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The Ultimate Guide to Where to Stay in Mexico City: Best Neighborhoods and Hotels

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Are you planning a trip to Mexico City and wondering where to stay at and what is the best area to stay in Mexico city?

 As a frequent traveler to Mexico and a recent solo female traveler to Mexico City, I can confidently say that choosing the right neighborhood is key to having an amazing experience in this vibrant metropolis. In this ultimate guide, I’ll walk you through the best areas to stay in Mexico City and share my top hotel recommendations for each neighborhood. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly where to book your accommodations for an unforgettable stay in Mexico City.

The Ultimate Guide to Where to Stay in Mexico City: Best Neighborhoods and Hotels

No time to read it all? Here’s a quick summary of

the best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City:

  • Roma Norte and Condesa: Trendy, safe areas with great restaurants, parks and walkability
  • Centro Histórico: Most convenient location for sightseeing but can be hectic
  • Polanco: Upscale area known for luxury shopping and fine dining
  • Coyoacán: Charming, historic neighborhood with a small-town feel, further from city center

For the full scoop on each neighborhood and specific hotel recommendations, keep reading!

Low Angle Shot of a Cathedral in Mexico City

Why staying in the right Mexico city neighborhood 

matters in Mexico City Mexico City is massive, with over 21 million people in the greater metropolitan area. That means choosing a strategic home base is essential to maximize your time and avoid spending hours in traffic. Key factors to consider are:

  • Proximity to the sights you want to visit
  • generally one of the safest places to travel to in Mexico, but like any huge metropolitan city, something to consider is the safety of the neighborhood for tourists especially at night
  • Walkability and access to public transportation
  • Vibe of the area – do you want trendy and hip or charming and historic?

To help you decide, here’s my take on the 4 best neighborhoods for visitors to Mexico City, along with hotel suggestions for different budgets.

Arcades of Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City

where is Mexico City Mexico located?

Mexico City—the vibrant, pulsating heart of Mexico! This magnificent metropolis, also known as Ciudad de México or CDMX for short, sits majestically in the Valley of Mexico, nestled comfortably in the high plateaus of the country’s central region at a breathtaking altitude of 2,240 meters (that’s 7,350 feet for our non-metric friends).

Geographically speaking, Mexico City is smack dab in the middle of the country, bordering the states of Mexico to the west, north, and east, and the state of Morelos to the south. It’s like the filling in a delicious geographic sandwich! The city is perfectly positioned halfway between the country’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts, making it an ideal central hub.

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As the political, economic, and cultural powerhouse of the nation, Mexico City is a force to be reckoned with. It’s one of the most populous cities on the planet, with a sprawling metropolitan area that spills over into several neighboring states. However, the city proper is neatly contained within Mexico City State, which proudly became the 32nd state of the Mexican Federation in 2016.

Now, you might think that being at such a high altitude and in the tropics would make for a sweltering climate, but fear not! Mexico City enjoys a delightfully mild, temperate climate all year round, thanks to the protective embrace of the surrounding mountains that keep the coastal moisture at bay.

This incredible city is a treasure trove of rich history, vibrant culture, world-class museums, and a stunning array of architecture spanning several centuries. It’s a place where the past and the present collide in a beautiful dance, creating an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Mexico City Overall

best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico city and My Recommendation for the best areas to stay in Mexico are Roma and Condesa.

  • Roma and Condesa is best area to stay in Mexico City for tourists. Perfect For: First-time visitors, those who prioritize safety, foodies, and digital nomads
  • Pros: Safe, walkable, trendy, filled with cafes/restaurants/bars, central location
  • Cons: More expensive, gentrified, lots of tourists/expats
Drone Shot of Mexico City 

If you’re wondering where to stay in Mexico city for first time visitor, you can’t go wrong staying in either Roma Norte or Condesa. These side-by-side neighborhoods offer a perfect blend of safety, walkability, trendiness, and a convenient central location.

Both areas have a cosmopolitan, almost European feel with their tree-lined streets, Art Deco architecture, and abundance of sidewalk cafes and bars. You’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants here.

They are very safe to walk around, even at night, and you’ll see plenty of people working on laptops in coffee shops. However, they have become quite gentrified and expensive in recent years.

Best Mexico City Neighborhood for First Time Visitors: Roma Norte

For first time visitors in Mexico City Roma Norte is a perfect neighborhood because it’s centrally located, safe, and packed with great restaurants, cafes, bars, and galleries. The tree-lined streets are pretty and walkable, and there are several lush parks to relax in. You can easily walk to sights in Condesa and use the metro or Ubers to get elsewhere. The vibe is trendy, artsy, and cosmopolitan with a bit of a hipster edge.

Top Hotels in Mexico City hotels for First-Time Visitors in Roma Norte:

  • Nima Local House Hotel – This stylish boutique hotel offers beautifully designed rooms, a peaceful courtyard, and a rooftop jacuzzi in the heart of Roma.
  • La Valise Mexico City – A small luxury hotel in a converted townhouse with just three uber-chic suites, La Valise is perfect for a first-class stay on a pretty side street.
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Nima Local House Hotel

What is the most fun neighborhood in Mexico City?

The answer depends on your definition of fun, but Roma and Condesa are often considered the most fun neighborhoods for visitors to Mexico City. These trendy areas are packed with cool cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. They have a young, hipster vibe and lively nightlife scene. The Centro Histórico is also fun for its density of historic sights, street food, and people-watching.

Roma Norte & Condesa : Best area to stay in mexico city overall

Roma Norte and Condesa is the best areas in Mexico city stay at as it is the safest neighborhoods in Mexico city

  • Very low crime rates
  • Well-lit, lively streets with people out late
  • Popular with visitors and expats
  • Upscale, gentrified area

These adjoining neighborhoods are widely considered the safest places to stay in Mexico City. Both Roma and Condesa boast beautiful tree-lined streets, well-maintained sidewalks, and a visible police presence. The area is affluent and quite gentrified, with lots of young professionals and international visitors. You’ll see people dining and walking around late into the night here, which helps the area feel secure.

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photo by: Nima Local House

places to stay mexico city: What is the best part of Mexico City to stay?

Where to Stay in Roma & Condesa:

Is it better to stay in Condesa or Roma?

If you want a quieter, greener, more upscale feel and Art Deco architecture, go for Condesa. If you prefer a younger, busier vibe with trendier dining and shopping options, choose Roma. Either way, you’ll be well-positioned to enjoy the best of Mexico City.

Both Condesa and Roma are great neighborhoods for visitors to Mexico City, offering a similar vibe and amenities. However, there are a few slight differences that might make one area better suited to your tastes and needs.

Reasons to Choose Condesa:

  • Slightly quieter and more residential feel
  • More green space with two large parks (Parque México and Parque España)
  • Known for its Art Deco architecture and curving tree-lined streets
  • Has a more upscale, established vibe
  • Slightly closer to Polanco and Chapultepec Park

Reasons to Choose Roma:

  • Trendier and younger feel with more indie boutiques and galleries
  • Known for its hip cafes, bars, and restaurants
  • Has a grid layout that some find easier to navigate
  • Slightly more affordable prices for accommodation and dining
  • More convenient location for reaching sights in the Centro Histórico

My experience: I chose to stay in Condesa, Polanco, and Roma Norte to experience the different vibes and character of the main Mexico City Neighborhoods. As a solo female traveler and felt it as nice and safe and easy to get around o all of these neighborhoods. I especially loved staying in Condesa and Roma Norte for the lively atmosphere and tons of things to do and eat.

Insider tip: If you really can’t decide between the two, consider staying near the border of both neighborhoods around Parque México or Plaza Río de Janeiro. That way, you’ll have the best of both areas right at your doorstep!

Centro Histórico: Bet place to stay mexico city for proximity to historical sight seeing

  • Perfect For: Sightseers who want to be in the middle of the action on a budget
  • Pros: Most convenient location, affordable, walkable to many sights
  • Cons: Crowded, busy, loud, less safe at night

If your goal is sightseeing and you want to be right in the thick of things, Centro Histórico is the most strategic place to stay. You’ll be within walking distance of many top attractions like the Zócalo, Bellas Artes, Templo Mayor, and more. It’s also a budget-friendly area with lots of affordable hotels and hostels.

The downsides are that Centro is very crowded, loud, and busy. You’ll likely be approached by people selling things as you walk around. It’s best to take Ubers at night rather than walking.

best place to stay in mexico in Centro Histórico:

Polanco: Best neigborhoods in mexico city to stay at for shopping 

  • Perfect For: Luxury travelers, shoppers, business travelers, and families
  • Pros: Very safe, luxurious, high-end shopping and dining
  • Cons: Expensive, somewhat lacking in Mexican character

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay or want to do some high-end shopping, Polanco is the neighborhood for you. Sometimes called the “Beverly Hills of Mexico City,” it’s home to many upscale hotels, designer boutiques, and fine dining restaurants.

Polanco is very posh and pristine. It’s an extremely safe area but the tradeoff is that it feels a bit international and lacking in Mexican charm. Accommodation prices are high here.

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If you’re visiting Mexico City with family

you’ll want to choose a neighborhood that’s safe, convenient, and offers plenty of kid-friendly activities. Here are my top picks for where to stay in Mexico City with family:

Polanco is an upscale neighborhood that’s extremely safe and clean, making it a great choice for families. It’s home to some of the city’s best museums, including the world-famous Museum of Anthropology, which has a huge outdoor area where kids can run around. Polanco is also known for its high-end shopping and dining, so parents will have plenty to enjoy as well. The downside is that hotels here are quite pricey.

what area to stay in mexico city in Polanco

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Museum Museo Soumaya in Polanco

Coyoacán:  best places to stay in mexico city for extended stay 

  • Perfect For: Families, those looking for a quieter stay or longer visit
  • Pros: Safe, charming, affordable, peaceful
  • Cons: Far from city center, can take an hour to reach other areas

For a totally different experience, consider staying in Coyoacán. This neighborhood in southern Mexico City used to be a separate village and retains a charming small-town feel with its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture.

It has a much slower pace than other parts of the city, so it’s great for families or longer stays. It’s very safe and quite affordable. However, it is located far from the city center, so you’ll need to budget more time for getting around.

Coyoacán is known for its weekend street food markets, the Frida Kahlo Museum, and being a haven for artists and intellectuals. If you want to experience a calmer side of local Mexico City life, it’s a great choice.

Best Mexico City Neighborhood for Families: Coyoacán

Coyoacán is a great neighborhood for families because it has a charming, small-town feel with colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and peaceful plazas. It’s very safe and walkable, with plenty of parks and outdoor spaces for kids to enjoy. Coyoacán is also home to the Frida Kahlo Museum, a lively Saturday market, and some of the city’s best street food. The vibe is artistic and laid-back.

Top Hotels for Families in Coyoacán:

  • Casa Jacinta Guest House – This homey B&B offers spacious family rooms, a lovely garden area, and warm hospitality. Kids will love the resident cats!
  • Chalet del Carmen – A secure, mid-range aparthotel with family-friendly amenities like kitchenettes and a playground nearby.

Where to Stay in Mexico city in Coyoacán: Hotels in mexico city in Coyocan

Best Mexico City Neighborhood for Sightseeing: Centro Histórico

The Centro Histórico is ideal for sightseeing because it’s home to Mexico City’s biggest concentration of historic attractions and museums. You’ll be steps away from the Zócalo, Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and dozens of other top sights. The area is bustling and crowded but super convenient. You’ll find lots of affordable hotels and hostels here too.

best mexico city Hotels for Sightseeing in Centro Histórico:

  • Zócalo Central Mexico City – You can’t beat the location of this sleek hotel right on the Zócalo main square. Upper floor rooms have amazing views.
  • Historico Central Mexico City – This well-priced hotel offers modern rooms in a beautiful 18th-century building just a few blocks from the Zócalo.
Man in Native Traditional Clothing Standing Near the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

where to stay in mexico city backpacker

If you’re a backpacker looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in Mexico City, here are some great options:

Hostels in Roma and Condesa Roma and Condesa are popular areas for young, budget-conscious travelers thanks to their cool vibe, great food and nightlife, and convenient location. There are several excellent hostels in these neighborhoods, including:

  • Hostel Home – This highly-rated hostel offers both dorms and private rooms, a cozy common area, and a rooftop terrace with great city views.
  • Selina Mexico City – Part of the popular Selina chain, this hostel has a cool, artsy vibe with colorful murals, a coworking space, and a lively bar and restaurant.

Hostels in the Centro Histórico If your priority is sightseeing, you can’t beat staying in the Centro Histórico. This area has the highest concentration of historic attractions and museums, and it’s also one of the most budget-friendly parts of the city. Top hostels here include:

  • Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral – Located just steps from the Zócalo, this hostel offers dorms and private rooms, a communal kitchen, and organized tours and events.
  • Casa Pepe – This homey hostel has a great location, friendly staff, and clean, comfortable dorms and private rooms. Don’t miss the free breakfast on the rooftop terrace.

Safest Neighborhoods in Mexico City

Mexico city is one of the safest places in Mexico. Although like any city there are places best suited for visitors. In terms of overall safety, Mexico is very safe. Here are the places I recommend where to stay in Mexico city first time and where to stay in Mexico city safe for foreigners and tourist. 

What is the safest neighborhood in Mexico City for tourists?

Polanco is widely considered the safest neighborhood in Mexico City for tourists. This upscale area is known for its luxury hotels, high-end shopping, and top-notch restaurants. It has a strong police presence, well-lit streets, and a very low crime rate. Other very safe areas include Roma, Condesa, and Coyoacán.

Is it safe to walk in Condesa at night?

Yes, Condesa is generally very safe for walking at night, especially along the main avenues and around the popular restaurants and bars. The area is well-lit, has a good police presence, and typically has plenty of people out and about in the evenings. As always, stick to busy, well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings. I stayed in Condesa and felt very safe traveling solo to Mexico city! Of course you’ll want to be mindful of certain things and know how to travel safely in Mexico

Is Mexico City safe for Americans?

