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, choosing the best neighbourhood to stay in Oaxaca can be overwhelming. Which is exactly why we wrote this epic guide for where to stay in Oaxaca.

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, eat all the food, or dance the night away, our list of the best places to stay in Oaxaca will help you find the best area to fit your needs.

Let’s jump right to it – here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Oaxaca

  • Where to stay in Oaxaca for your first time – Centro
  • Where to stay in Oaxaca on a budget – El Llano
  • The best area to stay in Oaxaca for nightlife – Santo Domingo
  • The coolest place to stay in Oaxaca – Jalatlaco
  • Best neighbourhood in Oaxaca for families – La Noria

IN A HURRY? HERE’S MY TOP NEIGHBORHOOD FOR FIRST TIMERS:

FIRST TIME IN OAXACA

Centro

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.

Places to visit:
  • Browse an exquisite collection of contemporary art at the Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños.
  • Catch a performance at the Teatro Macedonio Alcala.
  • Go for a stroll along the atmospheric Andador Turístico.

Where to Stay in Oaxaca

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Oaxaca.

If you’re travelling on a budget, we’d recommend choosing from one of the awesome hostels in Oaxaca. They offer a super comfy bed, a safe place to rest your head, and the chance to meet like-minded travellers!

Best Hostel in Oaxaca: Casa Angel Youth Hostel

This is the best hostel in Oaxaca. Set in the buzzing Santo Domingo barrio, this hostel is ideally located for exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of Oaxaca. This modern hostel offers pod-style beds with privacy curtains and modern amenities. There’s also a relaxing balcony and free hot breakfast buffet.

Best Airbnb in Oaxaca: Stylish minimalistic studio

This cute apartment has an amazing charm and minimalistic style. It’s sparkling clean according to previous guests and equipped with everything you need. Right in the centre, you’re just moments away from all the hot spots – definitely a great choice when visiting the city for the first time.

Best Hotel in Oaxaca: Los Pilares Hotel

Los Pilares is our favourite hotel in Oaxaca. Centrally located in Jalatlaco, this hotel is ideally situated for exploring the city. It offers comfortable and spacious rooms with modern features, satellite channels and private bathrooms. There’s also a swimming pool, a sun deck, free wifi and a restaurant.

Oaxaca Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN CENTRO
Centro, Oaxaca
FIRST TIME IN CENTRO

Centro

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.

ON A BUDGET
El Llano, Oaxaca
ON A BUDGET

El Llano

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.

NIGHTLIFE
Santo Domingo, Oaxaca
NIGHTLIFE

Santo Domingo

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Jalatlaco, Oaxaca
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Jalatlaco

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.

FOR FAMILIES
La Noria, Oaxaca
FOR FAMILIES

La Noria

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 Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is located in the Central Valleys region of the state and sits in the foothills of the Sierra Madres.

It is a colourful, fun and lively city that seamlessly combines its rich history and culture with excellent food, buzzing nightlife, and boisterous energy.

In this Oaxaca neighbourhood guide, we’ll explore the five best places in Oaxaca to stay.

Stating with Centro. This busy and bustling neighbourhood is located at the heart of the city. It is our recommendation for the best area in Oaxaca to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time because it has so many incredible things to see, eat and experience.

North of the city centre is Santo Domingo, the best neighbourhood in Oaxaca to stay in for nightlife. Here you’ll find an abundance of bars, clubs and restaurants where you can enjoy a few drinks, a good meal and a lively night out.

Head east from here and you’ll arrive in El Llano. Centred on a lush park, this neighbourhood is our number one pick for where to stay in Oaxaca for one night or if you’re on a budget because it has a great selection of good-value accommodation options.

Jalatlaco is one of the coolest places to stay in Oaxaca. It is a hip and colourful neighbourhood best known for its cafes and bars as well as its art galleries, museums, murals and more.

And 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 landmarks and attractions of the city centre.

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Oaxaca’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail at the five best areas to stay in Oaxaca. Each is a little different from the last so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you!

#1 Centro – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Your First Time

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. It’s one of the best places to stay in Oaxaca if you’re keen to be at the centre 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 tourist 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 in Centro, you might find yourself swept up in the sounds, smells and taste of the city thanks to its lively atmosphere and welcoming spirit.

Centro, Oaxaca
Source: eskystudio (Shutterstock)

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.

Best Hostel in Centro: Iguana Hostel Oaxaca

This fantastic hostel is located at the heart of Centro. It is close to bars, restaurant and shops, as well as Oaxaca’s main Zocalo. Built by travellers, this hostel has comfortable and private loft beds, strong wifi and cosy common spaces. There’s also a terrace with hammocks, free luggage storage and breakfast.

Best Airbnb in Centro: Stylish minimalistic studio

This cute apartment has an amazing charm and minimalistic style. It’s sparkling clean according to previous guests and equipped with everything you need. Right in the centre, you’re just moments away from all the hot spots – definitely a great choice when visiting the city for the first time.

Best Hotel in Centro: Marhialja Suites

Marhialja Suites is a vibrant and comfortable property located in the city centre. It boasts three charming rooms with a variety of excellent amenities. This three-star property is also loaded with features, like a swimming pool and free wifi. They also offer luggage storage and tour planning services.

Best Hotel in Centro: Hotel NaNa Vida

Hotel NaNa Vida is one of the best places in Oaxaca to stay in. 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.

#2 El Llano – Where to Stay in Oaxaca on a Budget

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. Here you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and a break from the chaos without straying too far from the centre.

