Medellin is an incredible city that’s emerging as a must-visit destination if you are backpacking in Colombia! Medellin is successfully shedding its image as a “drug city” to one of innovation and creativity. With its warm weather year-round and locals (know as Paisas) who know how to have a good time, any itinerary to Colombia should definitely include a stop in “the city of eternal spring.”
There are tons of amazing hostels in Medellin, which can make it really difficult to choose one. That’s why I’ve created this list of best hostels in Medellin for 2020, broken down by your interests. You’ll be sure to find a hostel that fits your needs, saving you time and money!
Although more and more people are visiting Medellin, there are still some not-so-great areas. To make sure you stay safe while travelling, you’ll want to be sure you’re in one of the neighbourhoods that are popular with both expats and tourists.
Most of the nightlife, restaurants, and culture are centered around El Poblado and Laureles. Most of the hostels included in this post are located in or very near these two neighborhoods, but all of the hostels reviewed here are in very safe areas of this amazing city.
Table of Contents
Quick answer: The best hostels in Medellin
- Overall Best Hostel in Medellin – Selina Medellin
- Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Medellin – Purple Monkey Hostel
- Best Cheap Hostel in Medellin – Hostal Casa Paraiso
- Best Hostel for Couples in Medellin – Be Okay Hostel
- Best Party Hostel in Medellin – Paisa City Hostel
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Medellin – Black Sheep Hostel Medellin
- Best Hostel in Medellin Near the Airport – Casa Mosaico
What to look for to find the best hostels in Medellin
- Location – Medellin is a massive, sprawling city with loads of little barrios (neighbourhoods) to explore. The public transportation is quite good. There are two metro lines – the only ones in all of Colombia – as well as a few cable cars to take you up the mountain into the local ‘hoods. As I mentioned above, the two most popular neighbourhoods for gringos are El Poblado and Laureles. That’s where you’ll find the best nightlife but don’t worry, the areas are big enough to get away from the party if you need some sleep.
- Price – Backpacking Medellin can be a bit on the pricier side. Your Southeast Asian shoe-string budget might not get you quite as far in South America, but it’s still much cheaper than travelling in the USA, Western Europe, and Japan. You can still find a meal for $2-3 and local beers for $2-3 in a bar. As far as hostels go, you can still find beds for as low as $8 per night in the best hostels in Medellin.
- Amenities – Most of the best hostels in Medellin include breakfast or they have an equipped kitchen. Many of the reviews of these hostels mention hot water for the showers, which is hard to find elsewhere in Colombia, especially on the coast. With Medellin quickly becoming a digital nomad hotspot, strong wifi is super easy to find.
The Best Hostels in Medellin
These are 20 of the highest reviewed hostels in Medellin, broken down into categories to help you find the one that’s perfect for you. You’ll be able to travel to Medellin without worrying about your accommodation.
Overall Best Hostel in Medellin – Selina Medellín
– Cheap Social Dorms
– Unbelievable Bar
– Medellin’s Best Coworking
Selina isn’t technically a hostel – it’s something better. It has all the features of a hostel, like cheap dorms (with large lockers and a bed lamp) and a laid-back bar, but it offers loads of other amazing services!
Every Selina facility is designed to give you an experience depending on that location – and that’s what I got when I stayed here for New Years of 2019! I made a couple friends in the early hours of the New Years party and we hopped back and forth between the bar at Selina and Parque Lleras, the entertainment district just a few short blocks away.
Another guy from the Broke Backpacker team used their Coworking space religiously for a few months and had only awesome things to say! Seriously, he could have worked from anywhere in South America, but he was glued to his favorite workspace here in Medellin.
Best Overall Hostel in Medellin #2 – Hostel Rango Boutique
– Free Breakfast
– Free Lockers
Hostel Rango Boutique has everything you could want in a hostel. There’s fast wifi from top to bottom, a free European style breakfast, plus they have a bar and a restaurant on site making it easy to meet new friends. Although the private rooms are a bit on the pricey side, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, making it one of the best hostels in Medellin. Plus, it’s located in the heart of El Poblado – a top district in Medellin for eating, drinking, dancing, and socializing.
Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Medellin – Purple Monkey Hostel
– Free Breakfast
– Lots of Activities
– Orthopedic Mattresses
Purple Monkey Hostel’s main focus is encouraging interaction between guests. Playing host to multiple weekly activities such as a pub crawl and free movie night on the rooftop terrace, you’re sure to meet like-minded travelers and forge long-lasting friendships. There’s a rooftop bar, two communal areas, a TV room, and a kitchen for you to cook your own meals. It’s certainly on of the best hostels in Colombia.
Best Cheap Hostel in Medellin – Hostal Casa Paraiso
– Quiet, Chill Hostel
With amazing decorations and comfy beds, this is one of the best cheap hostels in Medellin. There is a kitchen for you to cook your own meals, a cafe on site serving different coffees and local food, and although breakfast is not included, it’s very cheap. It’s located close to a metro station and a massive sports complex with swimming pools, tracks, and basketball courts.
Best Hostel for Couples in Medellin – Be Okay Hostel
– Breakfast and towels included
Be Okay Hostel was designed with comfort in mind. With bigger beds, amazing pillows, and individual reading lights you can be sure your stay will be as comfortable as possible. The rooftop terrace is a great place to mingle and meet other guests. Located in a quiet area near lots of delicious restaurants and bars, this is a great hostel for couples. It’s definitely one of the best hostels in Medellin for 2020.
Best Party Hostel in Medellin – Paisa City Hostel
– Free welcome drink
– Great location
The best party hostel in Medellin, you’ll find it difficult to leave and actually see the city! Australian owned, this hostel has pool tables, ping pong tables, X-Box 360, and Playstaion 4. They even have salsa lessons on offer. The hostel is located near the famous Carrera 70 with lots of bars and clubs where you can practice your new moves. As one reviewer wrote, “…I might not remember places I saw in Medellin but I definitely will remember the time I spent in Paisa Hostel. Best party hostel I have ever stayed at!!”
Best Digital Nomad Hostel in Medellin – Black Sheep Hostel Medellin
– Spanish school onsite
– Sunday roast
The owner of Black Sheep Hostel has done a ton of traveling so he’s designed his hostel with travelers in mind. He can help you book tours within Medellin as well as the rest of Colombia. The hostel hosts many activities on site, most notably the Sunday roast where they make a massive feast on the Argentinian style grill, creating a very social atmosphere. They have invested heavily in their internet with a fiber optic line running directly to the hostel and three different Internet Service Providers. This makes it the best hostel for digital nomads, especially those traveling solo.
Best Hostel in Medellin Near the Airport – Casa Mosaico
– Beautiful surroundings
– Free wifi
The Medellin international airport is quite far away from the city center – over an hour to be exact. Casa Mosaico is the only hostel located within 20 minutes. It’s a great place to stay if you have an early flight out. More of a boutique hotel, they have nice spa where you can get a massage and relax to end your Colombian travels. It’s also a great hotel for couples due to their romantic hosting plans.
Go for a Helicopter Ride Over Medellin!
For adventurous backpackers with a little more budget to work with, I highly recommend going on an aerial helicopter tour of Medellin with Fly Colombia City Tours. The prices vary depending on group size but expect to pay around $80 USD per person for a 15 minute / 40-kilometer flight. The views are exceptionally stunning, plus who doesn’t want to go for a ride in a helicopter at least once, right? Special thanks to Luisa from Fly Colombia City Tours for helping us organize this flight!
If you can get a group of 5-6 people together from the hostel, you can get a better per person price (maximum 6 people in the helicopter). Book in advance and let Fly Colombia City Tours know The Broke Backpacker sent you! Ask for a flight around sunset time for the best photography light!
More of the Best Hostels in Medellin
– Free breakfast
– Great location
Super clean hostel located very close to the metro station, Sugar Cane hostel is great for travelers who love to socialize but also like to sleep. The owners are very knowledgable about Medellin and can offer great advice. The rooftop terrace is a great place to chill out and enjoy a beer. They also have a BBQ every Sunday, making it one of the best hostels in Medellin.
