Oaxaca is a lively and vibrant city that has so much to offer visitors. It boasts a rich history and diverse culture, as well as some amazing food, art, architecture, and nightlife.
But despite its small size, deciding where to stay in Oaxaca can be overwhelming. Each area offers something different, and some are better suited to travelers than others.
This guide was written with one thing in mind – to help YOU plan an unforgettable adventure in Oaxaca. So whether you’re looking to dive deep into history, immerse yourself in culture, or dance the night away, we’ve got you covered.
- Where to Stay in Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Neighbourhood Guide
- Oaxaca’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in
- 1. Centro – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Your First Visit
- 2. El Llano – Where to Stay in Oaxaca on a Budget
- 3. Santo Domingo – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Nightlife
- 4. Jalatlaco – Coolest Place to Stay in Oaxaca
- 5. La Noria – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Oaxaca.
Best Airbnb in Oaxaca: Stylish minimalistic studio
This cute apartment boasts an amazing charm and a minimalistic style. It’s sparkling clean and equipped with everything you’ll need for a comofrtable stay in the city. It’s situated right in the centre, putting you just moments away from all the hot spots. It’s a great choice if you’re visiting Oaxaca for the first time.
Best Hostel in Oaxaca: Casa Angel Youth Hostel
Casa Angel is our favorite hostel in Oaxaca. Set in the buzzing Santo Domingo barrio, this hostel is ideally located for exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of Oaxaca. It offers comfortable pod-style beds with privacy curtains and modern amenities. There’s also a relaxing balcony and free hot breakfast buffet.
Best Hotel in Oaxaca: Los Pilares Hotel
If you like the convenience of the hotel, we recommend Los Pilares. Centrally located in Jalatlaco, this hotel is ideally situated for exploring the city. It offers comfortable and spacious rooms with modern features, satellite TV, and private bathrooms. There’s also a swimming pool, a sun deck, and a restaurant.
Centro is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oaxaca if you’re visiting for the first time. This neighbourhood is the heart, soul and centre of the city.
Situated north of the city centre is the quaint El Llano neighbourhood. Centred around one of the most famous parks in the city, this neighbourhood is one of the quietest in Oaxaca.
Santo Domingo is a small neighbourhood north of the city centre that packs a big punch. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city thanks to its labyrinth of cobblestone streets, buildings with colourful facades and its spectacular heritage sites.
West of the city centre is Jalatlaco. One of the coolest places to stay in Oaxaca, Jalatlaco is a hip neighbourhood known for its cosy coffee shops, vibrant street art and its laid back and relaxed atmosphere.
La Noria is our best recommendation for where to stay in Oaxaca with kids because it is located outside of the city centre, but still within walking distance.
Oaxaca is the largest city and capital of the state of Oaxaca. It’s one of the most unique places to stay in Mexico, located in the Central Valleys region in the foothills of the Sierra Madres.
It is a colorful, fun, and vivacious city that seamlessly combines its rich history and culture with excellent food, buzzing nightlife, and a boisterous energy.
If you’re discovering Oaxaca for the first time, Centro is a great place to stay. This busy and bustling neighborhood sits at the heart of the city, offering an endless array of things to see and do. It’s also well-connected to other areas, making it a great base for exploring further afield.
El Llano is centred on a lush park, and is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Mexico on a budget. It’s slightly out from the centre and offers cheaper accommodation, while not being too far from all the action.
North of the city centre is Santo Domingo, the best area in Oaxaca for nightlife. Here you’ll find an abundance of bars, clubs, and restaurants, with plenty happening when the sun goes down.
Jalatlaco is one of the coolest places to stay in Oaxaca. It is a hip and colourful neighbourhood best known for its quirky cafes and bars. It’s also full of art galleries, museums, murals, and more.
Finally, south of the city centre is the Barrio de la Noria. Our top pick for where to stay in Oaxaca with kids, this neighbourhood offers a great escape from hustle and bustle while still being within walking distance of the city centre.
Still unsure where to stay in Oaxaca? Don’t worry, we’ve got more detailed guides on each area below!
