Did you know that Mexico City is one of the most visited tourist destinations globally? With its impressive historical attractions, vibrant nightlife, and insanely delicious food, it’s no wonder 97 million people are drawn to visit the Mexican capital. Whether you’re going to Mexico City for a 3 day weekend, a week, or longer as a digital noman or expat, we’ve got you covered on the different neighborhoods.
But if you’re not familiar with the city, deciding where to stay in Mexico City can be overwhelming. That’s why a former resident will explain the unique neighborhoods in Mexico City and which ones would best fit your travel style, whether you’re an expat, a digital nomad, or simply on holiday.
Where to Stay in Mexico City
Mexico City, the 5th largest city globally, has a population of 8.9 million in the central city and 21.6 million in the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Trying to find a place to stay can be overwhelming, considering the number of people who live there and the large number of neighborhoods that make up Mexico City.
Each neighborhood has its own charms and things to offer, so there’s no simple answer on where to stay in Mexico City. Tourists may like to stay closer to the sites, while digital nomads or expats may prefer to live a bit further away from the tourist attractions. Fortunately, there are many neighborhoods in Mexico City that offer a variety of accommodations for both visitors and expats.
The Price of Accommodation in Mexico City
Over the past ten years, the monthly rent prices have increased by about $300 (in 2010, monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the city center was about $400, now it is around $700). The closer you are to the city center, the more you’ll prob pay for your monthly rent.
But if you’re willing to find an apartment or house further away from the city center, prices can range anywhere between $300 and $700 a month in preferred neighborhoods. So if you’re price sensitive, keep this dynamic in mind when choosing a place to stay in Mexico City. To make sure you get the best deals when looking on Airbnb, don’t make these avoidable Airbnb mistakes!
Below you’ll find the neighborhoods of Mexico City organized by visitor type, whether that’s a short-stay tourist, a digital nomad who’s staying for a couple of months, or a long-term immigrant or expat.
Where to Stay in Mexico City as a Tourist
You’ll most likely want to stay closer to the main attractions as a tourist. Here are the neighborhoods in Mexico City that are most recommended for a short stay.
The neighborhood of Juarez is right in the middle of everything, and easy to get anywhere you want to be in Mexico with Uber or the Metro. Top reasons to stay in Juarez include:
- This part of the city is near one of the most recognized landmarks in Mexico City: The Angel of Independence monument, which sits in a roundabout surrounded by tall, modern buildings.
- At one end of Juarez, you have the Bosque de Chapultepec, which ranks at 103rd on the list of largest urban parks in the world. There are also numerous ponds that dot the park (not to mention a castle!)
- Every day you can find a locally-run street market there every day where you can find souvenirs to bring home plus homemade Mexican snacks that you shouldn’t pass up!
- The average nightly of an Airbnb in Juarez is about $68, which is perfect if you’re looking to stay here on a budget.
- For middle and larger budgets, try The Marriot Reforma Hotel or the Four Seasons for a luxury stay.
Centro Historico is another preferable location to stay in Mexico City if you enjoy history and sightseeing and want to be very close to all of the major attractions. But, beware, there are reports of pickpocketing and swindling of tourists in this area, similar to other major cities like Paris and Prague. However, reasons to stay here include:
- The Centro Historico has all of the most renowned taco restaurants, so this is ideal for visitors to Mexico City who only intend to stay for a short time. There are also stunning churches and government structures that you won’t want to miss!
- If you’re on a budget you’ll get some of the greatest rates in Mexico City’s historic center.
- The average nightly price for an Airbnb in Centro Historico is $57.
- For middle and larger budgets, try the Hampton Inn and Suites, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, or the Zocalo Central.
Where to Stay as an Expat
When deciding where to reside in Mexico City as an expat, there are a few factors to consider that differ from a tourist on a short stay. The population of CDMX grows each year by about 2 million, so there’s competition for more extended stay options.
As an expat, you’re not likely going to be staying in hotels or short-term accommodation, so the prices listed below are for Airbnb or by finding an apartment on your own. Remember that weekly and monthly discounts on Airbnb can make a huge difference, so don’t miss out on those!
If you plan to stay for six months to a year as an expat in Mexico City, you can use Airbnb prices to estimate what to expect when searching for an apartment. Airbnb prices are quite a bit higher than what locals are paying, so make sure to check Facebook Groups and speak with people who already live there, so you don’t get ripped off when searching for a long-term apartment.
There is something magical about living in Condesa; you feel like you are a local when you live there. In this area, you’ll discover some fantastic Airbnb that are ultra-modern and ready to move in from $400 to $2,000 per month.
Being in a fashionable, safe, and more expensive neighborhood than most others isn’t always negative. It’s lovely to live in Condesa, and it’s quite safe. It seems like everyone in this area has a dog and is always out and about at one of the beautiful parks that are in this area.
Polanco is the wealthiest neighborhood in CDMX, with a population of almost 30,000 and the highest Airbnb monthly rent on this list at $1,876. So this is the place to reside if you earn a good salary and want to be among Mexico’s wealthiest. In fact, Netflix even made a series called “Made in Mexico” about the “fresas” (born-into-wealth Mexicans) and what their daily life in Polanco is like.
If you’re searching for a location with the greatest number of high-scale restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, Polanco will be the perfect home for you.
Where to Stay as a Digital Nomad
Mexico City is the ideal digital nomad home base, with the ability to easily visit other places in Mexico and an international airport that flies worldwide. In addition, you can live on a cheaper budget than in America and have access to hundreds of internet cafes (not to forget the world-renowned tacos).
If you’re searching for an excellent location to live as a digital nomad for a few months before moving on to your next destination, Roma is the place to go. Key things to note:
- You won’t have much of a problem finding fiber-optic Wi-Fi and low-cost housing in this neighborhood.
- If you only want to stay for a few months, Airbnb is the way to go. But if not, another way to find a place is by walking around the neighborhood and looking for signs and posters that advertise available rooms and apartments (for rent).
- It would definitely help if you spoke a bit of Spanish as well, here are a few things you can grab before your trip so that you’re prepared to practice your Spanish!
- The average nightly price for an Airbnb in Roma is $31 and the average monthly price is around $1,639.
Juarez makes the list again an excellent neighborhood for tourists and digital nomads. The neighborhood Juarez also includes La Reforma and Zona Rosa. Reasons why this neighbor is popular with digital nomads include:
- Juarez’s main street, La Reforma, runs through the middle of the city, so you’ll be within walking distance of everything there is to do in Mexico City if you stay on this street or one of the smaller ones that branch off it.
- For anyone staying in Mexico City, the skyscrapers on this street are a must-see.
- The gay-friendly Zona Rosa is recognized for its shopping, entertainment, and gay community. This little area of Juarez is ideal for digital nomads who are seeking a great neighborhood as well as visitors who wish to have fun!
Mexico City is a vibrant city full of life, culture, and opportunity. There are many places to stay that suit different needs, from the tourist looking for an authentic experience to the digital nomad seeking internet access. So if you’re searching for the best neighborhood to live in or stay in Mexico City, these are good places to start!
Dayna Brockbank is a budget-crazy travel blogger at Happily Ever Travels. She has traveled through Mexico both as a tourist and a digital nomad. She and her husband have lived in Mexico multiple times during their last 5 years of being digital nomads, spending over a year of time between Playa del Carmen, Mexico City, and Puerto Vallarta. She speaks 3 languages and is a bit obsessed with Duolingo.