Where to stay in Tijuana in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Wondering where to stay in Tijuana? If you are planning a trip to this interesting history-filled city and you need some hotel recommendations, this post is for you!

We have selected the best hotels in the best areas of the city and for different budgets.

But before that, let me tell you about Tijuana itself.

Located in Mexico’s Baja California, Tijuana (more commonly TJ) is a colorful border town brimming with lots of things to do and see.

It’s a popular tourist destination for many reasons. Its close proximity to the United States makes it an easy getaway, and its vibrant culture and nightlife are hard to beat.

In fact, the border between Tijuana and California is considered the most-crossed border in the world!

The city packs both historic landmarks and modern attractions, as well as a beach to unwind by and enjoy the water, and you can also find more sandy beaches to visit very close by among the other many things to do in Tijuana.

Avenida Revolucion, the main street of TJ, is lined with amazing restaurants and cafes, while the Centro has a more traditional vibe.

But there are many other cool neighborhoods in the town as well.

If you’re planning a trip to Tijuana, you’ll want to know where the best places to stay are.

This guide will introduce you to some of the city’s best areas and hotels, so you can make the most of your trip. So let’s get started!

Where to Stay in Tijuana | Best Neighborhoods

where to stay in Tijuana Mexico
The Millenial Arch at the entrance of the city of Tijuana – Photo from Canva

Tijuana is quite popular and touristy, so you will find lots of excellent areas here to make your stay.

These include the Centro, Zona Rio, Playas de Tijuana, and Rosarito.

✅ Just like the thriving downtowns of many other tourist destinations in Mexico, the Centro in Tijuana is the most popular area to stay here.

✅ Along with many museums, cultural attractions, restaurants, and shopping spots, the heart of the city also has great lodging options.

✅ Zona Rio is another popular area to stay in Tijuana. This is where you will find lots of modern offices and buildings, but also some traditional elements like the Tijuana Cultural Center, which is famous for its variety of exhibits, the Museo de las Californias gallery, and the Snail Garden featuring Mesoamerican-era sculptures.

✅ The beach side of Tijuana, known as Playas de Tijuana, is the best area in town for a vacation by the water.

✅ You can enjoy water sports and sandy beaches while staying here, and the rest of Tijuana’s attractions are also close by.

✅ Then there is Rosarito, an area famous for its resorts. This is where you would want to go if you’re looking for a resort stay in Tijuana.

✅ Just keep in mind that the neighborhood is located outside the city, so places like the Centro and Zona Rio are at least a 20-minute drive from here.

Zona Centro (Downtown) | Where to stay in Tijuana for the best area overall

downtown Tijuana Mexico
Aerial view of Tijuana – Photo © Canva

Let’s start with the most popular and overall best area of Tijuana for a vacation stay.

This is where you will find most of the famous attractions of the town, and this is also where the most variety of hotels and lodging options is found.

The area is filled with some of the most amazing museums, shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

But do keep in mind that the hotels here are slightly pricier than in the other areas.

Although it’s not that big of a price difference, and considering the travel money you save by having all the attractions within walking distance, it’s not really a bad deal.

1. Hotel Baja

hotel Baja Tijuana
Photo © Hotel Baja

Hotel Baja is a luxury hotel in the downtown district of Tijuana where you will find 5-star facilities combined with an excellent location.

The hotel is known for its richly-furnished rooms and elegant designs.

All of the rooms in Hotel Baja feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with cable, and Wifi connectivity.

The rooms also feature patios and private bathrooms.

Additionally, private parking is also available for guests staying at the hotel at a small extra charge.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com

2. Hotel Ticuan

Hotel Ticuan rooms
Hotel Ticuan – Minibar, in-room safe, desk, iron/ironing board – Photo © Expedia

Ticuan is another great hotel in the Centro area. It’s located within walking distance of the Avenida Revolucion and many other attractions and restaurants of the city, so the location is definitely one of the hotel’s best features.

Apart from the excellent location of the hotel, Tijuana also comes with elegant, spacious rooms and top-notch facilities.

The 3-star rooms all feature lush furnishings, and colorful decor, and come with air-conditioning, TVs, desks, electronic safes, free wifi, and breakfast. The property also has an onsite restaurant serving delicious cuisines.

Hotel Ticuan has a lobby and a 24-hour front desk as well. What’s more, you will find plenty of great cafes, shops, and restaurants to explore in its surroundings!

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

3. Hotel Caesars

Caesars hotel Tijuana
Hotel Caesars – Photo © Expedia

Caesars is a three-star hotel in the Centro of Tijuana praised for its location, spacious rooms, hearty breakfasts, and many more things.

This is where you will find all the aspects of a modern stay without having to spend a fortune.

