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36 BEST Things to do in Mexico City

36 BEST Things to do in Mexico City

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Mexico City is the living, breathing heart of Mexico. It’s not only Mexico’s largest city, but also one of the largest cities in the world! For that reason, it’s no surprise that there are so many amazing things to do in Mexico City!

But with a city so large, knowing exactly how to spend your time can be difficult! Whether you’re looking to spend a few days in Mexico City or just trying to fill a couple of hours, it’s overwhelming how much there is to see.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Mexico City a few different times, and all up, have spent several weeks in this huge city. In that time, I’ve done some amazing things in Mexico City! From cultural experiences to awesome day trips to some of Mexico’s best attractions.

To help you plan your upcoming visit, here are the 36 best things to do in Mexico City that any visitor will love!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our top recommendations for things to do in Mexico City include:

  1. Fellow foodies will love this walking food tour
  2. Take a day trip to the hot springs at the Tolantongo Caves
  3. Take a tour through the historic center
  4. Check out Chapultepec Park – this massive park houses amusement park rides, markets, and so much more.
  5. Take a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan – talk about an experience you’ll never forget!
Table Of Contents
  1. Things to do in Mexico City
  2. Where to Stay in Mexico City
  3. Plan Your Mexico City Trip
  4. Thanks for reading!
  5. Why We Book Tours with Viator
  6. Renting a Car in Mexico

Things to do in Mexico City

1. Watch a Lucha Libre show

Lucha Libre in Mexico City, Mexico
The photos aren’t amazing because you can’t take your camera to the event (only mobile phones are allowed.) Apparently, because people throw the batteries at the wrestlers!!

Lucha Libre in Mexico City is one of the most entertaining shows I have been to, period! Regardless of the fact that this is a real authentic Mexican experience, it’s so much fun you really shouldn’t miss it!

Essentially, it’s a Mexican style of wrestling that’s more of a show than an actual fight. It’s very comparable to WWE wrestling but with a Mexican twist.

The shows are loud and the atmosphere is really awesome. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Mexico City!

In Mexico City, Lucha Libre is best enjoyed on one of the organized tours in Mexico City. The main reason is that the stadiums are not in the safest areas of Mexico City and the wrestling finishes just as the sun goes down.

We did this Lucha Libre tour and from start to finish the tour was really good. It included a mezcal tasting before the match as well as an informative guide (who was himself a Lucha Libre wrestler back in the day!) On the tour we also got our own Lucha Libra mask to take home with us!

Overall, this is a must-do in Mexico City and you shouldn’t leave the city without a little Lucha Libre!

2. Go on a food tour 

Sampling some of the best chocolate of a food tour in Mexico
Literally some of the best chocolate I have ever had!

I love food, and Mexico is one of my favorite places in the world for it! After every visit, it really doesn’t take long to miss the fantastic cuisine that’s popular worldwide! Although I can get my Mexican cuisine fix in other countries, it’s just not the same!

So, while I’m in Mexico, I eat until I can’t anymore! One of the best ways to find the most amazing places to eat in Mexico City is on a Mexico City food tour!

I was lucky enough to join one on my last visit to Mexico City, and wow, what a fantastic way to get to know the city! On the tour, we wandered the beautiful suburb of Condesa, visiting famous taco stands around the city, and world-renowned chocolatiers, and ate until we were stuffed.

I was in a group with five of my friends, and we all agreed that we tried the best tacos we’ve ever had in Mexico – and that’s a big statement because I’ve tried a lot!

The tour we did was this one, and I can’t recommend them enough! The tour costs $78 USD was informative, and the food was amazing. Oh, and you get to eat as much as you want and there are also local drinks and beers at a microbrewery, and a coffeehouse to enjoy too! The dishes you might get to try may vary per tour but to give you an example it will be traditional Mexican food including flavors from Oaxaca and also French cuisine.

3. Visit the Templo Mayor Museum (Museo del Templo Mayor)

The ancient ruins in Mexico City

There are few places in the world where you can visit ancient temples and ruins right in the city center. But like other things, Mexico City is unique, and the entire city is built on top of an ancient city.

What makes the Templo Mayor ruins even more interesting is that you would’ve never seen them if you had visited Mexico City prior to 2014! That’s because until a hotel that owned the land decided to demolish and rebuild, no one knew that the ruins of ancient Templo Mayor were there!

The discovery of a special stone disk that only sits on the city’s main temple highlighted to archeologists that this was such an important place. Since then, the site has been excavated and some of the temples restored.

The Templo Mayor Museum is located in the historic city center near the Plaza de la Constitution. You don’t need a guide to visit the temples. However, it really does help to get a better understanding of the ruins and their history.

There are some information boards around the ruins and it’s basically an outdoor museum.

Related Read: if you love ruins be sure to make a trip to the Yucatan and enjoy the Chichen Itza night show.

4. Explore the National Palace 

The national Palace in Mexico City
Such a beautiful mural!

