Planning a vacation to Mexico City? Not sure what activities and experiences to fill your itinerary with? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Mexico City provides a rich history, a unique atmosphere, and an endless supply of delectable Mexican food. If you are into those things Mexico City is guaranteed to provide a memorable travel experience.
As the capital of Mexico, this densely populated metropolis is known for its dynamic art scene, world-class museums, and unbeatable cuisine. Whether you want to immerse yourself in its fascinating history or explore its contemporary underbelly Mexico City has something for everyone.
Unfortunately, it’s simply impossible to see everything that this mesmerizing capital has to offer in one trip. But then again, that just gives you a reason to go back.
We’ve put our heads together and come up with 18 of the best things to do in Mexico City to help you narrow down your options. Let’s jump right in!
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18 Things to Do in Mexico City
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Eat like a local
One of the first things that come to mind when you think about Mexico is the food. And it’s not surprising either. From cheap and delectable street food to elegant middle-of-the-range eateries, to fancy Michelin-star restaurants – Mexico City is home to every type of cuisine under the sun.
Whether you’re an omnivore, vegan, or something in-between, the city’s dynamic food scene has something for everyone. Mexican food is characterized by fresh ingredients and various traditional spices like coriander and epazote, which means you don’t have to feel too guilty about gorging yourself on it!
If you’re traveling on a budget, we recommend taking advantage of all the street food on offer. Taste as many savory delights as you can manage, including tacos, elote (Mexican street corn), gringas, quesadillas, tamales, and tortas. Be sure to grab some Mexican churros afterwards to satisfy your sweet tooth!
We’ve got a few recommendations if you prefer to dine in. Polpo in Roma Norte is a great spot for tapas-style seasonal food and artisanal wine.
For unforgettable tacos, head to Las Costillas De La Condesa in Colonia Condesa, where you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and eat like a local.
Looking for a more unique gastronomic experience? Don’t miss Expendio de Maíz Sin Nombre, which doesn’t have a menu or prices but serves up rural-inspired dishes based on seasonal ingredients.
Are there any vegans in the room? We’ve got you too. Head to Los Loosers, also in Roma Norte, which specializes in mushroom-based cuisine. Their vegan fish tacos are a standout and the corn tortillas are to die for – trust us!
Frida Kahlo museum
Iconic painter Frida Kahlo is one of Mexico’s most notable figures. “Casa Azul”, located in Coyoacán is the house where Friday was born and died and is now a museum dedicated to her life and work.
The Frida Kahlo Museum houses the artist’s first self-portrait, as well as her diaries, clothes, photographs, memorabilia, works by her artist husband Diego Rivera, and her ashes. If you’re a fan of Frida’s oeuvre, this one can’t be missed.
Tip: be sure to purchase your tickets online in advance.
When you return to the present after immersing yourself in Kahlo’s life and surrealist paintings, you can explore the Coyoacán neighborhood. Unlike other parts of the city, it retains an old-time village feel.
Some notable things to do in Coyoacán include the Leon Trotsky Museum, the Coyoacán market, and Jardin Centenario.
Visit the historic Zócalo
Zócalo is the main square that lies in the heart of Mexico City’s historic center.
Take a stroll through the plaza and admire the architecture of the Spanish colonial cathedral (it was constructed on top of the Aztec Templo Mayor) towering above.
Stop for a bite of traditional Mexican fare in one of Zócalo’s many taquerias and soak up the lively atmosphere as the world goes by. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the many murals surrounding the square.
If you want to learn about the history of Zócalo and the rest of the downtown area, consider joining a guided walking tour.
Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)
The Palace of Fine Arts is Mexico City’s most significant performance space and houses a large theater, a concert hall, the National Museum of Architecture, and the Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts.
Inside, you’ll find eclectic architecture as well as some of the country’s most important murals by prominent artists including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro, and Manuel Rodríguez Lozano.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
The Museo Nacional de Antropología is the most visited museum in Mexico. Located in Chapultepec Park, the museum contains a vast collection of archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage.
You could easily spend a few days marveling at everything inside the museum – it’s that big! But if you’re short on time, a few must-see exhibits include the Piedra del Sol, the infamous Aztec sunstone, Moctezuma’s Headdress, and the 16th-century Statue of Xochipilli.
Ruins of Templo Mayor
Templo Mayor was one of the major temples of Tenochtitlan, the former capital of the Aztec empire. Destroyed by the Spanish in 1521, the ruins were buried and forgotten until they were rediscovered in 1978. Since then, they’ve become one of Mexico City’s main attractions.
Located next to the Zócalo, the ruins of Templo Mayor are one of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites and are well worth a visit. Check out the impressive collection of Aztec artifacts found at the site in the Museo del Templo Mayor.
La Lagunilla flea market
Every Sunday morning, hundreds of sellers set up stalls in the streets of the Morelos district at one of Mexico City’s most famous open-air flea markets, La Lagunilla.
Start the day by browsing rows of antiques, clothing, vintage furniture, memorabilia, and more.
A popular spot for locals and tourists, you’ll find everything you might need and everything you certainly don’t need. So enjoy the blaring music, grab a michelada, and get shopping!
Enjoy the panoramic view from Torre Latinoamericana
The Torre Latinoamericana dominates the historic center of Mexico City and is an iconic part of its skyline.
