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Where to Stay in Medellín

Exploring the Best Neighborhoods: Where to Stay in Medellín, Colombia

So, you’re going to visit Medellín, Colombia? Well, you’ve already made an amazing choice, congratulations! Medellín is one of the most exciting cities in Latin America. If you’re not sure what to do, you should make another great choice and visit our page on What to do In Medellín! Long gone are the days of Pablo Escobar and in are the days of easy access to some of the best tourist sites in Colombia.

Nestled in the scenic Aburrá Valley, Medellín, Colombia, has emerged as a vibrant and captivating destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Known as the "City of Eternal Spring" for its mild climate, Medellín boasts a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm.

Choosing the right place to stay is not always the most obvious thing to do, but in this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the best neighborhoods in Medellín, highlighting their unique features and attractions to help you make an informed decision. In Spanish, the neighborhoods are known as “barrios.” You might hear about “comunas,” which roughly translate to districts, but the easiest way to think about it is just that a comuna is a bigger are than a barrio, kind of like Manhattan is bigger than the upper-east-side.

The point of this article is to help you decide where to stay, to change ambiance, find free wi-fi, great high-end, mid-range, and low-end hotels/hostals, and generally enjoy your stay in Colombia’s second-largest city (after Bogotá). There are several levels of accommodation options in Medellín hotels to meet the needs of everything from luxury travelers to budget travelers. While the city used to be the most dangerous city in the world, it’s now one of the safest big cities in South America (you can read more in our article about is Medellín safe?).

Let’s jump right in!

Don’t do AirBnB

Well ... almost jump right in. AirBnB apartments and short-term rentals are very common in Medellín. They tend to be overpriced and less-than-great quality. More than that they tend to be owner either by foreigners or already wealthy Colombians, meaning that gentrification has become a hot topic in the city. Many Colombian are beginning to be priced out of life in the city do to skyrocketing rents, which trickles down to increasing prices at local tiendas and markets. It's all to say, if you can avoid AirBnB, we say do it. Now, on to the neighborhoods:

Poblado – The Trendy Hub

What most people would say is that if you're looking for a neighborhood that seamlessly combines modernity with a touch of traditional Colombian charm, El Poblado is the perfect choice. Widely regarded as one of the city's trendiest areas, Poblado offers a plethora of upscale dining options, fashionable boutiques, and a thriving nightlife scene.

In reality, El Poblado has become the hub and focal point for tourism and ex-pat life and a true hotspot for digital nomads. While the area is certainly the best place for high-end restaurants, nightclubs, and nightlife, it’s also the least strategic place for understanding authentic Colombian life. In fact, the expensive cost and high density of foreigners has largely pushed locals out of the neighborhood.

Today, the area is known for its popularity and density of good restaurants, bars, and overall incredible nightlife. There is a concentration of great hotels as well, but we’ll get to that.

The area itself is huge, extending from the area of Industriales up to El Tesoro, down to Eafit University and over to “La Frontera” with Envigado. But the popular area where most people hang out is called Provenza, a lush area sandwiched between Calle 34 and 37, and buttressed by the famous parque lleras and vía Jardín. This is where most of the high-end outing occurs. It’s a great area for people watching.

But maybe one of the most overlooked aspects of El Poblado is its fashion. All of Poblado but especially Provenza is full of small independent and designer fashion shops and travelers can wander in and out.

Accommodations in Poblado cater to various budgets, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, making it an attractive option for a wide range of travelers. Parque Lleras, a central square surrounded by restaurants and bars, is the beating heart of Poblado's nightlife, offering a lively atmosphere for those seeking entertainment after dark.

For daytime exploration, Poblado also boasts beautiful parks, such as Parque El Poblado and Parque Lineal La Presidenta, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or engage in outdoor activities. Poblado has solid public transport between the metro and many buses.

For tourists, El Poblado is largely considered the best area to stay. It has the best hotels for high end clients, the best hostels for backpackers, and is the easiest to navigate for first time visitors.

The neighboorhood features great coffee shops and almost everywhere you’ll find free wi-fi.

Best Luxury Hotel in El Poblado

El Cielo – Hands down, this is the nicest. Founded by Michelin Star-winning chef Juan Manuel Barrientos, the hotel has a terrific location and modern atmosphere. The flagship El Cielo restaurant is located at the base of the hotel. The other benefit of the hotel is it’s small but hip rooftop pool and bar. Enjoy a cocktail and the rooftop bar and take in views of the city. This is the closest that Medellín has to a 5-star hotel.

Best Boutique Hotel in El Poblado

Quinta Ladera - We give this honor to Quinta Ladera, a renovated old house in the El Poblado area on an ideal and quiet street, with all of the comforts you’d want in a small hotel. Although more like a 3 or 4 star hotel, the service and charm lift up the quality of this spot.