Oaxaca’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look at each area in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
1. Centro – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Your First Visit
Centro is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oaxaca if you’re visiting for the first time.
This neighborhood is the heart and soul of the city and is the best place to be if you’re keen to be at the center of the action. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as the city’s most famous historical attractions and landmarks.
Centro is also one of the best areas to stay in Oaxaca to soak in the city’s glorious atmosphere. On any given day you’ll find yourself swept up in the sounds, smells, and tastes of the city thanks to its lively atmosphere and welcoming spirit.
Best Airbnb in Centro: Stylish minimalistic studio
This minimalistic apartment has a charming atmosphere. It’s stylish and very comfortable and has all the modern amenities you may need during your time in Oaxaca. Its central location means all the best bars, restaurants, shops, and attractions are just a stone’s throw away.
Best Hostel in Centro: Selina Oaxaca
This hostel is the perfect base for travelers and digital nomads visiting Oaxaca. It offers clean and comfortable private and dorm rooms, and free wifi is available throughout. Situated in the city centre, you’ll be within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants, and top attractions.
Best Hotel in Centro: Hotel La Casa de Maria
La Casa de Maria offers stylish accommodation in the heart of Oaxaca. There’s a bar and restaurant onsite, and an airport shuttle is also provided. Staying here, you’ll have shops, museums, and restaurants on your doorstep.
Best Hotel in Centro: Hotel NaNa Vida
Hotel NaNa Vida is one of the best places to stay in Oaxaca. It is set at the centre of the city and offers easy access to dining, nightlife, shopping, and sightseeing. Rooms are modern, spacious and airy, and each is filled with a range of amenities.
Things to See and Do in Centro:
- Browse an exquisite collection of contemporary art at the Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños.
- Catch a performance at the Teatro Macedonio Alcala.
- Explore Oaxaca’s Zocalo, a small but bustling square that is the heart and centre of the city.
- Go for a stroll along the atmospheric Andador Turístico.
- Marvel at the works of five well-known Oaxacan artists at MACO, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca.
- See the statue of Antonio de Leon, a Mexican Brigadier and native of Oaxaca.
- Visit Casa de la Ciudad, a community centre that offers a variety of creative and artistic exhibits.
2. El Llano – Where to Stay in Oaxaca on a Budget
The quaint El Llano neighbourhood sits north of the city centre. Based around one of the most famous parks in the city, this area is also one of the quietest in Oaxaca. Here, you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and a break from the chaos without straying too far from the centre.
El Llano is also our recommendation for where to stay in Oaxaca for one night or if you’re on a budget. It has an abundance of good-value accommodation options, from backpacker hostels to boutique hotels. This lets you stretch your dollars a little bit further.
Best Airbnb in El Llano: Private Room in Nature Lodge
Want to stay amongst the stunning nature of Oaxaca? This Airbnb offers simple and comfortable accommodation in El Llano. Amenities include a kitchen, wifi, and barbecue facilities. Pets are also allowed, so you can enjoy a full family vacation in the great outdoors.
Best Hostel in El Llano: Hostel Don Nino
This charming property offers private rooms and shared accommodations near the center of the city. It has comfortable rooms and contemporary facilities, including a large shared kitchen. Guests can also enjoy a delicious breakfast courtesy of the restaurant Blulemon.
Best Hotel in El Llano: Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studios
Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studios is an excellent option for Oaxaca accommodation if you’re on a budget. Set in El Llano, this three-star hotel is within walking distance of the city centre. It has spacious rooms, modern amenities and free wifi throughout.
Best Hotel in El Llano: Hotel La Casona del Llano
This three-star hotel is conveniently located close to a great variety of bars, restaurants, and a beautiful park. Each room comes complete with a private bathroom and all the necessary amenities.
Things to See and Do in El Llano:
- Browse the collections at VAGAMUNDO, a small gallery that showcases the works of up-and-coming artists and creatives.
- Dine on an amazing array of fresh and delicious dishes at 100% Natural.
- Dive deep into the history, favours and spirit of the city at Oaxaca Profundo Sessions.
- Enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat from Helado Frito Oaxaca.
- Excite your senses at Tacos Del Llano.
