Are you wondering where to stay in Oaxaca? Read on, and I’ll detail the best neighbourhoods and hotels in Oaxaca city!
Oaxaca is a wonderful place.
With cobbled streets lined by multi-coloured beautiful architecture and flanked by beautiful mountains, it’s hard to imagine a city more scenic.
Everything about it, from the amazing food to the city sights, is so authentic; it’s somewhere that, although it sees its fair share of international visitors, thankfully hasn’t bowed to mass tourism.
But everyone loves Oaxaca.
Locals, ex-pats, tourists, people who’ve never been after I excitedly spend an hour talking about it… It’s a really special place.
And I’m guessing, as you’re already wondering where to stay in Oaxaca, that you’ve made the decision to check it out.
Great life choice.
I lived in Oaxaca city for five months and stayed in a few different areas during that time. So I feel well equipped to advise the best area to stay in Oaxaca.
It’s a small city, and all of these neighbourhoods are entirely walkable to each other; some also kind of merge.
But some of them do have their differences and are better for certain things, so this Oaxaca accommodation guide will answer any queries that you might have.
For a quick rundown, here are what I consider to be the best areas to stay in Oaxaca for different travel types:
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for families: La Noria/ Xochimilco
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for nightlife: Santo Domingo
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for backpackers: El Llano/ Santo Domingo
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for the bus station: El Llano
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for shopping: Reforma
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for local vibes: Jalatlaco
- Where to stay in Oaxaca for tourist attractions: Zocalo
Where to Stay in Oaxaca: Complete Detailed Guide
One of the most famous attractions in Oaxaca, and set amongst its beautiful streets and colonial architecture, Santo Domingo is a must-visit while you’re in the city.
The area is named after Santo Domingo church, which sits in the middle, and there are also street food stalls and restaurants dotted around.
Here, you’ll be very close to Oaxaca’s nightlife, in short, walking distance to the Zocalo and El Llano and be in one of the prettiest areas of Oaxaca (although let’s be honest, they’re all stunning).
Santo Domingo is one of the pricier areas of downtown Oaxaca, although there are backpacker hostels available here.
Where to Stay Near Santo Domingo
Hostel – Casa Angel
I consider Casa Angel to be the best hostel in Oaxaca.
It was the first place I stayed in the city and was a great way to start my time there.
Most dorms are a bit basic, but there are luxury dorms that have pod-style beds and other prime features, as well as private rooms.
But what makes Casa Angel stand out is how social it is.
It’s not a mad party hostel, but there’s something going on every night – whether that be cumbia classes on the rooftop terrace, a BBQ or drinks deals. They also offer walking tours and survival Spanish classes.
The staff really encourage everyone staying there to make friends, giving it a great atmosphere.
And the breakfast is just unreal. I had the vegan option – fresh bread with homemade frijoles (beans) Mexican style, as well as a delicious fresh salsa.
They also offer eggs and sausages, bananas and cereal for those wanting something sweet. And it’s included in all room rates!
Mid-Range Hotel – Oaxaca Real
Oaxaca Real is set in a colonial mansion and has an outdoor pool flanked with palm trees, bar and restaurant.
The rooms are well furnished and match the traditional style of the hotel.
Luxury Hotel – Palacio Borghese
Palacio Borghese is one of the best luxury Oaxaca hotels.
Rooms are furnished exquisitely, with gold-framed beds, deluxe linen, and plenty of cushions!
En suite bathrooms have a hydromassage bathtub. There is a restaurant and bar on site.
Parque El Llano is probably the most famous park in downtown Oaxaca; and walking around the square, taking in the atmosphere, you’ll most certainly feel like you’re in Latin America.
El Llano is generally a quieter area than Santo Domingo and the Zocalo at night (unless they have an event on, when it’s so loud it will blow your brains out) – although do be aware that nowhere in Mexico is really silent (I was once kept up until 3am in a tiny mountainous village because they decided to have a fiesta).
It’s very close to the main attractions of Oaxaca, and El Llano is kind of an attraction in itself, so it’s a good place to stay in Oaxaca for any kind of traveler.
It’s close enough to Oaxaca’s bars; although I wouldn’t recommend walking home alone at night.
Where to Stay Near El Llano
Hostel – Casa Angel
Casa Angel is kind of in the middle of El Llano area/ Santo Domingo area – so if you want to stay in a hostel in this Oaxaca neighbourhood, go for casa as well.
You won’t regret it. Say Claire sent you.
