The incredible capital city of Mexico is over 1,500 square kilometers in size! The sprawling city is certainly one of the biggest in the world. While it's a must-see for anyone traveling to Mexico, it's tough to know where to go when you arrive.
Before you plan your trip and fill your itinerary with the many things to do in Mexico City, you first need to understand the layout of the city. Let's take a look at the Mexico City neighborhoods you can't miss and the ones you might want to avoid.
Mexico City Neighborhoods: Understanding the Layout
First things first, it's crucial to understand the layout of the neighborhoods in Mexico City. Unless you have lived in the city for several years, you probably won't fully understand the ins and outs of all 300 distinct areas.
Therefore, to make your trip and adventuring through the city more manageable, I'm going to just focus on the section that matters to you.
When you look at a map of Mexico City, you can see a square-like shape in the middle surrounded by a road called Anilo Parif. This square is where all the neighborhoods you want to visit are located.
The neighborhoods on the other side of Anilo Parif are usually less tourist friendly and certainly more dangerous. But don't worry, you're going to learn the neighborhoods to avoid by name in just a few minutes.
Although there are several different neighborhoods inside the central area that you could stay in and explore, there are certain areas that are just okay and others that are seriously fun!
So let's find out which neighborhoods you shouldn't miss, why they're so great, and what to do while you're there!
Explore 8 Neighborhoods in Mexico City
With literally hundreds of neighborhoods within the limits of Mexico City, there are 8 that are the absolute best for travelers to visit and stay at.
- Centro Historico
- Zona Rosa
- San Miguel Chapultepec
- Juarez & Colonia Cuauhtémoc
- Santa María La Ribera
Now, let's break it down and talk about what each of these neighborhoods has to offer!
8. Centro Historico
The historic center of Mexico can be found in the heart of Mexico City and is the perfect place to stay if you've never visited before.
There are dozens of hostels, hotels, and Airbnb stays for every budget, as well as local trendy restaurants and bars.
Plus, you'll be able to see some of the oldest architecture and vibrant cultures just by walking around your neighborhood! You can also opt for a tour of the area with a local expert.
Luckily, it's also considered the safest area of Mexico City for travelers.
Just outside the city center, you'll find Coyoacan, an art district filled with museums and authentic Mexican food markets.
While you're there, make sure to check out Frida Kahlo's blue house, Plaza Hidalgo, and the Mercado de comida de Coyoacán.
Roma is surrounded by two other small neighborhoods, Roma Sur and Roma Norte. All three of them are worth a visit.
This area is considered one of the more hipster neighborhoods of Mexico City. With co-working spaces, delicious restaurants for brunch, and a giant green park to picnic and people-watch, you may just want to move there!
Tree-lined avenues fill the neighborhood of Condesa, making it one of the most beautiful places to meander around in the entire city. It's directly next to Roma and has dozens of bars and restaurants.
One of the greatest things about Condesa is that it's slightly less touristy and more residential. You'll get to see what it's really like to live in a Mexico City neighborhood!
4. Zona Rosa
If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Mexico City, then you should stay in or at least visit the Zona Rosa. With trendy cafes, fantastic cocktail bars, and nightclubs where you can dance the night away, Zona Rosa really has it all.
To top it all off, there are tons of great accommodation options as well!
3. San Miguel Chapultepec
With French-inspired mansions and a variety of famous architectural gems, San Miguel Chapultepec is a beautiful neighborhood to explore while you're in Mexico City.
Make sure you pop over to La Poblanita de Tacubaya for dinner while you're there! It's some of the best and truly authentic Mexican food I've ever had.
2. Juarez & Colonia Cuauhtémoc
Although Juarez doesn't have as many must-see attractions as some of the other areas on my list, it's still a neighborhood that you won't want to miss.
It's a great place to stay as it's close to all the other neighborhoods and has a great residential vibe. It also has some of the best restaurants and cafés in the city! Just be prepared to pay a little more as prices are more geared towards young working professionals.
1. Santa María La Ribera
Santa María La Ribera is right next to the Centro Historico, but it's a lot less hectic. You can walk around the streets without bumping into anyone!
While you're in Mexico City's oldest suburb, you absolutely must eat at the Mercado de la Dalia for authentic and delectable Mexican cuisine.
Mexico City Neighborhoods to Avoid
As a general rule of thumb, Mexico City is safe for travelers. But that doesn't mean there isn't crime.
While most neighborhoods deal with petty crimes such as pickpocketing, there are certain areas that deal with more violent crimes. So, of course, you need to know where that happens so you can avoid it!
Here are the Mexico City neighborhoods to avoid:
- Ciudad Neza
Just remember, staying in the center of the city is always the safest option. But no matter where you are, have your wits about you. Make sure you keep your belongings close and take a taxi instead of walking at night.
Planning a Trip to Mexico City?
Now that you know which neighborhoods in Mexico City are the best and which ones you should avoid, you can start planning your trip! Whether you have 3 days or 3 weeks in the city,Pilot can help make it memorable.