You know you are going to visit Medellin (good start) but now you have to decide where to stay in Medellin.
With Google Map in your web browser, you’ll try to find safe areas, with good restaurants and nice sights to discover. Or maybe you’ll look for a traditional (and less expensive) neighborhood, away from travelers and expats.
Then, you can begin your search for a hotel or apartment.
I have been a regular visitor to Medellín since 2015 and have enjoyed the distinct neighborhood vibes.
Thanks to my analysis, you will have a clear idea of where to look for your hotel. You will soon realize that the answer is not as simple as “Poblado or Laureles”.
Use our Google Maps and let’s go!
👉 Want to know everything about Medellín? Learn where are the best places, and avoid tourist traps and beginner’s mistakes? Nothing could be easier. I put it all together in our guide to Medellín.
Where to stay in Medellín: The MAP
Where to stay in Medellín: Laureles-Estadio
This is a great place to experience the way locals live if you stay for a few days or even longer. In the mornings, you can walk around parks and streets decorated with big trees and gardens.
It’s possible to meet other expats in the several cafes to have a morning coffee, a pleasant conversation, or simply surf the web or work thanks to the good free wifi access at the establishments. Since this neighborhood is in the center of the city, where the land is totally flat, you won’t get so tired after long walks.
At lunchtime, you’ll get the chance to try the “menu of the day” at the many restaurants in the area north of the second park, which is a tasty and affordable eating option.
At night, you can have fun and drink aguardiente (the locals’ favorite spirituous drink) on vibrant Calle 70 (70 street), which is full of bars and “tiendas”.
Laureles might not have beautiful views unless you’re on a high floor, but it’s a quieter place than El Poblado, though with plenty of things to do in the surroundings.
This Medellin area hosts 4.8% of the total city’s population.
Pros: Why you should stay in Laureles
- The Atanasio Girardot soccer stadium is in Laureles, so you’ll feel the area’s vibe every time the local teams (Atletico Nacional and Deportivo Independiente Medellin) play.
- Laureles is very green, and everything is within walking distance. So, a nice walk to look for a fancy restaurant (prices of food and drinks are affordable) is a good plan. cThat’s why there are some interesting accommodation options among the best hotels in Medellín.
- The closest metro station is Estadio, from where you can easily go to Comuna 13, downtown, and other interesting, nearby spots in the city.
- The streets in the area are wide and full of big trees, which makes them pleasant to walk, like in the best neighborhood in the city.
Cons: Downside of staying in Laureles
- Staying at an Airbnb apartment can be expensive (fewer offers).
- There are no great hotels nor a large variety of hostels in the area.
- Since places that might interest you are not concentrated in one spot, you need to know what you’re looking for.
Areas to stay within Laureles
Laureles is made of smaller neighborhoods within. These are the most relevant:
Florida Nueva & Naranjal
- La 70 is a street south of the Estadio metro station, which features most of the nightlife in the area. Going there means sharing with locals and other foreign visitors.
- There are salsa clubs there as well. Did you know that Medellin is second to Cali regarding salsa lovers?
- This area is vibrant and noisy, and within walking distance, you can get plenty of restaurants that offer the day menu, which tends to be a more affordable eating option.
Bolivariana & Laureles
- This neighborhood section includes the first and second Laureles parks, where you can walk or get involved in recreational activities.
- It offers excellent restaurants and cozy bars in a relatively safe atmosphere.
- It also features the best hotels in the area, such as the Factory loft.
Best places to stay in Laureles
- Wandering Paisa: At this small hostel, you can meet many travelrs, and have lots of fun at the bar, which features live music. There’s a language exchange on Thursdays.
- Factory loft: This hotel showcases modern, industrial-looking rooms where you can cook your own meals. It’s on one end of Calle 70, but you don’t get the noise.
- Apartamentos JG: Each spacious apartment features equipped kitchens with a dishwasher, a washing machine, and a desk. They offer airport transportation.
- Terra Biohotel: This eco-friendly hotel features LED lights all over, solar-energy heated water, vertical gardens, and wonderful city views. It’s modern and comfortable.
Tips to enjoy your stay in Laureles
- You can dance to salsa music at Son Havana and El Tibiri.
- Rituales or Cafe Revolution are great places to enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Eat the day’s menu at Café Cliché.
- 70 street is the place to party and meet many locals.