- Feast on flavorful and delicious fare at Hong Kong.
- Pack a picnic or go for a stroll through leafy and relaxing Parque Juarez El Llano.
- See a great collection of contemporary works of art at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca.
- Sink your teeth into a delicious burger from Hamburguesas La Esquina.
3. Santo Domingo – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Nightlife
Santo Domingo might be a small neighborhood, but it packs a big punch. It’s one of the most beautiful areas of the city thanks to its labyrinth of cobblestone streets, buildings with colorful facades, and spectacular heritage sites.
It’s an excellent place to explore by day, but Santo Domingo really comes alive at night. As the sun sets, the streets of fill with people looking for a good time. Because there are so many places to enjoy a drink, snack, or chat, Santo Domingo is the ideal place to be in Oaxaca for nightlife.
Best Airbnb in Santo Domingo: Family-Friendly Flat in Tourist Area
This family-friendly Airbnb in Oaxaca is the ideal base for those wishing to make the most of the nightlife in Oaxaca. Its convenient location puts you close to bars and restaurants, as well as shops and bakeries. The apartment is fully equipped with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Best Hostel in Santo Domingo: Casa Angel Youth Hostel
This awesome hostel in Oaxaca is set in the buzzing Santo Domingo barrio. It offers pod-style beds with privacy curtains and modern amenities, so you’ll be comfortable no matter how long you stay. There’s also a relaxing balcony and free hot breakfast buffet – you can’t go wrong!
Best Hotel in Santo Domingo: Hotel Oaxaca Real
It may look quaint from the outside, but the Hotel Real provides a stunning oasis retreat in Oaxaca. The hotel sits in a restored colonial mansion, complete with swimming pool, poolside bar, and an onsite restaurant. Top attractions are close by, including Santo Domingo Temple and various markets.
Best Hotel in Santo Domingo: Hotel Casa Vertiz
This stylish four-star hotel is conveniently situated a short walk from Centro, while enjoying the quieter surroundings of Santo Domingo. It is close to a variety of bars and restaurants, as well as top sights and attractions. Rooms come complete with all of the essentials, including free wifi and cozy beds.
Things to See and Do in Santo Domingo:
- Be amazed by the art, architecture and design of the spectacular Temple de Santo Domingo de Guzman.
- Dance the night away at El Barracuda.
- Drink refreshing cocktails at Mezcaleria Los Amantes.
- Enjoy a night of cocktails at Passion Bar.
- Sample a variety of drinks and shots at El Cortijo Mezcaleria.
- Shop for local crafts at La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca.
- Sip, sample and learn all about mezcal at La Mezcaloteca.
- Start your day with a delicious brew from Praga Coffee Bar.
- Try a range of local craft beer at the Oaxaca Brewing Company.
4. Jalatlaco – Coolest Place to Stay in Oaxaca
West of the city center is Jalatlaco. One of the coolest places to stay in Oaxaca, Jalatlaco is a hip neighborhood known for its cozy coffee shops, vibrant street art, and its laid-back atmosphere.
Despite being so close to the city centre, Jalatlaco isn’t the place to be if you’re looking for tourist attractions. But, what this trendy neighbourhood lacks in landmarks and attractions, it certainly makes up for in restaurants, cafes and bars. So, if you’re looking to eat well while in Oaxaca, Jalatlaco is the neighbourhood for you!
Best Airbnb in Jalatlaco: Cosy guest suite
This guest suite is pretty unique. Held in a very minimalistic style, the whole place feels very clean and airy. Exposed brick walls, wooden furniture, and a great kitchen really add to the modern flair of this Airbnb – definitely worth checking out if you’re thinking about staying in Jalatlaco.
Best Hostel in Jalatlaco: Hostal La Cochinilla
Hostal La Cochinilla is a friendly and welcoming hostel in the heart of Jalatlaco. It’s close to a range of great bars and eateries, and is a stone’s throw from the city centre. This property offers a variety of room options, each fitted with modern amenities.