The accommodations provided by Hotel Caesars include air-conditioned rooms, flat-screen TVs, private bathrooms, and wifi connectivity.

The rooms here are very stylish and elegant, but also comfy and home-like.

Hotel Caesars also has an onsite restaurant, and many of the famous Centro cafes and restaurants are nearby as well.

In short, if you’re looking for a more budget option in the Centro without compromising on the facilities, Hotel Caesars is definitely the best choice for it.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Expedia | Hotels.com

Best things to do in Zona Centro

Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, Tijuana, Mexico
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, Tijuana, Mexico – Photo © Canva

Explore the surroundings

If you haven’t guessed already, the Centro of Tijuana is the perfect place for a stroll. This is where many of the city’s famous landmarks and attractions are located, so taking a walk around is definitely one of the best things to do while you’re staying here.

Take a tour of the famous Valle de Guadalupe

Taking a tour to go meet some of the most famous winemakers in Mexico is the perfect adventure to go on if you’re in Tijuana. What better way to make the most of it than a food and wine tour offered by the knowledgeable natives of town!

Explore the museums

The museums in Zona Centro are some of the best in town. If you’re looking to find out more about the history and culture of Tijuana, visiting some of the museums in its downtown is really a good idea.

Playas de Tijuana | Where to stay in Tijuana for a beach vacation

Playas de Tijuana Mexico
Photo © Canva

The beachside of Tijuana is great for a seaside stay.

This is where all the water sports and sandy activities are found close to the downtown area.

You will find plenty of hotels in Playas de Tijuana, and the stay comes with the added benefit of having all the Centro attractions just a taxi ride away.

1. Hotel Jatay

Hotel Jatay Tijuana overview
Hotel Jatay Overview – Photo © Expedia

Starting with one of the best-loved hotels in the Playas de Tijuana area, Hotel Jatay is an amazing luxury lodging option that comes with a variety of amenities and a stunning location by the waterside of Tijuana.

As you would expect from a luxury hotel, all the rooms of Hotel Jatay are air-conditioned, feature wifi connectivity and flat-screen TVs with cable, and their design are elegant, spacious, and modern.

Hotel Jatay is also rated very highly for its amazing staff and service.

Room service and secure parking are provided here, there is a front desk service available 24/7, and you can also get a car rental from the hotel.

The hotel also has an onsite restaurant.

The beach area is also just a walk away from the property. And with the car hire service provided here, you can easily visit the rest of the town’s attractions as well.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

2. Dali Suites

Dali Suites hotel Tijuana
Dali Suites deluxe apartment – Photo © Expedia

Dali Suites is a Playas de Tijuana hotel featuring deluxe apartments and lots of amenities.

Everything from the location to the facilities and pricing is really delightful here. Also, the views from the apartments are a cherry on top.

The suites at Dali pack a lot of amenities and feature luxurious furnishings.

They’re pretty spacious and include a seating area, patio, balcony, and kitchenette as well.

You will have access to free wifi throughout the property, and there is also a garden, terrace, and secure parking area.

With the highlights of the exceptional facilities out of the way, the location is another well-praised aspect of the Dali Suites.

It’s only half a kilometer from the beach, and there are lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants lined along the street it’s located on.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

3. B&B Oui Madame

B&B Oui Madame Tijuana
B&B Oui Madame – Photo © Expedia

If you would rather prefer a home-like stay in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood, Oui Madame is an extraordinary B&B with a lot of amenities and definitely one of the best breakfasts you will find in town.

The location of this B&B is just a couple hundred meters from the beach and a short distance from the Centro, so you will definitely have the best stay in Playas de Tijuana location-wise.

But what’s more, is that the facilities aren’t half bad here despite the affordable prices.

The rooms are comfortable, there is free wifi access available throughout the property, and the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful here. Overall, it’s definitely a great budget option in Playas de Tijuana.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best things to do in Playas de Tijuana

sunset at Tijuana beach
Sunset at the beach in Tijuana – Photo © Canva

Explore the places along the Tijuana boardwalk

The boardwalk in Playas de Tijuana is about four miles long and lined with amazing restaurants, bars, shops, food stands, and cafes. This is where you get to explore the bustling city life of Tijuana with breathtaking views of the Pacific in sight.

Spend an evening chilling on the beach

The beachside of Tijuana is a peaceful area, so spending an evening just relaxing and unwinding by the ocean is a great way to forget the fuss of life and just enjoy the moment.

Try your hand at water sports

The thrill of water activities is the best part of a beach vacation. So, if you’re a thrill-seeker, the Playas de Tijuana area is great for water sports like surfing, bodyboarding, and kayaking.

