EPIC MEXICO CITY Itinerary! (November 2019)

Mexico City is arguably one of the most dynamic and vibrant places in the world. The city is dripping with culture and becoming increasingly cosmopolitan with time.  You’ll be taken through all the best attractions on this Mexico City itinerary.

The city is overflowing with amazing historical and cultural attractions that highlight the influences of both Aztec and Western heritage. There are incredible day trips from Mexico City that add further insight into the beautiful and complex history of the region. Mexico City is a must-visit destination before hitting the beautiful coast of Mexico!

The chaotic, energetic city promises a whirlwind of adventure and an incredibly enriching experience. If you find yourself spending three days in Mexico City or even three months, then we have you covered!

The following Mexico City travel blog shares all of the must-see Mexico City attractions, adds insight on where to stay in Mexico City, and gives golden nuggets of information that will have you exploring the city with confidence!  If you want to delve a little bit deeper, you can also check out our comprehensive Mexico City blog.

 

Best Time To Visit Mexico City

Trying to decide when to visit Mexico City? While the city provides an unforgettable adventure regardless of when you visit, your trip to Mexico City can vary depending on when you choose to visit.  

Mexico City has a subtropical climate, which means that the summer is hot and humid while winter is cool and mild. The temperature is pleasant throughout the year. The summer also brings a bit of rain, and so the best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May (spring) when the weather is temperate and comfortable. This is peak season for Mexico City so the streets may be crowded, but the beautiful weather makes up for it! 

When to Visit Mexico City

These are the best times to visit Mexico City!

When planning a trip to Mexico City, you need to consider the climate and season, especially if you want to enjoy being able to walk between attractions! Another important factor to consider is that the city has a high altitude and sits at about 7,382 feet above sea level, so you will definitely want to pack your water bottle and stay hydrated!  

 Average TemperatureChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
January13°C / 55°FLowCalm🙂
February14°C / 57°FLowCalm🙂
March16°C / 61°FLowCalm😀
April18°C / 64°FAverageMedium😀
May18°C / 64°FAverageBusy😀
June18°C / 64°FHighMedium🙂
July17°C / 63°FHighMedium🙂
August18°C / 64°FHighMedium🙂
September18°C / 64°F HighBusy 😐
October17°C / 63°FAverageBusy🙂
November15°C / 59°FLowBusy😀
December13°C / 55°FLowBusy😐

 

Where To Stay In Mexico City

There are so many cool places to stay in Mexico City, that you may find it hard to choose! The city is sprawling, and so choosing the perfect spot can be intimidating, but the following areas are the best for various purposes! 

If you are visiting for the first time, then the best place to stay in Mexico City is Roma. Previously the settling ground for wealthy Europeans, the area is home to many different art installations and is quite hipster-centric, with a wide variety of quirky restaurants and cool spots to visit.

Where to Stay in Mexico City

These are the best places to stay in Mexico City!

If you are traveling on a budget, then you will want to be as central as possible and stay in Centro Historico. Mexico has the most museums in the world, and Centro Historico is home to many of them! From the Metropolitan Cathedral and the archeological site of Templo Major to the National Palace and Zocalo Square; Centro Historico is an incredibly enriching area! 

Finally, if you are looking to enjoy the nightlife in Mexico City, then look no further than La Condesa! The area is bursting with epic cocktail bars, boutique shops, and entertainment venues! There are loads of amazing hotels and hostels in Mexico City to choose from, but here are our top choices!

 

mexico city itinerary

Casa Pepe is our pick for the best hostel in Mexico City!

Best Hostel in Mexico City – Casa Pepe

Casa Pepe is primely located in Mexico City’s center, surrounded by amazing restaurants, historical attractions, and musical venues! The rooms are spacious and have their own private bathrooms ensuring that you have optimal comfort!

As an added bonus, the hostel offers free walking tours which are a great way to see the city and make friends from all around the world!

Check on HostelWorld

 

Best Location, Stylish, New Apartment

Best Location, Stylish, New Apartment is our pick for the best Airbnb in Mexico City!

