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The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City

ViaHero
Updated August 30, 2021

One of the coolest parts about traveling to Mexico City is exploring its hundreds of incredible neighborhoods. Yes, Mexico City has literally hundreds of neighborhoods — about 350! — and they all offer a different kind of experience. 

That's why we asked locals about the best neighborhoods in Mexico City. Below, see which neighborhoods are local favorites and which ones locals say visitors should avoid. 

No one knows a place like the people who live there. Work with a local to build your trip to Mexico City. 

"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 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.

Here, locals say you'll find a spectacular food scene. They can recommend specific restaurants or bars based on your travel style, but most of our locals recommend a visit to the Mercado Roma. This fancy food hall offers everything from churros to craft beer, as well as an impressive view from its rooftop. 

Locals say that Roma is also known for its stellar cafes. You'll find a good one just by wandering around, but locals note that Buna has a sterling reputation when it comes to coffee. 

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 our 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.

Plus, its wide, leafy boulevards also make Condesa feel far from the hustle and bustle of downtown (even though Centro Historico is only a few miles away). One of Condesa’s main attractions, the gorgeous Parque Mexico, is filled with dogs, music, and plenty of benches to take it all in. 

Local Tip:

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

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3: Polanco: Sleek and fun

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 meh 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.

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

Local Tip:

Polanco is also intertwined with some of Mexico City’s best parks, including a section of the truly astounding Chapultepec Park.

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. 

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: 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:

Coyaocan’s biggest draw is the spectacular Museo de Frida Kahlo. If you're hoping to visit the museum as a day trip, the Mexico City metro is a good option.

5: Juarez: Eclectic and up-and-coming 

Once one of the grandest neighborhoods in Mexico City, Juarez has had some difficult years. But this Mexico City neighborhood is currently experiencing an exciting renaissance. 

As a result, locals tell us that Juarez offers an eclectic mix of hip new businesses and classic spots. This is a great part of town if you want to explore art galleries and speakeasies.

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.

Local Tip:

Check out Little Seoul, Mexico City’s Koreatown. It’s located mostly in and around Zona Rosa.

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7: San Rafael: Quirky and vibrant

Like the nearby Juarez neighborhood, San Rafael is on the upswing. The mansions from its glory days still largely remain, which results in an eclectic architectural vibe. Locals say San Rafael also has 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. 

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

Local Tip:

Visitors will also notice leftovers of San Rafael’s glory days, like the eerie, abandoned Cine Opera.

8: Centro Historico: Glamorous and historical

Centro Historico | Wikimedia Commons

Hey—just because there’s “history” in its name doesn’t mean that Centro Historico is boring. 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 lean 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, locals say to use caution if you wander to some of Centro Historico's adjacent neighborhoods. 

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

Just south of Coyaocan, San Angel shares the quiet, thoughtful nature of its sister neighborhood to the north.

Here, locals suggest checking out the wonderful San Angel’s Bazar Sabado, a fantastic Mexico City market. 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 | Yezmin/Pixabay

Mexico City neighborhoods like Juarez and San Rafael are considered to be off the beaten path for travelers. But Narvarte is a true hidden gem.

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

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.

*Bonus*! Neighborhoods to avoid

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

  • Doctores
  • Tepito
  • Iztapalapa

That said, 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.

If safety is a concern, then get up-to-date advice from the people who know best—Mexico City locals. 

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