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10 Must-See Mexico City Neighborhoods and How to Visit

People rush past the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.
Hi, I'm Lauren!

Lauren is a Mexico City–based writer, editor, and translator from Yorkshire with bylines at CNN, BBC Travel, and Al Jazeera. She’s currently working on her first full-length literary translation in between harassing her cat, drinking smuggled Yorkshire Tea, and blogging about Latin American literature at

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Hi, I'm Lauren!

Lauren is a Mexico City–based writer, editor, and translator from Yorkshire with bylines at CNN, BBC Travel, and Al Jazeera. She’s currently working on her first full-length literary translation in between harassing her cat, drinking smuggled Yorkshire Tea, and blogging about Latin American literature at

see more

Mexico City, the country’s massive urban capital, sprawls across ancient valleys in the shadows of active volcanoes. The largest Spanish-speaking city in the world, CDMX (as it’s abbreviated), is a paradise for food lovers, architecture buffs, and creatives of all kinds. But knowing where to start can be hard—even locals (known as chilangos) sometimes feel that they’ve only just scratched the surface of what the Mexican capital has to offer.

That’s why we’ve noted Mexico City’s must-see neighborhoods that every visitor should plan to explore. These areas span the city from north to south and include hotspots for tacos, history, shopping, and so much more.

Centro Historico

The Metropolitan Cathedral bathed in sunlight in Mexico City.
Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral is a highlight of the Centro Historico. | Photo Credit: Richie Chan / Shutterstock

For layers of history and top attractions.

In the Centro Historico, you can walk on Aztec ruins, visit a 16th-century Spanish cathedral, and tour museums that celebrate the modern Mexican nation—all in a couple of hours. Start at the Palace of Fine Arts, topped with a glowing golden dome, then meander through streets lined with shops selling everything from kitchen supplies to rare books to cameras.

Stop at the Plaza de la Constitución (Zocalo), a large public square, before indulging in some tacos de canasta(tacos stored in baskets lined with parchment paper) at Los Especiales. In the evening, make sure to buy tickets for a Lucha Libre match at the nearby Arena Coliseo to see Mexican wrestling.

Find things to do in Centro Historico


Pedestrians mill around on a street corner in Mexico City's Roma Norte neighborhood.
A scenic corner in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City. | Photo Credit: Sun_Shine / Shutterstock

A hotbed of artistic talent and innovative dining.

The perfect place for visitors looking for a safe and charming neighborhood, Roma is known for its pleasant tree-lined streets and boutique hotels. It’s the place to be for art galleries, third-wave coffee, and vegan tortas. Dig into the local cuisine by exploring on your own or via a guided food tour. No matter in which direction you head, you’ll be sure to stumble on places to drink mezcal and eat food prepared by some of the greatest chefs in Mexico.

Beyond just eating, make sure to catch a flick at Cine Tonalá, explore a quirky exhibition at El Museo del Objeto del Objeto, and cap it all off with a cocktail at the world-renowned Licorería Limantour.


Buildings in the Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City as seen from the air.
An aerial view over Colonia Juárez, Mexico City. | Photo Credit: Sergio Mendoza Hochmann / Shutterstock

For boutiques, Zona Rosa, and Korean food.

La Juárez is a kite-shaped neighborhood that stretches from the corner of Chapultepec Park to the edges of the Centro Historico. Here, you’ll encounter a diverse vibe from many of the locals that call this area home.

This neighborhood offers some of the best Korean food in Mexico, as well as grocery stores carrying products direct from Seoul along Florencia, Londres, and Liverpool Streets. Zona Rosa, in the same area, is known for its welcoming LGBTQ-friendly culture. Walk northeast, and you’ll find hidden boutique clothing stores, small cafes, and charming squares. Try a cocktail at Cicatriz, sip a coffee at Café Nin, or dance the night away at Yu Yu Cine Club.


Visitors queue outside Frida Kahlo's Blue House in Coyoacán, Mexico City.
Frida Kahlo's Blue House is one of the must-visit attractions in Coyoacán. | Photo Credit: R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock

Frida’s former home in family-friendly surroundings.

Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul is a must-visit for many travelers to CDMX, but your visit to the southern neighborhood of Coyoacán shouldn’t end there. Walk to the Coyocán Market and eat at one of the many food stalls serving quesadillas and Oaxacan tlayudas (toasted tortillas smothered in refried beans and more).

Then, grab a coffee at Cafe El Jarocho, where you can try the Mexican specialty cafe de olla, brewed with cinnamon and piloncillo, a sugarcane product. History buffs may also be interested in the Leon Trotsky house, where the Russian exile was assassinated in 1940.

