Where to Stay in Toluca: Best Areas & Hotels

The best neighborhoods to stay in Toluca is the areas of Toluca City Centre and Metepec. In this post, we will be looking at where to stay in Toluca and best hotels in each area.

The state capital of Mexico, Toluca is a colonial city in central Mexico, just 60 miles west of Mexico City. Considerably smaller than the neighboring capital, Toluca is ideal for anyone looking for a more relaxing city break. Full of historic streets and beautiful architecture, and surrounded by stunning national parks, a vacation in Toluca offers visitors the best of both urban comfort and convenience, as well as natural beauty and adventure.

Whether you prefer browsing museums, hopping between clubs, or exploring the outdoors, Toluca can offer anyone their perfect city vacation.

Highlight attractions in Toluca are Nevado de Toluca National Park, La Marquesa National Park, Teotenango Archaeological Zone, the Centro Ceremonial Otomí de Temoaya (Otomí de Temoaya Ceremonial Center),  Jardín Botánico Cosmovitral (Cosmovitral Botanical Garden).

Toluca has its own Adolfo Lopez Mateos International Airport, serving many private jets, some U.S. airlines, and Mexican airlines.

💖 Best Area:Toluca City Centre
💎 Best luxury hotel:Fiesta Inn Toluca Centro
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Hotel San Francisco
💰 Best budget hotel:Hotel Don Simon

Where to stay in Toluca: Best Areas to Stay in Toluca

1. Toluca City Centre, best area to stay in Toluca

Toluca City Centre, best area to stay in Toluca

Toluca City Centre is the thriving heart of Toluca, condensing the majority of the city’s tourist sites, shopping districts, and hospitality into a compact, walkable area.

If it is your first time visiting Toluca, or you are visiting for a shorter trip and don’t want to waste valuable time traveling between your hotel and the attractions, then the city center is ideal.

There are baroque, neoclassical, modernist 19th-century buildings in the city such as the Catedral de San José. The grand Toluca Cathedral is an absolute must-visit for any trip to Toluca. Dating back to 1867, the cathedral is an architectural marvel of columns, domes, and towers.

The Catedral de San José stands near the Plaza de los Mártires, Plaza Ángel María Garibay, Palacio de Gobierno, Nishizawa Workshop Museum, Museo del Paisaje José María Velasco, Teatro Morelos, Museo de La Inquisición, the Cosmovitral, and La Vaquita Negra del Portal which is a great place to grab chorizo.

Cosmovitral Jardín Botánico is a unique art nouveau-style building, which was a market turned into a lovely botanical garden.

For more history, head to one of the city’s many museums. If you only have time to visit one, the Centro Cultural Mexiquense is really a three-in-one collection, with sections dedicated to the arts, culture, and anthropological history of the region.

If you love history, you must visit the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Popular Culture, and the Central Library to learn more about the history of the region.

If you want to mix your historical and cultural exploration of the city with a spot of shopping, then head to Los Portales. This series of traditional arches, known to be the longest in all of Mexico, surrounds a shopping center full of independent stores, where you can pick up a variety of traditional local goods, foods, and crafts. 

Of course, if you would rather dive into a more contemporary shopping experience, you will be spoilt for choice by the array of shopping centers and streets lined with independent stores and boutiques. 

If you’re still raring to go after sundown, the city center has a vibrant nightlife to be enjoyed by both locals and tourists. The Universidad district, in particular, is full of bars and clubs where you can party the night away.

Stay in Toluca City Centre if You want to stay close to the major tourist sights and attractions; A thriving nightlife is important to you; You enjoy spending your vacation browsing the local shopping districts.

Best Hotels in Toluca City center:

2. Metepec, where to stay in Toluca for family

Metepec  Toluca

Metepec is a neighborhood about a mile outside of the city center. Despite the distance, the neighborhood is directly connected to Centro by the Avenue Lic.

Benito Juarez Garcia, a long straight road leading right into the heart of the city. You’ll be able to stay in the relative peace of a more suburban area whilst having convenient access to the sites and attractions of the city center. 

Metepec is particularly ideal for anyone who enjoys having access to lots of green space. Families with young children may appreciate the large local parks in this area where kids can run off some energy.

Parque Ambiental Bicentenario (the Bicentennial Park) is a sprawling recreational park. Boasting a large lake with boat visitors can take onto the water, a museum, a café, and lush gardens, this park is ideal for a relaxed day out with the whole family.

Alternatively, the Toluca Municipal Park is a tree-covered hill featuring winding paths leading to a small church at the summit. From the peak, you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views over Toluca that are well worth the walk up.

You can also visit places like the mermaid La Tlachana monument and the mud museum.

