A useful accommodation guide to Medellín, Colombia. Features information about the best areas, neighborhoods, recommendations for where to stay, as well as a list of the best Medellín hotels for every budget.
I think it’s safe to say that a visit to the city of Medellín should be on everybody’s South American bucket list!
While the city was one of the most dangerous cities in the world for quite some time, Medellín has rebounded on a massive scale and is now a flourishing metropolis that is rich in history, innovation, and art.
So, you’re finally planning a visit to the Colombian City of Eternal Spring? I’ve got you covered in this up-to-date and comprehensive accommodation guide featuring the best neighborhoods and places to stay in Medellín. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll find it in this detailed accommodation and neighborhood guide.
- Quick Roundup: The Best Hotels in Medellín
- Where to Stay in Medellín: The 5 Best Neighborhoods
- After Medellín: More Colombia Travel Guides
Quick Roundup: The Best Hotels in Medellín
In a rush? Here’s a quick article summary of the best places to stay in Medellín, including the four best hotel picks.
The most popular area to stay in Medellín is El Poblado. This is the main tourist district and features plenty of great cafes, nightclubs, restaurants, and activities.
However, if you’re the type who would prefer to detour from the gringo trail, check out Laureles (my favorite), Envigado, or Belén. Below are four great recommendations.
- Elcielo Hotel & Restaurant – The ultimate luxury experience in El Pobaldo. This is the top-rated 5-star hotel in the city and combines lush greens with a modern wood interior for the perfect luxury ambiance.
- 23 Hotel Medellin – A mid-range jungle-themed hotel with a rooftop pool and access to a hot tub overlooking El Poblado.
- Hotel Casa Laureles – The best-rated hotel in the alternative neighborhood of Laureles. Excellent 4-star luxury for a fraction of the price.
- Rango Hostel Boutique – Probably the best backpacker hostel in Medellín. Features an epic rooftop bar and plenty of co-work and common spaces to hang out.
Where to Stay in Medellín: The 5 Best Neighborhoods
Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia (after Bogota) with an estimated population of approximately 4 million people.
However, it certainly feels like one of the biggest cities I’ve ever visited! That’s because its unique position in the Aburrá Valley combined with its steep mountains means you can see far into the city no matter where you are! Also, the endless, unique brick skyscrapers dominate the valley resulting in a unique and ever-expanding cityscape unlike anywhere else.
Before I get into the hotel and accommodation recommendations, below is a quick run-down of the 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Medellín.
- El Poblado – the upbeat tourist hub of Medellín
- Laureles – university district with a vibrant nightlife and trendy cafe scene
- Envigado – quiet residential area close to El Poblado
- Belén – residential area best for cheaper accommodation and long-term rentals
- El Centro/La Candelaria – Medellín’s historical city center and business hub (downtown Medellin)
Below, I’ll go into a bit more detail about each neighborhood in Medellín including the pros and cons of staying in each.
Furthermore, you’ll also find a few hand-picked recommendations for each area to help you decide where to spend your trip.
El Poblado – Best Tourist Area to Stay for Luxury & Nightlife
Upscale El Poblado is the most popular area for visitors to Medellín and it’s easy to see why. It offers a great location, with many restaurants, bars, and shops close by, as well as being home to some of the best hotels in the city.
El Poblado is a generally safe area and is the best area for finding luxury hotels and those interested in live music venues. If you’re looking for a place to stay where you can enjoy all the best that Medellín has to offer, El Poblado is going to be the place for you.
Pros & Cons of Staying in Poblado
- Best Medellín neighborhood for nightlife and music
- Lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance
- Great place to meet other travelers
- Vibrant atmosphere
- Usually a loud neighborhood – Colombian hotels usually have poor sound insulation
- Higher prices per hotel than in other neighborhoods
- Most hotels are within a 15 minutes or more walking distance of the nearest metro station
El Poblado Highlights & Attractions
El Poblado is one of the most popular tourist areas in Medellín. It is well known for its luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, many shopping malls, and lively nightlife scene. In fact, there are dozens of trendy cafes for working, shopping centers, outdoor concerts, and events, all within walking distance of central Poblado.
There’s also the famous El Castillo Museo y Jardines, which houses amazing art and sculptures. The main restaurant and nightlife area is called El Parque Lleras, where you will find loads of bars, street vendors, live music, and great food (try bandeja paisa).
Where to Stay In El Poblado
Below are the top 5 best boutique hotels and budget options worth booking in the popular neighborhood of El Poblado.
