Where to stay in Mexico City – a travel guide to Mexico City‘s neighborhoods
Mexico City’s Centro Histórico is a treasure trove of colonial buildings, museums and Aztec sites located at the very center of this great metropolis. Cobblestone streets brimming with busy merchants and cultural centers fan out from the enormous main square – the ever- impressive Zócalo. Linking the Zócalo with the downtown Alameda park, the lively shopping thoroughfare of Avenida Madero spills out onto the magnificent white-marble concert hall of Palacio de Bellas Artes. Many affordable Mexico City hotels are found here. Good metro connections at Hidalgo run west down Paseo de Reforma toward La Zona Rosa and Polanco, while heading east connects you to Benito Juárez International Airport.
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La Zona Rosa
Brash modernity meets Mexican tradition in the shiny Zona Rosa neighborhood, a short walk west from the colonial center, hugging the Paseo de Reforma. The Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) provides a microcosm of Mexico City life, with smart businessmen, shoe-shine boys and street vendors all sharing space with glistening skyscrapers and some of the city’s best-known monuments. The Torre Mayor, one of Latin America’s tallest buildings, rises imposingly 225 meters above street level while a couple of blocks away is Mexico City’s most enduring symbol – the golden angel statue of the Monumento a la Independencia.
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Just south of the Zona Rosa and to one side of the city’s other main artery, Avenida Insurgentes, la Condesa overflows with laid-back eateries, eclectic art galleries and countless informal cafés surrounding peaceful parks. Perfect for meandering afternoon strolls, the area’s palm-fringed esplanades are lined with Art Deco inspired residences and jacaranda-scented enclaves. La Condesa is where to stay in Mexico City for lovers of boutique or bohemian-style living.
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At the entrance to Chapultepec park, marking the western end of Mexico’s grandest boulevard, Paseo de Reforma, lies the exclusive neighborhood of Polanco. Affluent residents and embassy workers fill the chic shops and elegant restaurants of this traditional bastion of Mexican high society. The broad Avenida Presidente Masaryk runs through its center, lined with elegant boutiques, many with ornately carved-stone doorways reflecting the area’s 1930s California-style architecture. Many luxury hotels in Polanco look out over the park and are located near the awe-inspiring National Museum of Anthropology.
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Coyoacán and San Ángel
Outlying villages only 60 years ago, Coyoacán and San Ángel now represent charming suburbs, easily accessible from the southern part of Avenida Insurgentes. Colonial-era mansions, narrow streets and colorful plazas make for an enchanting visit. Art lovers should head to the vibrant museums and, especially, the extraordinary former homes of painter Frida Kahlo and her muralist partner Diego Rivera – the Casa Azul and Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo.
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