Mexico City is such an incredible (HUGE) city! Up until this trip we’d only ever been to the beach towns of Mexico, so it was really neat to see a different side of the country. We spent 5 days pretty much eating our way through the city and loved how vastly different each day’s adventures were.
With so much history and culture to experience, so many neighborhoods to explore & sooo many tacos to eat, you will have absolutely no problem filling your time here!
Here’s what you’re gonna get with this blog:
- Top 10 things to DO
- Where to EAT
- Where to STAY
- & quick tips for your trip to Mexico City!
Top 10 things to do in Mexico City
#1 – Visit Palacio de Bellas Artes & explore Zocalo
The palace of fine arts is home to many cultural events of the city and is located in the western part of the historic district. It’s honestly one of the most breathtaking buildings we’ve ever seen!
Pro tip: the 8th floor of the Sears building across the street has a coffee shop that gives you the most epic view of the building (and a great photo op!)
Zocalo is the main historic square of Mexico City and is the center of government not just for the city but for the entire country. Many major government buildings line the square, as well as the gorgeous Metropolitan Cathedral and the biggest flag I’ve ever seen!
While you’re in the area, check out Avenida Madera, a pedestrian street full of shops, restaurants, street vendors & beautiful buildings!
#2 – Take a day trip to Teotihuacan
Though it’s about a 45 min to an hour drive outside of Mexico City, Teotihuacan is a definite MUST on a CDMX itinerary. This place is so cool and full of history. The Pyramid of the Sun is one of the largest pyramids in the world and has some mystery attached to its origins. It’s thought that Teotihuacan was built around 200 BC, over 1000 years before the Aztecs, but who built it is still unknown.
The grounds are pretty big and even with it being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you are still allowed to climb both Pyramids.
Pro tip: the best picture spot is from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon looking out on the vast archaeological site and towards the Pyramid of the Sun.
#3 – Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum
We aren’t usually museum people, but for this one we made an exception. The home of Frida Kahlo, famous artist & Mexican icon, has been converted into a museum of her art and her life. This was the home she grew up in that later became she and Diego Rivera‘s home. Her painting supplies, kitchen, bedroom, etc. are still in tact, and the museum is really beautifully done.
Tip: Online tickets to this museum sell out pretty far in advance, and lines the day of get to be over 5 hours long. We went on Wednesday AM and since it opens later that day (11 am), even though we were 30 min early the line was already over 4 hours. We tried again on Thursday at 8:45 am (before 10 am opening) and were about 25th in line. So moral of the story: don’t go on Wednesdays and on the other days get there pretty early before opening!
#4 – Roam around Coyocan
Coyocan is the neighborhood right outside Frida Kahlo’s home, and is a beautiful, artsy, quiet area. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants in the area.
While you’re here, the Mercado de Coyocan food market is a must. It has seemingly endless rows of vendors of local food, produce, goods, etc. Even though it’s just a couple blocks from the huge tourist attraction of the Frida Kahlo museum, the market definitely felt more like a local hot spot.
#5 – Explore Condesa & Roma Norte neighborhoods
We’re obsessed with both of these neighborhoods! They sit just southwest of the historic district but have a completely different vibe – it feels like you’re not even in the same city.
Condesa is super trendy, full of instagrammable cafes, juice bars, boutiques, you name it. There are beautiful parks and it feels super safe to walk around. It’s also known for nightlife & is super close to Bosque de Chapulepec.
We rode Lime Bike scooters through Condesa and into the park and it was such a blast! We had heard about the scooters but never tried them and it turned out to be such a fun way to get from one place to another and see the city at the same time! (Here is a link to download the Lime app if you don’t have it – you’ll definitely want to download it before you go!)
Roma Norte is the epicenter of CDMX’s hipster scene. Retro record stores, 90’s arcade games & vintage cars line the streets. There are a ton of vegan spots here, too! Mercado Roma food court & La Bohême bakery are musts while you’re in the area!
#6 – Have a Mezcal tasting
Mezcal is pretty much tequila’s smokey cousin. It’s similarly made from agave nectar and ours was served with lime and orange wedges. Honestly, neither of us really enjoyed it, but it kind of feels like a right of passage when you’re in Mexico.
Tip: We tasted Mezcal at Corazon de Maguey when we were there for brunch, but each shot cost about as much as our buffet and neither of us took more than a sip.
Later in the day we passed this place in Condesa, Mezcalia: Mezcal y Mas, that had a sign for free Mezcal tasting. I’m sure whatever portion they let you taste is ample to get the gist, and it’s FREE!
#7 – Go see the Angel de Indepencia
This statue resides in the Reforma area of Mexico City, and is the unmistakeable symbol of the city. Definitely a must see while you’re there, even if you’re just scootering or driving by!
