Where to Stay in Medellín: Best Areas & Safest Neighborhoods

Wondering where to stay in Medellín? From upscale El Poblado to down-to-earth Laureles and the vibrant Centro, these are the best districts and hotels in the city.

Where to Stay in Medellín: Best Areas & Safest Neighborhoods
Where to Stay in Medellín: Best Areas & Safest Neighborhoods

Once the most dangerous city in the world, in the last few decades, Medellín has been reborn from its ashes to become one of the most vibrant places in Latin America and of the safest and most visited cities in Colombia. Called the “City of Eternal Spring” for its pleasant year-round climate, Medellín is famous for its modern art museums, lovely parks, exciting nightlife, and thriving fashion industry. If you are looking for the best areas to stay in Medellín, you have come to the right place.

Accommodation Options in Medellín

Located in a fertile Andean valley in the center-north of the country, Medellín is the capital of the department of Antioquia and the historic Paisa region. The second-largest city in the country after Bogotá, in the past few decades this city has become a leading regional business, industrial and innovation hub. From a tourist’s standpoint, Medellín is known for Botero Square, Arví Park, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Medellín Botanical Gardens, Nutibara Hill, and the nearby village of Guatapé. The Paisa capital is quickly growing into an important tourist destination for business travelers, international tourists, and backpackers, and new boutique hotels, as well funky hostels are constantly being opened in El Poblado.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first visit to Medellín or if you’re a seasoned traveler, keep reading to find out more about our picks of the best areas to stay in Medellín for every type of visitor. This guide also features a safety section for each area so you get all the possible information about where to stay in Medellín.

Where to Stay in Medellín, Colombia: A Summary

If you don’t have the time or the patience to read the full article, here is a summary of our recommended areas to stay in Medellín. Keep reading to find out more about each of these districts.

What’s the Best Area to Stay in Medellín?

Located south of the city center, El Poblado is the best area to stay in Medellín for all kinds of travelers
Located south of the city center, El Poblado is the best area to stay in Medellín for all kinds of travelers. Our absolute favorite hotel in this area is Estelar La Torre Suites.

The best area to stay in Medellín is El Poblado, especially if you are a foreign tourist or a first-time visitor to the city. El Poblado, located some 6 km (3.8 miles) south of the city center is an upscale residential, business, dining, and shopping district. Almost a city within a city, this area is the number one option for international tourists to Medellín, particularly thanks to its safety.

Find available accommodation in El Poblado.

Best Hotels in El Poblado

The Safest Areas to Stay in Medellín, Colombia

El Poblado is considered the safest area for tourtists in Medellín.
El Poblado is considered the safest area for tourtists in Medellín. One of the most pleasant barrios within this expansive district, La Florida is home to lovely boutique properties such as Patio del Mundo (pictured).

Despite its reputation in the 80s and 90s, Medellín is a safe city. That said, personal safety is still a big concern among visitors and particularly international travelers. As a general rule, El Poblado and the townships in the south are safer than the city center and the north of the city. Here are some of the safest areas for tourists in Medellín:

  • Although El Poblado is famous as Medellín’s party district, this wealthy comuna south of La Candelaria is also very safe day and night. Its centermost section, home to the hottest nightlife in Medellín, has a strong police presence during the weekend. On the other hand, the rest of Poblado is mostly made up by upscale residential areas. Some great hotels in this district include Estelar La Torre Suites and Patio del Mundo.
  • Locally famous as the safest city in Antioquia, Itagüí is an independent municipality southwest of Medellín. Quiet and residential, this area is also home to the Centro de Convenciones Aburrá Sur, making a good option for business travelers. Some great hotels in this area are the ibis budget Itagui and Sixtina Plaza Hotel.
  • Envigado, another independent township south of El Poblado, is also famous for its upscale residential developments and many shopping centers, and is considered a safe area for tourists in the Medellín metro area. A great place to stay in Envigado is Arame Hotel.

The Best Areas for Tourists in Medellín: District by District

Medellín Accommodation Map
Click here to see all Medellín hotels on a map

Medellín has 16 numbered comunas (districts) divided into individual barrios. In this post, we offer you an overview of the best areas to stay in the city of Medellín, plus a couple of its metropolitan area municipalities.

