Where to stay in Medellín

Where to stay in Medellín, if you’re looking for the best hotels, coziest hostels with a rooftop swimming pool and the most beautiful boutique hotels? It can take some time to research the overwhelmingly large offer to find those great places. As one of the most popular destinations in Colombia, there are several neighborhoods to stay and safety might be one of the most important considerations when choosing the right area of Medellín.

In this blog we help you to make a choice. Where to stay in Medellin? What are the best and safest neighborhoods? And which hotels are recommended there?

Where is Medellín in Colombia?

Medellín is located centrally in Colombia. The city is located in the Aburrá Valley, sandwiched by the Andes Mountains, resulting in a special climate with mild, pleasant temperatures. Medellín is therefore also known as the City of Eternal Spring (‘Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera’ in Spanish). As one of the most well-known destinations in Colombia, Medellín is included in almost all Colombia travel itineraries.

Which other tourist destinations are nearby? Close to Medellín is the colorful village Guatapé, known for its charming streets and beautiful location in a lake area. You can visit Guatapé very well on a day trip from Medellín, though we would recommend you to stay there for at least one night.

Other Colombian destinations are a bit further, but as one of the country’s larger cities, Medellín is well connected to them. Many travelers visit Medellín after the slightly more southern colonial town of Jardín and then travel on to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast.

Medellin has its own airport with good connections to other destinations in the country. You can easily fly to Medellín from cities like Bogota or Cartagena. In addition, the city has many bus stations with bus connections to most destinations in the country. For example, you can travel to Bogotá in about 9 hours by bus. A flight between these two cities takes about an hour.

In Medellín itself, the metro network is the best and cheapest means of public transportation. The metro is very easy to understand, as there are only two metro lines: the blue line A and the orange line B. The cable cars of Medellín are also part of the metro network. Because the city is located in the Andes Mountains and is partly built against the hills, the more hilly parts of the city are accessible by cable car as public transport!

Plaza Botera in Medellín Colombia

Why Medellín is worth a visit

Though Medellín was once known as one of the most unsafe cities in the world because of the drug cartels and the connection with the well-known drug lord Pablo Escobar, it is now one of the most famous places to visit in Colombia. The lively city offers great sights, interesting culture, trendy restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

Medellín is also known as the ‘city of eternal spring’ because of the pleasant temperatures all year round. Though a famous destination like Cartagena has very high temperatures and the weather in Bogotá is changeable, Medellín offers lovely spring weather every day. Those are the perfect temperatures for some sightseeing and activities around town!

The best things to do in Medellín include a visit to the old slum area of Comuna13 with a guide, the metro and the funicular for aerial sightseeing, a free walking tour with a local guide around the city center, the famous Botero statues in the central plaza, paragliding above the city and visiting the traditional replica village Pueblito Paisa.

Be sure to take the time for a day trip to the colorful village of Guatapé which is not far from Medellín. Don’t book a pricey organized tour, but just hop on the public bus from the Terminal de Transporte Norte bus station (at the Caribe metro stop). The bus will take you to Guatapé and the rock of La Piedra del Peñol – which is one stop earlier – in about an hour.

Guatapé is one of the most well-known villages in Colombia because of its colorful streets and beautiful location in a lake area. The charming streets are the main attraction of the village, lined with colorful houses and charming buildings. There are plenty of great coffee bars, terraces and restaurants for a nice break between sightseeing.

Be sure to visit La Piedra del Peñol as well. This rock on the edge of Guatapé – therefore also called El Peñón de Guatapé – has a beautiful view over the lake area in which Guatapé is located.

Medellín | travel route in Colombia | The Orange Backpack

Where to stay in Medellín: the 2 best districts

The safest and best places to stay in Medellín are the districts El Poblado or Laureles. Both neighborhoods are known to be safe for travelers and have many coffee bars, hotels, coworking spaces, restaurants and clubs.

