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.
Medellin 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.
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Where To Stay in Medellin
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.
Looking for our top recommendations for the best hotels in the city? Here are our top picks – they’re all located in charming and safe neighborhoods and will provide some of the best experiences the city has to offer.
Best Hotels in Medellin
For all the nuanced details about where to stay in Medellin and the best neighborhoods in Medellin for travelers, keep reading – we break it all down here!
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!
These are the best Medellin neighborhoods for travelers:
- El Poblado – Where to stay in Medellin to be at the center of the action.
- Laureles – Where to stay in Medellin for a low-key but vibrant feel, close to everything.
- Envigado – Where to stay in Medellin for digital nomads, families, and long-term travelers
- El Centro [La Candelaria]
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.
Keep reading for more on each of these vibrant Medellin neighborhoods, including our top Medellin hotel recommendations in each.
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Located south of Medellin’s vibrant El Centro neighborhood, El Poblado is the indisputably 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 – it’s one of the best things to do in Medellin. The streets are colorful and lively most of the day.
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.
Where To Stay in El Poblado
Masaya Medellin Hostal ($)
The famous (award-winning!) Los Patios Hostel down the street gets a lot of the attention in Medellin but is actually quite overpriced and noisy these days – skip it and head to Masaya Medellin instead.
Masaya Medellin is a much better choice for staying in Medellin on a budget. This hostel has all types of configurations of rooms, a rooftop bar with pool, and plenty of activities to meet other travelers. It’s everything you’re looking for in a hostel in Medellin.
Reviews and Bookings: Masaya Medellin
Selina Medellin ($ – $$)
Selina is a popular chain of hostels and coworking / coliving spaces throughout Colombia and the rest of Latin America, making Selina Medellin the perfect spot for digital nomads in the city. Even if you’re not planning on working remotely from Medellin, Selina Medellin offers great rates on dorm rooms or lovely private rooms.
Reviews and Bookings: Selina Medellin
Hotel Du Parc ($$)
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.
Reviews and Bookings: Hotel du Parc
23 Hotel ($$ – $$$)
This modern, glimmering hotel is a gem in the heart of Medellin. Somehow 23 Hotel is a modern hotel that 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 onto balconies with greenery and incredible views over the city.
The food at the 23 Hotel restaurant is spectacular, too – enjoy it on the rooftop pool deck, with an unmatched view of the city.
Reviews and Bookings: 23 Hotel
Medellin Marriott Hotel ($$$)
One of the nicest hotels in the city, the Medellin Marriott 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. The Medellin Marriott 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.
Reviews and Bookings: Medellin Marriott Hotel
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.
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 harder 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 don’t serve this area quite as well as 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 in 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!
Where To Stay in Laureles
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.
Reviews and Bookings: The Wandering Paisa
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 and coliving space has access to all the amenities you could want: a 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.
Reviews and Bookings: Gaston Coliving
Inntu Hotel ($$)
One of the nicest hotels in the area, Inntu Hotel is a great choice for luxury on a budget. This two-tower modern building is new and has great amenities like a rooftop pool deck with an incredible view of the city, plus continental breakfast, and a great location in the best part of Laureles.
Reviews and Bookings: Inntu Hotel
Envigado is an upscale residential neighborhood further out from the center of Medellin. This dreamy neighborhood is perfect for families, long-term travelers or expats, digital nomads, and those looking to escape a bit of the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.
To be honest, Envigado is a bit far from the center of the city to be a good area to stay in Medellin for the average traveler. It will take a while to get to El Centro or El Poblado – the areas you’ll want to frequent – for it to make sense to stay here if you’re in town for just a short time.
However, if you’re traveling with family or looking to hang around for longer, Envigado should be one of your top choices. It’s safe, vibrant, and chill enough to feel like you can really settle in.
Where To Stay in Envigado
Pandora’s Coliving House ($ – $$)
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 who spend months here. The coworking space is great, the rooms are comfortable, and the owner and his family are lovely.
Reviews and Bookings: Pandora’s Coliving House
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.
Reviews and Bookings: Arame Hotel
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.
Less residential than the other neighborhoods we’ve recommended here, El Centro doesn’t have 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.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.