Where to stay in Medellin, Colombia; The 6 Coolest Neighbourhoods
I spent a few months in Medellin, Colombia studying spanish. Being based in Medellin was a great choice to recover from almost five months of constantly moving through Latin America, and as I traveled to every country in South America (12 if you’re curious!). I was feeling burned out after not spending any longer than three nights anywhere, and often just one night, change, night bus, change. It was time to lay down some roots, at least for a few weeks. But I was curious about where to stay in Medellin, so I did some research about the different neighbourhoods before committing, let me share that research with you and you can chose the best area to stay in Medellin yourself.
NOTE: If you’re coming to Medellin and you’re going to use Airbnb, like I did, here is $45 off your next booking!
Why Choose Medellin as a Base?
I’m a digital nomad, (or at least I was until I bought my place in Thailand). So travelling around the world, in my attempt to visit every country (how many countries are there in the world? 197!) I often get burned out. There are a few hot-spots for digital nomads around the world, Bangkok and Chiang Mai (where I used to Teach English) in Thailand, Bali (Canggu more specifically) in Indonesia, recently Estonia and Georgia have appeared as popular choices too, and in South America, Medellin is that hotspot.
So, Medellin was the place I choose to recover. One of my best friends, Anthony from Man Vs Clock, was here. Medellin offers so much, big enough for great food and nightlife, but within the mountains so you can escape and have an adventure in nature within an hour or so. Perfect.
Getting Around Meddelin?
The Best Areas to Stay in Medellin
1) El Poblado
The place to be. Ok, it’s maybe not the most genuine reflection of Medellin lifge thanks to so many foreigners living in the area, but if you’re after great restaurants, fun vibes, happening night-life then El Poblado is your spot. Centred around ‘Parque Lleras’, the park is a real hotspot for gathering, drinking, music each night, especially on the weekends. If it’s your first time in Medellin, go here, You won’t regret it!
NOTE: Not the cheapest area, but IMO the best choice for a wild time.
South of happening El Poblado, Envigado is the second most popular choice for where to stay in Medellin. It’s residential, which means beautiful boulevards, tree-lined streets, and a lot of greenery. It’s a brilliant place to base yourself, with El Poblado on your doorstep, but your place being slightly quiter. Envigado is the best choice if you’re going to stay a little longer than a week or two.
NOTE: Classier than El Poblado, perfect for 30-somethings.
Along with Envigado, most digital nomads, or longer-term expats choose Laureles as their place to base. Pricier, high-end accommodation with some swanky options to stay short-term. It’s also awesome because it’s right in the thick of the football culture, with the stadium within the suburb. The nightlife here is a little classier than El Poblado, so more wine-bars, less public park drinking. You get the gist.
NOTE: Ideal for digital nomads who want to work, but also enjoy themselves
4) Patio Bonito
Just south of crazy El Poblado, and home to countless hotels and hostels, Patio Bonito is walking distance from Parque Lleras, but without the craziness. It considers itself much ‘cooler’ than it’s wild brother. Great spot for food, and online digital nomad stuff.
NOTE: Lots of start-ups in this area.
Sabaneta is centred around the Parque Sabaneta, a cool square to hang out, and chill. The area is popular for long-term expats, and it’s super close to Envigado. Expect to see successful, longer-term digital nomads and long-term expats dotted around here. An older crowd.
If Sabaneta is too upper-middle-class for you, then Belen, South of Laureles, has a bit more bite. In Medellin’s violent past, Belen used to be a no-go, but much like Brooklyn in New York or Brixton in London. Belen is on the rise, it’s a great place to invest too for that very reason. It’s made even more popular by Cerro Nutibara, where you can hike and cycle to your heart’s content.
My Thoughts on Where To Stay in Medellin
I had 2 AirBnBs when I stayed and studied Spanish in Medellin (PS – Here’s a voucher for $45 of AirBnB too!), first I stayed in El Poblado for a crazy introduction to life in Medellin, then I moved to Laureles for a higher-end lifestyle. If you’re younger or wilder, choose El Poblado. If you’ve got work to do, Envigo or Laureles are good choices. Personally, I wouldn’t live anywhere outside these 6 neighbourhoods though, so I hope that helps. Here are some pics of my place, I paid about $650 a month here, enjoy!
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