Your Ultimate Mexico City Travel Guide 2023
Mexico City is a magical destination that is sure to have something for everyone. With its rich culture and vibrant atmosphere, Mexico City is a bustling metropolis that offers an exciting blend of old and new. Whether you’re looking for adventure, history, culture, shopping or dining, Mexico City has it all. Discovering this incredible city doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though. This guide will give you everything you need to make the most out of your visit and explore Mexico City like a local. Read on for a comprehensive guide to discovering the best Mexico City has to offer. If you don’t mind a drive a bit north, head out and check out Guanajuato!
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Mexico City
- Visit The National Museum Of Anthropology: This world-class museum is home to the largest collection of ancient Mesoamerican artifacts in the world, including the famous Aztec Calendar Stone.
- Explore The Historic Center: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of Mexico City’s most iconic landmarks, including the Cathedral of Mexico City and the Palace of Fine Arts.
- Check Out The Street Art Scene: Mexico City has a thriving street art scene, and there are many neighborhoods where you can see stunning murals and graffiti art, including the colorful La Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods.
- Visit The Frida Kahlo Museum: Located in the artist’s former home, this museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the life and work of Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s most famous artists.
- Attend A Cultural Festival: Mexico City is home to numerous cultural festivals throughout the year, including the Day of the Dead festival and the Cervantino Festival, which celebrates the arts and culture of Latin America. Attending one of these festivals is a great way to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage.
Best Mexico City Tours
Tours in Mexico City are an excellent way to explore the sights and nearby areas. Unless you intend to rent a car in Mexico City (which we don’t recommend), tours offer the most convenient means of transportation while keeping costs in check. The expenses for getting around can accumulate rapidly, making tours a wise choice for navigating the country.
Frequent Travel Recommendations
Hey there! ✈️ I'm thrilled to share some fantastic travel recommendations with you! I receive numerous emails asking for the best travel advice, and after careful consideration, here are my top picks just for you. Get ready to explore incredible destinations and enjoy some amazing deals that have been curated based on popular demand. So, without further ado, here are the travel experiences I highly recommend. Let the adventures begin! 🌍🌟
SafetyWing — For general travelers and digital nomads with great rates.Book Tours, Tickets & Attractions
Viator — The largest selection for almost all locations.Book Flights and Hotels
Expedia Flights — Large selection for flights.
Expedia Hotels — Large selection for hotels.
Booking.com — The largest selection for hotels.
Click on the links above to get the best deals!
Thanks for the support! - Tiffany
Where To Stay In Mexico City
- Polanco: Polanco is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Mexico City, with high-end boutiques, art galleries, and top-rated restaurants. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for luxury accommodations and want to be close to the city’s cultural attractions.
- Condesa: Condesa is known for its tree-lined streets, Art Deco architecture, and bohemian vibe. It’s a popular neighborhood among young professionals, artists, and writers. If you’re looking for trendy bars, cafes, and nightlife, Condesa is the place to be.
- Roma Norte: Like Condesa, Roma Norte is a trendy and artsy neighborhood. It has a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, and is known for its street art and indie shops. Roma Norte is a great place to stay if you want to explore the city’s alternative scene.
- Centro Histórico: Centro Histórico is the heart of Mexico City, with historic buildings, museums, and cultural landmarks. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to the city’s most famous attractions, like the Zócalo, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Templo Mayor.
- Coyoacán: Located in the southern part of the city, Coyoacán is a bohemian neighborhood known for its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and colorful markets. It’s a great place to stay if you want to experience a more relaxed and laid-back side of Mexico City.
Top Mexico City Hotels
- Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City: Located in the upscale neighborhood of Polanco, the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City is a luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. The hotel boasts an elegant design, spacious rooms and suites, and excellent facilities including a spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool. Its location also provides easy access to the best restaurants and shops in the area.
- St. Regis Mexico City: Overlooking the iconic Paseo de la Reforma, the St. Regis Mexico City offers stunning views of the city skyline. The hotel features modern and sophisticated rooms and suites, complete with marble bathrooms and high-tech amenities. The on-site restaurants offer a range of international and Mexican cuisine, while the spa and fitness center provide relaxation and wellness options.
- Las Alcobas: Nestled in the charming neighborhood of Polanco, Las Alcobas is a boutique hotel that combines modern luxury with Mexican hospitality. The hotel features stylish rooms and suites, each with a unique design and thoughtful amenities. Guests can indulge in the spa, rooftop bar, or fine dining restaurant that showcases traditional Mexican ingredients.
