tourist guide to the medellin metro

Travel Guide to the Medellin Metro for Tourists

The Medellin Metro is unique in Colombia.   It provides an integrated transport system that includes metro trains (like subway/underground carriage), trams, cable cars, and buses that all form part of the network.  The Medellin metro for tourists is an easy way to get around the wider city and go sightseeing in Medellin.  The metro in Medellin is extremely clean, you won’t find any graffiti on the metro, nor any scratched windows or garbage left in the cars.   This is a metro system that the people of Medellin are extremely proud of.

For tourists the Medellin metro is easy to use and very cheap, allowing you to travel throughout the Medellin Metropolitan area quickly and easily, although during morning and evening rush hours, you may find it a little crushed.  The crushes are good-humored and our experiences are that the people of the Medellin area were helpful and friendly.


What is the Medellin Metro

The Medellin Metro comprises an integrated system of Medellin transportation that includes metro (surface) trains, elevated trams, cable cars, and buses that cover the Medellin metropolitan area.   Most tourists will simply use the metro trains and cable cars.


Medellin Metro Cable

Private Tour of the Metro & Metro Cable

Take a private guided tour of the city, using the famous metro and metrocable transport. This is a great way to explore the entire city, using public transport with a local English speaking guide.

How to buy Medellin Metro tickets

If you’re staying for longer than a couple of weeks, then we’d suggest investing the time and effort in getting a Medellin Metro Civica card.  The Medellin Civica Card is more for you if you are planning a longer stay in Medellin.  You can recharge this card easily and using the Civica card in Medellin will save you money on your transport. 

If you’re visiting for a short time like us, then buying tickets for the Medellin metro for your specific travel is easy, although you should plan your purchases ahead of time to account for ticket lines.  Pay cash for your Medellin Metro ticket purchases – we didn’t spot any card payments for tourist purchases.

You must buy Medellin Metro Tickets from a ticket office, or taquilla.  You’ll find these at all metro line stations.   A ticket is a white plastic card that is encoded with several journeys.  A Medellin Metro ticket can be used by multiple people.  It is not rechargeable, but at the end of its validity (i.e. when it runs out of credit), then the ticket barrier will retain it and recycle it.

medellin metro ticket office

Lines at the Medellin Metro Ticket offices are long, especially at peak times (0700-0930 and 1630 – 1900), so you’ll want to try and avoid those times.  When you buy tickets ask for several journeys and have them loaded onto the card.  Don’t forget that multiple people can use the same card.

medellin metro ticket

Medellin Metro cost of Tickets

The cost of a Medellin Metro ticket anywhere on the Medellin Metro system is 2,550 pesos (US$0.69, GBP0.53) per adult.  As long as you stay within the system you can travel anywhere for 2,550 COP.  This means you can travel from the end of the A-line metro at Niquia to the end of the Orange line metro AND then get on the cable car to Communa 13 or straight up to Aurora, all for just 2,550 COP.

What Are the Medellin Metro Hours?

From Monday to Saturday the Medellin Metro system runs from 0430 until 2300.  This applies to all Medellin lines apart from the Line L Medellin Metro Cable to Parque Arvi.  On Sundays and public holidays, the Medellin metro system’s running hours are from 0500 until 2200.

Medellín Metro Map

This Medellin Metro Map includes the Medellin Cable Car Map.   It is not a Medellin public transit map.  The map of the Medellin metro shows the metro or subway map of Medellin routes in solid lines.  The cable cars are denoted by dotted lines.

Medellin metro map

How to Use the Medellin Metro System

After you’ve bought your tickets, simply walk to the barrier (choose the direction of travel AFTER the barrier) and place your card against the scanner.  Walk through the now open barrier.  If you’re using the same card for multiple people, then hand the card back to the next person in your group.

There’s way more to do in Medellin than ride the metro – check out our Medellin Travel guide on things to do in Medellin, Colombia

When your card only has one trip left on it, you won’t be able to scan it, instead, you’ll need to insert it into the slot before the barrier will open.

When you leave the Medellin Metro system you simply walk through the (often open) barrier.  This is a badge in NOT out system.

What’s included in the Medellin Metro System?

You can use your Medellin Metro card on the metro trains, tramvias, cable cars (although the cable car to Parque Arvi is not included in the system cost – read how to get to Parque Arvi here), and buses.  You can use the Medellin metro to visit Comuna 13 easily – read more here!

How to best use the Medellin Metro as a tourist

Try and work out how many tickets you will need and buy tickets when there is no line.  You can buy it at any metro ticket office (taquillla).  Many operators will speak English, but if you struggle write down what you want before you get there.