- Pane e Pomodoro offers the best pizza in the area.
- You can have a cocktail or a shot at Panorama rooftop bar or Fidelina.
- Plan a graffiti tour at Comuna 13, the once-violent area turned into an example of resilience.
Where to stay in Medellín: El Poblado
El Poblado is built on the southwest side of one of the mountains surrounding Medellin. For this reason, almost all of El Poblado is very hilly. Some consider El Poblado as the best neighborhood of the second-largest city in Colombia.
Here, many of the shopping activities and others, such as dining or drinking coffee, are concentrated in the large shopping centers in the area.
The only places where you can find restaurants and bars almost at your doorstep are the noisy areas, for example, around or within walking distance from Parque Lleras.
El Poblado is very green, and the area is beautiful. So, if you go for walks, you’ll get to see parts of the city below. You’ll also get great views if you stay at one of the tall buildings in the district.
El Poblado is the place to stay, go partying, and meet new people if you don’t speak Spanish and want to meet other foreign visitors.
El Poblado is not the typical Colombian neighborhood, but it’s a place that’ll help you in case you feel homesick, for you’ll get to meet many foreign visitors and backpackers like yourself.
If you want to move around for longer distances, you must take a taxi since the metro system covers not the whole neighborhood.
A bit of a downside is that El Poblado accommodation, food, and drink in El Poblado are pricier than everywhere else in town.
Pros: Why you should stay in El Poblado
- El Poblado is one of the best neighborhoods in Medellin. It’s synonymous with fancy, elegant, and perfect. You can walk on its impeccably looking streets and have great views of the city almost from anywhere.
- There are many discos and bars to have a great time. Provenza & Parque Poblado are both areas where the big party takes place and where you meet lots of people and dance to different rhythms, including salsa.
- Santa Fe, El Tesoro, and Oviedo are huge shopping malls where you’ll surely find the clothes, souvenirs, or shopping you need.
- The dining offer is wide. You’ll find steak houses, Italian, street food, and typical Colombian, where you can eat the popular “bandeja paisa” (a platter with ground beef, beans, rice, fried egg, sausage, arepa, pork, and avocado.)
- There are some of the best Medellín Hotels in El Poblado.
Cons: Downside of staying in El Poblado
- This area is hilly, so you’ll probably get more tired when taking long walks.
- Luxury hotels, food, and drink are the most expensive in the city.
- The Metro does not cover this part of the city, so you must take a taxi or a bus.
- The traffic tends to be heavier there, so it’s one of the most polluted areas in town.
- El Poblado is full of tourists, which can annoy some people.
Areas to stay within El Poblado
El Poblado is an exclusive area that occupies the southwest mountain of Medellin.
- Manila is one of the areas of El Poblado that keeps the look and feel of the city’s traditional neighborhoods, and it’s one of the favorite places to stay.
- Even though the Metro does not cover the whole neighborhood, there is a nearby metro station called El Poblado.
- This part of the district is quiet and features great restaurants.
- The atmosphere is friendly, safe, and relaxed.
- The streets are flat, unlike other spots at El Poblado.
- Manila sits 15 minutes on foot away from Parque Lleras.
Patio Bonito & Aguacatala
- Patio Bonito is one of the most beautiful and best neighborhoods within El Poblado. This is because of its lush vegetation. The area is green despite the many new condos and buildings that replaced the country cottages that used to sit there.
- La Presidenta creek was recently recuperated, and now it’s a great place to walk and see flowers, blooming trees, and birds.
- The houses, buildings, and condos also feature well-looked-after gardens with flowers that beautify this quiet area.
- It’s close to El Poblado metro station and Aguacatala metro station, the most popular shopping mall, and 20 minutes away from Parque Lleras, so there are plenty of activities to do.
Las Lomas 1 & 2, and Tesoro
- Las Lomas No. 1 is a residential area known for its privacy, safety, and tranquility.
- This green and safe area is perfect for families with children willing to make a connection with nature.
- There are some lonely spots, but that doesn’t mean they are unsafe. These areas are meant for relaxation and quiet, away from the noise of commercial and touristic places.
- It’s hilly, which makes it difficult for people with mobility issues or long walks.
- It’s 25 minutes away, on foot, from El Poblado.
This area is the center of the action in terms of partying and dancing, dining, drinking, and shopping.
