Where to Stay in Medellín: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods
Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia, and capital of Antioquia, has experienced a tremendous transformation over the past decade, making it one of the most popular destinations in South America for travellers and digital nomads.
The city is commonly known as the city of eternal spring, due its idyllic year round climate. Medellín also has a vibrant culture, friendly people, top-notch nightlife and dancing, premier restaurant scene, growing digital nomad community, and world-class public transportation system.
Surrounding Medellín, the fertile region is famous for its coffee plantations and flower farms, making for many excellent day or weekend trips from the city.
While Medellín is now known as a thriving and innovative city, it has a rough history that cannot be overlooked.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Medellín was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world due to its association with drug cartels and high levels of violence. The city was the stronghold of Pablo Escobar’s infamous Medellín cartel, which was responsible for countless crimes, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings.
Over the past few decades, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging from its troubled past as a model of urban regeneration and innovation. Today, it is a destination that celebrates its rich cultural heritage while embracing progress and change, making it a dynamic and exciting location for travellers and digital nomads looking for a unique and rewarding experience.
Choosing the right place to stay in Medellín is crucial, as even though the city has undergone a significant transformation over the past couple decades, there are still areas that can be dangerous at night due to higher crime rates. With that in mind, finding safe and comfortable accommodation is essential, regardless of whether you are a first-time visitor or an experienced digital nomad.
Since we believe it is possible to stay in all of our recommended areas on a budget, our focus of this guide will be to help you decide where to stay in Medellín based on your interests, as well as provide you with our personal experience in Medellín.
Where to Stay in Medellín for Local Authenticity & Long Term Stays: Laureles
Our favourite place to stay in Medellín, Laureles is a popular neighborhood located in the west-central part of Medellín, known for its laid-back atmosphere, authentic local vibe, and abundance of green space.
Laureles is also sometimes known as Estadio, since it is home to Estadio Atanasio Girardot, where Medellín’s two soccer teams play, Atletico Nacional and Deportivo Independiente Medellin. We watched a few Atletico Nacional matches during our stay, and the intensity of the fans is next level, even more so during the championship game!
Laureles offers an opportunity to experience the daily life of Medellín’s locals, as well as sample traditional food and drinks from local vendors and cafes. With the high local presence, you will need to speak more spanish if staying here, as Laureles in general is less touristic compared to the popular El Poblado.
Laureles is also home to the UPB (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana) university, which lends to the areas abundance of trendy cafes and restaurants, and thriving nightlife scene.
Laureles has a thriving food scene, offering visitors a wide range of local and international cuisine. For international cuisine, La Pampa – Parilla Argentina, Olivia Pizzeria, and Chef Burger are three top places.
For local foods, the neighborhood hosts several street food markets, such as in La 70, where visitors can sample local specialties like arepas and empanadas. Alternatively, settle in to one of the many local restaurants for a traditional meal of mondongo, ajiaco, sancocho, or tipico antioqueno.
The neighborhood is also home to several trendy cafes and restaurants, such as Rituales and Cafe Revolution, where visitors can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or a traditional Colombian breakfast.
Laureles is a great place to experience Medellín’s vibrant nightlife. The neighborhood has several bars and clubs, offering different styles of music and entertainment. One of the popular nightlife spots in Laureles is La 70, which is a street lined with bars and restaurants that come alive at night.
If you love dancing salsa and bachata, Laureles is the place to be. Head to the underground El Tibiri bar (Thursday night) or Son Havana (Friday or Saturday night). We were regulars to each during our one month stay in Laureles.
Laureles is also gaining in popularity as a digital nomad hub, with many co-working spaces popping up around the neighborhood.
With Laureles central location and quick access to Medellín’s metro system, it is a great base spot for exploring other off-the-beaten-track parts of the city.
Laureles is also close to the North terminal bus station, where you can take a quick bus ride to Guatape for a day or weekend trip ,which we have outlined in the best things to do article here.
From Laureles, you are only a couple metro stations away from Comuna 13, where you can plan a graffiti tour and learn more about the history and revitalization of the iconic neighborhood.
Finally, Laureles is a safe neighborhood with a low crime rate, making it an ideal location for those who are concerned about safety and security. The neighborhood is also well-connected to the rest of the city, with direct access to the metro as well as many bus routes.
