Scenic view at Basilica of Guadalupe with Mexico City skyline at sunset
neighbourhood guide

Where to stay in Mexico City

Mexico City is a sprawling urban landscape steeped in history and buzzing with modern life. With remnants of Aztec civilization and a thriving contemporary art scene, the city serves as both a museum of the past and a snapshot of present-day Mexico.

Home to almost 22 million people, Mexico City comprises a variety of distinctive neighbourhoods, each with its own unique flavour and flair. The eclectic vibe of Condesa contrasts with the creative energy of Roma and the sophisticated atmosphere of Polanco, and there are many other lesser-known areas which are well worth exploring.

Choosing where to stay can significantly shape your experience in Mexico City. Depending on your interests—be they historical sites, bustling markets, or gourmet dining—selecting the right area is crucial.

Our recommended neighbourhoods are not only conveniently located near key attractions, but they also offer a range of dining and shopping options and generally maintain a reputation for safety. Below, we'll provide more in-depth insights into what each of these neighbourhoods has to offer, helping you make an informed decision for your trip.

Downtown Mexico City at night

Looking for hotel recommendations? Here are our suggestions:

Best area to stay in Mexico for first-time visitors

Roma Norte

Restaurant in Alvaro Obregon Avenue in the fashionable Roma Norte neighborhood

If you are looking to be surrounded by Mexican culture while also having the luxuries of meeting other travelers and expats then Roma Norte is the perfect neighborhood for you. The city designated Roma as a "Barrio Magico," and the magic of this location will be instantly apparent when you see the sparkling Art Deco architecture.

It is one of the best places to stay in Mexico City if you're looking for a neighbourhood with a great mix of culture, nightlife, and dining options. This trendy area is home to some of the city's best bars and restaurants, as well as several art galleries and cultural venues.

If you enjoy cafe culture and sipping a latte every morning, then Roma is the perfect place to get your caffeine fix. With so many cute cafes on each corner, you will never run out of new places to try and it has some of the best Mercados in Mexico City for you to pop into when you need some fresh ingredients.

This neighbourhood is conveniently located near many of the city's major tourist attractions, including the Museum of Modern Art and Chapultepec Park. It's also a quick trip to Arena México if you're interested in watching the Lucha Libre while you're in town.

The area is served by public transportation, but it is quite walkable and bikeable, and it is safe to explore the entire barrio on foot.

Stay at the Casa Goliana La Roma, a 4-star boutique bed & breakfast near Paseo de la Reforma

Best area to stay in Mexico City for couples


A street corner in Polanco, Mexico City, with buildings, cars and trees

If you are looking for a romantic and luxurious neighbourhood to stay in during your trip to Mexico City, then look no further than Polanco. This upmarket area is home to some of the city's best hotels, restaurants, and shops.

If you're after a peaceful break where you don't have to think about anything, try one of the neighbourhood's 5-star hotel hotels. Otherwise, Polanco also has some beautiful boutique hotels and apartments. The area is full of excellent accommodation options, all within walking distance of many attractions.

Polanco is also home to some excellent restaurants, so if you are looking for a fine dining experience, this is the place to be. Polanco is considered to have some of the best restaurants in all of Latin America, as well as upscale cocktail bars - perfect for a romantic evening out.

Finally, if you are looking to do some shopping during your trip, then Polanco is the place to go. This area is home to many high-end shops, as well as more affordable stores. No matter what your budget is, you will be able to find what you are looking for in Polanco.

Stay at the Camino Real in Polanco with large rooms and unique architecture.

Best area to stay in Mexico City for families


A wide, tree-lined street in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City

If you are visiting Mexico City with your family, then Condesa is the perfect neighbourhood for you to stay. This chic and vibrant area is filled with tree-lined streets, beautiful art deco architecture, and a relaxed vibe that will make you feel right at home.

The beautiful bohemian ambience of the neighbourhood adds to its appeal. Its diverse architectural styles, from Art Deco to colonial revival to modern, provide it with a unique and exciting appearance that is complemented only by the trendy young professionals who call Condesa home. Mexico City as a whole is safe, and Condesa is considered one of the safest areas.

There are plenty of things to do in Condesa with kids, including visiting one of the many parks, such as Chapultepec Park, which has a zoo, an amusement park, and plenty of green space to run around in. The park is quite large and is a great place to explore by bike if you enjoy cycling.

