Where to Stay in Mexico City: The Best Hotels in Each District for Any Budget

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Choosing where to stay in Mexico City is a monumental task.  It’s no small city, covering more than 500 square miles and home to nearly nine million residents! With so many neighborhoods to choose from — and hundreds of hotels in each — choosing the best fit for you is overwhelming unless you know what you’re looking for.

For first-time visitors, this guide narrows down things to the 4 best Mexico City neighborhoods with a few hotel recommendations in each so you stop the information overload, pinpoint what works best for you, and enjoy your trip!

(Still undecided at the end of the article? Just shoot me a question in the comments section!)

Where to stay in Mexico City near the cathedral
Mexico City Cathedral – Americas largest and oh-so-pretty

Where to Stay in Mexico City: The Districts Best for Travelers

Like most major metropolitan cities, there are dozens of different neighborhoods in Mexico City, each with their own personality.  However, most tourists can automatically narrow their search down to four centrally located Mexico City neighborhoods. 

Each of these is safe, relatively close to major attractions, walking distance to restaurants, and accessible to the metro for additional touring.

The 4 Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City to Stay:

  1. Condesa-Roma
  2. Polanco
  3. Centro Historico
  4. Zona Rosa

Out of these, Condesa – Roma is my favorite but it might not be the best choice for everyone so stick with me as we evaluate all your options.

Pro Tip: Don’t stay outside the city center just to save money.  You’ll spend all your time commuting instead of enjoying yourself.  My mid-range Mexico City hotel suggestions are usually $100/night or less so you can have a great location without breaking the bank.

mexico city metro
The metro is easy, cheap, and efficient but distances can be far.

Where to Stay in Condesa and Roma

For trendy, almost hipster vibe, this is where to stay in Mexico City.  These two adjacent neighborhoods feed off each other, altogether offering you the newest, freshest shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, and a few parks thrown in for good measure.

Wide walkways in the gentrified areas of Roma, my favorite place to stay in mexico city
Wide walkways in the gentrified areas of Roma Norte

These are, in my opinion, the best neighborhoods in Mexico City to stay if you picture yourself spending a lot of time just walking, wandering, and ducking into interesting places.  This is meant for spontaneous travelers who don’t feel the need to see every monument and museum but would rather pretend they live there for a few days.

While You’re There: This is not a stereotypically Mexican part of town.  It’s very international, very 2019, and chock full of locals who speak English and might be willing to chat with you over a coffee or a gin and tonic.

Where to Stay in Condesa – Roma

Advantages to Condesa-Roma: Thriving neighborhood good for living like a local

Disadvantages of Condesa-Roma: Most iconic attractions are too far to walk

Polanco Hotels

Most first-time visitors choose Polanco hotels.  The area is incredibly safe and has easy access to embassies and international businesses, which means chain hotels popped up to accommodate business travelers.  Today, tourists are drawn to the area because hotels are familiar, recognizable brands (and lots of options).

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad or boring choice!  Polanco is a great location if your trip includes high-end shopping at designer boutiques, five-star restaurants, or a little luxury pampering.  You probably won’t think twice about safety whether you’re strolling wide sidewalks during the day or even at night.

Staying at Polanco hotels also makes a lot of sense if you expect to spend a full day at the Museum of Anthropology (buy your ticket in advance to skip the line) or gallery hopping.

mexico city anthropology museum polanco hotels
Anthropology Museum (Photo by Tjeerd Wiersma, used with permission)

While You’re There: Make reservations ahead of time at Pujol and Quintonil, two amazing restaurants with tasting menus you won’t want to miss.

Where to Stay in Mexico City - Polanco

Pros of staying in Polanco: Safe, hotel brands you trust, gourmet restaurants, near the famous archaeological museum

Cons of staying in Polanco: More of that "international big city" flair and a little less Mexico City personality specifically

At times, Polanco can feel a little like home instead of Mexico.  That’s okay…jazz your trip up with a night out!  This 3-in-1 tour to cantinas, mariachi, and lucha libre wrestling will definitely spice up your Mexico City vacation.

Centro Historico Hotels in Mexico City

The area around Mexico City’s famous Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución) is known as the Centro Histórico, or historic center.  The main square itself is impressive: it’s the largest square in Latin America and third largest in the world.  It’s also home to the Cathedral, National Palace, Templo Mayor, and more.

best places to stay in mexico city like the centro historico
Overlooking the Centro Historico

This neighborhood is particularly great for museum-lovers.  There are plenty to see in the Centro Historico, making it easy to roll out of bed and get an early start.  It can also be fun to have dinner at the numerous cantinas, many with live music.

A lot of the Centro Historico leans toward the touristy side, since there are so many visitors here are the numerous attractions.  Follow my 100-meter rule to avoid tourist traps and keep your belongings close at hand to avoid being pickpocketed.

>>>>> Related Post: How to Avoid Pickpockets (and What to Do if It Happens)

While You’re There: Don’t miss a Folklore Ballet performance, on Wednesday and Sunday nights at the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Where to Stay in Mexico City’s Centro Historico

Pros of Staying in Centro Historico: Walking distance to historical sites, museums, and cantinas

Cons of Staying in Centro Historico: It can be touristy, keep an eye out for pickpockets

Zona Rosa Hotels (sometimes known as Reforma)

When I went to Mexico City in 2015, this is where I stayed.  You’ll either love it or hate it — this is a pulsing, thriving Mexico City neighborhood.  Most people consider this the entertainment district, the gay center of town, and the part of the city that never sleeps.