In conclusion, if you’re seeking where to stay in Medellin for a safe, authentic, and culturally-rich experience, look no further than Laureles. With amazing food and a bustling nightlife, Laureles offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the local scene. Overall, Laureles is one of the best choices for those looking for a vibrant and dynamic stay in Medellín.
BEST Places to Stay in Laureles
Budget Backpacking Hostel in Laureles – The Wandering Paisa Backpackers Hostel
The Wandering Paisa, conveniently located near the Metro and the lively “LA 70” party area, offers an authentic cultural experience in Medellin. Dedicated to immersing travelers in the local Paisa culture, the hostel provides a safe and comfortable stay with a range of activities and events. In the upscale Laureles neighborhood, a block from La Setenta and La 33, the hostel is surrounded by affordable local hotspots. The accommodation features top-quality bunks with privacy dividers, orthopedic mattresses, and under-bed lockers for storage. With six fully remodeled bathrooms, 24-hour hot water, and brand-new computer workstations, The Wandering Paisa ensures a pleasant and peaceful stay.
Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel in Laureles – Hotel Casa Laureles
Hotel Casa Laureles, located just three blocks from Los Laureles Mall, offers stylish decor and a charming shaded white-tiled courtyard adorned with hanging plants. As a 4-star hotel, it features an elegant lobby with dark olive pillars, decorated marble floors, and a panoramic lift. The rooms boast turquoise wallpaper, wood furnishings, floor-to-ceiling curtains, minibars, and cable TV. Some bathrooms include baths. Guests can enjoy a full buffet breakfast with renowned Colombian coffee, regional jams, and treats daily, either in the room or on the terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available, and the hotel also provides Medellin city tours through its tour desk.
Boutique Hotel in Laureles – Hotel Boutique Laureles Medellin
Hotel Boutique Laureles Medellin (HBL) is a 4-star hotel located in Medellín, featuring a terrace and a garden. The air-conditioned rooms offer free WiFi and private bathrooms. The hotel provides amenities such as a shared lounge, room service, and currency exchange. Guest rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box, bed linen, and towels. The reception offers around-the-clock assistance, with staff fluent in English and Spanish, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests seeking both relaxation and convenience.
Where to Stay in Medellín for Nightlife, First Time Visitors, & Short Trips: El Poblado
El Poblado is a vibrant and trendy neighborhood in Medellín, with plenty of amenities that make it an ideal destination for travellers of all budget levels seeking a fun and exciting stay.
One of the main reasons why El Poblado is a popular choice for travellers is its lively atmosphere. The neighborhood is known for its bustling nightlife, which offers a wide range of bars, clubs, and restaurants to cater to every taste and preference.
Whether you want to dance the night away at a club in the Provenza or Zona Rosa districts, relax with a drink at a rooftop bar or craft brewery, sample the local cuisine at a restaurant or simply soak in the atmosphere along Parque Lleras with a bottle of aguardiente, El Poblado has something for everyone.
For salsa dancing head to the popular Academia Social Club, or for electronic music the unmissable Salon Amador.
El Poblado is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering everything from traditional Colombian cuisine to international dishes in its many restaurants and cafes. For the best Colombian food in El Poblado head to Mondongo’s Medellin, and for the best international dishes to Carmen Restaurant or Ocio Medellin.
If you need to get some work done, Pergamino Cafe is the best spot to settle down with a cup of coffee. Or for a coffee tasting, head to El Laboratorio de Cafe where you can taste and bring home some freshly roasted coffee beans.
El Poblado is a hub for contemporary art, with galleries like the Jose Amar Gallery showcasing the works of local and international artists in a range of mediums, from painting and sculpture to digital art and installations.
For history and culture, the Poblado Museo de Castillo and Casa Museo Pablo Escobar are must visits to learn more about Medellín’s rich history.
Another factor that makes El Poblado an attractive choice for travellers is its reputation for safety and security. The area has a low crime rate and is well-policed, providing visitors with a sense of security and peace of mind during their stay.
For those looking for a more upscale experience, El Poblado also has plenty of luxury accommodation options, including high-end hotels and luxurious apartments. These options are complete with all the amenities one needs to relax and unwind.
In terms of location, El Poblado is conveniently located in the heart of Medellín, making it easy to explore the city’s many attractions. The neighborhood is well-connected to the rest of the city, with several metro stations and bus stops in the area. This makes it easy for travellers to visit museums, parks, and historical landmarks, and experience all that Medellín has to offer.
