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How to Spend 2 Days in Mexico City

How to Spend 2 Days in Mexico City

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Just have a few days to explore Mexico City? As the biggest city in Mexico and the hub of culture, there is a lot to see.

The first time we visited, I was a little intimidated by the city! I’m sure you feel that way too, that’s why we have crafted this ideal 2-day Mexico City itinerary.

This will cover the top historic and cultural areas to explore, a day trip to see ancient ruins, and of course, lots and lots of amazing food. Plus a few bonus activities that we enjoyed, like a cooking class and a Lucha Libre show. 

So don’t stress about how to use your time, simply follow this itinerary and you’ll get the full Mexico City experience.

Day 1: Explore the Historical Center on Foot

A colonial street in Mexico City
The historic center!

Mexico City is rich in history, architecture, and culture. I’m sure you know that though, that’s why you’re visiting! So for the first day, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the city’s historic center. 

The historic center is home to the most important and gorgeous sites, and they are all within walking distance of each other. There are even ancient ruins right in the city! So you don’t have to go far to find the best of Mexico City. You’ll find most of these buildings near the Zocalo, which is the central plaza, and around it, you can visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and more. 

We had so much fun exploring this area, and it gave us an authentic look at Mexico City’s culture. There is amazing food around every corner, local shops, lots of art, and even some mariachi music. 

Since all of these locations are within walking distance, I’ll explain a little history and the best way to visit them! If you can hit them all, you’re in for a treat, but buckle up because there are a lot! We pinned all of these spots on Google Maps to conveniently visit all the sites. Even if you just wander around, you’re sure to find a lot of gems here!

Zócalo

The Zócalo in Mexico City with the huge flag
The Zócalo in Mexico City with the huge flag

The Zócalo will act as your central point for the day, I’m sure you’ll find yourself passing through a few times as you enjoy the historic center. I was surprised at just how large the square is, as you can see in the photo above! This is the largest plaza in Latin America, and you can always find amazing street food, handmade items, and some sort of lively event going on. 

This is also the political center of the country, and its history dates back to the Aztec era. Of course, it has changed a lot since that time, but you can see the centuries of influence built into the structures. Surrounding the Zocalo are the National Palace, the Supreme Court Building, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. All of these buildings are intricately designed, and the architecture is simply stunning. 

If the gorgeous buildings don’t give it away, seeing the huge Mexican flag in the square certainly will! The Zócalo’s official name is the Plaza de la Constitución, but “Zócalo” is a Spanish term for city square. 

I recommend starting in the Zócalo, as it’s near just about everything on this list. You can visit at any time of day (be careful at night) and most Mexico City tours take off from this square, if you join one!

Related Read: Looking for a great city tour? Here are our 10 favorite Mexico City tours to immerse yourself in the history and culture!

Metropolitan Cathedral

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral is arguably the most beautiful building in the historic center, and it towers over the Zócalo on the north end. What’s most impressive is that it took 250 years to finish building! The record of talented architects, painters, and sculptors who had their hand in this project is long, and it’s cool to see the mix of styles that made their way into the construction over multiple centuries. 

You can go into the cathedral to see even more ornate details and a mix of designs. We spent about 30 minutes exploring here, but if you’re really into history and architecture, you’ll probably stay longer. There are informational boards all around, so you can learn a lot about its fascinating history. Keep in mind that it’s still a fully functioning cathedral, so please be respectful of the service times when visiting. 

The Metropolitan Cathedral is open daily from 9 am to 5:30 pm and is free to enter. 

Templo Mayor

The ancient ruins in Mexico City
Can you believe these are right in the city center?!

Templo Mayor is a unique city site because it’s the location of the Azctec’s main temple, called Tenochtitlan. It was originally built in 1325 and had to be rebuilt six times! The Spanish ultimately destroyed it in 1521, when they built the Metropolitan Cathedral to replace it. The Aztec temple was looted and picked apart to build other aspects of the city.

Today, it serves as a museum and is only a 2-minute walk from the Zócalo or a 5-minute walk if you’re coming from the Metropolitan Cathedral. This area was excavated in the 19th century and they uncovered over 7,000 artifacts, such as pottery, skeletons, weapons, sculptures, and gold. This sounds like something an Indiana Jones movie is based on, and you can even see some of the large ruins themselves. 

We really enjoyed exploring Templo Mayor, as we learned a lot about Mexico and Aztec history. Luckily, the information is in both English and Spanish, so it was easy to visit on our own. We spent about 2 hours exploring here, which was enough time to see it all, without getting burnt out!

