Finding the best places to stay in Mexico City can be intimidating because there are so many different neighborhoods and options. CDMX is the largest city in Mexico by population and one of the biggest cities in Latin America in general.
If you’re overwhelmed with all the choices of where to stay in Mexico City, then you’re in the right place.
I’ve lived in CDMX for six months and spent time in most of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City. I’m here to give the inside scoop on where to stay in Mexico City – from budget to luxury travelers and everyone in between.
Mexico City’s neighborhoods each have their own unique feel, and there’s truly something for everyone.
Let’s get started!
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Best Places to Stay in Mexico City
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Mexico City? Here is a quick summary of the best hotels in Mexico City:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – The Wild Oscar
- 🗺️ Best Location – Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel
- ✨ Best Luxury Hotel – Sofitel Mexico City Reforma
- 👪 Best for Families – Suites Perisur Apartamentos
- 👔 Best for Business – Le Meridien
- 🛎️ Best Boutique – Casa Mali by Dominion Boutique Hotel
- 🏙️ Best Near the Zócalo- Zocalo Central
- 💵 Best Budget – Hotel Patriotismo
If you’re in a rush, these are all great options. You can check out Travel Lemming’s complete guide to the 13 best Mexico City hotels.
Now let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Mexico City:
9 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Mexico City
Mexico City is an enormous, yet surprisingly accessible city. There are literally hundreds of neighborhoods in Mexico City, and each of them has its own distinct flare.
Many CDMX neighborhoods are within walking distance from each other, like Roma and Condesa. At the same time, other places will require a car or public transportation to reach the main city center, like Santa Fe and Coyoacan.
Some areas might seem like a stretch from each other, but getting around Mexico City is pretty straightforward no matter how you decide to travel.
Here’s a map of all the neighborhoods that I’ll be covering to give you a better idea of where they’re all situated.
Roma is one of the best and most popular neighborhoods for just about any type of visitor. Located in the Cuauhtémoc borough, Roma is known for its altogether chic atmosphere and an incredible array of some of the best restaurants in Mexico City.
The neighborhood is actually split up into Roma Norte and Roma Sur. The north is a little more trendy and touristy. In contrast, Roma Sur is slightly more reflective of the local life in CDMX.
Roma is a lovely spot for young tourists who want to dance at night and mimosas at noon. But, the area can also be suitable for families or couples looking for a beautiful neighborhood with good food that’s close to everything.
Pros of Staying in Roma Neighborhood:
- Easy walk to other neighborhoods
- Lots of delicious food
- Cool architecture and tree-lined streets
- Near some of the best bars and nightlife in Mexico City
Con of Staying in Roma Neighborhood:
- A bit touristy
- It can be more expensive
📚 Roma Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Food and Ambiance
🏠 Apartments – Browse top apartment rentals in Roma
Centro Historico is where to stay in Mexico City to be in the middle of the city’s history. This historic center is Mexico City’s oldest neighborhood – the cobbled streets and historic buildings of which give you the sense of stepping back in time.
It’s an excellent spot for first-time visitors because it’s super close to many of Mexico City’s top attractions, including many of the best museums in Mexico City. Palacio de Bellas Artes and the famous Zócalo are both walking distance when you stay in Centro Historico. The area is also filled with some of the most lively street markets in Mexico City, selling everything from onesies to terrific street food.
The downside of Centro Historico is that it gets swamped during the day, which makes it a hotspot for petty crimes like pickpocketing. You should always be alert when you’re walking the streets. Check out my article about safety in Mexico City if you want to learn more tips for exploring the area carefully.
Pros of Staying in Centro Historico Neighborhood:
- Great for first-time visitors
- Lots of historic buildings
- A good variety of both cheap hotels and luxury hotels
- Many top attractions are within walking distance
Con of Staying in Centro Historico Neighborhood:
- Extremely crowded during the day
- Street markets can block roads on weekends
- Higher rates of pickpockets and petty crime
📚 Centro Historico Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for History & Museums
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Centro Historico
If you’re looking to indulge in the finer things on your trip to Mexico City, then Polanco is the place for you. Polanco is where to stay in Mexico City for luxury hotels, fine dining, and endless shopping. The community is also situated next to many gorgeous (and huge) parks like Chapultepec Park and Gandhi Park.
Polanco is located northwest of other popular areas, like Centro Historico and Roma. So, you’ll probably need to take an Uber or the metro to get around. But, it’s also super close to some of the city’s top attractions. Like Museo Nacional de Antropología and the shopping street of Avenida Presidente Masaryk.
All of this goodness comes at a price, though. Polanco is one of the most expensive places to stay in Mexico City.