El Poblado is also known for its beautiful scenery, with lush greenery, parks, and gardens scattered throughout the neighborhood. One of the most popular attractions in El Poblado is the Parque Lleras, a beautiful park surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shops, and perfect for relaxing and people-watching.
One last thing to note is the area around El Poblado is quite hilly, so some general fitness will be required to get around unless you plan to take a taxi everywhere.
El Poblado is a neighborhood that has it all for travellers: a lively atmosphere, safety and security, budget and luxury accommodation options, convenient location, and beautiful scenery. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the most popular areas in Medellín for tourists and travellers alike.
🔗 Related: Is Medellin Safe? All You Need to Know
BEST Places to Stay in El Poblado
Best Backpacker & Digital Nomad Hostel in El Poblado – Viajero Medellin Hostel
Viajero Medellin, situated in the vibrant ‘Manila’ district of El Poblado, offers a 360-degree view of Medellin. The hostel invites visitors to enjoy its co-work space, rooftop, Casa Once A restaurant bar, and engaging free games and activities. Positioned in the lively ‘pink zone’ of the city, Viajero Medellin provides a unique perspective on Medellin’s transformation from its tumultuous past in the 80s to becoming an emblematic city. Guests can explore the beauty of the “City of Eternal Spring” with its pleasant year-round temperature and the fusion of urban spaces with nature, making it an exciting destination with a rich history and a graffiti-themed hostel in the best location.
Best Boutique Hostel in El Poblado – Los Patios Hostel
Los Patios, awarded Best Large Hostel Worldwide 2020, offers an authentic Colombian experience with a setup designed to meet various needs. Run by Colombians, the hostel provides atmospheres for creativity, relaxation, play, learning, exercise, and socializing. With modern private and dorm rooms, open spaces, meeting rooms, and lounges, Los Patios caters to diverse moods and lifestyles. Amenities include multiple chill-out areas, a rooftop pool, coworking rooms, gym, top-notch kitchens, café, two rooftop bars with stunning views, an organic garden, sun-deck, Spanish School, Salsa Academy, Tours Office, and entertainment options like ping pong, pool, mini football, and PS4. It serves as a multicultural hub to enhance the overall experience in Colombia.
Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel in El Poblado – 574 Hotel
Conveniently located in Medellín’s El Poblado district, 574 Hotel is within proximity to various parks and attractions. The hotel, offering a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, concierge service, and free WiFi, ensures a comfortable stay. The rooms are equipped with a wardrobe, flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Some rooms feature balconies. Guests can enjoy a continental or American breakfast during their stay. With its central location and amenities, 574 Hotel provides a convenient and welcoming accommodation option for travelers exploring Medellín.
Luxury Hotel in El Poblado – Hotel Dann Carlton
Dann Carlton in El Poblado offers luxurious rooms with a seating area, an outdoor pool, and spa facilities. Located three blocks from San Fernando Casino, the hotel provides free WiFi throughout. The spacious, air-conditioned rooms feature amenities such as a TV and minibar. Guests can enjoy the sun terrace by the pool, indulge in beauty treatments at the salon, work out in the gym, or opt for relaxing massages. With three restaurants offering regional specialties and international cuisine, 24/7 room service, and an available airport shuttle service, Hotel Dann Carlton Medellín ensures a high-end experience for guests seeking comfort and convenience.
Luxury Hotel in El Poblado – Landmark Hotel
Landmark Hotel in Medellín offers a range of amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, terrace, and restaurant. Positioned close to notable attractions such as El Poblado Park and Parque Lleras, the hotel features a bar, hot tub, 24-hour front desk, and complimentary WiFi. Air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a wardrobe, safety deposit box, flat-screen TV, balcony, and private bathroom with a shower. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast with continental, American, or vegetarian options. With its convenient location and diverse offerings, Landmark Hotel provides a comfortable and well-rounded experience for travelers in Medellín.
Where to Stay in Medellín for Digital Nomads: Patio Bonito
With Medellín now being one of the top digital nomad hubs in the world, some are now referring to it as South America’s “Silicon Valley”.
We believe Patio Bonito, a budget-friendly neighborhood within El Poblado in the southern part of Medellín, is the place to be for digital nomads.
This is because it is centrally located and well-connected to other popular areas in the city, including the rest of El Poblado and Envigado. Moreover, the neighborhood has several co-working spaces, making it an ideal location for digital nomads who need a comfortable workspace.
The affordable accommodation options in Patio Bonito, including modern and comfortable hostels and apartments equipped with high-speed internet, make it an attractive option for budget-conscious travellers.
