medellin center

Located in Aburrá Valley north of the capital Bogotá, is Colombia’s second largest city, Medellín. With an estimated population at over two and a half million Medellín is certainly a global metropolitan city, playing an important role in the sphere of the development of Colombia and of Latin America as a whole.

Over the past couple of decades Medellín has seen a resurgence as a tourist destination for Colombians and international travellers after many years as the world’s most dangerous city due to drug trafficking violence. Medellín today is a safe city, especially in the touristy and central areas where the biggest dangers are pickpockets and touts. There are plenty of hotels in Medellín and other accommodation options scattered all over the city and it can be quite daunting to try and pick one, that’s where I come in!

So this all begs the question: where to stay in Medellín? Well, there are a couple of notable areas, or ‘barrios’, that have seen the best part of this rebuild and make for a great base to explore this wonderful city.

Here are the 5 I can note down, the first two being the most famous ones amongst travelers:

medellin areas

  1. El Poblado – southern part of the city, has some of the best views of the surrounding mountains and is where you will find most of the hotels.
  2. Laureles – has seen major development recently and is home to some great accommodation, restaurants and bars.
  3. Belen – just South of Laureles, quieter and more relaxed area to stay in.
  4. Envigado – it is technically not in Medellín and is considered a town of its own. For this reason it is much cheaper than the other areas but also has less restaurants, cafes and has less action.
  5. La Candelaria – the area in the centre of the city so naturally there is lots to see but this area is one of the most dangerous in the city, so if you do end up staying here make sure you take care of yourself and your belongings

visit medellin

As El Poblado and Laureles are the most popular,  I have provided this little analysis in order to help you choose:

El Poblado Laureles
Price of accommodation More expensive accommodation Cheaper accommodation
Cost of living Cheaper cost of living More expensive cost of living
Public transportation & walkability More hilly. Public transport depends on the area where you stay (max 10min walk). Much flatter so therefore more walkable. Public transport depends on the area where you stay (max 10min walk).
Safety High safety standards High safety standards

To check out where the action really is (and heaps of other ideas about the city) take a look at my what to do in Medellín article!

To help you further I have broken it down into categories:

  • Barrio for coffee lovers – El Poblado
  • Barrio for foodies – El Poblado
  • Barrio for families – Belén & Envigado
  • Barrio for budget travellers – Laureles, Belén, La Candelaria & Envigado
  • Barrio for local lifestyle – Belén & Envigado

Although accommodation options are plentiful in Medellín, those in the above areas tend to be the most popular and therefore can book out rather quickly, so as always, reserve your accommodation in advance wherever possible so that you don’t miss out! So let’s get into it, the ultimate Medellín where to stay guide!

1. Best Hotels In  El Poblado, Medellín

medellin city colombia

Medellín is such a large city, this means that choosing your accommodation becomes even more important as you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of town or far away from everything you came to see. This tends to be why El Poblado is by far the most popular area to stay in for tourists as it is full of culture, restaurants, bars and all the things travellers love. So in this El Poblado section you will find some of the very best hotels in Medellín.

Best Luxury Hotels In El Poblado (US$165 and up)

Medellín is a city of great contrast, there most definitely are areas in the city that house some very wealthy people & El Poblado is one of them. With this population comes exclusive restaurants, bars, cafes and of course hotels. So here are my top 3 picks for luxury hotels in El Poblado. As always, I only include the best of the best, meaning that all the hotels I choose are rated very highly by guests who have stayed.

  • The Charlee Hotel – Located in the Park Llares area of El Poblado, The Charlee Hotel is one of Medellín’s best. With a rooftop swimming pool, daily buffet breakfast, balconies with a hot tub and many more facilities, guests absolutely love this hotel! If that wasn’t enough, you will be right in the heart of El Poblado action!
  • Medellín Marriott Hotel – Consistently ranked as one of the best hotels in Medellín, The Marriott delivers perfection. It is located right in the heart of El Poblado and is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars and more. The decor is stunningly modern and the in house restaurants and bars are often packed with locals and guests. Top pick!
  • Hotel Intercontinental Medellín – Rounding out this section and again located in El Poblado is the Hotel Intercontinental. The hotel has a heated swimming pool, spa centre, daily buffet breakfast and excellent in-house dining options, including an amazing wine bar! The Intercontinental has one of my favourite hotel features, 24 hour room service! You can’t go wrong with that!

Best Middle-Priced Hotels in El Poblado (From US$55 to US$165)

hotels in medellin

Medellín is a moderately-priced city, this means that you can find excellent value when booking accommodation, especially compared to Europe and the USA. So it is in this middle-priced section where you will find a lot of the hotels and some awesome value. To help you ever more, I have whittled down my list to my top three high-rated hotels in this price range, check it out!

  • Sites Hotel Medellín – At Sites you will find extremely modern, polished and sleek designs to go along with spacious and excellently equipped rooms (most even self-catering facilities!). However, the best feature of this hotel is the rooftop terrace that has a pool and BBQ!! Oh, and did I mention the views are amazing?! Cherry on top: located in El Poblado!
  • Hotel Dann Carlton Medellín – Centrally located, tick. Rooftop terrace with pool, tick. 24 hour room service, tick. Spa, salin, gym, tick, tick! The Dann Carlton truly has it all! You can relax and take advantage of these great features after an amazing buffet breakfast or explore the nearby El Poblado, the choice is yours! P.S. This hotel is 5 stars!
  • Hotel BH El Poblado – Geared more towards business travellers but still a great choice for tourists is the BH. It is located on the outskirts of the barrio so guests can enjoy a quieter stay. There is a gym and multiple business centre, the rooms are noted for being massive and a great breakfast is included in the price!

Best Budget Hotels In El Poblado (Up to US$55)

As I have mentioned previously, Medellín is a relatively cheap city if we look at it through a global lens, this means that in addition to finding food, shopping and partying for next to nothing you can most certainly find some great hotels at a great price. So if you want to stay in El Poblado without breaking the bank, you can!

  • Element Hotel – A highly-rated, three star hotel in the heart of El Poblado that serves breakfast daily, sounds impossible, right? Well it’s not, Element hotel meets all the criteria. The rooms (as well as the beds) are spacious, modern and all come with a balcony to fully enjoy the Medellín experience. Truly one of the best budget hotels in Poblado, Medellin.
  • Hotel Lleras 10 – As you can probably tell from the name, this hotel is located in the lovely Lleras area of El Poblado. Guests will find simple, well-appointed rooms that are also spacious. There is a shared hot-tub and some lovely garden views to be had. The price includes breakfast as well!
  • Ibis Medellín – Consistently delivering great budget hotel experiences is Ibis, and they deliver again here in Medellín. Another 3 star hotel in the budget section and another one located in El Poblado, this time near museums galore! The property also has an attached restaurant and bar, the rooms are well appointed and the staff great, what more could you ask for?!

2. Best Hotels In Laureles, Medellín

medellin people

The second most popular barrio for visitors to Medellin is Laureles, sometimes referred to as Stadium. This is due to the fact that the two Medellin football teams play their matches at Atanasio Girardot stadium in Laureles. Tourists will also find a lot of life, everything from hipster cafes to local restaurants, and of course some great hotels. The prices here are considerably cheaper than in El Poblado and this has been reflected in the parameters of each section.

Best Luxury Hotel in Laureles (US$110 and up)

  • Hotel Merlott 70 – Hotel Merlott 70 is one of the few luxury hotels located in Laureles. The rooms are very spacious and have cable channels. The hotel offers free on-site parking, bike hire and a daily buffet breakfast. The street is a quiet, residential street so no need to worry about late night revellers.
  • Terra Biohotel – The king suite at Terra Biohotel is a sight to behold! Furnished in a stylish, modern motif, the room is incerdibly spacious and has its own personal balcony with stunning views across the city. As if that wasn’t enough, there is a motorised spa bath inside the room!

Best Middle-Priced Hotels in Laureles (From US$30 to US$60)

medellin hostel

This and the budget section is where Laureles really comes alive. Due to its working class history, prices here have managed to stay low and tourists can snag an amazing deal in what truly is a great barrio.

  • Inntu Hotel – Located in Laureles, The Inntu offers simple magnificent views from almost all rooms, an in-house restaurant and bar and a semi-indoor pool area that will make you feel like a movie star. The hotel also offers an excellent daily breakfast. The rooms themselves are decorated tastefully and in a modern style. A great value choice.
  • Hotel Casa Laureles – The perfect way to pass a Medellín afternoon/evening is to sip a few drinks on a streetside patio and watch the world go by. Well you can do that here! The hotel also has a business centre, on-site restaurant and 24 hour reception. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed. Such a great hotel!
  • Hotel Golden Palermo – My favourite part of this hotel is by far the rooftop terrace and jacuzzi hot-tub with stunning panoramic views of Medellín! An absolutely amazing way to spend a few hours relaxing. The hotel also has an excellent in-house restaurant that offers room service and spacious, comfortable rooms!

