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About Mexico City
Mexico City is dizzy with strong colours and strong flavours. Mexico's colour and colourful culture can be seen on the streets, in the restaurants and in most of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Mexico City. Even the hotels opt for bright colours in Mexico City!
But if you feel lightheaded on arrival it's probably to do with the unexpectedly high altitude. And you can quickly sort this out with a few nips of tequila in one of the stately old cantinas just off the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square.
There's no shortage of art in Mexico City. Murals brighten up municipal buildings - start with Mexico's National Palace for Diego Rivera's 'Epic of the Mexican People'. And there will be plenty of opportunity to see the work of Frida Kahlo - start in the Blue House, conveniently located by the Craft Market in the Plaza San Jacinto.
You may also want to see the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico perform in the Palacio de Bellas Artes. And relax on a boat in the Floating gardens of Xochimilco.
If you're looking for Mexico's ancient treasures, start right in the centre of Mexico City at the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the Aztec nation, now fascinatingly excavated to reveal the different layers of the city's history.
And head over to Bosque de Chapultepec Park for the ancient forests and archaeological treasures housed in the National Anthropological Museum. Some people visit Mexico City solely to see this museum.
Mexico City is also known for its food - especially its markets. Visit the market at Tepoztlan for chillies of all kinds (and heats) and La Merced, the main food market - and an excellent place to try antojitos (street finger food.).
Then try out Mexico City's best cantinas. Obviously you'll be trying as many kinds of tequila as possible! But you might want to start on the pink streets of the Zona Rosa. This is the hub of Mexico City's nightlife and always a good place to begin your evening or do some people watching.
Highlights worth a drive
About an hour's drive from Mexico City is Teotihuacán, one of the great ancient sites of the Americas: a whole ruined city once home to between 60,000 and 80,000 inhabitants. And definitely a local highlight.
If you have time, or love silver jewellery, Taxco is worth considering for a day trip - it's where a lot of the colonial silver came from. Taxco is also supposed to be one of Mexico's prettiest towns.
The Hotel Guru's recommendations for the best places to stay in Mexico City range from bohemian boltholes to top notch luxury and sleek design hotels.
For Mexican character
- Casa Vieja's ten themed suites are decorated in colourful traditional patterns with local painting and ceramics everywhere. All rooms come with their own kitchenette so this is also one of the best places to stay in Mexico City if you're planning a longer trip.
- The Hippodrome's intimate Mexican restaurant serving traditional and contemporary fare makes this a popular hotel for foodies. In the bohemian district. Condesa, it's luxuriously designed and has all the mod cons you need.
Mexico City's Best Design Hotels
- Habita is a stunningly minimalist creation by a collection of architects. The walls are whitewashed, there's floor to ceiling glass and marble floors. Plus a beautiful spa and roof terrace.
- Condesa DF is one of the hippest places to stay in Mexico City, in a hip part of town. It's got a rooftop cinema, music systems in each room, a funky rooftop bar and sushi restaurant. And all done in strikingly beautiful minimalist style.
- Being part of a chain of fun and funky hotels makes W one of the best places to stay in Mexico City for families. The colours are bright and bold, the staff are young and friendly, and there are excellent views of the city.
Best Hotels in Mexico City
Hippodrome 16 rooms from $237Mexico City
This design-conscious boutique hotel exudes charm and hip living in an art-deco building. Chic rooms are home to natural timber floors and furnishings, travertine-stone bathrooms and all the mod cons. Fantastic top floor penthouse. Intimate Mexican restaurant. A trendy spot.City Style - Sleek and minimalist design, oozing understated elegance in one of Mexico City's hippest neighbourhoods.Great walks - The nearby Hipódromo neighborhood is famed for its edgy scene and vibrant street art, well worth walking around.Sights nearby - A ten minute drive brings you to the Western Hemispheres largest park, Bosque de Chapultepec.Lively area - In the thick of the action.Recommended by - Tablet
Condesa DF 40 rooms from $270Mexico City (Col. Condesa)
A strikingly designed hotel in the trendies district of Mexico City. Elegant interiors by Parisian, India Mahdavi give a classic chic feel to the rooms. However the stage is stolen by the beautiful leafy green rooftop terrace, a peaceful heaven in a hectic city. Totally charming and cutting edge.City Style - This happening hotel is the center of action in the Condesa Area, and one of the rare leafy outcrops of Mexico City.Lively - Basement cinema, disco, and terrace make this hotel a happening place to be.ChicGreat walks - Wander around the enormous Chapultepec Park with plenty of lakes, forests and museums to check out.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Frommers, Kiwi Collection
Habita 32 rooms from $300Mexico City (Colonia Polanco)
This stunning minimalist creation is the brainchild of ten renowned architects. Crisp white on white, ceiling to floor glass, and marble floors create airy spaces. This hotel oozes an exclusive feel, from the rooftop bar and pool to the luxurious spa and trendy restaurants. Sleek and chic.Architectural - This hotel is the magnificent product of 10 architects' collaboration.Sights nearby - Under 10 minutes away find Chapultepec Park with nine museums, a zoo and open air performance art and music.Great walks - Follow the jogging route map provided by the hotel and explore the local area .Swimming Pool - Rooftop pool with viewsRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Frommers, Tablet
W Hotel 237 rooms from $320Mexico City (Chapultepec)
A contemporary hotel decked out in the vibrant colours of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Spectacular views of the city from the plush suites, world-class spa and a choice of three restaurants. Attracts a chic, young crowd. Totally hip.City Style - In the uber trendy Polanco neighborhood, with chic modern decor, avant garde art and a lively terrace bar.Views - Fabulous views from the top suites over Mexico City.Great walks - Part of Bosque de Chapultepec, one of the largest parks in the world, runs through Polanco.Sights nearby - Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico's answer to the Champs-Élysées is just minutes away.Recommended by - Frommers