Best Airbnb in Mexico City – Best Location, Stylish, New Apartment

Enjoy the heart of Mexico City in this stylish, new apartment located in Cuauhtemoc. It’s our top pick for where to stay in Mexico City if you’re traveling with a family or group.

There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as a terrace with nice views of the quiet neighborhood.

Airbnb is great to use throughout Mexico, so follow this link for $35 free credit!

Check on Airbnb

 

mexico city itinerary

Hotel Diligencias is our pick for the best budget hotel in mexico City!

Best Budget Hotel in Mexico City – Hotel Diligencias

If you want to be comfortable, central and experience excellent service, then Hotel Diligencias is the spot for you! The hotel offers a variety of perks such as an on-site restaurant and bar as well as free wifi. It’s also a stone’s throw away from some of Mexico City’s top attractions!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined    Check on Agoda

 

mexico city itinerary

Hotel Zocalo Central is our pick for the best luxury hotel in Mexico City!

Best Luxury Hotel in Mexico City –  Hotel Zocalo Central

Hotel Zocalo Central neighbors the National Cathedral and offers a breathtaking view of the giant plaza from their luxurious terraced restaurant! Also nearby is the Fine Arts Palace and the famous Alameda Park. The rooms themselves offer unparalleled comfort set in beautiful contemporary design. This hotel offers a truly luxurious stay in Mexico City!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined    Check on Agoda

 

Mexico City Itinerary

In order to make the most of your itinerary in Mexico City, you need to know how to get from point A to point B efficiently! If you stay centrally, you can walk to most Mexico City landmarks.

If you prefer private transportation, taxi and ubers are readily available. Just be sure that you plan your trip around rush hour! So, let’s get straight into touring Mexico City!

Mexico City Itinerary

Welcome to our EPIC Mexico City itinerary!

If you are comfortable taking public transport, you’ll be happy to know that the metro is a quick and easy way to travel around the city. There are 195 stations that stretch across a route of 226 kilometers (140 miles) and 12 different lines. In addition to being super quick and efficient, the metro in Mexico City is also very affordable, with a ticket costing you as little as USD $0.3!

The lines operate from 5 am to midnight on weekdays, from 6 am to midnight on Saturdays, and from 7 am to midnight on Sundays and holidays.  

 

Day 1 Itinerary in Mexico City

Zócalo | Templo Mayor | Palacio Nacional | Chapultapec | La Condesa

Mexico City has a deeply rooted and incredibly colorful history that blends modern-day traditions with ancient symbolism and customs. One day in Mexico City needs to be dedicated to hearing the story of the city’s fascinating history and culture!

 

Day 1 / Stop 1 – Zócalo

  • Why it’s awesome – Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, is full of amazing free things to do!
  • Cost – Free!
  • Food recommendation – El Balcón del Zócalo offers an amazing experience of Mexican cuisine, accompanied by a breathtaking view!

Zócalo is a vibrant square in the center of Mexico City. Officially called the Plaza de la Constitución, the popular square adopted the name Zócalo which means base  in the 19th century. It has continued to be the heart of Mexico City, and it is proudly one of the world’s largest city squares and is a hive of activity!

Don’t be surprised if you waltz into the square and find it strangely familiar. It’s the square that was torn apart during a scene in the popular James Bond film, Sceptre.  

Zócalo is flanked by other popular Mexico City attractions such as Palacio Nacional, Catedral Metropolitana and the city’s government offices. Take the time to stroll through the plaza and take in the beautiful surrounding architecture.  

Zócalo

Zócalo, Mexico City

Also surrounding the square are tastes of the various cultural flavors. You’ll be sure to find hawkers selling jewelry, mementos and some of the world’s best street food, as well as traditionally-clad Aztec dancers and local drummers chanting in a cloud of smoke! The square often hosts events, so keep an eye out for any posters of festivals, concerts or gatherings around the time that you are in the city!

One of the best parts of Zócalo is that it is completely free to visit! You can stimulate all of your senses simply by walking through the square and absorbing all of the beauty and culture that it holds! 

Insider tip: For a truly spectacular moment, make sure that you are in the square at 8 am or 6 pm. This is when the Mexican army raises and lowers the giant Mexican flag!