Pros of Staying in Polanco Neighborhood:
- Best luxury hotels in CDMX
- Best fine dining
- Lots of shopping
- A romantic vibe that’s perfect for couples
Con of Staying in Polanco Neighborhood:
- Very expensive
- Fewer public transportation stations
- A little far from tourist attractions
📚 Polanco Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Luxury & Shopping
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Polanco
Zona Rosa is the best place to stay in Mexico City for people who want to be close to the party. The gay-friendly neighborhood has loads of bars that range from upscale cocktail joints to dives.
The gay pride parade is a huge thing in Zona Rosa, so you’re in for a major party if you’re visiting around June.
Zona Rosa also has a decent shopping scene and surprisingly quite a few Korean grocery stores and restaurants to pick from. Last week, I finally tried homemade enoki mushrooms in ramen, thanks to one of the area’s Asian grocery stores.
All in all, Zona Rosa is one of my favorite areas in Mexico City. But maybe I’m a little biased because this is actually the neighborhood where I live.
Pros of Staying in Zona Rosa Neighborhood:
- Top-notch nightlife scene
- Lots of public transportation closeby
- Affordable hotels and apartments
Con of Staying in Zona Rosa Neighborhood:
- It can get noisy at night
📚 Zona Rosa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Nightlife & LGBTQ+ Friendly
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Zona Rosa
Condesa is pretty much sandwiched between Mexico City’s other best neighborhoods. To the west, you’ll find Roma about a 20-minute walk away. To the south, Escandon and Napoles are also within walking distance. North, you can reach Zona Rosa and Centro Historico on foot if you’re up for a bit of exercise. Condesa is terrific, location-wise.
Condesa itself is a charming area with excellent eateries and cozy boutique hotels. It’s a great place to stay in Mexico City for just about any visitor because it’s safe and stylish but also close to other neighborhoods.
The only downside of Condesa is that it is a very popular choice for where to stay in Mexico City. The accommodations can therefore get a little expensive, and they do sell out fast. So if you’re aiming to secure a spot in Condesa, book ahead of time.
Pros of Staying in Condesa Neighborhood:
- A wide variety of nightlife options
- Many popular CDMX restaurants
- Very close to other exciting areas like Roma
- Overall trendy neighborhood
Con of Staying in Condesa Neighborhood:
- A bit pricey
- Accommodations sell out fast
📚 Condesa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Charm & Boutique Hotels
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Condesa
You probably won’t find Escandón explicitly listed on many guides to where to stay in Mexico City, but it’s actually a very cool neighborhood in Mexico City.
Escandón is where to stay in Mexico City for travelers looking for a quiet and comfortable area where they can visit on a budget. It feels a lot more true to the local life in Latin America than some of the more touristy neighborhoods.
Escandón itself has lots of fantastic restaurants, some of the best street food in Mexico City, and a noticeably calm atmosphere. But, it’s still very close to other tempting neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, and Napoles.
Pros of Staying in Escandón Neighborhood:
- Quiet and peaceful for a good night’s sleep
- A feel for local life
- Walking distance from other neighborhoods
Con of Staying in Escandón Neighborhood:
- Not much nightlife
- It doesn’t cater to tourists as much
📚 Escandón Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Laidback Local Life
Santa Fe is the main business district in Mexico City. The neighborhood’s skyline is complete with modern skyscrapers, and the area has that big city vibe.
Santa Fe is another one of Mexico City’s more upscale neighborhoods. There are fancy hotels and many high-end restaurants throughout the area.
However, Santa Fe is actually located pretty far from everywhere else on this list. Depending on the traffic, it takes about 30 minutes to drive from Santa Fe to the centrally-located Condesa. So, if Santa Fe is your choice for where to stay in Mexico City, be prepared to rent a car or take a lot of Uber rides.
Pros of Staying in Santa Fe Neighborhood:
- Lots of gourmet dining
- Stylish hotels
- Modern buildings
Con of Staying in Santa Fe Neighborhood:
- Far from other neighborhoods and tourist attractions
📚 Santa Fe Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Modern Architecture & Business Travelers
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Santa Fe
🎟️ Top Attractions – Garden Santa Fe, La Mexicana Park, Centro Santa Fe
Many people consider Coyoacán the coolest neighborhood to stay in Mexico City. It has just about everything that an eager traveler could want. From famous art galleries and museums to huge markets that you could easily wander for hours.
Coyoacán also has a lot of great places to grab food and some great shopping spots. I recommended this area for families. It’s super safe and has plenty of child-friendly attractions. But, it’s a really entertaining area for other types of travelers too.
With all that being said, Coyoacán is located about 40 minutes south of places like Roma and the historic center. So, you’ll need to take Ubers or the public transportation system to reach these neighborhoods.
Pros of Staying in Coyoacán Neighborhood:
- An abundance of art galleries and museums
- A big traditional Mexican market
- Terrific restaurants
Con of Staying in Coyoacán Neighborhood:
- Pretty far outside the main city center
- Requires uber or public transport to get around
📚 Coyoacán Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Art & Families
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals in Coyoacan
Colonia Nápoles is ideal for visitors who want somewhere nice and quiet to stay outside of the hustle and bustle. It’s located a little further south than some of the busier Mexico City neighborhoods, nestled right next to Escandón. But, it’s still only a quick metro or cab ride away from all the action.
Colonia Nápoles will give you some excellent insight into the lifestyle and culture of Mexico City. The area features lots of art deco architecture and little green spaces.
There aren’t really any tourist attractions in Colonia Nápoles besides the World Trade Center, but that can often be a positive thing. It makes this a good choice for where to stay in Mexico City if you are looking for a more authentic feel. Plus, it’s always nice to retreat to a hotel in a lowkey area after a packed day of exploring.
Pros of Staying in Colonia Nápoles Neighborhood:
- Chill and quiet area
- Outside the bustle of more popular neighborhoods
- Very safe
Con of Staying in Colonia Nápoles Neighborhood:
- Limited nightlife options
- Not many tourist attractions nearby
📚 Colonia Nápoles Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Quiet & Authenticity
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Apartment Rentals close to Insurgentes, Condesa
🎟️ Top Attractions – World Trade Center Mexico City
Tips for Staying in Mexico City
👉 Side note: Be sure to bookmark Nate’s list of 22 tips to know before traveling to Mexico!
Museums are Closed on Monday
When you stay in Mexico City, you definitely want to spend some time exploring its many museums and contemporary art galleries. But, make sure you’re not scheduling these activities on a Monday because most museums in CDMX will be closed.
Instead, Mondays are a good day to discover the local food scene or plan a day trip to Teotihuacan, which is open on Monday but closed on Sunday.
Many Businesses Open Late in the Day
One of the things that took some getting used to when I moved to CDMX was that most people here are late risers. When I wake up in the morning, I promptly go to get my morning coffee. But in some places (like Centro Historico), it’s hard to find an open cafe before 10 AM. Especially on the weekends.
👉Pro Tip: Many other places around Mexico also like to sleep in. If you’re looking for more info about traveling throughout the country, check out Nate’s top 22 travel tips for Mexico.
Public Transportation Can Often Be More Efficient
The Mexican capital has notoriously awful traffic, but you don’t have to let that cut time out of your trip. Using public transportation can often be way faster than grabbing an Uber. Just be careful if you’re riding on public transit during rush hour – 6 AM to 9 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM. The stations can get super crowded around this time.
👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Tulum, Mexico
Every Neighborhood Has Different Price Points
When choosing where to stay in Mexico City, remember that Mexico City’s neighborhoods all have different price points for hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
When staying in Escandón, you can realistically pay $200 a week or less for your accommodations. Alternatively, if you head over to the luxurious neighborhood of Polanco, you’ll likely be paying $600 a week minimum for your hotel.
Check Out the Rooftop Bars
There are so many fun things to do in Mexico City, but visiting a rooftop bar is one of the quintessential CDMX activities. There are lots of rooftop bars around Roma and Condesa. But, I recommend checking out Cityzen in Zona Rosa (the rooftop at the Sofitel Mexico City Reforma) or Cielo Rooftop in Santa Fe for a great drink and gorgeous views of Mexico City.
Take Advantage of Mexico City’s Accessibility
Even though you’re hoping to find a place to stay in Mexico City, you should still venture out into some of the other areas mentioned on this list. One of my favorite things about Mexico City is that everything is incredibly accessible. There’s a great public transportation system and Ubers are available everywhere. But, it’s also a very walkable city.
👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Eat Lots of Food
You should definitely take advantage of Mexico City’s incredible food scene during your visit. There are so many different options. From delicious street food to exclusive upscale establishments, you’ll find something great to eat no matter your choice of where to stay in Mexico City.
While you can’t go wrong with most of the food in Mexico City, you should be more careful when it comes to the water. The tap water will make just about any tourist ill, which is the last thing you want on vacation.
Wander a Street Market
If one of my friends were coming to visit me in Mexico City, I’d be sure to plan a day of exploring a street market or two. Mexico City is filled with vibrant markets that carry anything from produce to handmade knick-knacks.
However, always be aware of your surroundings when you’re visiting a street market because they tend to get extremely hectic. It’s very easy to get pickpocketed or lose your travel buddies in the crowds. If you’re easily overwhelmed, choose one of the smaller markets to explore.
🛒Looking for the best markets in Mexico City? There are so many markets in CDMX that it can be hard to choose just one. My top recommendations are Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela, Coyoacan Market and Mercado de San Juan.
Do NOT Flush Toilet Paper
When you’re visiting Mexico City (and Mexico in general), never, ever flush toilet paper down the drain. This travel tip is standard in many parts of the world, and it’s expected in Mexico City also. It can mess up the whole plumbing system.
After receiving a lecture from another tourist on my first international trip, I’ll never forget learning about the toilet paper rule. Hopefully, this will save you from that same slightly embarrassing moment.
Tip 10%-20% in CDMX
It’s very important to tip the proper amount when you’re in Mexico City. The hardworking waiters and bartenders that will serve you during your trip usually live off the tips that they make.
Always give a small tip to the person bagging your groceries, drivers, and people handing out toilet paper in bathrooms. These employees are also usually working for tips exclusively.
Typically, 10 to 20 pesos ($0.50 to $1.00) are enough for these types of services. Unless they’re doing something extra, like helping you carry groceries to your car.
One of the Best Mexico City Activities is Just Walking Around
It might sound boring or simple, but one of my favorite things to do in Mexico City is simply wandering around. You never know what you’re going to find when you set off on a long walk through the streets of CDMX.
You can start by strolling around Colonia Nápoles to see its art deco buildings and end up in one of Polanco’s sprawling parks. It’s fun to get from the city’s main square to the natural history museum on foot.
While I totally recommend exploring Mexico City on foot, you should be careful once the night falls. Most of CDMX is very safe, but there are definitely some areas that can be a bit dicey, and it’s easy to walk into one of them in the dark accidentally.
Order Using Rappi or DiDi When You’re Feeling Lazy
When going on a vacation, many of us feel pressure to spend every single second exploring or taking in the city in some way. But, traveling can be extremely tiring, and it’s normal to need a break every once in a while. After all, the whole point of a trip is to take a break from life!
Relaxing in your hotel when you’re visiting Mexico City is easy. Practically every restaurant is available on Rappi or DiDi. Ordering food for delivery is also a lot cheaper in CDMX than it is in the United States.
👉 Read Next: 39 Best Places to Visit in Mexico
Plan Around the Local Festivities
When you’re going to Mexico City, it’s always good to do some research into when you should book your trip. Depending on your preferences, certain times of the year can either be super fun or a complete drag.
For example, Christmas is a major holiday in Mexico City. If you’re coming to CDMX anytime around December, you should expect lots of Christmas decorations and festivities around town. But, many places will be closed during the week of Christmas, so that’s another thing to consider.
Some of Mexico City’s other big festivities are Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in October, Cinco de Mayo in May, and the gay pride parade in June.
🧳 Always Forget Something? Check out Taylor’s handy checklist of what to pack for Mexico!
FAQs About Where to Stay in Mexico City
What is the best part of Mexico City to stay in?
Where should you avoid in Mexico City?
You should avoid staying in Tepito, Doctores, or Iztapalapa when you visit Mexico City. While these areas are changing every year, they’re known to be the most dangerous neighborhoods of Mexico City.
Where should first-time visitors stay in Mexico City?
First-time visitors to Mexico City should stay in Centro Historico or Condesa. Centro Historico is a great spot because close to many of the attractions that first-timers will want to see, like the Zocalo. Condesa is also a fantastic neighborhood to stay in Mexico City because it’s close to other areas in Mexico City like Roma and Zona Rosa.
What is the best area of Mexico City?
The best areas of Mexico City are Roma, Condesa, and Polanco. But, it all depends on what you’re looking for in Mexico City. Do you have a big budget and want to spend it living it up in luxury? Head to Polanco. If you want to stay in a neighborhood with a thriving nightlife scene and don’t mind a little noise, go to Zona Rosa. For families visiting Mexico City with children, maybe check out the more chill neighborhood of Colonia Nápoles.
👉 Want to stay even safer? No matter where you stay in Mexico City, it’s always best to be protected. That’s why every traveler should invest in comprehensive travel insurance. To learn more, give Nate’s article about the best travel insurance for Mexico in 2022 a read-through.
Mexico City is an expansive place with an array of neighborhoods that each offer something unique to its visitors. Now that you’ve read through this guide, you should have a better idea of where to stay in Mexico City.
But, have you thought about what you’ll be doing once you get there? If not, consider reading Nate’s list of 33 things to do in Mexico City.
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