The National Palace is one of the most beautiful colonial buildings in Mexico City. You can enjoy its beauty from the outside, but I highly recommend taking it a little further and wandering the gardens and inner buildings.

Here, you can see where the president lives and stare at one of the most beautiful murals I have ever seen. But, of course, without a guide, you won’t know where to look. Although you can visit without one, as mentioned with the ruins, I highly suggest joining a tour like this one. This way, you can learn about the history of the building and the important parts of the mural, and what they mean. Plus, it will save any inconvenience as transportation from and back to your hotel is included.

Entrance to the palace is free; however, you will need one piece of government-issued ID per group to enter. This is given to the guard and returned to you at the exit. You cannot wear a hat or sunglasses inside the palace. The entrance to the palace is on Calle Moneda in the historic center.

5. Go on a tour of the Historic Center

The central cathedral in Mexico City, Mexico

The historic center of Mexico City is filled with exciting places to visit. The only problem is it can be hard to know exactly what you’re looking at. This is where a tour of the historic center comes in handy!

In the many times I have visited Mexico City, I’ve done two tours of the historical center. On the first occasion, I did one of the free walking tours offered by a few companies, including Mexico a Pie. 

These are great ways to enjoy a larger group tour simply for the cost of a tip at the end. They visit many attractions in the historic center, including the Templo Mayos Museum.

However, I wanted to get to know the city more on my second visit, so instead, I opted for a small group tour with a paid guide with Mexico a Pie. You get that more personal touch (and a longer tour) that covers much more of the city and its history on these tours.

The tour in English costs only $15 USD per person for groups bigger than two people. Considering the tip that most people leave on the free tour, this is a great option!

Regardless of what you choose, a tour through the historic center of Mexico is a must!

6. Day trip to Las Grutas Tolantongo Mexico Hot Springs

A view of the hot pools at Las Grutas Tolantongo Mexico Hot Springs
The hot pools are some of the most beautiful in the world!

Some of the best things to do in Mexico City are located just outside the city limits. One of the best day trips from Mexico City is the Las Grutas Tolantongo Mexico Hot Springs. Although the name may not sound familiar, you’ve probably seen the photo above before.

These amazing hot springs are made up of 40 different pools and are located around 3.5 hours from Mexico City and are one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The springs are bright blue and the location 1,280 meters (4,200 feet) above sea level on the mountainside is breathtaking.

This tour from Mexico City (what I did) lasts for around 13 hours due to the location of the hot springs. Although a long journey, I loved the entire tour and I am so glad I got to experience the Las Grutas Tolanton Hot Springs at least once in my life.

On the site, there is also a suspension bridge, cafe, and zip line! Access to this “Paradise Tunnel” is included in your tour and you can also choose to go hiking around the Tolantongo Caves if you are someone who can’t sit still for too long!

7. Explore Chapultepec Park  

Chapultepec Park is one of the best places to explore in mexico city
The lake in Chapultepec Park. Photo Credit: Bigstock by Aleksandar Todorovic

Chapultepec Park is the perfect place to escape the concrete jungle of Mexico City and its 22 million + people. In fact, Chapultepec Park is the second-largest park in Latin America! Its large size has given it the nickname “the lungs of Mexico City” and to me, it’s a must-visit!

In the park, there are plenty of things to do, and unlike other parks around the world, don’t just expect beautiful walking trails and greenery. Instead, shop at the local markets, ride a rollercoaster in the theme park, visit the Museum of Natural History, or even the zoo!

Visiting the park is free but some of the other attractions do have entrance fees! For more info check out this blog on the best things to do in Chapultepec Park.

8. Take in the views from Mirador Torre Latino

views from Mirador Torre Latino
You can see so much of the city from up here!

Want to take in the best views of Mexico City? Then you need to visit Mirador Torre Latino!

This famous viewpoint is located in the Torre Latinoamerica skyscraper right near the Palacio de Bellas Artes. From the top viewing platform, you get breathtaking views of the entire city. It really shows you just how big Mexico City is!

The entrance to Mirador Torre Latino cost $120 MXN when I visited. I do believe this has gone up to $170 MXN ($8.70 USD) but now includes a souvenir. The viewpoint is open from 9 am to 10 pm every day and there are binoculars at the top you can use for 10 MXN ($0.50 USD).

9. Explore Museo Soumaya

Museo Soumaya
Isn’t the building cool!

The Museo Soumaya is a very unique private museum in Mexico City. From the outside, the interestingly shaped building is a classic example of futuristic architecture that’s really neat to look at! However, what you’ve come to see here are the 66,000 pieces of works mainly dating from the 15th to 20th centuries.

The museum is filled with rare paintings and casts from artists such as Auguste Rodin, Vincent van Gog, and Leonardo da Vinci. In my opinion, it’s one of the best museums I have been to. But don’t just take my word for it, in 2013, this museum was visited by over a million people!

