Medellin Layover Guide (MDE)

What are you looking for in MDE?
Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Medellin José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) is one of the largest airports in Rionegro, Colombia due to its infrastructure and passenger services. The airport is located 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Medellín. This airport is known as the “hub of low-cost airlines” and it was opened in 1985. Medellin is a beautiful city located in a bowl in the Andes mountains and because of that, you can see stunning landscapes and astonishing views of the mountains.

Can you leave Medellin Airport (MDE) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
You can leave Medellin during a layover. Some visitors will require a visa but if your layover is less than 24 hours visa is not required.(more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Colombia Organized Tours

Bike City Tour with Local Food and Drink Tastings

This four-hour bike trip allows guests to enjoy and relax while seeing the main attractions of Medellin. Ride across the city with a local guide who will tell you about the area’s history, tales, art, and food. Choose between a traditional bike and an electric bike for a more relaxed ride. Discover the city’s most popular attractions, such as the city center, neighborhood parks, and historic squares. Enjoy many stops along the trip to learn more about the destinations and fuel up on regional cuisine and delicious coffee. Pass through vibrant neighborhoods, enjoying the city’s bustle and marveling at breathtaking views, just as locals do. Finish the journey with a visit to Pueblito Paisa, Medellin’s best viewpoint, where you can sip a local beer and take some amazing photos. » book this tour

Guatape & El Peñol Rock Trip with Boat Tour

On a guided tour from Medelln, discover Guatapé and learn about this vibrant city from your guide. After lunch, take a sightseeing cruise to the stunning Piedra del Peol. Pick up from your Medelln hotel in the morning and go to Guatapé, Colombia’s bustling capital. Explore the colorful streets with their stunning tiled façade and intriguing history with your guide. Then hop on a boat and take a ride around the reservoir. Views of Casa Museo, La Cruz, Piedras del Marial, Piedra del Peol, and the ruins of Pablo Escobar’s summer home are also available. Your guide can tell you all about the sights. » book this tour

The Real Pablo Escobar Tour

Begin your 4-hour trip in the former residence of Pablo Escobar, where he hid his family and had opponents place bombs to kill him. Discover how this place was turned into a memorial park for victims of Colombia’s drug war. Next, go to “la cathedral,” a prison that Escobar erected for himself in exchange for a government accord and from which he subsequently escaped. After that, go to Escobar’s soccer field, which is noted for its avant-garde design and where he gave speeches in a bid to break into Colombian politics. » book this tour

Colombia Things to do / Sightseeing

Casa de la Memoria

This museum is heartbreaking, enlightening, and interesting, and it’s a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about Colombia’s dramatic and terrible history. From drug cartels and gangs to a horrific civil war, Casa de la Memoria aspires to raise the voices of victims and preserve their history so that we can learn more about it and prevent repeating the mistakes of the past. The entire area is well-curated, with interactive exhibitions, evocative photography, and artwork that will both inform and move you.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: 32 minutes via private transport.

Parque Lleras

Poblado is one of Medellin’s most popular nightlife districts, and Parque Lleras is frequently where locals and tourists alike begin their evenings. It’s a little park surrounded by trees where merchants sell art daily, and hordes of people drink at night. There are constantly young people there because pubs, restaurants, and clubs flank the park and are close to many of the area’s hostels. Grab a bottle of Aguardiente, a Colombian anise-flavored spirit, or a few Aguila beers and walk to this bustling park to unwind before heading out.

Time required: Half Day to Full Day.

Airport to here: 33 minutes via private transport.

Plaza Botero

Check out the bustling Plaza Botero for some larger-than-life sculptures by the square’s namesake, Fernando Botero, a terrific site for people watching and art appreciation. The artist personally provided all 23 beautiful bronze figures that are strewn over the plaza. Before or after visiting the Museo de Antioquia, it’s a nice location to wander around or sit with a fresh juice or empanada from one of the street sellers. Street entertainers, trinket dealers, and food booths can be found all around the region, transforming an otherwise run-down portion of town.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 37 minutes via private transport.

