Santa Fe is the second oldest city in the United States. It’s located in New Mexico, in a mountainous region that has a desert climate with very hot summers and snowy winters. Santa Fe is a popular destination for travelers, both for its old buildings and churches, it’s fascinating history, tasty food, and exciting outdoor activities.

When you travel to Santa Fe, you’ll be enchanted by the clear, fresh air, the stark beauty of the landscape, and the friendly, welcoming people.

Despite its popularity among tourists, Santa Fe is a smaller town. So, you might have trouble finding the best places to stay in Santa Fe during your trip. But don’t let this put you off visiting. With our Santa Fe neighborhood guide, you can find areas and hotels that will suit your budget, your travel tastes, and are close to what you most want to see and do.

If you’re ready to visit this amazing city, then grab this guide to the best Santa Fe accommodation options and get going!

Where to Stay in Santa Fe

Road-tripping through the USA and stopping over in Santa Fe? No stress, we’ve listed our top accommodations in the city, so you can find the perfect place to rest your head and start the next day fresh and recharged. These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Santa Fe.

High desert mountain house Santa Fe NM

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Sunny Adobe Casita | Best Airbnb in Santa Fe

This casita is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for families. It offers enough space for up to 4 people in a detached guesthouse located in a quiet residential neighborhood.

The space offers a full kitchen, private bathroom, private courtyard, and lots of authentic, local decorations and features.

Santa Fe International Hostel | Best Hostel in Santa Fe

This hostel in Santa Fe is ideal if you’re on a tight budget. It’s been operating for more than 30 days and is an educational not-for-profit corporation where guests are expected to do a small daily job to help with upkeep.

The hotel in Santa Fe has shared and private accommodation and bathrooms and clean, simple furnishings.

Las Palomas | Best Hotel in Santa Fe

This hotel in Santa Fe is recently refurbished and perfectly positioned for exploring the city. There are local eateries around the hotel and it’s only a short walk from the railway station too.

The hotel offers clean, charmingly decorated rooms with all the usual amenities.

Santa Fe Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Santa Fe

FIRST TIME IN SANTA FE
santa fe - Downtown
FIRST TIME IN SANTA FE

Downtown

The Downtown area of Santa Fe is popular among tourists for good reason. It offers the most attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas in the city. This makes it ideal when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for one night or for a longer visit.

ON A BUDGET
santa fe - Canyon Road
ON A BUDGET

Canyon Road

If you’re trying to work out where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget, then the area around Canyon Road is as good choice. You’ll find a huge range of accommodation options in this area, including some of the city’s best budget choices.

FOR FAMILIES
santa fe - Midtown
FOR FAMILIES

Midtown

The final area to consider for your trip to Santa Fe is Midtown. This was once an industrial area and full of warehouses, but it’s received a facelift and become one of the coolest places to stay in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is filled with life, color, and culture. It offers a very different history to what you’re probably used to as well as neighborhoods that each have their own energy and attractions. While you’re in the city, make sure that you explore as much as possible and decide which of Santa Fe’s best neighborhoods you like the most!

There is so much do to in Santa Fe, it might be hard to decide what to do first. From mountains and deserts to cities and national parks. You can start with the Downtown area. This is the most crowded (relatively) and popular area for tourists and locals. It also has the greatest concentration of restaurants, so it’s one of the best places to stay in Santa Fe if you want to try every meal available.

The next area to consider is around Canyon Road. This is close enough to the city center that you can walk in there and it offers a more local feel as well as lots of art galleries. Canyon Road has an irresistible hip and arty feel, and you’ll find lots of budget Santa Fe accommodation options in this part of the city.

And the last area is Midtown. This is a little further from the city center but is connected to there by rail. This is one of the best choices when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe with kids as it offers a cool vibe and lots of active attractions.

If you’re looking for a romantic gateaway Santa Fe offers amazing cabins that provide a sense of home away from home. Surrounded by exquisite nature, there are numerous cabins available for rent in the city and on its outskirts. Regardless of your preferences, this guide will help you have the perfect stay.