- Downtown Mexico City Hotel: Located in the historic center of Mexico City, the Downtown Hotel is housed in a restored 17th-century palace, offering guests an authentic and charming experience. The hotel features spacious and comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool and bar, and a popular restaurant that serves contemporary Mexican cuisine.
- Hotel Carlota: Hotel Carlota is a chic and trendy hotel located in the trendy neighborhood of Cuauhtémoc. The hotel features modern and minimalist rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, a courtyard with a coffee shop, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. The hotel’s contemporary design and laid-back atmosphere attract a hip and creative crowd.
Where To Eat In Mexico City
When it comes to Mexican cuisine, Mexico City is a foodie’s paradise. From street vendors selling tasty tacos to upscale restaurants offering contemporary Mexican dishes, the city has a wide range of dining options. Here are the top five places to eat in Mexico City:
- Pujol: Considered one of the best restaurants in Latin America, Pujol offers a contemporary take on traditional Mexican cuisine. Chef Enrique Olvera’s tasting menu features unique dishes such as corn husk meringue and baby corn with ant powder. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere with an open kitchen, allowing diners to watch the chefs at work.
- El Califa: If you’re looking for delicious street food, head to El Califa for their mouth-watering tacos al pastor. This casual taqueria serves tacos with spit-roasted pork, grilled pineapple, and spicy salsa. It’s a popular spot with locals, so expect a crowd during peak hours.
- Contramar: Known for its seafood, Contramar is a stylish restaurant with a lively atmosphere. The menu features dishes like tuna tostadas, octopus ceviche, and grilled fish. The restaurant also offers a great selection of cocktails, making it a perfect spot for a night out with friends.
- Lalo: For a cozy brunch or lunch spot, head to Lalo! The menu features simple yet delicious dishes such as avocado toast, huevos rancheros, and chilaquiles. The restaurant’s colorful decor and laid-back vibe make it a popular spot with locals.
- La Docena Oyster Bar & Grill: Seafood lovers should check out La Docena, an oyster bar and grill serving up fresh seafood and innovative cocktails. The menu features dishes like lobster tacos, tuna tartare, and grilled octopus. The restaurant also has a great selection of oysters from around the world.
No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Mexico City has something to offer. These five restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the city’s culinary scene. Bon appetit!
How To Get Around Mexico City
With a population of over 21 million people, navigating through Mexico City can be daunting. However, there are various methods of transportation available that will make your journey through the city a breeze.
- Metro: The Mexico City Metro is a fast and efficient way to get around the city. With 12 lines, you can reach almost any part of the city quickly and easily. Fares are inexpensive and the trains are air-conditioned, making it a comfortable ride.
- Bus: The bus system in Mexico City is extensive and covers most of the city. There are different types of buses available, including regular buses, trolleybuses, and microbuses. However, buses can get crowded and be slower than other forms of transportation.
- Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Mexico City, but they can be more expensive than other forms of transportation. Be sure to negotiate the fare before getting in and ensure the taxi has a working meter. Alternatively, you can use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Cabify.
- Bicycle: Cycling is a popular way to explore the city. There are bike rental stations available in many parts of the city, and some areas have dedicated bike lanes.
- Walking: With so much to see in Mexico City, walking is a great way to explore. Be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close, especially in crowded areas.
Overall, Mexico City has a great public transportation system that will make getting around the city easy and affordable. With multiple options available, you can choose the method that suits your needs and preferences.
Mexico City Weather
Mexico City boasts a pleasant climate all year round, with temperatures ranging from mild to warm. However, it is important to note that due to its high altitude, the city can experience significant temperature fluctuations, especially in the evenings. Here’s what you can expect for Mexico City weather during the different seasons:
- Spring (March – May): During the spring season, the temperature averages between 68°F (20°C) to 80°F (27°C) with mild to cool evenings. It’s a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the colorful spring flowers that are in bloom throughout the city.
- Summer (June – August): Summer temperatures in Mexico City can be hot, with averages ranging from 77°F (25°C) to 84°F (29°C). The evenings remain cool and pleasant, and frequent rain showers can provide relief from the heat.
- Fall (September – November): During the fall season, the temperature cools down, and the air is crisp and dry. Daytime temperatures range from 70°F (21°C) to 76°F (24°C), and the evenings can get chilly, averaging around 50°F (10°C).