Around la Provenza
- It’s a trendy party area with a pedestrian street filled with bars, restaurants, and bright lights.
- It’s safe and noisy.
Around Parque Lleras
- Lively and vibrant Parque Lleras is in the middle of the neighborhood. In this area, many Colombian and foreign visitors get together to eat and have fun. It’s Medellin’s nightlife epicenter.
- Around the rather small Parque Lleras, you’ll find coffee shops and all types of restaurants and places where you can dance to all sorts of musical rhythms. Reggaeton, salsa, vallenato, champeta, and electronic music are played at different clubs.
- Being so close to the party area, staying there will be noisy. Also, there are many working girls and drug dealers.
Around Parque el Poblado
- This particular spot was founded in the mid-XX century and it’s not as hilly as other areas of El Poblado.
- This part of the neighborhood features attractive vintage houses.
- Parque El Poblado is just 10 minutes away, on foot, from Parque Lleras, far enough not to cope with the noise of the nightlife zone.
- This spot is close to the best restaurants and bars, but it keeps the identity of a residential and quiet neighborhood.
- It’s 10 minutes on foot away from Parque Lleras.
Best places to stay in El Poblado
- Patio del Mundo: This boutique hostel showcases exquisite details, lots of vegetation, and great, comfy private rooms. They place a strong emphasis on detail and quality of service.
- Landmark: Whether you stay for a weekend or a month, the hotel offers stylish, modern rooms with all the amenities, free laundry service, and a swimming pool with a jacuzzi to feel at your best.
- Rango Hostel: The welcome drink, the in-house bakery, and the rooftop pool and bar are a few of the features of this boutique hostel. Showers have high water pressure. Great cocktails.
- Apartamentos Loma Verde: The suites are probably more comfortable than a home itself. A pool, gym, sauna, and modern fully equipped kitchens are among the great amenities present in the building.
Tips to enjoy your stay in El Poblado
- You can enjoy a cup of coffee at Pergamino.
- Eat healthy food at Mundo Verde.
- Go salsa dancing at Academia Social Club.
- Salon Amador is a great place for dancing to electronic music.
- El Arranque is a place for tasty drinks.
- For fancy dining, the Alambique restaurant offers a modern Colombian menu, whereas the OCI.Mde is known for short ribs and octopus in an industrial-style setting.
- You can also book a coffee tasting at El Laboratorio de Café.
More than 3000 travelers have already used our Colombia travel guide
I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015 and put all my knowledge into one Ebook. It’s free and accessible now. 👇
Where to stay in Medellín: La America
La America is one of the 16 “comunas” in Medellin. It’s a very central neighborhood that was absorbed by the city. It used to be a village of country houses and now is a residential area where some of the original clay homes still survive. The village was built in 1675.
This is one of the areas most widely covered by public transportation, both the metro and many bus routes.
There is a museum in this area: the Museo Etnográfico Miguel Ángel Builes, which exhibits items related to the culture of the people of the department of Vaupes.
Pros: Why you should stay in La America
- There are no visitors or tourists from foreign countries, so it’s a great chance to really know the culture of Medellin.
- This area is nice to walk, and it’s flat.
- Since there is little or no tourism, the prices of everything are cheap. That includes cheap accommodation, food, and drink.
Cons: Downside of staying in La America
- You won’t find many bars in the area.
- You are further away from most clubs, cafes, tourist sites, fancy restaurants, and shopping malls.
- You won’t find English speakers.
Districts to stay in La America
There is one area I like.
Around parque Floresta
- You get excellent metro and bus service.
- You can experience the local vibe.
- This is a purely residential area.
- There are a few bars around La Floresta Park.
- This is where the “real” people live, so you’ll get the chance to live the culture of Medellin.
Best places to stay in La America
- Yellow House Hostel: this stay offers the chance to sleep in one of the old residential homes. It has a cozy, friendly atmosphere, despite its outdated looks.
- Hotel Casa Esencia: This is the closest to a home you can get: efficient, friendly service, spacious rooms, and a back garden to enjoy the weather.
- San Pedro del Fuerte: Some of the suites at this hotel feature kitchens and dining areas. The service is good, contrary to the wifi connection, which is not very stable.
Tips to enjoy your stay in La America
- Parque de la Floresta is the place where you’ll find a few restaurants and bars, so it is a must to visit.
