Mexico City Gay Travel
Mexico City gay guide to the best hotels, things to do, gay bars, clubs, restaurants & the gay district.
The Mexico City Gay Travel Experience
Mexico City is quite well known among the travel community for being an awesome gay-friendly destination. You’ll find countless gay bars along the streets of the gay neighborhood and plenty of other LGBT travelers around.
Mexico’s capital city was everything I expected and more. Everyone I talked to before my trip mentioned the city’s lively gay nightlife. But the city’s beautiful parks and ornate castles were just as stunning.
Simply put, it felt great to travel a city that is both accepting of LGBT tourists and historically legendary. I learned a lot about Mexico City gay life while experiencing some authentic central Mexican culture.
Gay Mexico City: Hotels & Where to Stay
Neighborhoods in Mexico City can have drastically different vibes. Some are very gritty, while others are beautifully charming.
Polanco was definitely the most beautiful neighborhood I visited in Mexico City. Streets here are lined with boutique shops, colorfully painted walls, specialty cafés and high-end storefronts.
The Camino Real Polanco is a well-known and popular hotel in the area. If you’ve ever seen Instagram photos of someone standing in front of a bright pink wall, that’s the Camino Real! Is super pretty.
Polanco is a bit isolated from the bustle of the city’s center. If you prefer your hotel to be in the midst of the most vibrant part of the city, then I would stay closer to Zona Rosa (mentioned below) or Chapultapec.
The Mexico City Gay District
Zona Rosa is the official Mexico City gay district. The area is a mostly commercial district located about 15 minutes west of the Historic Center by car. It’s the epicenter of the gay scene in Mexico City.
Many gay travelers opt to stay here in Zona Rosa. While it’s a great option, you can also find a great atmosphere in the adjacent Juárez or Colonia Cuauhtémoc neighborhoods. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops around.
If you’re visiting Mexico City mainly for the gay nightlife, it will be most convenient to stay in the Zona Rosa/Juarez areas. However, since Uber and taxis are so cheap, don’t limit yourself to this location alone if some cabbing back and forth is not a bother.
I stayed on the fringe of the Zona Rosa neighborhood for my entire trip in an economy hotel called Hotel Block Suites. The location was ideal for sightseeing and the room was pretty big, too.
Dangerous Neighborhoods in Mexico City
Several neighborhoods in Mexico City can be dangerous for tourists, especially at night.
Most tourists choose to stay between the Chapultapec and the Historic Center neighborhoods. While these are both great areas, there are pockets of dangerous areas between them.
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Mexico City Historic Center Safety
Many travel websites list the Historic Center as one of Mexico City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. While crime may be high here, it’s mainly due to pickpocketing and petty offenses.
In my opinion, the Historic Center isn’t necessarily an area you need to avoid. Personally, I would have no issue and would easily stay in one of the Historic Center’s quaint hotels.
As a general safety measure though, people tend to travel by car once night falls, just as most travelers would in any large world city where safety is typically on tourist’s minds.
Mexico City Gay Travel Experiences
Mexico City is an enormous cultural haven. You’ll experience authentic mariachi bands playing in the streets, intricate ancient architecture and even beautiful swaths of park land.
Also, it’s the region most famous for authentic tacos!
Visit Chapultepec Castle
Castillo Chapultepec (Chapultepec Castle) was an absolute pleasure to visit. I had no idea how large and beautiful the compound would be until I reached the top of the mountain path.
Chapultepec Castle is no quick visit. Leave yourself at least a couple of hours. I spent three hours, between walking to the top and touring the grounds.
Admission for Chapultepec Castle is 80 Pesos for foreigners. If you have a student or professor ID card, you can get a discount. Also, the security staff will not allow and food or water past the ticket booth entrance.
A stroll through the quaint Parque México will help you reset after pounding the pavement. The park is well maintained, with plenty of adorable covered benches. I relaxed here for at least an hour, watching some cute little ducks. Don’t miss the iconic trellis.
While walking into Parque México, I happened to meet a local gay guy named Jesse! As we chatted, he mentioned that many of the local gay guys walk their dogs in this park. Perhaps it’s truly a good spot to make a friend.
It was lovely meeting a gay local and learning some things they love about their city, even for a only a brief encounter.
Things to Do in Mexico City's Historic Center
Take a walk through Templo Mayor while exploring the Historic Center of Mexico City. It’s free to enter.
While the grounds outside the Templo Mayor are not the most well-kept, the interior is especially beautiful. The fascinating structure reminded me of the mesmerizing temples in Siem Reap.
Stroll down Ave Francisco I Madero while exploring the city’s heart. It’s one of the busiest tourist streets I saw found. It was enjoyable to feel the booming energy of the neighborhood here.
