Trying to narrow down the best places to stay in Medellín, Colombia, is difficult enough, but the more time I spend here after making some local friends and speaking with travelers, the harder it’s becoming. But don’t worry, I’m going to trim the fat and give you a butcher’s cut of where you should stay in Medellín. I’ve put in my time, so you won’t have to put in yours.
The 10 best places to stay in Medellin:
- Selina Medellín
- Los Patios Hostel
- La Playa Hostel & Rooftop
- Hostal Cattleya
- Happy Buddha Boutique
- Purple Monkey Hostel
- Rango Boutique Hostel
- Celestino Boutique Hotel
- Click Clack Hotel
- La Casa en el Aire
If you want to stay near the hub, the Poblado neighborhood provides some of the best options for all types of travelers—whether you want to make friends along the way, find the best bars, or indulge in a high-quality treatment. The area provides a wide selection of ethnic restaurants and even a quaint little shopping center if you dig a little deeper.
You can also find some quiet in neighboring areas like Laureles, or Envigado, which mimic quiet suburbs without losing out on entertainment. And for those who seek even a quieter stay, you can take the road less-traveled up north to explore more secluded options away from Medellín.
For the Backpacker
Selina Medellín is ideal for gregarious backpackers seeking a community within their living spaces. Rooms are cheap with community accommodations being as low as $10 USD/night, but it’s the surrounding amenities that might hike up your bill. The building boasts a bar, restaurant, yoga deck, pool table, community kitchen, and—its biggest attraction—a 24-hour coworking space. And then there’s even a meditation room inside the coworking space if you need a break from your screen. The main bar area often hosts events during soccer games and even throws parties once in a while (i.e. they had a party for Pride Weekend).
Selina is still a very young brand (est. 2014), but its newness transforms into its advantage as it caters to the wandering millennial and travelers who can spend a little extra coin in exchange for convenient social networking. This type of hostel is becoming increasingly popular are more solo travelers and digital nomads crave lifestyle and productivity with their sleeping accommodations.
Another similar hostel in Los Patios Hostel that offers a rooftop bar, indoor gym, and several options for group activities. Their coworking space is beautiful as well, taking on more modern designs compared to Selina. You can meet other travelers and plan excursions to explore Colombia’s beautiful landscapes, from its mountains and oceans to its deserts and jungles—literally and figuratively. Each floor of the hostel is themed after one of the four ecosystems. Rooms and beds are a bit pricier though, starting around $25/night.
Only a few blocks away, there’s the La Playa Hostel & Rooftop for those who crave homier accommodations, but still, want to stay in the Poblado area while paying the same price. The friendly staff adds to the coziness of the hostel, but also hosts weekly pub crawls on Wednesday that starts at its rooftop bar. Whether you want to spend a night in or join the crowds, La Playa offers a bit of both worlds.
Tired of Poblado and its nightlife? Hostal Cattleya might up your alley—a little up and to the left, to be exact. This new property in the heart of Laureles, a popular Medellín neighborhood made favorite by locals and tourists because of its safety and cleanliness. And you don’t lose out on the culture; Calle 70 is another popular nook hosting multiple bars and restaurants that’s not as expensive as Parque Lleras.
For the Night Owls
There’s a reason why some want to visit Medellín: to party. The Happy Buddha Boutique Hostel is going to be the perfect judgment-free spot where you can meet people as eager as you fill your hours playing drinking games and bar hopping. Their dormitory-style rooms are priced similarly to Selina ($11/night), but the self-proclaimed party hostel lives up to its name by throwing a different event every night, so their patrons don’t get bored. Oh, and they have a pool.
Situated five minutes away from the metro station, the Purple Monkey Hostel is another favorite amongst party people. They pride themselves on hosting the biggest rooftop bar in Medellín and encourage social interactions between their guests. With a 24-hour bar, free daily breakfast, and frequent events, this 18 year and over hostel is the choice for you if sleep is a low priority.
If you want to upgrade a level or two, you can also stay at the Rango Boutique Hostel where you can take a step back in the grittiness of communal living without giving up the social benefits of a hostel. From their eco-driven rooms and wood-paneled floors to the homemade food and local art—all facets of the hostel were inspired by the city’s own culture and embellished by their community. Not to mention that its location is neatly placed a couple of blocks away from the noise, so you either stay out all night or leave your group to catch some uninterrupted sleep. Prices start at $17/night.
For the Indulger
Want to treat yourself? The recently-constructed Celestino Boutique Hotel has been a guest favorite thus far. It’s a beautifully built eco-friendly structure with botanical ornaments, exceptional service, and ideal location, as long as you don’t mind being next door to a few nightclubs. Rates are pretty fair considering the quality of the rooms, starting at $28/night.
The Click Clack Hotel is another great option if you prefer quality and comfort, and don’t mind a little bit of interactive art. Modern design and interactive pieces adorns the hotel’s interior. Further in, there’s even an art gallery showcasing local artists, an internal park is articulately placed for patrons to dabble in, and free breakfast, which is always a plus. You end up paying more for the chic architecture ($100/night for two adults), but the rooms are best for couples anyway so feel free to snag a partner when you visit Click Clack.
Off the Beaten Path
If you want to take a much-needed break from the city, spending a few nights at La Casa en el Aire might help with your detox; it is located in Abejorral, which is about a three-hour drive south from Medellin.
La Casa en el Aire directly translates to “The House in the Air,” and that is exactly that—it’s a communal camp-style house strategically built on top of a steep rock that overlooks the grandeur of Colombia’s beautiful natural landscape and horizon. You can spend your days hiking in the wilderness, hanging out in the suspended hammocks, or pursue other adventurous activities such as ziplining or rappelling.
Although Medellín has definitely become safer in recent years, it still isn’t recommended by locals or travelers to stay in the heart of the city. Visit downtown, absolutely, but be wary of its surroundings because you’ll still feel the intrepid remnants of Pablo Escobar’s influence and prevalent homelessness.
There is a stark contrast between vacationers and travelers—though distinguishing the two is becoming easier to identify. Whether you want to spend your hours in sunlit terraces, lazily sip outdated cocktails on rooftops, find backpackers to bar hop with, breathe fresh air as you trek through jungled forests—there’s a place for you.
What is the best area to stay in Medellin?
Overall, I recommend the Poblado neighborhood in Medellín. Even though it tends to be a little more expensive than the other suburban options, Poblado offers enough varied options for any type of traveler, on any type of budget.
What is the temperature in Medellin?
This is the “City of Eternal Spring” so the weather is usually mildly warm, but the rainy season is usually during April-May and September-October. And because of its altitude and surroundings, weather can drastically change in the course of a day—from sunny, clear skies, to pouring rain, in a matter of minutes. Always carry a jacket with you.