3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Santa Fe

There are many reasons why Santa Fe should be on your backpacking USA adventure list. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe for nightlife or just want to experience the city’s heart and culture, here’s where to look for somewhere to stay. 

#1 Downtown – Where to Stay in Santa Fe for Your First Time

The Downtown area of Santa Fe is popular among tourists for good reason. It offers the most attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas in the city. This makes it ideal when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for one night or for a longer visit.

The center of the Downtown area is Central Square, which is ideal for people watching, and there are museums and historical sites almost everywhere you look in Downtown.

santa fe - Downtown

Downtown is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for nightlife too as it offers a good range of bars, clubs, restaurants, and breweries. It’s also busy at all hours, which makes it really safe for tourists, and offers good transport links in and out of the city.

That means you can enjoy the city vibe and then head out to experience Santa Fe’s amazing natural landscape too!

Magical Cottage Walk to Plaza | Best Airbnb in Downtown

Located within walking distance of the Plaza, this is one of the best places in Santa Fe to stay if you want to be close to everything. It’s clean and spacious and has a private compound and off-street parking.

The cottage is on a quiet, safe street and includes a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities of home.

Inn of the Governors | Best Hotel in Downtown

If you’re looking for comfort and convenience, this hotel is a good choice whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe with kids or on your own. It’s within walking distance of the train station and offers an outdoor pool, spacious and air-conditioned rooms, and a restaurant and bar on site.

There are also plenty of dining options close to the hotel if you want to try something different.

Casa de Estrellas Hotel & Spa Santa Fe | Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown

This hotel in Santa Fe is close to local attractions and offers rooms with kitchenettes, spa baths, and fridges. There’s a sauna in the hotel as well, which is close to local attractions like the Loretto Chapel and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. And the restaurants in the area are great too!

Things to See and Do in Downtown:

  1. Don’t miss the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
  2. Start your journey at the Santa Fe Plaza, home to cafes, restaurants, hotels, and historic buildings.
  3. Learn about the local culture at the Museum of Art.
  4. Visit local historic sites like the St Francis Cathedral, the San Miguel Mission, or the Loretto Chapel.
  5. Head out for great shopping at places like the De Vargas Centre or Sanbusco Centre.
  6. Look out for shows and theater at the famous Santuario de Guadalupe Greer Garson Theatre and St Francis Auditorium.
  7. Head 15 miles north of the town to spend some money at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino.
  8. Head out of the city and explore the Santa Fe National Forest.
  9. Check out the fresh produce and artisan meals at Santa Fe’s Farmer’s Market.
  10. Try some of the delicious local food as well as international cuisines at the many, many local restaurants.
  11. Have a drink with friends at local breweries like Second Street Brewery or Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery.
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#2 Canyon Road – Where to Stay in Santa Fe on a Budget

If you’re trying to work out where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget, then the area around Canyon Road is as good choice. You’ll find a huge range of accommodation options in this area, including some of the city’s best budget choices.

Best of all, Canyon Road is only about 10 minutes’ walk from the Plaza and the center of town, so you’ll still have easy access to all the city’s best sites.

santa fe - Canyon Road

Canyon Road is famous for its collection of art galleries. So, if you want to learn more about the city’s past and present art scene, then this area is ideal.

It’s also the best area in Santa Fe to stay in if you like to eat. Because lots of tourists stay in this area, there are lots of restaurants and eateries around for you to try!

Historic Adobe Studio off Canyon Road | Best Airbnb in Canyon Road

This is hands down one of the coolest places to stay in Santa Fe. The studio was built in 1871 with hardwood floors, exposed beams, and a newly renovated bathroom.

It’s on a quiet street just off Canyon Road and close to the center of town and offers a private studio and bathroom attached to the owner’s home. This is one of the most unique accommodations in New Mexico.

