5 Best Mexico City Neighborhoods for Expats

February 4, 2015
5 Best Mexico City Neighborhoods for Expats

When choosing your neighborhood, or “colonia” in Mexico City, your top concerns should be safety and convenience. Though some remote neighborhoods are safe and cheap, they may not have good public transportation options.  Public transportation in Mexico City is not very convenient or stress-free, so do yourself a favor.  Live close to where you work.

Here are the top five expat neighborhoods in Mexico City:

5 Best Mexico City Neighborhoods for Expats

1. La Condesa

La Condesa is a cute and small neighborhood located to the south of the city center. Walking down the street in Condesa you are very likely to hear people speaking French or English, and you can literally meet people from all over the world. It’s a very nice, green, hipster corner of the city with lots of cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs.

At night, Condesa becomes the destination for going out, and the streets are crowded with people of all ages looking for places to have dinner, get a drink or party. The variety of clubs is impressive, from salsa spots with live Cuban bands to bars with electronic music. The party doesn’t end until the morning.

Condesa is not only a party neighbourhood, but it also has a lot of parks, and is very family friendly during the day. It is probably one of the greenest neighborhoods in the entire city. Bike lanes, jogging tracks, yoga studios, outdoor yoga classes, parks, and pet shops make it a really pleasant place to live.

The buildings in Condesa, which are pretty old, look cute from the outside, but might not feel as nice on the inside. Some people believe that earthquakes are felt a lot stronger in Condesa.

2. Polanco

Located north of Condesa, Polanco is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Mexico City with very high rents. Polanco is the city’s business center, where many companies have their headquarters.  If you’ve come to Mexico City to work at your company’s international offices, your workplace is sure to be located nearby. Polanquito, the neighborhood’s center, has tons of restaurants and cafes. Though a little pricy, many of these restaurants serve fantastic food. Polanco is also the place to shop for luxury goods.

Compared to Condesa, Polanco is much quieter and less crowded in the evenings. So, if you have a family and want a quieter lifestyle, Polanco might be a great choice.

Keep in mind that Polanco is not that easy to reach by public transport; you’ll need to own a car if you choose to live here.

3. Coyoacan

Coyoacan, a neighborhood in the south of the city, is a beautiful place with colonial architecture, and a lot of famous residents. Among those was a famous Frida Kahlo, whose house is now a museum. Coyoacan will make you feel like you actually live in Latin America because of its historical architecture and artisan markets.

The rent prices are much lower than what you would find in Condesa. Yet, this neighborhood is not easily accessible by public transportation.

4. Santa Fe

Santa Fe is another business district located in the west of the city. It is a new neighborhood that is literally built on top of landfills, and is now it is full of office buildings, nicely made highway roads, a residential area and several university campuses. It is probably the most modern looking neighborhood of the city with the biggest mall located right in its center. The rent prices can be high, so be prepared to pay for the comfort.

To get to Santa Fe, you will need to drive through a poor area, which may not always feel safe.

5 Best Mexico City Neighborhoods for Expats

5. Napoles

Napoles, located to the south of Condesa, is the smallest colonia in Mexico City. It is a very small and family neighborhood, and has a World Trade Center in its center. You can reach Napoles by metro, metrobus or regular bus, the rent prices are decent, and it is relatively safe.

All of these colonias have all of the conveniences you might need including banks and ATMs at each corner, supermarkets, drug stores and multiple laundromats. There are also two kinds of local markets, including a permanent market place, which is open every day of the week and offers a variety products, including a lot of imported Colombian products. The second type is the weekend market, with two in Napoles and Polanco, where you can find anything you might need, including food, clothing, home supplies, breakfast, lunch or dinner.


About Katya Kiseleva

Katya KiselevaKatya originally comes from Russia, but for the last years has been living in various countries (Colombia, Bulgaria, Canada) and currently resides in Mexico working for a consulting firm. Passionate about travelling, good books and movies, and, of course, good food 🙂

18 thoughts on “5 Best Mexico City Neighborhoods for Expats

  1. Avatar
    Nicolas Aubin-Audet
    March 1, 2018

    Hi, I’m going to Mexico city for a student exchange. My school, la IBERO, is located west of the city, near Santa Fe. I can not afford very expensive rent, do you have any recommandation about where I should live for these 5 months? I chose Mexico City to live the urban life a bit so I don’t want to be very far in the suburbs, but not too far from the city so that I can still enjoy a somewhat urban experience. Any recommandation?

  2. Avatar
    December 7, 2017

    Also IT and Dev work also huge here in mexico city

  3. Avatar
    July 1, 2016

    Thanks for this article — good read! I am moving to Mexico City from Quito Ecuador for work starting in September. (I moved to Quito from Toronto Canada). What is the best neighborhood for a single professional? Thanks.

  4. Avatar
    Chris Vidal
    December 3, 2015

    Where is a good place to live in walking distance of the U.S. Embassy?

