Mexico is having a moment. Sure, the sunny North American country has been luring tourists for ages with its pristine beaches, historic ruins, and passionate people, but the latest spike in popularity has more to do with refined living and lifestyle than week-long vacations. Acclaimed Noma chef René Redzepi draws foodies to Tulum and The New York Times crowned Mexico City the #1 spot to visit in 2016, citing its radiating energy and engaging culture as winning characteristics. Come for the art and design or the booming cuisine scene and stay for the ambiance, including these colorful districts that turn tourists into residents.
Morning at Central Alameda Park, photo courtesy of Sergey Novikov/ Shutterstock Inc.
No time in Mexico City would be complete without soaking in the history of the city center. With its Aztec origins, stunning cathedral, multiple churches, and colorful murals by Diego Rivera, there is no shortage of impressive tradition to explore. Drop by Restaurante El Cardenal for breakfast, or stop and smell the lavender in Alameda Central, Mexico’s oldest municipal park.
Sky-high living and modern architecture bring a decidedly contemporary flair to the Santa Fe district on Mexico City’s western edge. Shoppers will love the Centro Santa Fe and foodies can dive into high-end Italian fare at Quattro. Explore the area from a home base that’s a mix of tradition and try-anything design, like this rooftop garden home with a funky carrot-orange staircase, or this valley hacienda with private terraces and lush environs.
Lovers of fine food and fashion will appreciate Polanco, the Beverly Hills of Mexico City. From luxury labels to local artisan-crafted furniture, homewares, and ceramics, bringing something beautiful home from holiday has never been easier. While you’re there, don’t miss Pujol, Enrique Olvera’s fine dining restaurant. Toast the town over mezcal cocktails from your expansive penthouse complete with pool and spa facilities or a tastefully-designed condo with top-of-the-line finishings.
Once a small village of colonial homes, San Ángel is as picturesque as neighborhoods come. Take in the Bazar del Sábadoon the weekend to find beautiful local artwork, or find artistic inspiration at the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo House Studio Museum before relaxing in your own three-bedroom contemporary showroom, complete with a beautiful terrace and a fun treehouse slide for the kids.
One area of Mexico City coming into its own is La Condesa. Originally part of an estate belonging to María Magdalena Dávalos de Bracamontes y Orozco, the Countess of Miravalle, neighborhood land was parcelled into smaller homes following the Mexican Revolution. Now the remnant Art Deco architecture and new minimalist designs fit right in with the trendy shops, bars, and restaurants popping up next to Parque México, a local landmark and the site of a former horse race track.
The museum, created and conceived by Diego Rivera, photo courtesy of BondRocketImages/ Shutterstock Inc
Perhaps the most lauded southern neighborhood in Mexico City, Coyoacán is the birthplace of the incomparable Frida Kahlo. Spend a day exploring her popular namesake museum, dip into the Leon Trotsky Museum, take in the amazing murals at the Central Library (and maybe take out a book, too), and relax one of the two main plazas with a cup of coffee.
Mexico City’s districts are as unique as they are vibrant, with contrasting architecture, fantastic local designers and artists challenging the status quo, and a cultural warmth unmatched anywhere else.
Posted on June 14, 2018
Find your own dream South American abode among these local listings, and take up residence in the colorful heart of Mexico City.