 

Day 1 / Stop 2 – Templo Mayor

  • Why it’s awesome – In ancient Aztec belief, Templo Mayor was literally the center of the universe!
  • Cost – 70 Mexican Pesos (USD $4) from Tuesday to Saturday and free on Sundays!
  • Food recommendation – México Viejo is a cozy and comfortable Mexican-style restaurant that serves a great buffet.

Templo Mayor is one of the most enriching sights to see on your Mexico City vacation and the center of Mexican ancient heritage! The temple is made up of the remains of the ancient Aztec city called Tenochtitlán and an attached Museum.

These remains hold significant historical value as they were thought to be the exact spot where the Aztecs saw their symbolic eagle on top of a cactus with a snake in its beak. To this day, this is the symbol of Mexico and can be found on the Mexican flag!

The temple is one of the most sacred buildings in the city and offers incredible insight into the ancient history of the Aztec civilization, as well as how the culture has developed over the years. Make sure that you allocate yourself enough time to walk through the museum as well as stroll through the ruins!  

Templo Mayor

Templo Mayor, Mexico City

Templo Mayor is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 am until 5 pm. Normally, there is a small entrance fee of 70 Mexican Pesos (USD $4), but on Sundays, travelers can enter for free!

Most of the exhibitions inside the museum are in Spanish, but the stories are also beautifully told in a visual capacity, making it an incredible experience for all languages.

Insider Tip: Take a moment to have a look at the stones used to build the neighboring Cathedral. These stones were taken from Templo Mayor and represent a brilliant example of how the cultural heritage of the city has been combined in architecture!

 

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Palacio Nacional

  • Why it’s awesome – Discover the murals of Diego Rivera which tell of Aztec life before the Spanish Conquest!
  • Cost – Free to wander!
  • Food recommendation – Enjoy mind-blowing pizza for lunch at the nearby Dalis restaurant!

Palacio Nacional is a colonial palace that houses the offices of the Mexican president. Inside, the walls are adorned with historical paintings created by Diego Rivera which tell the fascinating story of Aztec life before the Spanish conquest in the 1500s. Simply follow the crowds to the top of the building and take in the storytelling murals that stretch across the walls!

The history of the building itself is truly fascinating. It was first built by the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II in the early 16th century but was destroyed in 1521 by Cortés who rebuilt it as a fortress with three interior courtyards. When the crown purchased the building in 1562, it was converted into a sign of Mexican independence.

Palacio Nacional

Palacio Nacional, Mexico City | source: Diego Grandi (shutterstock)

The architecture of the palace itself is something to behold! We recommend that you allocate an hour or two to browse around the incredible building. The palace is closed on Mondays, but open from 9 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

Palacio Nacional also houses a cathedral which has a famous bell at the top. This bell was rung when Mexico declared its independence in 1810!

If you are an avid history lover and want a truly enriching experience, we’d also suggest that you hire a guide who can add more context to your visit! 

Insider Tip: Don’t be caught off guard, a valid ID is required to enter the palace!

 

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

 

Day 1 / Stop 4 – Chapultapec

  • Why it’s awesome – Relax in one of the world’s largest city parks after an intense morning exploring!
  • Cost – The park is free, but if you want to enter the castle, it costs 70 Mexican Pesos (USD $4).
  • Food recommendation – Lardo is a nearby restaurant which serves a tasty fusion of Italian and Meditteranean cuisine!

Bosque de Chapultapec is a popular park in Mexico City and a great place to unwind after a busy day exploring the historical center. Measuring just over 686 hectares, Bosque de Chapultapec is one of the largest city parks in the world!

The park is divided into three sections, the first of which is the oldest and most popular among visitors. In this section are countless other attractions such as Chapultapec Zoo, the Museum of Anthropology and the Rufino Tamayo Museum. So, if you still have some energy after resting under the beautiful shade, you can continue exploring the incredible history that the city has to offer!