When it comes to food, there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants in Condesa, as well as street food vendors selling everything from tacos to Nutella stuffed churros... my mouth is already watering.

Condesa is the sister neighbourhood to Roma, so it shares many of the same great qualities, but it is a bit more residential and less crowded, making it a great choice for families.

Stay at The Gallery by MyPlace, a comfortable hotel near Chapultepec Park

Best area to stay in Mexico City on a budget


Local businesses at a colourful colonial building in Coyoacan, a historic neighbourhod in Mexico City.

While Mexico City is typically a very budget-friendly city regardless of where you stay Coyoacan is the perfect option for those travelling on a stricter budget.

This bohemian and vibrant area is filled with colourfully painted houses, cobblestone streets, and a laid-back vibe. Due to it being a bit further from the city centre, you can also find plenty of affordable accommodation and dining options.

Coyoacan is safe, walkable, and has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. This neighbourhood was once home to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and still retains much of its original charm. Make sure to check out the Museo de Frida Kahlo to discover the artist's childhood and journey to becoming one of the most famous artists in history.

Coyoacan is a little further off the beaten path, making it feel more undiscovered, and it still maintains its quiet charm. It is perfect if you want to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

There are plenty of things to do in Coyoacan, from visiting the many museums and art galleries to strolling through the bustling markets and eating your way through the delicious street food.

If you are looking for an affordable and authentic experience during your trip to Mexico City, then Coyoacan is the perfect neighbourhood for you.

Stay at the Villas Sol y Luna Coyoacan with comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.

Best area to stay in Mexico City for history and culture

Centro Historico

The Metropolitan Cathedral and Zocalo (main square) in Mexico City at sunrise

In past years, the most common place for tourists to stay was in Centro Historico, with its central location and wealth of things to do and see. Although it is still one of the best places to stay in Mexico City, it has become more crowded and many of the neighbourhoods in the central city are experiencing an influx of growth.

However, if you want to immerse yourself in the history of Mexico City, then this is the place for you. Centro Historico is home to some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City and the site of many important events throughout history.

This neighbourhood is also home to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Latin America, and the Templo Mayor, which was once the main temple of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.

Centro Historico is also great for experiencing Mexico City's vibrant culture. This area is filled with traditional Mexican restaurants, bars, and cafes. There is also a wide variety of shops selling everything from handmade goods to traditional Mexican clothing.

No matter what your interests are, you will be able to find something to do in Centro Historico. If you are looking for a truly historical experience, then this is the best place for you to stay during your trip to Mexico City.

Stay at City Centro Ciudad de México with city views and a short walk to the Zócalo.

Best area to stay in Mexico City for nightlife


A tree-lined street in the Colonia Juarez neighbourhood in Mexico City

The neighbourhood of Juarez has recently had a reawakening and is quickly becoming one of the best places to stay in Mexico City. Previously dubbed run down and dangerous, this neighbourhood is taking Mexico City by storm.

Mexico's most affluent people left the historic downtown in the 1900s to establish country homes near the Chapultepec forest, making this community once Mexico's richest. Although the city eventually fell into ruins creating a poor stigma, Colonia Juárez was re-established when artists and intellectuals relocated there in the 1960s which influenced this new birth.

While there aren't a ton of tourist attractions in Juarez there are plenty of places to enjoy a cerveza! The Juarez nightlife scene has something for everyone, from laid-back bars where you can have a few drinks and listen to live music, to energetic clubs where you can dance the night away. It's also one of the most gay-friendly neighbourhoods in the city.

No matter what your taste in nightlife is, you will be able to find it in Juarez. This area is also conveniently located near many of the city's best tourist attractions, so you won't be giving up any cultural attractions should you choose to stay in this neighbourhood.

Stay at the Geneve Ciudad de México with pretty rooms in the Zuna Rosa in central Juarez.

Planning a trip to Mexico City? Read our three-day itinerary and Mexico City travel tips.

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Carae Hilcher

Author - Carae Hilcher

Carae is a free-spirited Texan, an expert traveller, and an adventurous soul who is passionate about living life to the fullest. With a contagious laugh and a love for unforgettable experiences, she is full of stories from around the world that she loves to tell.

Carae has been writing about her adventures for the past three years and loves diving into different cultures and seeing all the new places. When she's not on the move, you can find her practicing yoga or enjoying the beach-—with a cocktail in hand, of course. She has an unstoppable zest for life and tries to make the most out of every day.

Last Updated 27 January 2024

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