The museum isn’t walking distance from the center or the popular suburbs of Condesa or Roma, so it’s best to get an Uber or taxi there. There used to be an entrance fee. However, the museum is completely free now.

If you want to know more about the museum, then join this Mexico City tour that includes a tour of the historic center, Museum of the City of Mexico, and of course, the Museo Soumaya! It includes hotel pick up and since it’s a private tour you’ll have the full attention of your guide.

Or if you specifically want to only visit Museo Soumaya there is a private tour option with an English-speaking guide for that as well. There is no transport to the museum as you will meet your guide there.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

10. Get Tipsy at a Mezcal Tasting 

Tasting mezcal in Mexico City
Before the Mezcal went straight to our heads

Before traveling around Mexico extensively, I always thought tequila was the most popular Mexican alcoholic drink around. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. That’s because mezcal is the most popular spirit of choice, and you CANNOT leave Mexico City without tasting some of the finest mezcal!

The best way to try a range of good quality Mezcal is on a Mezcal tasting tour. With a professional guide and some good quality mezcal, you’ll learn the proper way to drink it and a little bit about the history of Mexico’s drink of choice!

Our mezcal tasting was part of our Lucha Libre tour, so if you plan on booking that tour, don’t stress about joining a specific mezcal tasting (especially if you don’t overly like straight alcohol like me!) However, if you’re not doing a Lucha Libre tour or you’re as passionate about mezcal as Mexicans, then you’ll want to join a specific mezcal-tasting tour!

This Mezcal tour combines a food tour and Mezcal tasting, so you get the full Mexican experience all in one tour! It begins from a central part of the city and from there you will get to explore a unique neighborhood of Mexico City while hearing local stories about the area. There are 4 different taquerias you will stop at to try different interpretations of the classic dish while you sip on beer and/or Mezcal. My mouth is already watering!

Related Read: Mezcal tasting is also a very popular tour in Oaxaca City!

11. Visit the ancient city of Teotihuacan 

Teotihuacan ruins near Mexico City
The ruins are huge!

By far, the most famous ruins near Mexico City are the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan. These ruins are spectacular and date back over 2,500 years.

There is still a lot of mystery behind the ruins, and in fact, the first and original inhabitants of the city are unknown. But, of course, it’s well known that the Aztecs inhabited the city after, building on top and around the older ruins.

At this moment, only around 3% of the ruins have been excavated and can be seen. However, with the restoration of both the Moon and Sun Temples, these massive structures are very impressive.

Visiting the ruins is easy on an organized tour with a guide. These tours of Teotihuacan from Mexico City leave in the morning when it’s cooler (it gets very hot at the ruins) and spend around 2 to 3 hours exploring the ruins and gaining knowledge on the structures and murals. You’ll also get a chance to climb the Sun and Moon Temples. Another bonus is the liqueur tastings of tequila, mezcal, and pulque at an obsidian workshop.

Or to see Teotihuacan from the sky book the hot air balloon version instead! It is definitely one of the most impressive places to ride in a hot air balloon anywhere in Mexico.

You can visit the ruins on your own as well by simply getting the bus to Teotihuacan from the Terminal de Norte Bus station (gate number 8). The bust costs 104 pesos ($5 USD) for a return trip, and the entrance to the ruins is 75 pesos ($4 USD) a person.

Of course, if you want to learn about the ruins, you’ll also need a guide which costs around 800 pesos ($41 USD) for a small group tour for around an hour. These guides can be found at the entrance of the ruins and you’ll have to negotiate a fair price with them.

Related Read: For another epic ruin site in Mexico, be sure to visit Chichen Itza!

12. Drink delicious craft beer

woman drinking a craft beer at an outdoor patio in Mexico City
Brews and street views – a perfect way to enjoy Mexico City!

I’ve been visiting Mexico for over 20 years (13 at the legal drinking age), and I was just waiting for craft beer to take off here. It took a while longer than other countries, but craft beer is here, and it’s here to stay!

All over Mexico, you can now visit craft breweries. However, no place is better than Mexico City! If you’re staying in La Roma or Condesa, then you are spoilt for choice.

One of my favorites in the area is Casa Cervecera Morenos. Their mango double IPA is delicious! Another place nearby is Escollo. These guys have a vibrant taproom and also serve delicious craft beer.

There are so many more breweries to try. It’s just finding them – that’s the hard part. Many of the smaller breweries don’t have a social media presence. However, this Mexico City craft beer tour visits four breweries on a double-decker bus and includes all your tastings!

Or stick to just one brewery on this Dos Aves Brewery Tasting Tour. You get to peek inside what the manufacturing process is like and of course sample many of their best brews including a seasonal one.

Related Read: Mexico City is an incredible city but there are a ton of other must-visit Latin American cities you need to check out!

13. Eat at the home of al pastor taco 

El Huequito the home of the al pastor taco
The home of the Al Pastor Taco

You’re probably thinking, well duh, of course, I will eat tacos in Mexico City! But the thing is, not every taco is created equal, and in fact, the first-ever al pastor taqueria in Mexico is in the historic center of Mexico City.