The streets are full of nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, plus shopping on Genova Street.  Because of this, it can be very busy with tourists, locals, and touts.  As long as you know what you’re getting into, you can have a lot of fun.

zona rosa mexico city street scene
Zona Rosa is one of the best places to stay in Mexico City.

While You’re There: Spend some time in Little Korea.  The juxtaposition (and at times, fusion) of Mexican and Korean culture is an interesting phenomenon.  Shop the markets, try a meal, and sing some karaoke!

Hotels - Mexico City Zona Rosa

Pros of Staying in Zona Rosa: Great nightlife, boutique hotels on a budget

Cons of Staying in Zona Rosa: Can be loud and busy, particularly on weekends

>>>>> Related post: Highlights from my Trip to Mexico City

Of the best places to stay in Mexico City, which one is for you?

There’s a perfect spot for every visitor and you might want to change it up with every return visit.  The most important thing is to stay a few nights, if you can.  It’s a big city that takes time to experience it all, regardless of your choice on where to stay in Mexico City.

MORE MEXICO CITY TRAVEL INFO

Not sure what to do in Mexico City? Don’t miss a day out to Teotihuacan and wish I had joined a food tour because everything is delicious!

Going anywhere else in Mexico? Check out all my articles like what to do in San Cristobal or why I love Cancun.

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If this post didn’t have what you were looking for, kindly let me know in the comments so I know what information to add for future travelers!

17 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Mexico City: The Best Hotels in Each District for Any Budget”

  1. Hey – Great post, will stay at Condesa per your recommendation. Keep up the good work! Also, I am going with a friend, we’re getting an Airbnb, we’re most likely going to tour, party and eat lots of Tacos. I’m Colombian and he’s from Egypt but we both live in NY. Any places or things to do in 3 days, I’ll appreciate it.

    Thanks!

    1. @Harold, What a wonderful trip you have planned! My favorite day trip is out to Teotihuacan and don’t miss the street food tacos. They’re delicious!

    1. @Carol, Very much dependent on your personality and interests but I think Condesa is a great fit for almost everybody (safe, walkable, great people-watching, many restaurants). My second choice would be Centro Historico. It’s a little more picturesque and convenient to the museums/historical sites.

  2. Love your travel site Becky. I’m heading to Mexico City in a week and your Teotihuacan bus route will simplify things for me. Thanks!

    Other than that, I’m looking forward to eating amazing street food. If you know of any area where the street food was tasty, authentic, and cheap let me know!

    1. @Sean, you’re in luck! The street food everywhere is amazing. Follow your nose and think of standing in line with the locals as a privilege rather than a time annoyance 🙂 Try the Coyoacan market stalls or wander the streets of the Roma Norte neighborhood.

  3. I’m planning a trip in May of 2020 for 5 days with my boyfriend, and your article has shed a lot of light on where to stay! Thanks for the information!

    1. Where do you suggest to stay in mexico city
      for a woman of 77 years young traveling alone that is not costly. Where things are close.

      1. @Loretta, I would try El Patio 77 B&B in the historic center. It’s close to the main square and cathedral, old architecture, restaurants, and museums. Since it’s a bed & breakfast, you’ll also get some extra advice and recommendations from the owners.

  4. Thanks for summarizing the pros and cons of the areas to stay.
    Would it be good value for money to stay at a B&B for a vegetarian? I was leaning towards finding a place that has a small kitchenette for basic warming up of things etc (no real cooking) and make my coffee instead of heading out first thing in the morning (very early riser) in search of food/breakfast.

    1. @Suzy, As a vegetarian at a B&B, you shouldn’t have trouble asking your host for fruit plates, yogurt, eggs, breads, tortillas, etc. If you’re vegan, it’ll be a little harder. Beans may or may not be a good choice — they’re easy to find, but some places will make them with pork fat. Ask.

      The harder part will be that you’re an early riser. I found that most bakeries and coffeeshops open at 7am, with real restaurants waiting until 8 or even later! This was annoying for me, too. Starbucks is usually the only one open at 6. So, depending on your definition of “early”, yes, you might want an apartment or somewhere with a communal kitchen.

      Condesa is my favorite place to stay, but Roma Norte is probably where you’ll find the most vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Here are a few good ones:
      La Pitahaya Vegana – vegan tacos on signature pink tortillas (colored from beet juice)
      Broka – get the “ceviche de nopal”, or cactus ceviche (no fish, just cactus, onion, tomato, lime, cilantro, etc)
      Gatorta – vegan tiramisu
      La Panaderia Rosetta – amazing bakery and you can stock up the night before to have something ready for breakfast the next morning

      1. Thank you!

        I am not vegan but many times, I am making do with a few vegetarian things (usually no more than 20% of all options) that I can eat from the spread while paying full price for my food. So, I’ve found inclusive food options to be worthwhile only when food is cooked with our ilk in mind, not merely to accommodate us (there is a difference!).

        6am is not early. 🙂
        Most working adults have to be up by then (in the US).

        Really appreciate the pointers for veg-friendly eateries and items. I think it’ll be best to stay at a place with a kitchenette.

        Also, you’ve written that Zona Rosa is the noisy/partying area and Condesa is quiet but I’ve read elsewhere that Condesa is also noisy, otherwise I like what I’ve found about the area and it suits my plans/interests. Noisy during the day is fine as I’ll be out but clubs and partying crowd will be a problem for me.

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