For the perfect mix of city and beach, Playa Del Carmen is a lively city with a thriving nightlife. We first visited Playa Del Carmen back in 2011, and in the 6 short years since our first visit it’s grown a lot! Even more beach clubs, rooftop bars and shopping centres have popped up. If you’re looking for a fun getaway, then this Quick Guide to Playa Del Carmen will help you plan your visit!
WHERE TO STAY
- For hotel, I recommend The Palm At Playa. We loved their huge rooms and central location. It was so convenient to be walking distance to everything on 5th Avenue! We also really liked their rooftop pool club, where we spent one afternoon lounging by the pool and simply champagne. You can read my review of this hotel right here!
WHAT TO SEE & DO
- A day trip to Tulum is a MUST! This small beach town is filled with amazing restaurants and boutiques.
- Another day trip option is to visit one of the nearby cenotes. You can arrange a guided tour through your hotel, or you can hire a driver and explore them on your own schedule.
- If you prefer to stay in Playa Del Carmen, you’ll never run out of shopping along 5th Avenue.
- Years ago, Paul and I did an amazing cooking class at Co.Co’s Culinary School.
- At the beach you can rent jet skis, and sign up for all kind of water sports.
WHERE TO EAT
- By far, the best meal we had in Playa Del Carmen was at El Fogon. This authentic restaurant is a short walk from the touristy 5th Avenue, but it’s worth getting off the beaten path! The portions are huge, and we definitely over-ordered, but it was worth it to try everything.
- If you need to balance out those tacos with a fresh salad, BIO-Natural is like a mini Whole Foods! Their quinoa bowls are incredible, and they have a small grocery shop as well.
- I really loved my meal (and experience) at Frida Kahlo Restaurante. I think it’s fair to say this place is slightly overpriced because of the whole concept, but I really enjoyed my food. Each dish is a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine, and my guacamole with strawberries was a surprisingly delicious treat!
- For pasta, I highly recommend Eat Italy! We loved our food here, and the location is great for people watching!
- If you’re craving pizza, I recommend Negroamaro. It’s not the greatest pizza in the world, but if you need a break from Mexican food it’s definitely one of the better choices on 5th Avenue!
- For dessert, don’t miss the gelato at Amorino. This Italian-based chain is one of our favourite places in Europe, so we were pretty excited to see that they opened a location in Mexico!
WHERE TO DRINK
- For beach clubs, check out Mamita’s Beach Club or Kool Beach Club. Both are great!
- The newly opened Thompson hotel (two locations) is a great place for cocktails, house music and beautiful people.
- The rooftop pool club at The Palm At Playa is another popular spot. I enjoyed the vibe here during the day, much more than night.