yellow colonial building | best places to stay in oaxaca hotels

17 Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City in 2022

Wondering where to Stay in Oaxaca City?

You’ve come to the right place because this article will highlight the 17 best places to stay in Oaxaca City.

Located in Southern Mexico, Oaxaca is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, and one off its most culturally-rich, but there’s so much more to the story.

There are many different reasons to visit Oaxaca — the colorful colonial cities, breathtaking waterfalls, smoky mezcal, lively festivals like Day of the Dead, indigenous artisan towns, insane surf scene, delicious Oaxaca food, and more.

While Oaxaca is known as the Foodie Capital of Mexico, and the food is a big draw, if you are coming to this part of Mexico, you’ll need a place to stay.

So the question remains: Where are the best places to stay in Oaxaca? This article is going to show you, so let’s dive in!

Quick Guide: Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City

vintage room in Pug Seal Oaxaca hotel
Pug Seal is my personal favorite Oaxaca hotel for a unique stay. (Photo: Expedia)

Top 17 Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City

Below you’ll find a list of the best places to stay in Oaxaca City, whether you are coming for the food, the drinks, the culture, the nature or a little bit of everything.

They say where you stay can make, or break, your trip, and these amazing places will help make it unforgettable.

1. Quinta Real Oaxaca

Quinta Real Oaxaca Hotel pool area | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Beautiful Quinta Real is the best Oaxaca hotel, hands down! (Photo: Expedia, Best Oaxaca Luxury hotels)
  • 🏆 Perfect for: All travelers
  • ⭐️ Known for: Location, customer service, amenities, pool
  • 🏨 View on

Located in the restored 16th Century Covenant of Santa Catalina de Siena, the Quinta Real Oaxaca Hotel is a gorgeous boutique property.

This historic hotel was originally built in 1579, and is located in the Oaxaca City Center (Downtown), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hotel is the perfect mix of modern luxury and history. It has retained an Old World charm, from the tile floors to the arched courtyards and combination of stone and dark timber.

In short, the the Quinta Real Oaxaca Hotel is the perfect luxurious oasis for tiresome travelers. 

My favorite hotel, ambiance, service, location, none better.

—Dawson (read more reviews)

The Quinta is located right beside the Plaza Santo Domingo and is within walking distance of all major attractions. It is also located in one of the safest parts of town making it the perfect hotel for first time visitors. 

Lastly, the hotel is known for its outstanding customer service and amenities, including a gym, outdoor pool and air conditioning in the rooms.

There’s also the on-site El Refectorio restaurant, which serves international and Oaxacan food, Las Bugambilias Bar and Las Novicias Bar.

🐾 Traveling to Oaxaca with pets? The Quinta Real Oaxaca is one of the best pet friendly hotels in Oaxaca City.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

2. Pug Seal Oaxaca

swings in the foyer of Pug Seal Oaxaca hotel
Pug Seal Oaxaca is located in one of the best areas, just a short walk from the Oaxaca Cathedral and Zócalo. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca best hotels)
  • 🏆 Perfect for: Art and design lovers, couples, solo travelers
  • ⭐️ Known for: Design, ambiance, impeccable service
  • 🏨 View on

Pug Seal Oaxaca City offers one of the most exclusive lodging experiences in town — but book ASAP as there’s only 20 rooms and they full up quickly.

It is located in the historic center of Oaxaca, the heart of the city, so you’re within walking distance of everything.

The place is even more beautiful than in the pictures, the rooms are designed to a very high standard. Everyone was super helpful. I love Pug Seal!

—Karim (read more reviews)

Staying here is a must for art and design lovers, who will never tire of simply looking around.

The hotel’s design is a journey through the local Zapotec culture and a tribute to the Mexican aesthetic, created by local artists like Rafael Uriegas, Manuel Lozano and Sabino Guisu.

Guests at the Oaxaca Pug Seal Hotel will enjoy gourmet a la carte breakfast each morning, personal concierge service and eco-friendly bath products.