Chapultapec

Chapultapec, Mexico City

Also in the first section of the park is Chapultapec Castle, which houses the National History Museum and is located at the highest point of Chapultapec Hill. From this point, you can marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

If you are a water baby, you can find some solace at Chapultapec Lake, an artificial lake also located in the first section of the park. Here, you can rent a pedal boat or rowboat and take a short paddle on the water, absorbing the scenery from a different perspective.

If you want to venture further into the park, there is a lot more excitement in store! The second section has a large amusement park, several impressive fountains and other museums. Even further, in the third section, you can find lots of natural wooded areas and wildlife.

 

Day 1 / Stop 5 – La Condesa

  • Why it’s awesome – Party the night away in the nightlife center of Mexico City!
  • Cost – Free to browse, various bars, restaurants, and clubs have different prices.
  • Food recommendation – For a unique experience, you can pop into Artic Bar, Latin America’s first ice bar.

After a wonderful day exploring, it’s time to party the night away in true Mexican style. La Condesa is a hub of activity both during the day as well as at night. So, put on your dancing shoes and prepare to sip tasty cocktails, dine on Mexican cuisine and party until the early hours in the morning!

Whether you are looking for a more relaxed night enjoying a strong drink on a beautiful roof-top terrace, or you want to dance the night away, La Condesa is the perfect area to enjoy Mexican nightlife.

La Condesa

La Condesa, Mexico City | source: Cabeca de Marmore (shutterstock)

If you want a truly unique experience, the Artic Bar serves ice-cold beverages in a -10° environment. From here, the drink slips into your bloodstream and begins warming you up before you hit the dance floor which is at normal room temperature.

If you love music and dancing, make sure that you bookmark Leonar, one of La Condesa’s hottest bars and dance clubs. The venue only opens at 11:30 pm, so you may want to explore some of the other venues before!

Insider tip: La Condesa attracts a crowd of young professionals. If you are more interested in a hipster-orientated night out, then Roma is also an incredible area to experience Mexico City’s nightlife!

Casa Pepe

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Casa Pepe
  • Free WiFi
  • Free Breakfast
  • 24 Hour Reception

Casa Pepe is primely located in Mexico City’s center, surrounded by amazing restaurants, historical attractions, and musical venues. This is a great place to rest if you’re backpacking Mexico City!

 

Day 2 Itinerary in Mexico City

Boat Ride Xochimilco | Palacio Bellas Art Gallery | Leon Trotsky’s House| Frida Kahlo’s Museum | Lucha Libre

After a potentially wild night, it’s time to continue your weekend in Mexico City with a tranquil boat ride in Xochimilco before discovering what more the fascinating city has to offer with a two-day itinerary in Mexico City.

 

Day 2 /Stop 1 – Trajinera Boat Ride Xochimilco

  • Why it’s awesome – Float down the canals that once surrounded the ancient city of Tenochtitlan!
  • Cost – Approximately USD $18 per 1-hour ride.
  • Food recommendation – For a healthy kick-start to the day, pop into 99% Natural, an incredible cafe in the area for a bite to eat!

For the best start on your two days in Mexico City, make your way slowly to Xochimilco. The city within Mexico City is about an hour from the center so it is best to tackle this activity while you are still fresh and have energy!

What waits for you is an amazing experience along the canals. While the remnants of the ancient canal is quite small today, it offers travelers a wonderfully authentic experience of floating along in a traditional trajinera boat to the sound of local mariachis.

The brightly-painted wooden boat is traditionally decorated to honor a Mexican family name and have years of stories behind their symbolism! Today, you’ll find some boats named after popular celebrities.  

Trajinera Boat Ride Xochimilco

Trajinera Boat Ride Xochimilco, Mexico City | source: Arian Zwegers (flickr)

While cruising the canal and listening to various types of Mexican folklore is a memorable experience in itself, you should also take the time to visit the areas in Xochimilco surrounding the water! There are loads of beautiful flowers and wildlife to see and add to your memory bank! 

For the easiest and most affordable way to get to Xochimilco, take the metro to the Tasqueña Station which is at the end of the blue line. This should cost you as little as USD $1. The nearest Trajinera boat station will be a short 10-minute walk from the station.

