiesta. Colombians and travelers alike flock to fondas, clubs and salsa bars to drink and dance the week away, or try their luck finding romance. The nightlife across the city varies depending on the neighborhood but generally speaking, Parque Lleras in El Poblado is the rumba spot. Lined with bars and clubs and always filled with people spilling onto the street and pounding music, Lleras is an obvious go-to location on Saturdays. That said, if you’re searching for something new, these are a few of our favorites elsewhere:
Dulce Jesús Mío
There are two Dulce Jesús Mío in Medellín but the one in Itagüí is best. Found on the side of a busy road, this fonda is utterly unique and utterly Colombian. The lively bar has performances, most of the staff in costume, confetti and lots of risqué props, plus the funniest bathrooms you’ll experience in a club. Come with a large group and prepare to be bewildered. Cover starts from $10.000 COP.
Tucked away down a side street in Ciudad del Rio, 1984 boasts a fantastic view of the area from its outdoor balcony and attracts a cool crowd nightly. The music here changes from hip hop to electronic and funk, and is ideal if you’re hoping to see international DJs or brush shoulders with Medellín’s local artists. Entrance starts at $15.000 COP.
Over in Laureles, Son Havana is a Cuban space that’s always bursting with Colombians strutting their salsa skills. The ambiance here is vibrant and sweaty, complete with a live band and of course, plenty of shots of Aguardiente. Whether you’re a salsa novice or expert, visit for the brilliant music and to be spun by a Paisa!
Want to continue your weekend activities? Check of the best things to do in Medellín on Sundays.
If you are looking for other fun activities to do while you are in Medellín, don’t forget to visit our article “Top 10 events of the week in Medellín” where you can find a variety of events: from art exhibitions, to movie nights, free language exchanges, classical music concerts, theater nights, gastronomy events and much more!