1. El Poblado: Best Location in Medellín for Nightlife & Shopping

El Poblado Accommodation Map

Consistently ranking first on all Medellín neighborhood guides, El Poblado is a vibrant district offering accommodations for all tastes and budgets.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Medellín:
  • Best area for nightlife
  • Great food scene
  • Safe area to stay
  • Parque Lleras & Calle 10
  • Shopping streets & malls
  • Boutique hotels & hostels
  • Connected by metro
  • LGBT area of Medellín
  • Museo de Arte Moderno & Castillo Museum

El Poblado is Medellín’s 14th comuna. Located some 5 kilometers south of the city center, this district, which we could classify as a city within a city, stretches from the Medellín River in the west to the mountains and La Palma Road to the east and consists of a succession of middle and upper-class residential neighborhoods, business districts and entertainment areas.

Centered around the namesake park, El Poblado’s shopping and entertainment section is home to the lively Parque Lleras, a nightlife area with dozens of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that comes alive after the sun goes down. This is the place to go dancing to the latest pop, reguetón, and Latin hits. Lots of eateries and boutiques also line Calle 10 and the surrounding streets.

Poblado is crossed north-to-south by carrera 43A. Also known as Avenida de El Poblado or “The Golden Mile”, this major commercial thoroughfare is packed with big stores, shopping centers, and office towers. This area of town is home to some of the best 4 and 5-star hotels in Medellín.

The best areas to stay in El Poblado, Medellín
The best areas to stay in El Poblado, Medellín. Click here to see all El Poblado hotels on a map

On Poblado’s northern end lies Ciudad del Río, home to the avant-garde Modern Art Museum of Medellín and Mercado del Río, a gastronomic destination with dozens of upscale restaurants and bars.

By and large, El Poblado is made up of high-density residential areas, with hundreds of tall condominium towers everywhere you look. That said, the barrios of Manila and Provenza, with their lovely tree-lined streets and small houses, many of which have been turned into quaint boutique hostels, are some of the most charming areas to stay in Medellín.

El Poblado is also the best-connected area in Medellín. Its western end, near the river, is crossed by metro line A, which offers four stations (Industriales, Poblado, Aguacatala, and Ayurá). Additionally, the area is very well-served by the local bus system, taxis, and mobile ride-sharing apps.

Thanks to its mix of nightlife, attractions, and relatively central location, El Poblado is the best area to stay in Medellín. Likewise, there are several cool hotels in El Poblado.

Is El Poblado a safe area for tourists in Medellín? Although caution is always recommended, El Poblado is a safe area to stay in Medellín or to walk around both day and night.

Best Hotels in El Poblado

Best 5-star hotel
Sites Hotel

Set in a modern building featuring a terrace with a hot tub and BBQ facilities, Sites offers self-catering accommodations with free Wi-Fi and plasma TVs in Medellin. Poblado metro station is 0.6 mi away.

Best 4-star hotel
Hotel Portón Medellín

Located in the exclusive area of Poblado, near Medellin’s business centers, Hotel Porton Medellin offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV. Facilities include free on-site private parking.

Best 3-star hotel
La Campana Hotel Boutique

La Campana offers intimate accommodations in the leafy El Poblado District in Medellin. It features a shuttle service, free Wi-Fi, and displays of Colombian art.

Best budget hotel
Hotel Lleras Premium #1

Located in Lleras park, a 5-minute walk from El Poblado metro station, Hotel Lleras offers free Wi-Fi and 24-hour front desk bilingual assistance in Medellin.

Best tourist apartments
Affinity Aparta Hotel

Modern décor and private balconies with city views can be enjoyed in Medellin. Affinity Aparta Hotel has fully furnished suites and on-site sauna and Turkish bath facilities. Wi-Fi and private parking are free.

Best hostel
Rango Hostel Boutique

Rango Hostel Boutique features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, and a garden. It features room service, a terrace, a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a shared kitchen, and free WiFi.

2. Laureles-Estadio: Great Location for Nightlife & Food

Laureles-Estadio Accommodation Map

Located west of the city center, Laureles-Estadio is Medellín’s university district and a great location for budget accommodation & food.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Medellín:
  • Great local nightlife
  • Cheap restaurants and bars
  • Safe area to stay
  • University district
  • Connected by metro
  • Mid-range & budget accommodation
  • More local than Poblado
  • Pueblito Paisa

Laureles-Estadio is Medellín’s comuna 11. Located on the west bank of the river, across from the city center, this district is home to the Pontifical Bolivarian University. Being a university district, Laureles-Estadio is packed with lively bars and budget restaurants, especially around Carrera 70.

The Atanasio Girardot Stadium, located north of the district, is home to the Atlético Nacional soccer club and is also used for other sporting events and concerts.

