Mexico City, the sprawling capital of Mexico, is a city full of life, culture, and history. With so many neighborhoods to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay. There are so many amazing things to do in Mexico City, it’s important to know where to stay to make the most of your time.
Mexico City is actually the 5th largest city in the world, with an area of 1,485 square kilometres, so it can seem daunting to decide where to stay in such a sprawling metropolis. We’re here to help!
Each area offers a unique experience and caters to different types of travelers, whether you’re looking for the safest neighborhoods, fantastic food, or amazing nightlife, you will find it in this guide. So to help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together this guide to the best areas to stay in Mexico City.
If you don’t have time to read our entire guide and need a quick way to pick from one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City, then check our quick recap below. Whether you’re a budget traveller or someone looking for nightlife and culture, we have you covered!
Best budget area: Centro Historico
Best area For nightlife & restaurants: Condesa & Roma
Best area for luxury: Polanco
Best area for culture: Coyoacan
Best area for shopping: Santa Fe
Best Areas to Stay in Mexico City
Condesa is a vibrant and lively neighbourhood in the center of Mexico City known for its upscale restaurants, trendy designer stores, expats and digital nomads. It is also a popular spot for its lively nightlife, making it the perfect spot for a night out. Whether it’s a few drinks at a bar or a full-on clubbing experience, La Condesa is the perfect place to let loose and have a great time.
One of the most popular spots in Condesa is the Parque México, a beautiful park with a lake, bike trails, and an outdoor gym. This neighborhood is also home to some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, such as El Califa, a popular taqueria, and La Clandestina, a speakeasy-style bar that serves craft cocktails.
The vibrant, creative atmosphere makes it attractive to students, artists, and other creative individuals who have been drawn to the area since the 90s, when it was rebuilt after the 1985 earthquake. There are also plenty of craft beer bars, such as Drunkendog and Trappist Bar. While Condesa is one of the most expensive areas in Mexico City, it’s one of the nicest, and definitely worth the visit.
Roma Norte & Roma Sur
Roma is a vibrant part of the city consisting of two sections: Roma Norte and Roma Sur. It is a neighborhood that is rapidly becoming more upscale and gentrified, with a combination of popular bars, nightclubs and a hipster vibe, which is seen in its buildings, restaurants, and art galleries.
Tourists often explore this area, due to its proximity to the Centro Historico and the Bosque de Chapultepec, and also due to its safety. Because of this, it’s one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City, however, the prices are rapidly increasing. Roma Sur is a little cheaper than Roma Norte if you’re looking to save a bit.
One of the main attractions in the Roma neighborhood is the Mercado Roma, a gourmet food market where you can find a wide variety of local and international cuisine. The Mercado Roma is a great place to grab a quick bite or have a leisurely meal with friends. Another must-visit spot in Roma is the Casa Lamm Cultural Center, a beautifully restored mansion that houses a bookstore, art gallery, and restaurant.
Centro Historico (Historic Center)
If you want to be right in the center of Mexico City’s history, the Centro Histórico is the place to be. This historic center is one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City and one of the first spots tourists tend to visit due to all of the attractions.
This area is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Zócalo, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Palace. The streets are lined with historic buildings, museums, and markets selling traditional crafts.
One of the must-visit spots in the Centro Histórico is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a stunning art deco building that houses a theater and museum. The Museo Nacional de Arte is also located in this neighborhood, and it’s a great place to learn about Mexico’s rich artistic heritage. If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, head to the Mercado de la Ciudadela, a colorful market that sells traditional crafts and souvenirs.
The Centro Histórico is bustling during the day, but it’s quieter at night, so if you’re looking for nightlife, you may want to consider another neighborhood such as Roma or Condesa, as previously mentioned.
Paseo de la Reforma is one of the most famous avenues in Mexico City. It is surrounded by upscale hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, and begins at the Bosque de Chapultepec and stretches all the way to the north of the city. It is a great destination for travelers looking for an exciting experience.
This area is often referred to as the epicenter of Mexico City and upon arriving, you will quickly understand why.
If you’re visiting Mexico City for the first time, the nearby Chapultepec Park and the Angel of Independence are must-see spots that should not be overlooked.
This area is a popular tourist attraction, so why not make it your base while exploring the city? Chapultepec Park is the largest park in the city, and the Angel of Independence is a historic monument that is sure to take your breath away. Paseo de la Reforma
Napoles & Del Valle
Napoles is a residential neighborhood located in the south-central part of Mexico City. It’s known for its quiet streets, beautiful parks, and family-friendly atmosphere. If you’re looking for a peaceful and safe neighborhood to stay in while you explore the city, Napoles is a great option.
One of the main attractions in Napoles is the Parque Delta shopping center, where you can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and a cinema. There are also several parks in the area, such as the Parque Alfonso Esparza Oteo and the Parque San Antonio, where you can take a stroll or have a picnic.
