Taking in Culture at the Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe

Taking in Culture at the Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe

As you may have noticed, Medellin has some pretty unique architecture, namely that of the Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe. This heritage site attracts thousands of tourists each year, thanks to the events and showcases held in the corridors of the building.

Better yet, just outside the palace is the Plaza Botero, where you can see Fernando Botero’s famous statue! The plaza and the building together make for a pretty great day of touring.

If you haven’t yet visited this place and want to know what cultural activities you can participate in, keep reading to know how to spend a day at the Palacio Cultura.

What is Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe?

As I mentioned before, the palace is located in the Plaza de Botero next to other emblematic buildings such as the Museum of Antioquia

You’ll also find the church of Veracruz nearby, which is another iconic site that you don’t want to miss.

The Palacio Cultura has unique gothic features, such as a profiled dome in German steel and an exterior decorated with a black and white checkered pattern. 

The building’s construction began in 1925 thanks to the design of the Belgian architect Agustin Goovaerts. However, the original design was never completed. The design and size were modified in favor of the current cultural palace of Medellin

If you were wondering how the building got its name, this is a tribute to Rafael Uribe Uribe, a prominent national leader who contributed to the rights of Colombian workers and international relations. 

Due to this, on the first floor of the palace, you’ll find a permanent exhibition about his life and works.

Other important exhibits that you can visit in this place are:

  • Departmental Library Carlos Castro Saavedra
  • Musical Documentation Center
  • Artistic heritage room
  • Music Documentation Center Hernan Restrepo Duque
  • Dance studio 
  • Permanent and temporary art galleries

Plus, access to this national heritage is totally free, so there’s no excuse not to visit it!

How to Get There

Being in the center of the city, it’s very easy to get there by just about any means of transportation. 

I recommend that you take the metro to get there. It’s easy—just take route A and get off at Parque Berrio station. 

You can also take these bus routes to get there:

  • 130
  • 130A
  • 135

You can also drive there, but if you’re staying nearby, this could be an opportunity to get some exercise and rent a bike from the EnCicla system.

Address: Carrera 51 # 52-01 Medellín, Antioquia.

What to Expect at the Museum

The mission of the Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe is to encourage interest in art and culture, so you can find many free activities where you’ll learn something new. 

Here’s a closer look at all the things you can do inside the palace.


For one thing, there’s a cinema inside the museum. The popular dome serves as an auditorium for screening films, documentaries, animated shorts, and other artistic films. Most of these aren’t what you’ll find at Cine Colombia but are instead indie movies you won’t catch anywhere else. 

If you want to know the schedules and the films that will be screened, you can look on the website. Or, you can go to the palace to get a monthly movie schedule with the information.

This is one of the lesser-known movie theaters in Medellin and is definitely a unique place to check out!


From time to time, some universities and academic organizations hold free workshops on various topics related to art or applied sciences. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new from professionals from a wide variety of fields.

A few they’ve done in the past include talking about cinema and film. These workshops are pretty cool for getting a closer look at film in Medellín and Colombia in general.

Dance and Music Performances

Courtesy of Medellin.gov.co

Usually, you’ll find dance shows or live music during Medellin holidays such as holy week and Christmas. However, at some times of the year (usually in April and May), dance festivals are held throughout the city, including the Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture. 


For instance, there’s the Si Danza festival, where you can see folkloric ballet shows, classical, contemporary dance, and many more. If you know one of these festivals is coming up, be sure to check the palace’s schedule!


Just like dance shows, there are sometimes plays that are held in the palace. Most of these are free, too, so you can spend the evening enjoying a good play without paying a dime.

Take a Walk Through the Galleries

Now, if you want to stroll through the corridors and galleries of the palace, you’ll find many fine art exhibitions, such as paintings and sculptures of popular Colombian contemporary artists. 

After spending some time admiring and learning from Colombian art, you can take a short break on the upper plaza on the roof. 

Don’t forget to visit the small chapel and enjoy the beautiful views of the palace and Plaza de Botero! In the plaza, you’ll also find people vending snacks, desserts, and fruits, so you can grab a quick snack. You can even buy a souvenir to boast about your trip to the Cultural Palace of Medellin.

Spend a Day Enjoying the Culture of Antioquia

Without a doubt, the Palacio Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe is a must-visit in Medellin, don’t miss this national monument full of Colombian history!

Whether you plan to spend a day or a few days there, it’s definitely worth paying the place a visit.

Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!

Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!