La Roma

Adventurous private art galleries, independent artist-run spaces, and a rough-around-the-edges personality are the hallmarks of La Roma. Like its western neighbor La Condesa, La Roma was once an aristocratic enclave with stately homes, but over time it became better known for its cantinas, pool halls, dance clubs, and nightspots of questionable repute. These days, bookstores and cafés have helped transform this old neighborhood into the capital's full-blown arts district. Gentrification creeps slowly but steadily onward, though, so enjoy this up-and-comer before it becomes too respectable. La Roma is divided into Roma Sur (south) and Roma Norte (north). Most of the action takes place in Roma Norte.

La Roma borders La Condesa along Avenida Insurgentes Sur, so once you're in one, the other's relatively close on foot. What could be more perfect than a morning visit to a museum or two in Bosque de Chapultepec, a late-afternoon stroll in La Roma, and dinner in La Condesa? Keep in mind that art galleries tend to close on Sunday.

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