Templo Mayor Museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance is $95 MXN (about $6 USD) and children are free. 

We encourage everyone passing through Mexico City to visit the Templo Mayor! We felt like it was essential to learn about the city and ancient civilizations. It’s the perfect activity for your first day in the city! You can find its location here.

National Palace

The national Palace in Mexico City
Famous painting in the National Palace!

The National Palace is impossible to miss in the Zócalo, it takes up the entire eastern side! The palace expands for 200 meters (660 feet) and is yet another ornate, historic structure. It is the head government building and the president’s official residence.

On top of that, part of this building is as old as the 16th century, when the Aztec people were in power. Could you imagine living in such an old place!? Of course, the purpose of this building has changed throughout the centuries, but it has always maintained a political standing. 

Similar to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the architectural style is a bit of a hodgepodge because of the changing influence throughout the years. We loved exploring the National Palace to see it up close! It’s open from 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday. You don’t have to pay to enter, but you are required to show government-issued ID or passports (no photocopies are allowed). 

If you’re in the Zócalo at night, you can enjoy the National Palace all lit up!

Museum of the City of Mexico

Continuing on our theme of ancient, gorgeous buildings, the Museum of the City of Mexico fits right in! However, this museum is special because it was formerly a palace, so the building is huge and ornate, suitable for the royal family. It is located just a 5-minute walk from the National Palace.

The building dates back to 1527 and was originally the home of the Count of Santiago Calimaya and his family. His lineage inhabited the palace until the late 20th century and was the last residence of Spanish nobility in the country. 

Since this building is steeped in history, it didn’t take long to be turned into a museum. In 1964, the home was given to the city, which spent a few years turning the 26 rooms of the palace into exhibition halls. The museum focuses on history from the Aztec era to the present, covered with artifacts, art, and a huge library. 

Now, I’ll be honest – we aren’t big museum people, but we loved exploring this one. The history was fascinating, the building was gorgeous, and I especially loved the upstairs art exhibit. It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Sunday and admission is $32 MXN (about $2 USD).

Mirador Torre Latino

View of Mexico City from the Mirador Torre Latino
Mexico City is a daunting place – especially to drive in!

Let’s take a break from museums and architecture and check out Mexico City from a different perspective. This city is huge, and when you get here you’ll see the hustle and bustle of the country’s capital city. But heading up Mirador Torre Latino lets you see just how big it is!

This 44-story tower has an observation deck at the top, giving impressive views of the city below. It was constructed in 1956 and was the tallest of its time, and its engineering was groundbreaking for the era too. It was the first skyscraper built in a highly seismic zone and even stood against an 8.1 magnitude earthquake, which caused smaller buildings to collapse. 

This building holds a lot of pride and significance for the city! We liked this activity as a part of our day one itinerary because it broke up the historical sites a bit, and we were in awe of the views. The observation deck provides impressive panoramic views, and it was a nice break from the busy city. 

The Mirador Torre Latino is open every day of the week from 9 am to 10 pm. If you can stop by at night, the views are even more impressive as the city is lit up and comes alive. There are different ticket packages available, but the cheapest one starts at 150 MXN (about $8 USD). 

Palacio Postal

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

If you know any Spanish or can use your inference skills, you might read the Palacio Postal as the Postal Palace – and you’re right! This is a post office that is also known as a palace because it’s that beautiful. It is just two blocks from the Mirador Torre Latino and one of the most unique stops of the day. 

Constructed by the Italian architect, Adamo Boari, you’ll swoon over the Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Spanish Renaissance design. He also built the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is next on our agenda! Not only is the post office gorgeous, but it is also huge. It was built in 1907 and was handling 130 million pieces of mail daily! 

They renovated the building in the 1950s, and unfortunately, the work weakened the structure. So when the earthquake of 1985 hit, a lot of the building was damaged. However, it is still a functional post office and you can visit to see the design and the mail being sorted and sent out. It’s a fun quick stop, and so unique to the city!

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

For those of you who love all things art-centric, the Palacio de Bellas Artes is going to be your favorite stop of the day. Just a two-minute walk from the historic post office, this magnificent building was designed by the same architect. You can swoon over its beauty too – at least we did! 

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is the palace of fine arts. It is home to performing arts like dance, theater, opera, and music, as well as rotating exhibits of painting, sculptures, photography, and more. People affectionately refer to it as “the art cathedral of Mexico” and they aren’t wrong, I couldn’t believe how much was on display here. 

We spent time exploring the museum, exhibits, and the building itself, but they also offer various performances that are unique to see! You can catch the orchestra, a show by the National Theater Company, or a ballet. Check out their website to see what’s going on when you’re in town, but keep in mind it is in Spanish (try using Google Translate to read it!). 