- Winter (December – February): Winters in Mexico City are mild, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 65°F (18°C) to 70°F (21°C). The nights can get chilly, with temperatures dipping to 45°F (7°C), so be sure to pack some warm clothing if you’re visiting during this time of the year.
No matter when you visit Mexico City, it’s always best to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Bring layers and comfortable shoes for walking, as the city’s high altitude can make it strenuous to get around on foot. With its comfortable temperatures all year round, Mexico City is a destination that can be enjoyed anytime.
Best Time To Visit Mexico City
Mexico City is a bustling metropolis that can be visited all year round. However, some months are more pleasant than others, and the ideal time to visit largely depends on your preferences.
The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are manageable. The temperatures are warm but not scorching, and you can enjoy outdoor activities without the intense heat. These months also fall outside the peak tourist season, which means that the hotel rates are relatively affordable.
Another great time to visit Mexico City is between September and November when the city experiences fewer tourists. The temperatures during these months are slightly cooler, but the weather remains mostly dry. The best part of visiting Mexico City during these months is the city’s vibrant cultural calendar, including the Mexican Independence Day festivities. Avoid visiting Mexico City between June and August as these months are the hottest, and the city experiences frequent rain showers. The rainy season can make exploring the city a bit challenging, and the humidity can be uncomfortable for many visitors.
Overall, the best time to visit Mexico City depends on your preferences. If you prefer cooler weather and less crowded streets, consider visiting between September and November. However, if you want to experience Mexico City’s bustling streets and vibrant cultural calendar, plan your visit between March and May.
How To Stay Safe In Mexico City
Mexico City can be a safe destination if you take some necessary precautions. Here are some tips to stay safe during your visit:
- Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone or in unfamiliar areas. Avoid deserted streets and areas, particularly at night.
- Keep Your Valuables Secure: Carry your valuables in a secure bag, and don’t wear expensive jewelry or watches that might attract attention. Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place.
- Use Authorized Taxis: Use only authorized taxis or ride-sharing services, and avoid hailing cabs on the street. Ask your hotel or restaurant to call a taxi for you.
- Don’t Drink Too Much: Don’t drink too much alcohol, as this can make you vulnerable and more likely to be targeted.
- Avoid Political Demonstrations: Avoid political demonstrations and protests, as they can be unpredictable and violent.
- Use Common Sense: Use common sense and follow your instincts. If something seems too good to be true or doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Remember that Mexico City is a bustling metropolis, and crime can occur. However, most travelers have a safe and enjoyable experience by taking precautions and being aware of their surroundings.
Mexico City Customs and Etiquette
As a traveler, it’s important to respect and adhere to Mexico City’s customs and etiquette. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Greetings: Mexicans are warm and friendly people, so don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a hug or a kiss on the cheek. This is a common way to say hello and goodbye.
- Time: Mexicans have a more relaxed attitude towards time, so don’t be surprised if things start a bit later than expected. However, it’s important to be punctual when meeting for business.
- Dress: Dress conservatively when visiting churches and other religious sites. It’s also a good idea to avoid revealing clothing when walking around the city.
- Language: Although many Mexicans speak English, it’s still a good idea to learn a few basic Spanish phrases. This shows that you’re making an effort to respect their culture.
- Tipping: Tipping is expected in Mexico City, especially in restaurants. A good rule of thumb is to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip.
- Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in markets and street stalls. However, it’s important to be respectful and not haggle too aggressively.
By keeping these customs and etiquette in mind, you’ll have a much more enjoyable and respectful trip to Mexico City.
Other Things To Know About Mexico City
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, a country located in North America that shares borders with the United States to the north and Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras to the south. The currency used in Mexico City is the Mexican peso (MXN), and Spanish is the official language.
Mexico City is located in the Central Time Zone (UTC-6) and does observe daylight saving time. However, it’s worth noting that some parts of Mexico, such as Sonora and Quintana Roo (home of the city of Cancun), do not observe daylight saving time. If you’re traveling to other parts of Mexico, it’s worth checking if they follow the same time zone as Mexico City or if they have their own time zone.
While Spanish is the official language of Mexico City, many people in the tourism industry speak English, and there are also indigenous languages spoken throughout the country. It’s always a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases before traveling to Mexico City, but you should be able to get by with English in most tourist areas. Overall, Mexico City is a vibrant and exciting destination with a rich culture and history. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s famous museums and galleries, trying the delicious street food, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone in this amazing city.