For example:

A ticket for 4 journeys please                    Un boleto para 4 viajes por favor.

Plan Your Visits Around Medellin

How to get help using the Medellin Metro System

There are people at the entrance and exit barriers to help.  They likely won’t speak English but honestly, they see lots of people and know the problems you’re having,

The Medellin Metro is simple, easy, cheap, and safe to use.    The most difficult part of the system is buying tickets!  Once you’ve got that licked you’re on your way to exploring the city of eternal Spring.  And when you’re looking for other places to visit – check out our guide for the best day trips to take from Medellin here.

Where to Stay in Medellin, Colombia

The two key areas of the city of Medellin that are best to stay in for first-timers are El Poblado and Laureles.  You’ll find a good selection of accommodation in both these areas of Medellin, plus all the infrastructure you’ll need to visit Medellin.

Where to Stay in El Poblado, Medellin

There are a host of places to stay in El Poblado, Medellin – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in El Poblado, Medellin, mid-range places to stay in El Poblado, Medellin, and budget accommodation in El Poblado, Medellin.

Hotel York Luxury Suites, Medellin–El Poblado: The Hotel York Luxury Suites in El Poblado units include cable TV, a kitchenette, a private bathroom with a shower, air-conditioning, and a coffee machine. This top hotel in Poblado, Medellin also has an outdoor pool, a bar, a shared lounge, and free WiFi. There’s also a restaurant and a fitness center at this fabulously luxurious hotel in El Poblado, Medellin. Read more reviews and check room rates and availability for the Hotel York in Medellin here.

Lettera Hotel, Medellin–El Poblado: The Lettera Hotel in Poblado provides accommodation with air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom with a shower and hairdryer, an iron, a safety deposit box, a balcony in some rooms, an iron, a mini-bar, and a desk. This mid-range hotel in El Poblado, Medellin also offers continental breakfast, airport transfers, and free WiFi. There’s also a garden and a terrace here. Check room rates and availability for the Lettera Hotel in Medellin here.

574 Hotel, Medellin–El Poblado: The 547 Hotel is in a great location in El Poblado and this budget Medellin hotel has rooms that are spacious with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, air-conditioning, a mini-bar, bed linen and towels, and balcony in some units. The budget Medellin hotel also offers continental breakfast and there’s free WiFi. This affordable hotel also offers laundry services and this is a great budget hotel option in El Poblado. Read more reviews and check room rates here.

Where to Stay in Laureles

There are a host of places to stay in Laureles – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Laureles, mid-range places to stay in Laureles, and budget accommodation in Laureles.

Inntu Hotel, Laureles, Medellin: The Inntu Hotel is centrally located in the Laureles area of Medellin and rooms here have their own private bathrooms with hairdryer, air-conditioning, sound-proofed rooms, a desk, and a flat-screen TV. This great Laureles hotel also offers laundry, dry-cleaning, and ironing services, and an on-site coffee house and restaurants for dining options. The Inntu Hotel in Laureles, Medellin, has spa facilities offering massages, spa treatments, and other wellness packages. There are great scenic views at this top Medellin hotel from both the sun terrace and garden area. The Inntu Hotel is a great luxury hotel in Laureles. See room rates and availability for the Inntu hotel here.

Hotel Laureles Plaza, Laureles, Medellin: The Hotel Laureles Plaza is in a great location in the Laureles district of Medellin–Laureles. The rooms here at Medellin’s Hotel Laureles Plaza have their own flat-screen TV, private bathroom, air-conditioning, a hot tub in some units, and a wardrobe. This mid-range Medellin hotel also serves continental or a la carte breakfast in the morning, and has an airport transfer service, family rooms, a bar, and free WiFi. The Hotel Laureles Plaza is a great hotel option in Laureles. Check out rates and availability of Hotel Laureles Plaza here.

Hotel Torre Primavera, Laureles, Medellin:  The Hotel Torre Primavera is located at Calle 40 in Laureles, Medellin and is a great budget option in Laureles. The units here at the Hotel Torre Primavera include a TV, a private bathroom with hot water, maid service, and free WiFi access. If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodation, Hotel Torre Primavera is a good option when visiting Medellin. Find out more about Medellin’s Hotel Torre Primavera’s room rates and availability here.

Travel Tips for Exploring Colombia

Final Words on Using the Medellin Metro

This is probably the best public transport system that we’ve used, all the better because we weren’t expecting it to be so good. I mean a public transport system that includes cable cars? Brilliant. And escalators. And well-maintained and very clean metro cars. It’s just superb and it’s a fabulous way to explore the lovely city of Medellin. Don’t miss it.

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