Medellin ranks in the top ten of Nomad Lists’s best cities for digital nomads. When you look at all the city has to offer, it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular among those living the laptop lifestyle. Mild weather, good internet, affordable living, and lots of great spaces to work alongside other digital nomads made Medellin Colombia a great place to live and work.
1. What’s so great about Medellin for digital nomads?
Spanish-Speaking, but English Friendly
Medellin has people from many different countries, so if you can’t speak Spanish, don’t worry. There are many areas of the city, including Poblado and Laureles, where people speak English. Still, it’s a good idea to know some basic Spanish before you go.
The City of Eternal Spring
The weather in Medellin is fairly nice all year round. It does rain sometimes, but for the most part the city is consistently warm and pleasant. You won’t need air conditioning or heating in this city.
Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in Medellin is lower than the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Food, accommodation, entertainment, and transportation are much more affordable. Dinner will cost you about $4.44, and a cup of coffee comes to $1.94. One bedroom apartments vary in price from about $500 to $700 per month.
The city has reliable, fast internet. Connect even while walking in the street, if you need to, or work from one of the many parks, at least until your battery dies.
With six universities, many museums and art galleries, and Spanish classes offered at schools, Medellin is a great place to immerse yourself in a new culture.
In the past, Medellin has not been the safest destination. In the last twenty years or so, the city has been trying to become more tourist-friendly. It is much safer than it used to be, and as long as you don’t go looking for drugs or illegal activities, regular travel safety precautions will be just fine.
2. Where to live in Medellin
The areas of Medellin that are most popular among digital nomads are to the south and west of the city center.
El Poblado is a tourist hotspot, so it tends to be the most expensive, with a one bedroom apartment starting at roughly $700 USD.
Laureles, Estadio, and Floresta can be found to the west, and offer a more authentic Colombian feel. A one bedroom apartment in these neighborhoods costs approximately $500 USD.
Envigado is just outside Medellin, and a common choice among expats for its cheaper housing prices and fewer tourists.
Some resources to help you find a place to live are
- Airbnb – long-term rentals may have discounted rates
- Facebook groups – these are good options for English speakers; check out Medellin Rooms, Apartments and Expat Info
- Trusted Housesitters – look after homes and pets in exchange for a free place to stay
- Comparto Apto – deal directly with landlords, as long as you have basic Spanish
3. Where to work in Medellin
You’ll need to find WiFi to be able to work while you are in Medellin, and in this city it won’t be a problem. Fast internet speeds and a stable WiFi connection can be found throughout the city, and the streets and parks of Medellin have free WiFi. While working from a park does sound like it would be nice, you might prefer one of the many coffee shops or a coworking spaces.
- Siembra Coworking – find out if you work best from a private meeting room, a personal desk, or an open air garden
- Seedspace – a coworking space that is open 24 hours and offers a free day pass
- Selina Medellin Cowork – you can’t go wrong with a coworking space that also offers a yoga studio, meditation room, and beanbag chairs
- Quokka Café Coworking – combining a café and a coworking space, Quokka also has a garden, a podcast room, a Skype room, and allows you to bring your pets to work
- La Casa Redonda – grab a coffee and bring your pets to work with you
- Café Zeppelin – fast wifi and indoor and outdoor seating
- Juan Valdez – Colombia’s top coffee chain for caffeine-fuelled productivity
- Café Ondas – a hostel and a café serving gourmet coffee
Medellin has so many coffee shops and cowork spaces with unique amenities. To find a coworking space closest to where you are staying, or maybe just one you haven’t checked out yet, have a look at Coworker. Many offer tours and have a free day pass so you can look around and get a sense of the work space.
4. Where to network with other digital nomads in Medellin
Coworking spaces are always a great place to connect with other digital nomads, and many offer regular events or workshops so you can network. Hostel Ondas has weekly meet-ups on their roof, specifically for digital nomads.
There are also many Facebook groups where you can connect with other digital nomads in Medellin:
- Digital Nomads Medellin
- Medellin Digital Nomads
- Colombia Digital Nomads
- Medellin Entrepreneurs Society
Another popular way to connect with other digital nomads is by taking a Spanish class at one of the schools. Although many areas of the city have English-speaking locals, knowing at least the basics of Spanish can only make your time in Medellin more enjoyable. Take a few beginner Spanish classes and you’ll likely meet other digital nomads new to Medellin.
5. TL;DR: Which type of Digital Nomad is Medellin for?
With fast internet, cheap coffee, affordable living, and lots of other digital nomads and expats in the area, Medellin is a great place to live and work. You can’t go wrong in a place nicknamed The City of Eternal Spring, either.
Those new to the digital nomad life will enjoy how easy it is to find a workspace and WiFi. There are many Facebook groups and social events to help you find other digital nomads to network with in the area. Seasoned digital nomads can appreciate the low cost of living and the rich culture found in Medellin.