Medellín is the second most touristic city in Colombia. And one of the reasons why visitors enjoy and recommend the city so much is because of the variety of accommodations offered at a good price and good quality.

The area with the best quality of hotels and hostels, the best gastronomic offer and nightlife is El Poblado. But is it really the best? This will depend on your budget and the objective of your visit. El Poblado is an area that I highly recommend, but I must also warn you that it is the most expensive.

Although in general, if you compare Medellín with other cities in Colombia or Latin America, you will realize that you can choose very good options to stay at excellent prices and even the most exclusive areas have cheap options for all kinds of pockets.

Before choosing the area in which you want to stay, you should keep in mind that Medellín is a mountainous city that is divided into 16 “Comunas”. Medellin is also part of something called the “Metropolitan Area of ​​Medellín”, which is made up of other five smaller municipalities (Bello, Itagüí, Envigado, Sabaneta, La Estrella).

Not all the municipalities or all the communes are great, either because they are far away and not very connected to the tourist places of Medellín, but also because some of them are unsafe neighborhoods for visitors.

But don’t worry, the people of Medellín love to receive tourists and we have a series of quite extensive and diverse areas that will allow you to choose the best place according to your budget and the objectives of your trip.

In this post I am going to tell you which are the 5 best areas to choose on your next visit to the ‘Paisa’ capital.

El Poblado: the most exclusive area of ​​Medellín

Avg rate Hotels$70USD / night
Avg. rate Airbnb$60USD / night
HighlightsClose to great nightlife, bars and restaurantes
LowlightsMost expensive zone

El Poblado is a district located in the extreme south-east of the city. It hosts the business epicenter of Medellín: the main shopping centers, the largest hotel chains, nightlife and the best restaurants.

However, something that almost no guide tells you is that El Poblado is a very large and mountainous neighborhood, made up of several sub-sectors. And depending on what you want, choosing one sector or another can make the difference in making your stay in Medellín much more comfortable.

That’s why I am going to tell you about the best places in El Poblado to stay.

Milla de Oro (Golden Mile)

This is a hotel zone located on Avenida El Poblado, between the Santa Fe Shopping Center and the Dann Carlton hotel. A kilometer that is surrounded by business buildings and renowned national and international hotel chains.

In my opinion, it is the best area to stay in Medellín, whether you are traveling for business or for leisure. And the reason why I think this is because Milla de Oro  is a very safe sector, very modern, easy to walk and with very little distance between shopping centers, restaurants and renowned nightlife areas such as Parque Lleras and Provenza.

If you are one of the people who loves to go out at night to crowded areas, with a lot of life, but then return to rest in a quiet area and have a pleasant walk the next morning, this area is for you.

The Hotel Bambú offers the best balance between quality and price in this place.

Parque Lleras (Lleras park)

If you are one of those people who sleep late and go out late at night, staying in the surroundings of Parque Lleras is an excellent option for you. Be careful, I emphasize the word “surroundings”, since Parque Lleras is located on a very specific street full of bars and clubs, where I do not recommend staying.

In a couple of streets around you will find many accommodation options. From luxurious hotels with spectacular views of the city (such as the Hotel Diez, Hotel Haven or The Charlee hotel), to hostels like Malaika and Selina.

Since I am more of an intermediate option, I would tell you to stay at the Hotel Soy Local, which has a very youthful vibe but at the same time very comfortable spaces.

Before you book at Parque Lleras hotels, I give you a warning. If you are a very sensitive person with your sleep, avoid this area, since it is possible that several of the accommodation options are exposed to some noise from the streets and surrounding businesses.

Parque El Poblado (El Poblado Park)

Parque El Poblado is a 10-minute walk from Parque Lleras. It’s a slightly less crowded area, but it’s positioned itself because some of the coolest hostels in the city are located there. Also, if you are looking for a place to work, you have a WeWork a few meters away.

The accommodations in Parque El Poblado are of as good quality as those in Lleras, but a little bit cheaper. You also have some very good dining options nearby, although not as many as in Lleras.

If you are looking for a private room, I find Hotel 574 an amazing option: modern rooms, located on a quiet street from which you can easily walk to Parque El Poblado or Parque Lleras. In fact, this is in my opinion the best hotel in El Poblado.

But if you want to share a room, Hostal Masaya seems to me one of the coolest places in Medellín and you also have access to a rooftop from which you can take some incredible photos.

Ciudad del Río

Finally, if you want to have a more “local” vibe during your stay, Ciudad del Río is an excellent option within El Poblado. Of course, you must be willing to take a short taxi ride if you want to reach sectors such as El Lleras or Provenza. But it’s not a big deal.

What makes this area special is that it is a very residential sector, with open-air parks where you will see families, pets and you will be able to appreciate the day-to-day life of Medellín.

One of the great advantages of Ciudad del Río is that it is located right next to the Museum of Modern Art and Mercados del Río, the best gastronomic square in Medellín.

