The Neighborhoods of Mexico City

Mexico City is home to some of Latin America’s most vibrant neighborhoods. From the wealthy avenues of Polanco to the hipster coffee shops of Roma Norte, there is always something for everyone. Let’s explore some of Mexico City’s most captivating districts.

 Downtown, near the Zócalo

Downtown, near the Zócalo

Centro Histórico

Smack dab in the middle of it all sits the Centro Histórico, or the Historic Center of Mexico City. The main focal point of the neighborhood (and city) is the Zócalo at the Plaza de la Constitución, or main square. It has historically been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times and is the site of cultural ceremonies, parades, festivals, and everything else in-between. It is one of the largest city squares in the world, holding up to nearly 100,000 people.

The Centro Histórico is also home to Mexico’s capital and occupies 668 blocks of historic buildings, most of which were constructed between the 16th and 20th centuries. The area is bursting with cultural and historical significance, with countless museums, galleries, cathedrals, palaces, and plazas. The neighborhood offers endless opportunities to learn more about Mexico’s storied history and unique culture.

 Walking along the Bosque de Chapultepec near La Condesa

Walking along the Bosque de Chapultepec near La Condesa

La Condesa

Located 5 kilometers west of the Zócalo sits La Condesa – fashionable, posh, and bursting with personality. La Condesa is home to world-class nightlife where locals and tourists alike can sip on tequila-tinis in upscale bars and show off their moves on electric dance floors. The neighborhood tends to cater to a younger, more affluent crowd of business people and students, but is also popular among families with small children.

While Condesa is a large neighborhood, it has the feel of a tight-knit community. The area is primarily residential with a bohemian character, which has been in existence since the late 1980s. Perfect for exploring on foot, La Condesa has the charm of an older Mexico City neighborhood with all the amenities of a modern metropolis. In addition to the array of boutiques and restaurants, the neighborhood borders the Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City’s largest park with 1,700 acres of greenspace and many popular attractions.

 The ecclectic streets of Roma

The ecclectic streets of Roma

Roma

Located right next door to La Condesa is the neighborhood of Roma. Roma is split into two districts – Roma Norte to the north, and Roma Sur to the south. Each district has its own unique vibe, with Roma Norte attracting local artists and eclectics, while Roma Sur is much more steeped in tradition and home to a predominantly blue-collar workforce.

Overall, Roma is littered with plenty to do and see. Locals can be found hanging out or working in one of the many quirky cafes or checking out the latest exhibit or show at the historic cultural center, Casa Lamm. Parque Mexico and Parque España are two of the areas’ most popular parks, where residents can often be found riding their bikes or jogging around the paths.

 

 Polanco oozes opulence with upscale shops and restaurants 

Polanco oozes opulence with upscale shops and restaurants 

Polanco

Often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Mexico City, Polanco is revered as the most exclusive neighborhood in the city. The area is home to many wealthy residents, including local celebrities and high-profile doctors, politicians and businesspeople.

Modern mansions line perfectly manicured avenues and an air of opulence (which can sometimes come off as snobby) floats down sidewalks as residents hurry to and from some of the most exclusive restaurants in the city. However, the main attraction here would be the world-class shopping, with designer boutiques on every corner and multiple upscale malls within the neighborhood limits.

Zona Rosa

Vibrant and full of life, Zona Rosa is the place to explore if you’re looking for a little fun. Just west of the city center, this gay-friendly neighborhood welcomes everyone and everything, radiating an energy that you just won’t find anywhere else in the city. Not as upscale as nearby Condesa or Polanco, Zona Rosa was historically home to bohemian spirits, and still has that ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude. A thriving Korean immigrant community has also established its roots in the area, making it one of Mexico City’s most celebrated ethnic neighborhoods where you can get out-of-this-world Bibimbop.

As daylight fades, the neighborhood’s many bars and clubs open their doors for all-night parties. Genova Street, in particular, attracts Mexico City’s energetic party-goers. However, Zona Rosa isn’t for everyone; critics complain about nighttime noise levels and the neighborhood’s openness towards playful debauchery.

 The colorful streets of the artistic Coyoacán

The colorful streets of the artistic Coyoacán

Coyoacán

Coyoacán, or “place of coyotes,” is located approximately 10 kilometers south of the Zócalo in Mexico City’s center. Also the name of one of Mexico City’s 16 boroughs, the neighborhood of Coyoacán refers to the historic center of the borough. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Mexico City, the area is filled with picturesque cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and small plazas, which were constructed during the colonial period.

The area is popular for its availability of single family homes and is relatively peaceful throughout the week. Weekends or holidays give way to festive celebrations that spill into the streets. The neighborhood is known for its progressive demeanor and is rich in history. Many legendary figures have resided here over the years, such as Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, and Diego Rivera.

 Don't strain your neck looking at the many high rises of Santa Fe

Don't strain your neck looking at the many high rises of Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is one of Mexico City’s primary business districts, located in the western part of the city. Shiny and new, the area is littered with modern high rises, popular restaurants and extravagant shopping malls, including Centro Comercial Santa Fe, currently the largest mall in Latin America. The neighborhood also includes three college campuses.

Both families and young professionals call the area home, enjoying the convenience of urban amenities available. Residents of the area have the option of living in high rise apartments of gated communities with large, single-family homes. Later this year, the Toluca-Mexico City rail is expected to open which will improve mobility and development in the district.

Moving to Mexico City? We can help! Drop us a line at PropertyAdvisors@Dwellworks.com 

John Fischer