Best Hotel in Jalatlaco: Los Pilares Hotel
Los Pilares is our favorite hotel in Oaxaca. It offers comfortable and spacious rooms with modern features, satellite TV, and private bathrooms. There’s also a swimming pool, a sun deck, and a restaurant on-site, but you’ll be spoilt for choice by all the dining options in the surrounding area!
Best Hotel in Jalatlaco: One Oaxaca Centro
One Oaxaca Centre is set at the heart of the city’s coolest neighborhood. It is comprised of modern rooms and offers free wifi to guests, perfect for digital nomads. They also boast a range of features and facilities, including laundry, a ticket desk, and 24-hour room service. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant where you can enjoy meals throughout the day.
Things to See and Do in Jalatlaco:
- Dine on authentic Mexican fare at Café Blason.
- Eat incredible local dishes and delicacies at Cocina Económica El Atrio.
- Excite your sense with a delicious Italian meal at Miel & Canela.
- Feast on a festival of flavours at La Toscana de Oaxaca.
- Grab a slice at Pisa Pizza.
- Indulge in fresh, delicious and flavorful Mexican fare at El Bicho Pobre.
- Sample a great selection of snacks, drinks and more at Mesón Jalatlaco.
- Sip a coffee at Bor Bon Coffee Tea Snack.
- Visit the majestic Templo de San Matias Jalatlaco.
5. La Noria – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Families
La Noria is our best recommendation for where to stay in Oaxaca with kids. It’s removed from the busy city centre but is still within walking distance of all the top places to visit.
Set south of Centro Oaxaca, La Noria is a calm and peaceful neighborhood just a stone’s throw from the Zocalo. Here you can enjoy a range of delicious restaurants, bars, attractions, and shops, but without the throngs of tourists.
La Noria is also ideally located for exploring further afield. If you’re keen to get back to nature, than this is the perfect place to make your base.
Best Airbnb in La Noria: Stylish family Airbnb
This Airbnb is perfect for a family of four. Furnished with style and charm, it will feel like a home away from home. It sits south of the centre in an area that’s more peaceful and family-friendly, while being just a short walk from the tourist areas.
Best Hostel in La Noria: Azul Cielo Hostel
This is our favourite hostel in La Noria. It offers clean and comfortable accommodation just ten minutes from the city center. Each room is stylishly decorated to reflect Oaxacan culture and is well-equipped with contemporary features. There’s also a rooftop bar, bikes, and wifi available.
Best Hotel in La Noria: Parador San Agustin
Parador San Agustin is ideally located in central Oaxaca. It is close to popular shopping, sightseeing, and dining areas. This four-star hotel has charming rooms that feature a great range of amenities. It also boasts an outdoor terrace and an in-house restaurant.
Best Hotel in La Noria: Hotel Camba
This three-star hotel is one of our best recommendations for where to stay in Oaxaca for families. It is conveniently located in La Noria and offers easy access throughout the city. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each comes complete with a range of amenities.
Things to See and Do in La Noria:
- Dine on fresh and fried seafood (and everything in between) at Marisquería La Casa del Pirata.
- Enjoy an authentic meal in a friendly atmosphere at Los Compadres.
- Explore the grounds of the Templo de San Agustin.
- Feast on an incredible array of Mexican, Latin and Spanish food at Sabor Antiguo.
- Learn to make your favourite Oaxacan dishes and delicacies at La Cocina Oaxaquena.
- Shop, snack and sample your way through the bustling Mercado de Artesanias.
- Take a day trip to nearby Monte Alban and explore the archaeological site and the ruins of the ancient Zapotec capital.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Oaxaca
Quirky, colourful and packed with excitement, Oaxaca is a can’t miss destination for travellers. It offers a diverse history, unique culture, and plenty of delicious food to eat. Plus, with its incredible arts scene and lively nightlife, you’ll find there’s something for every traveller in Oaxaca.
In this guide, we’ve looked at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Oaxaca. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourite places.
Casa Angel Youth Hostel in Santo Domingo is our favourite hostel because it is ideally located for exploring, shopping, dining and dancing.
Another great option is Los Pilares Hotel. Centrally located in Jalatlaco, Oaxaca’s hippest hood, this hotel has comfortable rooms, modern features, a swimming pool, a sundeck and free wifi.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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