Where to Stay in Oaxaca

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Last Updated on January 17, 2021

When I visited Oaxaca, I loved it so much I didn’t want to leave.  My taxi driver and I chatted about it during my ride back to the airport. And even with my poor Spanish, there is one thing he said that I clearly understood: “Oaxaca es mágico.”  With its art galleries, museums, craft markets, foodie culture, and annual Day of the Dead Festival, Oaxaca is a destination that will steal your heart, too. Read on for my best hotel recommendations for where to stay in Oaxaca City for your own magical trip, including hostels, hotels and Airbnb options for every budget!

Where to Stay in Oaxaca: Quick Guide

Short on time? Grab these quick tips for the best places to stay in Oaxaca:

Where to stay in Oaxaca

Where is Oaxaca?

Oaxaca City (pronounced “wah-HAH-kah” with the emphasis on the “HAH” ) is the capital of the state of the same name, located in Southwestern Mexico.  The area is known for indigenous cultures including Zapotecs and Mixtecs, as well as historical sites at Monte Alban and Mitla.  The state of Oaxaca is also famous for its Pacific-coast beaches in Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, Zipolite, and Bahias de Huatulco. Oaxaca’s beach towns are a quick flight or 6-7 hours by bus from the capital. If you visit, I recommend extending your trip with a few days at the beach, too!

Check out my comprehensive guide to visiting Oaxaca’s beaches and get help deciding which one is perfect for you!

Where to Stay in Oaxaca: Oaxaca Mexico map
Oaxaca City is in Southwestern Mexico, a 1-hour flight from Mexico City.

Visiting Oaxaca: The Basics

Haphazard rating: 2 of 5.   Stick to tourist areas and use common sense. Oaxaca is one of the safest areas for travel in Mexico.

Get there: Fly into Oaxaca International Airport, OAX, 5 miles from the city. It’s about an hour flight from Mexico City, or 4-6 hours by bus.  Shared shuttle service to the city can be booked in the airport after you exit customs.

To do: Visit the city’s museums, art galleries, botanical garden, and cathedrals.  Oaxaca is known for their art and foodie culture. Take a day trip to Mitla, Hierve el Agua, or Monte Alban, or a cooking class.

When to visit: The Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) festival Oct. 31- November 2 is a huge draw, so book well in advance; April-May has higher temperatures but less rain.

FYI, this post contains affiliate links, which means I might earn a small commission if you purchase from them, at no additional cost to you. As an Airbnb associate, I earn when you book through my links. Visit my Disclosure Policy for more info.

Best Neighborhood to Stay in Oaxaca: Historical Center

The historical center of Oaxaca is the best neighborhood to stay in, since you will be within easy walking distance of all the city sights. Within 12 blocks of the Oaxaca City center, you can walk from the historic Santo Domingo church to the Zócalo (city square) and the Mercado 20 de Noviembre market.  This is the main tourist area, with lots of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and shops in easy walking distance of this neighborhood. Many Oaxaca hotels are also historic, located in old homes that have been renovated.

During the Day of the Dead festival, Oaxaca hotels often display elaborate altars and other decorations in their lobbies. I spent a week popping into hotels all over the city to see these, so I have the best Oaxaca City hotel recommendations for you near the main city sights – including one hotel in a restored convent!

Check out my guide for visiting Oaxaca for Dia de los Muertos here including pics and itinerary, and don’t miss my Virtual Day of the Dead feature!

Virtual Day of the Dead: 2020 Virtual Dia de los Muertos Festivals & Traditions

Learn about Dia de los Muertos traditions with videos and resources for a virtual Day of the Dead field trip for kids & adults! See how the holiday is celebrated in different cities in Mexico and the U.S.

Read more

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca: Traditions & 2021 Trip Itinerary

Oaxaca, Mexico is magic, especially during the Dia de los Muertos celebrations! Learn about the holiday’s traditions and get an itinerary for your own Day of the Dead trip to Oaxaca!

Read more

<strong>PRO TIP:</strong> Where to stay for Dia de los Muertos

If you are planning to visit for Day of the Dead, you’ll want to stay at a hotel in the neighborhood of the main tourist center below, including the Zócalo (square). There are many events throughout the day that you won’t want to miss, including parades that stop traffic! So be sure to book one of these hotels within walking distance of the Zócalo.