Mid-Range Hotel – Las Mariposas Eco Hotel & Studio
Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studio has charismatic rooms and suites, with friendly staff and a beautiful garden setting – an oasis from the city.
A complimentary breakfast is provided.
Luxury Hotel – Hotel La Casona del Llano
Hotel La Casona del Llano is a trendy hotel with clean, well-furnished rooms.
At Hotel La Casona, staff go above and beyond to make sure guests’ needs are met and the hotel enjoys its own grounds set back from the park, while still being very close to the action.Booking.com
If you want to be really in the thick of it, consider staying by the Zocalo.
Hotels here are a little more expensive, but you’ll be in the city’s main square, right by all the attractions and festivities.
There’s always something going on in the Zocalo, and every evening it’s alive with colour and celebrations. Needless to say, it’s not the calmest area of the city; although things do generally quieten down between 11pm – 1am.
Then they perk up again by 9am the next morning!
The Zocalo is a great place to stay to be really central to pretty much everything and enjoy the restaurants and mezcal bars of the city.
Where to stay in the Zocalo
Hostel – Adaina Hostel
Andaina Hostel is one of the best places for backpackers to stay in Oaxaca near the Zocalo.
The hostel provides clean, comfy dorms and private rooms with sturdy beds and cosy linen. The staff are lovely and there is free coffee.
It’s not reported to be the most atmospheric of the hostels in Oaxaca, but if you’re looking for a chill place to stay in the centre, it might be perfect for you!
Mid-Range Hotel – Parador San Agustin
In traditional Oaxaca style, Parador San Agustin is set around a scenic courtyard, in a 16th-century colonial building.
You’ll really feel like you’re enjoying authentic Oaxaca when staying here!
The hotel has a restaurant and offers breakfast as well as free WiFi. Rooms have large double beds and private bathrooms.
Luxury Hotel – Hotel de la Parra
A more luxury pick is Hotel de la Parra.
With luxurious, regal-looking suites – some rooms containing a hot tub – this is one of the best places to stay in Oaxaca.
The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a bar and restaurant.
Barrio de La Noria
I lived in La Noria for most of my time in Oaxaca, and really liked the neighbourhood.
It’s a bit of a hike from the centre, especially from El Llano (it’s not too far from the Zocalo) but it’s possibly the quietest area of the city during nighttime.
If you know me, you know I LOVE my sleep, so this was really appreciated.
There are a few attractions close to La Noria; mainly independent art galleries.
But generally, the bars, most restaurants, and attractions are further north – but still walking distance.
Buses also run frequently around town and cost just 8 pesos, so you’re well connected. If you’re going home at night, it’s best to be safe and take a cab.
Where to Stay in La Noria
Hostel – Azul Cielo Hostel
The highly-rated Azul Cielo Hostel is a great chill out spot, offering yoga lessons and Spanish classes.
It has a bar area and rooftop with hammocks and offers private and dorm rooms.
There are some minor complaints about the larger dorms being cramped and light shining into one of the rooms, but most guests seem to have a great stay here!
Mid-Range Hotel – Hotel Niut-Ja
Hotel Niut-Ja is a 2* budget hotel is a great option for those who want somewhere cheap but clean and safe to stay.
Rooms are set around a courtyard and are spacious, with satellite TV, en suite bathrooms and free WiFi throughout the property.
Luxury Hotel – Hotel Camba
Hotel Camba has well-facilitated, clean rooms with ceiling fans and cable TV.
Barrio de Xochimilco
Not to be confused with the Mexico City neighbourhood with the same name, Xochimilco is a chill, more local neighbourhood with street art and local restaurants.
It’s a great place to stay to experience slightly more authentic Oaxaca.
Where to Stay in Xochimilco Oaxaca
Mid-Range Hotel – Casa Carlota
This unique hotel has individually-styled rooms, with authentic artwork and bright linen.
The property offers free WiFI and room rates include breakfast. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom.
Luxury Hotel – El Callejón Hotel Boutique
El Callejón Hotel Boutique is a great luxury hotel in the area.
The rooms are decorated in a modern style and are awash with natural light, they have luxury linen, woodwork furnishings and spotlights.
Each room has a coffee machine and some have kitchenettes.
Every room has a deluxe private bathroom. The boutique hotel enjoys free WiFi and there is a bar on site.
Reforma is a complete contrast to the cobblestone streets of Oaxaca’s centro historico.
North of the city centre, it’s like a whole different city; any small city in the USA.
