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Best Area to Stay in Mexico City 🟩⬜️🟥

Discover the best neighborhoods and places to stay in Mexico City, including Centro Historico, Polanco, Roma, Condesa, and Chapultepec 🤩

Mexico City is an enormous metropolis with a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from. Deciding where to stay in Mexico City depends on your interests, budget and preferred experience. This guide will overview the top neighborhoods for visitors and help you determine the best area to stay in Mexico City for your trip.

Polanco – Upscale Accommodations and Dining

Polanco is one of Mexico City’s most exclusive enclaves, known for its luxury hotels, fine dining, high-end shopping and affluent residents. This refined neighborhood has a European ambiance with smart cafés lining its leafy streets.

Polanco is the best area to stay in Mexico City if you’re seeking five-star accommodations and Michelin-starred restaurants. Top luxury hotels like Las Alcobas and Presidente InterContinental cater to discerning travelers with lavish rooms and superb service. Along Avenida Presidente Masaryk, Mexico City’s answer to Rodeo Drive, designer boutiques sell the latest fashions.

Polanco’s excellent dining scene features celebrity chefs like Enrique Olvera of renowned Pujol. Foodies also flock to Biko and Quintonil, two of Latin America’s highest-ranked restaurants. Nearby in Chapultepec Park, art aficionados admire the striking Museo Soumaya designed by architect Fernando Romero.

While largely residential, Polanco’s central location provides good transportation connections. Key metro stops are Polanco and Auditorio, while Chapultepec park sits just south. Expect to pay top dollar in this prestigious neighborhood.

Roma and Condesa – Trendy Boutique Hotels

With their chic boutique hotels, booming café culture, and cool nightlife, Roma and Condesa are Mexico City’s most fashionable neighborhoods. These side-by-side ‘colonias’ offer an upscale base to experience the city’s contemporary art galleries, designer shops, mezcal bars and international restaurants.

Tree-lined streets house beautiful townhouses alongside sleek modern buildings. Roma has an artsy, vintage vibe, with retro cafés and jazz clubs between art deco structures. Fast-gentrifying Condesa has more high-end dining and nightlife, centered around the lovely Parque México.

In Roma, hotels like Casa Comtesse and Stanza have designer interiors, while Condesa boutiques like Casa Luciana feature city views. Budget travelers can find hostels and affordable digs in both neighborhoods. They connect via Metrobus lines along Avenida Álvaro Obregón.

With their walkable layouts and abundance of attractions, Roma and Condesa are ideal for first-timers. Just west, Chapultepec Park houses top museums and the leafy Bosque de Chapultepec. To the east, Downtown is a short ride away.

Centro Histórico – Cultural Epicenter

As Mexico City’s historic core, Centro Histórico packs in centuries of culture. This downtown district is built atop the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the ancient Aztec capital. Wandering the buzzing grid of streets transports you back through Mexican history.

Set around the massive Zócalo plaza, top sights include the baroque Catedral Metropolitana and the Templo Mayor Aztec ruins. Opulent Palacio de Bellas Artes dazzles with art nouveau architecture and murals by Diego Rivera. For market browsing, the Mercado de San Juan and Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela sell everything from fine foods to folk handicrafts.

Boutique hotels like Downtown Mexico and Hotel Downtown put you steps from major museums. Budget travelers have many options, from hostels to national chains. Centro’s central location offers easy access via metro lines 1, 2 and 8. While busiest during the day, lively nightlife also beckons.

Coyoacán – Charming Southside Neighborhood

With its cobblestone lanes and colonial architecture, Coyoacán offers a slice of Old Mexico. Once a village engulfed by Mexico City’s urban sprawl, this laid-back neighborhood maintains its small-town vibe. Its historic plazas, churches, and mansions provide a scenic backdrop for lively cafés and shops.

Coyoacán’s artistic heritage draws visitors to two must-see museums: Frida Kahlo’s famed Casa Azul home where she was born, lived and worked; and the adjacent Leon Trotsky House Museum, where the exiled revolutionary lodged. Great street food and restaurants abound, from tacos to fine dining.

Boutique stays like Casa Tuna or Villa Alfonsina put you steps from the action. While just south of the center, Coyoacán feels worlds away from the bustle, making it popular with families and couples seeking relaxation. Metro Line 3 reaches Coyoacán.

Colonia Roma – Trendy Hotels and Dining

Split into Roma Norte and Roma Sur neighborhoods, Colonia Roma balances history with modern buzz. Elegant townhouses mingle with cutting-edge galleries, hipster cafés and mezcal hideaways. Leafy Plaza Río de Janeiro forms the lush heart of Roma Norte.

Two metro stops serve Roma Norte, while metro buses run along Avenida Álvaro Obregón through both areas. Condesa is an easy walk west. But Roma’s classic architecture and less pretentious vibe give it a unique character.

Stylish boutique hotels like Casa Tamariz and Gallery D.F. place you near the hopping restaurant and nightlife scene. Mural-lined Plaza Luis Cabrera hosts Saturday artisan markets. Roma comes alive on weekends, when families and couples fill its plazas and parks.

