About the City

Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world, with 8.855 million inhabitants (over 21 million including the metropolitan area). If you are planning a trip, you may want to know that the elevation of the city is 2.250 m (7.382 ft) – which may cause headaches or fatigue; no worries, this is normal and you’ll be ok as soon as your body gets used to it.

We know our city can be a little intimidating but fear no more! We’re here to help you navigate among the chaos and skip the tourist traps, so grab a comfy pair of shoes, your Mexplory map, and get ready to explore with us.

You can start down here, checking out the main neighborhoods, becoming familiar with their names, locations, and seeing what makes them special.

We feel very proud to be part of this creative city, full of friendly people and with so many things going on. We hope that you have a blast while exploring Ciudad de México! (CDMX)

If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hi, reach out via DM or email.

 

Keep mexploring!

A bit of history

If you want to learn a bit of history, click here to read interesting facts that will help you to understand the context and the importance of some touristic places. 

Plan your trip

And if you want to learn more about the local culture, (and stop looking like a tourist), then go to the Act like a Local and Eat & Drink like a Local sections.

Things to do

For more recommendations – hidden bars, art exhibitions, tasty taquerías– just look at the menu above and choose from there.

Neighborhoods

Polanco

Welcome to Godínez Land (Godínez: nine-to-fivers with specific habits and that use the metro). Here you can find some of the most expensive fine-dining restaurants, where bosses have meetings, but also some inexpensive fondas and taquerías for the working class.

 

Portales

This neighborhood used to be an old hacienda during XIX century, nowadays it’s one of the nicest areas to live-in and soon to be gentrified. It’s quiet streets full with jacaranda trees, the flea market, and all the local places to eat, make it a cool place to be.

 

Coyoacán

A totally cliché neighborhood to spend Sunday evening. This historical place housed Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Leon Trotsky, among other important artists of the XX century. Not only it’s bohemian vibes make it attractive, also all the variety of tasty street food and garnachas you can find here.

 

Escandón

A.k.a Escabronx by all the neighbors. It used to be a low-key traditional neighborhood, with cool places to eat, street stalls and ancient cantinas. Now, victim of gentrification is slowly getting more expensive and full of B&B, still it’s one of the coolest places to me.

 

Cuauhtémoc/Juárez

These eclectic neighborhoods have recently become a hot-spot for locals and travelers since it’s growing artistic and food scene. On one side, la Juárez has a fun and lively nightlife, unique gastronomic projects, and it houses of course Zona Rosa a.k.a the gay neighborhood. On the other side, la Cuauhtémoc has lots of international restaurants and parks. Plus, walking around both neighborhoods you’ll see some architectural gems from the early XX century and modern skyscrapers.

 

Narvarte

A kind-of hipster neighborhood with specialty coffee shops, local small businesses, breweries, bakeries, and lots of tree corridors to walk. Narvarte has the perfect balance between a residential and commercial area, which makes it a perfect living spot but also a target of gentrification.

Iztacalco

Probably not the most touristy region, but it used to be one of the most important prehispanic neighborhoods and nowadays houses or beloved Central de Abasto. This is the biggest market in the world, you can find any mexican ingredient in here, also imported products, flowers, and some tasty food.

 

Pedregal

This volcanic rock area catched Diego Rivera’s eye around 1945, and decided to develop a modernist neighborhood respecting the nature of the area. This project involved some of the best mexican architects Luis Barragán, Max Cetto, and Mathias Goeritz. Besides the stunning residences, sculptures and landscapes, this neighborhood houses Ciudad Universitaria, the most important campus of UNAM.

Tláhuac

An hour away from the touristy side of the city you can find Tláhuac, mostly a residential neighborhood with millions of inhabitants. It has an old story since prehispanic time people used to live there, nowadays you can still visit some Chinampas and seven native villages that keep ancient traditions. The most famous is San Andrés Mixquic, which has an stunning Day of the Dead celebration.

 

Tlalpan

Tlalpan is a huge neighborhood in the southern side of the city, but here we’re talking about its historic center. It looks a little bit like Coyoacán with a park and a kiosk, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars around. The best part is that you can find lots of beautiful parks and gardens to walk such as Fuentes Brotantes, El Bosque de Tlalpan, and Parque Ecológico Loreto y Peña Pobre.

 

Azcapotzalco

Before being defeated by Tenochtitlán and Texcoco it was the most important prehispanic city in this area. Now it’s slowly getting back its importance, many gastronomic projects and restaurants are opening here, as well as some of the old traditional businesses keep offering good quality products. You can also find amazing parks that shows both the modern and prehispanic heritage, like el juego de pelota.

 

San Ángel

For many years some of the richest families built beautiful mansions to spend the weekend in this neighborhood since it was considered as the countryside of the city. Even though nowadays it is well connected it keeps an artistry village vibe. Perfect plan for weekends: visit its open air art market, Museo del Carmen one of the oldest churches in town and do some shopping.

 

San Miguel Chapultepec

San Miguel borders the first section of the Chapultepec Forest. This residential neighborhood houses many of the most important contemporary art galleries. Great place to rest since, at night, the main attraction is the OXXO.

 

Roma

Gentrification at its best. Place where doggies and gourmet restaurants abound. Here everything is “crafted”, “gluten-free” or “eco-friendly”. One of the favorite areas of travelers and ex-pats for being safe and very similar to a first world hip neighborhood.

 

Doctores

For many years, this neighborhood had a bad reputation for selling stolen auto parts and was considered a very unsafe area. Currently, projects such as MUJAM’s mural festival and La Mera Obrera, in Obrera neighborhood, seek to show the friendliest face of these adjoining neighborhoods.

 

El Centro

One of the most visited areas by travelers and locals for its wide cultural offer. The main tourist spots are in La Alameda and El Zócalo. To the north, there’s La Lagunilla and Tepito flea markets (if you are a foreigner, better to be accompanied by a local), and towards the southeast you will find La Merced, famous for its huge market with the same name. Despite the chaos, we love El Centro.

 

Santa Fe

A.k.a. Mordor. This corporate area built on a garbage dump, today boasts of having malls with exclusive brands, prestigious universities, and headquarters of companies like IBM and 3M. Food is expensive and traffic is chaotic.

 

Xochimilco

Since pre-Hispanic times, Xochimilco has been a farming town. Thanks to the chinampas, the Xochimilcas grew flowers, vegetables, and corn. Currently, its inhabitants live on the sale of these products and tourism. Be a responsible traveler: don’t litter and don’t disturb the local fauna.

 

Milpa Alta

“The countryside inside the city”, this is how Milpa Alta is defined, a rural area made up of 12 original towns. Here maize and nopal are harvested, and a delicious mole is prepared. It’s located in the southeast part of the city, separated from the state of Morelos by volcanoes.

 

Santa María la Ribera

Santa María and San Rafa are vying for the title of the first neighborhood in the city. In both, you can still enjoy that barrio vibe, among old fondas and canteens that contrasts with art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and newcomer cafes. Looking at the stained glass of the Moorish Pavilion is like entering a time portal…