- A walk to see the houses and experience the atmosphere is a good plan.
Where to stay in Medellin: Belen
Belen is the Comuna 16 in Medellin. This working-class community lives on the west side of the Medellin river. The neighborhood is so big that it resembles a small city within the city.
This place is between the fanciness of El Poblado and the harshness of the city center, so for many people, it makes the best place to live or spend some time in the entire city.
Belen is one of the neighborhoods that were the most affected by the violence in the times of the big drug lords. However, like Comuna 13, it’s also an example of resilience and hard work to bring it back to life.
One of the landmarks of Belen is Pueblito Paisa, a replica of an old town in Antioquia that sits on top of Cerro Nutibara, a small hill right in the center of Medellin.
Pros: Why you should stay in Belen
- Bars and restaurants are cheap.
- The location is very central. Therefore it’s easy to get in and out.
- It is a very authentic neighborhood.
Cons: Downside of staying in Belen
- Despite its central location, public transportation is not good.
- It’s a largely residential area without many places of interest.
- There are no luxury apartments in the area.
- Short-term rentals are hard to find.
- It’s a bit boring unless you use it only to spend the night in a quiet place.
- It feels a bit less safe than in other places.
Districts to stay in Belen
There are 3 areas that I like.
Rosales & Fatima & Belen
These three neighborhoods were built between 1950 and 1970, and they’re basically residential areas with not many hostels or boutique hotels and an almost non-existent nightlife.
Best places to stay in Belen
- Casa Rosales: This hotel operates in an old traditional mansion on a quiet street. It’s a tranquil place, basically to renew your forces for the next day. A good balance between price and comfort.
- Casa Grande: This Spanish colonial-style hotel offers comfortable rooms, quietness, and some common areas at very affordable prices.
- International house coliving: This hotel is located 200 meters away from Pueblito Paisa. It features a huge common kitchen. Some rooms have shared bathrooms for cheaper prices, although some have private bathrooms.
Tips to enjoy your stay in Belén
- One of the few spots to party is on Calle 33.
- Parque Belén is a nice place to have lunch.
- You can enjoy the view of the city from Pueblito Paisa.
- If you’re a fan of healthy food, two great places are El Vegano Andante and Alma Natura.
Where to stay in Medellin: La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the center of Medellin. This is mainly a business and administrative area also known as Comuna 10. The zone has 5 metro stations. The area concentrates most of the city’s tall buildings and shopping centers.
Although there are some museums and places of interest, the area is a tough neighborhood. There’s some petty crime in the area, especially at night. However, there are places if you want o stay for a short time.
This area used to be very prosperous, but in times of drug lord Pablo Escobar and his terror squad, many people fled to other areas of the city, such as El Poblado, Envigado, or Itagui.
The area around Parque Bolivar used to be the cultural epicenter of the area. Now, it’s trying to regain its reputation by showing free movies at old theaters.
Other places of interest are Parque Berrio, whose metro station sits close to Plaza Botero, a place filled with sculptures and statues of famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
There you’ll find Museo de Antioquia, which also showcases Botero’s art pieces. La Candelaria cathedral adorns the area.
Unlike most remote neighborhoods, La Candelaria looks a bit dirty and feels rather unsafe, but despite that, it still conserves the character of the center of a big city such as Medellin.
Pros: Why you should stay in La Candelaria
- La Candelaria is near some of the best museums in town.
- Prices of food, drink, and lodge are very affordable.
- There are some nice underground, cultural events, and interesting attractions.
Cons: Downside of staying in La Candelaria
- The area has some thieves, so it may turn unsafe, especially at night.
- Days are usually busy with salespeople, business travelers, pedestrians, and traffic, making it less friendly than other city areas.
- It is noisy day and night.
- The streets are dirty.
- Accommodation options are scarce.
Districts to stay in La Candelaria
There is only one area where you can consider staying. I suggest you have a good experience traveling to large Latin cities before embarking on this adventure.
Boston & Bombona
These traditional neighborhoods within La Candelaria and downtown Medellin were built in 1908. The Santa Helena creek crosses this section of ‘el centro’. Parque de Boston is one of the landmarks of the area, and it’s a gathering place for locals and visitors.
Best places to stay in La Candelaria
- Centro hostel: The common spaces of the hotel let you meet other guests, and there’s a market next door where you can eat almost anything at affordable prices.