Related: How and Where to Experience Frida Kahlo's Mexico City

Find things to do in Coyoacán

Santa María la Ribera

The Kiosko Morisco in Santa María la Ribera, Mexico City, framed by several leafy trees.
Santa María la Ribera is underrated, but the Kiosko Morisco is gorgeous. | Photo Credit: Eve Orea / Shutterstock

A local zone with a laid-back lifestyle.

Near the monumental Vasconcelos Library and bustling Buenavista Train Station, Santa María la Ribera is a local favorite for passing a relaxed afternoon in the company of other chilangos. In the central Alameda Park, marvel at the intricacy of the Kiosko Morisco, an Arabian-inspired building originally constructed for the 1884 World’s Fair in New Orleans.

Then, check out one of the area’s many bookstores, including the Librería Niña Oscura (you’ll have to ring the bell to get in). Then, walk to the Museo del Chopo, a large contemporary art space in a vaulted building that was once a natural history museum.


A person pours salsa verde atop a plate of freshly prepared tacos in Mexico City.
Tacos are one of the main (delicious) draws in the residential Narvarte neighborhood. | Photo Credit: Bran M / Shutterstock

Taco heaven in the heart of the city.

A serene residential neighborhood home to various parks and theaters, Narvarte is famous for being the beating heart of taco culture. El Vilsito, housed in a building that serves as an auto garage during the day, is home to the best tacos al pastor in the entire city—and there’s nothing more emblematic than eating them while standing on the sidewalk.

The neighborhood is also home to several bars that specialize in craft beer, from Cerveza en Punto in the north to Dos Tapas near Metro Eugenia. If you’re wondering how you’ll eat it all, consider a guided evening food tour night tour, which includes a visit to a local cantina, a mezcal tasting, and local insight into the area’s famed taco culture.

San Ángel

Photo Credit: Bruno_Doinel / Shutterstock

Home to art markets, haciendas, and hidden gardens.

Every Saturday, the center of San Ángel turns into an art fair called El Bazaar Sabado, popular with tourists and locals alike. Peruse the offerings from Mexican artisans and designers before tucking into blue corn quesadillas in the center of a repurposed 18th-century home.

Visiting on a different day or simply want to get away from the crowds? Walk to the Plaza de los Arcángeles, a tiny hidden park surrounded by stately walled homes where you’ll feel like the only visitor around. You can also join a guided walking tour that highlights some of the beautiful architecture of the area, which was once a suburb and summer retreat from the city.


Photo Credit: Santiago Castillo Chomel / Shutterstock

For a slower pace far from the city center’s hustle and bustle.

Tlalpan is an expansive borough of CDMX that stretches all the way south to the summit of Ajusco, a dormant volcano that’s the city’s highest point at 12,893 feet (3,930 meters).

If such a large climb seems like a bit too much, check out the Bosque de Tlalpan National Park instead, which features miles of easy-to-moderate hiking and walking paths—keep an eye out for wildlife, too. Post-trek, venture to the Centro de Tlalpan, where you can stroll along cobblestone streets to the central square. Alternatively, you can also visit nearby Estadio Azteca for a high-energy soccer game.


Photo Credit: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock

The home of three cultures.

Tlatelolco is home to over 90 apartment buildings just north of the Centro Historico, forming a city within the city. It’s all framed by the Plaza of Three Cultures, which celebrates Mexico’s indigenous, Spanish, and modern history with Aztec ruins and a colonial church.

Here, in 1968, government forces massacred hundreds of unarmed student protestors (the exact number is unknown), an event commemorated every October by marches throughout the country. Nearby, the Lagunilla tianguis (weekly market) is also a must-visit for antiques, occurring every Sunday morning.

San Miguel Chapultepec

Photo Credit: taravelworld1971 / Shutterstock

This area was made for wandering.

Bordered by the leafy Bosque de Chapultepec park (which you can explore by bike), the hip Condesa, and transit hub Tacubaya, San Miguel Chapultepec is perfect for aimless strolls, discovering funky art galleries, and stumbling upon sidewalk cafes.

Start by visiting Casa Gilardi, one of Pritzker Prize-winner Luis Barragan’s final designs, built around a jacaranda tree and home to a colorful swimming pool—the original family leads daily tours. Then check out Galería RGR, home to single-artist exhibitions, before ending at La Murciélaga Librería, a bookstore featuring used books and Spanish-language author readings.

Find things to do in Mexico City

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870 tours & tickets
Things to do in Mexico City
See all things to do in Mexico City
Tula Day Trips from Mexico City
Tula Day Trips from Mexico City