While not as fancy as El Poblado, this middle-class area has a more local atmosphere. Several shopping centers, including the massive Unicentro Medellín, offer a wide range of shops and boutiques and the dining and nightlife district around Carrera 70 is perfect for trying a bandeja paisa or dancing the night away.

Line B of the Medellín metro system runs through the north part of the district and offers convenient connections to La Candelaria and El Poblado (via San Antonio).

On its southwestern corner lies Cerro Nutibara, a rocky hill formation home to the Pueblito Paisa, a replica of a traditional Antioquian village complete with restaurants and souvenir shops. Next to it, you’ll find the Museo de Ciudad, with displays about Medellín’s history and a popular lookout.

Is Laureles a safe area for tourists in Medellín? Yes. Laureles-Estadio is very lively during the day and its nightlife strip has a strong police presence at night and on weekends.

Best Hotels in Laureles-Estadio

Best 5-star hotel
Hotel Cavalta

Located in Medellín, Hotel Cavalta features accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a terrace. With free WiFi, this 5-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and room service.

Best 4-star hotel
Terra Biohotel

Located in Conquistadores district, 5 minutes walking from Plaza Mayor. Terra Biohotel features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar.

Best 3-star hotel
El Portón de San Joaquin

Located in Medellín, this hotel offers a Sauna and steam rooms. Rooms have free Wi-Fi and a daily American breakfast is offered. Estadio Avenida 70 subway station is 9 blocks away.

Best budget hotel
Hotel Suite del Parque

Hotel Suite del Parque is located in Medellín. This 2-star hotel offers a tour desk. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service, and free WiFi throughout the property.

Best tourist apartments
Factory Lofts

Well located in the Laureles – Estadio district of Medellín, Factory Lofts offers city views, an outdoor pool, a 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi. Units at the hotel come with air conditioning, a seating area, a kitchenette, and a dining area.

Best B&B
Casa Tuvia

Featuring a garden, Casa Tuvia is located in Medellín and provides a shared kitchen and free WiFi throughout the property. At the guest house, the rooms come with a desk.

3. Itagüí & Envigado: Safest Areas to Stay in Medellín

Itagüí & Envigado Accommodation Map

Medellín’s southern neighbors, Itagüí & Envigado are quiet, residential and safe areas for tourists.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Medellín:
  • Safe areas for tourists
  • Peaceful atmosphere
  • Shopping centers
  • Connected by metro

Consistently topping the list of the municipalities with the highest quality of life in Antioquia, both Envigado and Itagüí are independent cities located south of Medellín.

On the east side of the Medellín River, south of El Poblado, and completely integrated with it, lies Envigado, an upscale township packed with residential developments and a few shopping centers. Across from it, Itagüí is another pleasant city considered the safest area in the Medellín metropolitan region and one of the safest urban centers in Colombia.

While these areas don’t have a hotel offer as broad as other districts in the city, they boast a wide selection of privately-owned tourist apartments.

Both Itagüí and Envigado have metro line A connections to the rest of the city and are also served by buses and taxis.

Is South Medellín a safe area for tourists? Itagüí, Envigado, and Sabaneta are all quiet and safe areas to stay.

Best Hotels in Envigado & Itagüí

Best 4-star hotel
Sixtina Plaza Hotel

Featuring a spa and wellness center, Sixtina Plaza Hotel offers accommodations with free WiFi access in Itagüí. Medellin. The hotel has a sun terrace and a fitness center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. El Poblado Park is 2.1 mi away.

Best budget hotel
ibis budget Itagui

Located in Medellín, 5.6 mi from El Poblado Park, ibis budget Itagui features views of the city. With a shared lounge, the 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is allergy-free and is set 5 mi from Lleras Park.

4. La Candelaria (Centro Histórico): Best Location for Sightseeing & Culture

La Candelaria, Medellín Accommodation Map

Home to the main cultural attractions in the city, Medellín’s Historic Center is the true soul of this Colombian city.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Medellín:
  • Parque Botero
  • Financial district
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Connected by metro and tram
  • Authentic Colombian Experience

La Candelaria, also known as Centro Histórico, is located on the east bank of the Medellín River, north of El Poblado and is home to the main tourist attractions in the city. These include Plaza Botero, a large park featuring 23 sculptures by the famous Paisa artists, the Palacio de Cultura and the Museo de Antioquia.

La Candelaria has great public transportation connections through lines A and B of the metro system, as well as tram, buses, and taxis.

The city center is the place to find cheap accommodation in Medellín.