Zona Rio | Where to stay in Tijuana for a modern yet culture-rich area

Tijuana Mexico Zona Rio
Photo © Canva

With the majority of Tijuana’s tall buildings and offices, Zona Rio is the modern commercial hub of the city.

But that’s not just it, the neighborhood is also highly developed and home to some of the best hotels in town.

You should keep in mind that the hotel prices here are definitely a bit higher compared to areas like Playas de Tijuana or Rosarito.

But this is where you will find the biggest mall, amazing shopping experiences, and surprisingly enough, lots of cultural allure as well.

1. Hotel Lucerna Tijuana

Lucerna hotel Tijuana outdoor pool
Hotel Lucerna Tijuana – outdoor pool – Photo © Expedia

Located just a short drive from both the border and the international airport in Tijuana, Lucerna Tijuana is a luxury hotel perfect for couples, groups, families, and solo travelers.

Along with the great location, the amenities and service of this hotel are also rated one of the highest in Zona Rio.

The rooms of Lucerna feature all the facilities you would see in a luxury hotel.

These include air-conditioning, satellite TVs, wifi, as well as room service, daily housekeeping, and bottled water. Each room also has a balcony offering views of the city.

The property has a swimming pool, garden, two onsite restaurants, a bar, private parking, a fitness center, and round-the-clock front desk service.

The Centro is also just a short distance from the hotel, which makes it overall a very good luxury lodging option in Zona Rio.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

2. Hotel Real del Rio

Hotel Real del Rio Tijuana
Hotel Real del Rio – In-room safe, individually furnished, blackout drapes – Photo © Expedia

Hotel Real del Rio is another similar luxury lodging option in Zona Rio of Tijuana. This is where you will find lots of amenities and a very cozy atmosphere for your stay in Tijuana.

The location of this hotel is also close to the Centro and the US border as well.

Just like Hotel Lucerna, the rooms in Hotel Real all feature air-conditioning, box safes, and elegant decor.

The hotel also has two onsite restaurants, a fitness center, and secure parking. Location and staff both are some of the best-liked features of the hotel as well.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

3. Hotel Hacienda del Rio

Hotel Hacienda del Rio front view
Hotel Hacienda del Rio – Photo © Expedia

The skyscraper lodgings of Zona Rio are definitely amazing, but if you’re looking for something different, Hotel Hacienda del Rio is one of the best places to try in the area.

This charming property has all the facilities of a luxury hotel, but the atmosphere here is very authentic and charming.

The rooms of Hacienda del Rio come with simple yet enchanting decor, and feature amenities like air-conditioning, cable TVs, wifi, and private baths.

The hotel also has an onsite restaurant popular for its local cuisine and wines as well as a bar.

Some other amenities of Hotel Hacienda del Rio include a swimming pool, fitness center, secure parking, and airport pick and drop. The location of the hotel is convenient, with the downtown just a short distance away.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best things to do in Zona Rio

Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT)
Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) – Photo © Canva

Learn about the history of Tijuana

As I mentioned earlier, Zona Rio is where you will find the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT). With one of the town’s best galleries and sculpture gardens and many more things, it’s worth spending a day in CECUT if you want to know more about the region and its history.

Go shopping

The upscale shopping experience offered in Zona Rio is unparalleled. So, when you’re feeling like going on a shopping spree, this is the best area to do it. You can start at the Plaza Rio Shopping Center, but there are many other shopping spots as well.

Go hiking

Cerro Colorado is just a short distance from Zona Rio. This is where you will find lots of hiking trails, stunning views of the city, and picturesque sunsets. If you’re up for an adventure, I recommend taking a trip here.

Rosarito | Where to stay in Tijuana for a resort vacation

Rosarito municipality Tijuana
Panoramic view of Rosarito beach, Baja California, Mexico – Photo © Canva

Just like Playas de Tijuana, the Rosarito municipality is popular for its beaches. But there’s more to it than just that.

Apart from the range of beaches, the area also has the best nightlife and party vibes. This is where you will find some of the best resorts to stay in Tijuana.

However, it’s worth mentioning here that Rosarito is a bit outside the city, which means you won’t be close to the other attractions of Tijuana.

Luckily, it’s only less than a 30-minute drive to town, but I wouldn’t recommend staying here if you’re visiting Tijuana for the first time.

1. Rosarito Inn

Rosarito Inn hotel outdoor pool
Photo © Rosarito Inn – outdoor pool with beach views

Rosarito Inn is a beachside luxury hotel where you will find 5-star amenities with the added benefit of a safe and secure neighborhood and the famous Rosarito nightlife within walking distance.

Rooms of the Rosarito Inn include wifi connectivity, cable television, air-conditioning, and fully-equipped kitchens.

