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Posted 16 Sep, 2022 | No comments
Posted in: Mexico, Mexico & The Caribbean, Travel Blogs

Mexico City, (or CDMX), is an enormous, exciting metropolis. However, with over 22 million people and countless colonias, (neighborhoods), the city can be more than a little overwhelming for first-time visitors. In this guide, I’ll show you where to stay in Mexico City based on your interests and preferences.

Originally founded by the pre-Columbian Mexica people, (often referred to as “Aztecs”), today, CDMX is a cosmopolitan megacity that’s rich in culture and interesting sights.

It’s home to some of the best museums in Latin America, as well as world-class restaurants, incredible rooftop bars, and thumping nightlife.

I spent a month living and working in Mexico City earlier this year. During this experience, I spent a lot of time exploring various neighborhoods across the city and know many quite well.

This post describes some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City and suggests a few specific places in each for you to consider. I hope you find it useful and informative.

Quick Look: Best Areas to Stay in Mexico City

  • First Time Visitor: La Condesa
  • For Nightlife: Reforma
  • Coolest: La Roma
  • With Family: Polanco
  • On a Budget: Santa María La Ribera
  • For Shopping: Coyoacán
  • For History: Centro Histórico
  • For Foodies: Anywhere! Incredible food can be found all over Mexico City

1. La Condesa: Where to Stay in Mexico City for Your First Time

It can be tricky to decide where to stay in Mexico City for first-time visitors. Whether you plan on visiting for a weekend, a week, or a month, La Condesa is a great area to stay.

I recommend picking La Condesa. As well as being the safest place to stay in Mexico City, the central location is excellent and there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops here. You’ll also be close to some of the city’s best museums.

I stayed in Condesa when I lived in Mexico City, and it’s probably my favorite part of the city. The streets are lined with trees, the architecture is stunning, and there’s just a great vibe to the place.

A beautiful fountain landmark of La Condesa in Mexico City

Here, you’ll find several beautifully landscaped parks that are perfect to visit if you wish to escape the noise, hustle, and bustle of the big city.

Best Places to Stay in La Condesa

  1. Sunny & Spacious 2-Story Apartment: This one-bedroom apartment has two floors, with a double-height main room and a large master bedroom. It also has a spacious private terrace with beautiful views, lots of greenery, and a set of garden furniture. Click here to learn more.
  2. Dream Location for Digital Nomads in Condesa: This is one of the best places to stay on a budget in Condesa. It isn’t a big place, but the price and location are both perfect. There’s a small private terrace, a simple but perfectly adequate kitchen, and a dedicated workspace – ideal if you’re working remotely. Click here for more information.
  3. Magnificent 90m2 Duplex: This unique apartment has two floors, with an interior spiral staircase connecting them, and is decorated in a modern and tasteful way. It has a terrace with a sitting area surrounded by greenery, and is located on a quiet and peaceful street in Condesa. Click here to book.

Have a look at our full list of the 15 best Airbnbs and apartments in Condesa.

2. Reforma: Best Area in Mexico City for Nightlife

If you’re looking for the best area to stay in Mexico City for nightlife, then Reforma is the place for you. There are lots of places here to go out and have fun once the sun goes down.

You’ll find everything from hipster bars to big clubs here. It’s also a very safe area, so you can feel comfortable walking around at night. Head to the Paseo de la Reforma, which is the main street that runs through the neighborhood, and pick a bar that suits your vibe.

Angel statue and Reforma Colonia in a beautiful blue sky of Mexico City

One of my favorite bars in Reforma is Xaman Bar. They serve great drinks, the music is excellent, and the staff are really friendly and welcoming. It’s a great place to go out and have fun with friends.