Best neighborhood to stay in Oaxaca: historical center map
Historical City Center of Oaxaca

The Best Hotels in Oaxaca City

Best Hotels and Hostels in Oaxaca on a Budget – $50/night or less

Azul Cielo Hostel Azul Cielo Hostel is located a few blocks from the Oaxaca zócalo, and has bunk options starting around $30 as well as private rooms.  They have great reviews for the design of the rooms, atmosphere, and shared spaces, including a rooftop terrace. It’s also rated the #1 value hostel in Oaxaca by TripAdvisor! This is my recommended best hostel in Oaxaca. Check out their Instagram here.

interior courtyard of a hostel in Oaxaca

Hostal Central Oaxaca This hostel is located near the Oaxaca Basilica, and has great reviews, free yoga classes, and a friendly atmosphere. Their rates start around $10/night with a vegetarian breakfast included! Check out their Instagram here.

interior courtyard of the Hostal Centro Oaxaca

Comala Bed & Breakfast I was lucky to find a room available here when I visited Oaxaca during Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos). Many Oaxaca accommodation options book months in advance during this time, but Comala had just opened.  The staff, including the proprietor Carlos, go out of their way to be helpful.  Comala has basic but comfy rooms, a great rooftop terrace and bar with live music at night, plus a lovely breakfast included. This is my recommendation for the best place to stay in Oaxaca on a budget.

Rooftop deck at the Comala bed and breakfast

Agrado Guest House This budget hotel has a central location, modern design and great reviews for the warm service of the staff.  Some options include both breakfast and dinner, which makes this an amazing value. (Although of course you’ll want to try more of the many amazing restaurants in Oaxaca!) Their Instagram includes on-site event info – check it out here.

entry of the Agrado Guest House

Best Mid-range Oaxaca Hotels

Hotel Casantica Located only a block from the zócalo, Hotel Casantica is set in a restored 16th-century building and has a beautiful inner courtyard with a pool. The hotel Casantica is also one of the best places to stay in Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead Festival, since it always has an amazing altar display in the interior courtyard.

Best place to stay in Oaxaca for day of the Dead: Hotel Casantica

Casa de las Bugambilias B&B Located just a block from the Santo Domingo church, Casa de las Bugambilias is my overall top pick for where to stay in Oaxaca. The owners go out of their way to make you feel welcome, and can help with booking tours or providing information for your stay. Gourmet breakfasts are served each morning featuring local flavors and ingredients (included in the room rate). This B&B usually sells out, so if it’s available during your stay dates, don’t wait to book!

Casa de las Bugambilias B&B - Oaxaca hotel
If your Spanish is rusty, bugambilias means “bouganvillea” 🙂

Hotel Parador de Alcalá Super-central Oaxaca City accommodation with a terrace and bar.  Plus, their pool is a show-stopper! Great reviews for the staff, location, and rooms. Breakfast is included in the room rates. This is my recommendation for a mid-range Oaxca hotel with a pool.

view of the pool at Hotel Parador de Acala

AYOOK Located a few blocks from the Basilica, AYOOK is a new hotel with a chic design that captures the Oaxaca aesthetic. Guests rate AYOOK highly for its local character, attentive staff, and lovely breakfasts in the courtyard. This is my pick for a mid-range boutique hotel in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca hotels - AYOOK

Hotel Pereya Located a few blocks between the Oaxaca Basilica and the main tourist street, the Hotel Pereya gets rave reviews for its helpful staff and large rooms, most with seating areas, private terraces, or balconies.   Breakfast is served each morning in the courtyard.

where to stay in Oaxaca - Hotel Pereya

La Betulia Bed and Breakfast Featuring colorful rooms and custom tiles, La Betulia also has great reviews for comfy beds, helpful staff, and clean rooms.  Breakfast is included and served daily in the quiet courtyard. Check out their totally charming Instagram here.

courtyard of the La Betulia bed and breakfast

Hotel Siglo XVII Art Gallery With an amazing location in the heart of the Oaxaca historic center, Hotel Siglo XVII Art Gallery has an outdoor pool, garden, and fitness center (which not many of the hotels here offer!). 

view of the pool at the Hotel Signlo VXII Art Gallery

Casa del Sótano This hotel has a rooftop terrace with spectacular 360-degree views of the city, including the Santo Domingo church a few blocks away. Guests gave high ratings for the charming architecture, breakfast and overall experience. I really want to go back for sunset drinks here! This is my recommendation for the best hotel in Oaxaca with a great view.

rooftop deck with view of Oaxaca at the Casa de Sotano

Best Oaxaca Luxury Hotels ($150+/night)

Some of these hotels are offering deals right now! Even if your budget doesn’t include luxury hotel prices, you might still check out your dates.