Mexico City Travel Costs
Mexico City can be an affordable travel destination if you plan accordingly. On average, a day in Mexico City can cost around $40 to $80 depending on your accommodation, food and activity choices.
- Accommodation: Hostels are a great budget option in Mexico City with prices ranging from $8 to $20 per night. Mid-range hotels can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 per night. If you’re looking for a luxury stay, expect to pay over $100 per night.
- Food And Drink: Food in Mexico City is both delicious and affordable. You can easily find street food and local restaurants with meals ranging from $2 to $10. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, expect to pay around $40 per person.
- Activities: There are plenty of free and low-cost activities in Mexico City, including visiting museums, walking through the historic center, and exploring the various markets. Entrance fees for museums and attractions can range from $1 to $15.
- Transportation: Mexico City has an extensive public transportation system, including metro, bus and taxis. Metro tickets cost less than $0.50 per ride. Taxis and Ubers are also affordable options.
Other expenses you may need to consider include travel insurance, visas, and souvenirs. Overall, budget-conscious travelers can easily explore Mexico City with a daily budget of $40 to $50. Mid-range travelers can expect to spend around $80 to $100 per day. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, expect to pay over $150 per day.
Finding Affordable Flights To Mexico City
Mexico City is a vibrant and fascinating city that’s well worth visiting. But if you’re on a budget, finding affordable flights to get there can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to find cheap flights to Mexico City:
- Search For Flight Deals: Look out for airline promotions, flash sales, and discounts. Some airlines offer discounted rates during certain seasons or holidays, so it’s best to do your research and book ahead.
- Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates: Prices tend to vary depending on the day of the week and the time of year. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can take advantage of cheaper flights.
- Consider Connecting Flights: Connecting flights may be cheaper than direct flights, but be sure to check the total travel time and layovers before you book.
- Check Different Airlines: Compare prices from different airlines to find the best deal. Some budget airlines, such as Spirit Airlines, may offer cheaper rates, but be sure to read the terms and conditions before you book.
- Use Online Travel Agencies: Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and CheapOair often offer lower prices than booking directly with airlines. These websites allow you to compare prices and book flights with ease.
- Book Early: Booking your flight at least 3-4 weeks in advance can help you find lower fares. Last-minute bookings tend to be more expensive, so plan ahead.
Overall, finding affordable flights to Mexico City takes some effort, but it’s definitely possible. Keep an eye out for deals, be flexible with your travel dates, and compare prices from different airlines. With a little bit of research and planning, you can make your trip to Mexico City an affordable one.
Backpacking Mexico City Suggested Budgets
Mexico City can be an affordable destination for backpackers, especially if you’re willing to cut back on some luxuries. Here are some suggested budgets to help you plan your trip:
Low Budget: $30-50 per day
With this budget, you can stay in hostels or budget hotels, eat street food or at local markets, use public transportation, and visit free or low-cost attractions such as museums, parks, and markets.
Mid-Range Budget: $50-100 per day
With this budget, you can upgrade to a private room in a budget hotel or mid-range hotel, eat at mid-range restaurants, take some taxis or Ubers, and visit some paid attractions such as historical sites and theme parks.
Luxury Budget: $100+ per day
With this budget, you can stay in luxury hotels or Airbnb rentals, eat at high-end restaurants, take private tours or taxis, and indulge in some high-end shopping or entertainment.
Remember to always keep an emergency fund on hand for unexpected expenses, such as medical costs or transportation mishaps. Happy backpacking in Mexico City!
Mexico City Money Saving Tips
Traveling to Mexico City doesn’t have to break the bank. With some smart planning, you can experience all this vibrant city has to offer without emptying your wallet. Here are some money-saving tips to keep in mind when visiting Mexico City:
- Take Public Transportation: Mexico City has an extensive public transportation system, including metro trains and buses. Taking these options is not only more affordable than taking a taxi or ride-share, but it’s also an excellent way to experience the local culture.
- Visit Museums And Attractions On Free Days: Many of the city’s museums and attractions have free days. Check online or with the tourist office for information on which ones are free and on which days.
- Eat Like A Local: Street food in Mexico City is delicious and inexpensive. Opting for street tacos and local cuisine is an excellent way to experience the city’s culinary culture while saving money.
- Shop At Local Markets: Mexico City has plenty of local markets, where you can find fresh produce, local crafts, and souvenirs. These markets are often more affordable than tourist areas, where prices are inflated.