El Huequito restaurant is the birthplace of the al pastor taco, a pork taco cooked on a spit (an almost identical way to the Turkish way of cooking doner kebab meats.) The tacos here are amazing but extremely simple. 

The al pastor taco is a Mexican favorite, and eating at the birthplace of this amazing creation is one of the best things to do in Mexico City!

They are open every day from 9 am to 9 pm.

14. Day trip to Puebla and Cholula  

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl
volcano in Puebla and Cholula – Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Only a short 2-hour drive from Mexico City are the beautiful cities of Puebla and Cholula. Puebla is the much larger of the two, and if you have the time, I recommend spending a night or two in the city for the simple fact that there are tons of awesome things to do in Puebla!

Cholula is much smaller but with the ancient temple and stunning center square, it’s also a great place to spend a night or two.

In Cholula, the most popular thing to do is visit the temple of Cholula which is unique because you can actually walk through the tunnels inside the pyramid! And in Puebla, a visit to the Ferris wheel or the Revolution Museum is very popular.

However, if you only have a day then consider joining an organized day tour to both cities. The two cities are located only 10 km (6.2 mi) apart and both have a range of awesome attractions that make visiting a must.

On this particular tour, you’ll have quite the full day, around 11 hours of sightseeing. In Puebla, you’ll go on a walking tour around the historical district, and if you like, sample some food from the local food vendors and stop in at the craft market to pick out a trinket or two. Then in Cholula, you’ll see plenty of their historic churches and snap pictures of the town as you are shown around.

15. Visit the Palacio de Correos de México (the post office)

Postal Palace of Mexico in Mexico City
That’s one stunning post office

The Palacio de Correos de Mexico or Postal Palace of Mexico (English) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful post offices in the world. Built in 1907, the post office was far ahead of its time and has remained in operation for much of its life. Despite falling victim to the many earthquakes in Mexico City, a lot of effort has been made to restore the historic building.

Although an unusual thing to do in any city, a visit to Mexico City’s post office is well worth it. Entrance to the post office is free and once inside you can truly enjoy this stunning architecture and snap a few photos. You can even drop off a postcard or two to send back home!

The Palacio de Correos is located in the historic center of Mexico City across the road from the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This is a short visit that would pair well with a visit to Mirador Torre Latino and the Bellas Artes (which is next on our list of things to do in Mexico City!)

16. Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
It’s a stunning building.

Without a doubt, the Palacio de Bellas Artes or Palace of Fine Arts (English) is the most beautiful colonial building in Mexico City!

From the outside, you can stare up at the amazing architecture in wonder and awe. But from the inside, you can enjoy a truly amazing experience enjoying the many murals, paintings, and flawless mosaics.

This magnificent building is a must-visit and is home to the Museo Nacional de Arquitectura and an operating theater. Of course, there’s much more to learn at the palace and on offer is a free virtual guide you can download from the Palace of Fine Arts website.

Entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts is only 70 pesos ($3.60 USD) per person and another 30 pesos ($1.50 USD) if you want to take photos and videos inside. The entrance is free for children under 13 years and people with disabilities. The Palace is open from 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday.

17. Enjoy the world-famous Ballet Folklorico de Mexico  

 Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
It is not your traditional style of “ballet.” Photo Credit: Bigstock by Aleksandar Todorovic

If you love Ballet or are just interested in amazing performances, then you should go see a performance in Mexico, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico is a must!

The show is world-famous for its unique Mexican touch on the classical ballet. The ballet has performed over 15,000 shows and is highly rated on TripAdvisor.

For good seats on the ground floor, expect to pay around 700 pesos ($37 USD). There are four venues in which the ballet is performed with the most common being the Palacio de Bellas Artes. You can see the official Ballet Folklorico de Mexico schedule where you can also buy tickets directly.

You can also join tours such as this one that includes transport from Mexico City to the venue and back, however, expect to pay around $130 USD for average seats around the 3rd tier. Tours come in handy during busy times when tickets sell out far in advance at the most popular shows.

18. Listen to mariachi in Plaza Garibaldi

Listening to Mariachi in Mexico City

One of the best nights out I’ve had in Mexico City was at Plaza Garibaldi listening to traditional mariachi music live. At the square, hundreds of mariachi bands hang out both day and night and play music for both locals and tourists for a small fee.

Mariachi is traditional Mexican music played in small bands. If you haven’t heard mariachi before then just trust me when I say it’s really good entertaining music, especially live!

In Plaza Garibaldi, you can either sit in one of the surrounding bars and have the bands play while you enjoy a drink or food, or alternatively, you can just sit in the square and listen. For a band of 4, expect to pay around 100 pesos ($5 USD) per song.

