The best neighborhoods and districts in Mexico City - a city of contrasts and opportunities

By Iryna BolshakovaJan 2, 2024 12:34 PMMexico
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Mexico City is the largest city in North America
Mexico City is the largest city in North America. Source: Image by Mario Aranda from the Pixabay website

Mexico City is a cultural historical kaleidoscope where ghostly characters and mysterious secrets still roam the streets. With its exotic and laid-back atmosphere, this wonderful city is home to secrets of Native American civilizations, mesmerizing art, and culinary masterpieces. Prepare to immerse yourself in the magic of Mexico City that will mesmerize and surprise you at every turn.

Mexico City's historic center: the heart of the capital city

If you want to experience the history and culture of Mexico, the best place to start your journey is Mexico City's historic center. It's the oldest and most sightseeing part of the city, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find traces of the ancient Aztec civilization, colonial era and modern life of the metropolis.

The historical center of Mexico City is located around the main square of Socalo, which is the third largest square in the world. The most important and famous buildings of the city are located here.

  1. Cathedral. A majestic temple built in Baroque style on the site of the main sanctuary of the Aztecs. Inside the cathedral you can admire the magnificent altars, impressive organs, paintings and amazing sculptures. Climbing up the bell tower you will get an amazing panoramic view of the city.
  2. National Palace. The residence of the President of Mexico and the museum of the country's history. Here you will uncover the secrets about the different stages of the country's development, from the pre-Hispanic period to the present day. Diego Rivera's murals, which depict key events and characters of Mexican history, will especially attract your attention and charm you with their beauty. It's also where Mexico's first constitutional law was signed in 1824.
  3. Templo Mayor. An archaeological complex excavated under modern buildings. Here you can see the remains of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, which was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. Visit the unique museum that houses ancient finds from these sites, such as statues, jewelry, weapons and ritual objects.
  4. The Palacio de Minnería is home to the national school of engineering and the Museum of Geology
  5. Palacio de Correos or postal palace. It is a structure with a main post office and a postal museum.
  6. Alameda Park. A green area where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. In the park you can admire fountains, sculptures, flower beds and monuments, visit the Palace of Fine Arts, which houses the National Theater and Museum of Art.
  7. Chinatown neighborhood. A place where Mexico City's Chinese community lives and works. Here you can taste authentic Chinese food, buy souvenirs and see traditional Chinese arches and lanterns.
  8. La Merced neighborhood. Here you will find one of the largest and oldest markets in Mexico City. Here you can find and buy anything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and electronics. You can also visit the Basilica de la Merced, a temple dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, the patron saint of merchants.

Mexico City's historic center isn't limited to the Socalo Square alone. From here you can stroll through the narrow streets and discover many other interesting places.

Mexico City's central neighborhood, Socalo
Mexico City's central neighborhood, Socalo. Source: Image by MIGUEL ANGEL CASTELAN from the Pixabay website

Where to stay near the sights

For a more convenient view of these beautiful sights stay at one of the best hotels in Mexico City's historic center.

  1. The Alest Hotel. This 5-star hotel is located in Mexico City, 1.2 km from National Museum of Anthropology. It offers air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, a bar and concierge services. The hotel is 2.6 km from Soumaya Museum and 2 km from Chapultepec Forest.
  2. Hotel Downtown Mexico. This elegant hotel occupies a restored 17th-century palace. It is located 2 blocks from Socalo Square. It features an outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace with beautiful views of Mexico City. The hotel is ideally located in the historic city center, a 5-minute walk from the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Government Palace. Socalo Metro Station is 400 meters from the hotel.
  3. Hotel Singular Sócrates. Located in Mexico City, this aparthotel is 400 meters from Museo Soumaya and 2.2 km from National Museum of Anthropology. It offers free Wi-Fi and an à la carte breakfast. The hotel is 2.7 km from Chapultepec Forest and 3 km from Chapultepec Castle. The hotel offers a paid airport shuttle service.
  4. Hotel H - Piet Adults Only. This 3-star hotel is for adults only. It is located in Mexico City, 4.1 km from Post Palace and 4.4 km from National Palace. It offers rooms with free WiFi, a private bathroom and a TV. The hotel also has a bar and free private parking. The hotel is 4.8 km from the Museum of Memory and Tolerance and from Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.
  5. Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. This 4-star hotel is located in Plaza Socalo, the main square in the center of Mexico City. It occupies a magnificent art deco building. The hotel has a restaurant, fitness center and stunning views of the city. The hotel is steps away from the National Cathedral, where Montezuma's palace once stood.

Mexico City's historic center is a place that will immerse you in Mexico's past and present, tell you about its traditions and culture, and inspire you with its architecture and art. Moments of joy and delight will not leave you indifferent and will give you the desire to visit this magical place again and again.