Inn on the Alameda | Best Luxury Hotel in Canyon Road

Located in one of Santa Fe’s best neighborhoods, this inn is close to everything. It offers massage services, laundry facilities, and a dry-cleaning service as well as romantically decorated rooms with all the amenities.

And it’s within walking distance of local attractions such as the New Mexico Museum of Art too.

The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn | Best Hotel in Canyon Road

Located in one of the best areas to stay in Santa Fe, this B&B in Santa Fe is a real find. It offers an airport shuttle and is surrounded by lovely gardens that add a real atmosphere to the property.

There are 7 lovely rooms with all the essentials and the B&B is close to local attractions and great places to eat too.

Things to See and Do in Canyon Road:

  1. Make sure you spend some time exploring the local art galleries.
  2. Check out what’s on while you’re in the city and take part in one of the area’s famous outdoor events.
  3. Wander along the street people watching.
  4. Check out local restaurants like Geronimo, Café Des Artistes, and El Farol Restaurant.
  5. Head out of the city for hiking, mountain biking, or skiing in winter.
  6. Spend a day exploring Museum hill and popular choices like the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the
  7. Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, or the renowned International Folk Art Museum
  8. Take a day trip to Taos and stay in an authentic New Mexico neighborhood.

#3 Midtown – Best Neighborhood in Santa Fe for Families

The final area to consider for your trip to Santa Fe is Midtown. This was once an industrial area and full of warehouses, but it’s received a facelift and become one of the coolest places to stay in Santa Fe.

It has several popular streets that offer their own collection of attractions like Baca Street, where you’ll find lots of shops and studios, and Second Street which focuses on taprooms, cafes, and bistros.

santa fe - Midtown
Photo: Parker Higgins (WikiCommons)

This is the best neighborhood to stay in Santa Fe if you have active kids as it’s home to lots of very active attractions like the mind-bending Meow Wolf art collection. It’s also an emerging theater district, and there’s always something new and experimental going on for you to experience.

So, if you like your travel a little edgier, then this is where you should be spending your time.

Mucho Gusto Casita | Best Airbnb in Midtown

This casita is in the best neighborhood in Santa Fe to stay in if you want to be close to Meow Wolf and all the attractions around it. It’s suitable for 2 guests and you’ll have a private entrance and garden, full kitchen, laundry facilities, and Cable TV and internet too.

If you’re looking for relaxation and privacy, this is where you’ll find it!

Silver Saddle Motel Santa Fe | Best Hotel in Midtown

This hotel is ideal if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget. It offers free Wi-Fi, and lots of amenities like a BBQ area and comfortable rooms with all the usual amenities.

The hotel is close to local attractions and to restaurants where you can grab a delicious meal.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Santa Fe | Best Luxury Hotel in Midtown

Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe for families or on your own, this hotel is a good choice. It offers a fitness center, sauna, Jacuzzi, indoor pool, and a 24-hour business center.

The rooms are modern and peaceful and there are lots of eateries close by.

Things to See and Do in Midtown:

  1. Check out the amazing and exhilarating Meow Wolf art collection and take part in one of their workshops.
  2. Check out what’s on at the Teatro Paraguas and The Adobe Rose Theatre for plays and workshops.
  3. Wander down Baca Street for great shopping and souvenirs.
  4. Spend some time in a unique café or bistro on Second Street.
  5. Be part of the creative action at the MAKE Santa Fe space where you’ll find art galleries, music, and performance venues.
  6. Take the train into the Downtown area to see the sites.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Santa Fe

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Santa Fe and where to stay.

What To Pack For Santa Fe

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

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Sea To Summit Micro Towel

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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Santa Fe

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Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a relatively small city, and definitely one of the coolest places in New Mexico! But don’t let its size fool you. This city is filled with color, culture, and history, and it’s a fascinating holiday destination for travelers of all kinds.

So, whether you’re trying to decide where to stay for your first time or on a return trip, check out when’s the best time to visit Santa Fe, get booking today!

Looking for more info on travelling to Santa Fe and New Mexico?

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