Museo de Antioquia

This ancient city hall has been converted into a museum with a fantastic collection of Fernando Botero’s art. He was one of Colombia’s most well-known painters, and he had a thing for fat people. The guide starts on the top floor with his older works and works your way down to discover his progress as an artist. The museum also has pieces by international artists on display, and an audio guide is available if you wish to learn more. There you will find a little cafe and courtyard where you can relax.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: 40 minutes via private transport.

El Castillo Museo y Jardines

Is Medelln home to a castle? Yes, for a little cost, you may tour this 20th-century castle with its French-inspired gardens, fountains, and walks. Take a tour of the interior, including four-poster beds, a porcelain collection, and a massive dining room table. It was erected in 1930 and established as a museum in 1971. But it served as a luxurious residence and a venue for hosting European high society visitors in the meantime.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: 31 minutes via private transport.

Go Salsa Dancing

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this city is the place to be. You can start with salsa lessons or local restaurants and clubs that play salsa music. DanceFree in Poblado is a popular spot for private or group lessons, and they also feature a dance bar on weekends. Check out Son Havana or El Eslabon Prendido for live salsa music and dancing (with locals and visitors alike showing off).

Time required: 3 hours to Half Day.

Airport to here: 31 minutes via private transport.


You’re probably staying in this posh neighbourhood anyway because it’s where the majority of Medelln’s gringos, expats, and backpackers opt to stay. It’s a lovely neighborhood with leafy alleys, a vibrant café culture, and a diverse selection of international cuisines. There are plenty of coffee shops and free WiFi and bars, spas, gyms, and other amenities. Poblado has it all, whether you want to undertake a rigorous coffee tasting (visit Cafe Toucan) or hit the clubs for the night.

Time required: Half Day to Full Day.

Airport to here: 30 minutes via private transport.

The Botanical Gardens

The city’s botanical gardens are a natural oasis in the heart of Medelln, with over 1,000 species of fauna and 4,500 flowers. A butterfly garden, a cactus garden, and a large collection of orchids are among the attractions. Entry is free, and you can go exploring the area for creatures or relax on the grass with a book in the sun. There’s even the Orquideorama, a 65-foot-high wooden mesh structure that gathers rainwater and protects the orchids and butterflies. Have a picnic, look for live music, and visit if you’re in town for the city’s Flower Festival; it’ll be even more spectacular.

Time required: Half Day to Full Day.

Airport to here: 43 minutes via private transport.

Things to Do in Medellin Airport (MDE)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
Regardless of the class you are travelling, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door or through a lounge membership program. Such as "Avianca Sala VIP" is located at the National terminal. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
"Hotel Lagoon", "Hostal El Hangar", "Movich Hotel Las Lomas" are some of the best hotels available at the Meddelin José María Córdova Airport (MDE). » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
No rest area and sleeping zone is found at the Meddelin José María Córdova Airport (MDE).

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at Medellin Airport. Connect to the “AeropuertoRionegro-JMC” network.

SIM Card: At the Medellin airport you can buy is a Claro sim card, in the second floor and in the first floor at a business called tech port that works 24/7. » buy a global sim card for Colombia, Medellin that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Taxis are available onsite. Authorized companies include: Cordova Rionegro Fleet, Combuses, Rionegro Medellin Rapid Transit, La Ceja United Transportation, Aerotaxi, Chachafruto, TUR and Copetaxi Transports.

Train: There is no train service available at the Medellin Airport (MDE).

Bus: Combuses SA offers transportation between Medellin and MDE Airport. (more info).

Shuttle: Shuttles are available at the Medellin Airport (MDE).

Car rentals: Companies like"Drive & Go Rent a Car", "Localiza", "Mina Servicios", and "Vaya Car Rental" are available at the Medellin Airport (MDE). » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: There is a parking area near Medellin Airport (MDE).

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There is no facility of Luagage storage & Lockers at the Medellin Airport (MDE). » book a luggage storage or locker at Medellin Airport (MDE) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Medellin Airport (MDE) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks