Best Neighborhoods to Live & Work in Medellín Colombia

Have you ever visited a place and immediately felt like you could live there? That’s how we felt when we visited Medellín for the first time!

We quickly discovered why Medellín is so popular with expats and digital nomads – the transition to living there would be very easy.

From the solid infrastructure to the excellent healthcare, great weather, and awesome people, this city has everything we look for in a place to live.

While we were there, we toured a few of the most popular neighborhoods with Juan Camilo, a local tour guide, and learned what makes each one unique.

Laureles Medellín Colombia

Let’s start with Laureles, the most popular neighborhood among retirees.

This area is safe, walkable, and offers a variety of restaurants. It’s very flat, which makes it accessible if you don’t like walking up hills after dinner or with a load of groceries.

We were also pleasantly surprised to find that condo options are very affordable in this area. You can find really nice condos, fully furnished including all utilities for around $1,000 USD per month.

Laureles Medellín ColombiaThe mercados are one of our favorite places to practice our Spanish, as most people don’t speak English. And Laureles has a great mercado! Our guide taught us how to eat the little mangos by biting off the tip of the mango and squeezing it from the bottom up like a tube of toothpaste until all the juice is drained into your mouth. Or in our case, all over the floor and our shirts!

La Floresta Medellín ColombiaLa Floresta Medellín Colombia

Next to Laureles is La Floresta, a smaller and more affordable neighborhood, but it’s still walkable over to Laureles.

It offers a variety of neighborhood grocery stores and it’s family-friendly, making it a great option for people with small children.

This area is quiet and not a party area, perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

El Estadio Medellín ColombiaEl Estadio Medellín Colombia

El Estadio is another popular neighborhood in Medellín, but more-so with the locals than foreign residents.

It’s where the professional fútbol (soccer) stadium is located and it’s known for its entertainment options such as bars and nightclubs.

The metro rail system runs through El Estadio, making it easy to get around the city.

Sabaneta Medellín ColombiaSabaneta Medellín Colombia

Sabaneta is located at the far south end of the Medellín metro and it’s the most affordable option, with fully furnished rentals available for as low as $450 per month.

We loved the authentic feel of this neighborhood, seeing the older generation playing chess in the park. Sabaneta is also safe and close to public transportation.

El Poblado Medellín ColombiaEl Poblado Medellín Colombia

Finally, we have El Poblado, the most popular neighborhood in Medellin that made the New York Times list of must-visit places in 2023.

We stayed in a highrise AirBnB condo in the Blux building about a 10 minute walk uphill from Zona Rosa where the restaurants and nightlife are located.

This area is very popular with tourists, digital nomads, and foreign residents from all over the world. El Poblado is known for its gastronomy and nightlife, and we loved the energy and variety of shops and restaurants.

While it’s hilly, it’s still walkable and has a river with lots of big trees and plants. The grocery stores in El Poblado include Carulla and Exito, as well as many other small neighborhood shops.

 

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There are big shopping malls, such as El Tesoro, Oviedo and the Santafé in El Poblado, but you’ll want to catch a ride to them if you’re staying near Zona Rosa.

This neighborhood also has excellent healthcare and some of the clinics are popular for medical tourism.

The major downside of El Poblado is the cost. It’s the most expensive area in Medellín with expensive high-rise condos everywhere. Rents start around $1,000/month and go up considerably depending on the condo, location and amenities.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s our favorite neighborhood in Medellín? While we really enjoyed Laureles for its flatness and authentic feel, we have to say that El Poblado was our favorite.

Despite the hills, we loved the young energy and variety of restaurants, and we can’t wait to go back!

If you’re ever in Medellin and looking for a great neighborhood to visit, be sure to check out one of these five options.

If you’d like to know more about Medellin, make sure to watch the top 10 things that surprised us the most about Medellin.

Watch Our Video About The Best Neighborhoods in Medellín

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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!