Where to Stay in Mexico City
A look at the best spots in Mexico's capital
Have you seen the movie Roma on Netflix? Well, it won a lot of awards and was recognised for its accurate portrayal of divisions across class and neighbourhoods over the decades. It’s a beautiful film that is certainly worth your time; although let’s hope that it doesn’t much reflect your holiday. No, your holiday is going to be fun, cultured and filled with lovely things to eat. Today, Mexico City is a vibrant hub of culture and history, its museums and top restaurants spread across large districts that are different enough that each feels like its own vacation destination. The city encompasses 21 million inhabitants stretched across an area of 573 square miles. In each area, you’ll find sprawling shopping centres, museums and old-world streets. If possible, you’ll want to stay in several different districts, to taste the various flavours of this city. But if it can only be one, then check out this guide to where to stay in Mexico City. Here at Plum Guide, we've put our heads together to curate the ultimate guide just for you, so heed our expert advice for the trip of a lifetime.
Since we’ve been banging on about the movie, let’s take a look at the district itself. It’s the home of the affluent classes, with alternative cafés and upscale restaurants, and is definitely a strong option when deciding where to stay in Mexico City. It’s here that you’ll find safe and leafy parks beside tree-lined streets of idiosyncratic shops. Walk past the colourful blues and oranges of the bright façades, shuttered French windows and charming balconies, and enjoy the magical feeling in director Alfonso Cuarón’s cinematic universe. Make sure to cross the north-south divide to see all that Roma has to offer, from the upscale Casa Lamm restaurant and bookshop to the Buna café by the fountain of the Rio de Janeiro square.
Remaining hip with the trendy, bohemian and, whisper it, gentrified parts of Mexico City, we’re in Condesa. There’s just so much to do in this fashionable zone next to Roma. Explore the beautiful paths of the Parque Mexico, where you’ll forget the chaos of city life. Browse the tomes and vinyls in the hipster dream that is El Pendulo, and admire the colourful frontages of the art deco homes that rival those of neighbouring Roma. Try the vegan food at Casa Quimera, or play games while you eat in El Ocho Café Recreativo.
This central hub contains some of the best-known attractions in the city. Deluxe flats stand beside old-world homes, while upmarket restaurants and shops thrive. Head to some of the impressive museums, such as the Museo Nacional de Antropología in the Chapultepec Park. Gaze up at the Rodin sculptures at the Museo Soumaya, and admire the works of the namesake artist at the Museo Rufino Tamayo. Browse some of the luxury items for sale in the reputable shops of the Presidente Masaryk Avenue. Just make sure to leave enough gas in the tank for a few drinks at the Limantour, as evening falls.
The easy part is staying there; the hard part is pronouncing it. But that’s the beauty of staying there - you rarely have to ask people where it is. You might even go an entire holiday without having to speak the name of the place in which you’re staying. It means Place of the Coyotes, by the way, and it’s packed with historic country estates with colourful façades. Wander through the Jardín Centenario to see the coyote fountain at its heart. Among the obligatory stops in this wonderful and eclectic district is the Frida Kahlo Museum, in the home the artist shared with her partner, fellow artist Diego Rivera. See the León Trotsky Museum, and enjoy the local cuisine at the Corazón de Maguey or Los Danzantes.
This upcoming neighbourhood is taking Mexico City by storm. It is characterised by the glitzy skyscrapers and new-build apartment hubs. And where there are such shiny new residences, you’ll often find malls to match. The Centro Santa Fe is the largest shopping centre in the country, incorporating more than 500 shops, which is certainly something to take into account when choosing where to stay in Mexico City. We think that should be enough to fit your commercial needs. It includes a luxury area, an ice rink and a food court, so you can spend days there without running out of juice. Go for a meal at an upscale institution, such as Nobu or Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar.
Stay in the historic centre, so that you don’t have to travel far each morning to see the sights. The Zócalo stands right at the heart of the area, a plaza with a flagpole surrounded by majestic edifices. Snap photos of the Palacio de Gobierno, and pay tribute to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Note how the latter is a bit wobbly and unsteady from the many earthquakes in these parts…but inside, it’s adorned with gold. Other such highlights in the zone are the Templo Mayor, the Plaza Garibaldi and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.