Lush and lovely El Llano is also our recommendation for where to stay in Oaxaca for one night or if you’re on a budget because it has an abundance of good-value accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, El Llano is a neighbourhood where you can stretch your travel dollars just a little bit further.

El Llano, Oaxaca
Source: ProtoplasmaKid (Wikicommons)

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.

Best Hostel in El Llano: Hostel Don Nino

This charming property offers guests private rooms and shared accommodations near the centre of the city. It has comfortable rooms and contemporary facilities. Guests can also enjoy delicious breakfast courtesy of the restaurant Blulemon or prepare a meal in the large kitchen.

Best Airbnb in El Llano: Cute budget room

You’ll definitely feel like you’re at home when staying in this budget Airbnb. The room is beautifully decorated, in a bohemian style and will make you feel absolutely comfortable. Airy and bright, you won’t want to leave this place. It’s located in a quiet street, close to the centre so you’ll have the main attractions in walking distance.

Best Hotel in El Llano: Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studios

Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studios is an excellent option for Oaxaca accommodations if you’re on a budget. Set in El Llano, this three-star hotel is within walking distance of the city centre. It has 20 spacious rooms, modern amenities and free wifi throughout the property.

Best Hotel in El Llano: Hotel La Casona del Llano

This three-star hotel is conveniently located in El Llano, one of Oaxaca’s best neighbourhoods. It is close to a great variety of bars and restaurants, as well as a beautiful park. Each room comes complete with a private bathroom and all the necessary amenities.

#3 Santo Domingo – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Nightlife

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.

An excellent place to explore by day, Santo Domingo comes alive at night. As the sunsets, the streets of Santo Domingo fill with the sights, sounds and smells of Oaxaca. Because there are so many places to enjoy a drink, snack or a chat, Santo Domingo is our top pick for where to stay in Oaxaca for nightlife.

Santo Domingo, Oaxaca
Source: Diego Grandi (Shutterstock)

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 mescal 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.

Best Hostel in Santo Domingo: Casa Angel Youth Hostel

This is the best hostel in Oaxaca. Set in the buzzing Santo Domingo barrio, this hostel is ideally located for exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of Oaxaca. This modern hostel offers pod-style beds with privacy curtains and modern amenities. There’s also a relaxing balcony and free hot breakfast buffet.

Best Airbnb in Santo Domingo: Flat with good sleep potential

After having a great night out, you will definitely want your space, privacy and some good sleep to cure your hangover (speaking from experience). This apartment offers you a comfortable home with stylish interior design and great amenities. Located on a quiet street but close to the lively and busy area, you’ll absolutely love it – a good sleep at night is guaranteed.

Best Hotel in Santo Domingo: Casa de Los Frailes

Casa de Los Frailes is ideally located in Santo Domingo, the best neighbourhood in Oaxaca to stay in for nightlife. This four-star hotel has free wifi and offers an airport shuttle. Rooms are relaxing and spacious and well-equipped with luxurious amenities.

Best Hotel in Santo Domingo: Hotel Casa Vertiz

This stylish four-star hotel is conveniently situated in Santo Domingo, one of Oaxaca’s best neighbourhoods. It is close to a variety of bars and restaurants and is within walking distance of the city centre. Rooms come complete with all of the essentials, including free wifi and cosy beds.

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#4 Jalatlaco – Coolest Place to Stay in Oaxaca

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.

Despite being so close to the city centre, Jalatlaco isn’t the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to sightsee. 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!

Jalatlaco, Oaxaca
Source: Marcos Castillo (Shutterstock)

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.

Best Hostel in Jalatlaco: Hostal La Cochinilla

Hostal La Cochinilla is a friendly and welcoming hostel in the heart of Jalatlaco. It is close to a range of great bars, cafes and restaurants, and is a stone’s throw from the city centre. This property offers a variety of Oaxaca accommodation options with modern amenities and features.

Best Airbnb in Jalatlaco: Cosy guest suite

This guest suite is kind of unique. Held in a very minimalistic style, it makes the whole place feel 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 Hotel in Jalatlaco: Los Pilares Hotel

Los Pilares is our favourite hotel in Oaxaca. Centrally located in Jalatlaco, this hotel is ideally situated for exploring the city. It offers comfortable and spacious rooms with modern features, satellite channels and private bathrooms. There’s also a swimming pool, a sun deck, free wifi and a restaurant.

Best Hotel in Jalatlaco: One Oaxaca Centro

One Oaxaca Centre is set at the heart of the city’s coolest neighbourhood. It is comprised of 180 modern rooms and offers free wifi to guests. 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.

#5 La Noria – Where to Stay in Oaxaca for Families

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.

Set south of Centro Oaxaca, La Noria is a calm and peaceful neighbourhood 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 out in Oaxaca. If you’re keen to get back to nature than this is the perfect place to make your base.

La Noria, Oaxaca
Source: Nfoto (Shutterstock)

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.

Best Hostel in La Noria: Azul Cielo Hostel

This is our favourite hostel in La Noria, the best area in Oaxaca to stay in for families. It offers clean and comfortable accommodation just ten minutes from the city centre. 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.

Best Airbnb in La Noria: Stylish family Airbnb

This Airbnb is perfect for a family of 4. Furnished with style and charm, it will feel like a home away from home. All previous guests have enjoyed their stay extremely – we’re sure you will be too. Located south of the centre, the area is more quiet, peaceful and super family-friendly but you’re still able to walk to the busy streets of the main touristy area.

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 16 charming rooms that have a great range of amenities and features. 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, comfortable and each comes complete with a range of amenities.

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 rich and diverse history, unique culture, and plenty of delicious food to eat. Add in its incredible arts scene and lively nightlife, and 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.

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