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Best neighborhoods in Mexico City

Walking towards the Zócalo and the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City

Where you decide to base yourself in colossal Mexico City is a key consideration when it comes to planning your vacation. To help you pick the right area, we’ve pulled together our favorite walkable neighborhoods that are full of character and charm. It’s all a matter of what you’re looking for when you get there.

In the trendy Roma and Condesa hoods, the fiesta never stops as you tap into the spirited nightlife and culinary scene, while across town in Centro Histórico, it’s all about soaking up the many cultural offerings and old-world architecture. Or take it down a notch and embrace the low-key bohemian lifestyle of Coyoacán, just like Frida and Diego did back in the day.

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The Centro Histórico is the busy heart of the capital city © Amith Nag Photography / Getty Images

1. Centro Histórico

Best neighborhood for culture and architecture

Mexico’s heart beats in the Centro. With more than 1500 historic buildings, ancient Aztec ruins, vibrant art and some of the nation’s most absorbing museums, the Centro Histórico is the place to channel your inner culture vulture.

A stroll through the Zócalo, Latin America’s largest main square, takes you to dramatic Diego Rivera murals housed in Palacio Nacional, while just a stone’s throw away, you have Templo Mayor, a sacred Aztec temple with a world-class onsite museum.

In addition to its vast and varied cultural offerings, the Centro provides a backdrop of striking colonial buildings, some of which have been carefully converted into hostels and boutique hotels. Granted, organized chaos is king in the hectic Centro, but if you like an area with plenty of action, the historic center is chock-full of rewards.

Roma neighborhood is hip and trendy with all kinds of restaurants and bars
Roma has all kinds of new restaurants and bars opening all the time © Bloomberg / Getty Images

2. Roma

Best neighborhood for eating and drinking

Just when it looked like this colonia (neighborhood) had reached the height of cool, along came Alfonso Cuarón’s recent Oscar-winning memoir film Roma to pique visitors’ interest even more. Now it seems like every other week the rapidly gentrifying Roma sees a hot new cocktail bar or stylish fusion restaurant popping up in its splendid French-style mansions.

When in Roma, don’t miss out on the delectable barbacoa tacos at El Hidalguense, where lamb is slow-cooked over aged oak wood and the pulque (a fermented alcoholic agave drink) flows like water. Or…

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