Elcielo Hotel & Restaurant
Located in the heart of El Poblado, this 5-star hotel is within walking distance of some of the best bars and restaurants in the city.
The Elcielo Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a bar, and an onsite restaurant.
This hotel is located in a safe area and close to El Poblado park and within walking distance of Parque Lleras and other interesting attractions. Of course, being a 5-star offering, you’ll get impeccable room service and you’ll be guaranteed a luxury experience.
The Charlee Hotel
The Charlee Hotel is also located in El Poblado and similarly to the other luxury options, Charlee features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, excellent room service, and free wi-fi access.
At this Medellín hotel, you’ll find a retro/modern design throughout the facility which creates a stunning luxury atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of a big buffet breakfast, then this is one of the best in the city! The restaurant Lucia is also on-site and one of the best places to eat in Medellín. Luckily, you can work that breakfast off in the gym which even has a steam bath!
The hotel staff are also very helpful and can provide great recommendations for what to do in Medellín during your stay.
The Click Clack Hotel Medellín
See a theme occurring here? Yes, El Poblado is the best neighborhood in the city, especially when it comes to high-end resorts.
The Click Clack is in a great location, close to El Poblado Park, Parque Lleras, and the El Poblado Metro Station.
Like the others on this list, it also features an excellent restaurant and bar.
Each room includes desks for working, a large bed, TV, wifi and a private bathroom. Additionally, the outdoor pool overlooks the city of Medellín and is the perfect place to unwind.
23 Hotel Medellín – Best Budget Hotel in Poblado
In terms of location, you really can’t beat 23 Hotel Medellín, which is smack-bang in the heart of El Pobaldo, the best neighborhood in Medellín.
As you might expect, there are lots of restaurants and bars around, and the panoramic views from this jungle-themed hotel are incredible.
Additionally, guests will find a rooftop hot tub, as well as a large terrace with even grander views. Overall, 23 Hotel has a great reputation of offering amazing comfort, a fantastic free breakfast, and a relaxing ambiance, all for a decent price.
Rango Hostel Boutique
Looking for the best hostel in El Poblado? Here you have it. Rango Hostel Boutique is an amazing Medellín hostel that’s full of life, color, and a friendly, uplifting vibe. This one is popular with solo travelers and backpackers who want to meet other travelers since there are loads of activities including table tennis within the hostel.
If you’re thinking “dingy backpacker place”, don’t. This is very much a “boutique” hostel option, complete with a roof-top swimming pool and bar, an immaculate shared kitchen, and clean dorms.
Laureles – Best Medellín Neighborhood For an Authentic Experience
Laureles is a great neighborhood to stay in if you’re looking for a more laid-back and local atmosphere.
This area is known for its parks and green spaces, as well as its many restaurants and coffee shops. The neighborhood Laureles is very much a university district, and the majority of its inhabitants are students, young expats, and digital nomads.
As a result, you’ll find a lively bar and restaurant scene and the neighborhood comes to life every night.
Pros & Cons of Staying in Laureles
- Loads of amazing restaurants and places to eat
- Generally cheaper than El Poblado
- More authentic Colombia travel experience– hang out with local crowds
- Great nightlife with a varying music scene (not only Reggaeton)
- Close to 70 Avenue (Avenida 70) – loads of attractions
- Less hotel and hostel options
- Slightly harder to meet other travelers
Highlights in Laureles
If you’re looking for things to do in the neighborhood, you won’t find a shortage! Laureles is close to 70 Avenue (Avenida 70), which has loads of attractions and restaurants.
There are also loads of restaurants, trendy cafes, co-working spaces, and bars, especially off the streets leading from Circular 1. If you’re looking to do some shopping, Uni Centro is also one of the largest shopping malls in the city. The relaxing park and historical village of Pueblito Paisa is also very close by.
There’s also a free recreation area called Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot which is the largest sports complex in the city. Here you’ll find basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks, and gyms, which are one of the most popular places to do some exercise in the city.
Perhaps the biggest attraction in this neighborhood is the Atanasio Girardot Stadium, which is the place to go if you want to watch a game of Colombian futbol.
Where to Stay In Laureles
Below are the top 3 best hotels & accommodation options in the neighborhood of El Poblado.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Laureles, you’ll find that it is much more affordable than in El Poblado. Hotel Cavalta is a great example. This is a 5-star hotel but you can find rooms at almost half the price of comparable hotels in El Pobaldo.
Cavalta is located close to Avenue 70 and is within walking distance of many restaurants. However, many guests tend to eat their meals here, since the on-site restaurant has some of the best reviews in the city.
Upstairs, you’ll also find a rooftop hot tub and an outdoor terrace!