If you need to work, there are private areas and meeting rooms, and fast, free wifi throughout the space.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

3. City Centro Oaxaca (Pink Hotel)

City Centro Oaxaca hotel pool area | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
The rooftop pool at the Instagram worthy Oaxaca City Centro Hotel in Jalatlaco. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca hotels)
  • 🏆 Perfect for: Solo travelers, couples, influencers
  • ⭐️ Known for: Hip location, unique interiors and ambiance, pool
  • 🏨 View on

If you are looking for a unique boho type of hotel, look no further than City Centro Oaxaca, the famous pink hotel in Oaxaca City.

This hotel is located in one of the most exciting and oldest neighborhoods, Jalatlaco, the coolest and hippest area in all Oaxaca.

One of the best Oaxaca hidden gems, this neighborhood’s abundance of colors, cobblestone streets, coffee shops, and restaurants make it truly unique.

The hotel perfectly mirrors the mood of this neighborhood, boasting an impressive bright pink design.

The location is perfect; you are walking distance from everything in the city… and the hotel is very quiet, perfect if you want to rest and relax.

—Jackeline (read more reviews)

Along with its pink color, the hotel’s interior is well done, and its modernity creates a perfect balance with the antiquity of the neighborhood.

The rooftop pool area, with retro lounge chairs and tall cacti, give it a Palm Springs look that’s perfect as a photo backdrop.

The City Centro Oaxaca has a terrace, a bar, and rooftop pool that overlooks the Temple of San Matias Jalatlaco. It is located just outside the city center, but all the best things to do in Oaxaca City are still within walking distance.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

4. Casa Carmen Reforma

outdoor space at Casa Carmen Reforma Oaxaca | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
With just four rooms, Casa Carmen Reforma is one of the best small hotels in Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca hotels)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, art lovers, solo travelers, business travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, unique artwork, designs and interiors
🏨 View on

According to Amador Montes, our home is our sanctuary. This famous Mexican artist designed four exclusive rooms in Casa Carmen Reforma to share his unique perspective on the concept of what home means.

The bed was incredibly comfortable. The room was tastefully designed, as was the entire hotel. There are only 4 rooms so you’re really well looked after.

—Max (read more reviews)

Casa Carmen offers a cultural immersion into the city of Oaxaca; considered by some as the artistic capital of Mexico.

Along with impeccably designed rooms, all with their own unique theme, a central location, and a gorgeous terrace, Casa Carmen Oaxaca will wow you.

Note: If Casa Carmen Reforma is booked during your travel dates, check out Casa Carmen Morelos, a near-identical Oaxaca hotel located just a few minutes away.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

5. Hotel Escondido Oaxaca City

The private rooms at Hotel Escondido take tranquil indoor outdoor living to the next level. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca hotels)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, solo travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, European feel
🏨 View on

Hotel Escondido Oaxaca City is part of the Grupo Habita boutique hotel collection, known for their architecture, design, respect for the local culture and attention to detail.

Their sister hotel, also called Hotel Escondido, is the best hotels in in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.

Staff were amazing, the location was perfect, and the actual room and amenities were so beautiful and comfortable! Truly felt like an oasis after busy days of traveling and sightseeing!

—Kathryn (read more reviews)

The Oaxaca City location lives up to the same high standards. It has an eco-friendly design mixed with modern touches like a rooftop swimming pool and flat-screen TV in each room.

Guests also get complimentary continental breakfast each morning.

There’s an onsite Culture Room with art and a library, which doubles as a co-working space for digital nomads and remote workers. You’re within easy walking distance of quite a few sites, like Santa Maria del Marquesado Church.

Note: This Oaxaca hotel is adults only.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

6. Casa de las Bugambilias Oaxaca

bright pink exterior at Casa de las Bugambilias Oaxaca B&B | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Colorful Casa de las Bugambilias Bed & Breakfast is a great place to stay when visiting this beautiful city. (Photo: Agoda, Oaxaca hotels)
  • 🏆 Perfect for: Families, couples, solo travelers
  • ⭐️ Known for: Location, breakfast, locally-owned property
  • 🏨 View on

A cute B&B located one block from the Santo Domingo Cathedral, Oaxaca Botanical Garden and Oaxaca Cultural Museum, the Casa de las Bugambilias B&B is a modern house decorated with contemporary art, antiques, and local folk art.

