We provide a guide for expats to finding a furnished room for rent in Medellín for budget short-term or medium-term stays in the city, which can be cheaper than hotels or hostels.
When you first decide to start living in Medellín, you have several options:
- Buy an apartment or home
- Rent a furnished apartment
- Rent an unfurnished apartment
- Stay in a hotel or hostel
- Rent a furnished room
We highly recommend renting before buying in a foreign country. I have met several foreigners who bought too quickly and later discovered that Medellín wasn’t the right place for them for one reason or another. Buying to soon is one of the top mistakes foreigners make when buying property in Colombia.
This article provides a guide to finding inexpensive housing in Medellín. In particular, we look at how to find an inexpensive furnished room for rent.
Finding a nice furnished room for rent can take time and there are many options in Medellín. There are literally hundreds to choose from. And there is a range of rental rooms available from budget to luxury. And when looking for a room to rent, you need to be patient and may need to see several rooms for rent before you find the perfect one for you.
Also, when an apartment has multiple bedrooms, many times the smaller bedrooms without private bathrooms are the ones for rent. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the room for rent is the best one with a private bathroom, as the owner wants to make more money.
The following is our guide to finding a furnished room for rent in Medellín:
Room for Rent: Medium-Term Stay – 1 to 12 Months
There are several options for finding a room to rent for a medium-term stay of 1 to 12 months in Medellín. You could use Airbnb. And some Airbnb room listings have discounted rates for extended stays of a month or more.
But there are a number of other options available for medium-term stays that can be cheaper than Airbnb including:
VICO offers over 800 furnished rooms in Medellín in shared housing units and studio apartments available for rent at reasonable prices in neighborhoods popular with foreigners. The VICO website likely has become the most popular option for foreigners renting furnished rooms in Medellín.
VICO was founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Manuel Franz and Tilman Burfeind who are both German exchange students that fell in love with the city of Medellin.
The VICO website has many photos of each property so you can see exactly what you are renting. In addition, with VICO shared housing you can see who your roommates will be with a name and nationality.
VICO has inexpensive pricing. You can find room rentals with prices as low as 500,000 pesos ($140 USD) per month and average about 800,000 pesos ($223 USD) per month.
Also, VICO’s website is very easy to use:
- Find the studio apartment or furnished room in shared housing that best meets your need.
- Make a contact request – you can make your reservation completely online or make an appointment to visit the property to see it before you rent.
- Finish the reservation – once you have agreed with the owner, you pay for the reservation and credit cards are accepted.
- Start living – come to your new home!
There is no cost to join VICO, unlike some of the other furnished room rental options.
CompartoApto.com is a Colombian website that has many furnished rooms in Medellín available for rent. When I looked recently there were over 500 room listings in Medellín on CompartoApto. And the site has listings in other cities in Colombia. Also, reportedly over 2 million people use this site each month.
The biggest downside of this site is that most of the owners listing rooms don’t speak English. So, to get the best response to your messages on this site you should use Spanish.
To use CompartoApto.com, you need to register and provide some basic personal information. The site creates a profile for you and an ad. You should also upload your photo as it will improve the response rate to your messages on the site. Other people on the site can see your ad and contact you to offer you a room. But don’t expect to be contacted very often. You will need to contact room owners.
There is no fee to join CompartoApto for a Basic membership. But if you are a Basic member and the room owner is also a Basic member, you can’t communicate.
So, to ensure you can communicate with everyone, it’s recommended to upgrade to a Superior membership. The cost is only 15,000 pesos (less than $5 USD) per week, or 18,000 pesos for 15 days or 23,000 pesos for 30 days.
When I looked recently the room rental rates on CompartoApto ranged from 500,000 pesos to over 2,000,000 pesos per month ($140 to over $558 USD per month). And several rental rooms listed on this site have minimum terms of five months or longer.
New York based Roomster.com is a roommate finding service that operates in 192 countries. It’s nowhere near as big as VICA or CompartoApto in Medellín or Colombia but it’s in English.
