The city of Popayan is a worthwhile attraction in it’s own right as an example of fine Colonial architecture. The historic centre is approximately ten blocks long by six blocks wide and so is a comfortable size for strolling around and maybe dropping into the occasional coffee shop, museum, courtyard or taking a look at one of the many elegant churches. There are some nice walks up to viewpoints overlooking the city where on a clear day there are spectacular views of Volcan Purace on one side and of the Costal Andean range on the other.

In 2005 Popayan was awarded the UNESCO title of World City of Gastronomy thanks to it's gastronomy festival every august. Throughout the rest of the year however excellent quality cuisine can be found around the city from local specialities to fine international cuisine.

As a city with many universities and colleges, there is also a selection of cultural events at any given time. Open-air concerts are organized monthly in the park and recitals, performances and exhibitions are often arranged in the city centre. Aside from these, there are always bars and restaurants nearby which fill up with friendly locals and students on the weekends with anything from salsa to Andean dancing or 'musica electronica' on the cards.