Wonderful location in upscale section of Oaxaca. [It’s within] walking distance to great restaurants, stores, churches. Staff is very knowledgeable and helpful… Breakfast is delicious, too.

—Terry (read more reviews)

This B&B is family-owned, run by the Cabrera family of Oaxaca, who have been hosting visitors since 1988.

The hotel is known for its unique decorated rooms, comfortable beds, perfect location, and impeccable customer service. 

Another unique feature of this hotel is its complimentary two-course breakfast, which features Oaxacan cuisine using only organic, locally grown, and fresh produce.

Casa de las Bugambilias hotel is also home to the La Olla Restaurant and Art Gallery. They also operate one of the best mezcal tours in Oaxaca City.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

7. Hotel Casa Oaxaca

staircase and foyer in Casa Oaxaca hotel
Besides the hotel, don’t miss the Casa Oaxaca Restaurant, the best place to sample traditional cuisine from Oaxaca state. (Photo: Casa Oaxaca)
  • 🏆 Perfect for: First-time travelers, couples, solo travelers
  • ⭐️ Known for: Location, Casa Oaxaca restaurant, customer service, amenities, pool

Located right in the heart of the Downtown Oaxaca de Juarez, the Casa Oaxaca Hotel is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the city.

The hotel is just four blocks from the Zocalo, which is main square and central plaza in the Oaxaca City Center.

It’s also home to the famous Casa Oaxaca restaurant, which is known as one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca City.

For foodies, Casa Oaxaca by chef Alejandro Ruiz is always at the top of their list of the best places to eat in Oaxaca, with a spot on the coveted 50 Best list.

Our first trip to Oaxaca was magical and much of it had to do with where we stayed. Casa Oaxaca Hotel was the perfect launch pad for exploring the city…

—Jody (read more reviews)

Along with its central location, Casa Oaxaca also boasts gorgeous colonial architecture, an acclaimed restaurant, and artsy decor.

Here you will find a courtyard filled with greenery, an outdoor swimming pool, undeniable attention to detail, and incredible customer service.

But what stands out here is the food. The hotel’s restaurant serves exquisite Oaxacan dishes prepared with local, native and organic ingredients.

Even if you aren’t staying in the hotel, you can book a table at the restaurant to enjoy their traditional Oaxaca cuisine.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

8. Casa Antonieta Oaxaca

Casa Antonieta Oaxaca Hotel room | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Casa Antonieta is in one of the most beautiful buildings in Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca hotels)

🏆 Perfect for: Families, first-time travelers, couples
⭐️ Known for:
Location, customer service
🏨 View on

Located in the historic center of Oaxaca (AKA Downtown), Casa Antonieta is a 4-Star hotel that feels like a 5-Star hotel.

It offers the simplicity and hospitality of a local home, combined with the modern charm and amenities of a hotel.

The hotel is part of the Spanish Villa de Antequera, built in mid-1529 between the streets of Independencia and Hidalgo.

Casa Antonieta is located in the first block of this project, and has taken great care to preserve the architectural structure and beauty of this building.

Absolutely gorgeous hotel. Staff are so lovely, friendly and helpful. The room was beautiful, the terrace upstairs is lovely for an early evening drink… Can’t recommend this hotel enough.

—emily (read more reviews)

One of the first things you’ll notice while stepping into the hotel is the pillars that support the building, courtyard and common area.

The whole area is filled with lush greenery and makes for the perfect spot to relax after a long day of seeing the Oaxaca sites.

Casa Antoneita is famous for its location in the City Center, also known as Downtown Oaxaca. It has a cool minimalist design esthetic, comfy beds, warm and welcoming staff, and a rooftop garden patio with a bar.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

9. El Callejón Hotel Boutique

outdoor garden at El Callejon Hotel Oaxaca | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
El Callejon is one of the best boutique hotels in Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia, Best Oaxaca hotels)

🏆 Perfect for: Families, first-time travelers, business travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, complimentary breakfast, free secured parking
🏨 View on

El Callejón Hotel Boutique is minutes from Downtown Oaxaca, in the heart of the Xochimilco neighborhood.