Roomster has a free version that enables users to do everything on the site except access the Roomster mailbox and social connect features.
A subscription or full membership on Roomster gives you access the mailbox to enable contacting others. The rates start at $5.95 for a three-day trial subscription, $14.95 for two weeks, and $29.95 for four weeks. Take care to cancel when you no longer need the service, as they automatically renew.
I only have met a couple of expats that used Roomster to find a room in Medellín, due to not having a very big selection. When I looked recently, Roomster had only 42 private rooms in Medellín listed with prices ranging from $80 to $500 per month.
Another option to find a room for rent is through Facebook groups. Medellin has a Medellin Rooms, Apartments and Expat Info group with over 11,000 members that lists apartments and rooms for rent.
Usually the listings on Facebook tend to be higher end properties but you can sometimes find deals for furnished room rentals listed on this group.
Couchsurfing.com is a service that connects its members to a global community of travelers. You can use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home with travelers.
Unfortunately, there normally are not many rooms for rent in Medellín advertised on Couchsurfing.
Renting Furnished Rooms Medium-Term with VICO
Full disclosure: Medellin Guru partnered with VICO, which we believe offers competitive prices for furnished rooms and furnished studio apartments. We partnered with VICO due to the company meeting the high requirements of Medellin Guru readers:
- VICO has over 800 furnished rooms in shared housing and furnished studio apartments for rent in Medellín.
- VICO has many photos of each property so you can see exactly what you are renting
- With VICO shared housing you can see who your roommates will be with a name and nationality.
- VICO has inexpensive pricing – you can find room rentals with prices as low as 500,000 pesos ($140 USD) per month and average about 800,000 pesos ($223 USD) per month.
- VICO was founded by foreigners, two Germans founded the company in 2018. So, the company knows the demanding requirements of foreigners.
- Each home is visited and verified personally by the VICO team.
- VICO has furnished properties available in both Medellín and Bogotá.
Note that furnished rentals with VICO are for a minimum term of one month. So, this is not an option for short-term daily or weekly rentals.
Our partnership with VICO is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you rent from VICO, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.
VICO offers over 800 furnished room and studio apartments available for rent at reasonable prices in neighborhoods popular with foreigners.
VICO Shared Housing in El Poblado
VICO Shared Housing in Laureles
VICO Shared Housing in Envigado
Room for Rent: Short-Term Stay – Maximum of 4 Weeks
If you want to stay in Medellín for less than four weeks, an inexpensive and quality option to find a room for rent is Airbnb.
Airbnb literally has hundreds of rooms for rent listed for Medellín. And these have a wide range of prices ranging from less than 35,000 pesos to over 500,000 pesos per night. That is a range from about $10 to over $135 USD per night at the current exchange rate.
Some of these rooms listed on Airbnb are rooms with a local Colombian family. So, you will get the opportunity to improve your Spanish. And the atmosphere in a family home may be better than some hostels.
Other rooms for rent listed on Airbnb may be homes owned by investors that rent out all the rooms in the home and use it like a personal hostel. This can also be better than a hostel with generally more space.
If you rent a room on Airbnb, we highly recommend looking for listings with positive feedback.
Renting a room is a budget option. If you have a higher budget for your short-term stay, you can look at entire furnished apartments or hotels.
Renting a Room: Tips for Expats
Here are seven additional tips for expats for renting a room in Medellín:
- Get the house rules of the apartment – some people have pretty crazy rules, like you can’t use the kitchen or that you can’t have guests – for example, no guests at night or even not at all. And are pets permitted?
- Make sure you see the room in person – don’t rent a room based just on photos on the Internet. You should try to see it.
- Meet the owner/roommates – you should have a good feeling about the owner and roommates. Take care as they will be your roommate(s).
- Check on the utilities included in the rent – what is the speed of the Internet, is it fast enough? Is TV service included, how many TV channels and will you have TV service in your room?
- Check the mattress in the room – many inexpensive mattresses in Colombia are like sleeping on a rock. Make sure the mattress works for you.