Here, without a doubt, the best option is to stay at Airbnbs or at the Ibis Hotel, which has a very abundant breakfast, comfortable rooms, quiet and perfect for resting.

Guayabal: the cheapest area near El Poblado

Avg rate HotelsNo hotels offer in this zone
Avg. rate Airbnb$25USD / night
HighlightsCheap zone
LowlightsVery few accomodation offers

Guayabal is an excellent option for travelers who want to be close to the main attractions of Medellín, without spending dozens of dollars every night, but still close to the best of the city’s nightlife.

Guayabal offers a limited offer of houses that have been adapted to receive tourists and digital nomads mainly through platforms such as Airbnb.

This neighborhood is a traditional working-class neighborhood of Medellín, but it is safe enough and it is a couple of kilometers from the best bars, restaurants in the city. Of course, you should keep in mind that there are no hotels there. I would also not recommend you to walk around that zone late at night: taking Taxi and Ubers seems like a better option.

Laureles: live like a local, sleep like a tourist

Avg rate Hotels$45USD / night
Avg. rate Airbnb$45USD / night
HighlightsLocal vibe and great restaurants
LowlightsFar from El Poblado

Given the great wave of tourists that has arrived in Medellín, Laureles has become one of the ideal areas for entertainment for local people. There you will be close to sectors such as Avenida Jardín, which is a street full of very high-quality bars and restaurants, some local designer stores and a couple of shopping centers.

If you are looking for nightlife, you will also be a few steps from Calle 70, which is a large street lined with bars and clubs where the music is less “internationalized” and much more based on the local rhythms enjoyed by paisas: salsa, vallenato, reggaeton and popular music.

If you are looking to stay in the heart of Laureles in a premium location, my suggestion is that you choose the Inntu hotel, which is located in Parque de Laureles and right next to Avenida Jardín, where you will find all the nightlife of bars and restaurants.

A much cheaper option for accommodation in the Laureles neighborhood is the Ayenda Boutique Laureles Home hotel. A place where you will have the same location as the Inntu hotel, but for half the price.

There are also several hostel options at super low prices (less than 20 dollars per night). The Wandering Paisa is a hostel to share rooms with a good vibe and located in the heart of Laureles.

But to be honest, if you want to live the local experience and save a little, my advice is to take an Airbnb. You will find super good prices and feel for a few days what it is like to live like one more paisa.

Estadio y Los Colores: safe and affordable residential area

Avg rate Hotels$30 USD / night
Avg. rate Airbnb$20 USD / night
HighlightsConvinient venue: supermarkets, stores and commerce in geral
LowlightsVery few hotel and hostals

Despite being a non-tourist disctrict with very few hotels or nightlife areas, it is an excellent option for long-term stays. Especially since in this sector there are many residential units with hundreds of buildings, supermarkets, hairdressers and multiple public transport options.

The area of Estadio and Los Colores is located in the surroundings of the Medellín Soccer Stadium (Atanasio Girardot), the place where the main sports competitions of the city and the most important concerts are held. By the way, if you are visiting Medellin to go to a concert, don’t think twice, this is the place.

Due to the urban composition of the sector, you will find very safe accommodation options in buildings and residential units with 24-hour surveillance. In this case, the best option is to find your accommodation through Airbnb.

Santa Elena: 100% natural experience

Avg. rate Airbnb$20 USD / night
Lo mejor de la zonaNatural experience and connection with local roots
Lo peor de la zonaVery few commercial offer

To close our ranking, I am going to recommend a completely different place: the township of Santa Elena, which is the largest rural area in Medellín, made up of tens of kilometers of forest, local farms and natural attractions.

If it’s your first time in Medellin, it’s definitely not worth spending your entire stay in this place. But if you are a nature lover, you will love one or two nights in Santa Elena.

One of the reasons why Santa Elena is so famous is because the peasant families of Medellín live there, who make the famous “Silletas” during “Feria de las Flores”. Traditional families make their living  from floriculture and agriculture. Even during the month of August you can visit their farms and appreciate first-hand the artisan process to make them.

Additionally, in Santa Elena is located the Parque Arví, the largest ecological reserve in Medellín and one of the must-sees if you are going to be in the city for at least a week.

The hotel offer in the area is very varied: from rooms in traditional farms or wooden cabins, to luxurious glamping that give you a special connection with nature.

In addition, in Santa Elena you will find the only free accommodation option in Medellín: camping in the open air. An activity that you can do at no cost in the vicinity of Parque Arví.

Recap

Medellín has hundreds of accommodation options that give you security, price and quality. If you want to maximize your experience as a tourist, stay in El Poblado. If you want a mix of “comfort” and local vibe, Laureles is the best option. If you want to live like a Medellinense, El Estadio and Los Colores. If you want a price, Guayabal. And if you want a total connection with nature, Santa Elena.