Plaza Bolivar in Medellin
Plaza Bolivar in Medellin
Plaza Bolivar in Medellin

Pros and Cons of Living in Medellin

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees love living in Medellin, Colombia but like any city there are pros and cons to living there. The low cost of living, friendly people and perfect weather (mid 70s year round) top the list of pros. Cons include traffic, the city's pico y placa regulations and pollution.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Medellin?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Medellin responded:

"Like: The weather is awesome. Public transportation is excellent both locally and other cities. Domestic airfare is cheap as well. The Colombian people could be the nicest people anywhere. The city is really clean (coming from Boquete, Panama, that is so refreshing) and you can drink the water out of the tap. Utilities and wifi is modern and efficient. Appointments run on time, no "latin time" here but many businesses close 2 hours for lunch. The country itself is amazing from the Caribbean beaches to the Amazon in Leticia. The cost of living is very low. Even without insurance, doctor's and prescription medicine are very low cost. Don't Like: The pollution is bad. Sometimes it's worse than bad. There's pica-placa (cars can only be used in the city based on the last digit of your tag) but there's so much traffic, it has no effect. With all the great things Medellin has to offer, it's pollution that is causing us to move. ," remarked another expat in Medellin.

"Nearly everything about Medellin is favourable to expats EXCEPT the levels of corruption and extortion.," explained one expat in Medellin.

"The climate is perfect year round(72-85 F) . No mosquitos. No heating or air-conditioning needed. Labor here is one-third compared to US. Many of the doctors and dentists here are US trained," said another expat in Medellin.

"Medellin is the industrial capital of Colombia, thus it is not especially recommended as a tourist attraction," remarked another expat in Medellin.

"Great friendly people, cost of living, beautiful country, great health care, ease of moving here. No dislikes. We will never go back to the US! ," explained one expat living in Medellin.

"Our experience as expats was very satisfying. We would not have returned to the U.S. except for the pandemic, when family necessities forced us to come back," said another expat in living in Medellin, Colombia.

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Need health insurance in Colombia? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What do expats in Medellin appreciate most about the local culture?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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