Curious where to stay in Mexico City? Look no further.
This comprehensive guide has been written by a local resident and contains detailed information on the various districts and neighborhoods in the Mexican capital. It discusses what each part of town has to offer, and what the best hotels are in each area.
Where to Stay in Mexico City
At first glimpse, Mexico City appears as an intimidating megalopolis. It is a sprawling beast of a city, and indeed, it is the largest capital city in North America.
It can be overwhelming to try and determine where to stay in Mexico City for the first time. There are dozens of Mexico City neighborhoods and each one has its own distinct personality.
The best place to stay is very subjective and it depends a lot on you, your personal preferences, your budget, and your travel style. If you want to eat at world-class fine dining restaurants and stay in luxurious hotel suites, Polanco may be the district for you.
If you are only in Mexico City for a day or two, you may find it easier logistically to stay right in the city center. Alternatively, if you prefer leafy, peaceful, creative vibes, you will love Coyoacan – Frida Kahlo’s former neighborhood.
Fortunately, Mexico City has a range of accommodation and hotel options and there is something to suit every budget. The Mexican capital is also often referred to as ¨Ciudad de Mexico¨ (CDMX). So, CDMX is used as an abbreviation throughout this post.
Where to Stay in Mexico City
Polanco is one of the most upscale districts in Mexico City. Essentially, this neighborhood is to Mexico City what Chelsea is to London or what Beverly Hills is to Los Angeles.
Polanco’s leafy tree-lined streets are filled with art galleries, sophisticated coffee shops, boutique stores, and some of the best restaurants in the city. The area oozes sophistication at every turn and at the same time, it manages to do so without any air of pretension.
Well-heeled locals fill the area’s streets and cafes and every day in Polanco feels like you are watching a fashion show. This is a very safe part of town and you can comfortably walk around independently, even in the evenings.
If you opt to base yourself here during your Mexico City itinerary, you are within walking distance of many of the city’s main attractions. Chapultapec Park and the National Museum of Anthropology are both on the outskirts of Polanco.
If you enjoy exploring new cities on foot and taking the time to get lost in various neighborhoods, you will be pleased to know that many charming areas can be reached from here. Roma Norte, Roma Sur, Anzures, and Condesa are all within 30-45 minutes’ walking distance from Polanco.
Lots of quaint and quirky coffee and brunch spots can be found in Polanco. They are frequented by trendy locals and do not have the same gentrified vibes that the cafes in Roma Norte have.
Start your day with breakfast at Cafe Toscano (Temístocles 26, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo). Alternatively, treat yourself to a pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and a strong coffee at Maison Belén. Maison Belén (Av. Emilio Castelar, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550) is a little French-inspired bistro that feels more reminiscent of Europe than Latin America.
Many leafy walking trails and parks are scattered throughout Polanco. They are nice places to go for a stroll on a lazy afternoon.
Meander down Av. Horacio and head towards the Soumaya Museum. The museum houses an extensive contemporary art collection.
If you are not massively into art, you can still appreciate its sleek exterior. This structure, designed by esteemed Mexican architect Fernando Romero is a great place to take photos.
If you are into fine dining, reservations at Pujol (Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo,) are a must. The Wall Street Journal labeled the eatery as being the best restaurant in Mexico City.
However, keep in mind that reservations must be made several months in advance. Quintonil (Av. Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc) and Comedor Jacinta (Comedor Jacinta) are other great alternatives.
Best Polanco Hotels
Upscale Polanco is arguably one of the priciest places to stay in Mexico City. However, at the same time, this is still Mexico and you get more bang for your buck with luxe hotel rooms here than you would in other cities.
A selection of the best Polanco hotels is detailed below for your consideration.
- Suites Contempo – Spacious, luxe suites in a boutique hotel on the border of Polanco and Anzures. Prices start from $90 a night
- Hotel Polanco – Comfortable rooms in the beating heart of Polanco with an affordable price tag
- The Wild Oscar – Gorgeous, boutique luxury property in central Polanco
- Residence L´ Heritage Royal Colonial by BlueBay – Luxurious suites and apartments in a grand Colonial-style building in the center of Polanco
- Orchid House – Elegant converted mansion on leafy Campos Elíseos decorated with vintage furnishings
- Green Park Hotel – Stunning art-deco building overlooking Chapulapec Park decorated with elegant British furnishings
- Casa Emilia – Intimate, luxury bed & breakfast with just 7 rooms, each designed differently
Coyoacan is a leafy, sleepy residential district in the southwestern part of Mexico City. Any mention of this district is usually made in conjunction with a discussion of its most famous former resident: Frida Kahlo.