Safety at Plaza Garibaldi: Although a largely policed area there are some nearby streets that aren’t the safest at night. For that reason, get an Uber/taxi to and from the square at night (free wifi is available in the square) – using Uber is one of our top tips for staying safe in Mexico City.

19. Visit the Sonora Witch Market

Sonora Witch Market
You’ll see some crazy stuff at the Sonora Witch Market!

One of the craziest places to visit in all of Mexico is the Sonora Witch Market in Mexico City. Within the market, you can find all sorts of things such as potions to cure disease, live animals, and even voodoo dolls.

If you’re into having your fortune read, this is the place to do it. There are tarot card readers as well as palm readers. On top of that, you can get some ritual cleansing or good luck spells.

Of course, I do not recommend buying anything to take home – certainly not some you ingest, but it’s a cool market and worth a look if you’re heading to Mexico City.

20. Explore the vibrant streets of Condesa and Roma 

Walking Amsterdam Ave in La Condesa
Walking Amsterdam Ave in La Condesa

Mexico City can be a sprawling concrete jungle filled with busy streets, millions of cars, and craziness you won’t find at home. However, there are a few areas of the city that take you away from the hustle and bustle and to a place, that’s not only very safe but also inviting. La Condesa and La Roma are those suburbs.

La Condesa is an upper-class neighborhood and also one of the oldest in Mexico City. It’s filled with amazing restaurants, hotels, and bars. Its parks and footpaths make it an ideal place to explore and enjoy some peace and quiet.

In La Condesa, I recommend walking Amsterdam Ave, a few-kilometer-long walking path that is lined with trees and passes some of the most trendy spots in the area. The pathway was actually at one stage a racehorse track!

La Roma is a more trendy neighborhood that’s home to many of the same things, however, picture trendy coffee shops, an electric nightlife, and plenty of hipsters!

In La Roma, head to Mercado Medellin and enjoy some local and international foods from all over Latin America. As the name suggests, this area is famous for amazing Colombian food and after eating amazing empanadas there it brought me back to my recent trip to Colombia!

Regardless of what you do, just get out and enjoy these amazing neighborhoods! For more ideas check out this blog on the best things to do in Condesa and Roma!

Tour recommendation: If you do want to learn more about the area then this Condesa and Roma walking tour is a great choice! You’ll visit Mercado Roma, Mercado Medellin, and wander the streets of La Condesa with an expert guide showing all the local’s favorite spots! If you want to prioritize the length of your stay in certain places, swap out some of the stops, or add in a couple of your own, you can do so since this is a customizable tour!

Related Read: Check out the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta!

21. Join a Hop-on Hop-off City Tour 

Wandering Mexico City on a hop-on hop-off bus tour
Explore the city at your own pace on a hop-on hop-off bus tour

Hop-on hop-off tours are popular all around the world and are a great budget way to explore a city. In Mexico City, the tours are a lifesaver for those wanting to explore lots of the city both on a budget and at their own pace.

There are two main operators available in Mexico City with the first and more expensive being Mexico City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour. These guys only offer one route but on a really new bus. A pass for the day will cost you $11 USD.

The second company is Turibus and these guys offer 4 different routes depending on what you want to see. The most popular route (and the one I recommend) doing is the Central Historical route. You can combine this itinerary and visit many of the places I mention in this blog. This tour starts at only $14 USD.

22. Visit the Shrine of our Lady Guadalupe  

Shrine of Guadalupe, Mexico
Shrine of Guadalupe, Mexico

The Shrine of Guadalupe is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Catholic religion. For many, a visit here is essential because of their strong faith in the Catholic religion.

However, you don’t need to be religious to enjoy a visit here. For me, it’s more about the architecture and experiencing other culturally significant sights, and one I enjoyed.

The site is best visited with a tour to Teotihuacan as it’s located outside of the city. However, it can be visited on its own too.

If booking this Teotihuacan and Mexico City tour you can expect it to be driving to the Teotihuacan Pyramids and exploring the rest of the archaeological zone, next is the awaited visit of the Shrine of Guadalupe, and finally, you’re off to see notable buildings in Mexico City including the National Palace, the Zocalo, the pink zone, and more!

Although it wasn’t a life-changing experience for me, this is an important place for many people and makes the best things to do in Mexico City list for that reason!

23. Celebrate Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

day of the dead in mexico make up
Myself, Bailey, and a friend of ours showing off our Day of the Dead make-up!

Day of the Dead is quickly becoming one of the biggest tourist attractions in Mexico. I love it so much I’ve spent two Dia de Muertos in Mexico now and would love to come back again.

Of course, there are many places around Mexico to enjoy Day of the Dead but Mexico City is easily one of the best! The city is packed with visitors and the parades fill the main square and surrounding streets.

But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, Mexico City never had Day of the Dead parades before the famous scene in the James Bond movie Spectre. Since the movie premiered, visitors kept coming to the city asking where the parades were, so, Mexico City decided it was time to have parades in the city!