Best Places to Stay in Reforma

  1. Trendy Location Across Camino Real: This one-bedroom apartment is located within easy walking distance from Chapultepec Castle, the National Anthropology Museum, and a number of other popular sights. It has ultra-fast WiFi, a modern bathroom and kitchen, laundry facilities, and access to a little courtyard where you can enjoy your morning coffee. Click here to learn more.
  2. Exclusive, Private Terrace: This light and airy third-floor apartment features floor-to-ceiling windows, a large master bedroom with a dedicated workspace, and a sofa bed in the living room. However, the standout feature is the large private terrace where you can appreciate a meal, or sip an evening drink surrounded by greenery. Click here for more information.
  3. Cozy Studio Near Museum of Anthropology: This little studio is great value for money, and is in a fantastic location, just minutes from the National Anthropology Museum and Chapultepec Park. It’s fully furnished, with a well-equipped kitchen, Nespresso coffee machine, a large bathroom, and access to a patio with a table and chairs. Click here to book.

3. La Roma: Coolest Place to Stay in Mexico City

La Roma is definitely one of the coolest neighborhoods in Mexico City. It’s full of creative types, artists, and musicians. There are so many cool places to eat and drink, and it’s just a really exciting area to hang out.

In Roma, you’ll see loads of beautiful street art, public sculptures, and murals decorating many of the buildings.

If you’re craving something to eat or drink after taking in the sights, there are countless trendy bars and cafes to choose from – whether it’s a casual meal or a luxurious dining experience, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your needs.

A salad at a Mexican restaurant ready to be served.

One of my favorite things to do in Mexico City at night is to visit La Roma Brewing; a microbrewery in Roma Norte that offers an excellent range of different craft beers, many of which are brewed locally.

If you’re looking for somewhere with a more alternative scene, La Roma is definitely the place to be. It also has good public transport links to the rest of the city so it’s convenient to get around from here.

Best Places to Stay in La Roma

  1. Modern Loft in Roma Norte: This tastefully decorated modern studio apartment has a well-equipped kitchen, fast WiFi, a dedicated workstation perfect for digital nomads, and large floor-to-ceiling windows making it light and airy inside. Guests also have access to a stunning shared roof terrace where you can enjoy incredible views out over the city, especially at sunset. Click here to learn more.
  2. Very Cool Apartment With Terrace: This is a large two-bedroom duplex apartment in Roma Norte, with 1,300 ft² of floor space, a private terrace, and really funky decor. It has a home office, high-speed internet, and the hosts throw in a prepaid card for the metro and metrobús; meaning you can easily explore the city using this as your base. Click here for more information.
  3. Dib The Experience Loft: Another fantastic apartment in the heart of Roma Norte, this place is a little pricier than some of the others but is beautifully designed and very stylish. It has an excellent open-plan kitchen, living, and dining area which opens onto a private shaded courtyard garden. There’s a master bedroom and an extra sofa bed in the living room so you can sleep up to four people. Click here to book.

4. Polanco: Best Neighborhood in Mexico City for Families

If you’re traveling with kids, then Polanco is a great place to base yourself. It’s very safe, and there are plenty of parks and playgrounds where your children can let off some steam.

You’ll also be within easy walking distance of Bosque de Chapultepec – one of the largest city parks in the Americas.

You’ll also be close to some of the city’s best museums, including the incredible National Museum of Anthropology. This is one of the best museums I’ve ever visited and is packed full of stunning artifacts recovered from all over Mexico.

It’s a wonderful place for your kids, (and you!), to learn about the diverse and fascinating history of pre-Columbian Mexico.

Aerial view of Mexico City in Polanco area with the bicentenario park in front and Polanco skyline in the back.

Polanco is also fairly quiet at night, so you won’t have to worry about late-night bars and noisy partygoers keeping your little ones awake at night.

As well as being family-friendly, Polanco is the best neighborhood in Mexico City for people who like a bit of glitz, glamor, and exclusivity.

However, the main downside to staying here, (other than the lack of nightlife), is that it can be fairly expensive, and budget options are somewhat limited.