Another must-visit spot in Napoles is the Casa Lamm cultural center, a beautiful 19th-century building that houses art galleries, a bookstore, and a café. The center also offers classes and workshops in a variety of subjects, from art to literature.
There are also plenty of hotels and serviced apartments in the area, such as the Hotel Novit and the Fiesta Inn Insurgentes Viaducto, making it a great option for those who want a quiet and convenient location to stay.
Polanco is one of Mexico City’s most upscale neighborhoods, known for its luxury shopping, high-end restaurants, and designer boutiques. This area is perfect for travelers who want to experience the city’s more luxurious side. Polanco is also home to some of the city’s best museums, such as the Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Museum.
The Soumaya Museum, designed by the famous architect Fernando Romero, houses an extensive collection of art, including works by Diego Rivera and Salvador Dali. The Jumex Museum, located in the trendy Plaza Carso complex, is a contemporary art museum that showcases works by some of the world’s most renowned artists.
Polanco is also a great place to shop, with luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès located on Avenida Presidente Masaryk. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, head to Pujol, a restaurant that serves traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, and is considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Polanco is the most expensive neighbourhood in Mexico City, along with Santa Fe.
Coyoacán is a charming neighborhood located in the southern part of Mexico City. This area is known for its colonial architecture, tree-lined streets, and vibrant cultural scene. Coyoacán is also the birthplace of the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and you can visit her childhood home, the Casa Azul, which has been turned into a museum.
One of the main attractions in Coyoacán is the Jardín Centenario, a beautiful park with a fountain, sculptures, and benches to sit and relax. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area, such as El Jarocho, a coffee shop that serves delicious pastries and sandwiches.
Another must-visit spot in Coyoacán is the Mercado de Coyoacán, a traditional market where you can find fresh produce, meat, and fish, as well as handmade crafts and souvenirs. In our opinion, this cute neighbourhood is one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City.
Juarez & Zona Rosa
Experience the best of both worlds in the vibrant neighbourhood of Juarez and the renowned Zona Rosa. Shop in the modern designer boutiques, visit vintage stores, or browse the jewelry stores. Then, refuel with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Whether you’re looking for traditional Mexican flavors or something more contemporary, you’ll find it here. It’s the ideal place to enjoy the best of both worlds. Juarez is one of the oldest areas in Mexico City, which can be seen with the old streets and classical architecture.
Zona Rosa, a gay-friendly area, is situated in the larger Juarez neighborhood. During the day, it is a peaceful place, while at night it is known for its lively atmosphere. It is close to Chapultepec, making it a great spot to check out.
San Rafael is a great option for visitors who want to experience the city without feeling like a tourist. The area is home to many university students, giving it a lively and youthful atmosphere. There is a rich history to explore, with vintage theatres, 19th century homes, and local eateries to be discovered. It’s also conveniently located close to the attractions of Centro Histórico including the Monument to the Revolution.
You won’t find much in the way of gourmet cuisine or nightlife in this area, but you will discover an abundance of delicious street food to sample, especially around Mercado San Cosme. Art lovers should also pay a visit to the Museo Experimental el Eco, a contemporary art museum.
San Rafael is still largely untouched by gentrification, however certain areas are starting to see the emergence of specialty coffee shops. It still retains a small-town vibe and the San Cosme metro stop is the main hub of activity.
Santa Fe is a modern area located in the western part of Mexico City, known for its towering skyscrapers, high-end shopping malls, and contemporary architecture. This area is perfect for those who want a more cosmopolitan experience in the city.
One of the main attractions in Santa Fe is the Centro Santa Fe shopping mall, one of the largest malls in Latin America. Here, you can find high-end shops, restaurants, and a cinema, as well as a bowling alley and an ice rink.
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are also plenty of green areas in the area, such as the Desierto de los Leones National Park and the La Marquesa Forest Park.
There are also plenty of hotels and serviced apartments in Santa Fe, such as the JW Marriott Mexico City and the Distrito Capital Hotel, making it a great option for those who want a more modern and upscale experience in the city.
Best Areas to Stay in Mexico City Conclusion
In summary, Mexico City is a vast metropolis that offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to stay in. Finding the best areas to stay in Mexico City should be a lot easier for you after this extensive guide. From the historic center to the upscale Polanco neighbourhood and the lively party atmosphere in Roma and Condesa, each neighbourhood has its own unique charm and attractions.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere, Napoles and Juarez offer a great option, while the lively and modern Del Valle is perfect for those seeking a trendy and cosmopolitan vibe.
While each neighborhood offers its own set of attractions, Mexico City as a whole is an incredible destination for any traveler. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder that this city has become one of the most popular destinations in Latin America. So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking to explore a new and exciting city, Mexico City has something to offer everyone.
**Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. When booking through one of our links, we earn a small kickback at no extra cost to you and it’s a big help to keep the site up and running.