×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Medellin 2024
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Cisneros Square in Medellin, Colombia


Cost of Living in Medellin

By Betsy Burlingame

Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Medellin helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals Medellin is a great city for those looking for affordable housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $400 USD per month. Outside of the city center, rents can be as low as $200 USD per month.
Apartment Purchases The cost of purchasing an apartment in Medellin varies greatly depending on the size and location. Prices range from $50,000 USD for a small one-bedroom apartment in the city center to over $500,000 USD for a large three-bedroom apartment in a more upscale neighborhood.
Transportation Public transportation in Medellin is very affordable. A single ride on the metro costs around $0.50 USD, while a one-way ticket on the bus costs around $0.30 USD. Taxis are also available and the cost of a ride is usually around $5 USD.
Groceries Groceries in Medellin are relatively inexpensive. A week’s worth of groceries for a family of four can cost around $50 USD. Prices vary depending on the type of food purchased and the store.
Restaurants Eating out in Medellin is very affordable. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $10 USD per person. Fast food restaurants are even cheaper, with a meal costing around $5 USD.
Utilities Utility costs in Medellin are relatively low. The average cost for electricity, water, and gas for a two-bedroom apartment is around $50 USD per month.
Private School Tuition Private school tuition in Medellin varies depending on the school and the grade level. Preschool tuition can range from $200 USD to $500 USD per month. Elementary school tuition can range from $400 USD to $1,000 USD per month. Middle school tuition can range from $500 USD to $1,500 USD per month. High school tuition can range from $600 USD to $2,000 USD per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Medellin

"Some say as little as $1,500 per month. We live in the most expensive area of Medellin, so our cost is more than double that amount. It also depends what activities we do," said one expat living in Medellin.

"The cost of living in Medellin is generally considered to be quite affordable. Groceries, transportation, and utilities are all relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in the region. Eating out at restaurants is also quite affordable, with many meals costing less than $10 USD. Rent prices can vary depending on the area, but are generally quite reasonable," wrote a member in Medellin.

Can I live in Medellin on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Medellin for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. First, you'll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more affordable neighborhoods in Medellin include Laureles, Belen, and Envigado. These areas are still relatively safe and have a good quality of life, but they're not as expensive as neighborhoods like El Poblado or Provenza, which are known for their upscale restaurants, bars, and shops.In terms of housing, you can find a decent apartment in one of the more affordable neighborhoods for around $500 to $700 a month. This will likely be a smaller, more basic apartment than you might be used to, but it should still have all the necessary amenities. You can save money by cooking at home instead of eating out, as groceries are relatively cheap in Medellin. Local markets are a great place to find fresh produce at a low cost.Transportation is also quite affordable in Medellin. The metro system is efficient and inexpensive, with a single ride costing less than a dollar. Taxis and Uber are also available and reasonably priced, but using public transportation will help you save money.As for entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Medellin. You can visit parks, museums, and local events without spending much money. However, if you're used to going out to fancy restaurants, bars, or clubs, you'll need to cut back on those expenses to make your budget work.One sacrifice you might have to make is in terms of healthcare. While Colombia has a public healthcare system, it's not always the best option for expats. You might want to consider purchasing private health insurance, which can be an additional expense.Overall, living in Medellin on $1,500 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some adjustments to your lifestyle. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, cooking at home, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities, you can live comfortably and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer," commented an expat living in Medellin.

Can I live in Medellin on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Medellin for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, especially if you're used to modern amenities. However, there might be some sacrifices you'll have to make to ensure you stay within your budget.Firstly, you'll want to choose an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive areas, like El Poblado and Provenza, might be out of your budget if you're trying to stick to $3,000 a month. Instead, consider looking into neighborhoods like Laureles, Envigado, or Sabaneta. These areas are still safe and have a good quality of life, but the cost of living is generally lower.When it comes to housing, you might have to sacrifice a bit of space or luxury to stay within your budget. You can still find nice apartments in the more affordable neighborhoods, but they might not have all the high-end finishes or amenities that you're used to. However, you should still be able to find a comfortable place to live with modern conveniences like reliable internet and hot water.Eating out can be quite affordable in Medellin, especially if you stick to local restaurants and street food. However, if you're used to dining at high-end restaurants or ordering a lot of international cuisine, you might have to cut back on that to stay within your budget. Cooking at home can also help you save money, as groceries are generally quite affordable.Transportation is another area where you can save money. Public transportation in Medellin is quite good, with an efficient metro system and plenty of buses. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also relatively inexpensive, but using public transportation whenever possible will help you save even more.Finally, you might have to be more mindful of your spending on entertainment and leisure activities. There are plenty of free or low-cost things to do in Medellin, like visiting parks, museums, and local events. However, if you're used to spending a lot on things like concerts, sporting events, or high-end fitness classes, you might have to cut back on those to stay within your budget.Overall, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Medellin is definitely doable, but it might require some adjustments to your lifestyle and spending habits. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, being mindful of your housing and transportation costs, and finding ways to enjoy the city without breaking the bank, you should be able to make it work," said one expat living in Medellin.

Can I live in Medellin on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Medellin for a while now, and I can confidently say that it's possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. In fact, you might not have to make too many sacrifices at all. Medellin is a city with a relatively low cost of living, and you can find a good balance between affordability and comfort.When it comes to housing, there are several neighborhoods that offer a good quality of life without breaking the bank. For example, you might want to consider Laureles, which is a middle-class neighborhood with a nice mix of residential and commercial areas. It's safe, has plenty of parks and green spaces, and offers a variety of restaurants and cafes. You can find a nice apartment here for around $600 to $800 per month.Another option is Envigado, which is a bit further south but still within the city limits. It's a more traditional Colombian neighborhood, but it's also safe and has a good selection of shops and restaurants. Rent prices here are similar to Laureles, so you can expect to pay around $600 to $800 per month for a decent apartment.If you're looking for something more upscale, you might want to check out El Poblado. This is the most expensive neighborhood in Medellin, but it's also the most modern and has the best amenities. You'll find high-end shopping centers, international restaurants, and luxury apartments here. However, you can still find a nice place for around $1,000 to $1,500 per month, which should be within your budget.As for other expenses, you'll find that groceries, transportation, and entertainment are all quite affordable in Medellin. A monthly public transportation pass costs around $30, and you can eat out at a nice restaurant for around $10 to $15 per person. If you're careful with your spending, you should be able to live quite comfortably on $5,000 a month without making too many sacrifices.Of course, there are always ways to save money if you're willing to make some compromises. For example, you could choose to live in a more affordable neighborhood like Belen or Sabaneta, which are further away from the city center but still offer a good quality of life. You could also save money by cooking at home more often or taking advantage of the many free or low-cost activities that Medellin has to offer.Overall, I think you'll find that Medellin is a great place to live as an expat, even on a budget of $5,000 a month. With a little bit of research and some smart choices, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without sacrificing the modern amenities you're used to," commented an expat living in Medellin.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Cisneros Square in Medellin, Colombia

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world.
Get Quote

AGS Worldwide MoversAGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world.
Get Quote

Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help others in Colombia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Colombia.

Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides