Are you traveling to Mexico for the first time and looking for where to stay in Mexico City? I am sure you are feeling quite overwhelmed! Mexico City (CDMX), the massive capital of the country, has a whopping 21.3 million inhabitants and is incredibly spread out on a surface of 1,485 square kilometers (573 square miles) and with 16 boroughs.
The Mexican capital is packed with incredible things to do – museums; gorgeous churches; archeological sites; beautiful parks and lots and lots of good food you should try. A city so big is bound to have endless accommodation options for all budgets, tastes and travel needs. But with so much choice, you may feel at a loss when picking a place to stay in town.
I am here to help! I have been to Mexico City many times, spending prolonged periods of time there and each time sleeping in a different neighborhood, to get a proper feel for the city. In this post, I will tell you where to stay in Mexico City, selecting the nicest neighborhoods and the best places to stay in Mexico City by budget.
Where To Stay In Mexico City
Reforma: One Of The Coolest Neighborhoods In Mexico City
This is by far my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City. I stayed here during my last trip to the city and enjoyed the local vibe, the closeness to all the best attractions in town, the many eateries and shops. It’s definitely a great place to stay in Mexico City!
Reforma is a neighborhood that has much to see and do. This area around Paseo de la Reforma was modeled on famous European roadways such as the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Along this thoroughfare, there are monuments, shops, hotels, and restaurants. You can easily spend several hours wandering around this avenue with the European flair.
Every Sunday morning, Reforma shuts down to traffic and the area is temporarily a bike path, exercise, and leisure space. Active people come out at this time to enjoy the day. You can even attend a Zumba class here with hundreds of other people.
For the traveler that loves to shop, Reforma has great offerings. Insurgentes Crafts Market is located here, as well as the Plaza del Angel Antique Center. There are also flea markets here like La Lagunilla where shoppers can purchase crafts, furniture, interior design items, and jewelry.
Best Places To Stay In Reforma
Reforma has a great selection of places to stay. I have picked the best ones for you:
Centro Historico: Where To Stay In Mexico City For Budget Travelers
I stayed in the Centro Historico during my first trip to Mexico City and I don’t think I could have made a better choice. My hotel was literally on Quinta Avenida, and I was at a stone’s throw from the Zocalo and all the attractions in the area. This is of the best places to stay in Mexico City. Let me tell you a bit more about it.
As the name implies, Centro Historico is the historic center of Mexico City. This area is full of sites of Mexican and Aztec history. You can visit ancient temples like Templo Mayor on your quest for knowledge of how the people worshipped their gods many years ago.
The Zocalo, or Plaza de la Constituion, is in the heart of the Centro Historico. You can visit the National Palace and see the residence of the President of Mexico. And make sure not to miss the gorgeous Cathedral! Be sure to take time just to leisurely walk around this area and take in the Mexican history and culture.
Best Places To Stay In Centro Historico
The Centro Historico is packed with excellent places to stay, for any taste or budget. I have selected a few for you:
- BUDGET – Cadillac Hotel Boutique
- MID RANGE – Apartment Down Town 422
- LUXURY – Antiguo Molino de San Jeronimo
La Condesa: Where To Stay In Mexico City For Nightlife
This area is named after Maria Magdalena Davalos de Bracamontes y Orozco, who was the Countess of Miraville. She owned the land here with another countess during colonial times. In the early 20th century, this area was officially established as Colonia Condesa. Over time, it became a favorite spot for both locals and travelers, who find a great selection of things to do.
La Condesa is a residential neighborhood with a bohemian vibe. The streets contain many cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. The area is a favorite among students, couples, and young businesspeople to visit for a pleasant day or evening out.
There are plenty of opportunities in La Condesa to experience the vibrant nightlife. The atmosphere is exciting throughout the streets as people from all walks of life come to drink and dance all night.
Best Places To Stay In La Condesa
There is no shortage of great places to stay in La Condesa. These are the best ones, by budget:
Roma: Where To Stay In Mexico City For First Timers
You may have seen the movie Roma on Netflix – if not, you should: it’s a great drama, a fantastic recollection of Mexico’s most recent past. As the title says, the movie is set in Roma, Mexico City’s up and coming neighborhood and a part of town you inevitably fall in love with.
Roma is another neighborhood like the adjacent La Condesa that is known for its hipster scene. The area has its share of unique restaurants, bars, and cafes. These are surrounded by mansions that have been converted into offices and cultural centers.
Foodies will especially enjoy a visit to the Mercado Roma – an upscale food hall. You can sample some of the best high-end food here.
A burgeoning art scene has been happening in Roma since the 1990s. On Colima Street, there are many art galleries and shops. Centro Libre de Arte, the most recent fine art school in Mexico City, is also located here.
Best Places To Stay In Roma
A fantastic neighborhood such as Roma is bound to have an incredible selection of places to stay. Here are some of the best:
Coyoacan: The Quaintest Neighborhood In Mexico City
Outside the center of Mexico City, Coyoacan is my favorite area in town. In fact I think next time I visit I shall try to stay there, to enjoy it to the fullest. If you feel the need for a quieter place, with lots to do but none of the chaos and noise of the center of town, Coyoacan is definitely where to stay in Mexico City.