Patio Bonito also offers a vibrant food scene, with several trendy cafes and restaurants offering local and international cuisine. These cafes and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, making them great places for digital nomads to work and socialize.
A short 15 minute walk to the popular Zona Rosa and Parque Lleras areas of El Poblado, Patio Bonito offers the best of both worlds with quick access to some of Medellín’s best nightlife.
The neighborhood is safe and has a low crime rate, and it is known for its friendly and welcoming community. The laid-back and relaxed atmosphere of Patio Bonito is perfect for unwinding after a long day of work or exploring the city, with several parks and green spaces available nearby, including the popular Parque de El Poblado, Parque Lleras, and Parque de la Presidenta.
In conclusion, if you’re seeking where to stay in Medellin for digital nomads, look no further than Patio Bonito. With its’ quiet, safe, and relaxed atmosphere, as well as abundance of co-working spaces with the best internet speeds in Medellín, Patio Bonito is the place to be for digital nomads.
🔗 Related: The ULTIMATE Medellin Digital Nomad Guide
BEST Places to Stay in Patio Bonito
Best Budget Backpacking Hostel in Patio Bonito – Black Sheep Hostel Medellin
The Black Sheep, a well-loved hostel in Medellin for over seventeen years, is run by a New Zealand/Colombian team in the prime location of Patio Bonito in El Poblado. Just a short walk from Metro Station Poblado, major shopping centers, supermarkets, and the vibrant Zona Rosas, the hostel offers a range of amenities. These include a TV room with Directv HD, a pleasant balcony, a large terrace with hammocks, and a fully equipped kitchen with affordable beer for sale. With a dedicated fiber-optic line boasting eight Ubiquiti hotspots, the hostel provides high-speed internet at 120Mbps downloads and 60 uploads, ensuring a comfortable and connected stay for guests.
Best Digital Nomad Hostel in Patio Bonito – Medellin Vibes Hostel
Medellín Vibes is a luxury hostel that creates a serene and welcoming atmosphere, ideal for travelers seeking shared experiences. The hostel boasts an outstanding communal kitchen and a stunning poolside bar, offering exquisite snacks, various preparations of 100% Colombian coffee, and top-notch cocktails. Accommodation options include mixed and feminine shared rooms for 4, 6, and 8 people, featuring amenities like hairdryers, curtains, fans, and reading lights for each bed. Additionally, the hostel provides 15 private rooms and luxury double suites equipped with 49-inch Smart TVs, free WiFi, private bathrooms, air conditioners, and safe deposit boxes for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Affordable Luxury Hotel in Patio Bonito – Hotel San Fernando Plaza
Hotel San Fernando Plaza, located in Medellin’s El Poblado exclusive financial and commercial district, offers luxurious accommodations with amenities like a heated outdoor pool, spa facilities, and a fitness center. The spacious rooms feature seating areas and high-speed WiFi, with some offering city-view terraces. The hotel includes a restaurant and bar, serving a buffet breakfast and a variety of international dishes. Guests can enjoy fine drinks on the terrace or avail 24-hour room service. Spa services include massages, sauna, and Turkish baths, while sun loungers by the pool and a well-equipped gym provide relaxation and fitness options.
Affordable Luxury Hotel in Patio Bonito – Sites Hotel
Situated in a modern building in Medellin, Sites offers self-catering accommodations with free Wi-Fi and plasma TVs. The property features a terrace with a hot tub and BBQ facilities. Poblado metro station is conveniently located 1 km away. The bright rooms are furnished with modern décor and include seating areas with sofa beds. Self-catering facilities like microwaves and refrigerators are provided, and daily cleaning service is included. Guests have access to a fitness center, enhancing their stay with additional amenities in this contemporary setting.
Where to Stay in Medellín for Balance & Long Term Rentals: Belen
Belen is one of the best up and coming neighborhoods to stay while visiting Medellín for a longer time horizon, offering a unique blend of modern amenities and local charm.
One of the main reasons to stay in Belen is its prime location – it is ideally located close to the city centre, yet away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas. This makes it an ideal location for travellers who want to experience Medellín’s vibrant culture, while still enjoying a peaceful and relaxing stay.
Belen is also situated close to many parks. Cerro Nutibara, a park with hiking and biking trails up the Cerro Nutibara hill. Once at the top of the hill, you will have amazing views of the city below. Other parks worth visiting are Parque Belen and Pueblito Paisa.
