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TLDR? Living in Medellin can range quite a bit, but it’s much cheaper than in the US or Europe!
Whether you’ll be moving to Medellin long-term or just staying for a month or two, you’re probably interested in knowing about the cost of living.
After all, you need to be able to budget and plan for your time in Medellin.
Well, there are a few things that go into the cost of living in Medellin. Let’s take a look at a few different aspects of life in Medellin and what you can expect to pay during your time here.
Medellin, like anywhere else, has some areas that are cheaper than others. Some apartments or houses have strategic locations close to specific spots such as Metro stations, universities, parks, or business areas such as El Poblado or Laureles.
On the other hand, there are also apartments for rent in dodgier parts of town. If you’re going to find a place to live, however, you can still get some affordable places in Poblado or Laureles without having to sacrifice safety or convenience.
Renting an apartment in Medellin in one of the safe, central neighborhoods ranges from about $300 USD to $1,000 USD.
Of course, you’ll pay more for penthouses or luxury apartments. But, you can still expect them to be much cheaper than somewhere in the US.
If you don’t want to rent an entire place, you can also share a room in a house. In that case you’d be sharing the kitchen, common areas, laundry area, and sometimes the bathroom, and you’d pay roughly $150 USD a month.
Another big part of the cost of living in a new city is how much you’ll spend on food.
This is going to vary greatly depending on whether you eat out or choose to shop at a grocery store. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Grocery shopping is by far the most affordable way to feed yourself while living in Medellin.
You can buy chicken, pork, beef, and seafood in your grocery store and it shouldn’t cost you too much. Typically, a package of chicken breast will cost you about $3 with pork, beef, and seafood being slightly more expensive.
Eggs and milk are pretty affordable too, with dairy products costing anywhere from $1 USD to $4 USD.
In terms of produce, fruits’ and vegetables’ prices can fluctuate greatly based on seasonality. However, you can typically take home enough fruits and veggies for a week for a little less than $15.
In total, for two people, your grocery bill will come out somewhere between $200 and $300 USD.
If you prefer to eat out, that’s absolutely a possibility too. Street vendors will sell you stuffed arepas and other snacks for less than $1 USD.
In terms of full meals, a local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant can cost you as little as $5 USD for a meal. This typically includes a drink, salad, rice, and some sort of meat.
For those who prefer to eat out at slightly more upscale restaurants, you’ll be looking at meals ranging in price from $10 to $15, typically. If you’re headed out on a date, you’ll pay between $30 and $70 for a fancy dinner for two.
In terms of nightlife and bars, the costs aren’t bad either. You can usually get a beer for somewhere between $2 and $5 USD and a glass of wine or sangria for between $5 and $10.
When it comes to transportation, you’ll have quite a few options for getting around in Medellin. You can choose to take taxis and rideshare apps or can simply hop on the public transportation system.
If you decide to take the metro system it’ll cost you less than $1 USD to get from one side of the city to the other using the Civica card. Or, with pay-as-you-go passes it’ll cost you about $2.50 USD.
For those who would rather use taxis or rideshare apps, the minimum fare starts a little under $2 USD. However, prices can quickly add up depending on where you’re headed.
Another option is renting a car in Medellin. You can rent electric vehicles from about $20 USD per day and standard vehicles from about $30 USD per day. Gas will cost you roughly $3 per gallon, which is a bit on the pricey side.
While you’ll probably pack what you need in terms of clothes and shoes, that’s not to say you can’t go on a little shopping spree while you’re in Medellin.
Clothes and shoes in Medellin tend to be on the higher side. In fact, many Colombians actually prefer to go shopping when visiting the United States to score cheap deals on clothing!
A pair of jeans in Medellin will cost you anywhere from $20 to $70 USD, depending on the brand. Likewise, t-shirts start at about $10 USD but can get up to $50. Dresses are usually around $25 USD and up.
If you’re looking for formal attire, such as for an upcoming wedding, you’ll be surprised at the prices. Wedding dresses start at about $100 USD and go up to roughly $600 USD.
While you can certainly go jogging or get a free workout in at home, many of us like going to the gym.
The good news is that memberships are usually pretty affordable. Most gyms will sell you monthly, semi-annual, or annual membership plans at good prices.
For instance, it costs about $20 USD per month for a membership at one of the best gyms in Medellin.
For health services, you can expect to pay somewhere from $10 to $50 USD to see a doctor, depending on whether or not you have insurance and where you go. Emergency medical services tend to be pretty affordable too, with a night in the hospital costing about $300 USD.
If you want to get cosmetic surgery, prices usually start at about $2,000 USD depending on the procedure.
As a city that’s constantly growing and evolving, Medellin is a happening place to be. And, with the affordability of life here, it’s no wonder so many people are flocking to live in this city!
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