Blogger Robin in downtown where to stay in Mexico City for history.
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Where To Stay In Mexico City In 2024: 7 Best Neighbourhoods – By Local Expats

Affiliate Disclosure

We’ve been living part time in CDMX for a few years now, having happily settled in the leafy colonia of La Condesa. Before that, however, we spent several months deep diving into the different neighbourhoods to find our perfect match, trying to figure out where to stay in Mexico City longer term.

What surprised us initially was that the historic centre was not the nicest part of CDMX to stay. For first-time tourists, it may appear convenient, sure, but it’s also incredibly hectic and a bit dodgy after dark. With the wisdom of experience, we now often tell our friends to consider a wider range of factors before picking a place to stay.

In this post, we’ll explain which area to stay in Mexico City, depending on whether you’re looking for historic sights, buzzy bars, luxury living, or more of a boho vibe.

Where To Stay In Mexico City: At A Glance

Where to stay in Mexico City map

#1 Roma: TOP PICK, Especially Good For Nightlife & Foodies. 

Roma Norte one of the best places to stay in Mexico City.

LOCATION: Roma is close to the Centro Historico, Condesa, Paseo de la Reforma – pretty much all the areas we would recommend exploring. One of the safest neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City, it’s got good transportation links and a ton of places to eat out.

WHY STAY HERE: Roma is, first off, a pretty part of town. Porfirio Diaz developed the area with a view to making it the Paris of Latin America, which is why so many of the buildings borrow from French-driven styles like Art Nouveau and Art Deco. 

We enjoy walking about just goggling at the property porn, which is interspersed with lovely parks like Rio De Janeiro and grand squares like Fuente de Cibeles

Roma Norte
Madre Cafe

What really makes Roma one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City to stay, however, is its restaurants and cafes. Gobble down tacos from affordable taquerias like Orinoco or more elevated Mexican cuisine at special-occasion spots like Rosetta and Blanco Colima.

Our favourite eatery of all is Madre Café, which pairs high-quality Mex dishes with expertly mixed cocktails that you can enjoy on a leafy patio.

Speaking of cocktails, Roma is also the best place to stay in Mexico City for nightlife. The most fantastic drinks we had in town were at Licorería Limantour, which lives up to its number 7 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bar list. 

After a couple of beverages at Limantour, head a couple of doors down to Supra Roma, which pairs top-notch views with top-notch tunes. Also close by is Departamento, a club designed to give off apartment party vibes. For more dancing, cross the colonia to Mama Rumba, which pumps out the Latin beats for locals to salsa to.


  • Devour some of the best pastries in Mexico City at Panaderia Rosetta.
  • Visit the Mercado Medellin for fresh produce and an authentic local snack.
  • Check out the local nightlife with a well-mixed cocktail at Limantour, followed by a bit of Latin dancing at Mama Rumba.
  • Head to Huerto Roma Verde or Bunker Bazar (our favourite city’s markets) for a unique handcrafted souvenir or locally designed apparel.


🍴 Broka – A restaurant that focuses on quality ingredients, Broka serves up our favourite ceviche and birria in town. It’s also a solid bet for veggie options. Adding to the smart experience, the tables are arranged around the central courtyard of a beautiful mansion.

🍴 Mercado Roma – The city’s premier food court, Mercado Roma’s stalls serve up a mixture of Mexican and international cuisine, from tamales to sushi. The venue has a chill vibe and a couple of bars, so it’s a great place to hang out with friends who each want a different type of dish.


  • Central location
  • Foodie heaven
  • Brilliant nightlife


  • Suffers from gentrification
  • Can get noisy on weekend evenings


La Valise is the best place to stay Mexico City Roma Norte

La Valise Mexico City

For the ultimate boutique experience, La Valise has three stunning main suites and a handful of slightly smaller deluxe rooms, each one completely distinctive in design.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
Jardin Roma is located in the best area to stay Mexico City for foodies

Jardín Roma By The Local Way

This apartment is perfect for a family or friend group. It comes with three bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas, and a laundry room.

what area to stay in Mexico City

Hotel Marbella

Hotel Marbella is where to stay in Mexico City if you want an all-day restaurant, a bar, and free private parking on site at an affordable price.

