Take a peek inside Mexico City’s finest. These neighborhoods, or colonias, are where the fashionistas of Latin America come out to play. While wandering through the streets, you might be confused that you’re actually still in Mexico. Between the art galleries, boutiques, snazzy coffee bars and restaurants, there is as much culture and charm as any large metropolitan European city.
Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the historic center, these colonias were established in the late 19th century and early 20th as a haven for the wealthy leaving the city center. The homes and buildings were constructed in the French, Italian, and Spanish style architecture. Nowadays these neighborhoods all have a few things in common, they are the essence of Mexico City’s avant-garde scene, with a splash of bourgeoisie meets bohemian charm.
Leaving the historic center and exploring these neighborhoods was like a breath of fresh air. They are so refreshingly chic I just couldn’t help myself but to say, “Damn Mexico, you trendy!
- La Condesa
Let’s start with arguably the most popular, La Condesa, or simply Condesa. This beautiful neighborhood is one of Mexico City’s most fashionable. It actually consists of three colonias: Colonia Condesa, Colonia Hipódromo and Colonia Hipódromo Condesa. This area is mostly residential, with wide avenues lined with trees and gorgeous 19th century building and architecture. Although residential, this neighborhood is also known for its nightlife, and it one of the best places in the city for dancing and bars.
You’ll also find many drool worthy boutiques, and a plethora of bars and cafés.
There are also two beautiful parks, Parque Mexico and Parque Espana with fountains, statues, and a playground. Parque Mexico is particularly intriguing as it used to be a horse race track of the Jockey Club of Mexico before being transitioned into it’s current state as a family friendly park.
La Esquina del Té – Cute little tea shop!
Azul Condesa – Great restaurant, amazing mole!
- La Roma
Colonia Roma, La Roma, or simply Roma, is my personal favorite! It has a similarly artsy and bohemian feel, but with more of a hipster edge. Roma is actually not one neighborhood, but is now two: Roma Norte and Roma Sur. There are many residential buildings now turned businesses making it a spot you could wander and explore for hours.
Colima Street is lovely, and near the Plaza Río de Janeiro and Plaza Luis Cabrera you’ll find many bistros, cafés, gelateras, bookstores, and art galleries.
I loved La Roma so much I wrote a separate post solely on this lovely neighborhood. For more info and some personal recommendations, check out my post 14 Reasons I Want to Move to La Roma.
La Condesa and La Roma dazzled me the most but other neighborhoods that stood are were:
- Colonia Juarez – Zona Rosa
This neighborhood is north of Condesa and Roma and is best known for the Zona Rosa or Pink Zone area. It too has an artistic and bohemian vibe, and is also home to Mexico City’s gay community. The pedestrian street, Calle Genova, is the main drag with Londes and Calle Hamburgo being great streets to wander down. Sex shops are dotted around these streets, so be prepared if traveling with children. The neighborhood is a bit more business-y and you’ll find a lot of fast food chains. In recent years an influx of Korean immigrants has made Zona Rosa their home, and it has even been nicknamed Pequeño Seul or “Little Seoul”.
Plaza del Angel Centro de Anticuarios – My favorite part of visiting this area was this vintage and antique market!
El Péndulo – Popular restaurant/cafe and bookstore in Mexico City. (multiple locations)
Located a bit northwest of La Condesa, Polanco is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Mexico City! You can expect a trendy yet prestigious atmosphere where everything is a bit on the pricey side. Polanco is also the city’s business center and you’ll find some expats living here. Something to keep in mind however is that Polanco is not the easiest to reach. It’s best to just take a taxi or rent car to access this neighborhood.
Polanquito is home to Polanco’s restaurant and café scene. The area is walkable and has a lot of greenery with tree-lined sidewalks. You can easily find cafés with great food and a cute atmosphere, but again, be ready to pay top dollar. Polanco is also a great spot for shopping.
South of the historic center, this trendy neighborhood is popular because it was also the home to the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Rated as one of the top neighborhoods to live in, this neighborhood has a lot to see and do. It gives off a quaint and charming feel with its cobblestone streets, large plazas, fountains, and plethora of restaurants to choose from.
Definitely go to the Frida Kahlo Museum, and then take in the sites around Coyoacan. It’s easy to fall in love with the charm of this neighborhood. During the evening it gives off almost a carnival feel as many of the street food stalls and entertainers came out. It’s a great spot to stroll around and try different types of street foods!
Over to you! What’s your favorite neighborhood in Mexico City?