Hotel Casa Laureles
Hotel Casa Laureles is a popular pick for travelers looking for a 4-star option at an excellent price. This hotel offers spacious rooms with garden views, great wifi, a large bed, a private bathroom, and a mini bar.
Furthermore, reviews rave about the excellent buffet breakfast which offers fresh fruit & bakery sweets.
The Wandering Paisa
The Wandering Paisa is often referred to as the best backpacker hostel in Laureles. Conveniently located, this Medellín hostel has a huge shared lounge area, outdoor terrace, a games room, and of course, a bar.
The private rooms and dorms on offer at the Wandering Paisa are colorful and clean. There’s always a great vibe at this hostel, which means it’s a great spot to meet other backpackers who are usually starting or ending their Colombia trip in Medellín.
If you’re looking for a cheap backpacker place with an excellent atmosphere, then the Wandering Paisa is a popular choice.
Envigado – Best Place to Stay for a Quieter Alternative
Envigado is a great neighborhood for visitors who want to experience regular life in the city of Medellín. This area is known as a safe residential area. And, while there’s not as much going on as in Laureles and Poblado, Envigado is still an excellent choice.
This is especially true for families, digital nomads, and those looking for the best place to stay in Medellín for a long visit.
Pros & Cons of Staying in Envigado
- Quiet neighborhood
- Very safe
- Great, cheap options for those wanting to stay long term
- Popular expat area
- Good public transport options around the city
- Less noisy than El Poblado
- Not much of a nightlife scene
- Further from the main attractions in Medellín
- Harder to meet other travelers.
Highlights In Envigado
Truthfully, Envigado is an excellent place to stay in Medellín, especially if you’re a digital nomad or if you want cheap accommodation. We stayed here for a few nights during our visits to Medellín and while we treated it as a rest-stop, there are some main attractions nearby as well.
The most notable attraction in this Medellín neighborhood of Envigado is Parque Envigado. This is a large garden surrounding a beautiful church where many locals come to sit and relax. You can also try to play a game of Cancha de Tejo Envigado, which is an interesting clay-throwing game you can play or watch at the Polideportivo Sur De Envigado.
If you’re looking to learn Spanish, there are also loads of English schools in this area. Don’t miss the Colombia Immersion Friday Night Language Exchange– which is a weekly event where you can meet people interested in learning English or Spanish while sipping beer and eating delicious snacks.
For general day-to-day life, you’ll have easy access to local grocery stores (cheaper than Exito), Lavanderías (laundries), and public transportation.
Where to Stay in Envigado
Does Envigado sound like the best area to stay in Medellín for you? Here are three hotel recommendations you can’t miss.
Want a relaxing base that you can use to explore the city? Arame Hotel is a great option that is conveniently located close to local transport and a large shopping district.
The rooms are very comfortable and spacious, with a mini bar, private bathroom and TV included. You also get all the basic luxuries like air conditioning, hot water showers, and large, comfortable beds.
This hotel is also just a 2.5-kilometer walk from the Castle Museum, which is another notable attraction in this neighborhood.
Espectaculares Apartamentos Deluxe
For large families or those traveling in a big group, my top recommendation for where to stay in Medellín is the Espectaculares Apartamentos Deluxe in Envigado. This is a large, spacious apartment that you can book online for a cheap price.
This apartment features a fully-equipped kitchen with a modern layout, spectacular views over the entire city, and even a washing machine!
Like most of my Medellín accommodation recommendations, the location is great. You’ll find it’s close to public transport and the streets are very safe.
Hotel Casa Madero
Looking for a unique place to stay in Medellín? Check out Hotel Casa Madero, which is located on a quiet street on the mountain slopes of the city. While this one feels like you’re tucked away in the countryside, these bungalows with cabin-style rooms and a loft are still just 11 kilometers from the center of Medellín and just 1.5 kilometers from the Castle Museum.
Furthermore, you’ll still find all the comforts here like restaurants and fast wifi, while being able to enjoy a warm outdoor fireplace.
Belén – Best Neighborhood in Medellín For Long-term Stays
Looking for long-term accommodation in Medellín? Perhaps you want to experience an authentic neighborhood with far fewer expats and tourists?
Belén is my fourth recommendation for where to stay in Medellín, and there are some great accommodation options here are very affordable prices. We lived in Belén for just over a month and it was an excellent place to work and you can live very affordably here.
