Sure, Medellin is known for its nightlife, but not all of us are party-animals, and even if you are, you might be interested in chilling during the day. If you’re still looking for ideas on things to do in the city, look no further! Check out one (or several!) of these top 6 museums in Medellin.
Most popular museums in Medellin
I have to be honest here, the best city in Colombia for museums is Bogota, no doubt about it. However, the museums in Medellín are not bad, and you will be able to find multiple museums dedicated to different topics, such as art, culture, science, and even anthropology. We have created a list of our favorites and have included a bonus-track and a short list of other not so popular museums in Medellin:
1. Museo Casa de la Memoria (Memory Museum)
Casa de la Memoria was founded in 2006 and is located in the Eastern part of the city center, in a neighborhood called Boston. This museum is dedicated to the victims of the Colombian civil conflict. Through the exhibition, the community seeks to keep alive the memories of those who have suffered and died during this period of violence.
Between pieces of art, sculptures, and videos, you’ll be able to learn the story of a country that emerged from violence. It only takes about an hour to see the exhibition and the entrance is free, so if you want to learn about the recent history of the country this is your opportunity.
How to get there: Take the Metro to the station “San Antonio”, then take the tramway to the station “Bicentenario”.
Entry fee (2023): Free
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2. Museo de Antioquia (Museum of Antioquia)Source: @museodeantioquia
The Museo de Antioquia is one of the most important museums in Medellin and in the whole country. It was the first to be established in Antioquia and the second in Colombia.
The museum features one of the most important and biggest collections of Fernando Botero, a renowned local artist. You’ll be able to find paintings and sculptures from multiple artists, (including Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon) as the exhibits include a variety of modern, colonial, and religious art.
This is definitely a good choice if you want to learn about the cultural and historical heritage of the city. Plus, the building used to be the City Hall of Medellin and has several huge frescoes too.
How to get there: The Metro station “Parque Berrío” is a 4-minute walk away from the museum.
Entry fee (2023): 21,000 COP
3. Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín – MAMM (Museum of Modern Art)Source: @elmamm
The MAMM is an important culture and art center in Medellín. It combines temporary and permanent exhibitions, outdoor cinema, concerts, and special events.
The museum is home to one of the most impressive exhibitions of local artist Débora Arango (The woman on the COP 2.000 bank note). This is your opportunity to see world-class pieces of modern art while learning about local artists, their history, and their culture.
It is a great space to spend your day as you will not only enjoy the art galleries but the public spaces that surround the area or a nice place for lunch or dinner across the street at Mercado del Rio.
How to get there: The Metro station “Industriales” is a 10-minute walk away from the MAMM.
Entry fee (2023): 18,000 COP
4. Parque Explora (Explora Park)Source: @parqueexplora
Parque Explora is a the most popular interactive museums in Medellin, perfect for both kids and adults. It consists of an aquarium and vivarium, as well as multiple rooms, such as The Time Room,The Music Room and The Kids Room.
Parque Explora has the largest freshwater aquarium in South America, with 29 tanks inhabited by over 300 species of fresh and salt water. Here you’ll not only find exhibitions, but over 300 interactive activities.
If you have enough time, buy a combined ticket including the Planetarium which is just next door. Also, make sure to check out the Botanical Garden which is just across from the museum and has free entry.
How to get there: The Metro station “Universidad” is next to Parque Explora.Entry fee (2023):
- Individual ticket: 42,000 COP
- Family of four: 150,000 COP
- Parque Explora + Planetarium (individual ticket): 62,000 COP
5. Museo Universitario – UdeA (University Museum UdeA)
- Source: Museo Universitario – UdeA
The University of Antioquia is a renowned public university in the country. On its campus, you will find the Museo Universitario, which focuses heavily in archeaological findings of the indigenous tribes living here before the conquest period.
With more than 40,000 archeological and natural history pieces in their permanent exhibitions, this museum houses one of the most impressive anthropological collections. Over 20,000 pieces on the archeological floor and 18,000 on the Natural Sciences floor, the exhibitions are composed of models, reconstructions, skeletons, minerals, and scientific illustrations.
How to get there: The Metro station “Universidad” is a 6-minute walk away from the University.
Entry fee: Free
6. Museo Cementerio San Pedro (San Pedro Cemetery Museum)Source: @cementeriomsanpedro
This cemetery was founded on September 22nd, 1842, as the first private cemetery of the city, owned by some of the wealthiest families of Medellín and Colombia. Although it was built as a cemetery, it was later named a museum and declared a National Monument of Colombia in 1999 and is considered an important part of the cultural and architectural heritage of the city. I personally find it as the most unique of all the museums in Medellin.
What is special about it, it’s that the inner circle is where the richest people of the city got buried over a hundred years ago. You’ll find multiple funerary monuments, some of which were brought from Italy and are made of the most expensive kinds of marble in the world, however, no one leaves any flowers.
The outer side of the circle, on the other hand, is where the lower class families bury their loved ones today; the tombstones are full of flowers, stickers and sometimes even news-papers headlines when their favorite football team wins a championship.
How to get there: The Metro station “Hospital” is a 4-minute walk away from the cemetery.
Entry fee: Free
Bonus: Art Galleries at Palacio NacionalSource: @ccpalacionacional
Technically speaking this is not another museums in Medellin, but the C.C Palacio Nacional, or simply known by locals as “El Palacio”, holds quite a nice surprise for those who love art and even more to those who want to experience the work of local artists.
This building is about 100 years old and was built by a Belgian architect, but its beauty, in our opinion, comes from the bizarre combination of Flemish architecture with grandiose chandeliers, tacky clothing shops and a high density of small art galleries dedicated to local artists. We visit it as part of our Free Walking Tour, which you can book here
The art galleries are on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floor. The 3rd and 4th floor can be accessed by the escalators. There you’ll find many rooms, each one hosting one or two local artists and it’s actually common to meet them there and even be able to chat with them. The 5th floor is only accessible by the elevator. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to leave your bag in a storage room. They have the most expensive and impressive pieces on that level.
How to get there: The Metro station “San Antonio” is a 3-minute walk away.
Entry fee: Free
We hope you’ve found this list useful! To help you get an overview of where all of the recommended museums are located within Medellin, please find a map below.
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