Insider tip: If you arrive feeling snack-ish, make sure that you choose a Trajinera that is also a floating restaurant and try out the Elotes (corn on the cob)!

 

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Palacio de Bellas Artes

  • Why it’s awesome – Discover the fascinating history of Mexico through breathtaking artworks!
  • Cost – 70 Mexican Pesos (USD $4) from Tuesday to Saturday, and free on Sundays!
  • Food recommendation – Look out for La Pagoda Cafeteria around the corner from the gallery which serves classic Mexican diner-style chow!

Palacio de Bellas Artes, called the Palace of Fine Arts in English, is considered to be the cultural center of Mexico City, and when you see it you’ll understand why! The spectacular building is made of marble and shines white under the bright sun. The central dome which makes up the roof glows orange from the tiles.

Travelers have described the renowned art gallery as one of the most beautiful buildings in Mexico City. The palace is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, and the gallery is open from 10 am to 7 pm from Tuesday until Sunday.

The exterior of the building’s stunning art-deco architecture is just the tip of the iceberg. Once inside, prepare to be blown away with a classic atmosphere. Browse through the many different exhibitions and art that tell the visual story of Mexican history. 

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City | source: Nan Palmero (flickr)

There are also several famous murals inside the building, such as the work of famous Mexican artists Rufino Tamayo and Diego Riviera.

The museum itself not only houses wonderful artworks but also regularly hosts cultural events in the national theatre. Look out for any of the scheduled dance, operas, or theatre shows that tickle your fancy during your vacation in Mexico City!

Insider tip: If you have a moment to spare, glance up at Torre Latinoamericana, the unmissable skyscraper that is considered to be one of the world’s first skyscrapers towering at a height of 204 meters (670 feet).

 

Day 2 / Stop 3 – Leon Trotsky’s House

  • Why it’s awesome – Visit the spot where Russian runaway Leon Trotsky found exile and was eventually murdered!
  • Cost – 40 Mexican Pesos (USD $2)
  • Food recommendation – Temicitli is a great vegan restaurant located very close to the Leon Trotsky Museum.

Leon Trotsky was the Russian revolutionary that went head-to-head with Stalin in a political battle, only to run away to Mexico City. Although Trotsky sought refuge in Mexico City, he was still condemned to death and was eventually murdered in his home in Coyoacán.

Today, his previous home is open to visitors to explore. Everything is as he left it, up to the spot where his books lay on his desk. The Leon Trotsky Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and is a historically fascinating spot to visit if you are trying to decide what to do in Mexico City.

Leon Trotsky’s House

Leon Trotsky’s House, Mexico City | source: Rod Waddington (flickr)

The museum depicts the Mexican chapter in Trotsky’s life from his initial run from Ukraine in 1936 up until his death in 1940. This is a must-visit spot for anyone with an interest in history or politics.

The experience of visiting the museum is an easy one. There are not normally masses of crowds, and the atmosphere is calm, allowing travelers to walk through the house and take their time exploring.

Be aware that most of the displays are in Spanish with very little English translation. If you don’t understand the local language, you may want to download Google Translate! Regardless, the suffering and challenges that Trotsky faced are so palpable in his preserved house, that you can expect an intimate and enriching experience!

 

Day 2 / Stop 4 – Frida Kahlo’s Museum

  • Why it’s awesome – Discover the home of world-renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo!
  • Cost – 246 Mexican Pesos (USD $13)
  • Food recommendation – Just a block away is La Talavera, a cozy and casual joint that serves hearty Mexican cuisine.

Frida Kahlo’s Museum, otherwise known as ‘Casa Azul’ or the ‘Blue House’, is a must-see when you travel to Mexico City! The powerful female artist is an iconic influence in creating art focused on gender, class, and race.

The blue house is a short walk from Leon Trotsky’s house and significantly busier. We definitely recommend that you book ahead to avoid the queues of people that prioritize the visit to the popular Mexico City point of interest.

The well-preserved, beautiful home shares special insight into the fascinating life led by the iconic Mexican artist. Frida shared a difficult life with her husband and fellow artist Diego Riviera.

