If you’re looking for the perfect balance between the old world and the new, Mexico City has the charm and tradition of the Aztec people balanced perfectly with the mariachi-modern square of Garibaldi. With rich, historic features lining its streets, from ruins to museums, Mexico City has plenty to offer visitors. One of the biggest and oldest cities in the Americas, this capital has something for everyone – whether you’re looking to satisfy your hunger with spicy eats or in search of architecture and cultural heritage to sate your appetite.
Let’s break Mexico City down into its different historical and well-known parts.
With its famous, antique churches spread throughout the Zócalo – the city’s public square – Centro Historico has the second largest square in the world and is definitely a sight worth seeing.
Built directly from the historic foundations of the ancient people’s destroyed capital, you can still feel the history contained within this area; from the cathedral – over two centuries old – to the remaining ruins of the Great Temple. If you are feeling nostalgic, visit the museums at Templo Mayor, along with the National Palace and the country’s largest flag to date. Make sure to stop by the Palace of Fine Arts and its adjoining park. You can also check out the view of the city from Mirador Torre Latino.
The beating heart of the city, Centro Historic is also a modern-day tourist location, with vibrant nightlife, shops, and restaurants along Avenida Madero.
Good for: History and art lovers and young travelers with its vibrant nightlife.
Other Highlights: Palacio Nacional, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Garibaldi Square
- NH Mexico City Centro Historico: Located right next to the Metropolitan Cathedral, this hotel has soundproofed rooms for a quiet sleep, free Wi-Fi, and delicious national dishes at its on-site restaurant. You can walk directly to the Plaza de la Constitución, the National Library, and the Mexico City Museum from here.
- Hotel Histórico Central: Within walking distance to the Palacio de Iturbide Museum, Zocalo Square, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Torre Latino, this hotel also offers a Café Central, where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink any time of day.
- Puerta Alameda Suites: If you are looking for an apartment during your stay, this place has an indoor swimming pool, terraces in the gardens, a kitchen with everything included, and is within walking distance of the Memory and Tolerance Museum, The Fine Arts Palace, and Alameda Park.
For a bit of a nature hit in the middle of the city, Chapultepec Park is the largest in the area. Dedicated originally to an Aztec ruler, it still stands today as the Capitalinos residential getaway, and provides you with a peek directly into Mexican culture. In this area, you can also enjoy a visit to the National Anthropological Museum, where they host the Voladores de Papantla ritual every day.
With over 650 hectares solely dedicated to art and nature, enjoy a stroll through the botanical garden, take in the gorgeous lakes, and even visit the zoo, theater, or museums.
If you are a history buff, take the time to visit Chapultepec Castle, which was once the former imperial mansion and is now the National History Museum.
At the entrance of the park, pass by the Monument of Young Heroes, which memorialises the Mexican-American War.
Good for: History and art buffs, young and old travelers.
Other Highlights: National Anthropological Museum, Chapultepec Castle, Monument of Young Heroes
- Holiday Inn Express Toluca Galerias Metepec: This modern hotel is within walking distance of the Galerías Metepec Shopping Centre, so it is a perfect stay for both shoppers and business people. There is also a shuttle service to major attractions within a 10 kilometer radius.
- La Muralla Hotel & Spa: With all the popular amenities of a grand hotel, La Muralla has a covered swimming pool, a tennis court and a spa. You can easily access the town from this hotel.
- Quinta del Rey Hotel: Perfect for a nature lover, enjoy your stay surrounded by lush gardens or relax in the indoor swimming pool, spa with hot tub, and games room for the children. They also feature art showcases featuring Mexican craftwork, an antiques museum, and a chapel.
Weaving through the south of Mexico City, Xochimilco is a quaint area with hundreds of canals and a series of man-made islands. It has an uncanny resemblance to Venice, which is why it was named the “Venice of the New World.”
The word Xochimilco, which actually means “where the flowers grow,” takes its name from the floating gardens surrounding the area, a stunning vision to check out. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site thirty years ago because of its use of lagoons in the city’s basin.