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Excellent Airbnbs in Mexico City

Best Places to Stay in Polanco

  1. Lux Apartment @ Masaryk Polanco: If your budget will allow, this luxurious two-bedroom apartment is one of the best places to stay in Mexico City for families looking for a little extra comfort. It can sleep up to six and is located very close to the beautiful Parque Lincoln, as well as a number of excellent restaurants and cafes. Click here to learn more.
  2. Beautiful 2BE/2BA Apartment: This is one of the cheaper options in Polanco, and has excellent reviews. It can easily accommodate a family of four, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open-plan kitchen and dining area. It has a 55″ TV with Netflix, and large floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light. Click here for more information.
  3. Dazzling 2BR Urban Retreat: This high-end, stylish apartment has amazing views of the Mexico City skyline, and a stunning open-plan kitchen and living area. Guests benefit from access to a shared pool and hot tub, as well as an on-site gym. There are two bedrooms and, if you have a young family, a cot is available on request. Click here to book.

5. Santa María La Ribera: Where to Stay in Mexico City on a Budget

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in Mexico City, Santa María La Ribera is a great option.

It’s not the most exciting neighborhood in the city but it’s fairly centrally located and there are plenty of cheap accommodation options available to choose from.

Santa María La Ribera has some great authentic Mexican restaurants and eateries. Many of these are very cheap, so it’s totally possible to eat out without also eating into your budget too much. Try La Chileria CDMX for delicious tacos and salads.

Traditional restaurant for Mexican tacos ready to serve.

Overall, you probably won’t see too many expats or foreign tourists in this part of the city. I quite like this, and it certainly helps to keep the prices down.

One thing to bear in mind is that Santa María can be quite noisy and busy, especially during rush hour. But as long as this doesn’t bother you, it’s a great place to base yourself if you’re looking to experience Mexico City without spending too much money.

Best Places to Stay in Santa María La Ribera

  1. Super Nice and Central Miniloft: This apartment on the edge of Santa María la Ribera is a real bargain. It’s not particularly large but can accommodate up to four people with the use of a sofa bed in the living room. The main bedroom is upstairs on a mezzanine loft level, and downstairs there’s a kitchenette and sitting area. There’s also a shared roof terrace with tables, chairs, and sun loungers. Click here to learn more.
  2. Central Apartment Santa María la Ribera: This new apartment has two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, high-speed internet, and laundry facilities. The artwork is funky, there’s a little breakfast bar, and a dedicated workspace. Click here for more information.
  3. Apartment near Buenavista station: Another great budget option, this apartment is simple and “no frills”, but both the price and reviews are excellent. It’s well located, with lots of public transport options nearby, and has a living room, breakfast bar, kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. Click here to book.

6. Coyoacán: Where to Stay in Mexico City for Shopping

The colorful Coyoacán neighborhood is probably best known for being home to La Casa Azul, (the Blue House), where Frida Kahlo lived and spent most of her life.

However, the area also has a wide variety of interesting shops and markets, making this the best area in Mexico City to stay in if you’re interested in shopping – especially if you’re looking for something handmade.

Colorful walls and gates in the historic Coyocan neighborhood of Mexico City.

There are a few different markets here where you can find some great bargains on souvenirs, clothing, pottery, and other Mexican handicrafts. The Mercado Artesanal Mexicano is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something unique to take home with you.

There are also some excellent independent boutiques in Coyoacán, selling everything from clothes and jewelry, to furniture and home decor. Take a wander through the streets in the area around Jardín Hidalgo park and you’ll come across many of these.

Best Places to Stay in Coyoacán

  1. Villa Coyoacán: This large one-bedroom apartment is inside a typical Coyoacán house, with traditional colonial architecture and decoration. It’s located close to the Hidalgo Gardens and the Church of San Juan Bautista. It’s an excellent place to stay to explore the area. Click here to learn more.
  2. Experience Coyoacán: This bright, colorful apartment is on a quiet street near the heart of Coyoacán. You’ll be within easy walking distance of a large number of boutiques, bookstores, cafes, galleries, craft shops, and other places, so you can shop to your heart’s content. It has two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a private backyard. Click here for more information.
  3. El Jardín de la Amistad: This beautiful loft is decorated in contemporary Mexican style, with a king bed and two single beds. It has a simple kitchen with an electric grill and a mini fridge, and a shared patio outside; awesome for those warm Mexican evenings. Click here to book.

