We look at over 20 of the best cafes and coworking places to work from as a digital nomad or expat in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley.
After more than 6 years of coming to Medellín as a digital nomad, living in various neighborhoods, and often working from many of the local cafe’s, I feel justified in sharing my knowledge about the best cafes and coworking spots.
The first time I came to Medellin was in 2013. I came as a certified tourist without any Spanish knowledge, generally lost in life, and maybe not seeking the noblest of things while in this country.
Fast forward to 2021 and I’ve spent a total of 10 months in this beautiful city having lived in six different neighborhoods.
Below is a list of the best cafes and coworking spots to work from as a digital nomad or expat, in order of neighborhood.
I’m leaving off Starbucks, though I consider all of them wonderful choices to work from. I’m also leaving off the Starbucks of Colombia, Juan Valdez as I’m not a fan.
Please note that exactly 0 percent of this article is dedicated to the coffee served at these locals. I didn’t take it into consideration at all. I don’t know coffee. It all tastes the same to me. I’m only commenting on the comfortability of working from one of these coffee shops.
About the Author
My name is Daniel Rusteen and I am a location-independent digital nomad having lived in 50+ cities exclusively sleeping in Airbnbs (1,500+ nights) while remotely managing Airbnb properties and helping Airbnb hosts to be successful.
I come from the days before the Airbnb you know today. I started working at Airbnb in 2013. I remember countless conversations with residents of San Francisco, the headquarters of Airbnb, who had no idea about the company even when it was valued at over $10 billion and 7 years old.
In the eight years that have passed since I first heard of Airbnb, I’ve become one of the world’s best at everything Airbnb:
- Worked at Airbnb from 2013-2016
- Wrote a best-selling book on Airbnb
- Founded an Airbnb property management company
- Slept over 1,500 nights in Airbnb properties, as a guest
- Am an Airbnb Superhost
- Creator of a popular Airbnb blog for Airbnb hosts
Cafes and Coworking Places in El Poblado
We first look at cafes and coworking places in five different areas of El Poblado starting with Provenza.
This place has been here for a while. It actually used to be more of a bar where you could purchase your own alcohol (bottle of wine, some beers) from the fridge and enjoy. Nowadays, it’s rather undiscovered as it’s in a less well-known part of Provenza and next to the highly popular Pergamino (see below). I like this place because it’s well designed, has both indoor and outdoor space, great food options, and multiple seating options.
The newest addition, I discovered this on a dead-end street due to my current Airbnb reservation. It’s closed on Mondays, but otherwise only semi-full. I’ll consider it a secret gem of Medellin cafes. It has a nice ambiance, indoor/outdoor seating, fast wifi, and friendly staff. I think it’s technically a bakery, but they didn’t say anything when I worked there for a few hours.
This hostel/coworking/shopping center/events center/bar has a neat indoor/outdoor cafe with comfy though rundown seats, and plugs everywhere. Note there is a cafe and a coworking, though the location is a bit inconvenient to get to.
There are a few Pergamino Cafes and two really close to each other in the Parque Lleras area. The one I’m referring to, as I prefer more hidden gem cafes, is next door to Matilde in the secret portion of Provenza.
5. Café Noir
Probably the overall winner, this is a little bit of Provenza in Parque Lleras. It’s super well designed, comfy seats, comfy ambiance, fast wifi, power plugs everywhere, high attention to detail, a variety of comfy seating options, and don’t forget the garden in the back with a fire pit and hanging chairs. Bonus is the sound of the river in the back garden patio area. The owner, Cameron, offers a coffee-tasting Airbnb experience where you get to try numerous different preparations of coffee resulting in an extreme multi-hour caffeine buzz for $10.
This is the first location, but second best in my opinion. It provides a similar ambiance, has a patio, plenty of seating, and two levels of indoor working space. Dog friendly.
7. Cafe Velvet
More of a living room vibe so in many of the seats you’ll have to use your lap as a desk.
8. Communal Club Co.
The newest and a very welcome addition to this neighborhood. They are a cafe (outdoors) and coworking (indoors). Just watch out on hot days, there is no ventilation inside. The wifi works great even from the further outside patio table. Sometimes they jam out to the music too loud so if you require silence, might not be your best option.
A classic cafe and well-known throughout all of Medellin. You’ll find the owner, Shawn, and his wife there in the mornings. They are known for both their coffee and food.
Milla de Oro
I consider this a hidden gem. It’s set below a restaurant, across the street from a Starbucks, and in the back of a large gravel parking lot. Inside you can feel the calming vibe combined with caffeinated energy and an air-conditioned climate. Almost always this place is empty.
11. De Lolita Anfitrion La Strada
La Strada is a cool space anyways, but this cafe is the winner. Comfy chairs on the third level. You can also find Al Alma in La Strada as an alternative.
