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Ultimate Guide to Laureles for Expats Living in Laureles - Medellin Guru
Laureles is a popular neighborhood among expats living in Medellín, and this year, it was selected as the coolest neighborhood in the world. In this article we analyze each of the advantages of this place to live.

The Ultimate Guide to Laureles for Expats Living in Laureles

Laureles is a popular neighborhood for foreigners living in Medellín. We provide a comprehensive guide to Laureles for expats looking to live in Laureles.

Every year, Time Out Magazine lists the coolest neighborhoods and streets in the world. This time, the Laureles neighborhood tops the list. One of the relevant factors for remaining on this list is that the sector has a reasonably quiet reputation despite having the Atanasio Girardot soccer stadium and La 70, a nighttime entertainment space.

Laureles-Estadio has many areas with tree-lined streets and much fewer high-rise apartments than in El Poblado. Also, Laureles is primarily a residential neighborhood.

In the past, we interviewed some expats who decided to live in Laureles due to it being extremely walkable, with quiet, leafy streets and large parks. Also, they found that Laureles has a sufficient number of restaurants for them.

In addition, we previously compared El Poblado vs Laureles and looked at the pros and cons of Laureles.

El Poblado is an excellent place to visit in town or occasionally, but there are far better neighborhoods like Laureles for day-to-day living.

A typical Laureles street
A typical Laureles street

Ultimate Guide to Laureles-Estadio

Our guide to Laureles is broken up into the following 11 sections:

  1. About Laureles-Estadio
  2. Cost of Living in Laureles-Estadio
  3. Choosing a Neighborhood in Laureles-Estadio
  4. Getting Around in Laureles-Estadio
  5. Safety in Laureles-Estadio
  6. Sports in Laureles-Estadio
  7. Malls in Laureles-Estadio
  8. Best Restaurants in Laureles-Estadio
  9. Nightlife in Laureles-Estadio
  10. Grocery Stores in Laureles-Estadio
  11. Coffee Shops in Laureles-Estadio

1. About Laureles-Estadio

Laureles is primarily a residential neighborhood. Laureles-Estadio is known as Comuna 11, with 15 barrios (neighborhoods).

Laureles is a barrio in the Laureles-Estadio comuna. This article looks at Laureles-Estadio, not just the small Laureles barrio.

Laureles-Estadio is primarily an estrato 4 and 5 neighborhood, with about 99 percent of the homes rated as estrato 4 or 5.

Population: 123,000+

Best Shopping: Unicentro, because here you can do your market, shop for your home, go to restaurants, buy clothes, go to the movies and much more.

Apartment buildings in Laureles, Medellín
Apartment buildings in Laureles, Medellín

2. Cost of Living in Laureles-Estadio

Medellín is increasingly popular with digital nomads, which has made the cost of living in the city increasingly expensive, and there are fewer rentals available.

Forbes Magazine reports, “Leases are increasing well above annual inflation, the maximum stipulated by Colombian regulation when contracts are automatically renewed, which in 2023 corresponds to up to 13.12%.”

In the last three years, it has been increasing. For example, it is 25% in Laureles, while in El Poblado, it has been 100%. For this reason, the cost of living in Laureles is cheaper than in El Poblado.

We found that unfurnished rentals are cheaper in Laureles-Estadio than in El Poblado.

Here are our unfurnished rental detailed investigation findings:

Tabla de Información
Size of the ApartmentNumber of the Apartments SurveyedAverage Size (Square Meters)Average Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)Average Rental Cost Per Month (USD)Median Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)
1-bedroom3048.41,922,656480.664,355,111
2-bedroom38702,485,648621.415,570,186
3-bedroom1321113,516,375879.096,288,489
Tabla de Información
Size of the Apartment1-bedroom2-bedroom3-bedroom
Number of the Apartments Surveyed3038132
Average Size (Square Meters)48.470111
Average Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)1,922,6562,485,6483,516,375
Average Rental Cost Per Month (USD)480.66621.41879.09
Median Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)4,355,1115,570,1866,288,489

2023 Apartment rental costs in Laureles-Estadio

Tabla de Información
Size of the ApartmentNumber of the Apartments SurveyedAverage Size (Square Meters)Average Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)Average Rental Cost Per Month (USD)Median Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)
1-bedroom2961.22,913,421.0728.352,799,888
2-bedroom4595.83,709,824.00927.453,577,680
3-bedroom126132.84,548,784.281,137.194,044,016
Tabla de Información
Size of the Apartment1-bedroom2-bedroom3-bedroom
Number of the Apartments Surveyed2945126
Average Size (Square Meters)61.295.8132.8
Average Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)2,913,421.03,709,824.004,548,784.28
Average Rental Cost Per Month (USD)728.35927.451,137.19
Median Rental Cost Per Month (Pesos)2,799,8883,577,6804,044,016

2023 Apartment rental costs in El Poblado

Here is a comparison of unfurnished rental prices in Laureles-Estadio with four other popular neighborhoods for foreigners in the Medellín metro:

Tabla de Información
Neighborhood in the Medellín Metro2018 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)2019 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)2020 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)2021 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)2022 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)2023 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)Percent Change from 2018 to 2023
El Poblado22,97223,23224,13224,52925,93429,31127.61%
Envigado19,82021,29122,10722,49123,74626,89535.71%
Laureles-Estadio18,20321,09921,9122,28923,55826,66246.35%
Belén17,88519,72520,50420,83722,04524,93839.45%
Sabaneta16,29818,4319,13419,44320,52523,20642.34%
Tabla de Información
Neighborhood in the Medellín MetroEl PobladoEnvigadoLaureles-EstadioBelénSabaneta
2018 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)22,97219,82018,20317,88516,298
2019 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)23,23221,29121,09919,72518,430
2020 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)24,13222,10721,91020,50419,134
2021 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)24,52922,49122,28920,83719,443
2022 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)25,93423,74623,55822,04520,525
2023 Average Monthly Rental Cost Per Square Meter (Pesos)29,31126,89526,66224,93823,206
Percent Change from 2018 to 202327.61%35.71%46.35%39.45%42.34%

Average unfurnished apartment rental costs per square meter by neighborhood in Medellín for five years

 

Also, Laureles-Estadio is more of a residential area with fewer foreign tourists than El Poblado.

Located in a less touristy neighborhood, the shops, restaurants, bars, and fitness centers in Laureles-Estadio generally come with lower price tags than their El Poblado counterparts.

Laureles-Estadio offers more of a local living experience than El Poblado. Prices for everything from groceries, restaurants, nightlife, and pet services are more expensive in El Poblado. This shouldn’t be surprising, as El Poblado is considered the most affluent neighborhood in Medellín.

Laurele's Map / Alcaldía de Medellín
Laurele's Map / Alcaldía de Medellín

3. Choosing a Neighborhood in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio has several nice barrios (neighborhoods). Four of the best barrios in Laureles-Estadio that are popular with foreigners include Estadio, Florida Nueva, Laureles, and Suramericana.

We recommend these neighborhoods if what you want is to have a calmer and more familiar experience. But if you want to be close to party spots like Provenza or El Parque Lleras, you’d be better off choosing El Poblado.

You can see our recommended barrios (neighborhoods) in the above map of Laureles-Estadio.

4. Getting Around in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles is very walkable and bikeable.

Walkability and Bike-ability

Laureles-Estadio is flat compared to El Pobaldo, making it much more walkable than El Poblado. This is one of the reasons some expats choose to live in Laureles.

Furthermore, Laureles-Estadio is a haven for bikers with many dedicated bike lanes.

In addition, Laureles-Estadio has more Encicla stations than El Poblado. Encicla is Medellín’s free city bike system that permits you to borrow bikes from 103 stations throughout the Aburrá Valley. And about one-third of Encicla stations are in Laureles-Estadio.

Line B El Metro
The Estadio metro station on Line B

Metro and Buses in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio has three Medellín metro stations on Line B: Floresta, Estadio, and Suramericana.

However, many apartments and casas (houses) in Laureles-Estadio are located a relatively long way from these metro stations, in many cases a 15- to 30-minute walk.

So, from many apartments and casas, it can be a long walk or a short bus or taxi ride to a metro station.

Also, there are frequent metro buses throughout Laureles-Estadio to get to the three metro stations without walking.

In addition, there are buses from Laureles to get to El Poblado (in about 30 minutes without traffic) or El Centro (about 30 minutes without traffic).

5. Safety in Laureles-Estadio

In Medellín, there is great concern regarding the safety of its inhabitants and foreigners. According to the Personería Tourism Observatory, during the first quarter of 2022, there were 69 reports of theft, and during the same period, but this year, they reported 300. According to the analysis presented, armed robbery is one of the most common types.

The communes with the most reported cases of robbery are Candelaria, in the center of Medellín, with 3,810 cases; El Poblado, which presents 2,135 facts; Laureles, with 1,769 cases; and Belén, 1,033, with reports.

Although Laureles is not the safest neighborhood in Medellín, it is safer than El Poblado (we made this comparison because both are neighborhoods chosen by expats to live in).

Estadio Atanasio Giradot, photo by Juan Felipe Villegas
El Estadio / By El Bureau de Medellín

6. Sports in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio is the home to Estadio Atanasio Giradot, the stadium where Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellin play fútbol matches.

The Atanasio Girardot has also been the scene of significant events with world-class artists such as Madonna, Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, and Daddy Yankee, providing fun spaces for its visitors and locals.

This space does not only have the stadium around it, but it also has large sports spaces open to the public: it has an athletics stadium, a tennis court, five coliseums (basketball, volleyball, combat, table tennis, and gymnastics coliseum), track skate park, Velodrome, Skatepark, baseball diamond, softball diamond, and aquatic complex.

On the Inder website, you can reserve these spaces; some are free, and others have a cost.