This floating city has many floating gardens, or chinampas, that give it a unique character. These gardens were created and designed by farmers who pulled together reed rafts and mud and somehow were able to grow flowers, fruits, and veggies right on the water. The trajineras are the flat-bottomed boats that go throughout the city viewing these beautiful gardens along the canals—a truly unique and magical experience!
Good for: Everyone, especially those who love water.
Other Highlights: The floating gardens.
- Hotel Siesta del Sur: This hotel has all the standard amenities, with every room featuring Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and private bathrooms. You can eat at their on-site Mexican-style restaurant for a little taste of local flavour.
- Hotel Amala: Every bedroom at this hotel is uniquely decorated. Only 15 kilometers away from the Frida Kahlo Museum and 13 km away from Six Flags, you’re at an optimal location when you stay here.
- San Diego: If you came here for the amusement park, this hotel is located within a short driving distance to Six Flags Mexico and 11 kilometers from Frida Kahlo House Museum. Each room has a small kitchenette along with a garden at the property.
As Mexico City’s prestigious commercial district, Polanco seems to reflect a European style, with sophisticated Paseo de Reforma, and its educated and diplomatic population. Although it may seem fancy, there are plenty of places to get an authentic Mexican dish and dessert, or pop in to one of the little coffee shops and bakeries. If you’re looking for an upscale stay in Mexico City, choose this shopping district.
If you are tired from a full day of shopping and satiated from an extravagant dinner experience at Pujol, visit the Museum of Modern Art the following day, to add a bit of history into your vacation.
Good for: Visitors looking to shop, travel, and have an upscale experience
Other Highlights: Pujol, Museum of Modern Highlight, Chapultepec Lake, Presidente Masaryk Avenue, Paseo de la Reforma
- Hyatt Regency Mexico City: Located within the belly of the Polanco neighborhood, this hotel has elegant and modern rooms with restaurants and bars on site. You can also eat at the hotel’s Rulfo Paraje Latino or the Teppan Grill. If you want to go international try the Yoshimi Japanese restaurant, the Amado traditional Bakery, or Mexican sweet shop.
- The Wild Oscar: In Polanco, this residential accommodation has an on-site restaurant and bar, free Wi-Fi, private terraces, and a fitness center. Here, you can use their bikes and transportation services to get around the city.
- Alteza Polanco: These suites have a mini-kitchen, private bathrooms, a fitness room, and are only a few minutes’ walk away from Polanco’s commercial area with shopping malls and restaurants.
For a bohemian, art-deco vibe, head over to Condesa. With its modern, off-the-beaten-path shops, eclectic bars and art galleries, it is easy to get the artsy vibe from this area of Mexico City. To experience the progressive and modern side of Mexico City, take a walk along Avenida Insurgentes, which will lead you not only to a modern taste of the area, but also give you full-access to palm-fringed esplanades and peaceful parks. If you are looking for a safe place to stay within a few kilometers of historical landmarks and museums, this area is the perfect locale for you and your family.
Good for: Young travelers looking for a modern and progressive area.
Other Highlights: Avenida Insurgentes
- Hotel Parque México (Boutique Hotel): Within walking distance of the parks, galleries, and restaurants of Condesa, as well as the national museum zone. It’s a piece of cake to easily rent a bike to travel through the area. The historical center is less than 5 kilometers away from the hotel, along with many other touristic sites.
- Maria Condesa: Smack bang in the middle of the district, guests at Maria Condesa will enjoy a sun terrace, spa facilities and bicycle rentals, with a taste of Mexican breakfast at these classy suites.
- Condesa DF: A rooftop bar and movie theater are available at this hotel, which offers an extremely modern feel. You can also enjoy on-site dining, a dance floor, and a gift shop.
If you are finished with Condesa, take a quick trip away to Roma, which is a great district in Mexico City to get a bit lost and soak up the atmosphere. Not only will you be able to peruse the wares from hundreds of local vendors selling Mexican trinkets, you will also stumble across some uniquely beautiful architecture that really displays the Mexican culture.
In this area, they pride themselves on their laid-back attitude, so if you’re looking to relax, this is the perfect place for you. Visit the many bars and clubs, meeting other like-minded people who might be tourists too, or some of the friendly locals. With a bohemian spirit and relaxed atmosphere, you will feel safe and stick to your budget during your time in the capital.
