5 Safest areas to stay in Medellin for tourists (and Where to avoid)

Wondering What are the safest areas of Medellin to stay? In this post, I will help you to find the safest areas to stay in Medellin for tourists, best hotels to stay in each area, the place where I stayed, and areas to avoid.

Medellín, Colombia, is a vibrant and dynamic city located in the Aburrá Valley, in the northwestern part of the country. It is the second-largest city in Colombia, after Bogotá. 

With its pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, and warm-hearted people, Medellín has earned the nickname City of Eternal Spring.

Founded in 1616, Medellí faced challenges with violence and crime during the 1980s and 1990s, primarily due to the presence of drug cartels. In recent years, the city has made remarkable progress in terms of safety and urban development.

Is it safe to vacation in Medellin?

Yes, Medellin is generally a safe city to visit. The city has seen a decrease in crime and violence, and many visitors have had positive experiences exploring the city. But, it’s essential to take standard precautions and use common sense to ensure a pleasant and secure trip. 

It is recommended to choose reputable and safe neighborhoods for accommodation, and avoid areas with a history of crime. Also, avoid poorly lit and isolated areas during nighttime and stick to well-trafficked and well-lit streets.

What are the safest parts of Medellin to stay?

The best and safest areas to stay in Medellin for tourists are El Poblado, Laureles, Envigado, Sabaneta, and Belén. While these neighborhoods are generally considered safe, it’s still important to exercise caution and take standard safety precautions. 

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to consult with locals or your hotels for specific safety advice and recommendations during your visit.

Where did I stay in Medellin?

When I first visited Medellin, I stayed for 5 nights in El Poblado at the mid-range Leblón Suites Hotel. It was a good value for money hotel in a central quiet area. I had a pleasant stay in a self-catering suite with a fully-equipped kitchen. Breakfast was very good.

Here is an overview of recommended areas:

El PobladoIt is an upscale, popular and safest areas for tourists in Medellin. It offers a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping options. Parque Lleras, located in El Poblado, is known for its vibrant nightlife.
LaurelesThis residential neighborhood is another safe option for travelers. It has a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful parks, and a variety of restaurants and cafes. The Estadio Metro Station is located here, providing easy access to other parts of the city.
EnvigadoLocated just south of El Poblado, Envigado is known for its tranquil atmosphere. It offers a mix of residential areas, parks, and commercial zones. Envigado has its own Metro Station and is well-connected to other parts of Medellin.
SabanetaAlso south of Medellin, Sabaneta is a growing area with a range of amenities. It has gained popularity among expats for its safety and quality of life.
BelénThis area has become safer in recent years and offers a more affordable option for accommodation. It has a variety of shopping centers, parks, and dining options.

Where to avoid Medellin Colombia?

It is recommended to avoid walking alone in Centro/La Candeleria and Comuna 13 especially at night, as well as avoid the outskirts of town. As a visitor, sticking to well-known tourist areas and exercising common sense precautions can go a long way in ensuring a safe trip to Medellin.

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Medellin:

Map of best areas to stay in MEDELLIN
Map of best areas to stay in MEDELLIN

5 Best and Safest areas to stay in Medellin for tourists

1. El Poblado 

El Poblado is the best and safest area to stay in Medellin for visitors, especially first-timers, digital nomads, and those staying in the city for a short time. 

El Poblado is a trendy and upscale neighborhood known for its vibrant nightlife, numerous restaurants, cafes, bars, coworking places, and shopping malls. 

The neighborhood is well-connected by public transportation, including the Medellín Metro system and Metroplús buses, making it easy to access other parts of the city.

The area is surrounded by lush greenery and parks, including Lleras Park and Parque de El Poblado, providing visitors with areas to relax and enjoy nature.

Parque Lleras is the heart of El Poblado’s nightlife and entertainment scene. It is a lively square surrounded by restaurants, bars, clubs, and cafes. Especially on weekends, it comes alive with people looking for a good time. 

Parque Lleras is a party area, so be sure not to walk alone through the park at night as drunk tourists may be the target for robberies, muggings, and drugging. 

El Poblado offers several shopping centers, such as Santa Fe Mall and Oviedo Mall, where you can find a wide range of stores, boutiques, and international brands.

Additionally, the neighborhood is home to numerous cultural attractions including the famous El Castillo Museo y Jardines, Jose Amar Gallery, and Saint Joseph of El Poblado Church.

The neighborhood is known for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene. You can find a wide range of restaurants serving local Colombian dishes, international cuisine, and trendy fusion options.

The area also offers a variety of accommodation choices, including luxury hotels, budget backpacker hostels, and rental apartments. It is home to some of the best hotels in the city.

The lively nightlife, touristy, lots of traffic, can be a double-edged sword for some. If you want quieter locations than the Parque Lleras area, look for hotels around the areas of Provenza, Manila, El Tesoro, which offer stunning views of the city.