    • Avatar
      Andrew Wolf
      March 21, 2016

      Reforma, Polanco, Condesa or Roma

  5. Avatar
    El Duque
    November 8, 2015

    I wanted to know if any of you could tell me what the going rate is to buy a home in that area. My mom and I were born in Mexico City and she is ready to retire and i would like to buy her a house in that area. I ball park figure would be sufficient for me. ‘


  6. Avatar
    November 7, 2015

    I think there are lot of nice places more in Mexico city to live, for example “las lomas¨or “el pedregal”, but if you are looking for a place where you can feel safe and rise a family, with a lot of things to do, highly recommended schools, and more; you should take a look to “zona esmeralda” (Condado de Sayavedra, Club de Golf Vallescondido, and surrounds). Not in the city, but not to far away from it.

  7. Avatar
    September 23, 2015

    Katya, nice article!
    Could you please give a few pieces of advice in terms of what neighborhood to choose for a family, since i am moving to the Mexico city in a few months. How can i reach you? I am Russian as well , my name is Olga and my mail is olya_zubova@mail.ru

  8. Avatar
    Bobbye Trotter
    February 6, 2015

    I lived in Polanco over two years and walked everywhere and took public transportation – there are two Metro stops plus numerous buses. I’m a retired senior from USA so I wasn’t traveling during business hours but using good judgement, as I would in any major city, I generally felt safe and metro wasn’t crowded. I would have loved living in colorful Condessa and Coyoacan but felt Polanco was more centrally located. Santa Fe had no appeal to me but my friends had beautiful homes and apartments there. It was suitable for families. I can’t say enough good things about Mexico City, alas, few Americans visit.

  9. Avatar
    February 4, 2015

    The truth is public transportation in Mexico City is not safe in general just as driving or walking is not safe even in Polanco. I am aware of assaults on cars or in city buses (micros) happening mostly in pay days not to mention the police is almost non existent (the police is not allowed to hand out any ticket).

    In general I find the sidewalks broken and dangerously uneven (dirty also), some are invaded by street vendors and it is quite common to find cars parked on it forcing pedestrians to walk in the street. When crossing the streets be very careful just because drivers in general do not understand pedestrians have the right of way (a driver´s license is obtained without a written or practical test). Even bikers have the right of way over pedestrians which could be very dangerous as well for us. Sorry but that is the way it is, and I know it from experience as I walk daily several kilometers between my home and my office.

  10. Avatar
    February 4, 2015

    I also agree that the Polanco public transport comment is way off, it’s no more difficult to get around than Condesa. There is a metro station slap bang in the middle of Polanco and if you are willing to talk 4-5 blocks in any directions you got most of Polanco covered and for the rest there are peseros to get to basically eveywhere.

    Plus the comment about driving though a “poor area” to get to Santa Fe is not only incorrect but very condescending.

    Has the person who wrote this article actually been to Mexico City?!

  11. Avatar
    Tanya Murchie
    February 4, 2015

    My husband and I moved to the Polanco neighbourhood 2 weeks ago (Canadian Expats). We are situated between Masaryk and Horacio on a quiet tree lined street. We are within walking distance to everything we need including his office. If you are going to be working in this area, I highly suggest it. No need for a car just good shoes.
    One word of caution …. rubber soled shoes are a must for walking! The first week here, my husband went for lunch and on returning slipped on a downward slope. He broke his lower leg in two spots and had emergency surgery. That being said, make sure you have health coverage in effect. Enjoy Mexico, great Country, experiences and people.

  12. Avatar
    Larry Fauntleroy
    February 4, 2015

    which is the best place for someone from USA to fine a job

    • Avatar
      February 8, 2015

      Unfortunately, the only jobs really available to Americans are jobs teaching English. If you want to find a job in another field, I would recommend you obtain it before you move to Mexico City. Good luck!

    • Avatar
      April 21, 2015

      Do you know of any popular programs to teach English in Mexico City? I would like to live in Mexico for a bit and trying to explore programs that are good for US Citizens.

  13. Avatar
    February 4, 2015

    To drive to Santa Fe, you don t need to go thru a poor area.
    Polanco is very easy to get with public transportation, subway in the middle of polanco, reforma avenue, etc.

    • Katya
      February 4, 2015

      Thank you Capitan for the clarifications.
      If you take a bus from Napoles to Santa Fe you do have to go through a not nice area 🙂 And as for Polanco the fact that it has metro, unfortunately, doesn´t make it easily accessible, and depending from where you go to Polanco, there is a big chance you will have to change buses, metro stations, and then also walk for awhile to get to where you want to go.

    • Avatar
      March 12, 2016

      What kind of cosulting you do? I need help to start a company in mexico. Do you have expertise in that or can you refer some one?
      Please contact me. Vaidas.bonkys@gmail.com

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