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $80 MXN (about $5 USD) and we could easily spend a few hours here!

Casa de los Azulejos

The outside of Casa de los Azulejos in Mexico City
Such a stunning building!

There are certainly a lot of palaces in Mexico City, but I love how they are all so different. Casa de los Azulejos, the House of Tiles, is iconic with its blue and white tile-clad walls (I think you can guess where it gets its name!). This was once a palace and has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant, so it’s a perfect lunch stop. It is conveniently just a 3-minute walk from the Palacio de Bellas Artes – see how easy we’ve made this itinerary!?

I love the history of this house, dating back to the late 16th century when this was a very affluent area. There were actually two structures on the lot and they combined to create this massive, gorgeous house when the two wealthy families married. The blue and white tiles weren’t added until many years later when one of the descendants took on the task of restoring the mansion and decided to add thousands of these tiles. 

Since then, the ownership of the palace has changed over a handful of times, more renovations have been done, but it has remained beautiful nonetheless. It is now the location of Sanborn’s restaurant, one of the most famous in the city. The decor is the highlight, but they make great traditional Mexican food such as enchiladas, mole, and tacos. 

You can dine at Sanborn’s from 7 am to 12 am Sunday through Thursday and until 1 am on Friday and Saturday! Even if you just stop in for a margarita, it’s worth it to get to explore the building!

Alameda Central

Monument at Alameda Central
Be sure to come and explore the park!

North America has some pretty iconic parks, from Central Park in New York to Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC (our personal favorite), but did you know the oldest park in the continent is right here in Mexico City? 

Alameda Central Park dates back to 1592 and its roots were an Aztec market. Although its history wasn’t all sunshine and grassy knolls, during the Inquisition this park was called “the burning place” where accused witches and convicted criminals were burned at the stake. Yikes! But with Mexico’s independence in the 1800s, the park returned to being a place of celebration and gathering, as it was meant to be!

The park is filled with fountains and statues, and gorgeous landscape design. Vendors are not allowed in the park, which is rare for Mexico, and it gives it a tranquil feel, very different from the rest of Mexico City. 

Alameda Central Park is open all day every day and is free to enter. We loved strolling around on a sunny afternoon, as there’s a lot to see here. As true with anywhere you travel, use caution if you’re visiting after dark.

Museo Mural Diego Rivera

After exploring Alameda Central, we wandered over to the Museo Mural Diego Rivera. This activity goes hand in hand with visiting the park because you can see the massive 15.6-meter (51-foot) painting entitled Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alameda Central Park).

This was painted by the famous Diego Rivera, who you’ve either heard of in relation to Frida Kahlo or because of his own personal work. He was a Mexico City local and this painting was an instant classic. It was originally held in the Hotel de Pedro, but the infamous earthquake of 1985 damaged the hotel and the painting. So they constructed this museum simply to hold the painting, in fact, the painting was installed and the walls were built around it! 

There are other works by Rivera, as well as other famous painters and rotating exhibits. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm, and costs $45 MXN (about $3 USD) to visit.

Plaza Garibaldi

Bailey listens to a mariachi band while out at night in Mexico City, Mexico
We loved the live Mariachi in Mexico City but you need to be careful in Garibaldi Square, especially at night!

Plaza Garibaldi is the perfect way to end your day of sightseeing! This square is full of life – mariachi bands, street food, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous buildings. We loved sitting back and enjoying the atmosphere while having some beers and tacos. I didn’t realize how tired we were until we sat down!

An important note is that the plaza is safe to be in at night, but the neighborhoods surrounding it are not safe after dark. It is about a 15-minute walk from the Diego Rivera Mural Museum, so if you’re finishing up in the late afternoon, you’ll be fine to walk, but after dark, I suggest taking an Uber to get back home. 

But, you have so much to enjoy here! Plaza Garibaldi is famous for being the “mariachi mecca” and you’ll often see the battling! It’s been this way since the 1920s when movies began to popularize mariachi music. Friday and Saturday nights are the best time to visit, as it’s super lively! 

It was the perfect end to our first day in Mexico City, and we were exhausted but fulfilled by all of the amazing things we saw!

Mexico City Historical Center Tours

If you are looking for a way to dive into Mexico City’s culture, have all the details taken care of for you, and still see all the sites listed above, a guided city tour might be for you! We love exploring on our own, but sometimes the convenience and all you get out of a tour is even better. It also helps you navigate the city and gives you peace of mind about safety while exploring. 

So here are some of our favorite historic city center tours for you to choose from!

