where to stay in medellin colombia

Where to Stay in Medellin (+ BEST Medellin Neighborhoods)

Its dark history a thing of the past, Medellin is now a cosmopolitan metropolis at the cutting edge – and a must-visit travel destination. When planning your visit to the city, one of the most important decisions you’ll make will be where to stay in Medellin.

The city is gigantic, running down the center of a long valley, and making the trip from one end to the other more than an hour of travel at least! You’ll want to make sure you choose to stay in one of the best Medellin neighborhoods for travelers.

In this ultimate guide to where to stay in Medellin, we’re breaking down the best areas to stay in Medellin for every kind of traveler, including backpackers, luxury travelers, and digital nomads. Plus the best hostels and hotels in the city at every price point. Let’s dive in.

medellin hotels

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Medellin Neighborhoods

Medellin is sprawling, Colombia’s second-largest city and one of the largest cities in Latin America. Wedged between towering mountainsides in the Aburrá Valley, the city is long and skinny, which makes transportation difficult.

Thankfully, the Medellin metro is a great (and safe!) resource for travelers. Inexpensive and reaching across the city, you’ll easily get the hang of the above-ground metro and enjoy taking it. It’s often quicker and easier to take the metro than it is to take private transportation on the roads. If you’re prefer to take private transportation, taxis and ridesharing with apps like Uber are popular and quite inexpensive. 

Medellin’s size means there are countless neighborhoods and sectors in the city, and just to get from one side of the city to another can take more than an hour. It’s important to make sure you know where you’d like to stay before booking. It will save you time and money to explore the city better!

While Medellin has grown leaps and bounds in safety over the past few decades – from the world’s most dangerous city to one of Colombia’s safest! – it’s important to stick to safer areas of the city. Check out our complete Medellin Safety Guide for even more details about safe areas of the city. 

Where to Stay in Medellin

These neighborhoods are the best neighborhoods to stay in Medellin as a visitor. You’ll want to choose from one of these best places to stay in Medellin for a safe and exciting stay. Choose the neighborhood that sounds best for you, then read our neighborhood summaries later in this article. 

El Poblado 

El Poblado is where to stay in Medellin to be at the center of the action. Don’t have time to read more about the neighborhood later in this article? Check out these top accommodation recommendations in El Poblado.

Laureles

Laureles is where to stay in Medellin for a low-key but vibrant neighborhood close to everything. Don’t have time to read more about the neighborhood later in this article? Check out these top accommodation recommendations in Laureles.

Envigado

Envigado is where to stay in Medellin for digital nomads, families, and long-term travelers. Don’t have time to read more about the neighborhood later in this article? Check out these top accommodation recommendations in Envigado. 

El Centro [La Candelaria]

Tempted to stay in the downtown center of town, near the major tourist attractions of the city? I’d recommend against it for most travelers. While in all likelihood you’ll be complete fine here, the neighborhood can get a little bit sketchy at night.

I say this having lived for about six weeks in El Centro myself while in Medellin! Nothing happened to me while living there, even when I walked alone. But for short-term visitors to the city, there is no need to stay in this area when other nearby neighborhoods have so much to offer, and are safer.

best medellin neighborhoods

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El Poblado

Located south of Medellin’s vibrant El Centro neighborhood, El Poblado is the indisputable most popular place to stay in the city. El Poblado has plenty of new accommodation options for visitors at every price point – from basic hostels to shimmering new hotels. 

The two centers of the El Poblado neighborhood are the vibrant Parque El Poblado and Parque Lleras. More shaded squares than true parks, these areas form a central meeting point in the city, and are surrounded by some of the area’s best restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Make sure to explore the streets surrounding the square and all the cool shops, galleries, and restaurants you’ll find here. The streets are colorful and lively most of the day. With so much to see and do here, and with by far the largest concentration of accommodation options in the city, this is definitely where to stay in Medellin for almost every traveller.

Worried you won’t be close enough to all the things to do in Medellin that are found in the El Centro neighborhood? It’s a common concern for visitors to Medellin, but don’t worry about distance. While it takes about 15-20 minutes to reach El Centro from El Poblado, El Centro isn’t completely safe at night, so you wouldn’t want to stay here. El Poblado is the nearest safe neighborhood in the city

Overall, I recommend that most visitors – especially visitors just in Medellin for two weeks or less – choose to stay in El Poblado. Close to all the restaurants, cafes, bars, and attractions you could ever want, this is the best place to stay in the city. 

Masaya Medellin Hostal ($)

The famous (award-winning!) Los Patios Hostel down the street gets a lot of the attention in Medellin, but is actually quite overpriced and noisy these days – skip it and head to Masaya Medellin instead. 

Masaya Medellin is a much better choice for staying in Medellin on a budget. This hostel has all types of configurations of rooms, a rooftop bar with pool, and plenty of activities to meet other travelers. It’s everything you’re looking for in a hostel in Medellin.

Selina Medellin ($ – $$)

If you’re traveling on a budget in Colombia and haven’t heard of Selina, you will become well-acquainted with it toon. This chain of hostels with coworking spaces is popular throughout Colombia and the rest of Latin America, and Selina Medellin is the perfect spot for digital nomads in the city.

Even if you’re not planning on working remotely from Medellin, the Selina Medellin hostel offers great rates on dorm rooms or lovely private rooms. 

Hotel Du Parc ($$)

The Hotel du Parc is a perfect option for travelers who aren’t looking for a hostel stay, but aren’t looking to break the bank. This modern hotel is comfortable with spacious rooms and full kitchens, plus they serve an excellent breakfast and even have a spa on-site. Views over the city from the rooftop and the balconies are stunning.

23 Hotel ($$ – $$$)

This modern, glimmering hotel is a gem in the heart of Medellin. Somehow 23 Hotel is a modern hotel manages to make guests feel as if they’re in the middle of a tropical rainforest while in the center of the city; clean lines and floor-to-ceiling windows open on to balconies with greenery, and incredible views over the city.

The food at the hotel’s restaurant is spectacular, too – enjoy it on the rooftop pool deck, with an unmatched view of the city. 

Medellin Marriott Hotel ($$$)

One of the nicest hotels in the city, the Medellin Marriot sits on the hillside a bit south of central El Poblado. Here you’ll find luxurious rooms, a stunning rooftop pool deck with lovely views, delicious food, and every other amenity you can imagine. If this sumptuous hotel were located in any other country, it would be double or triple the price. 

The Medellin Marriot is a little challenging to walk to from the main part of El Poblado, but would be just a 2 or 3 minute taxi ride. 

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Laureles

Laureles is another fantastic choice for where to stay in Medellin, specifically if you’re looking to stay in an area a little less nightlife-focused than El Poblado. The neighborhood is relatively upscale and quite vibrant, with plenty of restaurants and cafes.

Laureles is also a fantastic place to stay if you’re interested in football (soccer). Medellin’s soccer stadium – Estadio Atanasio Girardot – is located in Laureles, so you can go to a cheap soccer game – which I recommend! – or just people watch before and after games, which can sometimes be even more entertaining.

I recommend staying in Laureles if you’re looking to spend any more than about a week and a half or two weeks in Medellin. Any longer than that and you’ll want to feel settled in, an atmosphere that might be a little more hard to achieve in the most boisterous El Poblado.

Laureles is also quite centrally located, almost in between El Poblado and El Centro, so the two areas of the city that you’re likely to frequent are just next door. The metros doesn’t serve this area quite as well as it does El Centro or El Poblado, but you’re not too far – about a 15-20 minute walk depending on where you’re staying.

The accommodation options you’ll find in Laureles are generally on the lower to middle range price-wise. It’s also home to a few coliving spaces if you’re interested in these kinds of accommodations. This would be an excellent neighborhood to call home as a digital nomad!

The Wandering Paisa ($)

The most popular hostel in Medellin outside of El Poblado, The Wandering Paisa is an excellent choice for a well-equipped hostel. The hostel is very social, and there are frequent activities like language exchanges and free salsa classes to get in touch with the city and meet new people. The spaces are well-equipped, and it’s close to La 70, which is the most lively part of Laureles.

Gaston Coliving ($ – $$)

If you’re looking for coliving and coworking in Medellin this might be the place for you. Even if you’re just in search of a great-value place to stay for a few days, consider Gaston Coliving. This is one of the best places to stay on a budget in the area.

This friendly and modern hostel / coliving space has access to all the amenities you could want: big kitchen, great common areas, a deck with hammocks, and friendly staff. Plus, it’s located a few blocks from La 70, the most lively street in Laureles, home to restaurants, bars, and cafes. 

Inntu Hotel ($$)

One of the nicest hotels in the area, Inntu Hotel is a great choice for luxury on a budget. This two-tower modern building is new and has great amenities like a rooftop pool deck with an incredible view of the city, plus continental breakfast, and a great location in the best part of Laureles.

medellin neighborhoods

Envigado

Envigado is an upscale residential neighborhood further out from the center of Medellin. This dreamy neighborhood is perfect for families, long-term travelers or expats, digital nomads, and those looking to escape a bit of the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. 

To be honest, Envigado is a bit far from the center of the city to be a good area to stay in Medellin for the average traveler. It will take a while to get to El Centro or El Poblado – the areas you’ll want to frequent – for it to make sense to stay here if you’re in town for just a short time.

However, if you’re traveling with family or looking to hang around for longer, Envigado should be one of your top choices. It’s safe, vibrant, and chill enough to feel like you can really settle in.

Pandora’s Coliving House ($ – $$)

If you’re looking for a hostel or longer-term coliving spot for your time in Medellin, Pandora’s Coliving House is an excellent option. This spot has a great mix of short-term travelers and long-term residents that spend months here. The coworking space is great, the rooms are comfortable, and the owner and his family are lovely.

Arame Hotel ($$)

If you’re looking for a hotel for your time in Envigado – rather than a coworking space or apartment for rent (a popular option in the area!), Arame Hotel is the best option. The building is modern without being cold, and the rooms are large and clean. The view is incredible, and the location is excellent.

Travel Essential

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candelaria medellin

El Centro [La Candelaria]

As a traveler visiting Medellin, you’ll likely spend a good portion of your time in El Centro. Also known as La Candelaria, this historic center of the city is home to many of Medellin’s best museums, artisan markets, and other things you’ll be interested in experiencing.

Generally, when traveling it’s a good idea to choose a place to stay that is nearest to the attractions you’d like to see. This way, you’ll save time (and money!) exploring the city. However, I don’t recommend staying in El Centro while you’re visiting Medellin as a traveler. While the area is quite safe during the day (though be careful of pickpocketing!), it can get a little bit sketchy at night.

A less residential neighborhood than the others we’ve recommended here, there aren’t too many people around at night. It isn’t exactly the kind of place you’d want to be when returning from a late dinner or drinks in another part of the city. Instead, choose a place to stay in El Poblado, Laureles, or Envigado, and you’ll feel much more secure as a traveler in Medellin.