If you have the chance, visit Mexico during Day of the Dead – it’s easily one of the best things to do in Mexico!

Dia De Muertos runs from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November, however, parades start in the weeks before that! It changes every year so be sure to do some research online before!

24. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
Look at all the butterflies!

One of the most unique activities you can do in Mexico City is to visit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, located around 2 hours from Mexico City.

The reserve is home to millions of butterflies who make their way south to Mexico for the winter. There are literally millions, possibly billions of butterflies in this small reserve! I was also shocked to find out that butterflies travel so far.

You may be thinking, but butterflies don’t live that long. And it’s true. Over the eight-month journey from as far as Canada, four generations of butterflies live and die. How these guys know where to go is beyond me!

The butterflies visit the reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between November and March, but January and February are best if you want to see the larger gatherings.

You can visit the reserve from Mexico City on a full-day tour. By booking this tour you get a couple of bonus inclusions that you wouldn’t get if you went on your own like stopping in the town of El Oro (also known as Magical Town) and a traditional Mexican lunch.

25. Learn Spanish

studying a spanish notebook on a mayan textile
Just studying away!

“Hablas Espanol?” If you don’t, Mexico City is the perfect place to learn!

I speak enough Spanish to travel around without any problems, and trust me – it helps so much.

The best thing about learning Spanish is over 500 million people worldwide speak it across 20+ countries! In Mexico alone, there are over 120 million people to talk to!

You can learn to speak Spanish all over Mexico, but one of the cheapest places is Mexico City. Some of the best schools include Frida Spanish School, Celcum, and the Modern Language Center.

26. Visit the Anthropology Museum

Anthropology Museum, Mexico Coty

Before the Spanish arrived in Latin America, there was an entire other world living in this region. These ancient civilizations built huge cities complete with running water and waste management.

A trip to the Anthropology Museum is a great way to learn about these civilizations and truly appreciate their advances. You can gaze at replicas of these ancient cities or enjoy the stonework and artifacts that resemble their goods. It’s truly unique, and the museum is really a work of art in itself.

The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is located in Chapultepec Park and has an entrance fee of 85 pesos ($4.35 USD). To really explore the museum, you would undoubtedly need the better part of the day!

As the size of this world-class museum can be overwhelming there is a guided walking tour option to the Anthropology Museum which can be super helpful when it comes to having your guide point out the key artifacts and explain their significance.

If you want to split your time with another landmark then the Chapultepec Castle and Anthropology Museum tour is a good option for those wanting to explore more of Chapultepec Park and learn from a knowledgeable guide.

27. Visit the artisanal market, La Ciudadela

La Ciudadela artisinal market, Mexico City
La Ciudadela artisinal market, Mexico City

If you want to take home souvenirs from Mexico then the best place to go in Mexico City is the La Ciudadela Artisanal Market. This market showcases artists’ work from around the country that can be bought at very affordable prices. The selection is huge!

This market has everything and if you’re flying out of Mexico City this is the perfect place to fill your suitcase before you leave!

The market is located in the historic center but is a little out of the way. You can walk from the Palacio de Bellas Artes but it will take about 10 minutes.

28. Take a Mexican cooking class

Learn to cook the famous al pastor taco in Mexico City
Learn to cook the famous al pastor taco in Mexico City

The best thing about Mexico is the food – well, to me anyway! But the worst thing about Mexican food is it’s very hard to find it (in its authentic form) outside of Mexico!

The solution?

Take a Mexican cooking class so you can cook Mexican food at home!

I love cooking classes, especially in Mexico. For one, most of the food in Mexico is super simple and once you know how to cook it, you’ll never go out for Tex-Mex again!

Mexico City is one of the best places to do a cooking class in Mexico for the simple fact you can cook Mexican food from all over the country due to its multicultural population.

Cooking classes are really well-priced and there are a few different styles of tours available. A couple of the best are:

  • Mexican Food Cooking Class with Visit to a Market – First head to the market to shop for fresh produce and protein. You will cook everything from your instructor’s home where the chef will share with you some cultural insights and take-home cooking tips – this makes for a very authentic experience! If you have any dietary preferences they can also make your class tailored to your requests. This cooking class costs $105 USD and lasts for around 3.5 hours.
  • Cooking Class and Cocktails in Mexico City – You will gain a lot of insightful knowledge when visiting the market about the ingredients you will be using. As you are being taught how to cook the meals you will learn some culinary skills that will help you with future cooking endeavors, then plate your fished dishes in a beautiful way. The craft cocktail you will prepare will be made with either tequila or mezcal. This class costs $110.50 USD and lasts for around 3.5 hours.

29. Ride the city with ECOBICI or JUMP

Bike share in Mexico City
Bike share in Mexico City

Mexico City is massive, and although driving around the city is a fast way to see it, you simply don’t get the personal interaction that you do from being in the open air.

That’s why I love renting a bike in Mexico City, and (as I found out on my last visit) it’s even easier now with the bike share service ECOBICI or JUMP now available!