Good for: Young professionals looking to enjoy night life.
Other Highlights: Parque España, bars, and clubs
- Stanza Hotel: Just a half-hour drive from the airport, you can hit the gym or eat right on-site. With vegetarian and international options available at the Wings restaurant, it’s easy to enjoy a relaxed stay only minutes away from the Historic Center.
- Real Salamanca: Only 400 meters away from Reforma Avenue and 5 kilometers from the city center, your hotel room has all standard amenities plus access to the patio and a terrace. Conveniently located close to Zona Rosa, Torre Mayor, the Angel of Independence, the Modern Art Museum, Chapultepec Castle, the Anthropology Museum, and the Zoo.
- Hotel Block Suites: Also extremely close to the popular Reforma Avenue, relax in a suite with a kitchenette and easy access to the neighborhood of Roma.
With an old-town feel, Coyoacán is littered with colourful cobblestone roads, a charming town square, old mansions, and many museums for a taste of history. This part of Mexico City was home to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two extremely famous and prominent Mexican artists.
If you’re in the area on Sundays, check out the public market or visit the Colonial del Carmen: the authentic city center, a perfect place to meet artists and intellectuals, stroll by craftsmen at work, and see colourful, local street performances. Make sure you stop by La Casa Azul: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s famous home.
Walking from the Jardin Centenario park, you can visit the 16th-century San Juan Bautista Cathedral and head to the Bazar Artesanal Mexicano to pick up some souvenirs.
Good for: History and art lovers, young and old travelers.
Other Highlights: La Casa Azul, San Juan Bautista Cathedral, Bazar Artesanal Mexicano, Colonial del Carmen
- Casa Moctezuma: Just 600 meters from the Frida Kahlo House Museum, this hotel has a beautiful terrace and garden to relax in, a fully-equipped kitchen for your convenience, and continental breakfast to help you get up and go.
- Corazoncito Coyoacán One: Also within walking distance to the Frida Kahlo House Museum, enjoy a stay at this relaxed location featuring a patio and garden.
- Maria Del Alma Guest House: Another hotel just 350 meters from the Frida Kahlo House, stay at this family-run guest house, sleeping in a historic colonial building with charming rooms, a local-dish snack bar and even a cooking class.
Right next door to Coyocan, San Angel was historically the place for Spanish nobles to rest and leave the royal life behind them. Nowadays, it is a vibrant and colorful addition to Mexico City. The Bazar del Sabado is located at the Plaza San Jacinto and here you can stroll the markets and scavenge for antique treasures, artisanal souvenirs, and local crafts.
During your stay in the area, relax at the plentiful cafes and restaurants before making your way to the more famous tourist spots, such as the baroque Iglesia San Jacinto: a 16th-century church with a baroque altar, and the Casa del Risco: a baroque fountain constructed from broken porcelain.
Try to plan your trip to arrive in time to see the beautiful flower market or the Fiesta de Los Muertos in November.
Good for: A relaxing visit with a touch of history and great local markets.
Other Highlights: Casa del Risco, Iglesia San Jacinto, Bazar del Sabado.
- Krystal Grand Suites : Located near WTC Mexico City, enjoy all the usual amenities only a short distance away from Six Flags Mexico, Chapultepec Forest, and Benito Juárez Airport.
- Suite 3B La Paz: For an optimal location with a buffet breakfast, this suite is located close to the Frida Kahlo House Museum, WTC Mexico City, and Six Flags Mexico.
- Suite 2C, Calandrias Garden House: This self-catering apartment features a garden, living room, and a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and stovetop. You can also enjoy a buffet breakfast in this great location close to major attractions.
If you really are looking for the modern take on New Mexico, Santa Fe is an up-and-coming neighborhood only five miles away from the downtown area. If you are coming to Mexico City for business, you will probably be directed to Santa Fe, its area laden with high-tech and international companies, banks, a university, and a shopping mall.
Good for: Business professionals and lovers of city-life.
Other Highlights: Shopping mall and international businesses
- Hilton Mexico City Santa Fe: This elegant hotel is located in the vibrant area of Santa Fe. You can easily enjoy a fully-equipped gym inside the hotel, as well as a business center with all the associated amenities. There is an outdoor pool and access to Wi-Fi. A variety of great food is available right at the hotel; there are restaurants with a broad range of cuisines.
