Experience the cultural richness, the vibrant creativity and the people’s friendliness of Medellin, through a wide array of activities, between tradition and innovation! Convert yourself into a silletero for a day by participating in this traditional parade covered with flowers, deepen your knowledge in photography in a photowalk off the beaten track, discover the culinary culture in a cooking class, enjoy the Colombian music in a music and dance workshop, as well as a long etc .
Juliana Cardona Quirós
Under secretary of Tourism of Medellín
Economic Development Secretary – Medellín City Council
- What makes Medellín a Creative Friendly destination?
The unique and community-related experiences that can be lived in the city, all this forms a rich map of routes, plans and genuine activities the tourists would not enjoy anywhere else in the world.
Last year, 702,086 tourists arrived in Medellín, 15% more than in 2015 and 2016 the year with the highest hotel occupancy in 10 years, reaching 67%, even last year visitors from countries such as Panama, the United Kingdom and Peru doubled its arrival in Medellín in relation to 2015. From January to August of this year 409,925 tourists have already visited us.
This shows that our city that is attractive to travelers around the world who want to experience unforgettable moments, this makes us very happy and at the same time it sets us a great challenge to continue to potentiate responsible and sustainable tourism.
- What is your strategy (intention or objective) to bet on this type of tourism?
We work for a transforming, responsible, sustainable and competitive tourism. A peer-to-peer tourism, closer to the citizens. That’s why we empower our citizens them and strengthen their talents to convert them into the best ambassadors of our city. We have this willing and energy to project ourselves as a city that reinvents itself constantly after suffering a painful past. A city that builds a hopeful and joyful future.
For Medellín, being a destination of creative tourism brings enormous benefits to the city such as the opportunity to diversify its offer, brings quality to our tourism, international visibility, allows to realize synergies, increases the self-esteem of the premises, dynamizes the local economy, among others, that’s why we are committed to this type of tourism, because it helps us to promote this important economic area that was so little known and developed in our city two decades ago.
- What are the typical experiences that you recommend?
In Medellín there is much to live, feel and do and do that, please, let me propose you some plans that every tourist should experience when arriving in our city, these:
1. To live a unique experience in a “silletero” farm: the Silletas (chairs) are a unique tradition in the world that has its origin in the rural area of Medellín, where you can decorate a silleta with flowers, shape their forms and learn from this culture that fills us of pride and joy.
2. To taste a gastronomic diversity that only exists in Medellín: the city has one of the richest cuisines of Colombia, bandeja paisa, empanadas, mondongo, fruit juices and sweets, make our gastronomic offer a unique and extraordinary experience , in addition the visitor will be able to experience author’s cuisine in gastronomy-related areas of the city.
3. To visit the home of a saint guided by the Laurita’s nuns: The nuns who guard the Shrine of Mother Laura, where are the relics of the only Santa of Colombia, Santa Laura Montoya, will immerse you into the fascinating story of a woman touched by God, as you wander this magical place full of stories and objects that belonged to the saint. A place in which the tourist can touch the objects and relive the stories of the saint.
4.To meet the people of Commune 13 and walk up their stairs: Comuna 13 is a place in the city that had a violent past but is reborn today and builds a hopeful future full of joy and peace; here you can talk with its friendly inhabitants, taste a biche mango and use the first public and free electric stairs in the country.
5. To marvel in front of the largest number of Botero sculptures gathered in a same square! Botero square contains the largest outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world of the Antioquian artist, Fernando Botero. Here you can touch, feel and experience the shapes and textures of these 23 monumental works that make this place an icon of artistic expression worldwide. The Antioquia Museum, adjacent to the square offers as well unique exhibitions.
6. To wander a medieval castle in the heart of Medellín: Here you can appreciate the exuberance, splendor, luxury, aesthetics and sophistication of a medieval European Gothic castle. Lamps, glass, furniture, gardens, dressing rooms, paintings, stained glass and other elements of ostentation typical of the highest social classes with deep European heritage that once inhabited our city. In 1971 it became a museum house. In the gardens you can have a picnic experience next to the castle.
7. The Fair of Flowers, a must to live as a local: It is the party par excellence of the city and evokes our idiosyncrasy and peasant tradition around the flower cultivation, in its many events people dance in the streets, share delicious preparations typical and experience an incomparable party to the rhythm of trovas and stories told by peasants who print their picaresque and humor.
8. The Fair of Flowers, a must-do to live as a local: It is the main celebration of the city and evokes our idiosyncrasy and rural tradition around the flower. It is a moment of joy during which the people dance in the streets, share delicious meals and experience an incomparable party to the rhythm of trovas and stories told by peasants who print their picaresque and humor.
9. To feel the sensuality at the International Tango Festival of Medellín: Visitors will experience the elegance, sensuality, insinuation and delicate but firm movements of the dancers who recreate an Argentine dance in every corner of Medellín in the framework of the second most important festival of tango in the world. It takes place in June to commemorate the death of Argentine singer Carlos Gardel, in a plane crash in Medellín.
10. To live a Christmas full of lights and colors: Millions of bulbs adorn the city in a colorful mixture of figures and lights that leave no dark place! Walking between giant figures formed by high tech led lights or looking through colorful cylinders with animal shapes and biblical characters are unforgettable experiences!
- What is the added value of creative tourism in your territory?
Definitely its people! When a tourist or visitor arrives in Medellín, what stands out the most is the friendliness of the local people, their hospitality, their joy and ability to be the best hosts.
Medellín is a city of which we can always learn. Today we are a global reference in social and urban innovation, and this transformation has been thanks to the commitment of all sectors of our society. It is worth wandering its streets, admiring its mountains and especially falling in love with its people. We believe in a city that is responsible with the region and connected with the world. Our doors are open; we invite you to know our tourist offer and to live up close to a city that, for sure, will want to return. Medellín is your home, Welcome!