– Free towels
– Privacy curtains in dorms
This stylish and upscale hostel is beautifully decorated. Each floor represents a different region of Colombia from the jungle to the coast, each with a description meant to inspire and inform travelers. Each dorm bed has its own privacy curtain, fan, two plugs, and a light. Although breakfast isn’t included, there is a kitchen free for guests to use and there are many restaurants in the area.
– Rooftop plunge pool
– Pool table lounge
Daytime can be quite warm in the city so the plunge pool on the roof at Casa Kiwi Hostel makes it one of the top hostels in Medellin. It’s a great place to meet people as it’s very social but you won’t be kept up at night. The bar and cinema room are just the icing on the cake. This hostel comes highly recommended!
What to Pack for your Medellin Hostel
Here’s some gear our editors take hostelling.
1. Active Roots Toiletry Bag: Keep your bath-and-beauty items organized and in the right place with this water-resistant bag. With large compartments, mesh and enclosed clear sections, you can fit everything you might need inside. Hang it up or let it stand on its own – this bag is a must-have for dorm-lifers.
2. Power Bank: Probably one of the most important travel accessories – a decent power bank. Charging your phone up to 5 times in a row, the Anker Power Bank is a true lifesaver on long adventures or bus rides. Slick looking, handy and not too big, it easily fits in even the smallest travel bag or your pocket. Charge 2 devices at the same time with the double USB port.
3. Active Roots Water Bottle: Hostels are increasingly meeting backpackers’ demands for potable (drinkable) water. Now is better than ever to start traveling with a reusable water bottle! Aside from cutting down single-use plastic, The Active Roots stainless steel water bottle will also keep your favorite beverage hot or cold all day long and it’s sized perfectly to fit an entire bottle of wine. ‘Nuff said.
4. Universal Travel Adapter: This universal travel adapter charges your devices in (pretty much) every country – definitely a lifesaver when travelling around the world. The plug also regulates the power output depending on which device you’re charging. No more fried hair dryers or electric razors!
5. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds: You’ll have some pretty sorry roommates – it happens from time to time. These noise-canceling earbuds help mitigate the damage. The comfortable and ergonomic design won’t hurt your ears while sleeping no matter how long you keep them in. Increase the quality of your sleep by listening to some relaxing music at night or just enjoy the silence.
6. TRTL Travel Pillow: Get rid of the red eyes and yawning with this TRTL travel pillow. It’s not just a normal neck pillow (I mean, look at it!), the ergonomic design gives your neck and head so much comfortable support that you’ll actually be able to have some decent rest. Super easy to carry and clean, it takes up so little space compared to a traditional travel pillow.
Why you should travel to Medellin
Get ready, because Medellin is a wild and exciting ride. Remember, while Colombia as a whole is getting safer, it’s always best to book accommodation in areas that are popular with tourists. That’s why my number one recommendation is Hostel Rango Boutique…
Hopefully, with the help of this article, you’ll find the best hostels in Medellin, so you can focus on the whole reason we do what we do – experiencing a new place and its culture!
Travel Safety Tips for Medellin
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
If you’re concerned about your safety in Medellin, then be sure to check out our in-depth safety guide, which is full of realworld adivce and useful information.
More Epic Hostels in Colombia and South America
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Medellin.
Planning an epic trip all across Colombia or even South America itself?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around South America, check out:
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Medellin has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you’re planning on travelling further, you can be sure that you’ll always find a place to rest your head. There are amazing hostels all over Colombia, each offering a safe home-away-from-home, a chance to meet like-minded travellers and an affordable price for the night.
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going.
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A self-proclaimed travel-yoga-freak, Mathilde Magnier is French, raised in Brussels, and spent most of her adulthood in Sydney. Prior to working for The Broke Backpacker, Mathilde was working in the tech industry for a few years. She plans to spend most of 2020 balancing wellness and la Vida Loca in Central and South America.
You can connect and follow her journey on Instagram!