Most also have breathtaking balcony views of the sea. The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool with a hot tub, a spa, and a garden.

Free secure parking is available for the guests, and the majority of Rosarito restaurants, bars, and clubs are within walking distance of the property, making it an excellent place to stay in Rosarito to enjoy the party town vibes.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com

2. Cozy Apartments

Cozy apartments Rosarito Tijuana
Photo © Expedia

Located just a little distance away from the beach, Cozy Apartments is an amazing midrange lodging option in Rosarito with a huge variety of amenities and a homey atmosphere.

The apartments here feature the usual amenities like wifi, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and private baths. Each of them also has a seating area, kitchen, and dining area.

A garden, barbeque facilities, and free parking for the guests are also provided by the hotel. And downtown Rosarito is also just a short walk from these apartments.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Expedia | Hotels.com

3. Las Rocas Resort & Spa

Las Rocas Resort and Spa hotel Tijuana, two outdoor pools
Las Rocas Resort & Spa – 2 outdoor pools – Photo © Expedia

Perched atop a small cliff right by the Pacific coast of Rosarito, the Rocas Resort & Spa is an exceptional luxury hotel with incredibly reasonable prices. Both the views and amenities offered here are extraordinary.

The lodgings here come with free wifi, cable TVs, and air-conditioning. You will find the rooms to be very spacious, neat, and comfortable.

Then there are also the two restaurants, a bar, an infinity pool, and a spa of the Rocas.

👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best things to do in Rosarito

Rosarito sandy beaches
Rosarito beach on the Baja Pensinsula in Mexico – Photo © Canva

Enjoy the water

The best part of a resort stay in Rosarito is definitely the oceanside activities. Take a dip in the Pacific, relax on the sandy beach, or go on a horse ride by the sea—in short, enjoy your beachside vacation!

Check out the Local Artisan Market

You can visit the local market for arts and crafts to buy some souvenirs or just browse around to get a glimpse of the authentic side of Rosarito. Definitely a recommended experience.

Take a guided tour of Tijuana

Whether you’re visiting Tijuana for the first time or have been to it before, a full-day guided tour of the city is always a delightful experience. The one I have linked is operated by natives of the town, so you will get to see and learn a lot of new things about the city.

Where to stay in Tijuana FAQs

What is the nicest part of Tijuana?

The answer might depend on what you’re looking for, but Tijuana has plenty of nice neighborhoods.

The Centro is where many of its historic landmarks and cultural attractions are found. Zona Rio is an upscale part of town with tall hotels, offices, and shopping centers.

Playas de Tijuana is the waterside neighborhood of Tijuana with a peaceful atmosphere and gorgeous views. All of these are really nice areas of Tijuana and worth exploring.

Is Tijuana worth visiting?

Yup. It most definitely is. The border town is quite famous among tourists. There is a lot to see and explore here, including thriving nature, historic landmarks, exotic shopping experiences, and delicious cuisines.

Where is it safe to stay in Tijuana?

All the touristy areas of Tijuana are patrolled frequently and safe for a stay. Zona Rio is definitely one of the best neighborhoods in town when it comes to safety and development.

The Centro and Playas de Tijuana areas are also pretty safe and secure.

How do you get around in Tijuana?

There are plenty of ways to get around in Tijuana. Generally, you can take a cab to get wherever you like in Tijuana.

Public transport is also an option here. And you can also just take a walk to most places, as walking in the touristy neighborhoods of Tijuana is quite safe during the daytime.

Can you pay with dollars in Tijuana?

Yes, most of the large businesses and hotels in Baja California (including Tijuana) accept dollars.

But you should keep in mind that the exchange rate when paying in dollars can be a bit low, so it’s always better to have pesos at hand to pay for your expenses.

Make sure you don’t forget travel insurance

Do I need travel insurance in Mexico? Yes, you do! I can never stress enough what a lifesaver it can be in unexpected situations. Although I hope I never need it, it gives me peace of mind to know that whatever happens, I am covered. I have been using  Safety Wing, and I find it quite fair, covering a lot for its pricing level. Depending on your needs or you can compare different insurance companies on this useful site, TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER. Make sure you read carefully what’s included before making the purchase. If you are undecided yet, you can read my post on the best travel insurance for Mexico for more clarity.

Conclusion: Where to stay in Tijuana final thoughts

That’s all for this guide on the best areas and hotels to stay in Tijuana. I have covered the best neighborhoods, some of the best hotels in them, and the things you should do while staying there.

Hopefully, you now know everything you need to decide on your ideal vacation lodging in Tijuana and make the most of your trip.

If there’s anything more you want to know, feel free to hit me up. Happy vacation!