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An LGBTQ+ Traveler's Guide to Gay-Friendly Mexico City, MX

Mexico City LGBTQIA+ Travel
by Harrison Pierce Dec 26, 2023

Mexico City is one of the most populated and most densely populated cities in the Western Hemisphere, falling behind only São Paulo in Brazil in terms of population. La Ciudad de México (CDMX) is known for its impressive history, delicious food, dozens of museums, and being one of the most important cultural centers in the world.

But Mexico City is also extremely friendly to same-sex couples, too. It was the first city in the country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009 and legalized adoption by same-sex couples in the same year. The city guarantees more legal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ folks than many cities around the world, and even banned conversion therapy in 2020.

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Even though Mexico City is far bigger than New York City, it feels peaceful and almost quiet at times. When strolling down the streets, you’ll see swaths of green, from blooming trees to beautiful flowers. There are parks scattered throughout the city, making it feel more like a suburban oasis than one of the largest cities in the world.

LGBTQ+ travelers should definitely put CDMX on their travel radar. Here’s what to explore in the city’s LGBTQ+ scene, plus where to stay and events not to miss.

Where to stay: Zona Rosa

mexico city cdmx gay friendly lgbtq+ - zona rosa

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The most popular place for LGBTQ+ travelers to stay in Mexico City is Zona Rosa, the unofficial Queer capital of the city. It’s near the very recognizable Angel of Independence statue, and near the neighborhoods of Roma Norte, Condesa, and Polanco. Each neighborhood has something unique to offer, and all are safe for tourists.

If you prefer hotels, the Hotel Galeria Plaza Reforma has a beautiful rooftop pool and is just a couple of blocks away from the bustling Zona Rosa. Another great option is the newly renovated JW Marriott Hotel Polanco, just a bit farther from Zona Rosa. It’s across from Chapultepec Park, which is the biggest park in the city and absolutely worth a visit. For LGBTQ+ travelers looking for a refined, accessible, and upscale experience, no hotel in the city holds a candle to the JW.

If you’re staying for a longer period, you’ll likely find a better deal on Airbnbs in Mexico City to get a bit more space.

The best LGBTQ+ bars in Mexico City

 

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Unsurprisingly, many of the best LGBTQ+ bars in Mexico City are in Zona Rosa. However, since the city is so accepting, you can find Queer couples and LGBTQ+-friendly spaces in almost any neighborhood. Kinky Bar is a famous gay nightclub with three floors and karaoke, and although it’s not a Queer bar, Handshake Speakeasy is an unmissable experience, voted one of the top bars in the world. The cocktails are creative, and the atmosphere is swanky, making it a perfect photo opportunity. In the few blocks between Kinky Bar and Handshake, you can find numerous gay bars, like El Almacen, Nicho Bears & Bar, and Los Panchos Bar, to name just a few.

If you want to venture out of Zona Rosa, you can find a few Queer bars near Zocalo. La Purísima and Marrakech Salon are right next door, with great vibes for LGBTQ+ visitors.

The top restaurants for LGBTQ+ travelers

 

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It’s almost difficult to go to Mexico City and have a bad meal. If you want to splurge on a high-end meal, go to Quintonil in Polanco. It was voted the ninth best restaurant in the world in 2023 for good reason. The multi-course tasting menu with wine pairing features creative dishes catering to almost any allergy. Going here is an event by itself, so be prepared to spend a few hours eating.

You should also eat your weight in tacos. Be sure to try the street tacos, particularly al pastor. Watching them shave the juicy meat directly into your taco is a sight you’ll never forget. Taqueria Orinoco is a classic place in Zona Rosa; you can’t go wrong no matter what you get. If you want to patronize a Queer-supportive restaurant, try Pujol, which has a lively breakfast scene. Or, if you’re looking for a drag brunch, you can head to La Dominga or Sungay Brunch. There are plenty of ways to connect with the community while having a delicious meal.

The best Mexico City museums with an LGBT+ focus

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Mexico City ranks number two worldwide for the number of museums, falling behind London. This means there are endless opportunities to learn about the culture, history, arts, environment, and more of Mexico. But if you had to pick just one to visit during your stay in Mexico City, you must visit the Frida Kahlo Museum. Frida Kahlo was arguably the most famous and influential artist in the history of Mexico, and the museum is in the home she lived in with (and without) artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was bisexual, and her work tackled many of the most critical issues of her time.

Museums throughout the city will also regularly hold exhibits featuring LGBTQ+ artists, as well as exhibitions highlighting Queer history in Mexico. Be sure to research what exhibits are being held prior to your trip. Recently, there was an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art titled “Radical Imaginations,” showcasing more than 200 pieces from Queer voices in Mexico.

There are also plenty of LGBTQ+-owned businesses throughout the city. You can look at a map of Queer-owned businesses worldwide or wander through the LGBTQ+ businesses of Zona Rosa. An amazing gallery to check out is the Art Gallery Studios, which amplifies the voices of Queer artists.

Mexico City Pride

lgbtq+ mexico city gay pride festival

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Pride takes place every June in Mexico City and is one of Latin America’s biggest Pride Month events. The parade, held on the last Saturday of June, begins at the Angel of Independence and ends in Zocalo, the historical center of Mexico City. Following the parade, the party continues throughout the night in Zocalo and Zona Rosa. If you plan on visiting for Pride, you should book your lodging early. More than one million people attend Pride each year, so accommodations tend to get booked up early.

How to get to Mexico City


The best way for international travelers to get to Mexico City is to fly into Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (MEX). It’s the biggest and most accessible airport in Mexico City, served by more than 30 airlines connecting to more than 100 destinations worldwide. Once you’ve landed, you can take an Uber or a taxi from the airport to Zona Rosa (or wherever you’re staying.) Depending on traffic, it’ll take around 30 minutes to an hour, but should usually cost no more than $20.

The best time to visit Mexico City

day of the dead when to go

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There’s no wrong time to visit Mexico City, as there is always something to do. The weather stays temperate throughout the year, but there are rainy seasons. The rainy seasons are generally less expensive, and tend to have fewer travelers. So not only will it be less crowded, but your dollar goes much further.

There are four seasons, characterized by temperature and rainfall. The temperature doesn’t vary greatly throughout the year, so you can expect pretty moderate weather. March through May is dry and warm. Expect high temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 50 to 55. June through August stays pretty warm, around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but expect rain. There’s around an 80 percent chance that any given day will see some precipitation during this window. The rainy season wraps up in September, and the city becomes almost totally dry by November. These months are starting to get cooler, with highs in the low 70s. December through February are the coldest months, but highs are still in the high 60s and low 70s.

A fun time to visit the city is during Dia de los Muertos, one of the biggest holidays of the year. It’s officially held on November 2nd, but you can find celebrations throughout October and into the first week of November.

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