Best Budget Hotels in Laureles (Up to US$30)

  • Hotel Laureles Home Boutique – This is a great choice for all different types of budget travellers as there are several different room types, including one with bunk beds for the kids! Located (as the name suggest) in Laureles, the property boasts simple yet modern rooms and even a bike hire service! Breakfast is included in the price too!
  • Guest House The Laureles2 – An apartment/hotel hybrid, this property is great if you are seeking a central location and the freedom to cook and eat your own food at home. Each room has an oven and fridge, as well as all the usual amenities. The style is minimalist and executed well, the rooms are really cool!
  • Casa Hotel Don Quijote – The Casa Don Quijote is located right in the centre of Laureles near lots of restaurants and cafes. The price is excellent and the rooms are adequate, spacious and comfortable. There are different room types and each one is fitted with a flat-screen tv.

3. Best Accommodation in Belén

medellin neighbourhoods

Just to the south of Laureles and much more relaxed is Belén. It is here where you will start to find many more locals than tourists, so if you are looking for a quieter, relaxed stay but still within arms reach of the major attractions, than Belén is a great choice. Again, the prices here are excellent, which means there is no luxury option but these two are amazing!

  • Hotel Zona Verde – Situated amidst a beautiful green setting is middle-priced Hotel Zona Verde. This three star hotel has an in-house restaurant and bar, garden, terrace and offers free on-site parking. Guests can also take advantage of a daily buffet breakfast after spending a night in one of the spacious and comfortable rooms!
  • Hotello – Slotting into the budget section is Hotello. Offering all the amenities that are required for a comfortable stay such as a 24 hour reception, large double beds, private bathrooms, wifi and a continental breakfast means it is hard to be disappointed with Hotello. In addition, the hotel offers an airport shuttle.

4. Best Accommodation in Envigado

best place to stay in medellin

As mentioned previously, sitting just outside the city of Medellín is the city of Envigado. There are not many accommodation options in Envigado but if you do find yourself needing to stay there then check out one of these great properties.

  • Arame Hotel – This 4 star hotel is aimed towards business travellers but also welcomes tourists if they find themselves in the city. With an on-site restaurant and room service capabilities, it is a great choice for guests visiting Envigado.
  • Hotel Casa Madero – Located outside of Envigado itself is Casa Madero. This is a great property if you want a bit of countryside and there is an onsite restaurant and a lounge area to relax if you want to get out of your room. Due to its proximity to Envigado and Medellín it wouldn’t be recommended to stay here without a car.
  • Casa Origami – Located right in the heart of Envigado is Casa Origami. The rooms are simple yet functional and for the budget price they are great value. Each room has a patio for relaxing and great views. If you find yourself in Envigado and on a budget, this is a great option.

5. Best Accomodation in La Candelaria

medellin church

Located right in the centre of the city is La Candelaria. As I mentioned in the introduction this barrio is considered one of the least safe areas of the city so it is recommended to really evaluate your need to stay here before booking one of these apartments.

However, sometimes tourists do stay here and there are most certainly options for all types of travellers, check out these middle-priced and budget options!

I did not find any luxury hotels with good reviews in the area, so I am only including the Mid and Budget options:

  • Hotel Gallery – Who doesn’t love a good art hotel? Hotel Gallery is a middle-pride modern art themed hotel, where each room has a featured mural wall in the bedroom. There is also a 24 hour reception, a rooftop bar/dining area with amazing views and is located in the heart of La Candelaria. The best part of which is being in the middle of Laureles and El Poblado!
  • H Metro Hotel – Fitting into the budget section is H Metro. Guests can enjoy room service and reception facilities 24 hours. Located smack bang in the middle of the city, you will be only a very short walk to museums and botero square. Breakfast is included in the price too!

BONUS – Best Apartments In Medellín

plaza bolivar

If there’s a surplus of one thing in Medellín, it’s things to do and see. The city is so rich in culture, adventure and entertainment it requires at least a full week to get a good sense of the heartbeat of the city and to experience it all. For longer and more flexible stays that perhaps allow you to save a few pesos by cooking at home, I recommend staying in an apartment. In addition, apartments are more often than not located in residential areas so it gives the guests a truer representation of how locals live!

So in this section, I have chosen 9 great options for staying in an apartment in Medellín, and as always have broken them down into three budget sections and of course have not included anything that is not rated the best of the best!

Best Luxury Apartments in Medellín (US$165 and up)

There are some really nice areas and properties in the city, and some of these apartments are amongst the best places to stay in Medellín. You won’t have to forget about five star service and luxury if you want some independence during your stay, just  check out one of these properties to get both!

