We surveyed 300 readers to find out what are the most popular neighborhoods in Medellín for expats. A surprise, we found that El Poblado is not the most popular neighborhood for new expats.
We surveyed 300 Medellin Guru readers by email over a period of two weeks with a short survey with only five questions, with a high response rate.
Our reader survey wasn’t scientific and it wasn’t intended to be. It was intended to survey a random selection of the Medellín Guru reader base to find out what are currently the most popular neighborhoods in Medellín for expats.
I previously surveyed 201 expats living in Medellín back in 2016. The following chart shows the most popular neighborhoods in Medellín for foreigners in 2016.
Most Popular Neighborhoods in Medellín for Expats – 2021 Survey Results
The following chart shows where the 300 expats we surveyed in 2021 living in the Medellín metro area currently live.
The top five neighborhoods are the same as in 2016, El Poblado, Sabaneta, Laureles, Envigado and Belén, but the order has changed.
In 2016, the second most popular neighborhood was Envigado and in 2021 it is Sabaneta.
It is not surprising that El Poblado remains the most popular neighborhood for foreigners living in or visiting Medellín. In addition, El Poblado is considered the most upscale neighborhood in the city of Medellín.
Other includes other neighborhoods including El Oriente (such as Rio Negro and Santa Elena), Bello, La América, La Candelaria (El Centro), Robledo and La Estrella.
El Poblado is NOT the Most Popular Neighborhood for New Expats
However, we found that neighborhood popularity varies by time expats have lived in Medellín. For those here two years or less, El Poblado is not the most popular neighborhood and drops to number four as seen in the following chart.
So, for new expats in Medellín (living here two years or less), our survey found that El Poblado is no longer as popular.
Why? We believe that word has gotten out about the downsides of El Poblado over the past few years.Downsides of El Poblado include a higher cost of living, hilliness making it less walkable and traffic.
Important Attributes of Neighborhoods
We asked a question what things they were looking for in a neighborhood with the ability to select all that apply. The following is the responses:
Not surprising, safety was the number one attribute followed by cost of living and walkability.
El Poblado does not fare well in these three top attributes, which is likely why El Poblado is no longer the most popular neighborhood for newer expats in Medellín.
Popular Visas for Expats
Our survey found that three different visas represent the majority (79 percent) of visas out of expat survey respondents living in Medellín.
These three top visas (retirement visa, marriage visa and student visa) are the same most popular visas based on the experience of over 320 Medellin Guru readers who received Colombian visas in the past two yours through our visa partnership.
Only 4 percent of the 300 expats living in Medellín we surveyed don’t have a Colombian visa, which means they would be limited to a stay of 180 days per year.
How Long Have Lived in Medellín?
79 percent of expats living in Medellín survey respondents indicate they have lived in the city for at least a year, as seen in the following graphic.
What Concerns You Most About Living in Medellín
We also asked readers what concerns them about living in Medellín. The number one concern is now coronavirus.
Other top concerns of expats are traffic, pollution, taxes, healthcare and learning the language in that order.
The Bottom Line: Survey Results – Most Popular Neighborhoods in Medellin For Expats
Our short reader survey has some key takeaways:
- El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for surveyed expats.
- For expats here for two years or less, Sabaneta is the most popular neighborhood
- Coronavirus is now the biggest concern of expats living in Medellín.
- The retirement visa, marriage visa and student visa are the three most popular visas.
Our short reader survey provided us with a tremendous amount of feedback, over one-third of the respondents had comments.
Thanks to everyone who responded to our short survey conducted via email. Thanks for all the survey responses and feedback! We plan to do a more in-depth reader survey in the future.
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El Poblado is over rated and over priced and too hilly with too much traffic. No way I would live there.
I tend to agree. Based on my many days & nights with friends who live there, if you were peacefully at your home in El Poblado it would likely be a very comfy experience with breathtaking views day and night. Many of the high rises have a balcony facing West and one facing East directly opposite each other which increases the feeling of living cradled in lush vegetation and frequently with a dazzling view of the hundreds of other modern apartment towers. The temperatures up there in the hills are noticeably cooler; perfect sleeping weather. The air is cleaner, and someone is on duty 24 hours a day to provide security on the grounds. A large part of Envigado is built on the same hills.
But sooner or later you need to go out so you have to buy a car, call a taxi or an Uber. Unless you’re Alpine fit going out for a walk will be on such steep hills that you’ll wish you had a Sherpa. At the wrong time of day traffic going up the hills from the polluted valley floor is a snail paced bumper to bumper type deal. Compared with other desirable neighborhoods the price of condo purchases and rentals is in nose bleed territory. You’ll get a better bang for your buck elsewhere in town.
How much are condos in poblado?