Frida Kahlo’s Museum

Frida Kahlo’s Museum, Mexico | source: Anagoria (wikimedia commons)

We recommend that you set aside an hour to explore her house. Although it isn’t a very large home, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time to discuss the beautiful reflections of her ideologies. As the museum is Frida Kahlo’s former residence, you can expect very intimate glimpses into her life before her death. This is the sanctuary where she created many of her precious and priceless works of art.

Take note that the museum is closed on Mondays, and open from 10 am to 5:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday, except for Wednesdays when the museum opens at 11 am. To reach the museum, you can jump onboard the olive line of the metro and get off at Coyoacán station.

Insider Tip: As mentioned, the queues for visiting the museum can get very long, so make sure that you book in advance if you want to make the most of your visit.

 

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Lucha Libre

  • Why it’s awesome – Be blown away by the unique drama and art of Mexican wrestling.
  • Cost – 450 Mexican Pesos (USD $24)
  • Food recommendation – Toks is an epic Mexican restaurant located right by the main Lucha Libre arena, Arena Mexico in Colonia Doctores.

Lucha Libre is without a doubt one of the most entertaining and amusing experiences on offer in Mexico City. Also known as Mexican wrestling, Lucha Libre is an absolute must-do experience to add to your Mexico City trip itinerary! 

Typically, a performance will involve a few guys, and even a couple of girls, in a ring where they will perform wild acrobatics in funny costumes. Spectators often get involved by cheering, shouting their support, and even buying the masks similar to their favorite wrestler! 

There are three main arenas in Mexico City where you can catch this entertaining experience, the most popular of which is Arena Mexico in Colonia Doctores. This is the perfect night time activity to round off an incredible day exploring the wonders of Mexico City.

Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre, Mexico | source: AlejandroLinaresGarcia (wikimedia commons)

If you are looking for a unique theatrical performance, then this is the activity for you! The style of Lucha Libre mimics WWE wrestling but in a far more animated manner.  

Buckle your seat belts and prepare for an oversized night of theatrical movements, beers, popcorn, and fun!

Insider Tip: Look out for any luchador (wrestler) who loses his mask in the process. When you lose your mask, you supposedly become significantly more vulnerable in the ring as your true identity is exposed!

Gardens Neighborhood, Cape Town

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you– pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel. It’s perfect for hiding money and a passport photocopy.

GET IT HERE

 

Day 3 and Beyond

Food Tour | Alameda Central | Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico | Mercado Roma | Metropolitan Cathedral

For three days in Mexico City and more, there are countless activities to fill your time! Places to visit in Mexico City extend from food tours to relaxing in the park!

 

Food Tour

  • Fiery, flavorsome Mexican cuisine is one of the top Mexico City attractions!
  • A food tour is one of the best ways to experience the best of the best!
  • From tacos to traditional mezcal, Mexico City will have your tastebuds craving more!

One of the biggest pull factors to Mexico City is the outstanding cuisine! From cinnamon-dusted churros to fiery salsa and indulgent tacos, Mexico City offers some of the best traditional foods.

One of the best ways to experience food in the city is to join a food walking tour in Mexico City. These guided tours will take you to the best restaurants, pubs, and street food stalls. There are a variety of food tours to choose from to best suit your needs. You can allocate a whole day to the activity and start early in the morning, or go for a pub food tour later in the day and combine several activities into your day in Mexico City.

Food Tour

Food Tour, Mexico City | source: Alexandr Vorobev (shutterstock)

Some of the best foods to look out for and taste include tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and tortillas. A decadent churro is a perfect way to finish off a meal, before washing it down with a shot of tequila!

Insider tip: If you want to push your boundaries even more, you can pick a food tour that includes a cooking class. This is a great way to experience Mexican cuisine in a hands-on way!

 

Alameda Central

  • Alameda Central was previously one of the Aztec marketplaces, making the spot a historical treasure!
  • The finely groomed green space is one of the oldest city parks in the Americas!
  • The park is open to visitors 24-hours a day, making it the perfect spot to visit when you have a gap!

Another one of the top Mexico City points of interest is Alameda Central, one of the city’s best green spaces. In addition to being incredibly beautiful and relaxing, the park also has a deep and meaningful history.  