Tips to enjoy your stay in La Candelaria
- You can book a free walking tour with the agency Real City Tour to visit most of el centro landmarks, such as Plaza Botero, La Candelaria cathedral, and Parque Bolivar.
- Visit the Museo de Antioquia, where they have a Botero exhibition, and El Museo de la Memoria to learn about over 50 years of internal conflict.
- Buy cheap clothes at El Hueco shopping center.
- There is some underground partying at El Palacio Egipcio.
- You may attend cultural events and concerts at La Pascacia, Teatro Matacandela, and Teatro Pablo Tobon Uribe.
- How about a cup of coffee at Salon Malaga? You’ll see vintage photos and listen to live songs (including tango) there. The cafe opened in 1957.
Where to stay in Medellin: Envigado
Envigado is a city that Medellin is absorbing. You can easily and rapidly connect by metro or bus, for it’s conveniently located.
Envigado and Sabaneta (another close-by town) are places to walk and enjoy, mostly if your Spanish skills are good enough. There are not many foreigners in the area, so you’ll get to experience the true culture there.
The area is very nice to spend some time in. However, some young budget travelers don’t go there because it doesn’t have the same level of vibe as places such as Poblado and is far from other well-known nightlife spots.
Despite being so close to Medellin, Envigado has managed to conserve the spirit of a typical Antioquia department small town. Besides, the administrations have made it undergo renovations to its streets, buildings, houses, basic services, and public transportation.
Safety is another aspect that attracts certain travelers. Envigado also features fancy restaurants and fun nightlife, a characteristic it shares with neighboring Sabaneta.
Pros: Why you should stay in Envigado
- Despite being a different town, you can get to Envigado by metro.
- It’s a quiet area at night.
- It’s a typical, authentic “paisa” (from Antioquia) town.
- You can walk, eat, drink, and party safely.
- It’s flat, so you can walk around without getting too tired. Also good for people with mobility restrictions.
Cons: Downside of staying in Envigado
- It’s far from Medellin’s highlights and nightlife.
- Although it features nightlife, it’s not the same vibe as in Provenza.
- It’s not a place to take pleasant walks despite being flat.
- There aren’t many luxury hotels or hostels around.
Districts to stay in Envigado
There are 2 areas you might like.
El Dorado & Central Envigado
- You can find minimarkets, shops, restaurants, bars, and small houses along narrow streets in El Dorado. This is a true neighborhood feel and great value.
- San Marcos / La Magnolia: These residential neighborhoods host the finest dining in Envigado. They don’t have the same vibe as El Dorado, but they also feature an entertainment district and La Calle de la Buena Mesa, a street full of fine restaurants.
Tips to enjoy your stay in Envigado
- You can play the typical Colombian sport called “tejo” at the stadium. I advise you to contact them in advance on Instagram.
- The romantic Casa de las Piedritas, whose door you just knock on arrival, is one of the most recommended attractions in Envigado and is within walking distance.
- Eating pizza burrata at Burro Pizzeria (the restaurant won the Pizza Master contest) & Pedacito De Amor, where they serve grilled steaks and lemonade, is a must.
- Relaxing at Casa Museo Otraparte, a museum cafe that used to be a poet’s home.
Where to stay in Medellin: Sabaneta
Sabaneta is another separate city, close to Medellin (toward the south end) and neighboring Envigado and Itagui, where you can go by metro or bus.
You can walk the streets of Sabaneta and, if you feel comfortable with your Spanish, get to talk to friendly locals in a relaxed way because Sabaneta is very safe.
Downtown Sabaneta is vibrant, and if you want to stay for more than just a weekend, you may rent an apartment at an affordable price. It’s much cheaper than, for example, El Poblado.
This is a great place to enjoy Medellin by being in a quieter place. Unfortunately, many of the old houses have been replaced by buildings or condos. Still, people in Sabaneta conserve the pride and culture of the traditional families.
Pros: Why you should stay in Sabaneta
- Sabaneta is flat and surrounded by nature, which is nice to take walks around.
- There are plenty of bars and restaurants.
- The locals are nice and friendly and transmit good vibes.
- It’s a great place for long stays, and it’s safe.
Cons: Downside of staying in Sabaneta
- It is far from the vibes of some of the most popular places in Medellin.