#2 La Condesa: Where To Stay In Mexico City For Digital Nomads & Families.

Parque Espana Condesa
Blogger Mal in La Condesa - one of the best places to stay in Mexico City for expats.

LOCATION: Just to the west of Roma, Condesa is sitting pretty on the edge of Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest). 

WHY STAY HERE: La Condesa is where we’ve chosen to live when we’re in CDMX because it’s got everything a digital nomad could want. More residential than Roma Norte, there are several coworking spaces as well as a ton of relaxed cafes where you can crack out the laptop and get typing. 

Our go-to hangout is Camino a Camala, which has comfy seats and some interesting speciality coffees. It’s usually not too busy, so you can just park up and work.

In our leisure time, we hit the tree-lined streets to explore the numerous contemporary art galleries and bijou independent boutiques.

One of the best areas to stay in Mexico City for convenience, Condesa has a large grocery store, a few gym options (we’re at Smart Fit for 600 MXN (28 USD) a month), and plenty of eating options on the doorstep.

Parque Mexico in Condesa.

Condesa is also where to stay in Mexico City for families. The neighbourhood is home to a couple of large parks and several good-sized (though admittedly often pricey) apartments and boutique hotels

There’s not much traffic either, making it one of the safest areas to stay in Mexico City if you have young kids who are prone to wander.

Choose a hotel near one of the parks, which come alive at weekends with group salsa classes, dog walkers, and other morsels of local life.


  • Brunch at Cafebrería El Péndulo, a bookshop-meets-coffeehouse that serves some killer chicken enchiladas in mole sauce.
  • Shop for jewellery and plants at Casa Melibea or handmade artisan clothing at Someone Somewhere.
  • Explore the funky modern art at Mooni, which champions emerging artists. 
  • Relax in Chapultepec Park with a leisurely stroll or a boat ride on one of the lakes.


🍴 Cafe Toscano – This spot on the corner of The Parque Mexico, is one of our favourite restaurants in Condesa because it’s a great place for people-watching. We often come here for lunchtime pizzas, but they also have other popular Italian eats as well as Mexican breakfast classics.

🍴 El Pescadito – The place to go for seafood tacos, El Pescadito is a no-frills neighbourhood joint that comes with some of the tastiest prices in Condesa. Nab a spot at one of the outdoor tables if you can. There’s a self-serve salsa and salad station, so you can stuff your taco to your own tastes.


  • Leafy and sedate
  • Safe neighbourhood
  • Convenient for modern living


  • Expensive area
  • Not as exciting as Roma


what is the best area to stay in Mexico City


One of the best places to stay in Mexico City for bespoke interiors, this dazzlingly decorated little boutique has just 8 rooms, each one furnished in soothing natural tones.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
what neighborhood to stay in Mexico City

Casa Malí by Dominion Boutique Hotel

Ideally located for both Condesa and Roma Norte, Casa Malí is situated on the edge of Parque Mexico. There’s a neat little roof terrace, plus a cozy library room.

which neighborhood to stay in Mexico City


The compact rooms at the CASA LALIQUE make for perfect, stylish little dens to escape to at the end of a long day exploring Condesa’s galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

#3 Zona Rosa/ Juarez: One Of The Best Places To Stay In Mexico City For Nightlife & LGBT Community.

Genova Street in Zona Rosa
Calle Genova

LOCATION: Squeezed between Roma Norte and Reforma, Zona Rosa is another central location that’s very near the downtown attractions.

WHY STAY HERE: Zona Rosa has more of a raw charm than Roma Norte or Condesa. 

Once upon a time, it was THE place to go for nightlife, and you’ll still find some evidence of that in super-trendy, hidden speakeasies like Handshake and Hanky Panky, where we’ve had some of the best cocktails in the city.

Mostly, though, the nightlife here these days is more earthy and even a little lurid. This is definitely one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Mexico City if you want an edgier vibe.

To get a feel for the essence of Zona Rosa, we suggest heading to the pedestrianised Calle Genova. Lively and unvarnished, its lined by bars, fast-food chains, and stores selling all kinds of trinkets and gewgaws.