Quinta Real Oaxaca With quite a “wow” factor, this historic 5-star hotel in Oaxaca is set in a restored convent from the 16th century. It’s centrally-located with impressive stone architecture and a pool. Also, after my visit, I read that staff dressed as monks light candles outside of each room at night. (I must return!) Quinta Real is one of the best hotels in Oaxaca, and was rated as the #1 best value luxury hotel by TripAdvisor. This is my recommendation of the best cultural place to stay in Oaxaca! Check out their Instagram here.

pool at the Quinta Real Oaxaca a former convent

Hotel La Casona de Tita Located a few blocks from the cathedral, this 5-star Oaxaca hotel has a spacious terrace, colonial decor, and rooms decorated with pieces by local artists. Plus, the hotel has an-site restaurant and rates include breakfast.

courtyard of the Hotel La Casona de Tita

Palacio Borghese This 4-star hotel offers exceptional luxury in an old colonial building, with an indoor courtyard and rooftop terrace. Two words: FAN-CY! Palacio Borghese is another best hotel in Oaxaca, and is rated as the #2 best value luxury hotel by TripAdvisor.

Interior central courtyard at the Palacio Borghese

Casa Antonieta One of the best hotels in the city, the Casa Antonieta is a 4-star luxury Oaxaca hotel with stylish modern design, lush interior courtyard, and central location. It has fantastic reviews for all aspects of guest stays, and I’m sort of in love with their peaceful Instagram vibe — check it out here.

interior courtyard of the Casa Antonieta Oaxaca

BONUS: Best Oaxaca Boutique Hotels

Casa Carmen Reforma Just blocks from the Santo Domingo Church and Ethnobotanical Garden, Casa Carmen Reforma is my pick for best boutique hotel in Oaxaca. With a chic modern design, some rooms have outdoor patios with open air tubs. It also gets good reviews for the attentiveness of the staff and included breakfast.

Casa Carmen Reforma - Where to stay in Oaxaca

City Centro Oaxaca Without a doubt, this the pinkest place in Oaxaca!  City Centro Oaxaca has a chic design, outdoor pool, and great reviews for the rooms and breakfast. When I visited, the church across the street was the site of a competition for artists creating sand tapestries for the Day of the Dead festival.

interior courtyard of the pink hotel City Centro Oaxaca

Hotel NaNa Vida Exceptional location and colorful, modern rooms.  Hotel NaNa Vida has great ratings for the helpfulness of the staff, the charming interior courtyard, and spaces filled with local art. It’s also rated as the #1 best value boutique hotel in Oaxaca by Tripadvisor. Check out their Instagram here.

street view of the colorful Hotel NaNa Vida

Hotel con Corazón A socially responsible Oaxaca hotel that invests in local education projects, Hotel con Corazon is located a few blocks from the central tourist area of Oaxaca.  It scores high accommodation reviews for its overall design, included breakfast, and thoughtful service. Check out their Instagram here.

guest room at the Hotel con Corazon Oaxaca

Oaxaca Airbnbs

For people who want more space, kitchen facilities, or a more local experience, these are my recommendations for unique and comfortable Oaxaca Airbnbs in or near the city center.

Boutique Oaxaca Airbnb Recommendations

Private Guest Suite and Patio in Former Tannery for 2 guests.  Located in the Jalatlaco neighborhood (10-15 minute walk to the Centro) and a truly unique space offered by a Superhost. This is my #1 Oaxaca Airbnb recommendation for where to stay.

Beautifully-designed 2-bedroom apartment for up to 4 guests with kitchen, 2 baths and rooftop patio.  Located a few blocks from the Oaxaca zocalo and part of the “Airbnb Plus” program of facilities that have passed an in-person inspection for design and quality.

Gorgeous modern penthouse accommodation for 2 guests in the Jalatlaco neighborhood of Oaxaca with a full kitchen, amazing design, and outdoor space with views overlooking the city.  Located 10-15 minutes’ walk from the Santo Domingo church. If you need space for 4, there’s a similar 2-bedroom option by the same host: Architect-Designed Penthouse with Open-Air Tub 

Budget Airbnb Recommendations

Casa Tata III is a bright 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment with pool access that accommodates up to 4 guests.  2 bedrooms, 2 baths, with a kitchen and private courtyard located a few blocks from the Santo Domingo church and restaurants.

Casa Capechik is a cozy downtown apartment for 2 guests.  Stylish accommodation with 1 bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area.  10-15 minutes walk to the Oaxaca zocalo.

Charming and historic colonial house perfect for a family or group of friends a block from the Santo Domingo church. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a kitchen, living area and private parking, this is a unique space for your stay and super-convenient to all the city sights, restaurants, and bars.

Casa Biu is a cute apartment for two guests. A cheerful modern space with 1 bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area plus terrace access during the day.

Casa Biu - Oaxaca Airbnb
Cute, modern 1-bedroom apartment in the central area of Oaxaca

Studio Apartments with kitchens and an outdoor courtyard for 2 guests. 15 minutes’ walk from the city center.