Also worth noting that the La Provenza expat neighborhood, El Tesoro mall, and Santa Fe mall areas, are situated on the hillside. Staying here means you’ll have to walk up and down steep hills to get to your accommodations.

While El Poblado is generally considered one of the safer neighborhoods in Medellín, it’s essential to remember that, like any city, you should always take standard safety precautions and be mindful of your surroundings while exploring the area.

Best places to stay in Medellin in El Poblado:

  • Luxury ($$$): Marquee Medellí, 5-star hotel, located close to El Poblado Park, Lleras Park, The Dancer’s Park, and Linear Park President. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Dix, 4-star hotel, located within easy walk from Lleras Park and El Poblado Park.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Merlott Lleras, great 3-star hotel with a 24-hour front desk.

2. Laureles

Laureles is a safe and great base for those seeking  for a more laid-back and local atmosphere. It is considered one of the most traditional and well-established areas of the city, known for its tree-lined streets and diverse community.

Located 15 minutes northwest of Poblado, Laureles is much flatter and more pedestrian-friendly than Poblado. It is primarily a residential neighborhood and is home to a mix of families, students, digital nomads, and young expats.  

One of the appealing aspects of Laureles is the abundance of parks and green spaces. The Parque Laureles and Parque de Los Deseos are two of the most well-known parks in the area, where people gather for various recreational activities and cultural events.

Laureles boasts a vibrant dining scene with numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars offering a wide range of Colombian and international cuisine. It is generally cheaper than El Poblado.

Laureles offers easy access to the Carrera 70 (La Setenta), which is a lively strip filled with restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to hang out and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Popular places of interest in and around Laureles are Avenida 33 for live Latin music and salsa dancing, Circular 1, Uni Centro shopping mall, Pueblito Paisa historical village, Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot recreation area, and the Atanasio Girardot Stadium.

Laureles is well-connected to other parts of Medellín, making it easy to explore the rest of the city. Public transportation, including buses, metro, or cable cars, is readily available.

As with any neighborhood, it’s essential to exercise typical safety precautions, but Laureles is generally considered a pleasant and attractive area to stay or visit in Medellín.

Best places to stay in Medellin in Laureles:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Cavalta, 5-star hotel, located close to Laureles Park, Plaza de Toros La Macarena and Medellin’s Metropolitan Theater. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Casa Laureles,4-star hotel, easy walk to Los Laureles Mall. 
  • Budget ($): Ayenda Loft 32, 3-star hotel, easy reach from Laureles Park, Belen’s Park and San Antonio’s Square.

3. Envigado

Envigado is a safe residential area, situated in the southwestern part of the Metropolitan Area of Medellín. It is a popular choice among both locals and expatriates due to its safe and tranquil environment, convenient amenities, and overall quality of life.

Envigado is known for its friendly community, beautiful parks, good restaurants, and relatively lower levels of crime compared to some other neighborhoods in Medellin.

Parque Envigado is located in the heart of the city. It is a popular spot for locals and visitors to relax, have a picnic, or enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Envigado is not as popular as Poblado and Laureles, but it is a good choice for long-term travelers and digital nomads, those seeking local, authentic Colombian vibe, and cheaper accommodations and restaurants compared to the more famous neighborhoods in the city.

Best places to stay in Medellin in Envigado:


4. Sabaneta

Sabaneta is located south of Envigado and around 20 minutes drive from Poblado. Similar to Envigado, Sabaneta is a safe residential neighborhood, providing a local atmosphere and low cost of living.

Major attractions in Sabaneta are the La Romera Ecological Reserve and Parque Sabaneta, which is a lovely town square, surrounded by trees, al fresco restaurants and eateries in its surrounding streets.  

A note that this is the local area, where Spanish is not spoken by many English speakers, so it is best suited for those with good Spanish skills and enjoy a laid-back small-town atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Medellin in Sabaneta:


5. Belén

Belén is a great base for long-term travelers and expats seeking affordable apartments. It offers easy access to Los Molinos Shopping Center and Olaya Herrera Airport.

Major points of interest in its surroundings are the Belén Park, El Cerro Nutibara ecological park, Pueblito Paisa, Parque de Las Esculturas, the metro cable cars, and Cerro de las Tres Cruces Viewpoint.

Best places to stay in Medellin in Belén:

See more: Where to Stay in Medellin

In conclusion, El Poblado, Laureles, Envigado, Sabaneta, and Belén are some of the safest places to stay in Medellin for tourists. It is always wise to practice common sense and secure of your belongings no matter where you stay.

El Poblado is the best overall area for first-timers, While Laureles appeals to those seeking a local charm and budget-friendly location. Envigado suits families and nature enthusiasts, Belén is ideal for long-term travelers seeking for budget accommodations and a local vibe.

Choose wisely based on your preferences and priorities.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

Leave a Comment