Where to stay in Mexico City

Tamara Hinson

written by
Tamara Hinson

updated 04.08.2023

Home to more than 25 million people, Mexico City is one of the world's true megacities. First-time visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the city, occupying a shallow mountain bowl at over 2,400m above sea level. Life here is equal parts laid back, edgy and cosmopolitan. The city's sheer size can be overwhelming – so deciding where to base yourself can prove crucial. Our guide will help you to decide where to stay in Mexico City.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guide to Mexico — your essential guide for travelling in Mexico.

Centro Historico: for historical sites

The Centro Histórico or old town corresponds roughly to the old colonial capital. Centred like all the cities of Spanish America around the main square, the giant Zócalo was built on top of the former centre of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán.

Extraordinary uncovered ruins – chief of which is the Templo Mayor – provide the Zócalo’s most compelling attraction. However, there’s also a wealth of great colonial buildings, among them the huge cathedral and the Palacio Nacional with its striking Diego Rivera murals.

    Where to stay in the Centro Historico:

  • For a great location: Hotel Flamencos. Located a walking distance from Zocalo Square and with chic modern rooms, this hotel is a great place to stay in Mexico City.
  • For a four-star experience: Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. The gorgeous hotel features historic architecture and two upscale authentic Mexican restaurants.

Find accommodations at any budget in Centro Historico, Mexico City.


Mexico City Zocalo © Shutterstock

Polanco: for the best restaurants and art galleries

Polanco offers the best of both worlds: it’s beautiful and achingly cool. It’s also one of the busiest districts and makes the perfect base for explorations further afield. This is where to stay in Mexico City if you want to find the city’s top restaurants (we recommend El Turix, regarded as one of the city’s best taquerias) and art galleries.

The Galería Lopez Quiroga is excellent, where you’ll find photos, sculptures and paintings by Mexico’s top artists. Polanco is also one of the city’s best shopping areas, albeit for those with cash to splash. Start with a visit to Antara. Here you'll find a great selection of designer labels as well as high-street stores such as Sephora.

    Where to stay in Polanco

  • Best for Ibiza-style chic: Las Alcobas. Stylish hotel with clean lines, a striking wooden spiral staircase and rain showers.
  • Best for architecture geeks: Camino Real Polanco. You can thank award-winning architect Ricardo Legorreta for this five-star gem. Bold colours and larger-than-life design features lend this place the feel of a Hollywood film set.

Looking for inspiration for your trip? Don't miss our guide to the best things to do in Mexico.


Where to stay in Mexico City? Try Las Alcobas Hotel © Las Alcobas

Colonia Juarez: hipster heaven

A once-gritty neighbourhood, Colonia Juarez is hipster heaven. This is thanks to the growing number of chefs, artists and designers setting up shop here. The result? Some of Mexico City’s best restaurants, bars and boutiques – without the eye-watering price tags you’ll find in upscale neighbourhoods.

Here there is plenty of architectural eye candy. Seek out the wonderfully sleek minimalism of Milán 44 (a market-style grocery store which also offers yoga classes). Or try the neighbourhood’s historic cantinas, many of which date back to the 1920s. Colonia Juarez is also very accessible, just a few kilometres from the city centre and bordered by three main arteries: Avenida Chapultepec, Insurgentes and Paseo de la Reforma.

    Where to stay in Colonia Juarez

  • Best for a dash of minimalism: NH Collection Mexico Reforma. A sleek, modern hotel with lots of white space. Red chairs in some bedrooms – and in the dining room – add a splash of colour. The gym and pool area raise the game.
  • Best for historic grandeur: Hotel Geneve. A large, century-old, but thoroughly modern, hotel with an understated, elegant feel. The facilities are excellent, including the lovely Salon Jardín, restaurant, gym and spa.

Ready to immerse yourself in Mexico City? Our Magic of Yucatan and Mexico City tailor-made trip shows you the real Yucatan before heading out to explore Mexico City. Our trips are crafted by local travel experts and are completely customisable.