Another area worth seeing is the stretch of Jose María Piño Suarez south of Plaza de la Constitución. On weekdays, you’ll find this area buzzing with both tourists and locals. If you keep walking south, you’ll find a giant thrift-style market around the Piño Suarez metro station entrance.
Visit Kiosco Morisco De Santa Maria La Ribera
Kiosco Morisco is one of Mexico City’s most iconic structures. It was designed for the 1884 World’s Fair. Tourists have been visiting ever since.
While the design is stunning, intricate and easily photographed, I was a bit disappointed to see its condition. It seems that years of children using it as a playground have worn the structure and littered the area.
If you go, choose a time when kids are still in school for a better viewing experience.
Undeniably the grandest landmark near Mexico City, the ancient Teotihuacan Pyramids are truly a sight to see!
My fellow gay traveler David made the trip up to the pyramids during his visit the week after mine. He highly recommends the journey.
Hiring a tour guide for the Teotihuacan Pyramids will help you learn and make sense of these giant, stately structures. A guide costs about 800 Pesos. The entrance fee for the pyramids is a reasonable 75 pesos.
Taco Restaurants in Mexico City
Tacos are always delicious in the central region of Mexico. At such a low price, how can you resist them? I found myself eating at a taquería for lunch just about every day.
Taquería Arandas: Absolute Best Tacos in Mexico City
The #1 taco spot in the entire city is definitely Taquería Arandas! You know it’s amazing when there is a line of locals and families outside waiting for a table.
You’ll surely find some hard-working cooks outside of Taquería Arandas. They prepare everything on the ground level, attracting customers off the streets of the Historic Center.
If there’s a line, don’t worry. It moves quickly. In the meantime you can enjoy the taco smell wafting through the air.
Tacontento: Cheap Tacos in Zona Rosa
Tacontento is the best place for tacos in the Zona Rosa neighborhood. They are fast and the sauces are delicious.
Their restaurant name is actually a play on words in Spanish. They blend the two Spanish words “tan contento,” meaning “so happy,” so that their name begins with the word taco.
Tacontento is super cheap and open pretty much all the time. Make sure to bring cash, too. They didn’t accept credit cards when I visited.
The Best Tacos in Polanco
Taquería El Rey del Suadero was one of my favorite taco restaurants. It’s is a fantastic option if you’re in the Anzures or Polanco neighborhood.
They’re an authentic, no-frills and absolutely delicious taco spot. The staff are attentive, the service is quick and you can’t beat the prices.
El Pescadito Seafood Tacos
If you’ve had your fill of traditional tacos, try some seafood tacos at El Pescadito. They fry good sized chunks of fish or shrimp and slap ’em on a tortilla with delectable sauces.
I also tried their special recommended Enchilote Enchiloso. Only a little more expensive than a regular taco, it was definitely worth it.
Taco Tips: What Does “Al Pastor” Mean?
“Al Pastor” is something you will see in every Mexican restaurant. You may be more familiar with another name for it: Shawarma!
Lebanese immigrants brought this flame-cooked style pork to Central America and the Mexican culture has made it their own ever since.
The phrase “al pastor” literally means “shepherd style,” from the traditional method of meat preparation. For practical purposes in Mexico, tacos “al pastor” will get you thinly sliced pork mixed with a delicious mix of chilies, pineapple, spices and vinegar.
Mexico City Gay Bars
Mexico City gay nightlife is everywhere. There are so many gay bars to choose from. Just about all of them are near or within the Zona Rosa gay neighborhood. Each of these bars and clubs caters to a different crowd.
Nicho Bear & Bar Gay Leather Bar
Bears, stocky guys and their admirers enjoy nights at Nicho Bear & Bar. My favorite part is the big neon paw print sign on the wall.
Solo gay travelers should have an easier time making friends here. I saw a good amount of guys hanging out here by themselves. Thursdays are great nights at Nicho Bear Bar too. A great option if you are not in town for the weekend.
The dancing space at Nicho is limited, as the layout is optimized for socializing. They still play great Latin music in a fun, dimly-lit setting. Cover charge is 50 Pesos.
Tom’s Leather Bar & Cruising
Without a doubt. Tom’s Leather Bar is my favorite gay bar in Mexico City! Here you’ll find all types of guys and lots to explore.
Tom’s has quieter areas on multiple levels without booming music where you can socialize, a big dance floor and even a dark room.
The cover charge at Tom’s Leather Bar is 200 pesos, which includes a drink. The best night to visit Tom’s is definitely Saturday. If you’re in town during the week, Tuesday is also popular.
Lastly, note that you’re not allowed to take pictures while inside the bar for privacy reasons.
