Where to stay in Mexico City – 10 neighborhoods
by Josien - 10 May, 2020
Mexico City, one of the biggest cities in the world! If you are going to this incredible city, you have to research what to do, what to see, and especially: where to stay. Luckily, we made a list of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City.
There are countless unique neighborhoods, each with their own people, style, and charm. So how would you choose a neighborhood for your stay in Mexico City? We would like to help you out. This is a list of the most enjoyable or safest neighborhoods of Mexico City:
BOSQUES DE LAS LOMAS
The Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood is located to the west of Mexico City. This neighborhood was created due to great demand of the Mexican upperclass and rich European immigrants. ‘Bosques’ is now home to several of the most powerful and wealthy families in the country. It has distinguished itself by hosting a large number of the most expensive and luxurious mansions, houses and apartments in Mexico.
Because the area is far from the city centre (at least 45 min by car), Bosques de las Lomas is not in favor for tourists. Besides that, we think that there are not maybe houses up on Airbnb or other rental websites. These exclusive luxury homes are only for sale probably.
Not our favorite neighborhood, but absolutely a must-see when you’re in Mexico City. You will find beautiful buildings that are centuries old. It breathes atmosphere. You will find cathedrals, ruins, old narrow streets, and beautiful palaces. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is therefore well worth a visit.
The Zocalo, the main square of downtown Mexico City, is a great display of native art and is always fully decorated for the Dias de los Muertos, Christmas, and most importantly the Mexican Independence Day. This square situates on the top of the ruins of Tenochtitlan’s (Mexico City’s first name) pre-colonial city center. The ruins have been excavated (partly) and are now open to the public. Centro Historico is the home of the museums of Bellas Artes, the National Palace, and the main cathedral of Mexico City.
Oldest neighborhood of Mexico City
It is also the oldest neighborhood and is built on a former island where the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan once stood. Centro is perhaps the most beautiful part of the city, but also the most crowded and touristy. Prepare yourself for these crowds and be aware of pickpockets. Go to Centro as a day trip, but we don’t recommend staying here. It’s touristy, expensive, and most of the time old and worn-down buildings. Besides that, IF there are any protests in the city, this is where it happens. You don’t want to be part of that.
Pro tip: Visit Calle Madero. A car-free street in the historic center, full of shops, old mansions, and churches.
LA CONDESA (Our favorite neighborhood in Mexico City)
In the southeast of the city, you will find the Mexican neighborhood La Condesa. This great neighborhood is close to the famous Chapultepec Park with tourist spots like the Chapultepec Castle and the Museum of Anthropology. La Condesa is the best neighborhood in Mexico City because of its proximity to the city center and historical or cultural attractions. But we also love its charming, quirky personality, and the beautiful and well-preserved architecture of the early 20th century.
When staying in La Condesa, you will also be close to another amazing neighborhood: La Roma. La Condesa is famous for its two own green areas, Parque Mexico (with Avenida Amsterdam surrounding it) and the smaller Parque España. These two parks have great work-out stations, a lot of park benches to take a rest and beautiful trails. But be careful when you work out in Mexico City. Due to the elevation of the city, you might get altitude sickness.
The parks are surrounded by huge 50+-year-old jacaranda trees with their beautiful purple blossoms (only in March/April), send as a gift from Japan. Perhaps the most iconic part of these parks is that they are the work out places for humans AND dogs. Besides the work-out stations, you will also find dog walkers with 5 – 10 dogs at the time.
Where to stay in Mexico City, La Condesa
Like all neighborhoods in Mexico City and most cities and towns in Mexico, La Condesa has many local markets. These are the best places to come across, as they showcase the richness of the culinary culture and the warm and friendly, if not a little pushy way of social and commercial interaction between the locals. On Saturdays and Sundays, the small parks in the Condesa and surrounding neighborhoods usually feature open-air farmer’s markets. There are also permanent daily markets with fresh produce, bulk nuts, seeds and grains, tortillerias, butchers, snack shops, fresh flowers and houseplants, and eclectic restaurants and juice bars.