Xochimilco (pronounced so-chee-mill-co) is is the oldest Oaxaca City neighborhood, known for colorful buildings, historic charm and this 18th Century aqueduct.

Gorgeous grounds, incredibly helpful, attentive staff, impeccably clean and well appointed suite… Would stay again in a heartbeat.

—dana (read more reviews)

This hotel is an urban oasis with 12 spacious rooms distributed across four towers, all complemented by private terraces and balconies.

The property also has stunning architecture and a lush garden that provides guests some peace and quiet from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Callejón Hotel Boutique Hotel offers free private parking, which is great if you’re renting a car in Oaxaca, as many hotels in Downtown don’t offer this.

There’s also a restaurant and bar that has a large selection of the best Oaxaca mezcals the region has to offer.

👩‍💼 Traveling to Oaxaca on business? Or just plan to stay a while? Callejón Oaxaca Hotel also the option to rent apartment-style rooms that have a kitchen, microwave, fridge and minibar.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

10. Hotel Casa Santo Origen

City Centro Oaxaca hotel pool area | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
At Hotel Casa Santo Origen, you’ll feel like you’re staying at a spa. (Photo: Expedia, Luxury hotels Oaxaca MX)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, honeymooners, girl’s trip
⭐️ Known for:
Tranquil atmosphere, posh accommodations
🏨 View on

Located 15-20 minutes from Downtown Oaxaca by car, Hotel Casa Santo Origen is the perfect place to escape the city life and enjoy the Mexican countryside.

It is an adults only hotel, so it’s the perfect place for a honeymoon or adult’s trip.

Literally the best hotel experience I’ve ever had! gorgeous property, the friendliest staff, comfy beds, world class amazing food, thoughtful design… Loved this boutique hotel.

—Lauren (read more reviews)

The hotel’s layout emphasizes privacy, while its contemporary designs and warm interiors offer travelers a unique sense of secluded tranquility.

Enjoy the on-site restaurant, Entre Sombras, with unique Oaxacan Mediterranean fusion cuisine, and the heated saltwater pool.

Note: Casa Santo Origen is about 15-20 minutes by car from Downtown Oaxaca. Since there’s no Uber in Oaxaca City, and no Lyft either, you can take a taxi, drive your rental car, or have the hotel arrange for a private driver.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

11. Hotel Ayook Oaxaca

beautiful courtyard at ayook oaxaca hotel | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
The central courtyard at Hotel AYOOK welcomes you into this Oaxaca hotel. (Photo: Expedia)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, solo travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, unique decor and style
🏨 View on

Situated in the historic center of Oaxaca, Hotel AYOOK is a contemporary boutique hotel that was rebuilt from the remains of an 18th Century house.

The hotel has perfectly combined a respect for the history of the buildings with modern, sophisticated touches throughout.

Exceptional stay at AYOOK! We were amazed by the hospitality and the kindness of the staff… Breakfast is served every morning right outside of your hotel room at a personal table.

—Jeessica (read more reviews)

Small but mighty, this 12-room hotel is beautifully decorated with high-quality elements and local artisan touches.

It also offers big rooms, comfy beds, a central location and a delicious breakfast every morning at Cafe AYOOK, which is free for all guests to enjoy.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

12. Hotel NaNa Vida

colorful foyer at hotel nana vida oaxaca | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Besides the hotel, there’s an on-site bar and wellness spa. (Photo: Expedia, Nana Vida Hotel Oaxaca City Mexico)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, solo travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, unique hotel offerings
🏨 View on

NaNa Vida Oaxaca is a boutique hotel where the culture, art, and flavors of Oaxaca Mexico all live harmoniously.

Their CaCuachi Cantina de Autor is a cool social area where guests can play dominoes, listen to music and sample some locally-made Oaxacan mezcal in the cantina.