Search More Oaxaca Hotels

When I travel, I always book my hotels through Booking.com because of its huge selection of properties including hotels, vacation rentals and apartments. Many of their hotels offer free cancellation in case your plans change, and it’s easy to manage bookings directly through the app. Plus their “Genius” loyalty program offers perks the more you stay, like 10% off certain hotels, welcome drinks, free airport shuttles, and late check-out. Check each hotel’s info for any Genius perks offered once you qualify – it’s usually 5 stays to become a Genius member!


Safety in Oaxaca

While no destination is completely safe, Oaxaca state is one of the safest places to visit in Mexico. The city has a small-town vibe, and I was surprised to find that there’s quite a number of U.S. “expat” retirees living there. During my week here for the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) festival, I definitely felt safe, even as a solo traveler.

It can be a bit intimidating to arrive to a new city late at night, so be sure your hotel knows your flight number in case of delays. Upon arriving at the airport, I booked a shared van drop-off with no problems, and the van was full of women travelers! Stick to tourist areas, and take the usual precautions when traveling, of course. Check out this article from USA Today on safety in Oaxaca.

Also, obviously it’s not recommended to walk alone most places late at night. However, due to a mishap with one of the tour companies, I ended up walking back to my hotel after a late excursion. I quickly realized that every passing taxi beeped gently at me, but it was only in case I wanted to flag them down!

Oaxaca Sights & Activities

Need more tips for your trip? Check out my post of the top 15 things to do in Oaxaca – whether you have 48 hours or a full week to explore Oaxaca!

Things To Do In Oaxaca City, Mexico: Top Sights & Cultural Tours

Oaxaca has become a hotspot for arts, food, museums & culture. Build your own trip itinerary of a few days to a week with these top things to do in Oaxaca and best cultural tours!

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And don’t forget to try at least one Oaxaca tour:

I always recommend a tour with a lot of interaction early in your trip, like a cooking class. It’s a great way to find people to do other activities with and/or get tips on the local area — especially for solo travelers!

Check out these experiences from Airbnb below. Airbnb experiences have become a favorite way to explore local culture when I travel – and you know you are supporting local residents rather than big tour companies.

Don’t miss my guides to the best beaches of Oaxaca and Huatulco – the perfect way to end your trip!

The Best Oaxaca Beaches: Oaxaca, Mexico Coast Guide

Can’t decide where to stay on the golden beaches of the Oaxaca coast? Take a beach style quiz to find your perfect match! Then get travel tips on how to get there, where to stay, and top things to do at the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Best Huatulco Beaches & Hotels: Ultimate Vacation Planner

Discover the secrets of Huatulco’s best beaches! Ultimate vacation guide with Huatulco hotels & beach resorts, things to do & best tours in this guide to Bahias de Huatulco, Oaxaca.

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And be sure to get my tips on a virtual Day of the Dead field trip!

Virtual Day of the Dead: 2020 Virtual Dia de los Muertos Festivals & Traditions

Learn about Dia de los Muertos traditions with videos and resources for a virtual Day of the Dead field trip for kids & adults! See how the holiday is celebrated in different cities in Mexico and the U.S.

Read more

Pin these Oaxaca hotel ideas later so you have my latest recommendations when you’re ready to book!

Interested in more Mexico travel tips?

Grab this great 4-day itinerary for Mexico City.

Check out my guide to visiting Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead celebration, best Oaxaca beaches, in-depth guide to Huatulco, or top things to do in Oaxaca any time of year.

Is Baja California on your bucket list yet? Find out why you should visit Todos Santos, a colorful, laid-back beach town in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. And add on a few days in La Paz to swim with sea lions and whale sharks!

And don’t miss my collection of nativity scenes from around the world, including one from Oaxaca plus a Day of the Dead nativity!

Booking Resources & Tips for Your Trip

Flights | Check routes with Skyscanner or Google Flights. I usually book direct with the airline for ease of seat selection as well as changes or cancellations.

🏨 Hotels | My favorite site for the best rates and flexible bookings is Booking.com. After just 2 stays in 2 years, you can get special perks with their Genius program.

🧳 Travel Gear | Check out my favorite gear and packing lists for resources for your trip.

🏡 Local Stays & Experiences | Airbnb is one of the best ways to stay like a local and have extra amenities for your trip. Their Experiences – tours led by locals – are one of my favorite ways to delve into local culture.

🧾 Travel Insurance | Travel insurance can protect you in case of illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I use World Nomads for my trips, with coverage designed for adventurous travelers including overseas medical, evacuation, baggage, and a range of adventure sports and activities.

🌄 Group Adventure Tours | Small group adventure tours from G Adventures or Intrepid Travel are the perfect solution for traveling on a budget or with minimal planning. Read my reviews here.

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Adrienne, The Haphazard Traveler

I used to be a hot travel mess, but I got better! I kept the name and now blog my best tips for culture and adventure travel from around the globe. Follow along for travel advice, destination info, and photography from faraway lands - and at home in Washington, D.C.

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