#8 – Get lost in Bosque de Chapulepec
Bosque de Chapulepec is the largest park in North America (yup – bigger than Central Park!) and is filled with ponds, paddle boats, the zoo, museums & tons of local vendors. It’s the perfect place to get lost in for an afternoon!
#9 – See a Lucha Libre show
Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) is a core part of Mexican culture and is actually 2nd to soccer in viewership in the country. It is quite the experience to say the least! The energy, showmanship, acrobatics, crowd, etc. is something you definitely need to experience for yourself. They have shows every Tuesday, Friday & Sunday night at Arena Mexico.
You can get tickets online on Ticketmaster or the day of at the kiosk (don’t go with the people selling them on the street). Make sure to get there around 45-60 min in advance to get your ticket and check out all the street vendors selling masks and other fan gear.
#10 – Stuff your face with tacos
See deets on where to do this in the section below 🙂
Where to eat in Mexico City
Oh my gosh, the better question is probably where not to eat in Mexico City. Seriously, every single thing we ate was on a whole other level, and everything was SO inexpensive.
Por Siempre Vegana Taquería
This vegan taco stand in Roma Norte is out. of. this. world. We went for both lunch and dinner one day and tried pretty much every taco on the menu. Unlike the veg “options” at other places, this taco stand is fully vegan and has tons of meat alternatives (tempeh, tofu, etc.) for a protein packed, absolutely delicious, meal! Scott even eats meat and he said he may have liked these better than the meat street tacos!
Casa de Toño
A local sitting next to us on the plane gave us this rec, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Their specialty is a local dish called Pazole soup and they have both meat & veg options. Soooo delicious, and it feels so light in comparison to the rest of the Mexican food. (PS everything else we tried there was also 10/10)
El Moro churros
If you want a local sweet treat, look no further than El Moro churros. They have a few locations around the city and they put the churros at Disneyland to shame. Don’t forget the chocolate dipping sauce!
La Bohême bakery
Okay, I know I said to look no further, but this bakery is killer. It’s in the heart of Roma Norte and was named one of the top 10 bakeries in Mexico City – after going there we can 100% see why!
Taqueria El Caifan
We had our first torta here and it was divine! Their specialty is the al pastor, but the veg option was on point, too, and very substantial with beans, cheese, avocado, tomato & incredible sauce sauce!
Corazon de Maguey
This restaurant is in the heart of Coyocan & is super fun and vibrant. It’s a perfect stop after a visit to the Frida Kahlo museum and they have an incredible breakfast buffet. It’s not a standard buffet where you go up with your plate and fill it up – you literally can just order an unlimited amount of times from the menu. 10/10 would recommend the Huevos Rancheros but heck, try it all!
All the taco stands
Seriously, the street tacos were across the board incredible. Scott had 14 from 4 different vendors one day, so if that’s not a testimony I don’t know what is. You can find them on pretty much any street corner but a couple that we (he) enjoyed were Taqueria: “Los Cocuyos” & Ricos Tacos.
Ricos Tacos actually made me bean ones (quite literally, tortilla + beans) but not all taco stands will cater to vegan or any special requests. Just ask nicely and the worst they can say is no – then you just go to the next one 200 ft down the road!
Where to stay in Mexico City
- Roma Norte
All of these areas offer different things but all felt safe and would be great options to stay in!
We stayed in Zocalo, the historic district, which meant we were walking distance to all of the historic sites & monuments. This was a nice area to stay in for our first visit, but if we were to do it again we’d stay in Condesa.
Condesa is a beautiful area, with tons of young people, trendy cafes, shopping, etc! With its’ proximity to Roma and Bosque de Chapultepec, and just a quick Uber to the historic district, Condesa gets our vote for where to stay!
Roma Norte has total hipster vibes, and is full of vegan restaurants, tons of street style and edgy record shops. It’s close to Condesa and again just a quick Uber to the historic district, so if the hipster scene is more your vibe, I think this would be the perfect area to stay in!
Uber in Mexico City
Uber has a huge presence in Mexico City. It is a pretty cheap and super convenient way to make the most of your time in the city. A 30 min ride cost less than $8 USD, and on average we spent about $4 USD per ride around the city. We always felt very safe and welcomed when using Uber in the city, too! (Here is a link to download the app if you don’t have it yet!)
Also, some locals told us that the DiDi app (which is the Chinese version of Uber) is becoming popular in Mexico City and is even quite a bit cheaper than Uber. We didn’t end up using it, but it may be worth downloading and checking it out!
Quick tips for Mexico City
- CDMX is to Mexico City (Ciudad de México) as NYC is to New York City
- Make sure you drink enough water (bottled!) since Mexico City is at a pretty hefty elevation and the air quality isn’t known to be great
- Get your pesos ready and get excited!
Kylie & Scott
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