  • Casa Del Reloj – Being located in the Park Lleras area of El Poblado means we’re already off to a good start. In addition, the two bedroom apartment is decorated in an antique colombian mountain style and is simply STUNNING! The architecture alone will amaze. There is even an indoor pool! There is really nothing to fault about this property, simply amazing.
  • Manila House – In contrast with the last property, Manila House is a modern and sleek apartment. The duplex is a  two-storey house and is also extremely spacious and decorated in a minimalist style. With a full kitchen, two bedrooms, a sofa bed and amazing views, this property is a great choice if you are a fan of modern design.
  • Apartamento Lleras AC Hot Tub – My favourite out of the three is Apartamento Lleras. As you may have guessed, the property has a hot tub, stunning views, BBQ and outdoor seating, full kitchen and best of all, a window wall! Don’t worry, it looks out onto a garden so privacy isn’t compromised, win/win!

Best Middle-Priced Apartments in Medellín (From US$55 to US$165)

best place to stay in medellin

Just like with the best hotels in Medellín section above, where you will find most variety and value is in the middle-priced section. Now this is a great thing, however more options means choosing becomes very difficult. Fortunately for you, I have done all the research for you and have selected the three best options here to help you get the most value out of your budget. Check it out!

  • Poblado Brownstone – This property is situated in the Lleras area of El Poblado. Equipped with leather furnishings, a full kitchen, TVs in each room and large, comfortable beds Poblado Brownstone is a real winner. There is also a (shared) rooftop terrace with a hot tub! It is also centrally located and has a BBQ!
  • Apartamentos Loma Verde – Situated on the outskirts of El Poblado, Loma Verde is tucked away from all the action, but still within 5 minutes walk. Each apartment has it’s own private balcony, fully equipped kitchen, dishwasher (yahoo, no washing dishes) and modern electronics. There is a shared terrace/BBQ area and a spectacular rooftop pool!
  • Soy Local – Meaning I’m local in Spanish, this apartment is such a great budget option. These studio apartments are decorated in a New York loft style and include a kitchenette and modern furnishings. There’s a shared rooftop terrace and if you want to splurge a little more, the deluxe studios come with a private outdoor hot tub!

Best Hotels Near The Medellín Airport

medellin city from the airport

José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) is the only international airport in Medellin and it is located 20 km southeast of the city, in fact, the airport is located in a different city called Rio Negro. Don’t worry, it is extremely common to fly in/out of this airport to access Medellín and 20km is not that far if you really think about it.

However, for reasons such as a late arrival, early departure or something completely different, some travellers choose to stay close by the airport. In this section I have provided you with the best options for doing so. I have of course broken them down into budget sections, due to the proximity to the city, the prices are a little lower than in Medellín itself. So let’s get into my Medellín airport hotel guide!

best hotels in medellin

  • Movich Hotel Las Lomas – Kicking us off and in the luxury section is Movich Hotel. More of an estate than a hotel, the Movich has it all. Guests will find a tennis court, heated pool, gym, hot tub, terrace and 3 in-house restaurants! The hotel is five stars, so expect that level of service from staff. Best of all, there’s a free airport shuttle!
  • Hotel Lagoon – Another five star hotel, however this time in the middle-priced section. The Lagoon features a daily buffet breakfast, in-house restaurant, large outdoor pool and fitness centre. They also have an airport shuttle which depending on your booking may be free. The hotel is set on a large property so you can even wander around the gardens to relax!
  • Star Hostal – Club De Tenis – Located just over 1km from the airport is Star Hostal. Providing simple yet modern rooms that all have a desk and tv. The reception is 24 hours for those late arrivals and the hotel possesses a fitness centre, tennis court and terrace! For when the flight time comes, the airport shuttle takes 5 minutes as is free!

NOTE: There also have the Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH) that serves local flights, but this one is located just a 10 min drive from El Poblado, so you won’t need to stay in a different area for this one!



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Conclusion

medellin where to stay

So there you have it, my complete guide to Medellín accommodation replete with hotels, apartments and options for near the airport! The city itself is, as they say in Spanish, a maravilla, or a marvel. There is so much to do and see, and if partying is your thing then you will love Medellín, as you can see in my what to do in Medellín article which is full of cool events, museums and tourist sights.

In terms of tourism, Medellín is still recovering from it’s violent history and past, so if you like to check places out before they become ‘cool’ and overcrowded with instagrammers and tourists, then now is the perfect time for some Medellín travel.

But they are coming, the tourists, so if you do decide to visit this lovely city please ensure you are booking a Medellín hotel/apartment as soon as possible. And as always, enjoy yourselves, be safe and be sure to hit me up with any questions you might have about the city in the comments below!

Happy travels!

Arantxa

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