Zona Rosa is where to stay in Mexico City for nightlife.
Hanky Panky Bar in Zona Rosa.

From here, head east along Hamburgo to where it meets Calle de Niza. Around this junction is one of our fav spots to head for no-frills street food. You’ll also find another good spot just one block over at the junction of Hamburgo and Calle Havre.

Part of what drives the party scene here is the bubbly LGBT crowds, who have colonised the Zona Rosa (aka the Pink Zone) for decades. There are gay-friendly institutions like Kinky and Tom’s Leather Bar scattered throughout the streets, as well as sex shops catering to various peccadilloes.

Zona Rosa is also where to stay in Mexico City if you have an ongoing love affair with Korean culture. Little Seoul is where we go when we have a craving for Korean barbecue, soju, or some gochujang to spice up a home-cooked meal.


  • Grab a selfie with Gandhi, Lady Gaga, or Mexican ranchera singer Pedro Infante at the Wax Museum.
  • Learn about the history of chocolate at the Museo del Chocolate, treating yourself to a cacao-infused treat at the end.
  • Eat at one of the authentic fondas inside the traditional Mercado Juarez.


🍴 Cafe Nin – Run by the amazing Elena Reygadas, this is the place to come for brunch. Set up inside a historic mansion, there’s a gorgeous patio where you enjoy the house’s incredible pan dulce alongside quality coffee, fresh juices, and a couple of classic cocktails.

🍴 Rouge Bohème – Giving off that casual French bistro vibe, Rouge Boheme dishes up a pan-European menu of goodies. Some of the best dishes are French classics like the onion soup and beef bourguignon, but they also do a tasty line in pastas. The octopus salad is our current fav.


  • Great location
  • Good street food
  • LGBT heartland


  • Run down in some areas
  • Not as nice as Condesa or Roma Norte


Mexico City where to stay for party vibes

Amberes 64

Across the road from Handshake Speakeasy, Amberes 64 boasts modern studio apartments with kitchenettes. It’s right in the middle of the Zona Rosa action and has its own gym and restaurant.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
best district to stay in Mexico City

Galeria Plaza Reforma

Just south of Reforma, the Galeria Plaza is the kind of spick-and-span modern hotel that offers convenience and quality. There’s a fab rooftop pool and a decent gym.

best area to stay Mexico City

Hotel del Principado

A good base of operations for exploring the best of CDMX, rooms here are compact and simple. Stays come with buffet breakfast in the all-day restaurant, plus free on-site private parking.

#4 Reforma: Best For Luxury Hotels & Convenient Location.

Blogger Robin enjoying riding a bike on Paseo de la Reforma on Sunday

LOCATION: CDMX’s main thoroughfare, Reforma claims some of the city’s swankiest addresses. There are numerous iconic statues and structures along its length, from the Angel de la Independencia and the Monument a la Revolucion to the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

To get to the Historic Centre, you can hop on the ‘fancy’ (for Mexico City) double-decker tourist-oriented bus that connects Reforma to the Zocalo. 

WHY STAY HERE: Four Seasons, St. Regis, Sofitel, Ritz-Carlton – all these swish 5-star brands have their CDMX branches along Reforma. It’s easily one of the best places to stay Mexico City has to offer for travellers who like their luxury hotel chains as well as their modern creature comforts.

Reforma has the luxury vibe of Polanco while being closer to the Historic Centre and the main tourist sights. Thanks to the glass skyscrapers standing tall along the road, it’s one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Mexico City if you like rooftop bars with unbeatable views.

Reforma Avenue

The flipside to this modernity is that we find Reforma can come across as a bit generic. It’s similar to many glitzy city avenues the world over and lacks the local charm that you’ll find in Condesa, Roma Norte, or Zona Rosa.  

One of our favourite things about Reforma is that on Sundays, the hotel avenue shuts down for cyclists and runners. It’s a great way to experience the city from a local’s point of view and visit the famous places unmolested by traffic.