As digital nomads, this is also a great neighborhood to stay in when in Mexico City. There are a few co-working offices, many other ex-pats/digital nomads and many other pro’s!
One of our other favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City is Roma. Those who love good food, art-deco buildings and everything that comes with hipster culture, are at the right place. Roma is located next to La Condesa and both are real foodie heavens. The atmospheric streets are lined with nice cafes, indoor food markets and even if you are vegetarian or vegan, you have so many choices here. If you want to spend another morning in the city center on day 2, head to these areas around lunchtime. Both neighborhoods are mainly inhabited by a young and artistic group of Mexicans, and the neighborhood is also popular among ex-pats. Even in the evening, it’s pleasant and the squares and terraces fill up until the early hours.
So Roma and La Condesa are great choices for Digital Nomads!
Colonia Juárez houses interesting examples of eclectic architecture in the streets of Havre and in the surroundings of Plaza Giordano Bruno where the presence of the “Templo del Sagrado Corazón del Niño Jesús”, built by the Hungarian community, stands out.
This is the neighborhood with the most growth in all aspects, its urban improvement due to its connection with the Paseo de la Reforma and the Historic Center, the planning of new buildings and real estate projects. An absolutely safe and booming neighborhood.
The western sector of Colonia Juárez, which has Florence, Antwerp, and London as its main streets, is famously known as the Zona Rosa. This area was inhabited by artists and poets when it ceased to be the bohemian center of the city. After years of neglect, it was retaken by the LGBT community as a safe meeting point.
It doesn’t have the most original entertainment of Mexico City, but it is one of the largest entertainment areas in Latin America with a dazzling array of bars, terraces, hotels, night clubs, and discos.
COYOACÁN / SAN ÁNGEL
Coyoacán is a well-known neighborhood in Mexico City. Tourists, Mexicans, and creative artists come together in this district. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city. You walk through cute streets and you come across cozy ‘plazas’, nice markets and beautiful buildings along the way.
In the 20th century, the neighborhood became more famous because of the Frida Kahlo museum and the Anahuacalli Museum (designed by Diego Rivera). The Frida Kahlo museum is not the only reason to come to the southern district of Coyoacán. Just like La Roma and La Condesa, this neighborhood also has its own ambiance in which you imagine yourself far away from the busy city life. We recommend going to Coyoacan on Saturdays for the Sabado market. The three main parks in this little neighborhood will be filled with Mexican artists, selling their paintings and artworks for great prices. True talents will be discovered here.
Coyoacán one of the safer neighborhoods of Mexico City and you will find more ex-pats in this neighborhood too.
Santa Fe is an emerging entertainment district with many exclusive night clubs, where everyone looks tip-top and waiters serve you at the table. It’s also the financial business district of the city with upscale residential areas.
Many Michelin-star-worthy restaurants are located in the Polanco district. This includes Pujol, the most famous restaurant in Mexico City. The driving force behind the success of this restaurant is Chef Enrique Olvera who made an international name for himself by preparing authentic Mexican dishes with modern cooking techniques. Some well-known dishes are huitlacoche tamal, robalo al pastor and mole de olla. This restaurant is a must for culinary gourmets.
Cocktail bars? Then head straight to Limantour, because it is part of ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’. Also based in Colonia Roma.
TEPITO (The most dangerous neighborhood of Mexico City)
This is the most dangerous neighborhood in Mexico City. We DO NOT recommend staying here!
Tepito has a huge market which is very famous for its local food and cheap products, but don’t let that fool you. Gangs run this area of the city and the market is loaded with pickpockets. If you go to this neighborhood, go by day. Don’t bring your camera. Leave your jewelry at home or keep it out of sight. And don’t take a picture with your phone. Big chance you will not have it at the end of the day.
Nevertheless, this neighborhood and market can also be a lot of fun! Be street-smart and you’ll not even notice what is going on here.