Another thing to consider is that Toluca is infamous for having terrible traffic congestion. This is particularly true of the city center, so if you are traveling to Toluca by car, staying in an area outside of Centro, like Metepec, may be a wise choice.

Stay in Metepec if you are visiting with young family and children, you appreciate having access to wide open space, you don’t mind being a little removed from the city center, you prefer a quieter neighborhood, you are traveling to Toluca by car.

Best hotels in Metepec :

Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Toluca in this video or continue reading:

Before we finish, I will now answer a few of the most frequently asked questions people have about Toluca.

Where is Toluca?

Toluca is an inland city in central Mexico, located approximately 40 miles west of Mexico City. It is well connected by many major highways and also boasts its own international airport, ‘Lic. Adolfo López Mateos Aeropuerto Internacional de Toluca’.

The city sits in a valley at the base of the Nevado de Toluca volcano and is surrounded by mountains and national parks. It is separated from Mexico City by the Cumbres Sierra Nevada and Cumbres del Ajusco national parks. 

When is the best time to go to Toluca?

The weather in Toluca is at its best in the spring, from mid-March to early May. This is when the temperatures are at their peak before the rainy season hits in late May and brings them back down.

The elevation of the city means that even in the peak season, the temperatures remain comfortably warm without tipping over to sweltering. On the other hand, if you are looking for winter sun, Toluca is not ideal as although winters are mild they can frequently dip below comfortable t-shirt weather.

Where should I stay in Toluca?

If you are visiting Toluca for the first time and want to stay in the best place to take advantage of all the local historical sites and tourist attractions, then the city centre is the ideal location for you. The city centre is also ideal if you are visiting for a shorter period and want to keep everything close by.

Alternatively, if you are travelling by car you may want to avoid the notoriously congested city centre. In this case, a neighbourhood a little removed from Centro, such as Metepec, would be ideal. Here you can get in and out of the city with relatively little fuss, whilst the Avenue Lic. Benito Juarez Garcia links directly into the city centre.

What currency is used in Toluca?

As a city in Mexico, the local currency used in Toluca is the Mexican Peso. You should definitely make sure to purchase a good quantity of Pesos before heading to Toluca, or Mexico as a whole, as the country is still a very cash-based society.

Many smaller shops won’t take credit or debit cards, and those that do may refuse foreign cards. Don’t be too concerned if you find yourself running low on cash however. There are currency conversion services available in the city, and you should be able to withdraw cash from the local ATMs.

Is Toluca safe? 

Toluca is a relatively safe city, particularly compared to many other big cities in Mexico. There are no current travel warnings in place for the area.

Like any city, you should keep alert and be aware of potential pickpockets and scam artists, but as long as you practice basic personal safety measures there is no need to be overly wary of travelling to Toluca. 

Is Toluca expensive?

Compared to many other popular tourist cities, Toluca is a very affordable location. Those working on a tight budget will be pleasantly surprised by what they can afford, both in terms of accommodation and daily spending. 

Those with more generous budgets may find themselves able to indulge in luxuries they wouldn’t be able to afford back home or elsewhere.

What are the best things to do in Toluca?

Toluca cathedral is a stunning building that tops the list of sights to see in Toluca. Begun in 1867, the ornate building spent almost a century being redesigned and restructured. The final product is a grand palace of towering columns, sweeping dome roofs, romantic balconies, and stunning stained-glass windows.

Los Portales is the most iconic shopping arcade in Toluca, and particularly significant as the longest structure of its type in all of Mexico. Aside from appreciating the tradition and significance of the architecture, this is a fantastic place to pick up souvenirs unique to the region. Stores and stalls throughout the shopping centre sell various local delicacies, confectionaries, and craft items.

Toluca is second only to Mexico City for sheer quantity of museums. Whilst there are plenty worth visiting if you have the time, if you are constrained to a shorter schedule then the Centro Cultural Mexiquense is the one you should choose. Technically three museums in one, you can enjoy wings dedicated to Mexican art, Mexican culture from traditional foods to crafts and toys, and the anthropological development and history of Toluca and the surrounding region.

Surrounded by beautiful mountains and national parks, Toluca is a popular destination for those who enjoy adventurous activities outdoors, such as hiking and mountain biking. Parque Estatal Sierra Morelos is the closest, directly northwest of the city centre.

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Toluca is a unique and vibrant city, unfairly overshadowed by its better-known neighbour. Between the splendour of its historical architecture and development, and the natural beauty of the landscape surrounding it, Toluca is a city with plenty to offer travellers in its own right. 

I hope that having finished this article, you will now appreciate what Toluca has to offer and be well on your way to booking a wonderful vacation.

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