A lot of day trips from CDMX have meeting points around here. For example, our tour to Tolantongo had a pickup from the Angel de la Independencia monument, near the Alamo outlet, where we usually get our rental cars for day trips out of town.


  • Rent a two-wheeler and cycle along the avenue on Sundays when Reforma is closed to cars.
  • Take your CDMX experience sky-high with cocktails at the Cityzen rooftop bar in the Sofitel.
  • Clamber up to the top of the Monument to the Revolution.
  • Pick a sunny day to snap a pic of the Angel de la Independencia as it glitters in the light.


🍴 Terraza Cha Cha Chá – On the eastern end of the Plaza de la Republica, Terraza Cha Cha Chá is one of our top recommendations for views of the Monument a la Revolucion. The menu has a strong showing for tacos and tostadas, alongside bigger plates that feature meat and seafood with plentiful Mexican spices.

🍴 Amaya – The décor here provides a lovely backdrop to an intriguing modern take on Mex cuisine, complemented by an even more fascinating wine list. The menu often undergoes tweaks, but on our most recent visit, we fell in love with the arroz con chorizo – just be aware that it takes a while to cook!


  • Luxury hotels
  • Very modern and convenient 
  • Lots of iconic monuments


  • Feels  commercialised 
  • Lacks local charm


where to stay in Mexico City safe

Four Seasons

Arguably the most luxurious hotel of the lot, the Four Seasons has huge, immaculately elegant rooms and facilities that include an outdoor pool, several high-quality restaurants, and the stylish Fifty Mils bar.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
Le Meridien is located in a safe area to stay in Mexico City

Le Meridien

Le Meridien has some of the most spacious accommodations in the mid-range bracket, fitting in a king bed, a sofa, and a mini kitchenette. The basement contains a gym and a pool.

safe place to stay in Mexico City

Emporio Reforma

With its attractive Old-World facade, this hotel offers cozy rooms, a 24-hour gym, and a simple restaurant where you can enjoy the daily buffet breakfast.

#5 Centro Historico: The Best Area To Stay In Mexico City For History Buffs.

Centro Historico.
Blogger Robin with Zocalo in the background.

LOCATION: This is the old centre of town, where the ruins of Tenochtitlan are still visible amidst the later residences built during the colonial period. 

WHY STAY HERE: The Centro Historico is where to stay in Mexico City first time, since all the famous historic sites are here.

At its heart is the Plaza de la Constitución, more commonly known as the Zocalo. This town square is bordered on one side by the baroque Palacio Nacional and on the other by the Catedral Metropolitana, Latin America’s oldest and largest cathedral.

Behind the cathedral are the ruins of Tenochtitlan’s Templo Mayor (Main Temple), which is mostly ruins today, though you can learn about the site’s Mesoamerican past at the museum.

The Centro Historico is super crowded all year round with a combination of tourists and locals. If you’ve spent much time on our site, you’ll know we’re big Uber users in CDMX, but hailing a ride around here can be a nightmare because the traffic is so bad.

As a silver lining, the fact that the district thrums with chilangos means it’s one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City for an authentic vibe. We often come down here for the cultural fairs and free concerts that are regularly staged.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

We also like to hang out in Alameda Central, near the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes building. It’s the city’s oldest public park, and every weekend it comes alive with street food, handmade accessories, and groups of families and young people just enjoying their day off.

Another reason the Centro Historico is the best area to stay in Mexico City for tourists is the markets. Mercado de San Juan is a good place to go for gourmands, and people who want to try insects dipped in chocolate, while La Ciudadela promotes the work of local artisans.

Evenings can be a little dodgy around the Zocalo, so it’s probably not the best location to stay in Mexico City with kids. Having said that, we do like coming here for the cantina-style bars serving pulque.


  • Pick up an artisanal souvenir at La Ciudadela market.
  • Grab a drink or a meal on one of the uppermost floors of the Torre Latinoamerica, formerly Mexico’s tallest building.
  • Take your time examining the elaborate Diego Riviera mural inside the art-nouveau-meets-art-deco Palacio de Bellas Artes.
  • Explore the National Art Museum’s permanent collection, which is arguably less impressive than the stunning building that houses it.