The area oozes bohemian, creative vibes and once you arrive, it is easy to understand why so many creatives, writers, artists, and poets chose to live here. Coyoacan feels more like a rural village than a suburb of Mexico City.
As you wander through its parks and gardens, you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic Mexican capital. Indeed, Coyoacan was an independent town through the colonial period and into the 19th century.
It only really became a part of Mexico City as the capital continued to grow and grow and its borders expanded. Most tourists make little more than just a passing visit to Coyoacan to stop by Casa Azul – Frida Kahlo’s former home. However, you will soon note that there is so much to see and do in this little region that Kahlo’s house is in fact one of the least interesting activities!
You could easily dedicate a week to exploring Coyoacan and still constantly be discovering new favorite cafes, restaurants, nooks and crannies. At the very least, you ought to spend one full day here.
Coyoacan is a little less central than other Mexico City neighborhoods. This makes it a little more time-consuming if you want to get to the city center or to neighborhoods like Polanco and Roma Norte, and to attractions outside the city.
However, Uber in Mexico City is both safe and low-cost. The public transport here is also very good. If you opt to stay a little further out of the center in Coyoacan, it will not have a detrimental effect on your travel experience if you choose to stay here.
A visit to Frida Kahlo’s house is a must. However, you must purchase your tickets and time slot online in advance. There is always a snaked queue outside and sometimes the site is so busy that you simply cannot buy entrance tickets on arrival.
Take the time to admire the various centuries-old churches in the area. The grand Romanesque/Baroque San Juan Bautista Church sits at the heart of Coyoacan’s main square. This was one of the very first churches to be built in the Americas.
The pastel yellow church in the Plaza de la Conchita (the Church of the Immaculate Conception) was built on top of a Toltec altar. Its square is often decorated with colorful papel picado and is surrounded by quaint cafes and bars.
Recommended Coyoacan Hotels
There is a diverse range of different accommodation options in Coyoacan to suit every budget and taste. You will find everything here from homestays and quirky apartment rentals to backpackers hostels and luxurious boutiques.
A selection of some of the best Coyoacan hotels is discussed below for your consideration.
- H21 Hotel Boutique – Contemporary design hotel with just 5 rooms, each boasting a private patio, plush modern furnishings, and art pieces created by local artists
- Ágata Hotel Boutique Hotel and Spa – Bohemian, artistic residence with just four luxurious rooms. Rooms are kitted out with fireplaces, spacious bathtubs, and books and kindles for your reading pleasure
- Casa San Jacinto – Elegant boutique hotel housed inside a grand 18th-century property with rooms that use a perfect blend of modern and antique furnishings
- Hotel Cuore – Comfortable four-star hotel without the four-star price tag. Spacious rooms and suites near the Azteca Stadium.
Roma (Norte and Sud)
Mexico’s Roma neighborhood is one of the trendiest parts of the city. This area was largely destroyed by an earthquake that shook CDMX in 1985 but since then, it has had a massive rebirth.
Roma is characterized by its leafy tree-lined streets, its eclectic coffee shops, its art deco architecture, and its impressive street art. You could think of Roma as Mexico City’s answer to Greenwich Village.
It sits just southwest of the city center, in the Cuauhtémoc borough. Roma is essentially divided into two different districts: Roma Norte and Roma Sud.
Coahuila street seperates the two. Both areas are charming, though Roma Norte is arguably the prettier of the two.
Roma is a great area to indulge in some retail therapy, especially if you enjoy vintage clothing stores or shopping at independent boutiques where you can find clothing pieces that nobody else has. La Romita is a small, trendy district just north of Roma Norte that is also worth having on your radar for its abundance of art galleries, cafes and stores.
Goodbye Folk Vintage Boutique (Córdoba 55, Roma Nte) is a great place to shop for second-hand finds and handmade shoes. Meanwhile, Carla Fernandez is an independent Mexican designer from CDMX with two branches of her store in Roma Norte. (One is found on Av. Álvaro Obregón and another at Calle Marsella.)
Part of the fun of experiencing Roma is found simply in taking the time to wander around its streets with no set plan. A lot of detailed and thought-provoking street art can be found around the Rio de Janiero Plaza.
There are also many local markets (mercados) that are great for buying local produce if you are staying in self-catered accommodation, or for people-watching and taking photographs. Mercado Medellín sells products from countries all over Latin America (largely Cuba and Colombia). Meanwhile, Mercado Roma is an upscale food court that you simply cannot miss. It boasts a scenic rooftop beer garden and over 50 food stalls.
