Medellín is, arguably, Colombia’s hippest, wildest city. Sorry, Bogotá!
Despite having a difficult past, the capital of the Department of Antioquia has moved on from Pablo Escobar’s shadow, and it is now famous for its fashion, great (if heavy) gastronomy, beautiful people and, of course, its crazy nightlife.
If you’re planning to go backpacking in South America, Medellín is a great starting point for your adventure, especially because its rumba is a sight to behold during the entire year.
In Medellín, there’s something to do for all kinds of clubbers. From hipster bars to gay clubs and fondas where traditional Colombian folk music salsa and other Latin rhythms play all night, the city has it all!
If you’re already (very) into the idea of clubbing in the paisa capital, there are a few things you should know to make the most of your stay in the city, which you can read all about in our party guide to Medellín.
First, you need to get familiar with guaro the (almost) official drink in Medellín.
This type of aguardiente has a similar taste to Sambuca, and it is common for people to offer it shots at the club. Whether you accept them or not is up to you, but we warn you: It will give you a massive hangover!
Another Medellín experience that you will NOT want to miss out is partying on a Colombian Chiva, an old, colorful, wooden bus that moves around the city blasting music (loudly!)
Also, people in Medellín tend to be very nice and welcoming, so don’t be afraid to talk to them at the club, but it will help if you learn some Spanish beforehand.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it is time to address the best areas to stay in Medellín for clubbing.
Although most of the party scene in the city revolves around El Poblado, we will discuss other options to match your clubbing style and, more importantly, your budget.
The best areas to stay in Medellín for clubbing
Deciding where to stay in Medellín for nightlife is largely based on two things: Budget and party preferences.
El Poblado is the epicenter of nightlife in Medellín, with exclusive clubs and bars for all types of visitors, and it is located in the southeastern part of the city.
On the other hand, Laureles is a great option for its more authentic bars and vibe.
If you are traveling with a smaller budget, staying in Medellín Centro (City Center) is a great idea.
Keep on reading for a full list of the best areas to stay in Medellín for clubbing according to your scene and budget.
1. El Poblado – For the Complete Partying Experience
El Poblado is the biggest Comuna (district) in Medellín, as well as the safest place to stay in the city.
This busy area has the largest collection of bars and clubs in the Antioquian capital and, therefore, it is where most locals and visitors party.
Most of the clubbing scene in El Poblado happens around Parque Lleras, where you’ll find a handful of sports bars, restaurants, and clubs with different themes.
However, Calle 10 also hosts an important number of bars and clubs, including gay-friendly options, fondas, salsa clubs and more.
El Poblado is the best area to stay in Medellín for clubbing because it allows you to have the complete party experience.
From dining at one of its high-end restaurants to early drinks at a bar AND then dancing at a club, El Poblado has everything a party animal needs and more!
As if that wasn’t enough, El Poblado is connected through the metro to other areas of Medellín, and it is also close to Itagüi, where the after-parties are usually held at clandestine bars.
2. Laureles – Local, yet Safe
Laureles offers a more authentic, less “manicured” version of Medellín’s nightlife, and it is growing in popularity among locals, visitors, and hipsters who are over El Poblado.
This is one of the best areas to stay in Medellín for clubbing because it is a safe district with lots of restaurants devoted to Colombian cuisine, as well as craft beer bars, and salsa clubs, particularly around Calle 33.
If you decide to stay in this area but still want to check out El Poblado’s clubs and bars, you can count on the metro system (with a station called Estadio) and buses during the day, but taxis and Uber services are adviced at night.
There’s a handful of afters going on in Laures as well, for the more hardcore clubbers who want to dance until the break of dawn.
3. Centro (City Center) – For Cheap Thrills
Medellín City Center or “Centro” is where the oldest bars and clubs of the city can be found.
This is the cheapest area to stay in Medellín for nightlife, sightseeing, business or, pretty much, any reason.
In the City Center, you’ll find gay venues, cantina-style bars, some fondas, and the less “touristy” clubs that Medellín has to offer.
It is also the epicenter of el Orgullo, Madrid’s Gay Pride celebration, Europe’s largest Gay Pride event and second (for now) in a worldwide scale.
Officially called “La Candelaria,” this neighborhood is the cheaper option to both stay and party in Medellín, with guest houses, hostels, hotels and B&B of different kinds.
El Centro is among the best areas to stay in Medellín for clubbing but we must warn you: It is NOT the safest district, so you must be careful in this area during the day, but especially when the sun goes down.