Aerial view of Colonia Juarez © Marianna Ianovska/Shutterstock

Santa Fe: where to stay in Mexico City for all budgets

Santa Fe is one of Mexico City’s major business districts. Don’t let that put you off – look behind the (undeniably spectacular) sleek glass skyscrapers and you’ll discover a wealth of hidden gems. You’ll also find a great selection of hotels for all budgets, hence its popularity with tourists, as well as a growing number of wealthy young professionals.

This is precisely why the neighbourhood now has some of the city’s best restaurants, along with a fantastic range of clubs and bars. It’s also got several malls, including Centro Santa Fe (Latin America’s largest, with 500 shops, an ice rink and its own hotel) and the smaller Garden Santa Fe. And amidst the skyscrapers, pockets of greenery are springing up. One example is Parque la Mexicana, with its bike lanes, running tracks and lakes.

Ready for your trip to Mexico City? Don't miss our guide to the best Mexican food.


Santa Fe: where to stay in Mexico City © Luis Roldan / Shutterstock

Condesa: where to stay in Mexico City for a laidback vibe

Many of Condesa’s residents fled this historic neighbourhood after the devastating earthquake of 1985. Now they're flocking back, joined by artists and designers and lured by the neighbourhood’s historic elegance and Instagram-able mix of Beaux Arts mansions and Art Deco apartment buildings.

Condesa has a laidback vibe. It’s effortlessly cool, without the pretentiousness of other up-and-coming areas. Although we love its cafés and galleries, we also recommend taking the time to simply wander its tree-lined streets.

You’ll find some of the city’s mezcal bars here, as well as its best cafés. We recommend trying Chiquitito’s — a plant-filled coffee shop which sources its beans from a farm in Boca del Monte, Veracruz.

    Where to stay in Condesa

  • Best for a super-chic chill-out spot: Condesa DF. A range of beautiful rooms and suites – each with its own character – is backed up by terrace dining (sushi is on the menu) and even a movie room.
  • Best for converted cool: Hotel La Casona Mexico City. La Casona has an understated, if slightly quirky, European-style elegance. Think polished wooden floors, antique furniture, a pion in its lounge and quite a collection of art.

Want to go on a trip but trying to be budget conscious? Check out our guide to the 20 cheapest places to travel.


City Park in the Condesa neighbourhood, known for its architecture © Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

Colonia Roma: for the artist scene

Roma borders Condesa and the two neighbourhoods have a shared history. Years ago, they were regarded as Mexico City’s most exclusive neighbourhoods before experiencing a period of decline. They have since bounced back with the help of innovative artists and entrepreneurs.

Many of Roma’s original buildings are still standing and its streets are a photographer’s dream, with modernist buildings nudging up alongside Art Deco mansions. You’ll also find plenty of independent galleries and bookstores here. Today it’s regarded as Mexico City’s arts district. Colonia Roma is where to stay in Mexico City to enjoy the city's art scene.

    Where to stay in Colonia Roma

  • Best for boutique-style luxury: Casa Goliana. Branded as a "luxury B&B", Casa Goliana has well-dressed rooms in an early twentieth-century house. Wooden floors, gorgeous tiling and patterned wallpaper complement the period features.
  • Best for a home away from home: Nima Local House Hotel. Green-fingered visitors will love this leafy oasis, where plants fill pots and vases, spill over furniture and climb up the walls of the beautifully lit atrium. The chic rooms are exquisitely decorated, with some interesting furnishings and a hint of retro charm.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Our Amazing Mexico tailor-made trip will take you through the La Merced Market to Merida where you can discover Maya ruins. All tailor made trips can be modified together with your local expert.


Where to stay in Mexico City? Try Roma © Kamira/Shutterstock

This list could truly go on. There are countless fantastic things to do in Mexico City. Ready to start planning your trip? Check out The Rough Guide to Mexico for travel tips from local experts.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Mexico without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Header image: Mexico-City, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the foreground © Shutterstock

Tamara Hinson

written by
Tamara Hinson

updated 04.08.2023

Tamara is a former snowboard instructor who's been a freelance travel writer for 12 years. She loves snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking and scuba diving, and the regions she knows best are Asia, America and Africa. Europe-wise she knows Germany and France very well. In normal times she does two or three trips a month. Follow her on Twitter @tamarahinson

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