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Pros and Cons of Laureles: A Popular Neighborhood for Expats in Medellín - Medellin Guru
Laureles-Estadio is popular neighborhood for foreigners living in the city or visiting, we look at the pros and cons of Laureles for expats.

Pros and Cons of Laureles: A Popular Neighborhood for Expats in Medellín

Laureles-Estadio is popular neighborhood for foreigners living in the city or visiting, and we look at the pros and cons for expats living in Laureles.

Laureles-Estadio has many areas with tree-lined streets and much fewer high-rise apartments than are found 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 made a guide of Laureles and compared El Poblado vs Laureles, in which Laureles came out ahead by winning more categories.

A typical Laureles street
A typical Laureles street

Laureles-Estadio Neighborhood Information

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

The first unfurnished apartment I rented in Medellín was located in Estadio near the stadium. 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 Barrios: Estadio, Florida Nueva, Laureles, Suramericana.

Best Shopping: Unicentro

To Rent: for a comfortable two-bedroom unfurnished apartment in Laureles-Estadio, you would pay an average of about 2,485.648 pesos per month ($620 aproximately).

To Buy: Laureles-Estadio only had one new apartment project listed in the October 2023 Informe Inmobiliario property magazine. New apartments in Laureles-Estadio generally cost from 7.6 million ($1,900) per square meter.

Existing apartments and casas in Laureles-Estadio tend to sell starting at 4.1 million pesos per square meter.

Pros and Cons of Laureles

No neighborhood is perfect and every neighborhood has pros and cons. We look at 10 pros and cons of living in Laureles-Estado (5 pros and 5 cons).

1. Pros: Walkability and Bike-ability

Laureles-Estadio is flat in comparison 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 bikes system that permits you to borrow bikes from 60 stations throughout the Aburrá Valley. And about one-third of Encicla stations are in Laureles-Estadio.

Best Restaurants in Laureles in Medellín – Medellin Guru
Best Restaurants in Laureles in Medellín – Medellin Guru

2. Pros: Restaurants

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

Also, Laureles-Estadio has a number of 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

3. Pros: Nightlife

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), also in Laureles. In this area you will find few foreigners and various salsa bars and small clubs.

But you will find fewer nightlife options in Laureles compared to El Poblado, which has Parque Lleras, which is the top nightlife district in Medellín with many bars and nightclubs located in the streets around Parque Lleras.

4. Pros: Costs are Lower Than in El Poblado

In general, the cost to rent or buy property will be 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 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 six 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.

In general, Laureles-Estadio offers more of a local living experience compared to El Poblado. And prices for almost 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.

Estadio Atanasio Giradot, photo by Medellin Bureau
Estadio Atanasio Giradot, photo by Medellin Bureau

5. Pros: Sports

Laureles-Estadio is home of Estadio Atanasio Giradot, which is the stadium where Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellin play fútbol matches. Also, near the stadium is a huge sports complex that has an Olympic size pool; basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts; velodrome and many other sports arenas.

So, if you are into sports, you will find many sports venues in Laureles.

6. Cons: Safety

In recent years, Medellín has experienced a concerning rise in crime, particularly in robbery incidents. We made this table based in El Colombiano Report of 2022-2023, that presents key statistics illustrating the current state of criminal activities in the city, with a focus on thefts from individuals, residential properties, and commercial establishments. The data reflects trends over the past two years, highlighting both increases and decreases in various categories of criminal activity.

Medellín Incidents Table
Category20232022
Total Robbery Cases in Medellín25,660 (+9%)23,607
Robbery to Individuals18,421 (+13%)16,278
Stolen Cellphones6,628 (-16%)7,899
Motorcycle Robberies3,781 (+2%)3,678
Car Robberies579 (-5.39%)612
Robberies to Commercial Establishments1,870 (-13%)2,153
Robberies to Residences1,009 (+14%)886
People Arrested for Robbery599 (-7%)644

El Colombiano reports robbery’s statistics in 2023

I have seen many posts on the Internet that claim that El Poblado and Laureles are two of the safest neighborhoods in Medellín.

The highest counts of reported robberies and thefts in the comunas in Medellín occur in the La Candelaria comuna (El Centro). And this is normally followed by Laureles-Estadio and El Poblado, which are two of the most popular neighborhoods for foreigners in Medellín.

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.

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

The robbery statistics above demonstrate that both El Poblado and Laureles are not really two of the safest neighborhoods, as they have some of the highest robbery rates in the metro area. Clearly thieves are targeting two of the wealthiest neighborhoods.