Additionally, Belen is close to the nightlife area on Calle 33, as well as the Los Molinos shopping centre. It is also a short metro or taxi ride away from other popular areas such as Laureles, El Poblado, and El Centro.
Additionally, Belen is located near the Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera, making it a convenient choice for travelers who need to catch an early flight or have a layover.
With its convenient location and access to top city attractions, Belen is a great choice for travelers looking for an authentic Medellín experience.
Belen is also considered a safe neighborhood in Medellín with a low crime rate and a friendly local community.
In conclusion, Belen is the best area to stay in Medellín for those planning a longer term stay and seeking balance of local authenticity, nightlife, shopping centers, amazing food, and close proximity to outdoor parks.
BEST Places to Stay in Belen
Best Budget Backpacking Hostel in Belen – Pa Pasiar Hostal
Pa Pasiar Hostal in Medellín offers rooms with shared facilities including a kitchen and lounge. The property provides free WiFi throughout, enhancing the connectivity for guests. The shared kitchen allows visitors to prepare meals, fostering a communal atmosphere. Additionally, the shared lounge provides a space for socializing and relaxation. Pa Pasiar Hostal caters to a variety of travelers by providing a comfortable and collaborative environment in the heart of Medellín.
Best Budget Accommodation in Belen – International House Co-Living
International House and Hostel Medellin, situated in Medellín, offers free WiFi access to guests. The accommodations include bed linen and a fan for added convenience. The hostel features amenities such as a rooftop terrace lounge, barbecue facilities, and an additional terrace. Guests can also enjoy shared lounge spaces and luggage storage services. With a focus on providing a comfortable and communal atmosphere, the International House and Hostel Medellin aims to enhance the overall experience for travelers in Medellín.
Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel in Belen – Casa Rosales
Casa Rosales, a 3-star hotel, offers accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi throughout the property. Guests driving can benefit from free private parking. The hotel is conveniently located within 1.4 km of Laureles Park and 1.9 km of Plaza de Toros La Macarena. Some units feature a terrace with a city view. Rooms are equipped with a desk, flat-screen TV, private bathroom, and essentials like bed linen and towels. Certain rooms even include a kitchen with a microwave and stovetop. Casa Rosales caters to couples, who particularly appreciate the location and amenities provided.
Resources for Longer Term Accommodations
Where to Stay in Medellín for Families & Long Term Stays: Envigado or Sabaneta
Envigado and Sabaneta are two charming and vibrant neighborhoods located to the south of Medellín’s city centre, best for families and longer term stays. The area is known for its friendly people, and feeling of being closer to nature.
While Envigado and Sabaneta may not be as popular as Poblado, if you are looking for a more authentic and laid-back Colombian experience, both are a great choice.
One of the primary benefits of staying in Envigado or Sabaneta is the relaxed atmosphere. The two neighborhoods are known for their tree-lined streets, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Visitors can explore the quiet streets, parks, and plazas, and get a taste of daily life in Medellín away from the tourist crowds.
There are also many activities to do with your family depending on your interests. For outdoorsy families, go hiking at the La Romera Natural Reserve or Parque El Salado, or have fun at the Parque Recreativo amusement park.
For a history and culture experience, we recommend visiting the Otraparte Museum, which used to be the home of poet and philosopher Frenando Gonzalez.
Another favorite attraction in Envigado is the beautiful and romantic Casa de las Piedritas, a stone house built by a man over a 32 year period to show his love for his wife.
For authentic Paisa cuisine, head to La Gloria de Gloria for their massively huge and tasty plates of chicharron and other local delicacies
Envigado and Sabaneta are also both very safe residential areas, similar to Laureles, El Poblado, and Belen.
In conclusion, Envigado and Sabaneta are two of the best areas to stay in Medellín with families, especially if staying for an extended duration.
🔗 Related: 10 Best Medellin Hikes for an Amazing Day
BEST Places to Stay in Envigado & Sabaneta
Best Budget Hotel in Envigado – Hotel Casa Modero
Hotel Casa Madero, situated in Envigado and approximately 6.7 km from El Poblado Park, offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, and a shared lounge. The property features amenities like room service and a 24-hour front desk, ensuring guest convenience. Free WiFi is available throughout the property, and it is allergy-free. Located about 6.8 km from Lleras Park, the hotel provides a comfortable and accessible stay for guests exploring the area.
