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.
We previously covered renting unfurnished apartments in an unfurnished apartment series on this website. And we have looked furnished apartments.
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:
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 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.
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
- Guide to Finding a Furnished Room for Rent in Medellín, Colombia
- 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 the Airbnb site. So, we recommend these sites. Airbnb is good for short-term or 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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Thanks, this is a very helpful guide to finding a room. I am staying in an AirBnb room but didn’t know about CompartoApto that looks to have cheaper options.
Most unfurnished rentals offered by a realtor require insurance up front and that can be as much as 19% of the monthly rate. While this amount is returned when you leave, it is a lot of money for those of us who live on a fixed income.
Yes, most real estate agents will require a fiador or insurance for unfurnished apartment rentals. But it’s possible to find unfurnished apartment rentals without insurance or a fiador by bypassing the real estate agents and dealing directly with owners. See our unfurnished rental guide – https://medellinguru.com/apartment-rental-guide/. I have rented unfurnished apartments for 8 years in Medellín without insurance, without a deposit and without a fiador.
I have not run across the term “insurance” in connection with apartment rentals in Medellin. What is meant by that?
Some real estate agencies will overcome the fiador requirement by using an insurance company, which will evaluate your safety as a tenant by looking at economic activity you have inside Colombia. But I have heard you have to be established in Colombia and there is a cost involved.
Where do I find privately owned unfurnished rentals? I do not have a car so driving around is out of the question and I can only walk so far with this arthritis. LOL Do private homeowners advertise somewhere?
There are multiple ways to find unfurnished apartments in Medellín including:
– Real estate agencies
– Newspaper ads
– Bulletin boards in grocery stores and other places
– Walking around neighborhoods
These were covered in our unfurnished apartment rental guide – https://medellinguru.com/apartment-rental-guide/
Private owners normally use real estate agents for their properties but you will sometimes see ads directly from private owners in the local paper. Real estate agencies advertise properties on https://www.espaciourbano.com/ and other sites. Unfortunately to bypass the real estate agencies and deal directly with owners will normally require some legwork.
Thanks this is a great article. I am coming to Medellin next month to study Spanish for several months and staying for the first week in an Airbnb. May plan is to find a rental room with Colombian roommates so I can practice my Spanish. Looks like CompartoApto will be perfect for helping me find a rental room.
Hi Matt, thanks. I have met several expats that used CompartoApto to find a rental room in Medellín for good prices.
Thanks Jeff, very nicely researched, great job! All in all I prefer a furnished place. Checked out what it cost to move
some some stuff there. It’s over the top. Unfurnished would do as well, but who want to wastes time buying and setting up a place. Each to their own. CompartoApto looks to be the best.
Forgot to sign up for follow up
Thanks for the very helpful room rental guide! I am coming to Medellin next month and don’t want to pay the higher prices for hotels or furnished apartments.
Thanks this post is so helpful as I am traveling to Medellin next month and want to rent a bedroom for several months. This post will save me so much money as I found a room on CompartoApto that is so much cheaper than I saw on airbnb. Love your website.
I’m Michel French Canadian from Montreal Canada semi-retired from 30 years as real estate agent , and now managing a few apt buildings…
I have visited south east Asia , most of the Caribbean’s and all Latin countries except Chili being told it’s the most expensive country in Latin America specially Santiago.
I speak French, English, Spanish and can also manage with Portuguese…
I’m leaving Montreal the 9th of November back in Mtl April 1st as I have been doing for the last 10 years approx…
I tried to register to your subscription many times without success …could you then register me please.
I will arrive first to Costa Rica to visit for a while being there last time approx 40 years ago…and want to see how it’s right now…after would like to go back to Colombia again (i’ve visited most of the big cities over the years )
But Bucaramanga appeals to me to go and visit for a while after speaking to some Colombianos that live in Montreal…
Could you recommend a few web sites where i can search in order to rent a fully furnished apartment in Bucaramanga always in stratus 5 or 6….?????
Hope to hear from you soon and maybe see you in Bucaramanga if you have the chance in order to meet and shoot the shit…
Reading your comments on how to meet girls in Colombia…your right on my friend…that’s exactly how they are…need a lot of patience…specially with ”latin cupid .com ” fed up of wasting my time and money…
Some of them even write it up front in their profile : want to be treated like a princess…
The problem is that they believe that the are all princess and want to be treated as is…
Hi Michel, you can register for the Medellín Guru newsletter at the bottom left of this page, just enter you name and email: http://archive.aweber.com/awlist4750169 and you will receive an email that you will need to confirm your subscription by clicking on a link.
To find a furnished apartment in Bucaramanga, Airbnb will normally have the biggest selection. I recommend only looking at apartments with reviews in Airbnb. You can also find furnished apartments on Spanish language sites like olx.com – https://santander.olx.com.co/q/apartamentos-amoblados-bucaramanga/c-16. But you won’t have the English language, reviews and ability to use credit cards that you get with Airbnb.
Hi Jeff ….
Finally i was able to register to your newsletter yesterday … so everything should be fine from now on … and thanks for the reference in bucaramanga to rent a furnished apt..
Forgot to ask you or any of your members if anyone would be able to recommend a web site to rent hotels for a few days in san jose ” bueno-bonito y barato” since i will be arriving from Montreal there first,
I’ll look after to rent a nice furnished apt in a nice area…
Since i’m a single guy traveling alone and like to go out at night to dance salsa,merengue and bachata with nice latin girls, whitch is safe and central area of san jose would you recommend and in which web sites should i search in?
thanks a million for your helpful recommendations … Michel
Hi Michel, I assume you mean San Jose, Costa Rica. Questions about Costa Rica are better asked on a Costa Rica blog like https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/ or https://mytanfeet.com/blog/.
All those three rooms look amazing, there is something about black and white rooms that I love.
Thank you Jeff
My 2nd time here and I have found the market a bit tougher.
One real easy option is to strike a monthly deal with motels. While I search for an apartastudio; I can get a small, but clean motel room in Estrado 5 in Medellin for about 280 US. Away from the discos and main sources of noise.
Thanks for a great site.
thank you very much for info!!!
very well & nicely researched article, great job !!!