12. Casa Tragaluz
This has been, unfortunately, closed for a long-time due to the WHO termed Pandemic we seem to find ourselves. I hope it opens back up. The Astorga neighborhood is unique and cool so you should check it out, but this spot is also nice and calming to work from with all the things.
13. El Cielo
Brand new hotel, cafe, and restaurant from a famous Colombian chef. You can tell it’s fancy and probably the fanciest, by far, on the list. Surprisingly the service is on the slow side, be ready to call over your waiter to order and for the bill.
Cafes and Coworking Places in Laureles
14. StArt Café
This might be the most hidden gem cafe of all of Medellin. It’s on a residential street and you might even pass it by if you’re not looking for it. It’s small, it’s got the community vibe, this is a place to come with a book on a sunny afternoon, get a buzz on caffeine, and read for hours.
15. Al Alma
This is a chain and, honestly, hit or miss. The best location, by far, is in Laureles. I found it by chance as it was just opening when I arrived. A true cafe, great ambiance, fast wifi, nice second-level city views, a variety of seating and table options.
I first discovered this gem while living in Laureles in 2019. It’s basically perfect. You can buy a day pass (unlimited coffee, working space, upstairs) or go to the downstairs cafe. The atmosphere is jovial. There are weekly events. Expect to make friends while you come here, and say hello to the owner, Daniel. He speaks fluent English.
Cats and coffee, there needs to be more of these in existence. In fact, around the world, I’ve been to reptile and coffee, dog and coffee, even a shoe store and coffee shop. The cats are friendly so don’t expect to get much work done here.
Cafes and Coworking Places in Sabaneta
18. Café Vetta de Alta Montaña
I found this by chance in the giant Mayorca mall after my gym session. I was surprised to see this here because I think it’s the only cafe on this side of the shopping mall, the other stores are for electronics and clothing. Full disclosure, I haven’t actually been here I only snapped this picture walking by, but I plan to return!
The entrance is not grand, but it opens into a multi-room experience including a quiet room and an open room on the patio with music. This is the cafest of all cafe’s in Sabaneta and my favorite. If you don’t speak Spanish, at least one waiter here is fluent in English.
This one is tiny, but there’s no doubting it has that cafe vibe I’m looking for. Indoor, outdoor seating, but limited. It’s on a less busy street so you can take in the surroundings.
21. Perpetuo Café
The first time I came here, I was a little intimidated. It’s because this is the definition of the community cafe where everyone knows everyone and when they don’t know you, you get the stares. The owner was extremely welcoming, ushering me to a seat in the front with a street view and the wifi password.
22. A lomo ‘e mula
Just around the corner from Perpetuo and 25 percent as busy with more seating and a calmer street with more trees. It’s owner-operated, a favorite of mine.
Cafes and Coworking Places in Envigado
Envigado in my experience has the fewest cafes spaces, by far. If you’re a digital nomad who loves a good cafe scene, this is not your preferred zone.
23. Viva Envigado Mall Coworking Space
Free to use, third floor by the ATMs in the Viva Envigado mall, sometimes it can get crowded, but it has comfy seats, standing desks, and cafe’s around for a productivity boost. Technically this is in Envigado, but it’s a 25-minute walk from where you’ll likely rent an Airbnb.
24. El Cafe de Otraparte
The most well-known cafe/restaurant in Envigado located behind Casa Museo Otraparte. However, it was actually closed during my time in this city. It did look more like a restaurant than a cafe which is not ideal, but as it’s literally the only other option, it’s on the list. If you’ve been there, can you confirm in the comments if this is a nice place to work for an afternoon?
Medellin Guru’s Airbnb Series
In addition, Medellin Guru now has a series of several articles about Airbnb in Colombia, which I wrote:
- 9 Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia
- 15 Things to Know Before Investing to Become an Airbnb Host in Colombia
- 10 Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia
- 9 Tips to Attract Long-Term Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- 7 Strategies for Airbnb Slow Season in Colombia
- How to Identify Problem Airbnb Guests in Colombia Before They Book
- 15 Ways to Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank In Colombia
- How Safe is Airbnb in Colombia? Is it Safe to Use Airbnb in Colombia?
- Airbnb Travel Itinerary for Your Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- How to Get Started on Airbnb in Colombia: A Guide
The Bottom Line: Best Cafes and Coworking Places to Work from In Medellin
We looked at over 20 of the best cafes and coworking places to work from as a digital nomad or expat in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley in this article.
The bottom line is that Medellín has many choices of cafes and coworking places to work from as a digital nomad or expat.
Also, you can see all 10 of the Airbnb in Colombia articles I have written for Medellin Guru.
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