Best Budget Hotel in El Poblado

Sui Posada Boutique – This hotel opened in 2022 with a beautiful reception and modern rustic rooms. While the rooms are somewhat small, the hotel is extremely comfortable, especially for the price, and located in the quiet and beautiful Patio Bonito sector of El Poblado.

Best Hostal in El Poblado

Selina – we know, we know, we are recommending a chain, but in this case it really is the best. It’s got a great social life, a cool bar, and an excellent location. There are lots of private rooms as well as shared dorms. The beds are super comfortable and there is plenty of coworking and co-living space. You’re likely to find lots of digital nomads and professional travelers. This is probably the best hostal in the city.

Laureles – Local Flavor and Sporty Vibes

The old is the new again! Before El Poblado became the famous neighborhood it is today, Laureles was one of the city’s best barrios. In the “old days,” Laureles was marked by enormous homes, some with as many as 14 – 20 bedrooms! Laureles is a predominantly residential neighborhood that provides a more authentic Colombian experience, away from the hustle and bustle of touristy areas. With tree-lined streets and a mix of family-owned businesses, Laureles exudes a local charm that appeals to those seeking an more immersive cultural encounter.

Today, Laureles is having a revival due to its flat geography (in comparison El Poblado is very hilly), it’s more accessible housing prices, and a concentration of new restuarants and bars, particularly close to the parks “Parques” 1 and 2. Full of new restaurants and the addition of new locations for old favorites like Pergamino, Pizzeria Olivia, and Pampero grill, Many of the staples of the El Poblado neighborhood are now accessible in the Laureles area!

For those looking to attend a football/soccer match, Laureles is your place to go, as it is home to the iconic Atanasio Girardot Stadium. Whether you're catching a football game or exploring the surrounding sports complexes, Laureles offers a dynamic and energetic atmosphere. Located near the Estadio metro station, the stadium includes a public sports complex with swimming pools, tennis courts, tracks, and more.

Maybe the one knock against Laureles is that there is less easy access to public transport. Apart from the Estadio stop, it’s hard to get on to the metro. The upside is that it is very walkable, and Laureles definitely has a leg up on El Poblado for budget travelers. It’s also closer to tourist attractions like Comuna 13, or Pueblito Paisa on the Nutibara hill, which all make it a great location in the city.

Although you won’t find as much live music as in El Poblado, some of the city’s hottest salsa clubs are in Laureles like the famous Son Havana

Best Luxury Hotel in Laureles

Inntu – Alright… there is not really an upper-end hotel in Laureles… but, if we have to go with something we’ll say Inntu. The location is definitely premium, right on the Parque 2 (second park) near the best restaurants and bars in the area. This is a good option if you want a less boisterous option than El Poblado.

Best Boutique Hotel in Laureles

Living by Armoniko – Again, you’re taking a big step down from the El Poblado offerings, but Living has a great, clean boutique feel at a much lower rate than you’ll find over in El Poblado

Best Hostal Hotel in Laureles

Casa Mosaiko – Look no further than this Laureles classic, it’s modern, artsy, and strategically located in Park 1. In this case, we wouldn’t consider a budget hotel, the difference between Casa and Mosaiko and Living doesn’t leave great options in the middle.

Envigado – Tranquility and Local Feel

For those desiring a more tranquil setting, Envigado is an ideal choice. Located just south of El Poblado, Envigado offers a peaceful atmosphere while remaining close to the city's main attractions. The town square used to be the center of a separate village that has now become part of the bigger metropolitan area of Medellín. Still, it feels more local with lots of little dive bars and terrific empanada stands.

Envigado features the Sao Paulo medical clinic and restaurant zone, the central park of Envigado, and the Buena Mesa restaurant district are great for tourists. The park retains its local charm and bar life, and is known to have some of the city’s best empanadas (we recommend La Catedral) and chicharrones (we recommend La Gloria de Gloria). For a more relaxed and outdoor feel we highly recommend Café Otra Parte, a café and museum formed from the former home of celebrated poet Fernando Gonzalez.

Accommodations in Envigado range from boutique hotels to guesthouses, providing a range of options for travelers. The neighborhood's authentic Colombian vibe makes it an excellent choice for those who want to experience local life at a more relaxed pace.

Further to the south of the city, you’ll find the municipality of Sabaneta. While there are not great places to stay in Sabaneta, the main plaza has phenomenal nightlife with a true village feel right in the city. Sabaneta park is only about 15 minutes from Envigado while it’s around a half an hour or more from El Poblado. Sabaneta is principally a residential area, but it’s well worth a night out!

