Best Medellin Neighborhoods for Expats and Digital Nomads

Best Medellin Neighborhoods for Expats and Digital Nomads

The “City of Eternal Spring” will charm any expat (or digital nomad) that enters it. Medellin is one of the largest cities in Colombia, second only to the capital, Bogata. There is a large metropolitan area that dates back to the 14th or 15th century and it is widely considered among the most innovative cities in the world. Some of the best Medellin neighborhoods are also the oldest.

Choosing where to stay in Medellin can be tough if all you hear are safety concerns (which are totally blown out of proportion), but we’ve done all the work for you. Upon reviewing the best areas to stay in Medellin, these are the neighborhoods we recommend:

  • Laureles 
  • El Poblado 
  • Estadio 
  • Envigado
  • Belén
  • La Candelaria
  • Aranjuez

How We Reviewed Places To Stay

There are a few factors we took into consideration when choosing the best Medellin neighborhoods. We tried to compare the cost of living in different areas, while keeping in mind the different vibes each neighborhood has. 

Of course, your choice of where to stay highly depends on whether you want to experience the cultural side of Medellin or to enjoy the nightlife. 

NOTE: Don’t believe the hype about Medellin being unsafe for foreigners. Most of what you will hear is blown out of proportion and if you exercise common sense you’ll be fine. It isn’t more or less safe than any typical American city. 

Our Choice Of The Best Medellin Neighborhoods

Laureles, Medellin: One of the Best Medellin Neighborhoods For First-Timers

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Laureles

Most expats choose to stay in Laureles Medellin when they first arrive, and for good reason. You get to mix with the locals, and it’s a well-known area that is right in the center of the city. It also helps that police are all over the place at night, because newcomers have a false idea that Medellin is unsafe.

In any case, you’ll love spending time in Laureles because it balances mingling with the locals perfectly with the touristy vibe. Note that staying here is a little bit more expensive, so make sure you have the budget.

Check out our detailed blog on Laureles, right here.

El Poblado, Medellin: One of the Best Medellin Neighborhoods Fun And Nightlife

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - el poblado

There’s a lot of history in El Poblado – it’s where the Spanish first settled in the Aburrá Valley (17th century). Nowadays, it’s a popular spot for expats, tourists, and anyone looking for good food. Most of the fine dining restaurants in Medellin can be found in El Poblado.

There are also many cafes, bars, and unrestrained nightlife in Parque Lleras—something many tourists and expats look forward to. Once you get over that hangover from the dancehall, you can take a stroll in many of the green areas and parks of El Poblado, Medellin. 

Check out our detailed blog on El Poblado, right here.

Estadio, Medellin: Sports Complex Near The City Center

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Estadio

The Northeastern part of the Laureles district in Medellin is near the Estadio metro station, named after the enormous sports complex. Estadio is great to stay in if you’re a soccer fan.

It’s also great if you want to stay away from the noisy city center while having convenient access to it. The vibe here is a lot quieter than in the city, almost like a residential complex. The only time it gets really busy in Estadio is when there’s a football (soccer) match. 

Check out our detailed blog on Estadio, right here.

Envigado, Medellin: Expats Staying For A Longer Time

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Envigado

Mostly popular among expats with families or those who want to stay in Medellin for longer stretches, Envigado is a calm urban area with many residential buildings. You won’t find many tourist attractions here. 

You won’t be missing out on much, because the rest of the city is easily accessible by metro, just as with Estadio. The main advantage of staying in Envigado is taking the time to kick back and enjoy life. You’ll feel like you’re in a city, but not a busy one. It also has the lowest homicide rates in Colombia.

Belén: One of the Best Medellin Neighborhoods To Assimilate Into Medellin Culture

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Belen

Most of the residents of Belén are the working class of Medellin, and they’re the friendliest people you will meet in Colombia. There are a few bars and cafes around the neighborhood, but you’ll mostly mingle with the locals. This is not a touristy area, but that’s a good thing. 

If you want the full experience of living abroad, then you’re going to want to assimilate with the local culture and Belén is the best neighborhood to do that. Enjoy some good local foods, take a walk in the park, and grab a bite from any pasteleria around the corner. 

La Candelaria: City Center

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Candalaria

The historical center of Medellin is La Candelaria. This is the downtown area, so you can expect many cheap stays around great nightlife, cafes, and bars. It’s a great place to explore Colombian culture, whether by going to the Museo de Antioquia (Museum) or taking a walk around Plaza Botero to explore artwork by local sculptors. 

The prices are relatively affordable, and there are fewer expats in this area. That’s mainly because other neighborhoods have better nightlife, so choose according to your preferences. 

Aranjuez: Medellin With Kids 

Best Medellin Neighborhoods - Aranjuez

For expats with kids, you may want to consider skipping Envigado and Estadio (even though they are more residential) and opting for Aranjuez. Why would families want to stay in Aranjuez? There are many attractions that are focused on children.

Here you can visit the botanical garden, science museum, or even the aquarium with your kids. It’s still connected to the rest of the city for the occasional night out, but we think it’s the best option for families.

Conclusion: The Best Medellin Neighborhoods

best medellin neighborhoods - 3d map

Hopefully, our shortlist of the best Medellin neighborhoods helps you choose the best area to stay in as a digital nomad or expat. There are plenty of things to see and do in Medellin, and we find it hard to believe that any foreigner wouldn’t have a great time in any of the neighborhoods we mentioned above.

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