Is La Candelaria a safe area for tourists in Medellín? No. La Candelaria is relatively safe during the day, but caution is advised at night.

Best Hotels in Medellín City Center

Best 3-star hotel
61Prado Hotel

61 Prado is full service a European-style guest house in Medellin, in the historical private residential Prado district. Free WiFi is available throughout the establishment.

Best budget hotel
Hotel Gallery

Featuring free WiFi and a hot tub, Hotel Gallery offers accommodations in Medellín, 1.3 mi from Pueblito Paisa and within a 5 minute walk from the tram. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site.

Best hostel
JEP Hostel

JEP Hostel in Medellín provides adults-only accommodations with a bar, a shared lounge and a garden. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen, along with free WiFi throughout the property.

5. Plaza Mayor: Great Location for Business Travelers

Plaza Mayor Accommodation Map

Located halfway between La Candelaria and El Poblado, Plaza Mayor is set to be a new cultural and financial district in Medellín.

Although technically, Plaza Mayor is part of the city center, it is an area that deserves to be mentioned separately due to its important cultural landmarks like the Metropolitan Theater of Medellin.

This renewed section of Medellín is also home to the Centro de Convenciones Plaza Mayor, a major congress center. There are several business hotels in its surroundings.

Plaza Mayor is connected to the rest of the city by metro stations Alpujarra (line A) and Cisneros (line B).

Is Plaza Mayor a safe area for tourists in Medellín? Not unlike the rest of the city center, Plaza Mayor is safe during the day. However, caution is advised after sunset, particularly around poorly lit streets.

Best Hotels in Plaza Mayor

Best 4-star hotel
Hotel Boutique Plaza

Located in Medellín, Hotel Boutique Plaza features rooms with free WiFi. Offering a shared lounge, the property is located within 0.3 mi of Pueblito Paisa.

6. Aranjuez: Best Location With Kids

Aranjuez, Medellín Accommodation Map

Aranjuez is packed with family-friendly attractions.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Medellín:
  • Central location
  • Parque Explora
  • Medellín Botanical Gardens
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Connected by metro

Located north of La Candelaria, Aranjuez is home to several attractions for kids including Parque Explora, an interactive science museum housing South America’s largest freshwater aquarium, the Medellín Botanical Garden, Parque Norte Medellín amusement park, and Parque de los Deseos.

Line A of the Medellín metro system crosses the district and offers two stops; Hospital and Universidad.

Is Aranjuez a safe area for tourists in Medellín? Not especially. While this area is perfectly fine during the day, at night you should really avoid walking around, especially in dark or deserted streets.

Best Hotels in Aranjuez

Best budget hotel
Casa Hotel Manco Mora

Boasting a terrace, Casa Hotel Manco Mora offers a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property.

Best hostel
Medellin Backpacker Hostel

Medellin Backpacker Hostel features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a shared kitchen, and free WiFi throughout the property.

Where to stay in Medellín: Useful Info

Medellín is one of the most important cities in Colombia, known (among other things) for being Colombia’s fashion capital, as well as for its importance for the coffee industry of the South American country.

Medellin is called “the City of Eternal Spring” because of its lovely weather during most of the year, with average temperatures of 21ºC that make visiting the city a pleasure, no matter the season. These privileged climatic conditions are due to Medellin’s location in the Aburrá Valley, on the central mountain range of the Andes, in northern Colombia.

When moving through the 328 km² that make up Medellin, the metro system (with its 27 stations) is the best option. This transport system covers a large number of areas and, in the central plot of its route, borders the Medellin River. The capital of Antioquia also has a metro cable that connects the most remote neighborhoods of the city with other areas and is a popular tourist attraction.

Among the many emblematic corners of Medellin, the Plaza Botero (Botero Square), located in the Historic Center of the city, stands out the most. This square is home to 23 bronze sculptures by renowned paisa artist Fernando Botero and it is a place you can not miss seeing when you travel to Medellín.

When choosing where to stay in Medellin, you should take into account that the cost of accommodation is, as in Bogota, higher than in other cities of Colombia and that it is especially high during August because of the Feria de las Flores (Flower Fair) and Christmas. However, you can always find good deals.

As for the best areas to stay in Medellin, El Poblado and its nightlife is ideal for travelers looking to discover what the parties in Medellin are like (See accommodation in Poblado). On the other hand, La Candelaria is a good neighborhood to stay in if you want to be close to the main tourist attractions of Medellin (See accommodation in La Candelaria).