As the first major city in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage (in 2010), Mexico City offers a natural hub for Mexico’s LGBT community — as well as a bustling destination for international business, culture, art and cuisine. And it’s one of the most fascinating cities in Latin America for LGBT travelers.
The logical first place to start an LGBT tour of Mexico City is the Zona Rosa (the Pink Zone), home to the greatest number of bars, restaurants and shops that cater to LGBT locals and visitors. Find the largest concentration of gay bars — albeit for a younger crowd — on Calle Amberes. The nearby gift shop Rainbowland is a good place to get information on the latest events and parties. On Calle Florencia choose from a small but diverse group of bars and dance clubs, including the tiny Elegante, featuring lively drag shows; El Nicho, which bills itself as a leather bar but welcomes all ages and types; Vaqueros, a gay cowboy bar; and El Almacén, one of the city’s longest-running gay bars, sitting atop a small dance club called Cabaretito Neón.
If you’re looking for a full-service hotel with reasonable rates in the Zona Rosa, consider the Galeria Plaza Reforma, a 434-room property that’s a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. With recently upgraded guestrooms, a refurbished rooftop pool and the attractive new restaurant Almara — plus a well-equipped business center and meeting space — it proves a good choice for business travelers as well as anyone looking to be close to LGBT nightlife.
For even more luxury, move a few blocks away to The St. Regis Mexico City, likely the city’s most sumptuous hotel. The property sits on Paseo de la Reforma, the broad boulevard that slices through several important neighborhoods.
For a quieter vibe with a residential feel, top hotel picks include the luxurious Hippodrome and trendy Condesa DF, both set in former apartment buildings in the Condesa district, a neighborhood popular for its peaceful parks and fine dining. Nearby, the area called Roma Norte doesn’t offer much in the way of hotels but has plenty of great dining and shopping options, especially along Álvaro Obregón Avenue.
Mexico City’s biggest annual LGBT event is the gay pride march and festival, taking place on the last Saturday of June every year, with a festive parade down Paseo de la Reforma followed by a musical festival in the Zócalo, the city’s largest square. The LGBT travel section on Mexico City’s Secretary of Tourism website includes a handy downloadable neighborhood guide in English and Spanish.
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