- Take Advantage Of Hotel Amenities: If your hotel has complimentary breakfast or offers free coffee and tea, take advantage of these amenities instead of buying breakfast out. Some hotels may even have a kitchen or a shared lounge area, allowing you to save on meals.
By following these money-saving tips, you can stretch your travel budget and have a great time in Mexico City.
What To Pack For Mexico City
Mexico City is a vibrant, bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage. From its ancient ruins to its stunning colonial architecture, there is plenty to see and do in this city. When it comes to packing for your trip, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to pack for the weather. Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate, which means that temperatures are fairly mild year-round, but can vary significantly from day to night. In general, you’ll want to pack comfortable, lightweight clothing that you can layer. During the daytime, temperatures can reach the high 20s (Celsius), but they can drop down to the mid-teens at night. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when packing for your trip to Mexico City:
- Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Mexico City, so it’s important to have a good pair of walking shoes.
- Sun Protection: Even on overcast days, the UV index in Mexico City can be high. Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- Cash: While credit cards are accepted in many places in Mexico City, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for things like street food, taxis, and small shops.
- Travel Adapter: Mexico uses a type A/B electrical plug, so if you’re coming from a country that uses a different type of plug, you’ll need an adapter.
- Camera: Mexico City is a photogenic city, so make sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture your experiences.
- Medications: If you take any prescription medications, make sure to pack enough for the duration of your trip, as well as a copy of your prescription.
- Reusable Water Bottle: While you can’t drink the tap water in Mexico City, many restaurants and cafes offer free filtered water. Bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic waste.
Overall, packing for Mexico City is fairly straightforward. Just be sure to pack for the weather, bring comfortable shoes, and don’t forget your camera!
Can You Drink Tap Water In Mexico City?
Drinking tap water in Mexico City is not recommended for tourists. The tap water in Mexico City may contain contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses that could make you sick. The locals may be used to the water, but for visitors, it’s best to stick to bottled water or use a water filter. Many hotels and restaurants also serve filtered water, so make sure to ask. Don’t forget to brush your teeth with bottled water as well to avoid any potential risks. Keeping hydrated is important in Mexico City, especially during the summer months when temperatures can be scorching. Stay safe and always opt for bottled water.
Other Things To See And Do In Mexico City
While Mexico City offers plenty of iconic attractions, there are many other exciting things to see and do that you won’t find on the typical tourist itinerary. Here are some of our top recommendations:
- Explore The Street Art Scene: Mexico City is home to some of the world’s best street art, with colorful murals and graffiti covering many of its buildings and alleyways. Take a guided street art tour or simply wander through neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, and Juarez to discover these vibrant works of art.
- Visit The Frida Kahlo Museum: Fans of the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo won’t want to miss this museum, also known as the Blue House. The museum is located in the same house where Kahlo was born and lived for much of her life, and features a stunning collection of her works, as well as personal belongings and artifacts.
- Wander Through The Mercado De Sonora: This bustling market is a must-visit for anyone interested in Mexican folklore, witchcraft, and spirituality. Here you’ll find stalls selling everything from herbal remedies and magical amulets to voodoo dolls and potions.
- Experience The Lucha Libre Wrestling: Mexico City’s lucha libre wrestling matches are a colorful, raucous spectacle that you won’t soon forget. Head to the Arena Mexico or the Arena Coliseo on Friday or Sunday nights to see masked wrestlers battle it out in the ring.
- Go On A Foodie Tour: Mexico City is a food lover’s paradise, with a rich culinary heritage and a thriving street food scene. Sign up for a food tour to sample some of the city’s best dishes, from tacos al pastor and tamales to churros and mole.
With so many unique and fascinating things to see and do in Mexico City, it’s no wonder that this vibrant city is such a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, adventure, or simply great food, you’re sure to find it in this exciting and dynamic metropolis.
The Bottom Line
Mexico City is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers something for everyone. From its rich history and culture to its world-class food scene and bustling nightlife, there’s no shortage of things to see and do here. However, before you embark on your trip, it’s important to keep in mind a few key things. First and foremost, safety is a top priority in Mexico City. While it’s generally a safe destination for tourists, it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Additionally, make sure to take note of the customs and etiquette in the city, as these can vary significantly from what you’re used to.
When it comes to money, Mexico City can be affordable or expensive depending on your budget and spending habits. Regardless of how much you’re willing to spend, it’s always a good idea to do your research and look for ways to save money on flights, accommodations, and activities. Overall, Mexico City is a must-visit destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. By following this travel guide and taking the necessary precautions, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most exciting cities.