Many tourists use it as a reference point for navigating the downtown area, but if you have the time, heading up to the 44th floor is one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
The sweeping views from the top will give you a sense of just how big the city is. Grab a drink in the lounge bar and spend some time admiring the mesmerizing views of the city from above.
Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art)
Art fanatics will have a field day in Mexico City. One museum that shouldn’t be missed is the Museum of Modern Art. Located in Chapultepec Park, the museum houses an extraordinary assemblage of Mexico’s most significant modern art pieces.
The permanent collection features work by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, and more.
Once gritty and avoidable, the Juárez neighborhood in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City has become a point of interest for tourists. Boutiques, bars, parks, and restaurants have popped up in recent years to transform it into a lively area teeming with things to do.
Head to the leafy Plaza Washington to relax in the sun before browsing the artisanal and vintage shops that surround it. Be sure to check out the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone), home to Mexico City’s gay community, and “Little Seoul”, a center for the city’s Korean immigrant population.
If you’re ready for a drink after exploring, head to the open-air Jardín Juárez and enjoy the vibe, a beer, cocktail, and/or bite.
Get some fresh air at Chapultepec Park
Chapultepec Park is an expansive green area in the heart of Mexico City. Locals and tourists head here to exercise, reconnect with nature, and get a breath of fresh air. Explore the many important museums, monuments, fountains, and cultural exhibits while lapping up the sunshine and admiring the variety of flora and fauna.
Basílica de Guadalupe
One of the most visited religious sites in the world, the Basilica de Guadalupe is dedicated to Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, who is believed to have appeared on the site of the church. Today, it’s a popular pilgrimage destination and is visited by more than 12 billion people every year.
The Old Basilica was off-limits to visitors due to ongoing repairs for many years, which led to a new Basilica being opened next to the original in 1974. Here, you can find the Virgin’s sacred cloak protected by bullet-proof glass.
Roam Around Roma Norte
Home to countless trendy cocktail bars, incredible restaurants, and plenty of lush green spaces – exploring Roma Norte is one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
The area is extremely walkable, so there’s no better way to take in Roma Norte than getting lost on foot for an afternoon.
Be sure to pay a visit to Fuente de Cibeles, an airy plaza at the heart of the district, and the Mercado Roma, where you can refuel with a vast array of Mexican street food. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open to admire the street art that gives the area a distinctly hip feel.
Roam Around Condesa
Located in the Cuauhtémoc Borough of Mexico City, Condesa is one of the hippest parts of the city.
Brimming with leafy promenades, art deco apartment buildings, and chic hangouts, Condesa has a distinctly European vibe.
Spend some time exploring art galleries, roaming around Parque Mexico, and eating and drinking your way through the area’s countless restaurants and bars.
Join a street art bike tour
If you’re interested in Mexico’s historic and contemporary art scene, one of the best things to do in Mexico City is to join a street art bike tour.
Cruise through the barrios and discover a diverse range of colorful street art, murals, and graffiti while a knowledgeable guide explains the history and culture of the city. It’s a great way to make new friends and see the city from a different perspective.
Immerse Yourself in Mexico City’s Nightlife
Experiencing Mexico City’s nightlife is one of the best ways to wind down after seeing the sights and stuffing yourself with Mexican cuisine. Head to the downtown area to sip some Mezcal or Tequila and enjoy the lively party scene.
Whether you’re in the mood for relaxing with a cocktail in a swanky bar or dancing until the sun comes up in a club, Mexico City has something for every kind of reveler. Highlights include LGBTQ+ friendly Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar and Parker & Lenox, both in Juárez, and Licoreria Limantour in Roma Norte.
Visit the canals of Xochimilco
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, exploring the Xochimilco neighborhood is one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
Brimming with tradition, visitors can take a ride on one of the colorful boats and take in the festive atmosphere while food vendors, artisan sellers, and Mariachi bands float by playing traditional Mexican music.
Ask your guide to make a pit stop at the Island of Dolls, a plot of land with creepy dolls hanging from the trees – it would make a great setting for a horror movie.
Where to Stay in Mexico City
Looking for places to stay in Mexico City? Whatever your budget, the city is home to a plethora of accommodations to keep you well-rested throughout your stay. We’ve chosen a few options to suit every price range. We also have an article on budget hostels in Mexico City.
Best budget accommodation – Wanderlust District
Conveniently located between two of Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhoods, Colonia Roma and Colonia Juárez, Wanderlust District is a stylish and affordable hostel with plenty to offer.
Guests can choose to stay in a dorm or a private room and a homemade breakfast is served every morning. If you’re a solo traveler, this is a great place to meet new friends to explore the city with.
Best mid-range hotel – Hotel Geneve
Situated in Juárez, Hotel Geneve is a historic hotel that’s ideally positioned for exploring all the city has to offer. The rooms are elegantly designed and equipped with all the modern amenities you could need. There’s also an on-site spa for guests to enjoy.
Best luxury hotel – Octavia Casa
If you’ve got cash to splash on accommodation in Mexico City, don’t hesitate to stay at Octavia Casa in the Condesa district. The stylish rooms feature air-conditioning, a private bathroom, and a patio and guests can enjoy access to a garden and terrace area.
Best Things to Do in Mexico City Wrap-up
So there you have it – 18 of the best things to do in Mexico City! We hope this has helped you fill your itinerary with exciting activities and memorable experiences. You’ll have plenty to keep you busy in a city so full of energy (and food!).
As always happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!