It felt like home. The property is so beautiful and loved all the art. Customer service is exceptional.

—Delia (read more reviews)

Each of their rooms not only includes a comfy bed, but are also decorated with artisanal pieces to support local Oaxaca artists. Their exclusive rooms also have a patio view, opening up to a lush, greenery-filled garden.

They also offer cooking classes, massages, yoga, a business center, and even a soap bar.

This unique feature is something you never see in hotels — as they have a private collection of soaps handmade by local artisans, and hotel guests get to pick their preferred scent.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

13. Hotel Parador de Alcalá

rooftop pool at Hotel Parador de Alcala | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Hotel Parador de Alcalá is a great value hotel in Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia, Best Oaxaca City hotels)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, solo travelers, business travelers, families
⭐️ Known for:
Central location, friendly staff, swimming pool
🏨 View on

Located in the heart of the Oaxaca historical center, the Hotel Parador de Alcalá is housed in an 18th Century mansion that was restored and converted into a boutique hotel.

If you want to be right in the heart of the action, this hotel is the perfect place for you.

Very nice hotel in the middle of Oaxaca. It is right next to the main street, but you don’t hear the noise from the street at all.

—Kai (read more reviews)

With just 21 rooms and suites, guests get dedicated, personal attention from the staff.

Enjoy amenities like made-to-order breakfast served in the open-air courtyard, rooftop pool with stunning views of the city, fitness center and business center with meeting room.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

14. Palacio Borghese

elaborate foyer in Palacio Borghese Oaxaca hotel | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
The gorgeous seating area at the entrance to Palacio Borghese Oaxaca. (Photo: Expedia)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, solo travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, European feel
🏨 View on

A mixture of classic European style and Mexican Baroque, the Palacio Borghese is a luxury boutique hotel in Oaxaca City that’s located in the historic center.

In a city full of stylish and beautiful hotels, this one remains one of the most beautiful hotels in Oaxaca Mexico.

The hotel is beautiful. The breakfast is wonderful… Staff are amazing! We would stay here again without hesitation.

—sean (read more reviews)

The hotel has only eight rooms, allowing for a more attentive and hospitable staff. The rooms are spacious, beautiful, and decorated with a European touch.

The hotel also has a spectacular rooftop terrace, massage services with aromatherapy, and more.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca mexico

15. Hotel Los Amantes

woman in a rooftop pool with view of colonial church in the distance | Hotel Los Amantes, Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
The roof terrace and pool at Hotel los Amantes has some of the beset views of Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia, Best hotels Oaxaca City Mexico)

🏆 Perfect for: Couples, girl’s trips, solo travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, incredible views of the Oaxaca attractions
🏨 View on

Hotel los Amantes is located in a historical building that’s been carefully restored in a modern style, but preserved in a way that kept its colonial essence.

Los amantes means “the lovers,” and you will love staying at this contemporary hotel that’s right in the middle of the action.

Very well located, all restaurants very close! The room is super clean and very nice.

—Regina (read more reviews)

You’ll love the views from stunning rooftop terrace and pool.

From here, you can see the historical center of the city of Oaxaca, including the Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and the open-air Guelaguetza Auditorium, where the Guelaguetza Festival takes place.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

16. Hotel CasAntica Oaxaca

swimming pool area at Hotel CasAntica Oaxaca | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Hotel CasAntica is a great option for budget travel in Oaxaca because its located inn the perfect area of town and has affordable room rates year-round. (Photo: Expedia)

🏆 Perfect for: Solo travelers, families, budget travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, budget-friendly, pet friendly
🏨 View on

Located in the historic center of Oaxaca, Hotel CasAntica, is a quiet oasis in the heart of the city.

The hotel is located in a 16th Century Franciscan nun’s convent, but the historic building has of course been updated to include modern hotel amenities, like a pool and gym.

Close to town center. Lovely grounds, friendly and helpful staff. Clean rooms, comfy beds.