Also, I was personally robbed at knifepoint in Laureles. So, take care if you decide to live in Laureles. There are many streets in Laureles that are not busy. Keep in mind it’s safer in groups or taking a taxi. And if walking alone at night, stick to well-lit streets where there are plenty of people.

Street crime is possible everywhere in Medellín. Laureles has been touted by some as one of the safest parts of the city. But robbery statistics have been increasing in Laureles. This is likely due to criminals targeting one of the wealthier areas of Medellín.

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

7. Cons: Shopping

Laureles-Estadio only has the smaller and older Unicentro mall, with about 270 shops, and the even smaller Viva Laureles mall with 90 shops. Unicentro Mall originally opened in November 1991

There are much larger malls in the Medellín metro area found in El Poblado, Envigado, and Sabaneta. For example, Envigado has the Viva Envigado mall, which is the largest mall in Colombia. Sabaneta has Mayorca mall with over 400 shops.

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

9. Cons: Many Apartment Buildings Don’t Have Elevators

In Laureles-Estadio, you will find much fewer high-rise apartment buildings than El Poblado, Evigado, or Sabaneta. You can find some high-rise apartment buildings in Laureles-Estadio, but there are not as many as in El Poblado, Envigado, or Sabaneta.

Many of the apartment buildings in Larueles-Estadio are 2- to 5-story buildings, and many of these buildings don’t have elevators.

For example, when I lived in Laureles-Estadio many years ago, I lived on the fourth floor, which was the top floor of the apartment building, but there was no elevator.

Eventually, I got tired of lugging groceries up the stairs and decided to move to a high-rise in Belén with an elevator.

9. Cons: Fewer Apartments With a 24X7 Porteria

Since many of the apartment buildings in Laureles are small 2- to 5-story buildings, many of these apartment buildings don’t have 24X7 porterias. Some buildings have daytime porterias and some do not.

Line B El Metro
The Estadio metro station on Line B

10. Cons: Public Transportation

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

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 in Laureles-Estadio, it can be a long walk or a short bus or taxi ride to a metro station.

Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellín

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons of Laureles – A Popular Neighborhood for Expats in Medellín

Laureles is experiencing more foreigners moving there due to better walkability and lower costs than El Poblado. However, no neighborhood is perfect, and we looked at the pros and cons of Laureles in this article.

Laureles is not quite 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 their own unique neighborhood requirements and tastes. There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. Best to spend time in several neighborhoods to find the one that is right for you.

I lived in El Poblado (2 months), Laureles/Estadio (1 year), Belén (4.5 years), and Sabaneta (3+ years). Each neighborhood has its pros and cons.

Editors note: updated on November 15, 2021 with updates to several sections.

Editors note: updated on October 20th, 2023, with new images, prices, and statistical data.

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6 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Laureles: A Popular Neighborhood for Expats in Medellín”

    1. Update on La Pampa Argentinian restaurant at First Park:

      It has reopened. Whew! When it was closed the nighttime and daytime sleepers moved right in. We’re inching back to the point where the economic pressure is beginning to ease up a bit on those in precarious circumstances.

    2. Once again this shows how important it is to see for one’s self the different living environments of Medellín and not count on personal preferences exposed in Facebook forums. El Poblado is the best for me, but it’s status and cost has grown as the first favored neighborhood by foreigners ( and with good reason). As prices went up, Laureles, which has its own favorable points attracted an increased number of foreigners and prices have gone up in the past five years. Now it’s Envigado and Sabaneta attracting foreigners, and this is demonstrated by the strong increase in high rise buildings, as they slowly start looking like El Poblado, and prices are rising, as their past more rural charm is disappearing completely. So, Medellín has something for everyone, but it’s more important than ever to not count on older Facebook posts, or personal preferences and priorities of strangers to focus on areas to live, but take the time and trouble to come down and check things out in person.

    3. Todd Oxner February 28, 2021

      The La Pampa on the corner of the First Park is permanently closed, unfortunately. The smaller one transversal 39 just north of the Second Park is still open. I would definitely add La Causa, Puerto Inka, and Mistura to the list of top restaurants. Not a restaurant exactly, but arguably the best desserts in town is La Miguerita on Calle 35. Grab something to take home.

      Personally I’ve never felt unsafe walking through Laureles however I usually don’t walk alone after 9 pm or so, I’m never drunk, and I avoid using my cellphone on the streets — especially at night.

      • Thanks we updated our La Pampa article with to remove the La Pampa located at the Primer Parque in Laureles, which is closed. See – https://medellinguru.com/la-pampa/

      • Lincoln del Pino March 2, 2021

        Todd,

        The dessert place that you mention is called La Migueria you added a ” T” to the name. They have a good selection of desserts as well as pastries that differ from the typical fried colombian assortments found everywhere.

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