The park was originally constructed as early as 1592, after being a popular Aztec marketplace. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the park mimics a french-style design and offers a relaxing sanctuary for both the weary traveler and local Mexican alike.

Alameda Central

Alameda Central, Mexico City | source: Kiev.Victor (shutterstock)

The park has been a favorite for famous people throughout the years. Rumor has it that President Lopex de Santa Anna once demanded that the fountain be filled with alcohol, and that Empress Carlotta loved the park so much that she would plant roses in it from time to time.

The park is the pride and joy of Mexico City. A lot of time, energy, and money have been invested in maintaining the park’s beauty. For this reason, you’ll find that there are no public garbage bins, but there are several workmen pushing around bins!

 

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

  • A breathtaking hotel designed in French-art nouveau style from the pre-revolution era.
  • The ceiling is made of stained glass and is an incredible sight to behold.
  • A scene from James Bond Spectre was filmed in the hotel!

The Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is perfectly located in the historic center of Mexico City, overlooking the hustle and bustle of Zócalo. If you can book a room at the hotel, you are in for a real treat. However, it is definitely worth a visit just to see the mind-blowing interior.

There are often busking saxophonists and classical players outside the hotel doors, setting the mood for the elegance that awaits inside. As soon as you walk in, the first perk you notice, apart from the fancily-clad doorman, is the expansive stained glass ceiling! If you manage to move your attention away from the mesmerizing ceiling, you’ll note that the rest of the hotel is just as opulent.  

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City | source: Octavio Alonso Maya (wikimedia commons)

There is a golden cage with little birds pecking at leftover croissants, and a metal elevator that takes guests up to the various floors. This is the same elevator that was used in the James Bond film!

If you are checking in to stay the night, take time to savor the complimentary glass of bubbly at reception. If you are just visiting, make sure that you head up to the rooftop terrace bar which offers a spectacular view over Zócalo square!

 

Mercado Roma

  • This is another great foodie experience to add to your Mexico City trip itinerary!
  • Discover a world of artisanal flavors in this giant food hall!
  • The rooftop terrace offers an epic spot to sip classic wine and beer

For a completely different Mexican cuisine experience, make sure that you head on over to Mercado Roma which serves the best artisanal flavors in an upmarket setting.

Stroll through the giant food hall and take your pick of cheeses, macaroons, and other gourmet nibbles. Mercado Roma is a great spot to go to enjoy a decadent lunch or dinner and immerse yourself in a world of fellow tourists and the Mexican bougie.

Mercado Roma

Mercado Roma, Mexico City source: Nan Palmero  (flickr)

Choose a spot to sit (either indoors or outdoors) and treat your tastebuds to minisatellite puestos from restaurants across the city! Mercado Roma is open from 9 am to 9 pm on Mondays to Wednesdays; 9 am to 1:30 am on Thursdays; 9 am to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 am to 7:30 pm on Sundays! 

Insider tip: Make sure that you pop up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy a breezy beer and soak in the incredible views of the city!

 

Metropolitan Cathedral

  • One of the most popular spots in the historic center of Mexico City.
  • The impressive cathedral was built from stones taken from the ruins of Templo Mayor.
  • Marvel at the breathtaking architecture from both inside and out!

The history of the cathedral spans back over three centuries, which means that the style of architecture and design blends that of Baroque, Neo-classic, and Neo-renaissance. The building highlights the amalgamation of history that can be found in Mexico City.

Situated on the border of Zócalo square, the breathtakingly beautiful cathedral is also flanked by Templo Mayor, highlighting the contrast of cultures that have contributed to the city today!

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City

The internal offerings of the cathedral are just as magnificent, housing multiple artworks, relics, and crypts. Also found inside are large, resounding organs, and gold-coated artifacts. All of this beauty can be seen and photographed for free!

 

Don’t forget to pack a good book!

Mexico CIty: An Opinionated Guide for the Curious Traveler:  This is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

 

Staying Safe in Mexico City

Mexico City offers a lively and borderline chaotic experience. It is incredibly busy and definitely not the place to visit if you are looking for a relaxing escape from the action. Largely because of this vibe, the city has earned a bit of a reputation as not being a safe destination to visit.