For ECOBICI, you register online and sign up for a plan. For tourists, there is a 1-day plan for 104 pesos ($5.30 USD). This then gets you unlimited 45-minute bike rides with the rideshare service. If you do go over the 45-minute cap, then you are charged around 10 pesos ($0.50 USD) per 15 minutes.

However, to avoid this, simply ride from one bike station to the next and scan your bike in and out again. There are 452 bike stations around the city and over 6,000 bikes. So for 104 pesos, you could go all around La Condesa, Roma, Chapultepec Park, Centro, and La Reforma!

JUMP works the same as Uber and is actually one of their companies. It’s more expensive, but the bikes are electric! With that said, I overall preferred the service by ECOBICI.

Tour recommendation: If you don’t want to ride around without a guide then this Mexico City Bike Tour is a great option! You’ll start pedaling Parque Mexico and discover two areas, Condesa and Coyoacan. The tour also includes a guided house tour of the famous painter Frida Kahlo. All equipment, snacks, and water are provided to you.

30. Have dinner and drinks on Calle Regina (pedestrian-only street)

 a pedestrain friendly street in Mexico City with tables and restaurants lining it
There are lots of restaurants to choose from at Calle Regina.

If you’re staying in the historic center of Mexico City then a night out (or day) on Calle Regina (a pedestrian street) is a must. This place is super popular among locals and on weekends the street is packed with those out for a fun time and some great food.

The prices on the street are really cheap and there’s lots of good food to be had from pizza to tacos to seafood! The walking street is very safe at almost all times of the night and it’s a great place to meet locals!

31. Relax on the Xochimilco Canals

Xochimilco Canals near Mexico City

Parque Xochimilco is Mexico’s version of Venice! The canals were built by the Aztecs and used as a water transport system. This system used to cover the entire Mexico City Valley, but today all that remains are the canals in Xochimilco.

These days, the canals are filled with brightly colored boats that can be rented to explore the canal system while enjoying a drink or even live music. As you cruise along the canals, you’ll be able to buy souvenirs and food from vendors also on boats.

The price for a boat is 500 pesos ($25.60 USD) per hour, but they do seat up to 20 people. If you’re in a small group, just ask one of the workers to join another group or get the price per person.

The drivers don’t speak English, so if you would like to learn more about the canals, consider joining a Mexico City tour!

Xochimilco Canals are located around 30 km (18.6 mi) from Mexico City. If you would like to go without a tour, check out this blog to visit the Xochimilco Canals.

If you would prefer a tour, this private tour to Xochimilco and Coyoacan is a good option for those who don’t want to make the journey themselves and that want the whole boat to themselves. It comes with a guide who speaks both English and Spanish so you can easily learn about Mexican culture and has very good reviews.

As you cruise down the canals, mariachi and marimba music are played so whether you like to dance or just listen you’ll be in a good mood! It makes one stop at Coyoacan which is a town known for its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. The price varies by group size so the more you add the cheaper it will become. It starts at $234 USD if you only have 2 people.

32. Drink local coffee at Quentin Cafe in Roma

quentin coffee mexico city
Quentin Cafe Mexico city

Every now and then you stumble upon a local secret. A place enjoyed by many but known to few. Quentin Cafe, located in the beautiful suburb of Roma, was one of those places and the coffee here is amazing!

So, if you’ve been craving that caffeine fix that smells like heaven and tastes even better then head over to this local coffee shop, I promise you won’t regret it!

33. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum 

Frida Kahlo's desk in the Frida Kahlo Museum
This is where she painted!

Frida Kahlo was a famous Mexican Artist known for her progressive style of exploring identity, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.  

In Mexico, Frida is cherished, and her story is well-known among the local people. She was certainly ahead of her time and pushed the boundaries of woman’s rights and activism. 

La Casa Azul was the birthplace of Frida and where she lived her life with her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera. The house is now a museum called Frida Kahlo Museum, housing Frida’s artwork and more. Its located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Mexico City and is a must-visit. 

Frida is a hero to many in Mexico, and her story is truly inspiring. All over Mexico, you’ll find her face painted in restaurants, on clothing, and in murals. So if you visit Mexico City, be sure to take the time to learn about Frida. 

The museum is not Mondays but is the rest of the week from 10 am to 5:30 pm (except on Wednesdays when it opens at 11 am.) General admission is 230 pesos during the week and 250 ($13 USD) pesos on weekends. To skip the line, you can pay for your ticket in advance, although it is more expensive.

If you want more background information on Frida, you can join this guided tour and you can choose to upgrade your ticket to include either artisanal bread and Mexican coffee at a local cafe, a photoshoot of your tour, or a wooden souvenir.

34. Eat amazing churros at El Moro

Churros are one of my favorite desserts, but to be honest, back home in Australia, they’re not always very good! Luckily though, in Mexico City, you can find some of the best churros in the world!

