Need to get from Medellin Airport to city center?
You’ve come to the right place for some answers!
There are several options for you to get from Medellin Airport to the city center but not all of them are the best and safest options.
When you land in a new country, it can be pretty overwhelming to land and try to figure out how to get downtown as most airports are 30+ minutes away. The last thing you want is to be scrambling at the arrival hall trying to pick the best transport option for you.
You might end up paying way more than you should, it might not be the safest transport option and in the ultimate worst-case scenario – you might end up in a completely different area.
But don’t worry – it’s easy enough to get to the city center from Medellin Airport!
In this blog post, we will share the 4 best and safest options to get from Medellin Airport to the city center like Poblado or Laureles.
How To Get From Medellin Airport To City Center – 3 Good Options
Medellin, Colombia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. They are known for their perfect spring weather year-round, hence why they’re dubbed the ‘City of Eternal Spring’.
If you loved the city life but you also need some nature around you – we felt Medellin had the perfect balance of both! Whether you’re coming to be a Medellin digital nomad, a tourist looking to explore this fascinating city or an expat, chances are you’ll be arriving at the Jose Maria Cordova Airport (aka Medellin International Airport).
As Medellin had gotten more popular, there are more international and domestic flights flying directly into Jose Maria Cordova Airport (MDE). This is where most international flights land and you’ll need to make your way to the city center after you arrive.
Here are 3 good options to get from Medellin Airport to the city center:
1. From Medellin Airport to City Center By Uber (Easy Option)
We love using Uber wherever we go for several reasons:
- there’s no haggling the price – it’s fixed
- you can order when you’re ready to leave
- it’s safe and reliable
The easiest way to get from Medellin Airport to the city center is to take an Uber.
When we first looked into getting from Medellin Airport to city center, we weren’t sure if Uber was available in Colombia – let alone Medellin. But we are living proof that it works and you can definitely use Uber from Medellin Airport.
The only thing is that it may not be widely accepted – this means you’ll have to walk over to the parking lot across the street to get into the car. This is what we had to do which wasn’t a problem!
When we arrived it cost us $85,000 COP ($21.60 USD) for a 45-minute journey from Medellin Airport to Laureles. If you decide to also get an Uber, Medellin Airport has free wifi that you can access.
TTA TIP: Make sure to order and message the driver before you leave the airport building because the wifi doesn’t reach the outside area.
You can also use an eSIM which allows you to have data in most countries without buying a physical SIM card. Personally, we like using Nomad eSIM as they are one of the best eSIM providers you can get. Nomad is easy to use, available in lots of countries (we have tried Europe, UK, Colombia and the US) plus it’s all done on the app! You don’t need anything else to get data wherever you are!
Want to buy a SIM? Check out how and where to buy a SIM card in Colombia here.
2. From Medellin Airport to City Center By Bus (Cheap Option)
Want the cheapest option to get from Medellin Airport to city center?
Their public bus transportation (aka busetas) is a great option for you. It only costs $10,000 COP ($3 USD) per passenger for one-way tickets. Once you’re on the bus, it’ll take around 1 hour to get to the drop-off points. They are very frequent and leave every 15 minutes from the ground transportation terminal.
However, the airport buses won’t drop you off right at the door of your hotel or Airbnb. The main drop-off areas in the city of Medellin is at Hotel Nutibara near downtown and Centro Commercial San Diego Mall. From here, you will need to get an Uber, taxi or metro to get to your final destination.
It’s fairly safe for you to take this bus but it will be packed with people! Most of the locals will ride this bus with you and you need to be careful of your luggage.
3. From Medellin Airport to City Center By Private Transfer (Convenient Option)
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of public transportation?
The most convenient option to get from Medellin Airport to city center is by booking a private transfer. You will pay much more than the first 2 options on this list but the benefits of a private transfer are:
- book in advance
- have someone waiting for you at the arrival hall
- fixed price
The easiest way to book a private transfer is through Get Your Guide or Viator. Their private transfers range from $45 USD to $53.16 USD per car. It seems that you can add up to 3-4 people in the car and it’ll be the same price.
TTA TIP: If you’re a big group, it might actually be cheaper to get a private transfer to take all of you to Medellin city center. If you’re traveling solo, it’s much more expensive to book a private transfer.
This is a safe and convenient option if you don’t mind spending a little more for peace of mind.
Avoid: Getting From Medellin Airport to City Center By Rental Cars
We can’t recommend hiring a rental car just to get from Medellin Airport to the city center. To be honest, we can’t recommend hiring a rental car to drive anywhere around the city and beyond. Along the highways, there can be security checkpoints where public transport and Ubers can get through quickly. If you’re on your own in a rental car – you might need to take longer than most transport options.
It’s much safer to go with any of the 3 options above rather than hiring a rental car.
FAQ – From Medellin Airport To The City Center And Back
Need some quick answers about the general things to know about getting to and from Medellin Airport? We’ve created a short FAQ list to help you out.
What’s The Closest Airport To Medellin?
The closest airport to Medellin is actually Olaya Herrera Airport. However, this only takes short, domestic flights.
The closest international airport to Medellin is the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport. Most domestic and international flights will depart and arrive from this airport.
How Far Is It From Medellin Airport To The City Center?
The Jose Maria Cordova Airport is located 30-40 minutes away (depending on traffic conditions) and around 26 kilometers from Medellin city center. In 2019, they opened the Orient Tunnel which is the 2nd longest tunnel in South America. This allowed passengers to get to and from the city much faster without having to go through the winding mountain roads.
Is There Uber In Medellin? Can You Take It To And From The Airport?
Yes – Uber exists in Medellin. Although, it seemed to be a little hush-hush. They usually ask you to sit in the front seat for xyz reasons. You can take it from the airport but you might need to walk a little bit to where they say they are allowed to pick you up eg. the parking lot of the airport. From the city, it’s just like ordering a normal Uber to get to Medellin Airport.
How Much Does It Cost To Get From Medellin Airport To The City?
Public buses only cost around $10,000 COP ($3 USD). An Uber ride will cost anywhere from $85,000 COP to $100,000 COP. Private Transfers are much more expensive with prices ranging from $45 to $55 USD per trip.
How To Get From The City Center To Medellin Airport?
We took an Uber from Laureles to Medellin Airport without any problems. You can take the public bus or a private transfer but most of the people we knew also took Ubers.