🍴 Taqueria Los Cocuyos – A bit of a celebrity on Mexico City’s taco scene thanks to Anthony Bourdain and Netflix, this taqueria serves up a mixture of classic pastor and suadero options alongside more adventurous variations like tongue, ear, snout, and gizzard. We can’t speak for all the body parts, but the tongue was excellent!

🍴 Balcon del Zocalo – Perfect for a special occasion, this stylish spot is a great place to come for dressed-up Mexican dishes. Located just off the Zocalo, the restaurant boasts amazing views of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Try and book a table as close to the edge of the balcony as possible for the best panorama.


  • Tourist attractions
  • Vibrant atmosphere
  • Unvarnished local nightlife


  • Hectic streets
  • Sketchy at night
  • Bad traffic


Hilton is one of the best places to stay in Mexico City Centre

Hilton Mexico City Reforma

The rooftop with its garden, pool, and restaurant is a highlight at this 5-star hotel, though all the facilities are top notch. Large windows in the rooms provide fab downtown views.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
where to stay in Mexico City first time

City Centro by Marriott Ciudad de Mexico

A stunning building houses this branch of the Marriott, which goes bold with flashy décor. It may be a 4-star hotel, but the views from the rooftop pool and bar are 5-star.

🌟Budget Pick🌟
Budget-friendly place to stay in Centro Historico Mexico City

Hotel Roble

It’s all about the location with the Hotel Roble, which is located just a couple of streets back from the Zocalo, around the corner from the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico.

#6 Polanco: Best For Luxury Travellers, Shopping & Museums.

Polanco where to stay in Mexico City for luxury living.

LOCATION: A little further away from the other neighbourhoods, Polanco is on the northern side of Chapultepec Park, in its own little pocket of luxury CDMX.

WHY STAY HERE: Sometimes known as the ‘Beverly Hills of Mexico City,’ Polanco is where to stay in Mexico City if you want a taste of the lavish side of life

Home to embassy employees and high-flying businesspeople, it’s filled with glitzy shopping centres, modern apartment blocks, elegant mansions and boutique hotels.

We’ve noticed that more mature travellers like to stay here. That’s probably partly because most visitors that can afford the room rates are 50+, but also because it’s one of the best neighborhoods to stay in in Mexico City in terms of safety.

Shopaholics and gastronomes with cash to burn can have a field day in Polanco. Antara and Palacio de Hierro fly the flag for upmarket shopping centres, while fine-dining hotspots Quintonil and Pujol have made their mark on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. 

St. Augustine Parish Church

Aside from being the safest place to stay in Mexico City, Polanco is also home to some excellent museums. The Museum of Anthropology has an incredible collection of Mesoamerican artefacts, while the Soumaya is as famous for its stunning architecture as its era-hopping mishmash of artwork.

Although it’s not on many tourists’ itinerary, we have a soft spot for the Museo Jumex, which we last visited for a Damien Hirst exhibition. It’s free and not too big, with a smattering of modern art from around the world.


  • Marvel at the space-age Soumaya Museum building.
  • Get that essential pic for the Gram in front of the Mexico Mi Amor sign.
  • Promenade through the Parque Lincoln, stopping to admire the statuary.
  • Shop till you drop at the Pasaje Polanco, where Mexican designers display their wares in a quintessential example of Californian Colonial architecture. 


🍴 Taquería El Turix – You can’t say you’ve visited the capital if you haven’t tried the cochinita pibil taco at El Turix, one of the most famous taquerias in CDMX. Given the location, it’s surprisingly affordable and chill.

🍴 El Bajio Polanco – We’d recommend this spot just for the mole, which comes in several variations and is served either as the main event of as part of numerous other dishes. The restaurant has a nice, casual vibe and is right on the edge of Chapultepec Park. 


  • Safest area to stay in Mexico City
  • Luxurious hotels and apartments
  • Fantastic shopping and eating


  • Very expensive
  • Can feel generic


safest neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City

Casa Polanco Hotel Boutique

This beautiful 1940s building is a symphony in white, with elegant rooms that belong in a design magazine. We are particularly enamoured of the leafy rooftop terrace, which overlooks Bosque de Chapultepec. 

