I love Mexico City! We spotted cheap fares from Austin to Mexico City so we booked a 2-week vacation. I hardly ever get to go to a destination for more than 5 days so I was excited to be able to thoroughly explore Mexico City. Staying in a city for 2 weeks meant that I could explore each neighborhood, find my favorite restaurants and markets, and be able to visit them more than once.
SEE ALSO: 7 Top Puerto Vallarta Things To Do
Why do I love Mexico City?
- No humidity – it was a mild 70 degrees in the summer! A relief from Austin’s triple digit weather and 100% humidity.
- Affordable food – street food costs $1 to $2
- Affordable Airbnbs – you can find Airbnbs for less than $30 a night
- Mercados – the markets are filled with crafts and trinkets
- Short flight from Austin – just a hour and half direct flight!
Did you know Mexico City is the largest city in North America, and the fifth-largest city in the world according to the United Nations? At the beginning of the 20th century, the city’s population stood at about 500,000. As of 2015, the population in Mexico City has exploded to 8.855 million.
With that said, here’s my Mexico City travel guide to the best things to do in Mexico City and the best restaurants to eat at in the Coyocan, La Condesa, Roma, and Centro Historico neighborhoods.
Table of Contents
MEXICO CITY AIRPORT
Mexico City is a short hour and half direct flight from Austin on Aeromexico and flights usually aren’t more than $350!
MEXICO CITY WEATHER
I want to live in Mexico City in the summer because there’s absolutely no humidity! In June, it was around 75 degrees during the day and high 60s in the evening. It did rain almost every afternoon for a couple of hours and poured during our second week so pack a rain jacket, umbrella, and sweater. Mexico City has a chilly winter so be sure to pack heavy layers if you go between November – March.
THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY: CENTRO HISTÓRICO
Let’s start with Centro Histórico – Mexico City’s historic center that is in the heart of the downtown area and is an UNESCO world heritage site.
Mercado De Artesanias La Ciudadela
I love La Ciudadela – so much that I went here 3 times during my 2-week stay to buy bags, hammocks, and home goods. See my shopping spree above!
06040 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Also known as Palace of Fine Arts, Palacio de Bellas Artes is a popular art museum that has magnificent architecture and is home to 12 murals from some of the most renowned Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco.
06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Craft Market and San Juan Mexican Curiosities
A small craft market but with cheaper prices than La Cuildala
The House of Tiles
Also known as Casa de los Azulejos. Take a picture in front of the tiles!
06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Zócalo or Plaza del Zócalo, or Plaza de la Constitucion is Mexico City’s main square.
06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Palacio Nacional located on Mexico City’s main square, the Plaza de la Constitución, is where the President of Mexico resides and you can see murals by Diego Rivera.
06066 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Templo Mayor Museum
Walk a street over to the Templo Mayor, a museum showcasing archaeological finds & exhibits related to the Aztec civilization.
06060 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
You can’t miss this cathedral that dominates the vast expanse of Mexico City’s central square, Zócalo. It’s a beautiful architectural wonder that celebrates the Catholic church’s influence on Mexican culture.
06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
La Merced Market
We did not go here since several locals told us that it can be dangerous so I did want to make that note. If you go, dress minimally, remove any jewelry, and be sure to leave BY 5PM.
This is Mexico City’s oldest public park with trees & fountains that was established by Viceroy Luís Velasco.
06010 Hervidero y Plancha, CDMX, Mexico
If you want to listen to mariachi bands play, go to Plaza Garibaldi where you can see mariachi bands perform in traditional attire in this iconic plaza.
06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
WHERE TO EAT IN CENTRO HISTÓRICO
- Pastelería Ideal – we saw people walking around with several white and blue bakery boxes and discovered Pasterlería Ideal. When you walk into the bakery, there are hundreds of different kinds of Mexican pastries and cookies and it’s so affordable. I stopped in the day before our flight and loaded up my suitcase with pastries!
- El Moro Churerría – iconic churro shop. I recommend going to the Roma location if you want to take photos.
THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY: CONDESA
This fashionable European neighborhood is filled with designer boutiques, beautiful parks, and a thriving nightlife.
Paseo de la Reforma
Also known as Avenida Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue in Mexico City that was laid out in the 1860s by Emperor Maximilian to provide the city with a boulevard to rival the great European capitals, and doubled as a ceremonial drive from his palace in Chapultepec to the centre.
Tip: Go on Sunday morning to Reforma and rent a bike and bike down the avenue.
More commonly called the “Bosque de Chapultepec” in Mexico City, is the oldest and largest urban park in Latin America, and one of the oldest urban parks in the world.
Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico
Located at the top of Chapultepec Hill in the Chapultepec park is this historic hilltop castle with views of Mexico City that houses the National Museum of History. You can learn about the history of Mexico here.
Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11100 Mexico City, Mexico
Museo de Arte Moderno
If you’re more into contemporary art, go to Museo de Arte Moderno with exhibitions of national and international contemporary artists.