- It tends to be rainier than Medellin.
Districts to stay in Sabaneta
There are 2 pleasant areas where you can stay in Sabaneta.
- This is one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Sabaneta. It’s just 300 meters away from the Sabaneta metro stop and the main square.
- This great location is made of traditional family homes and newly built apartment buildings, and it’s near supermarkets, churches, cultural venues, and restaurants.
- One of the traditional means of transportation, aside from buses and the metro, is EnCicla, a bicycle system consisting of 40 bikes and several stations along the cycling route between the main square and Las Vegas avenue. After registering, you can use the bike for one hour without cost and leave it at any station. This system also operates in Medellin.
- This area is made of new apartment buildings and a big shopping mall. Aves Maria is also a very green neighborhood, where it’s a pleasure to walk and relax, for it’s very safe. The apartment buildings are complemented by some typical “fondas antioqueñas” (in-house restaurant bars adorned with typical objects and traditional music.)
Tips to enjoy your stay in Sabaneta
- You should try the gigantic “buñelos” (round fritters with cheese inside). A good place for this street food is El Peregrino, a cafeteria that opened more than 25 years ago.
- Parque Sabaneta is another place to relax or hang out. You’ll find street food and drinks there at very affordable prices.
- You can hike to La Romera, an ecological park two hours from Parque Sabaneta. There you will enjoy great views of the valley, see different bird species and lots of vegetation, and drink a tasty cup of coffee.
- Have some coffee at Café Zendaya Studio or Café Bosque Adentro.
Where to stay in Medellín: Tell me who you are
I guess you already know more or less your plans for Medellin. This section will allow you to decide on the neighborhood according to what you want to do during your stay in Medellin.
Where to stay in Medellin to party
- Stay in El Poblado if you don’t mind the noise at night and you want to meet people, dance, drink, and eat at fancy restaurants. Parque Lleras is the epicenter of it all and has the best bars.
- La Florida is a smart option to escape the noise, but you have the party atmosphere at a close distance.
- Comuna Laureles, Florida Nueva & Naranjal are great locations to share some dancing, chats, and drinks with the locals.
Where to stay in Medellin for a luxury vacation
Most of the best Medellín hotels 5 stars are located in the Comuna El Poblado, Districts La Florida or Las Lomas:
- Since they are located on the hill, you’ll have great city views.
- There are excellent hotels and apartments for rent.
- All the hip restaurants of Medellin are near.
- This section of El Poblado is quiet.
- You can walk and go out safely in these neighborhoods.
Where to stay in Medellin for digital nomads
Stay in the Districts Laureles and Bolivariana
- These are great because they have cool cafes with good free wi-fi connections at affordable prices.
- It’s cheaper than Poblado.
Where to stay in Medellin if you’re an expat
- Comuna Laureles is a good option if you want to be in Medellin and meet other travelers.
- Sabaneta is great if you want to live outside Medellin, in a traditional “paisa” atmosphere.
Where to stay in Medellin if you’re on a budget
Stay at Comuna Belen or La America:
- You can have a day’s menu in most restaurants, which is a good, affordable lunch option. You can find good, cheap restaurants.
- You can easily use public transportation and get cheap accommodation.
Where to stay in Medellin to meet other tourists
Your best option will be El Poblado:
- District Manila. This area used to be a farm. Now, it’s a place preferred by backpackers.
- If you’re a solo traveler, this is a place to be, for you can meet new friends and have a lot of fun right at your doorstep.
- There are many party and cultural events in the area.
- There are plenty of hostels to choose from.
Where to stay in Medellin if you’re a beginner
Your best option will be El Poblado:
- If you don’t speak Spanish, most members of the staff at hotels do. Also, there are many foreigners. Colombians at party places and bars also manage a certain level of English.
- You’ll feel safe if you’re not used to South American culture. It’s also easier to move around (everything is near)
- If you feel a bit scared, no worries, people in this area of Medellin are extremely friendly. Take the normal precautions you would anywhere else.
Where to stay in Medellin to move around easily
- Comuna Belen if you take taxis.
- Comuna Laureles, district Florida Nueva (near the Estadio metro stop) if you want to use public transportation.
Where to stay in Medellin to plan activities & day trips
- Most of Medellin’s highlights are between El Centro (La Candelaria) and Laureles, so Belen or Laureles are the perfect places.