The Unicentro mall in Laureles in Medellín
The Unicentro mall in Laureles in Medellín

7. Malls in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio only has the smaller and older Unicentro mall, which opened in November 1991. Now, it has 270 shops, and the smaller Viva Laureles mall has 90 shops.

In both places, you can find stores like El Éxito to make your market purchases, clothing stores, household items, restaurants, and more. Although they are not the most extensive places, you find a great variety.

Also, there is a Homecenter home improvement store near the Suramercana metro station. Also, hundreds of small tiendas (shops) in Laureles-Estadio sell various products.

Best Restaurants in Laureles in Medellín – Medellin Guru
Food from some of the best restaurants in Laureles

8. Restaurants in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio has cheaper, traditional Colombian food options with many restaurants and inexpensive menú del día lunch specials.

Also, Laureles-Estadio has some good restaurants – just not as many as are found in El Poblado. We previously looked at the best restaurants in Laureles.

The following is our list of 20 of the best restaurants in Laureles.

  1. Barbaro Cocina Primitiva
  2. Delirio Exquisito
  3. Ammazza Pizzeria & Gin Garden
  4. El Correo Carne y Vino y Amada
  5. La Pampa
  6. Romero Cocina Artesanal
  7. Pizzeria Olivia
  8. Voraz Restaurante
  9. Crepes & Waffles
  10. Saludpan
  11. Caduff Pasta Fresca
  12. Bigotes
  13. Chef Burger
  14. Café Cliché
  15. Barbacoa Burger & Beer
  16. Grill Station Burger
  17. Lo Exquisito del Mar
  18. Chilaquiles
  19. Opera Pizzeria & Restaurante
  20. Mondongo’s

You will find many Colombian, Italian, fast food, healthy food, and meat options in this list. Options for all tastes.

In addition, we have more detailed reviews of each of these restaurants, including the food and drink menus, which you can see by clicking on the above links.

You won’t have hundreds of fine dining options in Laureles like in El Poblado. However, El Poblado is close at hand via convenient public transportation.

9. Nightlife in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles-Estadio has popular nightlife options that are more local Colombian style.

Significantly less frequented by foreigners is Calle 33 in Laureles. Another popular nightlife area is La 70 (Setenta), in Laureles. You will find a few foreigners, various salsa bars, and small clubs in this area.

But you will find fewer nightlife options in Laureles than in El Poblado, which has El Parque Lleras and Provenza, two areas with a wide variety of clubs and bars of different musical genres, especially reggaeton.

El Exito
El Exito

10. Grocery Stores in Laureles-Estadio

Laureles has at least eight larger grocery stores:

  • Three Exito stores – one at the Unicentro mall, one at Viva Laureles mall, and one on LA 70
  • Jumbo – near the Suramericana metro station
  • Euro – on Avenida Nutibarra
  • Carulla – on Avenida Nutibarra

Also, there are many Tiendas Ara and Tiendas D1 stores in Laureles. These two chains of small neighborhood grocery stores in Colombia have reasonable prices that can be about 30 percent lower than in Exito.

Furthermore, there are many small neighborhood tiendas where you can save money on groceries compared to shopping at Exito or larger grocery stores.

Many of these small stores are family-owned and won’t have as extensive a selection as in large grocery stores like Exito, Jumbo, or Carulla.

However, in these small shops, you can find selections of fruits and vegetables, eggs, bread, drinks, rice, milk, cheese and other dairy products, meats, snacks, oils, many other staples, cleaning products, and other things found at larger grocery stores.

8 Top Laureles Coffee Shops: Where to Find Good Coffee - Medellin Guru
8 Top Laureles Coffee Shops: Where to Find Good Coffee - Medellin Guru

11. Coffee Shops in Laureles-Estadio

We previously looked at eight of the best coffee shops in Laureles. These include:

  1. Rituales Compañía de Café
  2. Café Revolución
  3. Algarabía Café
  4. Paraíso – Resto Café
  5. Café Cliché
  6. Café Zeppelin
  7. La Taza Tienda De Café
  8. Starbucks
  9. Tostao

Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellín

Starbucks in Medellín has more than sixth Coffee Shops in Laureles
Starbucks in Medellín has more than sixth Coffee Shops in Laureles

The Bottom Line: Ultimate Guide to Laureles for Expats Living in Laureles

Laureles is experiencing more foreigners moving there due to better walkability and lower costs than El Poblado. If you want a more walkable neighborhood than El Poblado, you should check out Laureles.

The above guide to Laureles provides much information about Laurels, and we plan to add this guide to Laureles.

Laureles is not as posh as Poblado, but the area around Nutibara Avenida feels plenty posh. We expect that Laureles will continue to be popular with some foreigners looking for an alternative to El Poblado.

Everybody has unique neighborhood requirements and tastes. There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. It is best to spend time in several neighborhoods to find the one that is right for you.

Editors note: updated on November 7, 2021, to update several sections.

Editors note: Updated on October 18, 2023, to update the information in Laureles: images, news, and figures.

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