Skip to content

Where to stay in Mexico

Where to stay in Mexico – A diverse and rich country

Mexico, or to be more precise Pre-Colombian Mexico, is considered to be one of the cradles of civilization. It was the home to the Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmec, among several others. During the beginning of the 16th century, Mexico was conquered and colonized by the Spanish Empire which left a huge mark on Mexican history and culture, which is still visible to this day. Following the war for independence, Mexico went through some struggles due to the political and economic situation in the country. 

Nowadays, Mexico is working towards rebranding itself as a modern and stable country. The tourism sector for Mexico has been flourishing for the past few years; many tourists view it as an exotic and exciting place to visit.

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico

The focus of this text will mainly be on Mexico City and its neighborhoods. With that in mind, these are our picks for the best neighborhoods to stay in while in Mexico:

  1. Centro Histórico 
  2. San Ángel 
  3. Colonia Roma 
  4. Zona Rosa 
  5. Colonia Santa María la Ribera
Neighborhoods in Mexico City
Centro Histórico The historical center of Mexico City. Full of significant and stunning landmarks and sights, this neighborhood is ideal for first-time visitors.
San Ángel A charming neighborhood with a traditional feel to it. Our pick for long-term visitors.
Colonia Roma This neighborhood is home to a large number of art galleries, museums, libraries, cinema, and theater. Essentially, Colonia Roma is one of the neighborhoods to visit if you are interested in the art scene and culture.
Zona Rosa Meaning Pink Zone in English, this area is famous for entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and being the home to the gay community. It has faced some issues due to questionable and illegal activities, however, it is still one of the best-known areas for the gay community and nightlife in Mexico City.
Colonia Santa María la Ribera Once a neighborhood for the most affluent and richest people in Mexico, nowadays it has a mixture of different classes. It has a few landmarks, but the best thing about this neighborhood is that it is close to other areas. It’s great for travelers who are on a budget and want to find affordable accommodation.

Things to know before traveling to Mexico


The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican pesos and in order to make your life easier, especially if you are traveling with cash, you should exchange your currency for the local one. You can exchange your currency at exchange offices at the airport, banks, and ATMs. If you are exchanging your money at the airport or a bank you might be asked to provide your passport. Also, some banks won’t exchange your money unless you have an account with them, so keep that in mind.


The easiest and most affordable way to get around the city by far is the metro. The ticket price is around 5 pesos, which is about 25 cents. There is also the option of buying a smart card which grants you multiple rides, depending on how much money you put on it.


Sadly, women in Mexico are often the target of violence and harassment, and although the government has been trying to fight that, there is still an alarming number of assaults. A word of advice for all female travelers, especially those who travel on their own, is to keep your eyes open constantly and to watch out for any trouble.

Where to stay in Mexico for the first time – Centro Histórico

A World Heritage Site, Centro Histórico once served as the center for the Aztec Empire, and now as the center of Mexico City. One of the most tourist-friendly and tourist-oriented areas, this impressive city center is home to a large number of historical landmarks and sights.

Things to see and do in Centro Histórico

Here are some suggestions for places to visit:

  • Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes
  • Dulcería Celaya

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

An imposing and instantly recognizable landmark in Mexico City, full of lavish and stunning decorations. This cathedral is worth visiting simply because of its impressiveness and beauty.

Image source: malitamarti

Palacio de Bellas Artes

A cultural center that blends multiple styles seamlessly. This building hosts some of the most notable events in dance, music, and theater. There are also some really beautiful murals painted on the walls.

Image source: aldonautico

Dulcería Celaya

While you are in the city center make sure to stop by this sweet shop and enjoy some of those delicious Mexican sweets.

Image source: mrhinla

Where to stay in Mexico long term – San Ángel

A picturesque and charming neighborhood with cobblestone streets and gorgeous architecture all around. This neighborhood has a more mellow vibe and it seems more authentic than some other areas. It has some really pleasant and cozy restaurants and shops, as well as a flower market, and a museum dedicated to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Things to see and do in San Ángel

Here are some of our suggestions for things to do during your stay here:

  • Bazar Sabado
  • Flower Market
  • Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Bazar Sabado

A bazaar organized on Saturdays which features a lot of interesting goodies made by the locals.

Image source: clairethomas

Flower Market

A flower market which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and it sells absolutely beautiful flowers.

Image source: conde.petatl

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

This was once a studio where Diego Rivera lived and worked with Frida Kahlo. The museum is dedicated to their work, as well as preserving the place where they lived. There are two buildings, one belonged to Diego, and the other to Frida. The buildings are connected by a bridge.

Image source: belen_palacios_zurita

Where to stay in Mexico – art and culture edition – Colonia Roma

The streets of this neighborhood are lined with galleries, museums, libraries, cinemas, and theater. An ideal spot for lovers of culture, art, and literature.

Things to see and do in Colonia Roma

Here are some suggestions for places to visit while in Colonia Roma:

  • Casa Lamm
  • Galería OMR
  • El Pendulo

Casa Lamm

This was once a house that was repurposed as a cultural center in the mid-1990s. This cultural center frequently hosts art exhibitions, and you can also find a restaurant and a bookstore on the ground level.

Image source: orange.madness

Galería OMR

An art gallery that exhibits contemporary art.

Image source: virroylola

El Pendulo

El Pendulo is a combination of a café and a bookstore, a great place for just sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea whilst reading a book.

Image source: travelandleisure