- Novotel Mexico City Santa Fe: With an outdoor pool, video games, free Wi-Fi, and computer access, your stay in the city’s booming business district gives you access to an on-site fitness center and all rooms feature a minibar. From the hotel’s location, you can easily reach the Bancomer Convention Centre, UNAM National Autonomous University, and the Chapultepec Forest.
- Presidente Intercontinental Santa Fe: With easy walking access to the Santa Fé Shopping Centre and an onsite gym and sauna, you can also choose from six different restaurants, with food from Mexican to French cuisine. Enjoy your stay with views from the terrace overlooking Mexico City Valley. You can also enjoy a bit of history and culture with their on-site boutique, wine store, and local art gallery.
For a sweet balance between traditional Mexican architecture and modern comforts, Zona Rosa, which means the Pink Zone, lies slightly west of Mexico City’s center. On the streets of this exclusive neighborhood, you will find everything you’re looking for, from businesses to street vendors. You can also visit Torre Mayor and the golden angel, perched atop the Monumento a la Independencia.
For shopping, browse the area’s jewellery stores, silver shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. If the motive for your travel to Mexico City is to get the best deals in a modern part of town, this neighborhood is for you!
Good for: Young travelers looking for shopping
Other Highlights: Torre Mayor
- NH Collection Mexico City Reforma: During your stay here you can access the outdoor pool, restaurant, on-site movie theater, have a bite to eat at the breakfast buffet, and get any extra work done at the on-site business center with a foreign currency exchange. You are also just minutes away from Insurgentes Subway Station, giving you access to all parts of the town.
- PF Suites: From the Suites Plaza Florencia, easily reach the Castle of Chapultepec, the Modern Art Museum or the United States Embassy. Planted right in the middle of the city’s exciting and vibrant nightlife, you are also within walking distance of theaters, restaurants, and shops.
- Hotel Geneve CD de Mexico: If you can’t handle all the modern style in this part of the city, stay at this historic hotel. It is located in Juarez, which is only a few minutes away from the town’s shops, restaurants and attractions. This hotel is the perfect combination of historic charm and modern amenities.
Completing the final side of the La Condesa, Hipódromo triangle Roma Norte is the more retiring of the three. In the daytime at least. What it lacks in landmarks it more than makes up for in exceptional nightlife and vibrancy.
Often donned as Mexico City’s coolest neighbourhood, Roma Norte captures the hearts of those who visit. With just the right amount of hipster cafes and indie-shops there is a village feel to this inner-city suburb, you could even call it a microcosm. Locals are uber-friendly and embrace new-comers as their own. It won’t be long until you find yourself sat on the pavement chatting in Spanglish with your new found friends.
Roma Norte is best known for its nightlife and it certainly does not disappoint. Do not leave town without having a night out at Patrick Miller, Mama Rumba or Janis.
In Mexico City Uber is your best transport option. For example, reaching Centro Historico on public transport is unnecessarily lengthy.
Good For: Party Animals, Foodies, Like a Local Travellers, Backpackers, Long Term Travellers
Neighbourhood Highlights: Fuente de la Cibeles, Parque Luis Cabrera, Jardin Pushkin, Museo del Objecto, Museo Muca Roma, Museo del Tatuje, Plaza Rio de Janeriro
- Hotel Marbella – Modern and comfortable Hotel Marbella ticks all the right boxes. In the heart of Roma Notre, ideal for all kinds of travellers. Great selection of rooms available; double rooms, family rooms and suites too. Breakfast is an optional extra but WiFi is free throughout the hotel.
- Hotel MX Roma – Modern and metropolitan Hotel MX Roma is a stylish hotel set in the heart of Roma Norte. Guests have access to the basic fitness centre and squash court. Rooms are almost space age in design and offer maximum level of comfort. WiFi and American style breakfast is included.
- Metro Hostal Boutique – Flashpackers and budget travellers will love Metro Hostal Boutique. Offering clean and spacious communal dorms and cosy private rooms too. The continental breakfast is a real treat. There is a lovely social feel which solo travellers will greatly appreciate. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.