Yes, Mexico City is generally safe for Americans and other tourists. While the city does have a dated reputation for crime, the city has changed so much the last 5 years. Also. it’s worth it to note, the vast majority of crime is between criminal groups and does not target tourists. Popular tourist areas like Roma, Condesa, Polanco, and Coyoacán have low crime rates and feel very safe. As in any large city, take basic precautions like being aware of your surroundings, not flashing valuables, and taking licensed taxis or Ubers at night.

What areas not to go in Mexico City?

Most of the areas frequented by tourists in Mexico City are quite safe. However, there are some neighborhoods that visitors should avoid, especially at night, due to higher crime rates. These include Tepito, Iztapalapa, Ciudad Neza, and parts of Doctores and Guerrero. Stick to the well-traveled, popular areas like Roma, Condesa, Polanco, Coyoacán, and the main parts of the Centro Histórico, and you’re unlikely to encounter any trouble.

In general, Mexico City is a safe and fun destination for tourists as long as you stay in the right areas and take basic safety precautions. Don’t let sensationalized media reports deter you from experiencing all the incredible history, culture, food, and fun this vibrant city has to offer!

Other Mexico city Neighborhoods To Consider

A couple other areas you might consider depending on your interests:

Reforma If you’re just in town for a quick visit, staying near Paseo de la Reforma can be very convenient. This grand boulevard cuts diagonally through the heart of the city, connecting Chapultepec Park to Centro Histórico. You’ll find many major international chain hotels here. It’s busy but quite safe.

Juárez/Zona Rosa

For nightlife and a younger crowd, Juárez and Zona Rosa are worth a look. Located between Roma and Reforma, these neighborhoods are known for late-night clubs and bars. Zona Rosa is also the heart of Mexico City’s LGBTQ+ community. There are some great boutique hotel options here too.

Arriving late or leaving early?

There are some comfortable hotels actually inside the Mexico City Airport where you can rest and refresh on a layover without needing to venture into the hectic city. I’d recommend Izzzleep in Terminal 1 or 2 or the Courtyard by Marriott airport hotel.

where to stay in mexico city

Tips for Staying Safe in Mexico City

Mexico City sometimes gets a bad rap for safety, but it’s really not as dangerous as many people assume. I traveled solo to Mexico city in April 2024 and I felt safe the whole time. As a solo female traveler in Mexico There are things I implement during solo travel that don’t make me a target.  Here are some of my top tips:

  • Stick to the well-touristed neighborhoods mentioned, especially at night
  • Don’t flash money or expensive items
  • Use Uber instead of hailing street taxis
  • Ask your hotel for guidance on any areas to avoid nearby
  • Consider booking a room with a 24-hour front desk for peace of mind

The vast majority of visitors to Mexico City have a safe and trouble-free trip as long as you take basic precautions and remain aware of your surroundings, just as you would in any major city.

Airbnb vs Hotels in Mexico City

You’ll find lots of Airbnb options in Mexico City, which can be a good choice especially if you’re staying longer term. I prefer to book hotels or Airbnb “Plus” apartments because:

  • With an Airbnb you don’t know the exact location until after booking
  • Small apartments can be located on dark alleys that feel unsafe at night
  • Hotels usually have 24/7 staff, better locations, and more consistent quality

If you do book an Airbnb, be sure to check reviews thoroughly and look closely at the location before reserving. Many apartment rental companies offer the best of both worlds with the amenities of a hotel and the space/character of an Airbnb.

Mexico City Travel FAQ

How many days should I spend in Mexico City?

I recommend at least 3 full days, but there’s enough to do to fill a week or more! It’s a huge city so you’ll need to budget time for getting around.

Do people speak English?

Outside of hotels and tour guides, English is not widely spoken. I recommend learning some basic Spanish phrases and downloading the Google Translate app.

Can I drink the tap water?

Tap water is not safe to drink in most of Mexico. However, many Mexico City restaurants and hotels have filtered water. To be safe, stick to bottled water and drinks.

Should I get travel insurance?

Yes, you should always get a travel insurance plan that includes emergency medical, evacuation, trip interruption/cancellation before visiting Mexico or any foreign country.

Summary of the Best Places to Stay in Mexico City

I hope this comprehensive guide helps you find the ideal neighborhood and hotel for your Mexico City adventure! With a strategic home base, you’ll be all set to explore this endlessly vibrant and fascinating city

mexico Travel guide & articles

Here are my top travel resources and helpful travel articles & tips to help you get started with traveling.

Mexico Travel Resources

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