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

Where to stay in Mexico City


Contributing writer

Mexico City is a vast, vibrant metropolis that offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you are looking for ancient ruins, colonial architecture, world-class museums or trendy nightlife, you’ll be able to find it in Mexico City.

With a population of almost 22 million, Mexico City is a huge city and picking a good, convenient base will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Some of our favourite areas are Condesa, Roma, Polanco, and maybe a few you haven't heard of before. These neighborhoods are safe and offer a great mix of culture, nightlife, and dining options, while being within close proximity to major tourist attractions.

Downtown Mexico City at night

At a glance

  • Best for first-timers: Roma Norte for a great mix of culture, nightlife, and dining options close to major attractions.
  • Best for families: Condesa for a central and relaxed neighbourhood with parks, a zoo and many family-friendly restaurants.
  • Best for history: Centro Historico home to some of the city's most famous landmarks.
  • Best for luxury: Polanco for a range of five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants and excellent shopping.
  • Best for nightlife: Juarez with bars, live music and nightclubs not far from the tourist centre.
  • Best for a local experience: Coyoacan for art galleries, local markets and a laid-back vibe.

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 neighborhood 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.

This neighborhood is conveniently located near many of the city's major tourist attractions, including the Museum of Modern Art and Chapultepec Park and has some of the best Mercados in Mexico City for you to pop into when you need some fresh ingredients.

The neighborhood 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 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 neighborhood for you to stay. This chic and vibrant neighborhood 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 ambiance of the neighborhood 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 neighborhood 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 for history and culture

Centro Historico

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

In past years, the most commonplace 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 neighborhoods around are experiencing an influx of growth.

However, if you are looking 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, which is the main square of Mexico City and the site of many important events throughout history.

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

Centro Historico is also a great place to experience Mexico City's vibrant culture. This neighborhood 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 luxury


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

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

For that, you don't have to think about anything, being waited on hand-and-foot for a 5-star hotel experience, Polanco is the place to be. The neighborhood is full of excellent accommodation options and all within walking distance of many attractions.

This area is also home to some of the city's best restaurants, so if you are looking for a fine dining experience, you will definitely be able to find it here. Polanco is considered to have some of the best restaurants in all of Latin America as well as upscale cocktail bars. Making it one of the best places to stay in Mexico City for luxury travelers who are also foodies.

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 Hyatt Regency Mexico City, a luxury hotel near the Auditorio Nacional and Museo Nacional de Antropologia, or the Wild Oscar for five-star residential-style accommodation in the area.

Best area to stay in Mexico City for nightlife


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

The neighborhood 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 neighborhood 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 neighborhood 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 neighborhood.

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

Best area to stay in Mexico City for a local experience


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

If you want to experience Mexico City like a local, then Coyoacan is the neighborhood for you. This bohemian and vibrant area is filled with colorfully painted houses, cobblestone streets, and a laid-back vibe.

Coyoacan is considered one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City because it is safe, walkable, and has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. This neighborhood 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 off the beaten path, making it feel a bit more undiscovered and still maintains its quiet charm. However, I am not sure how long it will stay that way with so many people starting to call this neighborhood home. It is perfect if you want to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

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.

While Mexico City is typically a very budget-friendly city regardless of where you stay Coyoacan is the perfect option for those traveling on a stricter budget, due to it being a bit further from the city center you will find plenty of affordable accommodation and dining options.

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

Stay at the Casa Jacinta Guest House walking distance from the Frida Kahlo House Museum

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

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Author - Carae

Carae is a travel consultant who can frequently be caught catching flights around the world. When she is not discovering new places she is traveling slowly and sustainably through Mexico. During the dry months she's surfing the waves on the pacific coast, and in the rainy season she's trying all the cafes in the streets of Mexico City, the perfect mix of sun and city.

Last Updated 11 October 2022

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