Unfortunately, this reputation does hold some truth. The busy city comes with a fairly high level of street crime, and violent crime also exists in some areas. So, while this concern for safety is founded there are a few safety tips to consider so that you can explore the amazing city fear-free!

First and foremost, remain vigilant. As with most busy cities frequented by tourists, there is a lot of opportunistic crime. Keep your wits about you, and don’t wear flashy clothing and jewelry. Avoid walking at night, rather call an Uber or a cab. Be smart about where you go, for example, avoid certain neighborhoods such as Tepito. Also, avoid using the ATM at night time.

Another safety hazard to consider is the relatively high chance of earthquakes. Brush up on your knowledge about what to do in the instance of an earthquake, and perhaps even download their official earthquake app called 911 CDMX when you visit.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers,or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Day Trips From Mexico City

If you have the time and want to explore more than just the city, you can add the following day trips to your three-day itinerary in Mexico City!

 

Pyramid of Sun and Moon

Pyramid of Sun and Moon

One of your three days in Mexico City has to include a day trip to Teotihuacan, one of the world’s most impressive archeological sites. Here you can see, climb, and take photographs of the world-famous Pyramid of Sun and Moon! 

At this site you can experience a combination of three very unique periods in Mexican history. In addition to visiting Teotihuacan, this particular tour will also give you insight into the Shrine of Guadalupe and Tlatelolco. This incredible experience needs to be added to all travelers three day trip to Mexico!

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Puebla Cholula

Puebla Cholula

Spending one week in Mexico City will present many different and exciting experiences and day trips to travelers. One of these unforgettable day trips is Puebla Cholula. This trip gives travelers the chance to visit the archaeological zone of Cholula, home to the world’s largest pyramid!

Explore the town and take in the impressive colonial architecture, admire the work of Talavera and onyx craftsmen! This particular tour even includes a tasty lunch to help you energized on the trip!

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Tlaxcala And Sanctuary Of Fireflies

Tlaxcala And Sanctuary Of Fireflies

This fascinating day trip to Tlaxcala and Nanacamilpa is an essential addition to any five days in Mexico City! Marvel at the incredible sights in the east of Mexico City, and see local wildlife in their natural environment.

Some key sights to keep your eyes open for include Casa del Ayuntamiento, the Government Palace and the Basilica of Lady Ocotlan. The night section of the tour in Nanacamilpa involves a magical walk through the forest. Prepare to be blown away by the dazzling light display of the fireflies!

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Taxco and Cuernavaca

Taxco and Cuernavaca

Cuernavaca, otherwise known as the City of Eternal Spring, or Mexico’s Silver City, includes a 500-year-old palace! The cobblestone streets of Taxco invites travelers to explore the beautiful history and heritage of the area.

The area is in the heart of the countries silver region and considered a magical place to visit with a wonderful climate all year round. Depending on how many days in Mexico City you have at your disposal, a day trip to the fantastical area full of colonial architecture is a must!

Insider tip:  You simply have to make a silver jewelry purchase when visiting the Silver City!

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San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is one of Mexico’s most popular colonial cities and is full of history! It is also a great place to learn all about Mexico’s journey towards independence. There is an amazing viewpoint where you can take in surreal views of the town!

If you are looking for a few mementos to take home, San Miguel de Allende will not let you down! In addition to fascinating architecture, the city is also teeming with talented craftsmen selling their wares!

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Conclusion

If Mexico City is not at the very top of your bucket list, it should be. It is one of the most vibrant, culturally rich cities in the world, and offers an unforgettable experience regardless of the type of traveler you are!  

This itinerary should have you sorted for your first few days in Mexico City, but there is so much more to discover both in the city and in the surrounding area. While safety may be a concern for cautious travelers, if you keep your wits about you then Mexico City could be one of the most unforgettable trips of your life!

Full of history, tasty flavors, and friendly locals, Mexico City is an adventure waiting for you to take! Start packing your bags using our South American packing list!

 

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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