—Donna (read more reviews)

This hotel has a beautiful interior courtyard, balconies, a pool, a restaurant, and a location that can’t be beaten. It also has babysitting services if you need a little time away from the kids while traveling to Oaxaca.

Note: Some rooms are small and might not work if you’re traveling as a family. Double-check with the staff before booking your stay at Hotel CasAntica Oaxaca to see if they have family rooms available.


17. Hostal Central Oaxaca

bunk beds in oaxaca hostal central hostel | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
With a near-perfect rating on Hostel World, it’s easy to see why Hostal Central is considered the best hostel in Oaxaca City. (Photo: Expedia)

🏆 Perfect for: Solo travelers, backpackers, budget travelers
⭐️ Known for:
Location, budget-friendly
🏨 View on

If you want to stretch your budget in Oaxaca, look no further than the Hostal Central Oaxaca.

Located on the downtown west side, this hostel is spotless, organized, and has an incredible staff eager to help you with all your needs. 

Amazing breakfasts every morning. They even hosted a free mole tasting night with complimentary mezcal and all! Incredible value for money with so many nice touches.

—marisa (read more reviews)

One of the best hostels in Oaxaca City, Hostal Central also offers free breakfast and a communal kitchen if you prefer cooking some meals at home.

There’s an outdoor garden and plenty of common areas, perfect for relaxing solo or chatting up other guests.

If Hostal Central is booked during your travel dates, check out these best Oaxaca hostels, all located nearby: Hostel Selina Oaxaca, Azul Cielo Hostel, Yabanhi Hostel and Casa Angel Youth Hostel.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

BONUS: Additional places to stay in Oaxaca City

courtyard at Hotel con Corazon Oaxaca | Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City
Hotel con Corazón is located just outside the main tourist areas, but you still have easy access to downtown. (Photo: Expedia, Oaxaca Mexico hotels)

Still need a few more recommendations for where to stay in Oaxaca City?

Here are eight more suggestions for the best Oaxaca hotels, B&Bs, hostels, guesthouses and more ⤵

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Best Neighborhoods in Oaxaca City

Now that you know the best hotels in Oaxaca, you might be wondering, What are the safest areas in Oaxaca City? 

Though it’s known as one of the safest places in Mexico, Oaxaca City does have some neighborhoods that are better than others, so stick to the ones below.

Centro Histórico (Downtown Oaxaca)

colorful oaxaca sign in downtown oaxaca city mexico
Oaxaca is a small town, but if this is your first visit, don’t miss the Free Walking Tour of Oaxaca City to get your bearings in this most central of all Oaxaca neighborhoods.

Centro Historico, or Historic Downtown Oaxaca, is one of the best places to stay in Oaxaca for apparent reasons.

Downtown Oaxaca is centered around Zocalo, a large square that houses the massive Oaxaca Cathedral, and many of the best things to see in Oaxaca City.

Whatever happens in Oaxaca City, happens in downtown, so this is THE place to be when you visit Oaxaca.

If you haven’t been to the city before, this is the best place to stay in Oaxaca. It is the heart of the city and the home of many bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

Best Hotels in Downtown Oaxaca

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Santo Domingo Oaxaca City

oaxaca culture museum at templo santo domingo oaxaca city
Santo Domingo Temple is also home to the Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca (Botanical Gardens) and Oaxaca Casa de la Culturas (Oaxaca Culture Center) — some of the best places to visit in Oaxaca.

Santo Domingo is the northern half of Centro Historico, and considered the nicest part of Downtown Oaxaca.

It is walkable, and you’ll be near the best Oaxaca mezcal bars, top restaurants in Oaxaca, artisan shops, local mercados (Oaxaca markets) and art galleries.

Santo Domingo is renowned for its nightlife, beauty and colonial architecture.

Stroll the cobblestone streets, enjoy the breathtaking buildings, and see many of the top Oaxaca attractions, like the Santo Domingo Church and Oaxaca Botanical Garden — two of the top sites in Downtown Oaxaca City.

Best Hotels in Santo Domingo Oaxaca

Barrio de la Noria

In the southern half of downtown, there’s Barrio de la Noria, a quiet, residential area. This is a better option if you need quiet nights, as Santo Domingo can be loud.