7. Centro Histórico: Where to Stay in Mexico City for History

The Centro Histórico, (i.e. Historical Center), is the best place to stay in Mexico City if you’re interested in history. Plus, many of the top things to see and do in Mexico City are located here.

The area around the Zócalo – the city’s main public square – is especially worth exploring, as it’s home to many of Mexico City’s most important historical buildings. These include the Palacio Nacional, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor.

Elevated view of Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral at the Zocalo Square, Mexico.

The Templo Mayor was the main temple of Tenochtitlan – the capital city of the Mexica (or “Aztec”)people. After conquering the city, Hernán Cortés and the Spanish conquistadors flattened parts of it and built an enormous cathedral, (the Metropolitan Cathedral), on top of the ruins.

Today, parts of the ancient city, including the Templo Mayor, have been excavated, and you can see them lying right next to the cathedral.

To learn more about this fascinating and turbulent history, I recommend visiting the Museo del Templo Mayor. This showcases a number of important archaeological finds and does an excellent job of making the history of Mexico accessible to all.

Best Places to Stay in Centro Histórico

  1. Casa Sauto: This gorgeous one-bedroom apartment is located in the 400-year-old building where the Declaration of Independence of Mexico was printed. It’s a stone’s throw from the Zócalo, and has a well-furnished kitchenette. Click here to learn more.
  2. Regina 70: This apartment is comfortable and spacious, and is located in the heart of the Historical Center of Mexico City. It can sleep up to four and comes fully equipped with quality finishings. Click here for more information.
  3. Elegant and Artistic Loft: This stunning apartment is very airy, with high ceilings, beautiful artwork, and stylish decoration throughout. History fans will love its central location, between the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Zócalo. Click here to book.

FAQs About the Best Areas to Stay in Mexico City

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about where to stay in Mexico City.

What Area of Mexico City is Best For Tourists?

The Centro Histórico is the best area to stay in Mexico City for tourists who want to do lots of sightseeing.

This district is home to many of Mexico City’s most famous and visited landmarks. These include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Zócalo, the Palacio Nacional, the Templo Mayor, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Where Should I Avoid Staying in Mexico City? (Where NOT to Stay in Mexico City)

Certain areas in Mexico City experience high levels of crime and so should be avoided, especially at night. These include the following districts: Iztapalapa, Tepito, Doctores and Ciudad Neza.

The area around Plaza Garibaldi, (which is one of the best places to see an authentic Mariachi performance), is generally fine during the day, but should be avoided after dark. I’d suggest staying elsewhere because of this.

What is the Safest Place to Stay in Mexico City?

All of the districts recommended in this post – La Condesa, Roma, Polanco, Reforma, Santa Maria La Ribera, Coyoacán, and the Centro Histórico – are safe to stay in. Just remember to keep an eye out for pickpockets in Centro Histórico.

If I had to pick the safest place to stay in Mexico City, it would be La Condesa. At night, you’ll see many people, including women, of all ages walking the streets by themselves, which is always a good sign when it comes to the safety of an area.

Where to stay in Mexico City for Shopping?

Mexico City has many excellent places for shopping. The Coyoacán district is one of the best and most interesting. Here you’ll find a great variety of shops and markets, selling everything from clothes and handmade crafts, to furniture and cooking equipment.

In Conclusion

Now that you know where to stay in Mexico City, it’s time to start planning your trip. With such a huge range of options to choose from, you’re bound to find somewhere to stay that’s perfect for you.

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“Where to Stay in Mexico City (Best Neighbourhoods and Places)
The Best Places to Stay in Mexico City, Mexico
“Where to Stay in Mexico City: Best Areas & Neighborhoods

 

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Alex is a former lawyer and lifelong lover of off-the-beaten-track travel. He is the founder of Just Go Exploring, a blog that aims to make adventurous travel accessible to all. As well as blogging, Alex works as a freelance travel writer, personal trip planner and travel consultant. He has a Law Degree from Oxford University and is a full-time digital nomad. Alex has lived and worked in many places around the world. Cities that he knows particularly well include London, Oxford and Mexico City.

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