Coyoacan is a beautiful area of the city that inspires creativity. The ‘place of the coyotes’ is where world famous artist Frida Kahlo lived. Her lifelong residence was turned into a museum dedicated to her work. The Casa Azul (Blue House), as it is also known, is located in the heart of this cosmopolitan neighborhood.
A paid admission to the Frida Kahlo museum also gets you entrance to the Anahuacalli Museum, where you can see the collections of Kahlo’s husband Diego Rivera. This museum has over 50,000 pieces from Teotihuacan and Aztec ruins.
At any time of day, a visit to the Mercado de Antojitos Mexicanos (Mexican Snack Market) is worth your time. You can grab a quesadilla, flautas, or a serving of pozole from any of the many food stalls here. This is how you can indulge in the local cuisine at its best.
Residents and visitors can get in touch with nature at the Viveros de Coyoacan. This is a popular spot for walking, jogging or any other outdoor activity. The park is also a place where many cultural activities take place year-round.
Best Places To Stay In Coyoacan
If you are convinced you should stay in Coyoacan, you may want to consider one of these places:
Polanco: Best Choice For Luxury Travelers
Polanco is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Mexico City and is where you’ll find some of the best museums in town. Most of the residents are people with a high networth. The neighborhood is full of luxury hotels, Michelin-starred eateries, and many cultural institutions. This makes it one of the most desirable places to live in Latin America.
The luxury shopping area on Avenida Presidente Masaryk is regarded as the ‘Beverly Hills of Mexico’. The numerous high-end shops here include Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany & Company, Hermes, plus many more.
There are also other shopping centers in Polanco including Palacio de Hierro, Pabellon Polanco, and Pasaje Polanco to satisfy all shopping urges.
Best Places To Stay In Polanco
Check out the best places to stay in Polanco:
- BUDGET – Caravansaro Penthouse Polanco
- MID RANGE – Destination Polanco at Arquimides
- LUXURY – Pug Seal Anatole France
- APARTMENT – Scarlet Red
Santa Fe: Best Place To Stay In Mexico City For Business Travelers
Santa Fe is considered the most modern sector of Mexico City. There are many corporate headquarters, luxury hotels, and modern apartment towers located here.
The community of Santa Fe is always hosting a promotion or cultural event. There is a schedule of activities in the neighborhood that are happening year-round, so even though it’s all high rise buildings, it’s a fun area to be in.
For entertainment indoors and outside in Santa Fe there are many options. Indoors you can enjoy the Santa Fe Ice Rink, Yak Casino Santa Fe or KidZania Santa Fe. Outdoors you can explore El Parque Cuitláhuac, known as the Chapultepec of Santa Fe and famous for being the second largest city park in Mexico City.
Best Places To Stay In Santa Fe
Santa Fe has a nice selection of small hotels and larger ones. I have picked a few, dividing them by budget:
- BUDGET – Hotel La Moraleja
- MID RANGE – Sheraton Mexico City Santa Fe
- LUXURY – NH Collection Mexico City Santa Fe
- APARTMENT – The Artist’s Angle
San Rafael: Where To Stay In Mexico City For Art Lovers
I visited San Rafael for the first time during my second trip to Mexico and fell in love with its quirky stile. This is a neighborhood where homes have a myriad of architectural styles from several time periods. There are French style mansions, Art Deco homes and styles that were modern in the 1950s.
An annual festival, the Saints Cosmas and Damian, is celebrated here on September 27th. The festivities include food, fireworks and live music.
On Sundays an outdoor art market takes place on Sullivan Street, organized by Jardin del Arte. All works of art sold are original works by the artists – no copies are allowed to be sold here.
The streets of San Rafael contain many small businesses or ‘mom and pop’ stores. A number of services can be found here such as shoe repair and knife sharpening. Many small cantinas are located in the area. On any day, you will see locals gathering and chatting in shops and on the street. It’s definitely a fun area to stay in Mexico City.
Best Places To Stay In San Rafael
If you want to stay in San Rafael, you may want to take a look at these options:
- BUDGET – Hotel Black
- MID RANGE – Hotel City Express Junior CDMX Sullivan
- LUXURY – For your own apartment, consider this incredible flat.
Zona Rosa: Best Area In Mexico City For LGBT Travelers
Located just south of Reforma, Zona Rosa is considered one of the most elegant neighborhoods in Mexico City.
Zona Rosa is known for its LGBT community. There are several gay bars and nightclubs in this area for LGBT people to celebrate their lifestyle. Amberes Street is considered the most gay-friendly area in Mexico City. A gay pride parade is held in Zona Rosa every year, which is a huge cultural event.
Another thing Zona Rosa is known for is its large Korean community. Called ‘little Korea’ or ‘Korea town’ by the locals, this area is full of all things Korean. Here you can dine at any of the Korean eateries – if you ever need a break from all the delicious Mexican food, that is! – or shop at the markets.
Best Places To Stay In Zona Rosa
If Zona Rosa is where you want to stay, consider one of these accommodation options:
Make sure to read my other posts about Mexico:
- The Best Travel Tips For Mexico
- The Best Itinerary For 3 Days In Mexico City
- The Best Museums In Mexico City
- The Best Day Trips From Mexico City
- The Complete Guide To Visiting Teotihuacan
- The Best Mexico Itinerary
- The Best Beaches In Mexico
- The Best Things To Do In Yucatan
- What To Eat In Mexico
- How Not To Get Sick In Mexico