Chapultepec neighborhood: a green oasis in Mexico City

If you're looking for a breathtaking nature experience or a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, Mexico City's Chapultepec neighborhood is the perfect choice. It is home to one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Latin America, covering more than 650 hectares. You will find vast green meadows, blooming gardens, picturesque lakes and many museums, monuments, attractions and other entertainment.

The Chapultepec area has a rich history that dates back to the 8th century when the Toltecs lived here. Later there was the capital of the Aztec empire Tenochtitlan, which was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1521. On Chapultepec Hill was built a royal palace, which later became the summer residence of viceroys, Emperor Maximilian and presidents of Mexico. Now the palace is the National History Museum, where you can learn about different periods of Mexican history and admire the magnificent interior and views of the city.

Chapultepec neighborhood, Mexico City
Chapultepec neighborhood, Mexico City. Source: Image by Mike Ramírez Mx from the Pixabay website

The Chapultepec neighborhood is famous for its museums that reflect different aspects of Mexican culture and art.

  1. National Museum of Anthropology. Mexico City's most famous and visited museum, considered one of the best in the world for its collection and exhibits. It houses unique artifacts of ancient civilizations of Mexico, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, Olmecs and others. Among the most valuable exhibits are the Aztec stone calendar, the mask of Kukulkan, and the statue of Coatlicue.
  2. Museum of Modern Art. Presents the works of Mexican and foreign artists of XX and XXI centuries. Here you will get acquainted with the works of such masters as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan O'Gorman, Rufino Tamayo and others. The museum organizes temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts and workshops.
  3. Papalote Children's Museum. An ideal place to visit with children. The museum is an interactive and educational center for children and teenagers. Young guests can participate in different experiments, games and activities related to science, technology, art and ecology. The museum has five themed areas, "Me and My World," "Me and My Body," "Me and My Expression," "Me and My Family," and "Me and My Community."

The Chapultepec neighborhood offers plenty of entertainment for all tastes and ages. Visit the huge zoo, home to over 2,000 animals including pandas, giraffes, tigers, monkeys and more. Ride the exciting rides at La Feria Park, one of the first amusement parks in Mexico City. There's a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, carousel or go to the house of fear. Take a fun boat or catamaran ride on the lake, or take a bike ride along the park's paths. Really enjoy the monuments, fountains, sculptures and pagodas that adorn the park. Numerous cafes and restaurants offer refined and varied dining and rejuvenation.

Where to stay for connoisseurs of outdoor recreation

And of course it's great when a comfortable place to stay is nearby. We've compiled our top 4 hotels in this Mexico City neighborhood.

  1. Leonora Luxury Plus by Viadora. This is a luxury apartment hotel with a kitchen, jacuzzi and fitness center, located less than 1 km from Chapultepec Castle. The hotel has received high praise from guests for cleanliness, comfort and service.
  2. Flats Friends Condesa-Pelotari. This eco-friendly apartment is conveniently located in the Condesa neighborhood, 1 km from Chapultepec Castle and 2.6 km from Angel of Independence. The apartment features free WiFi, a flat-screen TV and a fully equipped kitchen.
  3. Hotel Park Villa. Overlooking Chapultepec Park, this charming hotel is located in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood. It offers free breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking.
  4. Cozy Condesa. Overlooking a courtyard, this cozy accommodation has a bedroom, living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom.

Chapultepec neighborhood is a place where you can spend a whole day enjoying the nature and culture of Mexico, relaxing and having fun, will leave an unforgettable experience and a lot of positive emotions.

Coyoacán and San Angel: cradles of Mexican art

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City
Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Source: Image by Richard Soria from the Pixabay website

If you are into art and creativity, then you should definitely visit the neighborhoods of Coyoacán and San Angel in Mexico City. These are two neighborhoods that have retained their colonial charm and spirit of freedom. Famous Mexican artists, writers, musicians and other talented people who have left their mark on the country's history and culture have lived and worked here.

The neighborhood of Coyoacán

One of Mexico City's oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods, dating back to the 16th century. Stroll along narrow cobblestone streets, admire the uniqueness of brightly colored houses drenched in greenery and flowers, visit cozy cafes and restaurants serving exquisite national cuisine. Stores offer a wide range of goods, while galleries and museums take you into a world of mystery and secrets.

The most famous place in Coyoacan is the Frida Kahlo House Museum, where the great Mexican artist lived and worked, known for her self-portraits in which she reflected her life, suffering and love. Frida's personal belongings, her paintings, photographs, as well as the furniture and furnishings that created the unique atmosphere of her home are on display here. The museum organizes temporary exhibitions on different aspects of Frida's work and personality.