Baby Club CDMX
Baby Club is a popular gay dance club in Mexico City. The club is pretty spacious and plays lots of Spanish hits and R&B. Toward the back, the bar has a quieter outdoor area where it’s easier to socialize.
While Baby Club is a great time, I will mention that this gay club has the most women of all the gay venues I visited in Mexico City. Some gay guys dislike when gay clubs become predominantly girls, so if this bothers you, it may be best to try a different club.
Baby charges 50 pesos for entry at the door. One or two drinks are included, depending on whether you arrive during their two-for-one special.
Daddy Club Mexico City
Daddy Club is one of the more popular gay clubs in Mexico City. Looking back, I completely regret not trying it out. After talking with some other gay travelers, I learned how much better Daddy Club is compared to many other of the city’s gay clubs.
Expect drag queen performances, great dance music and some handsome performers. Also, take note that Daddy Club isn’t exactly easy to find because of neighboring construction (as of early 2020). So if you come across who looks to be an abandoned looking building, don’t fret.
El Almacén Gay Bar
Expect a bustling crowd at El Almacén. Fun lighting and a spacious area to dance make this gay bar a great option to start your night. Everyone here was very friendly.
Even though El Almacén isn’t the fanciest bar, the overall vibe was fun. I saw guys of all different ages, races and body types.
At the door, El Almacén charges a cover of 50 Pesos, which includes two drinks. This is about the best drink special you’ll find at a gay bar in Mexico City. On weekends, they have two-for-one cocktail specials for 80 Pesos.
More Gay Bars in Mexico City
It’s hard to try them all, so you’ll have to choose between some great spots. Here are some other CDMX gay bars that deserve a mention, although I wasn’t able pay these a visit myself.
Kinky Bar is popular for a large interior plus an outdoor balcony on the second level. They make quite a presence on the edge of the Zona Rosa neighborhood, especially with their six-pack wielding bartenders.
I walked past Kinky Bar a few times and there’s always a rowdy crowd. Get a look at the dancers, too! Don’t forget enough cash for the cover charge.
Last but not least is Cabaré-Tito Punto y Aparte, a smaller and lesser-known gay bar in Zona Rosa. You’ll probably hear a bunch of people singing from outside the bar as you walk down Calle Amberes. If you try this one out, send wolfyy an email sharing what you think.
Gay Bars To Skip
Since Mexico City has so many gay bars, I’ll help you narrow your choices by mentioning some spots that didn’t impress me.
I checked out Gayta Pussy Bar to see what it’s like, but I can’t say I would return. The space is very run down and I didn’t feel comfortable in the crowd. There didn’t seem to be any sense of community here. The presence shown online did not at all match the reality of the bar.
A few steps away is a spot called Macho Dance Bar. While I don’t have anything specifically negative to say about this place, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it. The bar just seemed a bit rambunctious, but not in a good way.
Mexico City Gay Pride
Mexico City Gay Pride is a huge celebration not to be missed. Surprisingly though, you might have noticed that online searches don’t show much helpful official information.
To help, you should know that the the gay pride events in Mexico City are hosted by the nonprofit organization Marcha LGBT CDMX. You can stay up to date on event schedules on the Marcha del Orgullo CDMX Facebook page.
You can also visit the Marcha LGBT CDMX official site, but if you don’t speak spanish, you’ll need to translate it in your browser.
Experience what gay pride in Mexico City is like with all the heartwarming (and subtitled) interviews in the video above!
Mexico City Travel Tips
Before you head out to any gay bars in Mexico City, make sure you have some personal identification on you. Just about every bar ‘s bouncer asked for my ID.
Will I Be Safe In Mexico City?
Mexico City is quite safe as long as you don’t pass through any bad areas at night and you follow the standard traveler safety precautions.
Personally, I never felt threatened walking alone in Mexico City, and I did pass through a few rough neighborhoods along the journey.
Unfortunately, Mexico City has a very high homeless population. There are people living on the street in just about every neighborhood. You’ll likely encounter this.
Beggars will sometimes approach you if you’re sitting in an outdoor bar or restaurant. If you notice them coming toward you, just ask the restaurant to take care of it. To avoid this, you can just take seats inside the establishment.
Using Public Transit
Trams and subways in Mexico City are cheap and easy to use. Although Uber is very cheap, I did use the metro once, since it was convenient. A ride only costs five pesos!
Avoiding public transit in Mexico City after dark is best. It’s better to be on the safe side and take an Uber home than to wander near dimly lit transit stations.
Lastly, don’t miss the lesser-traveled city of Guadalajara. Believe it or not, the gay clubs rival those in Mexico City!