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The LA Girl’s Travel Guide to Mexico City

This is one of my favorite travel guides because I am MEXICAN, my family is from Mexico and there is a world of chic, luxurious and beautiful places to stay, eat & visit in Mexico City!

PRO TIP: Uber is alive & well in the city. You can easily get from place to place, tracked on the app, including from the airport.

Key Neighborhoods:

La Reforma: This is considered one of the main and most well-known parts of the city. Hotels here are centrally located and you’ll find iconic statues lining the main avenue. The area is a huge business district, but also popular for 5-star luxury hotels. Tip: The St. Regis Hotel in La Reforma is great for views of the city and live music on key week nights.

La Condesa/ Roma Norte: Think: The Dumbo or Brooklyn of Mexico City. It’s the trendiest neighborhood in the city. And though La Condesa and Roma Norte are two different burrows, they blend geographically! Take a walk in the gigantic parks in the area, visit streets lined with ultra-modern restaurants and bars, plus, go out and have a blast at a Mexico City hotspot or even a bocci ball bar. The neighborhood is full of chic shops, youth and also *Americans. Love it or hate it, many people from the U.S. moved during the pandemic and it’s considered an “ex-pat hotspot” int he city as well.

Polanco: Think: Luxury and a tranquil ambiance! There is plenty of walking through the neighborhoods in this burrow. It has everything from an iconic walkable park in its center, complete with a walk-in bird exhibition, to small museums and ultra-extravagant restaurants. The streets are clean, with plenty of space to walk and you could stay an entire week just *here to explore.

Downtown Mexico City: Cathedrals and historical buildings! Take a walk in el “Centro Historico” or Central Mexico City. Palaces, churches, even the outline of ancient aztec pyramids await you here. No matter where you stay, Centro Historico is a can’t-miss for the history that lines the streets. 

What to Do:

  1. Diego Rivera’s & Frida’s Studio Apartment (Head over to the San Angel Inn for a margarita after your tour.)
  2. Mercado de San Angel- a colorful, festive outdoor market, perfect for strolling.
  3. Mexico City Museum of Anthropology- this museum is iconic and you’ll need a full day! I had the best experience *guided.
  4. Casa Gilardi. A legendary (colorful) home in the city designed by Pulitzer Prize winner: Luis Baragán.
  5. Frida Kahlo Museum (or “Casa Azul.”) Take a tour of where Frida Kahlo grew up and learn about her legacy.
  6. Teotihuacan (The Pyramids of the Sun.) This is about an hour or more drive outside the city, but holds a piece of incredible, ancient history right outside the city.
  7. Stroll around a neighborhood and don’t forget your appetite! My highest recommendation is either La Condesa or Polanco for optimal Park/Restaurant and shopping options.
  8.  Experience Tip: Looking to learn the Spanish language? Fluenz is a top-notch, high end learning immersion trip. If you’re planning some sight seeing, but your goal is to learn Spanish, I just finished this trip and could not recommend it more.

Where to Stay:

Anywhere in “Reforma” is a great, centrally located, neighborhood to stay in the heart of the city. Sofitel will give you all the “New York City feels in Mexico,” great views, chic, modern interiors and bonus: with the “press” of a button in your room, you can open your curtains to the beautiful sky line! There is also a 12th floor pool and restaurant that allows you to lounge or dine with the same sky high views. 

Four Seasons was the other location that we chose and it will give you beautiful “chateau away from home” feels. It’s a European oasis in the middle of the city with top notch hospitality and a great coffee shop on the main floor.

The property has gardens, plenty of photo opps & restaurants located in the huge court yard at the center of the property. Other high-end, luxury stays include The St. Regis Mexico City located in Reforma and  a short drive from Mexico City’s posh neighborhood, Polanco. This is a glamorous high-rise where you can enjoy Jazz Thursday nights, a gorgeous swimming pool and round-the-clock room service. Staying at luxe hotels like these can also put some cash back in your pocket thanks to a program like Frugal Flyer. It’s totally worth checking out.

Where to eat

Here are just a few of the restaurants we popped into: Adorable layout & vintage photos & letters of the restaurants heritage pinned to the walls, Sonia’s. Great vegetarian and vegan casual spot: La Chicha. And of course, the renowned Rosetta, a famous Panaderia (bakery) serving a “royo de guayaba” (guava cheese roll) that is incredible! Located in La Condesa, you can grab a latte, take a seat with your roll and people-watch in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. Rosetta’s 2nd location is a full restaurant right down the street from the bakery, also by  Elena Reygadas, who has been named the “Best Female Chef in the World!”

One of the more chic places we ate was Carmela y Sal. It felt like a hot spot for the “whose who” of the city and the plating, plus carefully crafted cocktails, was beautiful to see and consume. If you have luxurious taste, in Polanco, you will find an assortment of the best restaurants the city has to offer: Sylvestre, located about Nobu ( the culinary universal love language) is a high end, fancy spot for adults to enjoy fine dining. The Restaurant is lined with book cases and an ambiance of luxury, (You’ll find Sylvestre located in 5 different neighborhoods in the city.) Also in Polanco is a trendy hotspot for nightlife and music boasting  modern Mexican cuisine called Tituchi.

Directly next door to Carmel y Sal is a modern, “bloggable”  evening spot with some of the best food I’ve ever had called Aitana the food was fresh, flavorful and it’s modern decor had me snapping photos at every step.

*Exclusivity Alert:” Pujol, the Michelin-acclaimed restaurant of Enrique Olvera that sits in the heart of Polanco. *I personally sat for 7 courses at this venue and it was worth all 3 and a half hours of a meal. Experience art in the form of “comida” as well as the beautiful way that the servers place and describe the food in front of you.  if you can get a reservation at this 

Finally, Madre Cafe. I’ll just leave a slew of photos below to make the point. This cafe is perfect for brunch, located in a trendy & artistic neighborhood & seating is around a gorgeous historical building. The place was full and there was a DJ inside for Saturday brunch (seating was available outside, with no noise.) I have never seen such an array of DRINKS: Mocktails, Cocktails, Kambucha, Espresso, Matcha, you name it. Bottoms up!

For more Mexico City highlights from my trip, click HERE. Happy Traveling!