The vibrant metropolis of Medellín, Colombia has become a hub of activity for business owners, digital nomads, trade, and tourism. As you navigate its streets, you’ll discover a tapestry of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character. Explore with us Medellin’s coolest neighborhoods and where to stay on your upcoming trip.
Medellín is known for being a modern city that has something for everyone. From the trendy streets of El Poblado to the artistic enclave of Laureles, join us as we explore the beating heart of Medellín and uncover the hidden gems that make each neighborhood a testament to the city’s resilience and creativity. This city of 2.5 million inhabitants is surprisingly easy to navigate. It is the only city in Colombia that has a metro system, which is clean and well looked after. There is also a cable car system to reach some neighborhoods tucked up at the top of the valley. Uber and other taxi apps are also commonly used and super affordable. So read on to get the local’s guide on Medellin’s coolest neighborhoods and start planning your next trip!
Ready to visit Medellín? If you want to enjoy this wonderful city with unique experiences and adjusted to all your requirements we got you!
Poblado: The Trendy Hub
El Poblado is the go-to neighborhood for many people visiting the city for the first time. This vast neighborhood has a lot of the main bars, clubs, and restaurants. It is buzzing with activity and movement at night. If Poblado were a person, he would be your party-mad friend who drags you out every night of the week; a total foodie who can’t say no to a tasty cocktail. Always impeccably dressed and super sociable, but with expensive taste. Definitely a friend to keep close!
Poblado is a great place to stay for those who wish to be near all the main action. For that reason, we would generally recommend el Poblado for those who are visiting Medellin for just a few days. With less need to catch taxis or the Metro, a lot of this neighborhood is walkable, especially if you are staying near Parque Lleras or Provenza. Provenza, like the song immortalized by Reggaeton artist Karol G, is for sure one of Medellín’s coolest neighborhoods. This swish, upscale neighborhood is safe and walkable and home to some of the nicest bars, clubs, and restaurants in Medellin. Cruise down the tree-lined streets and pop into a speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf, or enjoy a stylish cocktail frozen with dry ice. Walking the streets of Provenza will have you feeling like a celebrity; and you probably will be rubbing shoulders with a few, too.
Coffee and brunch connoisseurs simply cannot leave Medellin without having visited the famous coffee shop Pergamino. Just a few blocks away from Parque Lleras and Provenza, Pergamino serves fresh, local coffee beans and is THE place to head to cure a hangover on a Sunday morning. They are also pet-friendly, and the beautiful dogs of Medellin are sure to bring you much joy. Foodies will be pleased to learn that the majority of the best restaurants in the city are concentrated in this area. You could have one of the best gastronomic experiences of your life just a few steps from your villa.
Check out our blog on the best restaurants in Medellin for the insider scoop on the hottest spots to eat in the city of eternal Spring.
Laureles – For local charm and artistic vibes
Laureles is probably the second most popular neighborhood for expats and tourists in Medellin. A little more residential, and a little more low-key than el Poblado, Laureles is the perfect place to spend a little more time. We love the laid-back vibes of Laureles, but also the fact that it still has some incredible restaurants, brunch spots, and a party district too. There is a pretty young crowd in Laureles, as it is a University district. You will often find digital nomads and young expats working remotely from its many coffee shops. Laureles is also packed with parks and green spaces, and football (soccer) lovers will be pleased to find out that this neighborhood is home to Medellín’s main football stadium.
If you’re looking for a local party and don’t want to head into the hedonistic center of Parque Lleras in el Poblado, you can enjoy a more local party scene at “La 70”. Carrera 70 in Laureles is a strip where you can go bar-hopping and enjoy the local music scene. Think Salsa, Vallenato, Bachata, and many beautiful Colombians who are willing to teach you the dance moves. Laureles in general is cheaper than el Poblado, from the nights out to the cost of rent. Another reason why it is a clear winner amongst so many visitors and one of the coolest neighborhoods in Medellin.
Envigado – The Hidden Gem
Envigado is a super chill and very green neighborhood located in the southeast of Medellin. Technically a municipality rather than part of the city itself, Envigado is well-connected to the bustling city center by metro, local buses, and taxis. Envigado is another neighborhood that would be great to stay longer periods of time. Get a glimpse into middle-class Medellin life in the leafy streets of Envigado. Here, you will find lots of families and expats. It is a bit further from the main attractions, which for some is an attraction in itself.
Enjoy the beautiful parks such as Parque El Salado, which offer activities such as hiking, climbing walls, and bird watching. You might even see some monkeys in the trees! Parque El Dorado in Envigado is also the perfect place for dog walking or for kids to play. Pack a picnic and get out in nature during your stay in suburban Envigado. There are plenty more attractions in Envigado such as Finca La Leona, a coffee farm where you can get a tour of the coffee-making process in stunning green surroundings. Adventurous travelers can also get a bus to Arenales. Here, you can go hiking from Pablo Escobar’s “jail” La Catedral through pine forest, and past waterfalls and natural springs. Having all of this so close to the city is one of our favorite things about Medellin.
Belén – Authentic Colombian Experience
If you want a taste of real Colombian life, try Belén, Medellin. It’s a residential neighborhood that is close to everything, with a super chill vibe. One of the first things you will surely notice about Belén is the difference in price compared to el Poblado and Laureles in particular. It’s super affordable, and many working to middle-class Colombians live here. Belén is pretty safe, and people are friendly, due to its residential feel. It is best for cheaper accommodation and long-term rentals. However, you will need to speak Spanish if you plan on staying in Belén for a longer period of time. It’s not nearly as touristic as the other neighborhoods we have mentioned. So dust off your Duolingo subscription and become a real paisa during your stay! It’s the best way to get the authentic Colombian experience!
There is plenty to do in Belén too; don’t miss out on visiting the Pueblito Paisa, located at the top of Cerro Nutibara. This mini replica of an old Antioquian town is a cute day out for a date or for families. You can try some traditional food and drink, and take in the sights of the city. A visit to Pueblito Paisa is an unmissable Belén experience in Medellin. Belén is also home to Parque de Belén, a central park where locals gather to enjoy outdoor activities.
Wherever you decide to stay during your trip to Medellin, you are sure to find a completely unique experience in each of these thriving barrios. Whether you are looking to party in El Poblado or blend in with the locals in a quaint coffee shop in Laureles, every neighborhood tells a story. There is truly something for everybody in Medellin. So, lace up your shoes and get ready to explore—the coolest neighborhoods of Medellín are waiting to be discovered.
Now you have a better idea of where you want to stay in Medellin, you can start planning your trip. Get in touch with our team today to tailor-make your experience!