On Foot: While Medellín’s safety has dramatically improved, you still need to be mindful of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and keep track of your belongings at all times. The key areas of tourist interest within the Centro Histórico are considered safe for travelers, and security is bolstered by an imposing, armed police presence, which you may find simultaneously reassuring and intimidating. Unless you are taking a walking tour, you won’t want to stray much beyond the several blocks that surround Plaza Bolívar; Centro is chaotic and seedy (especially at night). El Poblado neighborhood is a middle-class haven, made for strolling, and safe to explore day and night. Real City Tours (www.realcitytours.com) offers excellent (and free) morning and afternoon city walking tours in English, which cover the city’s historic attractions and neighborhoods. Tours book up quickly, so you need to be on the ball; sign up online 1 1/2 days ahead of your desired tour date.
By Metro: Most of Medellín’s tourist attractions are within walking distance of Plaza Berrío in Centro, which is accessible on the fast, clean, and super-efficient Metro system (the only one in Colombia), completed in 2008. Metro tickets cost COP$2,000 per ride. You can buy a card, which saves you having to line up at the ticket booth each time, but it won’t save you any money. An integrated (integrado) fare system allows you to link with buses and cable cars to the comunas/Parque Aví and the striking Biblioteca Española.
By Taxi: Taxis in Medellín are cheap and efficient. Most of the hotels listed in this guide will call a cab for you as a matter of course, and most museums will consider it protocol to call a cab for foreign tourists. Beware that taxi drivers drive like madmen, especially on the serpentine roads of Alto Poblado; you might want to make sure your cab has seat belts before you get in (a lot don’t). For safety, security, and peace of mind, the best option is to use Uber (www.uber.com/cities/medellin), which has been operating in Medellín since 2015, or the award-winning Tappsi app (www.tappsi.co), a similar easy-to-use concept with enhanced security features (you can share driver details with family/friends, etc.).
Tour Buses: The best way to see the city is to take the hop on/hop off Turibus (www.turibuscolombia.com; tel. 4/371-5054), which will drop you off at the city’s major attractions as well as give you information about Medellín. Buses depart every 70 minutes. You can catch the Turibus at Parque Del Poblado, Plaza Botero, and Santafé Mall (check the website for full list of stops/paradas). A 24-hour ticket costs COP$35,000; a 48-hour ticket costs COP$56,000. Turibus now also offers tours of the surrounding countryside, including Guatapé (7am–9pm, COP$69,900).
Another company that offers tours of Antioquia is Las Buseticas (Carrera 43A no. 34–95; www.lasbuseticas.com; tel. 4/262-7444). The bigger your party, the better the prices. Las Buseticas also offers package tours of El Eje Cafetero and other Colombian destinations. Other bus and car companies offer day tours of the Circuito de Oriente; for more information, contact or visit the Aviatur office in Parque de Bolívar, at Carrera 49 no. 55–25, Edificio El Parque (www.aviatur.com; tel. 4/576-5000 or 576-5002). Your hotel should also be able to provide tour information.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.