Best Budget Hotel in Sabaneta – Hotel Portón Sabaneta
Hotel Portón Sabaneta in Medellin offers rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi and plasma TVs, along with a restaurant on the premises. Conveniently located, Itagui Metro Station is just 3 km away. The rooms are bright and spacious, equipped with air conditioning and minibars for added comfort. Each room has a private bathroom, providing guests with a well-rounded and convenient accommodation experience in the city.
Where to Stay in Medellín for Art & Culture: El Centro (La Candelaria)
Also known as La Candelaria, El Centro is the historical and cultural heart of Medellín, and is a great place to stay for those who want to immerse themselves in the city’s rich heritage and see all the top sights in Medellín.
The neighborhood is home to several important landmarks and attractions, such as the Plaza Botero, which features the work of the famous Colombian sculptor, Fernando Botero.
Additionally, the Palacio de Cultura Rafael Uribe, a beautiful building located in the heart of El Centro, is home to several art exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.
Visitors can also explore the many museums and galleries in the area, such as the Museo de Antioquia and the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín.
Another important site is the Catedral Basilica Metropolitana, Medellín’s largest and most impressive Roman Catholic church.
One of our favorite things to do in El Centro is take one of the Real City free walking tours, offered daily. The tour is by tip donation, and they will take you to all the important landmarks in Medellín’s La Candelaria district, explaining in depth the history behind the area and Medellín in general.
While here you can also take a stroll down Calle Junin, the popular pedestrian-only roadway, go to one of the many retail outlets selling cheap knock-off clothes, or browse the local market at Plaza Minorista.
For nightlife, head to Salon Malaga where you can dance the night away with tango, or find a local spot to take part in some underground partying.
El Centro is a great area to stay for those who want to experience the authentic local life of Medellín. The neighborhood is a bustling hub of commerce and culture, with street vendors, markets, and shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to modern electronics.
With El Centro being a high traffic area during the daytime, visitors can enjoy an abundance of delicious local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the area, with options for every budget, and many various offerings of traditional Colombian dishes and international cuisine.
El Centro is also well-connected to the rest of the city, with several metro and bus stations in the area, making it easy to explore other neighbourhoods and attractions in Medellín.
However, note that while El Centro is lively during the day, at night extra caution is needed as it is not the safest area after dark.
In conclusion, El Centro is the best area to stay in Medellín for those seeking an art and culture experience, sightseeing, and great food.
🔗 Related: Cartagena vs Medellin: Which is Better?
BEST Places to Stay in El Centro
Best Budget Backpacking Hostel in El Centro – Centro Hostel
Centro Hostel Medellin, centrally situated in downtown Medellin near Teatro Pablo Tobon Uribe on Avenida La Playa, offers a variety of accommodations. Nomads can experience a local feel while being close to landmarks like Casa del la Memoria and Plazuala de San Ignacio. Room options include male and female dorms, standard double and twin rooms, as well as a family room with breakfast included. Each room is equipped with amenities like a bathroom, fan, and lockers, providing a comfortable stay for travelers looking to explore the vibrant city.
Best Budget & Family Friendly Hotel in El Centro – 61Prado Guesthouse
61 Prado is a European-style guesthouse in Medellin’s historical Prado district, offering full-service accommodations. Situated in a private residential area, the guesthouse provides free WiFi throughout. The bright rooms feature marble floors, abundant natural light, and amenities such as cable TV, a work desk, a safety box, and private bathrooms. This establishment caters to a comfortable stay for guests, combining a touch of European charm with modern conveniences in the heart of Medellin.
Our Personal Experience in Medellín
During our multiple stays in Medellín, we stayed predominantly in the El Poblado / Patio Bonito and Laureles areas. We also stayed in other non-tourist areas while traveling with friends who were born near Medellín.
Black Sheep Hostel, Patio Bonito, El Poblado
A travellers favourite in Patio Bonito, Black Sheep Hostel is located less than a 10 minute walk from the Poblado Metro Station, two major shopping centres, supermarkets, and the Zona Rosa nightlife district where hundreds of bars and restaurants await.
For digital nomads, they have some of the fastest internet speeds for Colombia, with download speeds of 120 Mbps and upload speeds of 60 Mbps.
We stayed here during our first visit to Medellín, when we were traveling with my dad and brother. The hostel is located in a safe, quieter area, a short walk to the busier areas of El Poblado around Zona Rosa and Parque Lleras.