- To visit the Guatapé & San Rafael (2-3 hours away from Medellin), you’ll have to take the bus from the North terminal. Comuna Laureles is the place to be if you want to travel there.
- The international airport Jose Maria Cordova is closer to Poblado. The airport is up in the mountains of Rionegro, 30 minutes away.
- To visit the towns of Jardin & Jerico, you’ll have to take the bus from the South Terminal. The terminal is closer to El Poblado.
Where to stay in Medellin to walk around
- Comuna Laureles, district Bolivariana & Laureles. These are flat places full of trees and nice streets.
- Comuna Poblado, district El Poblado & La Florida.
Where to stay in Medellin to live like a local
- Comuna Belen and Comuna La America are still traditional neighborhoods.
- Sabaneta & Envigado
Where to stay in Medellin to be in a quiet place
- Colombian cities are usually noisy. However, you may rent a modern apartment a few blocks away from main roads, bars, and nightclubs.
- La Florida or Las Lomas 1 & 2 are good places to be away from the noise without being too far from the action.
Where to stay in Medellin to enjoy the view
- Medellin is beautiful at night, with all the illuminations of the houses that cover the valley and the sides of the mountains, so anywhere from El Poblado offers great views, especially from tall buildings.
- Comuna El Poblado, district Las Lomas 1 & 2, or El Tesoro showcase magnificent views.
Where to stay in Medellin to learn Spanish
- Many travelers decide to choose Medellin to start learning Spanish. People in Medellin speak clearly, with a mild accent that only Colombians from other regions can spot. They are also curious, talkative people, and ask lots of questions. It’s perfect for practicing after your Spanish lessons.
- This is why I wouldn’t recommend Poblado (because there are too many foreigners).
- There are some excellent Spanish schools in Envigado and Laureles.
- I would slightly prefer Laureles as it’s cheaper and closer to the tourist attractions.
Q&A: Where to stay in Medellin
We receive many questions about Medellín’s neighborhoods. Here are our main answers.
Which is the best area to stay in Medellin?
- For me, it’s around Segundo Parque Laureles (Comuna Laureles, district Laureles). Business travelers can opt for other options, even downtown, near the financial area.
What is the safest part of Medellin?
- It’s usually where the wealthiest districts are. Still, you should always be careful at night if nobody is on the streets.
- Comuna El Poblado, districts La Florida, Las Lomas 1 & 2, and El Tesoro are some of the safest places.
- Comuna Laureles, district Laureles, is another nice and safe area.
How long should I stay in Medellin?
- Two full days are enough to visit the city. Then, you can add several one-day trips, such as Guatapé, Santa Fe de Antioquia, and Cerro Tusa.
Is Medellin a walkable city?
- Some areas are, but you should always be careful at night even though it’s not the most dangerous city compared to others in the country.
- I personally like walking in Laureles or Envigado.
How can I meet people?
- Hostels are great places to meet people. Some small hostels have cozy little bars with live music where people end up dancing and starting friendships.
- Group hiking is a great way of making friends; you can talk with them for hours while enjoying nature, exercise, and probably a cup of coffee. Two options you can take are Aventura Caminera and the Medellin Hiking group.
- Language exchanges at some hotels or bars are frequent, such as Gringo Tuesdays at Vintrash Bar (Carrera 35 No 8a-39, Provenza, Poblado), from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., or the ones on Thursdays at 8 p.m. that the hotel The Wandering Paisa offers at absolutely no extra cost.
Moving around in Medellin
- Taxis are inexpensive, and the metro train stop is an easy walk. The metro runs basically north-south with only one east-west connection. It can get crowded during rush hours, but it’s kept spotlessly clean by both users and authorities. The city bus system covers the entire city.
- Bus routes and schedules are a bit tricky to understand, but you can always ask people.
- I like the apps Cabify, Didi & Uber to move around Medellin.
Bottom Line: Where to stay in Medellín
Medellin areas such as Poblado or Laureles-Estadio are extensive and you need to do more research to choose your neighborhood and then your hotel.
Poblado is ideal for partying and having an easy experience. Choose a quiet street far away from the clubs (Florida, Manila or Patio Bonito). You can also decide to stay in Laureles to get away from this international atmosphere. Laureles & Bolivariana will be ideal.
Don’t choose your hotel randomly anymore