- Make sure the apartment has hot water – not all apartments and homes in Medellín have hot water. So, make sure you’ll have hot water for showers.
- Get a room rental contract – to protect yourself, you should look to get some type of room rental contract except for Airbnb rentals, which are done online. While not necessarily standard for room rentals, the contract should spell out rent payment, term of contract and use of common areas. You can find model contracts by google searching “contrato aguilar habitación“.
Longer Term Rentals in Medellín
Once you get to over a year to renting a room, it may be cheaper and you’ll certainly have more privacy to rent a small unfurnished apartment that you furnish.
On the Medellin Guru website, we have a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood in Medellín found in several articles, including:
Renting Unfurnished Apartments:
- Apartment Rental Guide: Renting Unfurnished Apartments in Medellín
- Guide to Finding Unfurnished Apartments in Medellín and Casas
- Guide to Overcoming the Fiador (Cosigner) Requirement in Colombia
- 2019 Unfurnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín
- 6 Inexpensive Neighborhoods for Unfurnished Rentals in Medellín
- Furnishing Apartments: A Guide to Furnishing Apartments in Medellín
- Apartment vs Casa (House) Rentals in Medellín: Pros and Cons
Renting Furnished Apartments:
- Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín – 2019 Survey Results
- Guide to Finding a Furnished Room for Rent in Medellín
- Furnished Rentals: Medellin Guru Partners with VICO for Furnished Rentals
- Medellín Real Estate: 2020 Property Buyer’s Guide for Foreigners
- Top 17 Mistakes Foreigners Make When Buying Real Estate in Colombia
- Current Costs to Buy New Apartments in Medellín – 2019 Update
- Rent vs Buy: Downsides of Renting and Buying Property in Medellín
- 11 Things Real Estate Agents in Colombia May Not Tell You
- How to Obtain an Investment Visa for Investments in Real Estate
Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellín:
Also, we have several articles that can be used to help foreigners choose a neighborhood in Medellín:
- What are the Safest Neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley?
- 5 Best Neighborhoods in Medellín: A Guide to Choosing a Neighborhood
- 8 Downsides of El Poblado: Living in Medellín’s Expensive Neighborhood
- Estratos: A Guide to Understanding Estratos in Colombia
- El Poblado vs Laureles: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Envigado: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Sabaneta: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Belén: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- 2019 Unfurnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín in 5 Neighborhoods Popular with Expats
- 6 Inexpensive Neighborhoods for Unfurnished Rentals in Medellín
The bottom line is that it’s possible to find unfurnished 1-bedroom or studio apartments in Medellín renting for under $300 per month in several neighborhoods in the city. And you would have the entire place to yourself, compared to renting a room in an apartment with roommate(s).
The Bottom Line: Finding a Room for Rent in Medellín
There is a wide range of available furnished rooms for rent in Medellín from budget to luxury rooms. And there is a very wide range of prices for rental rooms available from under $140 USD per month to over $135 USD per night.
The bottom line is you can relatively easily find decent furnished rooms for rent in Medellín that are cheaper than hotels or hostels.
The cheapest rental rooms tend to not have windows and may be noisy without many amenities. And cheaper rooms may not be conveniently located and most likely will not be near a metro station. Also, you probably will be sharing a bathroom.
For higher prices you can get more amenities, such as windows, balconies, private bathrooms, better locations, higher speed Internet, better mattresses, an apartment building with a pool and more.
The biggest number of furnished rooms for rent listings are found on the VICO and Airbnb sites. So, we recommend these sites. Airbnb is better for short-term and VICO is best for medium-term. And there are other options including CompartoApto.com, Roomster, Facebook and Couchsurfing where some expats have found rooms.
Also, “How to find a furnished room to rent in Medellín?” is a question asked by many single expats that visit Medellín. So, we included this question in our list of Medellín frequently asked questions (FAQ).
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Editors note: updated on March 7, 2020 to add VICO as a rental option and updated all information in the article for 2020.