An equally interesting place in Coyoacán is the Museum-House of Lev Trotsky, where the famous revolutionary, politician and writer, who was Frida Kahlo's friend and lover, lived and was murdered. It presents the story of Trotsky's entire life and work, his relationship with Frida and Diego Rivera, and the circumstances of his death. The study, bedroom, library and garden, are preserved as he left them.

San Angel Neighborhood

Another neighborhood that attracts lovers of art and creativity. It was founded in the 17th century as a suburb of Mexico City where luxury mansions and churches were built. Admire the Baroque architecture, visit historical monuments such as the Carmelite Monastery or the Church of San Jacinto and really enjoy the atmosphere of creativity and beauty.

The greatest thrill is to visit the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum in San Ángel, where two great Mexican artists who were husband and wife and passionate art lovers lived and worked. Their studios where they created their masterpieces, their personal belongings, paintings, photographs and letters are on display here. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions on different aspects of Diego and Frida's work and personality.

One of the attractions in San Angel is the Museo Mansion of Rufino Tamayo, where the great Mexican artist lived and worked, known for his abstract and expressive works in which he blended elements of Native American, European and American cultures. The museum is located in his home, where his studio, garden and collection of his paintings, as well as those of other Mexican and foreign artists, are preserved.

Where to stay for art lovers

Mexico City Architecture
Mexico City Architecture. Source: Image by MIGUEL ANGEL CASTELAN from the Pixabay website

We've rounded up the best hotels in these neighborhoods, so that the road to the museums won't distract you from enjoying the beauty.

  1. Casa Moctezuma. This is a boutique hotel located in the historic district of Coyoacán, 1.6 km from the Frida Kahlo Museum. It offers elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The hotel also has a garden, a terrace and a shared lounge.
  2. Hotel Real del Sur. This modern hotel is located in the San Angel neighborhood, 3.5 km from the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center and a business center. Air-conditioned rooms come with free Wi-Fi, TVs and minibars.
  3. Pug Seal Coyoacan Suites. This is a cozy hotel located in Coyoacan, 700 m from Frida Kahlo Museum and 1.4 km from Leon Trotsky Museum. The hotel features a garden, a terrace and a library. The individually decorated rooms feature free Wi-Fi, a TV, bathrobes and slippers.
  4. Hotel Novit. Located in the San Angel neighborhood, this stylish hotel is 2.7 km from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum and 3.1 km from Carrillo Gil Art Museum. The hotel has an indoor pool, a sauna, a spa and a restaurant. The air-conditioned rooms come with free Wi-Fi, a TV and a coffee machine.
  5. Casa Jacinta Guest House. Located in Coyoacán, this charming guest house is 1.2 km from Frida Kahlo Museum and 1.8 km from Leon Trotsky Museum. The guest house has a garden, a terrace and a shared kitchen. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, a TV, a fan and a private or shared bathroom.

The neighborhoods of Coyoacán and San Angel are places where you can immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Mexican art, learn about its history and modernity, feel its spirit and energy, and be inspired by its beauty and talent.

Condesa, Roma and Zona Rosa neighborhoods: trendy and fun places in Mexico City

Feel the pulse of Mexico City, meet its creative youth, and party till the morning in the most sophisticated neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma and Zona Rosa. These three neighboring districts are famous for their stylish boutiques, restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as cultural and historical attractions.

Condesa

One of Mexico City's trendiest and most prestigious neighborhoods, which was founded in the early 20th century as an upscale residential district. Stroll along the wide avenues, see beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau mansions, and visit the green spaces in Parque México and Parque España. A large number of stores give you the opportunity to buy clothes, accessories, books and other goods from Mexican and foreign designers. Many restaurants offer a variety of cuisine, from Mexican to Japanese, as well as bars and cafes with a wide range of coffee and cocktails to help revitalize you.

Roma

The neighborhood attracts lovers of fashion and creativity. It was founded in the late 19th century as an area for wealthy Europeans who built luxurious villas in neoclassical, baroque and neo-Gothic styles. Admire the amazing architecture, look at the graffiti that adorns the walls and facades. Purchase vintage clothing, antiques, crafts and souvenirs at unique stores. Many restaurants will treat you to delicious, gourmet food, and bars and clubs will allow you to dance and listen to music.

Zona Rosa neighborhood.

Famous for its nightlife and tolerance. It was founded in the mid-20th century as a space for bohemians, artists and intellectuals looking for freedom and entertainment. Visit the Wax Sculpture Museum or the Ripley Museum, the Angel of Independence Monument or the Quad Monument. A large selection of jewelry, leather goods, toys and other items are offered by the stores in the area. Try international cuisine in cozy restaurants. Many bars and clubs offer hospitality and fun. Here is one of the most famous red light districts in Mexico City, where you can find different kinds of sexual services.