In Barrio de la Noria, you’re still within walking distance of the all top Oaxaca attractions. 

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Barrio de Jalatlaco Oaxaca

colorful buildings in jalatlaco oaxaca city mexico
Jalatlaco is known for its laid back vibes, Colonial buildings, and for having the best street art in Oaxaca. In my opinion, it’s the best area to stay in Oaxaca City.

Located just next to Centro and the famous Parque El Llano Park, you’ll find the colorful Jalatlaco neighborhood (pronounced ha-lat-lack-oh). This neighborhood is hip, artsy, and one of the coolest places to stay in Oaxaca, especially if you love street art.

Jalatlaco is lined with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. Its just a short 10 minute walk from downtown and most major Oaxaca attractions, but it has a locals’ feel. There’s hip coffee shops, family-run restaurants, quirky bars with live music and unique local shops.

Best Hotels in Jalatlaco

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Barrio de Xochimilco Oaxaca

colorful xochimilco neighborhood in oaxaca city
Barrio de Xochimilco is the oldest Oaxaca neighborhood, and one of the oldest in Latin America.

North of Santo Domingo is the Barrio de Xochimilco, a neighborhood founded in 1486 by the Xochimilco warriors following the orders of an Aztec emperor. It is the oldest neighborhood in Oaxaca City, and among its most historic.

Xochimilco (pronounced so-chee-mill-co) is famous for its colorful streets, artisan shops, traditional restaurants and centuries-old history. If you are looking for a wallet-friendly place to stay, this quiet and low-key barrio (meaning “neighborhood”), this is the place for you.

Best Hotels in Xochimilco Oaxaca

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Reforma Oaxaca City

best cafe in oaxaca city | reforma
Staying in the Oaxaca neighborhood of Reforma is a great way to experience local life. (Photo: Seema Miah via Unsplash, Best neighbourhood in Oaxaca)

Last but not least is the Reforma neighborhood in Oaxaca City. It’s a bit off the beaten path for most Oaxaca travelers whoo prefer downtown, but if you want to live like a local, this is one of the best neighborhoods Oaxaca has for that.

Reforma is an affluent neighborhood, and though it lacks major attractions, you’ll find a friendly local scene that’s completely un-touristy. In Reforma, you’ll have authentic local restaurants (like the amazing Itanoni), as well as international dining options and boutique hotels.

Best Hotels in Reforma Oaxaca

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Oaxaca Travel Guide and FAQ

colorful buildings in oaxaca city
Most of the Oaxaca best places to stay are located in downtown.

How do you pronounce Oaxaca?

Wondering about the Oaxaca pronunciation? It’s a common question, so if you are, you’re not alone! The word Oaxaca is pronounced waa-haa-kah.

Where is Oaxaca located?

Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico, surrounded by other Mexican states like Chiapas and Puebla. The southern edge of the state sits on the Pacific Ocean. Oaxaca City is the state’s capital city, and located about six hours south of Mexico City, you can book direct flights.

Oaxaca Map

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

What is the best time to visit Oaxaca Mexico?

The best time to travel to Oaxaca is during the dry season, October to May. However, the temperate weather in Oaxaca City means it can be a year-round destination. While it will rain during the Oaxaca rainy season, you’ll also get lower prices — as this is the slow season.

If you want to avoid the crowds, the Oaxaca busy season runs from about late-October for Day of the Dead, through mid-January. Many also visit Oaxaca de Juárez (Oaxaca City) for the Guelaguetza in July, the second biggest Oaxaca festival.

Oaxaca weather

oaxaca weather chart

Oaxaca City has a desert climate, so hot days and cool nights. The temperature in Oaxaca City fluctuates a lot, so be mindful and bring layers when packing for Oaxaca. If you hate the heat, avoid the hottest months of April to May so you have an enjoyable Oaxaca vacation.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Is Oaxaca safe for tourists?

woman walking in oaxaca city mexico
Doing some Oaxaca solo travel? Check out this first-hand account from Poonam about her solo trip to Oaxaca.

