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Cost of accommodation in Medellín: How cheap is Colombia?

Posted by Joseph Sexton on June 13, 2022
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Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city and is fast becoming a new home for many foreigners who have discovered that the “City of Eternal Spring” is one of Latin America’s best-kept secrets. There is no doubt that the low cost of living in Medellin is one of the main reasons why digital nomads, foreigners, backpackers, and retirees are flocking to Medellin.

In this post, we’ll give you an overview of what you need to know about the cost of living in Medellín as it relates to accommodation.

Lodging

The price of lodging will depend largely on two factors.

  1. The location
  2. Where or howdo you find a place

Let’s talk about location first.

The best neighborhoods in Medellín

Before we dive in, we should point out that any neighborhood we mention here is generally considered safe.

Of course, like any great city, you should keep your wits about you. Just make smart choices and you’ll be fine.

– Getting drunk and walking home at 1 am is a bad idea.

– Getting drunk and ordering an Uber at the bar at 1 am is a good (or at least better) idea.

You get the point.

laurels

BaseLang Medellín Spanish school is located in the Laureles neighborhood, which has a good reputation among foreigners for being the more authentic side of Medellín, compared to El Poblado, which is where most tourists and foreigners stay.

This barrio (Spanish for “neighborhood”) is a quiet residential area, which creates a more relaxed atmosphere compared to other parts of the city. The streets are flat (not common in Medellín), making everything within walking distance. You may be wary of staying in an area that is “too” quiet, but the truth is that Laureles has everything you need for day-to-day living, with cafes on every corner and top-notch restaurants at your fingertips. There are also several supermarkets and everything you can think of.

Estadio

The Estadio neighborhood is located right next to Laureles and shares many similarities, although this neighborhood can be considered the noisy neighbor as it is where you will find a large number of bars and nightclubs on the famous La 70 street, which is perfect if you are looking for an authentic Colombian night.

Although Laureles is considered a bit more upscale than the Estadio neighborhood, prices in both neighborhoods are similar.

Typical housing costs (including bills) for Laureles or Estadio are:

$500-800+/month for a 1-bedroom studio apartment, depending on how well you do
$200-$300/month for a private room in a shared apartment
$10/night for a dorm bed in a hostel

El Poblado

This neighborhood of Medellin is by far the most popular area for tourists and most foreigners, as it is where you will find the best nightlife that Medellin has to offer, as well as most of the best restaurants in the city (including almost all luxury). As a result, most of the hostels and hotels are also located here, which means that many people passing through Medellin will at least visit this area once.

There are several areas in El Poblado, each offering a slightly different experience. Provenza and nearby Parque Lleras are a bit noisier, but right next to all the restaurants, nightlife, and some of the best cafes. A little further south, closer to the Santafé shopping center, it’s a bit quieter and a bit more upscale.

You can pay higher prices for almost everything in El Poblado, including accommodation.

Typical housing costs (including bills):

$1000-1200/month for a studio-1 bedroom apartment
$400-$500/month for a private room in a shared apartment
$10-$12/night for a dorm bed in a hostel

Other Neighborhoods in Medellín

In our experience, most foreigners tend to stay in Laureles, Estadio, or El Poblado.

However, if you feel like exploring, here are three neighborhoods that deserve an honorable mention.

– Ciudad Del Rio: An up-and-coming neighborhood between Poblado and Centro (Centro is where you don’t want to live, as it is the most dangerous neighborhood in the city) that has undergone a lot of development in recent years. Its highlights include the Mercado Del Rio food hall (a must-see), the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tres Cordilleras brewery if you are a craft beer lover. If you stay in this area, then you will probably have the advantage of being close to the “industrial” metro stop.

– Belen: Neighborhood located right next to Laureles, just south/southwest. If you want more affordable accommodations and a more authentic Colombian experience, then you may want to consider this neighborhood. Depending on the part of Belen you choose to stay in, it may be as close to Laureles as the Estadio.

Envigado

The safest neighborhood in the city. It is quiet, beautiful, and very local, while still being one of the best places to live in the city. Although this neighborhood is located right next to El Poblado, Envigado is technically a different city than Medellín. The only complaint some people have about staying here is that everything seems far away (except El Poblado), and getting to the metro can be a hike in itself.

Typical housing costs (including bills) for the above areas:

– $500-$800/month for a 1-bedroom studio apartment.

– 200-$300/month for a private room in a shared apartment

– 10/night for a dorm bed in a hostel (there are not many hostels in these areas).

Where to find accommodation in Medellin?

We have already covered the first factor that will influence the cost of your accommodation, and that is location.

The second deciding factor is how or where you find a place.

As with most cities, the more homework you do to find a place, the cheaper it will be.

Here are four of the most reliable ways to find housing.

(If you’re only in town for a couple of days, you can ignore this section and use Hostel World for hostels, booking.com for hotels, and so on).

Airbnb Medellin

This is by far the most convenient way to find accommodation before you arrive in Medellín, as you can read reviews, message the host, research the location, and order a place before you set foot on Colombian soil.

However, you will likely pay more for this convenience, as Airbnb tends to be the most expensive way to find short- or long-term accommodations. The good news is that most hosts offer weekly or monthly discounts if you pay for your entire stay in one booking. Once you get to the accommodation, you can cut out the middleman (Airbnb) and negotiate directly with the host if you are looking to extend your stay.

CompartoApto

Most foreigners who arrive in Medellin don’t even know about CompartoApto. I was able to browse the website in Spanish, the rooms on this site are generally much cheaper than those listed on Airbnb.

Simply create a free account, fill out your profile and use the map feature to see what’s available in the neighborhood you want to stay in. You can find rooms ranging from $175-$350/month and, in most cases, the price will reflect the quality of the room.

Unfortunately, most of the listings on this site are for rooms in a shared house, rather than full apartments. Generally, you should stay a minimum of 1 month, but sometimes it can be longer than that. Depending on the area, you could be living with local Colombians or foreigners.

Pro tip: pay $5 to upgrade to a premium membership for a week, and your inbox will be flooded with offers from people who are renting places. From experience, it’s a solid investment.

Facebook Groups

If you’re not using Facebook groups, you’re missing out on a gold mine of information about Medellín. Not only can you find accommodations here, but FB groups are where you will find a solid community of Colombians and foreigners posting about a variety of services. The best groups are Medellin Expats, Digital Nomads in Medellin, and Colombians and Expats of Medellin.

Go to the building itself

If you’re in the city, you can walk to the building you want (or just walk up and down the street you want, stopping at each building) and ask the concierge (front desk) if there are furnished apartments (Apartamentos amoblados). ) available for rent. This is how many people find an apartment where they sometimes live for more than a year, saving ~40% of what they would have paid for a similar place on Airbnb.

Last words

We hope you liked this little guide, if you have questions please leave us your comments below or send us a message, we will try to respond as soon as possible.

Hi, I'm Joey, and I'm here to help you find the perfect place for you.

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