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The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City

Updated February 22, 2021

One of the coolest parts about traveling to Mexico City is exploring its incredible neighborhoods (there are over 350!).

To help break them down, we asked locals about the best neighborhoods in Mexico City—and which ones to avoid.

When it comes to neighborhoods in Mexico City, benefit from local insider knowledge. Our trip planners can design a guidebook tailored to your interests—from where to stay, to what to do, to how to navigate in their hometown. Learn more

"Linelly helped us beyond anything we could've planned ourselves. Everything she suggested for us was spot-on, and I feel we got the best experience by following a local's guidance."
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

1: Roma: Young and hip

Roma | Carl Campbell/Flickr

Roma was designated as a “Barrio Magico” by the city—and the magic of this place will be *instantly* clear when you see Roma’s vibrant Art Deco architecture and stunning street art.

You'll find tons of great restaurant options in Roma, so it's helpful to get personalized advice from locals to help narrow things down. Roma is also home to a bustling third-wave coffee scene (locals suggest Buna for an excellent cup of joe) which means the neighborhood is full of cute cafes to spend an afternoon. To get a taste of all that Roma has to offer, from churros to coffee to craft beer, locals suggest zipping over to Mercado Roma. This fancy food hall has a great selection and a rooftop view. 

Local Tip:

Exploring the wild and colorful street art in Roma is a great non-touristy activity in Mexico City (plus, it's free!)

2: Condesa: Chill and authentic

Condesa | Alejandro/Flickr

Roma and Condesa are sister neighborhoods with a shared history, and their proximity puts them high on the list of places to visit in Mexico City. Like Roma, Condesa is flush with color, which makes this a gorgeous day trip or home base for visitors. Its wide, leafy boulevards also make Condesa feel far from the hustle and bustle of downtown (even though it’s only a few miles away).

Speaking of food, use local advice to find hidden gems. Our trip planners tell us that for some of the best street food in Condesa, you should head to a surprising spot: the Condesa metro station at Chilpancingo. Browse the stalls just outside the station for tons of delicious local options like tlacoyos, thick corn patties stuffed with beans and meat

Local Tip:

One of Condesa’s main attractions, the gorgeous Parque Mexico, is filled with dogs, music, and plenty of benches to take it all in. 

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3: Polanco: Sleek and fun

Polanco | Daniel García Alvarado/Flickr

Polanco is filled with high-end shopping, fancy cocktail bars, and some of the world’s best restaurants. If you’re wondering where to eat in Mexico City, you might want to start in Polanco.

And Polanco’s not just a beautiful face with a nothing personality. It contains some of Mexico City’s best places to go. Visitors can explore the brilliant Museo Soumaya (another great, free activity) and the beloved Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Polanco is also intertwined with some of Mexico City’s best parks, including a section of the truly astounding Chapultepec Park.

Locals tell us that like Roma and Condesa, Polanco is considered to be among Mexico City’s safest neighborhoods.

4: Coyoacan: Artsy yet traditional 

Coyoacan | Carl Campbell/Flickr

Ohhh Coyoacan. Coyoacan is the quiet artsy kid among Mexico City’s neighborhoods. It has a lot of the same attributes that make Roma and Condesa sparkle, but since it’s a bit further away it has a quieter, chiller vibe. Coyaocan’s biggest draw is the spectacular Museo de Frida Kahlo. Visitors can learn about her life and enjoy her art, from inside her “blue house.” 

Since Coyoacan is a bit off the beaten path, it's a place where local advice is valuable. Our trip planners tell us that Coyoacan has two great markets for those curious about Mexico City’s famed street food: Mercado Coyoacan and Mercado de Antojitos. They suggest sampling the fried quesadillas and tostadas, and then, working it off by talking a vigorous stroll in the nearby Viveros de Coyoacan park.

Local Tip:

The Mexico City metro is a good option to get to Coyoacan from the center of town. 

5: Juarez: Eclectic and up-and-coming 

 Juarez | Carl Campbell/Flickr

Juarez used to be one of the grandest places in town before falling on hard times, which includes the 1985 earthquake that devastated the entire city. Rejoice, for Juarez is back! Or rather, getting there. The result? An eclectic mix of hip new places and classic restaurants from the mid-20th century.

Today Juarez hosts some of the city’s best art galleries and a ton of speakeasies, so definitely get some tips from locals in the neighborhood—you don't want to miss out on this neighborhood's unique charm. 

Local Tip:

One of Juarez’s newest draws is Milan 44, a fancy mall-type place where you can buy local cheese and sign up for an afternoon yoga class.