Here there are shops that you wouldn’t dream you could find in a city as historic as Oaxaca, countless restaurants serving world foods, a few different bars (I prefer the ones in the centre though) and some decent hotels.
If you want to stay somewhere a bit familiar while still being close to Oaxaca city centre, Reforma might be the best option for you.
Where to Stay in Reforma Oaxaca
Mid-Range Hotel – Hotel Anturium
When staying at Hotel Anturium, you can stay in a single, double, triple or quadruple room. They are spacious and clean and most have a private bathroom.
There is a restaurant on site and the hotel enjoys free WiFi.
Luxury Hotel – Casa los Cantaros Hotel Boutique
Casa los Cantaros Hotel Boutique is set in a lovely garden atmosphere with lots of flowers and exotic plants.
The rooms have clean, white linen, exposed stonework and luxury en-suite bathroom. Suites have garden views and a seating area.
Barrio de Jalatlaco
Jalacato is a cool neighbourhood, with some nice coffee shops, lots of street art and a really laid back atmosphere.
It’s known for its great Day of the Dead celebrations, but it’s quite quiet for the rest of the year. That being said, it’s close to El Llano and not a million miles from Santo Domingo.
Hostel – Cielo Rojo Hostel
Cielo Rojo Hostel includes extras like free breakfast, drinking water, locks and towels.
They are a socially responsible hostel and work with local indigenous people, with indigenous language lessons and field trips to the communities.
Choose from a private room or dorm.
Mid-Range Hotel – One Oaxaca Centro
One Oaxaca Centro has modern and functional decor, with comfy beds, bright walls, and well-facilitated bathrooms.
It lacks the charm of other hotels in Oaxaca, but you can be sure that you’ll be able to enjoy comfy and clean rooms here. Room rates include a good breakfast.
Luxury Hotel – City Centro Oaxaca
City Centro Oaxaca is potentially the chic-est hotel in Oaxaca, decorated in sophisticated and modern pink inside and out.
The rooms have wooden floorings, spacious desks, and comfy chairs and beds. Bathrooms have deluxe linen and powerful showers.
Breakfast is included in the room rate. There is a gym on the property. Click here to learn more and to book.
Ejido Guadalupe Victoria
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay out of the city, check out Ejido Guadalupe Victoria, with its rural atmosphere and beautiful views over the city.
Hostel – La Villada Inn Hostel
Here, you’ll be a little way from the centre, but will be able to enjoy a serene location, amazing views, a family atmosphere and a really relaxing vibe.
It’s somewhere to chill out and get a break from the city!
Choose from dorm rooms and privates, enjoy the cafeteria which serves up Mexican food, take a dip in the pool, and chill the flip out.
Other places to stay in Oaxaca state
Outside of Oaxaca city, there are loads of fun places to stay in the state!
- Puerto Escondido: this is a wonderful seaside town which is great for surfing, with lots of holiday places to stay. Click here to read my guide on where to stay in Puerto Escondido.
- San Jose del Pacifico: this is a beautiful village in the mountains just south of Oaxaca City.
- Mazunte: this is another wonderful chilled-out ocean village in Oaxaca state.
Where is the safest place to stay in Oaxaca?
Oaxaca is, by Mexican standards, a very safe city. I’m not saying that incidents never happen here, but I have never felt in danger there once.
There are a couple of sketchy neighbourhoods further away from the centre, but tourists don’t go there and they’re not recommended as areas to stay in this post.
Petty theft is still quite common in Oaxaca, so don’t walk around at night alone, cross your bag over your shoulder, don’t take too many valuables out etc. You know the drill.
Oaxaca is, however, a lot safer for tourists than many cities in the US and Europe.
Keep yer head screwed on and you’ll have a hassle-free time.
The safest place to stay in Oaxaca is probably Santo Domingo, just because there are the most people there on an evening.
But as noted, if you’re in any other neighbourhood just jump in a cab. It’s not worth risking yourself for, plus the cab drivers in Oaxaca are all exceptionally friendly. In Oaxaca, it is safe to hail cabs on the streets – it’s not in Mexico City.
Whether you’re staying in downtown Oaxaca de Juarez or elsewhere, I hope that this guide on where to stay in Oaxaca city has helped!
Are you after some more super awesome helpful accommodation guides? Check these out:
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- Where to Stay in Bristol – written by a resident (also me!)
- The Best Hostels in Byron Bay
- The Best Hostels in Sydney
- Cheap Hotels in Bath City Centre