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

A group of tourists walk around the National Palace in Mexico City!
Our group walking the palace!

We love walking tours, so this is a great way to explore the city and learn a lot! This 3.5-hour walking tour explores the top spots in Mexico City’s historic district, but the guides are what set it apart. Not only are they a walking encyclopedia about history and architecture, but they are also so fun and welcoming that it made our experience all the better!

You’ll get to explore the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Palacio Postal, Casa de los Azulejos, Templo Mayor, and the Cathedral Metropolitan, as we recommended earlier. Better yet, you’ll get to explore Francisco I. Madero Avenue, another fun side of the city with some great markets and food vendors. 

The tour departs from the Zócalo at 10 am or 2 pm and only allows up to 9 people, which we think is the perfect amount to move around the city. The price ranges from $15-$26 USD, depending on group size, but it’s still really affordable. That price covers your guide and entry fees to all the sites – you don’t have to worry about a thing!

Private Tour in Mexico City Downtown

Inside the National Palace of Mexico City
Inside the National Palace of Mexico City

Fancy a more customizable experience? This full-day private tour will let you choose where to go, how long you stay at a place, and gives you the freedom to get to know your guide! We love private tours because it’s an immersive way to learn about the city. 

Another perk of this private tour is that you travel around in an air-conditioned vehicle, perfect if you’re visiting during the hot season or have trouble walking for hours on end. The guide will promptly pick you up from your hotel and tour the city, passing by Palacio de Bellas Artes, Alameda Central Park, and El Angel de la Independencia. 

In addition to pass-by sites, you’ll have time to go explore the Anthropology Museum and Chapultepec Castle, which we haven’t even mentioned yet! I love that you get a chance to explore the gorgeous hilltop castle, it’s another stunning place. 

The best part of this tour is that it is customizable, so be sure to do some research ahead of time and let your guide know what you want to see!

This tour is offered every day except Mondays (most of the sites are closed then anyway) and truly is a full day, around 9 hours of exploring. The price depends on group size (up to 12) but ranges from $74-$230 USD – not bad considering it covers all of your entrance costs, transportation, and the guides. Be sure to bring money for food, tips, and souvenirs though!

Historic Center Food Tour

Bailey-and-Daniel-with-friends-in-Mexico-City-eating-at-a-taco-restaurant
Hanging with our tour group!

Out of all the types of tours offered, my personal favorite is food tours. Why you may ask? Well, you get to see the historic sites AND eat amazing food … and I’m talking about the world’s best type of food – this is Mexico after all! 

We joined this 5-hour food tour that took us all around the city. We saw the big-ticket attractions mentioned above and also hit historic restaurants, local-loved street vendors, cantinas, and even an Aztec market. 

The best stop though, was Mercado San Juan where we had our pick of gourmet and exotic foods. Other stops led us to some tasty ceviche tostadas, plantain empanadas, mole enchiladas, and dessert – of course! 

Tours are available every day of the week with multiple start times. I recommend starting early so you have the rest of the day to walk off all that food and hit any more spots you missed. You’ll want to come early, and wear comfy clothes, as you’ll be walking and eating a ton! Food and drinks are included (even a few alcoholic beverages) for $110 USD. 

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.

Where to Eat in Mexico City Historical Center

Al Pastor tacos in Mexico City
Al Pastor tacos in Mexico City

Tacos El Huequito – First Al Pastor Taco restaurant in Mexico City

To stay on our history theme, we are heading to the first Al Pastor Taco restaurant in the city! If you ask a local where the best Al Pastor Tacos are, they will tell you Tacos El Huequito. It’s loved by everyone! They have been open since 1959 and while meat and tacos are what they are famous for, they make an array of tasty dishes. 

If you’re not up to speed, Al Pastor is pork, but they have a giant (I’m talking GIANT!) skewer that they rotate over an open flame for hours. I love watching the cooks shave off slices of perfectly cooked pork into my tacos, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

The vibe is casual and lively and has that authentic Mexican feel you hope to find when visiting! They are open from 9 am to 9 pm (breakfast tacos anyone?) and are a 7-minute walk from Alameda Central Park. So this is a great lunch stop if you time it right!

Mercaderes

For those looking for a fancy night out, you’ll love Mercaderes. This upscale restaurant specializes in taking traditional recipes and adding some flair, giving a unique and tasty modern Mexican dish. They are housed in a historical building just a 2-minute walk from the Zócalo, so the atmosphere matches the food quality!