6: Zona Rosa: CDMX's party central

Zona Rosa has amazing nightlife | Free-Photos/Pixabay

Nestled in Juarez is Zona Rosa, a neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood known for its nightlife. There are tons of clubs, restaurants, and bars in the area, including Mexico City’s best gay bars.

During the day, Zona Rosa is a great place to go shopping, or as a destination to see one of the city’s most famous monuments: El Angel (officially Monumento a la Independencia, or, basically, Angel of Independence). The monument was finished in 1910, which coincided with the 100-year anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain. However, Zona Rosa gets mixed reviews when it comes to safety at night—after all, drunk club-goers are easy targets for pickpockets.

Benefit from local insider knowledge. Our trip planners tell us that if you’re (gasp) tired of the Mexican food fare, check out Little Seoul, Mexico City’s Koreatown. It’s located mostly in and around Zona Rosa.

Local Tip:

Zona Rosa is also known as Mexico City’s LGBTQ core.

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7: San Rafael: Quirky and vibrant

San Rafael | Carl Campbell/Flickr

Like the nearby Juarez neighborhood, San Rafel is on the upswing. The mansions from its glory days still largely remain, which results in an eclectic architectural vibe. There’s tons of great food, including the mouth-watering Mercado San Cosme.

If you’re a foodie, locals tell us that San Cosme is one of the best places to visit in Mexico City—it’s swimming with stalls offering things like tortas (delicious meat-packed Mexican sandwiches) and pambazos (delicious meat-packed Mexican sandwiches dipped in salsa and then fried).

For those looking to get off the beaten path, San Rafel is an excellent place to explore—with some local insight. Our trip planners tell us that the neighborhood is becoming a hub for artists, especially as they're priced out of Roma and Condesa. As a result, you'll find tons of great galleries. Visitors will also notice leftovers of San Rafael’s glory days, like the eerie, abandoned Cine Opera.

Even though it’s under the radar, San Rafael is considered to be fairly safe.

8: Centro Historico: Glamorous and historical

Centro Historico | johnybegoog/Pixabay

Hey—just because there’s “history” in its name doesn’t mean that Centro Historico is boring. It’s like your cool grandpa who is full of weird, amazing, beautiful stories. Locals tell us that some of the best things to do in Mexico City can be found in the Centro Historico. But since Centro Historico can tip touristy, take advantage of local suggestions to avoid getting ensnared in a tourist trap.  

Among the best things to see in this neighborhood are Palacio Nacional, where the president works, Zocalo Square, where all big national events or holidays are celebrated, Catedral Metropolitana, the city’s enormous historic cathedral, and the just-adjacent (and absolutely incredible) ruins of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.

Centro Historico is pretty safe, especially during the day. At night, take care to not wander into some of the surrounding neighborhoods, which have dicier reputations.

9: San Angel: Off-the-beaten-path and colorful

San Angel | katiebordner/Flickr

Just south of Coyaocan, San Angel shares the quiet, thoughtful nature of its sister neighborhood to the north. For anyone looking for a great Mexican market, San Angel’s Bazar Sabado is a must-see. Visitors can march across the cobblestone streets, enjoy the colorful historic mansions and old churches, and stop in the market for authentic souvenirs.

Largely residential, San Angel is considered to be safe.

Local Tip:

If you're looking for something *completely different*, then check out the mummies at the Templo y Ex-Convento del Carmen, an ancient monastery that has been converted to a museum.  

10: Narvarte: Tacos, tacos, tacos

Narvarte has amazing tacos | T.Tseng/Flickr

If Juarez and San Rafael are considered off the beaten path for travelers, then Narvarte is somewhere way in the woods. This is great news for the adventurous! While Narvarte is considered to be fairly safe, it is also an often overlooked destination—which means it's a great neighborhood to explore as the locals do. Our trip planners tell us that Navarte, just across the highway from Roma, is also an easy stop to add to a Mexico City itinerary.

This middle-class, non-touristy neighborhood is known for its international cuisine, great bars, and some of Mexico City's best tacos.

*Bonus*! Neighborhoods to avoid

While Mexico City is safe on the whole, locals note that there are still some areas that visitors should avoid:

  • Doctores
  • Tepito
  • Iztapalapa

Most of Mexico City is just like any other big city. There are great neighborhoods and ones you should avoid. Just as in London, Paris, and New York, constant vigilance is the name of the game. Be smart, be aware, and don’t go wandering down any dark alleys. And have fun! If safety is a concern, then get up-to-date advice from the people who know best—Mexico City locals. 

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