Live Like a Local in Mexico City

Has Mexico City been popping up a lot on your radar recently? If not, you’re missing out. Its culinary scene is getting worldwide attention and this year it became the first city in the Americas to be named a World Design Capital. The city welcomes many visitors every year, and, as in other cosmopolitan cities, things can get a bit too touristy. So, you want to experience Mexico City like a local but are not sure where to stay or what to do? Then this Insider Key is especially for you.

Where to stay

Mexico City is big and you don’t want to spend too much time getting around, so the place you stay in will go a long way to make sure you get the most out of your trip. This is why all our Mexico City rentals are located in two of the city’s best areas: Condesa and Polanco.

The Condesa neighborhood is one of the most stylish in Mexico City. Its tree-lined streets offer you a myriad of restaurants, bars, galleries, cafés and shops. Chapultepec Forest and Parque México are close by, so is Paseo de la Reforma—Mexico City’s own Champs Élysées. Condesa is also in the same borough as, and relatively close to, the city’s Historic Center, a central place of Mexican identity.

You can stay at Condesa Parque Mexico, a fantastic place to stay while you explore Mexico City. Housed in a French neo-classical building in front of Parque Mexico, this three-bedroom luxury accommodation is hip and sophisticated yet also unpretentious and playful.

Condesa Parque Mexico

View from Condesa Parque Mexico


The Penthouse at Laredo Summit is another splendid luxury rental in Condesa. It sleeps up to seven guests in three bedrooms at the fourth and top floors of a beautifully renovated building.

North of Chapultepec Park lies Polanco, a neighborhood sometimes called the Beverley Hills of Mexico City. Polanco is a true hub for upscale shopping—particularly Masaryk Avenue. That’s far from Polanco’s only attraction, though, as it is also culturally diverse and rich in cultural offerings, with various noteworthy museums.

Art enthusiasts will love a stay at Siqueiros Dream, the former studio of David Alfaro Siqueiros, an important Mexican 20th century muralist. This luxury rental has amazing views of Chapultepec Forest.

Another great choice for culture buffs is Rodin, a three-bedroom apartment located within walking distance of Museo Soumaya and Museo Jumex. Rodin sleeps eight and is part of the exclusive Plaza Carso development.

Botánico is close by, newly renovated with décor and furnishings inspired in nature. This luxury apartment is three blocks away from Masaryk Ave and close to everything you need. The quiet and calm will help you forget you’re in Mexico’s capital.

What to do

Explore Chapultepec Park. The largest park in Latin America, Chapultepec has something for everybody. History buffs can head to Chapultepec Castle, an important place in Mexican history from the time of the Aztecs. You can also visit the zoo, home to some 250 species and known for its successful breeding of giant pandas, ocelots, and axolotls.

Chapultepec Park

Chapultepec Park


Go shopping. You’ll be close to Mexico City’s hottest shopping district. Visit the Antara Polanco Fashion Hall and explore the boutiques along Masaryk Avenue. If you’re a little homesick you can go to Saks Fifth Avenue on Plaza Carso.

Plan a museum circuit. All our Mexico City luxury rentals are close to the city’s best museums. The National Museum of Anthropology is Mexico’s largest and most visited. It is home to several important pre-Hispanic artifacts, like the Aztec calendar stone. As mentioned above, Museo Soumaya is right in Polanco. This museum, widely known thanks to its exterior design, hosts over 60,000 works of art from various European (Claudel, Picasso, Van Gogh, El Greco, Monet, to name a few) and Mexican (like Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo) masters, as well as sculptures by Rodin and Dalí. If you’re into contemporary art, head to the Jumex Museum and the Museo Rufino Tamayo.

Take the kids on a field trip. Start the day with the little ones at Papalote Museo del Niño, a children’s museum with interactive exhibits on art, science and technology, all with a focus on learning, working and communicating together. Afterward, go to La Feria Chapultepec Mágico to enjoy the thrill of the roller coasters and many other rides.

museum of anthropology

The Aztec sun stone at the Museum of Anthropology.

Where to eat

Azul, located in Condesa, offers you authentic Mexican food, prepared and served with attention to every detail, in a charming and elegant environment. Chef Ricardo Muñoz offers a seasonal menu that embodies Mexico’s various culinary traditions.

Stop by El Centenario, an old-school cantina that’s been around since the 1940s. Reminiscent of a European tavern, El Centenario is perfect for having a beer and catching up with friends.

Pujol, the world-renowned creation of Chef Enrique Olvera, is located in Polanco. Plan ahead and make a reservation, whether you want an elegant dinner or a more casual lunch. Olvera’s menu is a delicious synthesis of traditional Mexican ingredients and dishes with modern Mexican techniques and flavors.

Taco de berenjena, hoja santa, garbanzo

Una publicación compartida por Pujol (@pujolrestaurant) el

Nómada Heladería is a self-described ice-cream workshop. Located in Condesa, Nómada serves desserts prepared with fresh Mexican ingredients. Some of their flavors include cardamom, corn, jamaica (hibiscus), and carajillo (coffee with liqueur).

Quintonil is another top restaurant located in Polanco. Chef Jorge Vallejo trained under Olvera at Pujol, and has been making a name for himself with Quintonil, now one of Mexico City’s best restaurants. Vallejo and his wife, Alejandra Flores, have created a relaxed, sophisticated locale that serves a modern twist on classic Mexican dishes.

Inspired? Explore our stunning luxury rentals in Mexico City and plan a trip–or a weekend escape–to Mexico City. As in-country experts, Villas by Journey Mexico provides 24/7 support to deliver an unforgettable holiday.