Metro Medellin – The System That Changed the Face of The City Part 1

Having lived in several cities where people rely on metros, subways, Underground tube (whatever it’s called in each area) for work, going out and life – it came as a big surprise for me to learn that in Medellin there is an actual Metro Culture.

I wanted to get on board with that. Since I had super limited time in Medellin, I decided to do discover this part of the city via private tour to really learn about Medellin’s Metro Culture and more.

metro medellin

I found Travel-Medellin tour company after searching for unique city tours of Medellin. They offer private tours of the city (which I did as well – that’s Part 2) and they also specialize in really diving deep into the Metro-Culture of the city.  So being private we were able to customize it to what I wanted to see.

Arthur and Eliana (husband and wife team) picked me up at my hotel and the fun began! I have to say, they really made it that much more fun for me. We simply connected, and since it is a private tour, I find that connection makes all the difference.  The are energetic, so excited about this city, and life and I love being around people who are just as into the place that I’m visiting as I am (even if they live here).

Fun Facts about Metro Medellin

  • The Medellin metro first opened for service on November 30, 1995.

  • This is the only metro system in Colombia.

  • The Medellín Metro soon became a symbol of the city.

  • The metro bridged the “Poor city” and the “Rich city” quarters because it crosses social walls between districts “Lovaina” and “Poblado.

  • According to the local government: “Metro Culture is the product of a social and educational management model that Metro de Medellin has built, consolidated and delivered to the city.”

  • It has 2 lines: Line A which is 23.3 km long and Line B which is 5.6 km long.

  • The aerial cable car system or Metrocable supplements the metro system. It allows people to go to and from the highest points of the city in a short amount of time.

  • It has three lines and up to 7 stations.

  • The first line of the metro cable was inaugurated in 2004.

The crucial reason the metro is such an intricate part of Medellin’s society is it has brought hope to the poorer communities of the city.

Medellin has grown exponentially in the past two decades. As a matter of fact, it has grown so much so fast that it is now growing outwardly. And since Medellin is in a valley surrounded by steep hills the comunas (the poor neighborhoods) are moving further and further up these hills making it almost impossible for them to connect with the city where the jobs are. So Medellin government built the aerial cable car making it accessible for people living in these areas to get around easily.

medellin city, metro medellin

What truly fascinated me was, yes I’ll say it – we are in a developing nation where gangs exist and rebellious youth wants to show who is boss – the metro and cable cars and stations are super clean. Through the microphone system every three – four minutes announcements are made how be respectful of one another, keep the metro clean, show your love for the metro, so on and so forth. And it shows!

Medellin, as far as I have seen, is a city of pride and it spills over to every thing the Paisas do. Makes you feel proud of being here and using the system as well.

metro cable medellin

Check out the next part of the trip – our visit to a comuna via the metro cable car and see what else the Medellin government has done to truly help the city and its people.


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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