How do you get from Medellin airport to the city center (or to the El Poblado neighborhood, where most tourists stay), and vice versa? Here are the main means of transportation, we have tested almost all of them.
The airport is about 20 km from the city (about 45 minutes by car because of the uphill).
As soon as you leave the airport, you will immediately see the cab fares clearly indicated here. The fare for Medellin, whether it is the city center or El Poblado (our neighborhood) is 75000COP. The other fares you see on the sign are the suburban neighborhoods.
For this, you can take a yellow cab (private cab, just for you). To avoid that the driver makes us the trick of “I have no change”, we withdrew 780 000COP so we have a little change. It’s the easiest solution, you are dropped off in front of your hotel door but it’s also the most expensive.
If you are alone, it will be cheaper to share the ride, you can get into a white cab with a blue stripe, ask for a colectivo cab. Colombians are very nice, even if they are shouting “cab, cab”, they will point you to the cab you ask for, without trying to rip you off.
And you’ll share the cost with your carpool buddies. You will pay only 18,500COP (plus d’infos) per person and will be dropped off at the San Diego Shopping Center (which is a few minutes walk from a subway station). Type “centro comercial San Diego” on Google Maps to locate it.
This is an option to consider if you don’t arrive too late and if you have time because
- the collective cab only leaves when it is full
- the subway does not circulate any more from 22h (on Sundays) and 23h (the other days).
By shuttle/bus: 24/24h – 7/7d
It is the simplest and cheapest solution. Follow the sign “bus” and you will see them. The buses of Combuses S.A. leave very regularly and cost only 10000COP. You can put your luggage in the luggage compartment (don’t forget to take it with you when you leave). You pay the driver only at the end. There is only one stop: in front of the San Diego shopping center. Type“centro comercial San Diego” on Google Maps to locate it.
This trip is very pleasant. Watch your position, about 25 minutes after the departure, you will pass by a viewpoint called Mirador de Las Palmas No 1. It’s on the road so only scooters stop there. Sit on the left side of the bus to have a nice view.
San Diego => Downtown or San Diego => El Poblado
To get to where you want to go from San Diego, you can :
- opt for a cab : follow everyone across the road towards the shopping center, you will see many yellow cabs lined up. The trip to El Poblado should cost you about 9000COP
- opt for an Uber : theoretically if the shopping center is still open, you will have access to free (but very slow) Wifi. If you already have a SIM card purchased at the airport (more info), move a little bit away from cabs and call an Uber. If you don’t have an uber account yet, use our code rlz9u to get a 5€ discount for your first ride. The ride to El Poblado should cost you within 7500COP. Sit next to the driver.
- opt for Cabify : it’s the equivalent of Uber in Colombia, with cheaper rates. You can find out more and get a discount code here
- opt for the subway : 10 minutes walk from the San Diego shopping center is the Exposiciones station. You will be 2 stations from downtown and 2 stations fromEl Poblado. The ticket costs 2550 COP. Ask for “un viaje” (one ticket/one trip)
In any case, do not hesitate to ask the Colombians, who are extremely kind. They don’t speak English, but if you have a little bit of vocabulary in Spanish, you will understand them without any worries.
Transportation from the city center to the airport of Medellín
For the opposite direction (from downtown Medellín to the airport), you have exactly the same choices (cab, cab colectivo, VTC, bus…). I add that
- the bus (Combuses S.A) to the airport leaves here(Google Maps)
- you can take Cabify or Uber from the city center to the airport, but the reverse is to be avoided (always this tension between cabs & VTC).
If you are looking for accommodation in Medellín, we highly recommend our neighborhood El Poblado, but more specifically Manila, very safe, very clean, very quiet, with lots of good restaurants, youth hostels and Spanish language schools. Some addresses in Manila :