Best Luxury Hotel in Envigado

York Luxury Suites – Although technically located in El Poblado, York is about as close to the Frontera and Envigado side of the street as you can get. It’s without a doubt the nicest hotel in the neighborhood, and it’s location is strategically near the tranquility of Envigado and a short cab ride to the bustle of El Poblado. It’s also located in an extremely safe area, and only about 10 minutes from Santa Fe, one of the city’s best and most famous shopping malls.

Best Budget Hotel in Envigado

Arame – Alright, there are no good boutique hotels in Envigado, but if you need to go budget, go Aramé. There is not a lot great about this hotel apart from the price, but it is walking distance to the library and to the Viva shopping center, one of the biggest in the city.

Best Hostal in Envigado

Coffee Hostal – It’s not the greatest, but if you are staying in Envigado it’s because you want to be in the neighborhood.

Belén – A Local's Haven

Belén, situated on the western side of the city, is actually the biggest barrio in the city. Belén is a diverse neighborhood that blends urban convenience with a local community feel. With a mix of residential and commercial areas, Belén offers a glimpse into the daily lives of Medellín's residents. Like Envigado, the neighborhood is relaxed and local, with the big advantage that it’s terrain is largely flat.

Parque Belén, a central park in the neighborhood, serves as a gathering place for locals. Surrounding streets are filled with market stalls, street food vendors, and small businesses, creating a lively and authentic atmosphere.

Accommodations in Belén are varied, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to comfortable guesthouses. Staying in Belén allows visitors to experience Medellín as the locals do.

Best Hostals in Belén

If you’re looking for a hotel, stick with Laureles and El Poblado. But if you are in to hostals, there are some good options:

(1) Blue Coast Hostal – Blue Coast is located in a very safe area and welcoming neighborhood surrounded by coffee shops and stores. It’s close to Laureles and the Comuna 13, making it easy to get around to other points of interest in the region.

(2) Spring Hostal – Not too far away but a bit closer to El Poblado, Spring hostal will offer similar benefits as Blue Coast, but a little closer to El Poblado.

Robledo – Off the Beaten Path

For travelers seeking a true off-the-beaten-path experience, Robledo offers a unique and less touristy setting. Located on the western outskirts of the city, Robledo is known for its diverse landscapes, including parks, hills, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Robledo is still not set up enough for tourism and we do not recommend staying there, but the area is located near San Felix, a popular area for paragliding, and there are interesting points to check out. We list Robledo because in a few years this might be the new up-and-coming hotspot in Medellín.

El Centro

In our what to do article you can read more about the city center, the Botanic Gardens and more. But if you are heading to the center or downtown Medellín, often called just “el centro,” definitely take care with your belongings. During the day it’s bustling and safe, but it’s probably better to avoid during the night. Although el centro/the city center has improved over time, don’t stay there, it’s not where you want to be at night. If you do stay there, only consider the hotel Nutibara. The biggest attraction in El Centro is Plaza Botero, a beautiful plaza in front of the museo de Antioquia (Antioquia Museum) full of publicly available displays of Fernando Botero’s work. There is no cost to enter.

Outside of Medellín

While the city is cool, there is so much more to explore in the areas around. Definitely check out our article on What to do in Medellín to get some more ideas. Here are a few of our favorite hotels in the region:

Best Ecohotel/Ecolodge

Cannúa – The question starts and ends with Cannúa, the country’s first high-end, sustainable ecolodge. It’s part of the National Geographic Experiences Collection, and with good reason. Although it’s an hour and a half from Medellín it’s 100% worth the trip. Cannúa is located in a North Andean Cloud forest. If you are planning a trip to the Amazon, we highly recommend complementing it with a trip to Cannúa, to balance out the ecosystems.

Best Historic Hotel

Mariscal Robledo – The fourth oldest hotel in Colombia and easily one of the most famous swimming pools! This hotel does not allow loud music or partying, but it’s a great place to go to relax and see one of the most historic villages in the country, Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Best Glamping

Bosko – The original and still the best, Bosko does Glamping right and is strategically located by the water in Guatape. If you want a unique glamping site, this is your best bet. Guatape can definitely be done as a day trip, but this is for people who want the overnight experience.


Medellín's neighborhoods cater to a diverse range of preferences, from the bustling energy of El Poblado to the laid-back charm of Envigado and the local flavor of Belén. Whether you're a solo traveler, a couple seeking romance, or a family in search of a relaxing retreat, Medellín has the perfect neighborhood to suit your needs. By choosing the right accommodation in the right area, you'll not only enjoy a comfortable stay but also gain a deeper appreciation for the unique facets that make Medellín a truly enchanting destination.