Editors note: this post about the Metro is out-of-date and incomplete and was updated in 2017 with a comprehensive guide to the Medellín Metro found here.
The metro in Medellin is the only rail-based mass transportation service in Colombia, and it does not contaminate because it uses electrical technology!
The Metro is a breeze, compared to New York City anyway. It is clean, big, above ground and usually smells nice.
Except in rush hour when you have to wait 2-3 metros to cram on with the others, it is usually spacious too. So definitely try to avoid rush hour if you can.
How to Use the Metro in Medellin
- There are 2 basic lines to the Metro, the red line and the blue line.
- There are also 2 metro cable lines attached to the metro lines as well, and there is no additional cost to transfer to them. (The exception is the new metrocable to Parque Arvi from Santo Domingo).
- A single Metro ride costs 1,800 COP (about $1 USD).
- If you know you will take a Metro and then a bus, you can ask for an “integrated” ticket. This will buy you a ticket for both, and be cheaper then buying tickets separately. But only certain bus lines accept this so you have to figure that out for yourself!
- You can get a Metro Card but it doesn’t allow you to buy more fares for less money. Instead, it allows you to go through a separate turn-style, which helps you to avoid some of the people traffic you may encounter. It really has saved me a LOT of time.
- There are no automated ticket machines.
- The hours of the Metro are:
- Monday to Saturday: 4:30 AM – 11 PM
- Sunday: 5 AM – 10 PM
- Do not be alarmed to see armed policemen in all of the Metro stations. Usually they are young men, ages 18 – 20 who are doing their mandatory military service.
- Traveling on the Metro is generally very safe, however be extra careful of pickpockets during rush hour or any other time the metro cars are crammed full of people.
Last updated July 3, 2013
Great awesome issues here. I am very satisfied to peer your post. Thanks so much and i’m having a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?
The metro card (Civica) does permit you to pay less for using the Medellin metro so highly recommended. The 2013 fare is 1,800 pesos for a one-way ticket, while the Civica card fare is 1,600 pesos. The integrated rates for metro/bus can be found at: https://www.metrodemedellin.gov.co/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72%3Atarifas&catid=1&Itemid=142&lang=en
There is a discussion over at Lonely Planet [https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/americas-south-america/topics/medellin-metro-civica-card-for-foreigners-made-easy] that says the Civica card can be bought at all four endpoints on the Metro [San Antonio, San Javier, Niquia, and Itagui (that has probably changed because La Estrella is now the endpoint)]. Unfortunately, the discussion doesn’t say what the hours of the offices are where you buy the Civica card. Would anyone have that information? Thanks
You can get a Civica card at the Niquía, San Antonio, Itagüí y San Javier metro stations. The offices are open Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., or Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
It doesn’t cost anything to get a Civica card and you just need to show an ID like a cedula or passport. It won’t have any value when you initially receive it. But you can charge it standing in lines at each metro station and there are also some recharging machines in some metro stations.
With a Civica card you can avoid the long lines plus your fare will be a bit cheaper. I have had a Civica card for over 7 years. I can’t understand why anyone would stand in long lines each time to buy tickets to use the metro – a Civica card is so much more convenient.
The above post is very out-of-date as it has old prices, is missing the MetroPlus lines, missing integrated feeder buses that now use the Civica card, missing a new metro-cable line and missing the tram-line. So we plan to update this.