For the vast majority of travelers, Oaxaca is safe to visit. In fact, Oaxaca is one of the safest states in Mexico. Oaxaca City is the country’s 67th largest city, with a population of about 275,000, but retains a humble, pueblo vibe.

⚠️ For a deep dive into this topic and a Oaxaca safety guide, check out Is Oaxaca Safe to Travel to Right Now?

That’s not to say bad things don’t happen in Oaxaca City; they do. However, if you take the same general travel precautions you would anywhere else — ie. stay aware of yourself, your belongings and your surroundings — you should be safe traveling to Oaxaca City.

What’s the closest Oaxaca Airport?

Wondering, Is there an airport in Oaxaca City? Yes, there’s Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX), located about 20-30 minutes from downtown. You might see this airport called Xoxocotlán International Airport, but it’s still OAX. ▶︎ Book your Oaxaca flights now!

Best Oaxaca Airport transportation

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Is there Uber in Oaxaca City?

passenger calling uber in oaxaca from their cell phone

No — There is no Oaxaca Uber service, and no Lyft in Oaxaca either. They do have DiDi Taxi through the DiDi Rider app, which lets you call a Oaxaca taxi via the app. It’s basically like using Uber or Lyft, but you will get a regular cab.

Are taxis safe in Oaxaca Mexico?

For the majority of travelers, yes, taxis are perfectly safe to use in Oaxaca. I personally prefer to call taxis via the DiDi Rider app, so I have a record of my trip and the price is already set for me, but you can also just hail a cab on the street.

How do you get around Oaxaca City?

Oaxaca City is walkable, so if you’re just staying in the city itself, you can walk and use taxis and public transportation as needed. If you’re doing Oaxaca day trips, a rental car or group tour is your best bet, and I recommend booking Oaxaca tours via Viator and Airbnb Experiences.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

How many days do you need in Oaxaca City?

colorful buildings in downtown oaxaca city
Colorful downtown in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Within Oaxaca City itself, you can see the highlights in 2-3 full days. For those who want to explore the villages outside town, like Hierve el Agua in San Lorenzo Albarradas, San Agustín Etla, Teotitlán Del Valle and San Pablo Villa de Mitla, you’ll want at least 5-6 full days.

What is Oaxaca known for?

Wondering, Why is Oaxaca so popular? There are five things Oaxaca is known for — art, culture, the Oaxaca Day of the Dead celebration, mezcal and food. In fact, Oaxaca is known as the Foodie Capital of Mexico, so try both the street food in Oaxaca and the restaurants.

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca Mexico

Is Oaxaca City worth visiting?

handicrafts for sale at a oaxaca market
You’re going to fall in love with the art, food, beauty and friendly people of Oaxaca.

As you’ll usually need to take at least two flights to Oaxaca, Mexico, or a flight and a bus if you’re coming from Mexico City, you might be wondering if traveling to Oaxaca is worth it. I hope this guide to Oaxaca made it clear that FU+K YES IT IS!

Oaxaca is magical; it’s the Mexico people imagine Mexico to be. There’s everything from rich history, colorful festivals, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, locally-made mezcal, beautiful nature, colonial architecture, indigenous artisan communities, and of course, the Oaxaca food.

Final Thoughts: Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca City

If you started reading this article not sure where to stay in Oaxaca Mexico, I hope you’ve now picked a place. As long as you stick to the best areas in Oaxaca (Centro Historico, Reforma, Xochimilco and Jalatlaco), and you choose a hotel with great reviews, you’ll be just fine!

Oaxaca Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance for Oaxaca?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Oaxaca?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling to Oaxaca. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Oaxaca?

Yes — Renting a car in Oaxaca is one of the best ways to see the state. I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Oaxacan companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Oaxaca?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Oaxaca?

For Oaxaca hotels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Oaxaca Airbnb, also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. For the best Oaxaca hostels, use HostelWorld.

🧳 What do I pack for Oaxaca? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Oaxaca flights? For finding cheap Oaxaca flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Oaxaca?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

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