Pros & Cons of Belén Neighborhood
- Lots of cheap restaurants
- Large and booming residential neighborhoods
- Close to the Los Molinos Shopping Center
- Close to the Olaya Herrera Airport (international & domestic flights)
- Not a good place to meet other travelers
- Hardly anyone speaks English here – basic Spanish is essential
- Large district and public transport options can be further away than other neighborhoods (depends on where you stay)
Highlights In and Near Belén
Belén is a beautiful residential area where a lot of Medellín locals live. There aren’t hundreds of hotels or hostels here, but visitors will find many long-term accommodations and a few very affordable short-term options as well.
The main attractions include Belén Park and the nearby Pueblito Paisa. Laureles, Comuna 13, the metro cable cars, and other areas of interest are also quite close-by. The scenic viewpoint hike called Cerro de las Tres Cruces is also found just outside this neighborhood.
Where to Stay in Belén
Does Belén sound like the best area to stay in Medellín for you? Here are my three top picks of the best hotels in this neighborhood.
Ayenda Zona Verde
The Ayenda Zona Verde is a very well-rated hotel featuring a stylish combination of modern decor and natural elements. Each room is very spacious and some include beautiful forest views.
This is a great option for where to stay in Medellín for visitors wanting to check out Ecotourism Park Arví and Belens Park, since they are both very close. There are also plenty of local cafes, bars, and restaurants in this part of the neighborhood.
Want an affordable long-term option with all the amenities and close to Belen Park and restaurants? 80Cooliving is an awesome apartment with a fully equipped kitchen (including stove, and fridge) which is great if you want to practice your Colombian cooking.
This apartment is just 600 meters from Belen Park and the view from the rooftop terrace spans over the mountains and the surrounding barrios.
International House Co-Living Hostel
Are you a digital nomad or an expat looking to network or get some work done in Medellín? International House is a hub for entrepreneurs, expats, and remote workers looking to meet like-minded people in the heart of the city.
This co-working hostel offers cheap accommodation in a great area and includes all the facilities and amenities you need. As one of the leading co-working spaces in Medellín, you can also expect fast (100mb/s+) internet, with comfortable work desks and plenty of power outlets.
El Centro / La Candeleria – Medellín’s Central Neighborhood
Okay, unlike many cities in the South America, downtown Medellín, known also as El Centro, or La Candeleria isn’t actually the best place to stay for tourists.
That’s because this region is mostly an administrative and business district, and unfortunately does attract some petty crime (especially at night). In saying that, if you’re a business traveler or need a night stay close to Medellín’s museums, there are some great options, though I wouldn’t recommend using it as a long-term base.
Pros & Cons of Staying in Downtown Medellín (El Centro / La Candelaria)
- Lots of museums and historical attractions here
- Central business hub which is great for business travelers
- Lots of large shopping malls
- Cheap accommodation
- Considered unsafe at night
- Petty crime (pickpocketing) is common
- Very busy and not very tourist-friendly
Highlights at El Centro / La Candelaria
Okay, while I’d choose one of the other neighborhoods in Medellín over El Centro, there are loads of attractions here. These include the Basilica of our Lady of Candelaria (church), the Mudeo de Antioquia, Catedral Basilica Metropolitana, the Mega Mall Center, Parque de Las Luces, and Plaza Botero.
If you choose El Centro, then you can also go on a Free Walking Tour from the metro stop.
Where to Stay in El Centro
Looking for a place to stay in El Centro? Check out the below three hotels.
If I had to choose one hotel for where to stay in Medellín’s business area, I’d choose Hotel Gallery. This is close to the center of the city and just a 5-minute walk from the metro line.
The rooms at Hotel Gallery are very classy and feature amazing art throughout. There’s also a hot tub in the room, and a restaurant on-site. Best of all, this hotel offers rooms at a fraction of the cost of similar hotels in El Poblado.
Another great and comfortable hotel close to the metro station is the 61Prado Hotel. This hotel features a homie European design and is close to several of the best restaurants and bars near La Candelaria.
There’s also an excellent terrace and great showers (with warm water)– something that you won’t find in many Medellín hotels at this price point.
For business travelers looking for an easy, comfortable, and affordable place to stay in Medellín, make sure to check out Mandala Hotel.
This hotel offers bright, modern accommodations and is close to the Our Lady of Candelaria Cathedral. Best of all, the hotel can arrange international or domestic airport transfers, which makes a quick visit to the city very easy.
After Medellín: More Colombia Travel Guides
And that’s a wrap for this Medellín accommodation mega-guide. I hope that this article has been useful for planning your visit to this amazing city in Latin America, and that you now have a better idea for where to stay.
Otherwise, check out some of my other articles for more travel blogs and inspiration for your adventures in the country.