Zona Rosa and Juárez – Partying and LGBT Nightlife

Sandwiched between Roma, Condesa and Downtown, Zona Rosa and Colonia Juárez comprise Mexico City’s entertainment district. Known for its nightclubs, bars and LGBT-friendly nightlife, the neighborhood comes alive after dark when the pulsing beats of dance clubs reverberate through the streets.

During the day, there’s less to attract tourists beyond some adult-oriented shops. Close proximity to surrounding neighborhoods makes it an overnight option for enjoying the nightlife. Budget hotels and hostels cater to party-goers, along with a few upscale options.

Three metro stations provide access: Insurgentes, Sevilla, Cuauhtémoc. Nearby Paseo de la Reforma connects to Downtown and Chapultepec Park. For revelers looking to experience Mexico City’s vibrant nightlife, Zona Rosa offers an epicenter of action.

Condesa – Trendy Boutiques and Dining

Bordering Roma, Condesa exudes chic sophistication. Once a tranquil suburb, today Condesa intermixes leafy parks, art deco mansions, modernist buildings, and trendy businesses catering to its upscale residents. Dining options range from taco stands to fine restaurants on nearly every block.

Stretching out on the wide lawns of Parque México provides a nice break from the urban bustle. Shoppers browse boutiques selling Mexican designers along Avenida Michoacán and Tamaulipas. Condesa’s nightlife offers vivacious lounges and dance clubs.

Hotels like Casa González and Carlota shine with contemporary interiors and gorgeous city views. Condesa provides fast access to Roma sights while enjoying its own cosmopolitan flavor. Nearby Chapultepec Park houses fantastic museums.

San Ángel – Charming Village Atmosphere

Escape the crowds of Downtown without going too far at San Ángel. Once a village outside Mexico City, today it retains its provincial colonial charm. Baroque churches, cobbled streets, and historic mansions encircle San Ángel’s leafy central plaza.

Top attractions include the San Ángel Saturday Bazaar, where artisans sell handicrafts, and the 16th century church Iglesia del Carmen. Along cobblestone calle Altavista, charming cafes and galleries beckon passersby inside. The neighborhood’s village atmosphere provides a mellower alternative to sightseeing in the busy city center.

Accommodations consist mostly of boutique hotels, like Casa del Valle Verde, and intimate bed-and-breakfasts. While just south of Downtown, San Ángel feels far removed from the hustle and bustle, making it a relaxing place to stay.

Reforma – Luxury Hotels and Business Hub

Towering skyscrapers rise along the grand Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main avenue. This district is an international business and finance hub sprinkled with luxury hotels, corporate offices, and foreign embassies. Reforma connects the Alameda Central to Chapultepec Park via an 8-kilometer boulevard.

On Sundays, Reforma’s main drag closes to traffic, transforming into a family-friendly place to walk, skate and bike. Nearby attractions include the National Anthropology Museum, Castle of Chapultepec, and business district along Avenida Presidente Masaryk.

Five-star hotels like the St. Regis and JW Marriott cater to business travelers and vacationers seeking premium accommodations. Budget options are scarce in this high-end area. Metro stations Sevilla, Insurgentes and Cuauhtémoc provide access to other areas.

Reforma’s central location, luxurious hotels and proximity to top attractions make it a desirable home base for those who can afford the high prices.

Santa Fe – Financial Hub cum Nature Retreat

As Mexico City’s newest business district, Santa Fe provides a striking dichotomy between urban hustle and natural respite. This modern financial center contains global headquarters and high-rise towers housing banks, investment firms and multinational companies.

Just outside the office buildings, artificial lakes and vast parks offer a surprising natural escape. Alameda Santa Fe is a large green space popular for walks, while the lush Bosque de Tlalpan feels worlds away, with mountainsides covered in pine forest.

Luxury hotels like Four Seasons and Camino Real Polanco cater to business travelers and families. While not very central, Santa Fe is best for those working in the district. Nearby neighborhoods like Interlomas, Bosques de las Lomas and Lomas de Chapultepec house wealthy residents.

With its unique combination of big business and easy access to open green spaces, Santa Fe appeals most to business travelers looking to balance meetings and outdoor recreation.

Where is the Safest Area to Stay in Mexico City?

Mexico City is generally a safe metropolis for travelers who take basic precautions. The most secure neighborhoods to stay in are:

  • Polanco – Heavily patrolled with upscale accommodations, restaurants and shopping.
  • Condesa – Young and affluent area with lots of tourism infrastructure.
  • Roma – Trendy and hip but located next to a major avenue for safety.
  • Reforma – Upscale lodgings along the main boulevard, near security.
  • San Ángel – Sleepy village atmosphere in the city with gated accommodations.
  • Santa Fe – Private residential and business area with hotel security.

These areas have lighter foot traffic at night but still maintain a strong security presence. Hotels often have extra security measures as well. While no city is crime-free, these are the safest areas for first-time visitors and female solo travelers.

Is Condesa or Roma Better to Stay In?