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
places to stay Mexico City

City Express Suites by Marriott Anzures

Situated on the cusp of Polanco, this comfortable Marriott option is excellently placed for people who want to be within walking distance of Reforma, Condesa, and Roma Norte.

🌟Budget Pick🌟
where to stay in Mexico City with kids in Polanco

Allegro Polanco

Just a couple of streets over from the Soumaya and Jumex museums, this homestay offers a choice of single rooms with shared bathrooms and larger family rooms.

#7 Coyoacan: Most Traditional Neighborhood To Stay In Mexico City.

Robin in Coyoacan
Coyoacan Mexico City

LOCATION: Much further south than the other best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City, Coyoacan can be quite a trek. If you don’t mind the journey into downtown, however, it’s a lovely location to have as a base.

WHY STAY HERE: We almost feel like we’re in Queretaro, Merida, or Valladolid every time we make the trip down to Coyoacan. This area has the same vibe as those pretty colonial towns, with picturesque, leafy streets lined by beautiful colonial architecture.

One of the safest places to stay in Mexico City, Coyoacan is dotted with green parks, fascinating museums, and some historic markets. Arguably its main claim to fame though is its association with Mexico’s most famous artist. 

This borough is where to stay in Mexico City if you’re a die-hard Frida Kahlo fan like Mal is, as it’s the area she was born, lived, and died.

Begin at Kahlo’s namesake museum, housed insider her former home. Known colloquially as the Casa Azul, it’s a bright-blue building that preserves fragments of her life and work.

Just a short walk from here is the Mercado de Coyoacan, which Kahlo often frequented. These days, it’s a great place to enjoy some street food and pick up a souvenir or two. The seafood tostadas in particular are legendary.

If you want somewhere to sit a spell, we can vouch for the Cafe Avellaneda, which has excellent coffees made from single-origin beans harvested from different regions around Mexico. We also have to tip out hats to the historic Cafe El Jarocho, which has been in business since 1953.


  • Inhabit the life of Mexico’s most famous artist at the Frida Kahlo Museum.
  • Dig into Mexican folk art at the National Museum of Popular Culture.
  • Head to Coyoacan Market for a tasty tostada.
  • Relive the last days of Leon Trotsky at his namesake museum, which has been preserved exactly as it was on the day of his murder.


🍴 Loz Danzantes – With flavours so vivid they’ll dance on your palate, this Mexican eatery is guaranteed to give your taste buds a twirl. It’s in a great location overlooking the Jardín Centenario, with a spacious patio where you can dine al fresco.

🍴 Meson Antigua – This super colourful restaurant is in a charming part of Coyoacan. The menu covers a lot of Mex comfort food, including a more-ish queso fundido and chicken breast doused in mole. Don’t forget to order a cafe de olla here – they make it very traditional, served in pretty pottery.


  • Artsy area
  • Very picturesque
  • Safe and serene


  • Relatively far from the historic centre
  • Traffic into town can be bad


🌟luxury Pick🌟
H21 Hospedaje is located in the best area to stay in Mexico City for travellers seeking local vibes

H21 Hospedaje Boutique

This super cute boutique is right in the middle of the Coyoacan action. Each of the spacious rooms is individually decorated with natural tones and top-notch appliances.

🌟Mid-Range Pick🌟
best neighbourhoods to stay in Mexico City

Yellow & Blue Apartment HP – Sur

A bit further out of town, this modern, light-filled two-bedroom comes with a suite of facilities, including a pool, a gym, a sauna, and a children’s play area.

🌟Budget Pick🌟
safest areas to stay in Mexico City

Mina 32 – Coyoacan

Just across the road from Coyoacan’s main park, the rooms here may be small, but they have a lot more personality than most budget joints in CDMX.

Where To Stay In Mexico City With Family

While we’d say the overall best area to stay in Mexico City with family is Condesa, being based in the Centro Historico means you won’t have to chivvy the kids across the city to see the sights. If you do decide to stay downtown, here are the place where parents and their little ones can feel at home.

