Even though Mexico City is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world with more than 20 million inhabitants, its numerous districts each have their own unique vibe. From modern to traditional, cutting edge to colonial design, there’s a neighbourhood in Mexico City that you’ll love! So to help you decide where to stay in Mexico City, here are some of our locals’ favourite districts in CDMX!
Polanco is the most exclusive residential and shopping area in Mexico City. Luxury homes built in the Californian colonial style along tree lined streets filled up the area in the 1950’s, attracting many foreigners from Spain, Israel, Germany and Lebanon, making Polanco a very cosmopolitan neighbourhood. An elegant area, Polanco is rich in restaurants, hotels, shopping centres, boutiques and art galleries, while also being close to many touristic attractions. There’s Chapultepec with its castle, and numerous museums like Anthropology, Rufino Tamayo, Modern Art and Soumaya. Walk along Avenida Presidente Masaryk and enjoy good food, culture and luxury shops. And if you love street art, don’t miss Mexican muralist Siqueiros’ pieces of work, which are located in Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros. Among the area’s rich restaurant scene, there is also the most famous Mexican restaurant, Pujol, which is among the top 50 restaurants in the world.
A peaceful and quirky neighbourhood in the south of the capital, close to the more famous Coyoácan, San Ángel has a lot to offer to who is looking for something less touristy but still rich in culture. La Plaza de San Jacinto, the main square, hosts beautiful historical buildings, good restaurants and the Bazar del Sabado (Saturday bazaar). For people who want to experience the culture while shopping for local handcraft pieces of work from all over Mexico, El Bazaar del Sabado is the place to go. Live performers and street artists add up to create a very lively and pleasant atmosphere. The area is filled with beautiful churches, art galleries, museums, and artisan markets. Antique residences, called “casonas”, with their baroque, neoclassical and neocolonial style, hidden in the narrow streets of the area, make San Angel very different to any other area in the capital. Pay a visit to El Cardenal for a fabulous traditional breakfast. Everything is delicious, but don’t forget to try their pastries and their “nata” (cream that thickens and sets from boiling raw milk)!
You can stay in the Coyoacán neighbourhood to enjoy a magical atmosphere and the unique Colonial style design. Despite being located a bit far out from the historical centre, the area is close to interesting attractions such as the University City, the Frida Museum and the lovely San Angel borough. A very green and residential area with a traditional Mexican vibe, Coyoacán is a good option for families as it offers a proper chance to chill while enjoying a nice and relaxed atmosphere after a day of sightseeing. Walk around the neighbourhood’s streets that are flanked by colourful colonial buildings and enjoy some Mexican traditional “antojitos” (tapas) at the Coyoacán market. Francisco Sosa is one of the quirkiest streets in the area and Plaza de La Conchita hosts one of the oldest churches in the capital. The handcraft market is also worth a visit and I bet you will find a traditional handmade souvenir for everyone on your list! If you’re a morning type, don’t miss a walk or a run in beautiful Viveros, a national park that operates as a tree nursery and where each street is dedicated to a different tree.
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Mexico City’s historical centre is the biggest in Latin America, so be ready for a very Mexican experience, full of colours and noise. You’ll find numerous accommodation options in this area, which is a stone’s throw from the city’s most iconic landmarks. With more than 1500 historical buildings, it is one of the richest and busiest historical centres in the world. El Zócalo, the main square, dominates the historical centre with its impressive size and majestic cathedral. In the surrounding streets there’s plenty to see too, from Aztec ruins to fascinating colonial palaces and art of all kinds. Tourists and locals fill up the streets of the centre all day long, so enjoy its vibrant atmosphere and forget peace and quite for a while. The area is full of good-quality Mexican street-food stalls as well as of high-end restaurants. For a jaw-dropping view of the city and its centre, head to the bar of the Torre Latino Americana (Latin America Tower). You’ll be amazed!
Bordered by three of the city’s main arteries, Insurgentes, Paseo de la Reforma, and Avenida Chapultepec, La Juárez is a trendy neighbourhood with a multi faceted personality, making it a good spot to stay in when you visit the capital. Home to La Zona Rosa, the area of the LGTB community, a growing business centre and a new artsy scene, La Juárez has seen a comeback in the last few years following its decadence after the quake in 1985. Its French-style buildings from the rich Porfiriato era now host office complexes and galleries. Many of the city’s top chefs and restaurant groups have opened second and third locations here. Along with its modern vibe, the area is still proudly local, with its launderettes, “cocinas económicas” (budget restaurants), and “cantinas” (old Mexican-style bars). The area’s cultural scene is worth exploring – check its numerous art galleries, cultural centres and the Metropolitan theatre. In La Juárez you can also admire several major monuments, including the Angel of Independence, the Huntress Diana Fountain, and the Glorieta de la Palma, located along Reforma. Walk around and enjoy it!
La Roma & La Condesa
These two trendy neighbourhoods are continuously transforming themselves, and are rich in entertainment and accommodation of all kinds. Filled with Art Deco-style and tree-lined streets, Condesa is perfect to walk and around its parks - Parque España, Parque México and Avenida Amsterdam, - there is also a rich offer of restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and boutiques. Less green than La Condesa, La Roma is a lively neighbourhood that has a lot to offer in terms of culture and lifestyle. Pay a visit to the beautiful buildings of the Casa Universitaria del Libro (University House of the Book), a space dedicated to promoting the diffusion of culture through books, and to some of the many art galleries of the area. A perfect place to chill and soak up the city’s atmosphere is Plaza Rio de Janeiro, famed for its replica of Michelangelo’s David and flanked by examples of the area’s architecture and large mansions. Both areas are great for nightlife so get ready to party!
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