For first-time visitors who want to experience Mexico City’s stylish side, both Roma and Condesa make excellent home bases. Here’s how they compare:

Condesa

  • More high-end dining and nightlife options
  • Closer to Chapultepec Park and museums
  • Feels newer and more upscale overall
  • Busier on nights and weekends with a lively scene

Roma

  • Cooler vintage, artsy vibe with retro architecture
  • More authentic Mexican culture and street life
  • Better prices on hotels and food
  • Quieter atmosphere overall

Condesa has more modern amenities while Roma retains an authentic local character. For nightlife and safety, Condesa runs slightly ahead. But Roma still enjoys good nighttime security while providing a funkier, budget-friendly base. Both neighborhoods are centrally located. The best option depends on your travel style and interests.

Polanco vs Condesa: Which is Better?

Polanco and Condesa are prime districts, but cater to different tastes. Here’s how they compare:

Polanco

  • Ultra-upscale neighborhood with luxury hotels
  • Top fine dining with celebrity chefs and Michelin stars
  • High-end shopping along Avenida Presidente Masaryk
  • Immediate access to Chapultepec Park

Condesa

  • Trendy boutique hotels and more budget options
  • Great international and Mexican dining at lower prices
  • Cool nightlife scene with bars and clubs
  • Near Chapultepec but farther from most attractions

Polanco offers five-star accommodations, once-in-a-lifetime dining, and prestige. But expect elite prices. Condesa provides trendy middle-class lodgings and excellent dining for far lower costs. Condesa is better for budget travelers who still want safety, walkability and nightlife. Polanco pampers those seeking luxury.

What is Mexico City’s Richest Area?

Without a doubt, Polanco is the wealthiest neighborhood in Mexico City. It’s home to:

  • Mexico’s billionaire business moguls and celebrities
  • Luxury shopping with designers like Cartier, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton
  • Mexico’s most expensive real estate
  • Top private schools attended by elite families
  • Five-star hotels and restaurants catering to high society

Additionally, the upscale neighborhoods of Lomas de Chapultepec, Interlomas and Santa Fe attract the city’s financial and entrepreneurial elites. But Polanco remains the most prestigious and sought-after residential area for the super wealthy.

Is Mexico City Safe for American Tourists?

While every large city has risks, Mexico City is generally safe for Americans and foreign tourists who apply street smarts. Safety tips include:

  • Staying in recommended secure neighborhoods
  • Using registered taxis or ride shares like Uber
  • Avoiding unfamiliar or isolated areas
  • Not flashing expensive items like jewelry
  • Staying alert for pickpockets in crowded areas
  • Asking hotels to call taxis instead of hailing them
  • Only withdrawing cash from reputable ATMs
  • sticking to bottled water and avoiding tap water

By using common sense and taking basic precautions, Americans can safely visit Mexico City’s amazing museums, markets, archaeological sites and neighborhoods. It’s an incredible destination for culture.

Is Polanco Safe at Night?

Polanco is one of the safest areas of Mexico City both day and night due to:

  • Constant police presence and private security guards
  • Popularity among wealthy residents with private security
  • Well-lit streets and popularity of area restaurants/bars
  • Luxury hotels with top-notch security staff
  • Lack of high-crime neighborhoods bordering it

Polanco is heavily patrolled by police given the high socioeconomic status of its inhabitants. At night, many people are out dining at restaurants or enjoying hotel bars so the area stays busy after dark. Top hotels provide secure taxis. While no neighborhood is crime-free, Polanco’s strong security makes it quite safe 24 hours a day.

Is Condesa Safe to Walk at Night?

Condesa provides pretty good nighttime walking safety. Well-lit streets and ample foot traffic provide relatively good security, especially on main streets. Reasons Condesa remains fairly walkable at night:

  • Active restaurants and nightlife keep streets populated
  • Families and couples inhabit the area and walk at night
  • Main avenues and central park are lit and patrolled
  • Nearby neighborhoods are considered safe
  • Hotels provide taxi services on request

Condesa lacks the luxury hotel security of Polanco but has middle-class residents and tourists on foot each evening. Visitors should still take precautions by avoiding isolated side streets, walking in pairs at night, only taking registered taxis, and keeping valuables hidden. While not completely worry-free, Condesa has better safety than some outer neighborhoods.

What is the Best Area to Stay in Mexico City with Family?

When visiting Mexico City with kids, these are good neighborhoods to stay in:

Polanco – Upscale area with luxury family-friendly hotels that have kids’ programs, pools and connectivity to kid-friendly Chapultepec Park.

Condesa – Active daytime scene and range of family-friendly apartments with kitchens and laundry for longer stays.

San Ángel – Peaceful area with boutique hotels and outdoor cafes/plazas that’s away from city bustle but near key attractions.

Coyoacán – Pretty plazas, museums and chill vibe while still having restaurants and connectivity via metro.

Roma – Neighborhood with fun parks, family-friendly eateries and easy transit connections to sights.

All provide accessibility to kid-friendly activities while also giving families safer areas to stay where crime is less prevalent. Having access to in-room amenities like kitchenettes and laundry helps for longer visits too.

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