🌟TOP Pick🌟
where to stay in Mexico City with kids

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

Right off the Zocalo, this absolute marvel of a hotel has a stunning atrium with a stained-glass ceiling. Rooms give off an Old-World-y feel, with the largest ones able to accommodate 4.

Where NOT To Stay In Mexico City

It’s just as important to know where to avoid it as where to stay in Mexico City. Even if we found a huge place at a really cheap price, you wouldn’t catch us renting an Airbnb in these 4 neighbourhoods.


Tepito Neighbourhood.

Arguably the most dangerous place overall in CDMX, Tepito is like something out of a gangster movie, complete with shootings, shady dealings, and a thriving drug trade. We visited Tepito on a tour with a local that lives there and it is an interesting part of town to see, but certainly not somewhere to stay.

Tepito neighbours downtown, which makes it easy to wander into accidentally if you are exploring the northern end of the Centro Historico. We actually did this ourselves on our first visit and the change is pretty striking – and scary – so be careful where your steps lead you.


You will probably find yourself visiting the Doctores neighbourhood for one particular reason: lucha libre, the nation’s hugely popular and colourful wrestling sport. The so-called ‘Cathedral of Lucha Libre,’ Arena Mexico, is found in Doctores, just abutting Roma Norte.

We actually love the vibe in this area, which has several authentic taquerias, cantinas, and pulquerias scattered through its streets. It’s a fun region for nightlife, but the big caveat is it’s not overly safe, which is why it makes our list of places not to stay. 

🚫La Merced

La Merced Neighbourhood

Very close to downtown, La Merced is hectic, lively, and super, super busy. Prostitutes prowl the streets, which are crammed with stores. This is where locals come to do their shopping, snapping up very cheap goods from the bustling markets.

Although it’s definitely not the best district to stay in Mexico City, it is somewhere that is worth exploring if you want to see a slice of the real CDMX. We visited on a tour with an experienced local guide, and it was absolutely fascinating.


A huge area that sprawls across the southeast of the capital, Iztapalapa is synonymous with deprivation and violent crime. The city authorities have invested in public programmes to try and combat the borough’s issues over the last few years, but it’s still not somewhere we would recommend staying.

We came out to Iztapalapa mainly for the cable car, aka the Cablebus, which has some cool views of Mexico City’s urban sprawl.

Where To Stay In Mexico City: FAQ

What is the best area in Mexico City to stay in?

The best neighborhood to stay in in Mexico City is probably Roma Norte. It’s well connected for all the capital’s major sights and has a buzzy food and drink scene. With its gorgeous architecture, cool boutiques, and quirky museums, there’s nothing not to love!

Where to stay away from in Mexico City?

Tepito and Iztapalapa are among the not very safe areas to stay in Mexico City. Both have a reputation for crime and a sketchy police presence. If you do want to visit these areas, we recommend only coming as part of a tour guided by a local who is very familiar with the boroughs.

How many days should I stay in Mexico City?

If you want to limit yourself to just the must-see destinations, we reckon you can probably squeeze out a whistlestop tour in about 3 days, including a trip out to Teotihuacan. If you want to really get to know the flavour of the different neighbourhoods, however, aim for a week.

What are the cheapest months to visit Mexico City?

We’ve paid the least for CDMX flights and accommodation during June and September. These are the wettest months of the year, which is why you tend to see fewer tourists filling the streets.

Is Mexico City a walkable city?

Many of the best areas to stay in Mexico City are very walkable, including Roma Norte, Condesa, and Zona Rosa, which all abut one another, making it easy to get from place to place. To reach the downtown area or Coyoacan, you’ll need to hail an Uber or use public transportation.

Is Mexico City safe?

There are lots of safe places to stay in Mexico City for tourists, but equally there are places to avoid. While we wouldn’t advise walking around alone in Tepito or Iztapalpa, districts like Polanco and Coyoacan are very secure. 

Where To Stay In Mexico City: The Wrap-Up

Deciding where to stay in Mexico City is an important decision, as it can affect the whole tenor of your trip. We’ve tried to be as transparent as possible about the pros and cons for each area; the rest is up to you!

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