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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!
- Where to Stay in Mexico City: The Districts Best for Travelers
- Where to Stay in Condesa and Roma
- Polanco Hotels
- Centro Historico Hotels in Mexico City
- Zona Rosa Hotels (sometimes known as Reforma)
- Of the best places to stay in Mexico City, which one is for you?
(Still undecided at the end of the article? Just shoot me a question in the comments section!)
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
- Centro Historico
- 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.
Where to Stay in Condesa and Roma
Advantages to Condesa-Roma: Thriving neighborhood that’s perfect for living like a local, Fabulous restaurants
Disadvantages of Condesa-Roma: Most iconic attractions are too far to walk
For trendy, almost hipster vibe, Condesa-Roma is the best area 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.
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.
I stayed here on my most recent trip to Mexico City and loved being able to walk to some of the city’s highest-rated restaurants (from street food to high end), sit in coffeeshops to get work done, and head out in the evening.
While You’re There: This is not a stereotypically Mexican part of town. It’s very international, very 2021, and chock full of locals who speak English and might be willing to chat with you over a coffee or mezcal.
BUDGET HOTEL IN CONDESA: Hostel Home
Choose from dorm beds or double rooms at Hostel Home, and either way you’ll have great communal areas. Travelers here are drawn to the same bohemian vibe of the neighborhoods, so it can be a great place to meet fellow travelers.
MID-RANGE: Casa Decu
★sightDOING favorite★ Honestly, Casa Decu might even be better than more expensive properties in the area. It’s the best place to stay in Mexico City because it straddles both La Condesa and Roma so you can walk to dozens of amazing restaurants. It has fabulous art deco design, comfortable rooms, and great service. Best of all, there are beautiful open-air spaces to relax or take your breakfast.
AIRBNB: Condesa Apartment
This neighborhood is perfect for longer stays because it’s easy to fall into a routine of “normal life” here. This apartment from a Superhost gives you a lot of space in a central location.
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
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.
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 POLANCO ON A BUDGET: White Loft
Polanco isn’t known for it’s budget properties, so for a low price you’re best off choosing an Airbnb. The White Loft apartment is less than $50/night and has space for up to 4 guests.
MID-RANGE: Wyndham Garden Polanco
For travelers that appreciate knowing exactly what they’re getting, the Wyndham Garden Inn in Polanco offers standard chain amenities and comforts with a high-end location and a reasonable cost (sometimes downright cheap!).
5-STAR: Las Alcobas
I have two friends who have stayed at Las Alcobas and rave about it as one of the best hotels in the world. It’s above my price range, so I can’t confirm, but photos look incredible. It has all the amenities you’d expect of a five-star hotel with extraordinary service and personalized attention of a boutique hotel.
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
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
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.
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.
BUDGET: Mexico City Hostel
The location of Mexico City Hostel is excellent, just a block and a half from the main square. Back in my hostel days, this is the type of place I’d choose. Social but not a party atmosphere, great breakfasts, and rooms with just four bunk beds so you can actually get some sleep.
MID-RANGE: El Patio 77 B&B
You’ll love this eco-friendly historic mansion that’s been converted into a bed and breakfast. Officially El Patio 77 B&B is in the San Rafael side of the Centro, easily accessible and just far enough away to be quiet. Some rooms have shared bathrooms, so choose a junior suite with private washroom (it’s still affordable).
UPSCALE: Hotel Umbral
The Hotel Umbral is one of the very few chain hotels outside Polanco. This is a great opportunity to stay in the heart of the historical district while enjoying the Hilton amenities you expect in a design-forward hotel. Plus, breakfast is great and there’s a small rooftop pool to cool off. Read my full review of Hotel Umbral.
Zona Rosa Hotels (sometimes known as Reforma)
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
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.
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!
BUDGET: Capsule Hostel
Of all the hostels in Zona Rosa (and there are a lot), the Capsule Hostel is my pick. The capsule set-up gives you a little more privacy, which you’ll appreciate if guests are staying out late at night in this party neighborhood.
MID-RANGE: Chaya B&B Boutique
If you don’t mind taking the stairs (there’s no elevator) then you can get a lot of bang for less than $100 at Chaya B&B Boutique. Relax in a hammock or sprawl out in a suite; this is an oasis from the city around it.
UPSCALE: Casa Prim Hotel Boutique
This contemporary hotel has a beautiful modern design with extras like Bose Bluetooth speakers, rain showers, and a rooftop patio. Casa Prim Hotel Boutique is on the far edge of the area, so it’s a little bit more of a walk to nightclubs (which also means it’s a little quieter for sleeping!).
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.
23 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Mexico City: Best Hotels in Each District for Any Budget”
Mexico City looks like an amazing place! I’ve been reading a lot about it recently and I really want to go. Thanks for the tips!
@Campbell, Hope you love it!
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.
@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!
Which neighborhood do you recommend for 62 yr old woman traveling on her own?
@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.
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!
@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.
Thank you. You helped me choose an area to stay rather than being clueless.
@Debra, I was clueless before my visit so I know the feeling!
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!
@Chandra, Enjoy your visit! Glad I could help.
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.
@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.
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.
@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
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.
I am planning on going to Mexico City for DÍa de los Muertos in 2020 with my boyfriend. I was wondering if you could recommend any hotels along the route of the Day of the Dead International Parade which would allow a view from the hotel. I know the final route won’t be published until September but I’m going with the assumption the route will stay the same. Any alternate suggestions on best place to watch would also be appreciated.
@Jessica, The parade started the year after I visited Dia de los Muertos so I don’t have any firsthand experience. My assumption is that any hotel overlooking the Paseo de la Reforma between Bosque Chapultepec & Centro Historico would be a good bet. Maybe try the rooftop bar at Sofitel Reforma or the lounge at Marriott Reforma.
Oh hi 🙂 Thank you for all the information. Do you suggest to booked hotel ahead or book directly with the hotel when you arrive? Because some places I had travel to in Asia had been much much cheaper to book in the spot when you arrived compare to a lot of booking site.
@Anna, I’ve found in Mexico City it’s better to book in advance. In smaller Mexican towns, you might sometimes get a better deal at the last-minute on weeknights only.
Your recommendations are wonderful. I did not find what I was looking for.
We are traveling in February 2023 to visit the Monarch Butterflies. Can’t seem to find a bus line that will take us to Zitacuaro, Mex? Any suggestions? Will be landing in Mexico City International Airport.
@Bonnie, I have not been to Zitacuaro but it looks like Autovias runs from Mexico City (Poniente station) to Zitacuaro about 8 times a day: https://www.autovias.com.mx/
I hope you enjoy your trip. I loved the butterflies near Valle de Bravo, an alternate reserve.