So no, we do not recommend you to stay in the city center – known as El Centro or La Candelaria – as is common for most tourist destinations. Although the El Centro district is where you’ll find most of Medellín’s sights, it is not known as a very safe place, especially at night.

So choose a hostel or hotel in El Poblado or Laureles and use the city’s extensive and excellent metro network to visit El Centro during the day. El Poblado is connected to the center by the blue metro line A and Laureles by the orange metro line B.

Tip: are you traveling to Medellín in August? Book your hostel or hotel very well in advance, as the city will be crowded by Colombians because of the annual La Feria de las Flores (‘Flower Festival’).

Where to stay in El Poblado

El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood with travelers and is known as the more expensive place to live for wealthy residents. If you are visiting Medellín for the first time, we recommend staying here. The area offers many city parks and green areas such as the central Parque Lleras, but it is also known for its nightlife of Medellín and the tourist zone with hotels and hostels. It is not the right place to stay for an authentic Colombian experience, but it is safe and near most restaurants and bars. The district is also well-connected to the rest of the city via the El Poblado metro station. Beware that the El Poblado district is very large. The ‘center’ of the neighborhood is concentrated around Parque Lleras and Patio Bonito.

#1 The Click Clack Hotel for the most popular hotel in Medellín. Centrally located 800 meters from Lleras Park, the hotel is housed in a remarkable architectural building with stylish furnishings. There is a beautiful outdoor pool with sunbeds and an on-site restaurant.

#2 Los Patios Hostal Boutique for a stylish hostel that looks like a boutique hotel. With a perfect location within short walking distance from the Parque Lleras and a roof terrace with a bar and swimming pool, Los Patios gets rave reviews. There are both dormitories and private rooms. Nice detail: the rooms have different themes inspired by the regions of Colombia. 

#3 Masaya Medellín for one of the cosiest and most colorful hotels in Medellín. The roof terrace is one of the main attractions of Masaya, offering both an outdoor swimming pool with sun beds and a rooftop bar. The shared lounge is another great place to relax. There are both private and dormitory rooms.

#4 The Charlie Hotel for an attractive luxury hotel in a prime location. The rooms have a retro style with modern touches, chandeliers and antique furniture. Some balconies have a hydromassage bath with panoramic views over Medellín. There is an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant and an extensive breakfast.

#5 Rango Hostel Boutique for a cozy and very stylish hostel with a restaurant, a bar, a shared lounge and a garden. The hostel has a roof top pool. There are both private and dormitory rooms.

#6 574 Hotels for a budget-friendly boutique hotel in a central location. The spacious rooms are bright, modern and cosy. Hotel guests write glowing reviews with very high review scores for this top hotel in Medellín.

#7 Patio del Mundo for a beautiful and colorful boutique hotel with very high review ratings. This small-scale hotel is not located in a beautiful skyscraper with a rooftop pool, but in two beautiful traditional buildings with only 13 rooms and a lush garden. Each room is decorated with local artwork. Some rooms have a private terrace or balcony.

Where to stay in Laureles

The Laureles neighborhood is a less touristy and more residential area than El Poblado, offering a more local and authentic atmosphere. There are fewer tourist-orientated bars and clubs in Laureles, but still has many great restaurants and coffee bars. Hotels are usually cheaper in Laureles than in El Poblado, but they are also less beautiful and interesting. If you are in Medellín for a longer period of time as a digital nomad or if you have already visited the city, we recommend that you choose Laureles. The most famous attraction in Laureles is the football stadium Atanasio Girardot Stadium.

#8 Terra Biohotel for a comfortable and modern hotel in Laureles. The rooms are spacious, the on-site restaurant has a pizza oven and the location is great. Hotel guests give Terra Biohotel very high review ratings.

#9 Mythical Hotel for an attractive hotel with light and modern rooms. The reviews praise the value for money, great location, tasty breakfast and friendly staff.

#10 Hotel Intu for a modern hotel with spacious rooms and a wonderful spa. The enthusiastic reviews praise the view, the great location and the friendly staff.

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