El Moro is a great place to get churros, and they have been making them for over 80 years in downtown Mexico. Although they have locations around the city, the central store is its oldest, and a visit is a step back in time.

Prices for churros are cheap and start at just over $1 USD. You can find El Moro in the center at Central Axis Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Historic Center. If you love good churros, then this is the place to visit in Mexico City!

35. Visit the La Nueva Viga Fish Market

Fresh Fish At La Nueva Viga Market In Mexico City
Fresh fish at La Nueva Viga Market in Mexico City

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know, the second-largest seafood market in the world is in Mexico City! This seems strange to many because Mexico City is landlocked, but it’s true, and you can actually visit the market and see the craziness!

The La Nueva Viga Fish Market sells around 1,500 tons or 3 million pounds of fish per day to local and international sellers. The market consists mostly of raw fish sellers, however, there are simple seafood restaurants that sell amazingly fresh and cheap seafood!

This is not your typical attraction nor is it for those with a weak stomach, but it’s a crazy place to find at over 2,000 m (6,562 feet) above sea level nowhere near the ocean!

36. Day hiking trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano

Nevado de Toluca Volcano is Mexico’s 4th highest peak at 4,680 meters (15,354 feet). That’s saying a lot considering how massive Mexico is!

From Mexico City, it is between a 2-3 hour drive depending on the day of the week and time of day.

The Circuito Lagos del Nevado de Toluca trail is a 9.8 km (6.1 mi) loop and is generally considered moderate. The main challenge here is the elevation gain so make sure you bring a lot of water and take plenty of breaks to prevent altitude sickness. As you explore the trails along the extinct volcano you’ll see lagoons inside the crater on your way to the summit!

While you could always rent a car and drive yourself to the starting point but the drive up the road to the entrance is actually very long (30 mins +) and some reviews of the trail mentioned that it was even a bit of a rocky ride in a Jeep so it may be wiser to join a mountaineering tour that provides the transportation and an experienced alpinist to guide you on the trail.

This particular tour costs $127 USD and lasts for up to 12 hours. You won’t have to worry about lunch or trekking equipment as they are provided but I would recommend bringing some warmer clothes if you have them. That is definitely weird to imagine because who would think about there being cold weather in Mexico? Not to worry if you don’t because they sell warmer clothing at the base.

Where to Stay in Mexico City

Selina Mexico City Downtown
Photo Credit – Selina

Mexico City is massive, and there are lots of different areas to stay in depending on what you want to get out of your trip. For this reason, we wrote a full guide on the best areas to stay in Mexico City as well as the best hostels in Mexico City! These blogs should help you choose an awesome hotel for your stay!

However, for a quick overview, here are some of my top recommendations.

For budget travelers, the Selina Hostel in downtown Mexico City is a top choice. I stayed here during one of my visits, and I loved the downtown location. Although the area may seem unsafe to some, this is the historic center of Mexico City and where I spend most of my time exploring the attractions on this list. You can book Selina Hostel with Hostelworld or

For medium-budget travelers, Hotel MX Roma is a great hotel in La Roma. It has family rooms equipped with air conditioning, private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen satellite TV. It offers a space with a terrace to enjoy with family or friends, private parking, a gym, and 24-hour front desk service. 

For luxury travelers, Casa Malí by Dominion Boutique Hotel is a top choice. This incredible luxury hotel in the heart of La Condesa offers a very convenient location, close to iconic city landmarks such as the Angel of Independence and Chapultepec Castle. It also offers comfortable family rooms, a spacious and cozy terrace, a gym, and even barbecue facilities for all guests.  

Related Read: Have your eyes set on visiting the Zocalo? Here are the best hotels in Oaxaca!

Plan Your Mexico City Trip

Booking tours in Mexico City

We are partnered with Viator (a TripAdvisor company). They are one of the largest tour providers in the world and act as a middleman between the tour operator and you. In Mexico, we personally loved using Viator as they have a huge selection and lots of reviews to help us make an informed decision.

So, if you would like to browse other tours not recommended by us in this blog you can check out the Mexico City tours on Viator.

Related Read: Heading to Oaxaca? Check out the best things to do in Oaxaca City!

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper! 

Thanks for reading!

couple takes a selfie with a mariachi music player in Mexico City
Thanks for reading! We hope that you enjoy Mexico City as much as we did!

Mexico City is a very misunderstood city and from a glance, many travelers can get an uneasy feeling. However, the truth is the tourist suburbs of Condesa, Roma, Centro, and the business district on La Reforma are very safe areas to be explored by tourists. We always have felt safe in Mexico City and had the best time!

I’ve spent weeks in Mexico City and always love returning to explore more parts of the city. Enjoy your time here, it’s a very vibrant city that welcomes all visitors with open arms!

If you liked this blog then check out all our other Mexico blogs or check out the ones listed below!

Things to do in Puebla

Things to do in Puerto Escondido for non surfers

Things to do in Tulum

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