Best Hotels in Roma, CDMX
- Nima Local House Hotel – A cute and cozy four-room hotel that gives the feeling of being a guest in someone’s stylish designer home
- Ignacia Guest House – High-end, stylish design hotel with just five rooms – each of which is decorated differently
- Maison Salamanca Boutique Hotel – Eccentric French-style mansion in Roma Norte with pop art designs, contemporary furnishings, and a restaurant serving French-Mexican fusion food
- Casa Goliana – A luxurious bed & breakfast set inside a restored 20th-century house with high ceilings, elegant fixtures, and a traditional Mexican breakfast included
Mexico City Center
Opting to stay in Mexico City center places you right in the heart of the action. Here you are close to many of the city’s most famous attractions.
CDMX Center Highlights
Best Hotels in Central CDMX
Best Hotels in Condesa
- Casa Comtesse – A colorful bed & breakfast housed inside a 1943 neocolonial mansion that has been recognized as an important historical monument
- Hotel Casa Nuevo Leon – Quirky and affordable retro hotel right beside the peaceful Parque Mexico
- Hippodrome Hotel
Anzures and Chapultapec
Santa Maria la Ribera
Where to Stay in Mexico City FAQs
Is Mexico City safe?
Mexico City, like Mexico in general, does not necessarily have the best reputation. It is often perceived as being a dangerous place to travel to and honestly, many media portrayals of the city are unfair.
Mexico City is a safe place to travel to. Mexico in general is also safe with the correct precautions.
As long as you use your common sense, be mindful of where you go, don’t walk alone at night, and don’t walk with expensive items/electronics on display, you will probably find that you blend in effortlessly. Traveling to Mexico City requires no real additional precautions as traveling to other large, cosmopolitan cities.
Are there any areas to avoid in Mexico City?
There are absolutely areas of Mexico City that are best avoided. You need to be careful when walking in the city center.
This is not a city where you can just aimlessly follow Google Maps and see where you end up. The safety situation can vary drastically within just a couple of blocks.
One moment, you can be meandering around outside the Palacio Bellas Artes. The next, you are in a sketchy plaza where people appear to be selling and consuming substances.
That isn’t to scare you, but it is important to be alert and aware of your surroundings when you travel to Mexico.
Can I stay in the towns and suburbs around Mexico City?
Where to stay in Mexico City on a budget
If you are traveling to Mexico City on a budget, it pays to be flexible and open-minded about where you stay. You can use aggregator hotel booking platforms such as Google hotels, Agoda and Booking.com and then filter the search results so that the cheapest properties are displayed first.
Obviously, your safety and comfort are very important. So, when you see a hotel suggestion that looks interesting, be sure to check it on a map and do a quick Google of the area to make sure that it is safe.
Many budget hotels and hostels are concentrated around the city center. You need to be careful here at night and some areas are not that pretty, but with common sense you will be fine.
Where to stay in Mexico City with family
If you are visiting Mexico City with family, you likely want the assurances that you are staying somewhere safe. It is probably also important for you to be somewhere that is quiet at night so that you can get a good nights sleep.
Coyoacan is a good choice. It is safe, quiet, peaceful, and still, you have an abundance of restaurants, markets, parks, and cafes right on your doorstep.
Polanco, Anzures, and Chapultapec are also good choices, especially if you are traveling with young kids. Chapultapec park is home to a plethora of family-friendly attractions. It boasts a zoo, a castle, numerous gardens and walking trails, and of course, the National Anthropology Museum.
Where to stay in Mexico City for the first time
Polanco, Roma, Condesa, and Coyoacan are all good choices for the first visit to Mexico City. However, keep in mind that Coyoacan is a little farther out of the city center.
Each one of these districts is bursting at the seams with personality. They are all very safe and give you a great first impression of Mexico’s capital.
Where to stay in Mexico City for nightlife
Roma and Condesa are two of the best places to stay in Mexico City if you are looking to experience bars, clubs, and nightlife. Both areas are also very safe so you don’t have to worry about being out here after dark.
Do you have any additional questions or concerns about where to stay in Mexico City? Alternatively, perhaps you visited Mexico’s capital previously and have some additional recommendations?
If you are traveling to Mexico for the first time, you may enjoy reading this article on travel tips to know before you visit Mexico. You may also find these facts about Mexico interesting to browse through.
Have a safe and wonderful time in Mexico. Buen Viaje!