Museo de la Soumaya, Mexico City
Museo de la Soumaya, Mexico City. Source: Image by Angel Chavez from the Pixabay website

Fashionable stop: where to stay

To avoid wandering around looking for a hotel in Mexico City with a convenient location, we've rounded up 5 places in trendy neighborhoods for you.

  1. Hotel La Casona. This is a four-star hotel located in the Roma neighborhood, 2.4 km from the Angel of Independence. The hotel features a garden, a terrace, a fitness center and a restaurant. The air-conditioned rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, a TV and a safe.
  2. Hotel Geneve CD de Mexico. Located in the Zona Rosa neighborhood, this historic hotel is 1.1 km from Antique Toy Museum and 1.3 km from Angel of Independence. The hotel has a museum, a library, a beauty salon and two restaurants. Rooms are classically decorated and feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TVs and minibars.
  3. Hotel Parque México Boutique Hotel. This is a boutique hotel located in the Condesa neighborhood. The hotel has a garden, a terrace, a bar and a shared lounge. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, a TV, bathrobes and slippers.
  4. Hotel MX roma. This is a modern hotel located in the Roma neighborhood. The hotel has an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center and business center. Rooms have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a TV and a coffee machine.
  5. Hotel PF. This is a four-star hotel located in the Zona Rosa district, 500 meters from the Angel of Independence. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center and a solarium. The air-conditioned rooms have free Wi-Fi, a TV and a private bathroom.

The neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma and Zona Rosa are places where you will feel trendy and fun, get to know the locals and their culture, and have fun and relax to the fullest.

Santa Fe district: the modern and business center of Mexico City

The newest and most developed part of Mexico City is Santa Fe. One of the youngest and most dynamic neighborhoods in the city, which was built at the end of the 20th century. It is home to impressive skyscrapers, shopping centers and offices, many museums, parks, restaurants and other attractions.

The Santa Fe district is one of the most important business and financial centers of Mexico, where the headquarters of many national and international companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Coca-Cola, Ford, Sony and others are located. It is home to several universities, hospitals, hotels and convention centers. Santa Fe attracts many business people, students, tourists, and residents looking for a modern and comfortable lifestyle.

Santa Fe offers a wide variety of activities to suit all tastes and ages. Visit Parque México, Parque La Mexicana or Parque Bicentenario, where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, stroll through green spaces, play sports or ride a bike. Shopping centers such as Santa Fe, Zentrica will provide an opportunity to buy clothes, accessories, electronics and other goods from Mexican and foreign brands. Restaurants will treat you to a variety of cuisine, from Mexican to Italian, to suit all tastes. You can drink, dance and have fun in cozy bars and clubs.

Mexico City, Santa Fe
Mexico City, Santa Fe. Source: Image by jjnanni from the Pixabay website

Where to stay in Santa Fe, Mexico City

We've put together for you the Top 5 hotels in the area to make your trip not only exciting, but also comfortable.

  1. Live Aqua Urban Resort Mexico. This luxury resort hotel with free Wi-Fi, a fitness center and an elegant restaurant is located in the upscale Bosquez de las Lomas neighborhood near Santa Fe's business district.
  2. The Paragon Hotel Mexico Santa Fe By Accor. This is a modern hotel with a gymnasium, sauna and stylish restaurant, located near the Santa Fe shopping center.
  3. Hilton Garden Inn Mexico City Santa Fe. This is a four-star hotel with a fitness center, shared lounge and free Wi-Fi, located 10 km from Chapultepec Park and Six Flags Mexico theme park.
  4. Ramada by Wyndham Mexico City Santa Fe. Featuring free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking, this hotel is located in Santa Fe, 12 km from Chapultepec Park and Antara Polanco Park.
  5. Camino Real Santa Fe. Featuring a restaurant, bar, fitness center and free Wi-Fi, this hotel is located in the business district of Santa Fe, 15 km from Mexico City's historic center.

The Santa Fe neighborhood will give you the opportunity to feel modern and business, to discover new technologies and opportunities, and to relax and have fun in a dynamic world.

 

Mexico City is a city that is memorable for a lifetime. Its cultural heritage, history and unique character make it a unique place on earth. Every corner here is imbued with energy and passion, which can be felt by strolling through its narrow streets or visiting its magnificent museums and monuments.

In the city of contrasts, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of ancient civilizations, enjoy rich art and culture, and experience modern Mexican hospitality.

Mexico City will forever leave its special, magical mark on the soul of every traveler.

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