Transportation in Medellin
When it comes to transportation in Medellin, we’ve got you covered in this blog post. Home to more than 2.5 million people, the Medellin has certainly had to expand it’s transportation systems. The city offers many ways to go from El Poblado to Laureles to the barrios on the mountain and even to Envigado and Sabaneta. Here in Medellin people use the metro, taxi, Uber, or the bus to get around. In this blog post I’ll explain the various transportation options in Medellin.
If you do not know already Medellin was voted the most innovative city in the World last year. With the constant growth in transportation systems, tech start ups and new buildings Medellin has grown to surpass it’s negative reputation and become on of the best cities in Latin America.
In Medellin we have the Metro and it is used by thousands of people every day. It was first introduced in 1995 and today it is the only Metro system in the country. The Metro has several stops allowing you to explore the city easily and quickly.
If you’re staying in one of properties in Poblado you can walk down Calle 10, pass the big Exito, walk across Avenida Las Vegas (Carrera 48), and you will see the Poblado Metro station on the left.
The Metro has 2 lines, the A line going North and South, and the B line going from the Center to the West. You can transfer lines at the San Antonio station (in downtown Medellin). A ticket to get you on the Metro will cost you 2 thousand pesos. Remember to always give up your seat for the elderly, women, and children, don’t be a jerk, stand up and offer your seat!
If you are lost do not be afraid to ask for directions. Police officers are at every station (dressed in green) and they will advise you, the locals will also help.
Medellin has a Metro Cable system. The Metro Cable is an expansion to the Metro and it serves a great purpose for the people living in neighborhoods up the mountains. The expansion was built in 2004 and has created the opportunity for people in those lower income areas to travel down to the city to work and study. This is one of the aspects that was taken into account when granting the nomination for most innovative city in the world last year, urban accessibility.
If you are staying at one of our El Poblado properties you will get on the Metro at the El Poblado station and head North, you will want to get off at the Acevedo station and from there you can hop on the cable car.
Riding the Metro cable gives you a beautiful view of the city. You can take the Metro cable all the way to Parque Arvi, a huge eco-reserve park. Be careful if you get off at any of the stations on the mountain. Make sure to not “give papaya” meaning do not put yourself in a position where you become vulnerable to be taken advantage of.
Once you enter the city of Medellin, you will immediately see the amount of taxis there are. Taking a taxi is a very common mode of transportation in Medellin. Every cab has a meter (usually near the rear view mirror or dashboard) that will run and add up the price as you get to your destination.
The minimum price of a cab ride is $4,500 pesos. So if you are staying in our San Pedro Apartment and take a cab to Parque Lleras, it may read only $4,200 pesos, but you will have to pay $4,500 pesos because that is the minimum.
There is a great app you can download called Easy Taxi. This free app will show you taxis around your area and will order a driver for you. This is a safer and secure way of getting a taxi, rather than trying to catch one off the street.
Yes, Uber has made it’s way down to Medellin. The billion dollar car service company was introduced to Medellin a couple of years ago. Taxi drivers grew angry and were starting to protest the idea of Uber in their city, because they thought it would eliminate their jobs. Uber is still fairly new and not many people know about it. The service works the same as it does back in the USA.
The awesome thing about Uber in Medellin is that it is not much more expensive than a taxi ride. Maybe $2,000 pesos more on local rides. I usually use Uber for longer distance rides like to the airport or across the city. It’s safe, comfortable, and cost effective. If you download the app now you’ll get a couple of rides for free.
Transportation in Medellin would not be complete without buses. There are a ton of buses in Medellin. Every street will be filled with about 5 or 6 buses. The great thing about the buses here is that there is a bus for every barrio. You can take a bus from Downtown to El Poblado and it will take you up Calle 10.
The bus routes are tricky and not many people know them. Most locals only know the bus rout they take from home to work or home to school, and that’s it. The buses will have names of the neighborhood it runs by like Poblado, Laureles, Buenos Aires, etc. On the windshield of each bus it will have a sign saying where that particular buss will pass, for example a Pobaldo bus will have a sign that reads “Ave. Poblado, Santa Fe, Oviedo, and so on”. However you can always ask the bus driver if the bus will pass by your destination. You can also ask the driver to let you know that your stop is coming up. A bus fare costs $1,800 pesos.
Like the Metro, always give up your seat for the elderly, women and children.
Encicla is the public bicycle transportation system in Medellin. Around the Laureles area you can use bicycles and ride them around the city on the designated paths. There are many stations where you can check a bike out, but most of them are in the Laureles and Belen area. There is a Encicla station down from El Poblado, if you walk to Avenida Las Vegas and walk right towards Ciudad Del Rio, you will see the bike station.
Encicla is free, but in order to use it you’ll have to register for the program at any of the stations.
As of right now, Medellin is in the process of building another transportation system. In downtown they are constructing a trolley car system called Tranvia, much like the one in San Francisco, CA. The trolley car is to go from Downtown to the barrios up the mountain towards Buenos Aires (east of downtown). This transportation system in Medellin will allow people in those neighborhoods to have get to their jobs and universities easily. It is said to be completed within a few more years.
Go out and explore
Now that you know the many options of getting around the city, go out and explore! Spend a day riding around the Metro and visit the other parts of the city. Order an Uber for that hot date you have coming up. Call up a taxi from Easy Taxi when staying at one of our apartments in Medellin. Remember to not be shy when asking how to get around. Most Paisas enjoy helping foreigners.
Staying at one of our apartments in Medellin?
All of our apartments in Medellin are nearby bus routes and the Poblado Metro station in El Poblado. Feel free to contact us if you want more information about apartments in Medellin.