11100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
El Bazaar Sábado
A market only open on Saturday with home goods.
spaceship looking library
WHERE TO EAT IN CONDESA
- Chiquitito Café – cute polaroid coffee shop
- Molino el Pujol – tortilla shop by the chef who owns Pujol
THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY: POLANCO
Located north of Condesa is the neighborhood of Polanco.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
National Museum of Anthropology is a popular anthropology museum showcasing artifacts from as far back as the ancient Maya civilization and is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico. Closed on Mondays.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: general admission is $ 80.00 MXN
11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Museo Soumaya is a private museum in Mexico City with extensive art collection with most of it European. The building itself is a work of art in a modern, curving structure.
Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY: ROMA NORTE
Roma is such a darling hipster neighborhood and I wish I had more time to explore this area! I recommend staying in this neighborhood over La Condesa if you want a quieter area.
THINGS TO DO IN ROMA
- Cafebrería El Péndulo – airy 3-floor bookstore with a rooftop bar
WHERE TO EAT IN ROMA
- Buna 42 – order the cafecheta (coffee + horchata)
- Tortillería “La Fe” – hole in the wall tortilla shop
- Panaderia Rosetta – get the guava pastry
- El Morro – cutest El Morro location. I went twice for mini churro ice cream sandwiches! (pictured above)
- Contramar – popular seafood spot that inspired Austin’s Alcomar ($$$)
- Taqueria Orinoco – best chicharrón tacos that’s open super late. We went back twice for our last meal in Mexico City!
- El Hidalguense – barbacoa is impossible to find in Mexico City and this is one of the few spots that serves it.
- Romita Comedor – cute 3-story bar with windows and plants
- El Vilsito – this car repair shop turns into a al pastor hot spot at night
THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY: COYOACAN
We stayed in the Coyoacan neighborhood so I spent most of my time exploring this area. Coyoacan is the artist neighborhood south of downtown that is famous for being the home of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The neighborhood is easily walkable so I recommend spending a couple of hours on foot looking at the colonial homes and colorful walls.
Museo Frida Kahlo
You can visit Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s blue house (also known as Casa Azul) that has been transformed into the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Tip: Buy tickets in advance and go early or else it can be a one hour to two-hour wait.
Calle Londres 247 Col. Del Carmen, Mexico City 04100 Mexico
Mercado Artesanal Mexicano
2-story craft market with vendors selling shoes, artwork, jewelry, and more.
Bazar Artesanal Mexicano
Located right next door to Mercando Artesanal Mexicano, Bazar is smaller with “higher-end” jewelry and more.
WHERE TO EAT IN COYOACAN
- Cafe El Jarocho – local coffee shop in Coyoacan since 1953
- Mercado de Coyoacán – major food market in Coyoacan with dozens of stalls selling home goods and street food. Don’t miss the elote stand outside before going inside and eating your way out. Make sure to eat a tostada at the Tostadas de Coyoacan stand.
- Picnic Helados – local ice cream shop in Coyoacan. Ask for “Doble pala de vainilla y frutos rojos por favor!”
MEXICO CITY DAY TRIPS
Of all the top attractions in Mexico City, Tenochtitlan is probably the most popular. Tenochtitlán was an Aztec city that flourished between A.D. 1325 and 1521. At the time of the Spanish Conquest in 1521, the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan was among the largest cities in the world, with perhaps as many as 200,000 inhabitants.
I recommend booking a tour on Tripadvisor to go to Tenochtitlan – that’s what we did. If you do decide to go on your own, use Uber to book a ride. I wouldn’t recommend using the local cabs because they are notorious for ripping people off and I’ve heard of horror stories.
Another day trip from Mexico City is Oaxaca – either 1 1/2 by plane or 7 hour drive by car/bus. I want to do this next time!
The observation deck of Torre Latinoamericana is home to the best view of Mexico City.
f you’re a fan of wrestling, or just of spectacularly over-the-top shows, you’ll love attending a lucha libre wrestling match. The performers really go out of their way to make it a unique experience, and the crowds go wild.
Lunadas in Trajinera Canals of Xochimilco
The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit if you can add it to your schedule. It’s a 45-minute trip from downtown Mexico City.
This is like the Venice of Mexico where you’ll float down the canals on traditional trajinera boats. Along the way, other trajinera boats will float toward you with food, drinks, merchandise, and even mariachi bands.
16000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
MEXICO CITY TOURS
I did the following 2 tours during our stay in Mexico City.
- Eat Mexico food tour – when visiting a new city, I like taking a food tour with a local tour guide to learn about the local food scene. We did Eat Mexico’s street food tour and ate our way throughout the city. Over eight different types of street foods – tacos, tlacoyos, tostadas, freshly squeezed juice, and more!
- Mexico City 2-day tour – I already planned on booking tickets to Teotihuacan and Frida Kahlo so when I found this 2-day Mexico City tour on TripAdvisor, this was such a great deal. The tour includes Teotihuacan, tequila/mezcal tasting, Tlatelolco, Shrine of Guadalupe, Xochimilco, and the Frida Kahlo house.