Other neighbourhoods to stay in Medellin
La Candelaria is Medellin’s central area, otherwise known as El Centro, split down the middle by Avenida Oriental. A major draw, it's the place where many of Medellin’s main attractions are found and you can spend a day exploring most of the neighbourhoods attractions on foot.
The area boasts outstanding metro and taxi links to most neighbourhoods in the city meaning you can also use it as a base to reach other areas. Its key attractions begin at the metro stop Parque Berrio, where you can pick your way through the eye-popping Fernando Botero bronze statues that adorn Plaza Botero on your way to the Museo de Antioquia, housed within the impressive art deco Museo Principal. This is Medellin’s main contemporary art museum and it has a fine collection of Botero’s other sculptures and artwork.
If you start to feel peckish, a stroll to the street stalls of nearby Parque Bolivar will allay any hunger pangs. It is a good place to sit and people watch as locals and visitors alike interact and go about their day.
After lunch browse the lively market stalls of El Hueco (the Hole) or take a walk down Junnin Street, a busy pedestrianized shopping street, where you can also find the Metropolitan Cathedral. Alternatively, the Botanical Gardens provide refuge from the city as well as a stunning butterfly house. As evening falls around Parque Periodista and Parque Boston you can discover good eateries and terrace bars that will appeal to most tastes.
The smaller, residential Laureles neighbourhood offers an up-and-coming yet more tranquil alternative to the El Poblado and La Candelaria areas. Located north of Belen and west of the Medellin River and La Calandrina, it is a 15-minute walk to Floresta metro. Many of the sun-dappled streets are lined with pretty Bay Laurel Trees which gave it its name and the whole area exudes a local ambience.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the more central areas, you can walk to an array of authentic eateries, quirky cafes and bakeries. Surprisingly despite its laid-back atmosphere, it has a good selection of nightlife options, around La 20 and Calle 33, making it a great place to stay for party-goers. The city’s football stadium is also situated in Laureles, where Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellin can be seen playing.
Belen is Medellin’s oldest working-class neighbourhoods that has seen a renaissance in recent times. Lying adjacent to Laureles its main draw is the Pueblito Paisa, a pretty cobbled square perched on top of a hill, with a church, museum as well as several restaurants where you can try local cuisine. The area is also host to a good variety of restaurants, shopping malls and night scene to keep you well entertained.