Although the Poblado area can be a bit touristy, it was great to really get settled and know the city, as the amenities and activities are endless, one of the best areas to meet new people, as well as being close to many popular attractions in Medellín. This is why we recommend El Poblado if it is your first time visiting or if you are only in Medellín for a short time.
The Wandering Paisa Backpackers Hostel, Laureles
Located in Laureles close to the metro and local party areas of La 70 and La 33, The Wandering Paisa is the best place to stay in Medellín for those seeking a more authentic experience. Here you will learn the local Paisa culture, with the hostel hosting weekly activities almost nightly, including free salsa classes, language exchanges, karaoke nights, and stand up comedy.
We stayed at The Wandering Paisa during our second stay in Medellín a few months later after traveling to the coast and back. Another Canadian friend met us here and we loved the area and hostel so much we stayed for over a month.
On top of exploring this more local area away from the tourist crowds, we were close to the metro allowing us to go on regular day trips to explore other popular and off the beaten locations Barrios such as Comuna 13, or be amazed at the exhibits in Parque Explora.
Overall, Laureles is the best area to stay if you want to avoid the tourist crowds of El Poblado, and have a more authentic experience in Medellín, while still having access to high quality restaurants and nightlife.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I stay in Medellín?
From our experience, we recommend staying at least a month to truly explore all the various barrios and things to do in Medellín. You could literally spend months here without getting bored as the possibilities are endless, and many awesome nearby pueblos and parks to explore when you want to escape the city for a day or weekend.
What is the best overall neighborhood to stay in Medellín?
Overall, Laureles is the best area to stay in Medellín. It has less tourists and crowds compared to El Poblado and El Centro, without lacking any amenities. Below area few highlights:
- The nightlife and dancing is abundant along La 70 and La 33, with a couple of the best salsa dancing clubs in the city, El Tibiri and Son Havana.
- With more locals situated in the area, you will find some of the best authentic Antioquia foods here, and at reasonable prices.
- There is an abundance of green space, with nearby parks scattered every few blocks, filled with locals every evening.
- The area is home to Estadio Atanasio Girardot, perfect for taking in a few Atletico Nacional soccer games, or exploring the other facilities adjacent to the stadium.
- The metro station is centrally located, providing quick access to other barrios of the city.
Which areas of Medellín should be avoided for stays or require more caution?
While some caution and common sense needs to be made whenever traveling in South America in general, most of the neighborhoods recommended in this post are safe.
The only area in this article requiring more care and attention is El Centro, which is notorious for pickpocketing during the daytime, and higher crime after dark. I personally would not stay in this area, but I can see the benefits it has to offer for some people. Otherwise, the remainder of our recommended neighborhoods are all safe places to stay in Medellin.
The Comuna 13 area should also be avoided at night, as it is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Medellín, once notorious for its high crime rate and drug trafficking. However, we highly recommend visiting this now vibrant neighborhood during the day, now known for its major transformation, street art, and cultural tours on offer.
How to find a furnished apartment in Medellín for Medium Length Stays?
There are a few options available for finding a furnished apartment or room for rent in Medellín, however it may take a bit of time to find the one right for you.
For stays longer than a month, the best resources available for searching for a room are CompartoApto.com or Facebook groups. CompartoApto.com has a wide range of rooms from budget to luxury, while listing in Facebook groups tend to be higher end. Note that some accommodations may require stays of minimum three to six months.
If your stay is shorter than a month you are better off staying in a budget hostel or AirBnb.
How to find an un-furnished apartment in Medellín for Long Term Stays?
There are many options available for finding a un-furnished apartment or room for rent in Medellín.
The best resources available for searching for an apartment is Espacio Urbano, which is where many real estate agencies list their properties. Other popular, more old-fashioned ways to find a rental are newspaper ads, bulletin boards in groceries stores and other public places, or by simply walking around the neighborhood you want to stay looking for advertisements on windows.
So that is our complete guide on the 6 best neighborhoods of where to stay in Medellin based on your interests, with various accommodation options for all budgets. We hope it has taught you everything you need to know to determine the best neighborhood for your stay.
In the off chance you are still undecided, our top recommendation in Medellín is hands down The Wandering Paisa Backpackers Hostel in Laureles.
We think Medellín is an amazing city with something to offer everyone, and we are already dreaming of our next visit! If you are looking for other cities and towns that are worth visiting, check out our articles on Guatape, La Guajira, or San Gil.
We hope you all have an amazing trip in Medellín and Colombia!