Even with this high quality, it’s quite affordable. Entrees are around $290-$550 MXN (about $16-$31 USD). What better way to unwind after a day of sightseeing than a nice dinner and drinks? My favorite dish was the duck carnitas, it was so tasty! They are open daily from 8 am to 10 pm. 

El Cardenal

We love El Cardenal because each dish is truly a work of art! They use elements from each state of Mexico, so it’s a lovely blend of culture and lets you experience even more of the country. You can try many traditional dishes you might not find elsewhere, plus I love their upscale vibe. 

If you don’t make it for lunch or dinner today, they are also open for breakfast and have some of the freshest and most flavorful breakfast dishes. We tried one of their breakfast specials with homemade bread, rich hot chocolate, and fresh milk cream. El Cardenal is open daily from 8 am to 6:30 pm. 

You have your pick of restaurants in Mexico City, so these are just a few recommendations, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding something tasty!

Related Read: Looking for more amazing food? Head to Puebla after Mexico City and check out our favorite things to do there (including eating!).

Day 2: Morning and Day –  Teotihuacán Tour

Bailey and Daniel at Teotihuacan, Mexico
The main temple!

Yesterday we had you busy exploring the best sites of Mexico City, and today we are going to take a little day trip outside of the city. Visiting the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan is an essential addition to your itinerary, and luckily, it is just outside the city. However keep in mind, Mexico City is massive so it will still take about an hour or so!

Teotihuacan is an archeological site that dates back to 400 B.C.E. The Aztec people inhabited the city, but no one actually knows who created it, as it far precedes the Aztecs. The lore will say that Teotihuacan is the site where the gods were made because everything about its creation remains so mysterious. 

It has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was a total bucket list item of mine. Standing next to the pyramids and seeing just how big and old they are is pretty mind-blowing. At its peak, this was the site of the 6th largest city in the world with around 125,000 to 200,000 residents. 

There is a main street, called the Avenue of the Dead, where the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon are. There are carvings on the stones and ruins where nobles had their houses, you can even see a mural and paint remaining in some places. 

As far as historic ruins go, Teotihuacan are some of the most accessible in the country. Before you go, there is a lot to know, so be sure to read our guide to visiting Teotihuacan here!

Admission to the site is $85 MXN (around $5 USD) and must be paid in cash when you arrive. You can visit from 8 am to 5 pm, and I recommend wearing sunscreen because there is no shade! Since it’s a bit outside of Mexico City, you will either need to rent a car and drive yourself, take the bus, or join a tour.. 

Honestly, for the sake of ease, I’d recommend joining a guided tour. You don’t want to have to drive in that crazy Mexico City traffic! You’ll also have a tour guide that will make the experience way more worthwhile as you learn about the history, and there are often other fun activities included in the tours. 

Here are our favorite Teotihuacan tours from Mexico City!

Teotihuacán Tours

1. Hot Air Balloon Flight over Teotihuacan from Mexico City 

Hot Air Balloons fly over Teotihuacán at sunrise
Hot air balloons fly over Teotihuacán at sunrise

Imagine seeing the ancient ruins from a bird’s eye view as the sun rises! I’m here to make your dream a reality with this hot air balloon flight over Teotihuacan. It makes for an early morning and a long day, but I’m certain this is the most memorable experience you can have in Mexico City.

The day starts with an early 4 am pickup from your hotel, so you can get there in time to catch the sunrise. I think sunrise experiences are so magical because they aren’t nearly as popular as sunset, and riding in a hot air balloon takes this to the next level. The flight is 30-50 minutes and you’ll also be treated to coffee and breakfast. 

After seeing the ruins and pyramids from above, you’ll get to go and explore Teotihuacan up close. You’ll have to select the option to include this tour, but I think it rounds out the experience nicely. 

Speaking of options, this tour is full of them. If you need transportation from your hotel in Mexico City, you can book that for $190 USD. If you have your own mode of transportation, you can book just the hot air balloon flight for $166 USD. Although, I’d really recommend booking transportation from the city, as it’s an early wake-up time and you don’t want to have to worry about navigating foreign roads that early! Finally, you can book transportation from the city plus extra time at Teotihuacan for $190 USD (the same price as just transport alone) so it’s definitely a must!

The tour will range from 5-9 hours if you add visiting the ruins on foot (which you should). Be sure to bring cash so you can pay the entrance fees to the ruins, as it is not included. But pretty much everything else is, so it’s actually a very good price for this cool of an experience.

2. Teotihuacan, Guadalupe Shrine, Tlatelolco, and Tequila Tasting Tour

The main temple at Teotihuacán
The main temple at Teotihuacán
basilica of our lady of guadalupe from the front in Mexico
This is a very important place in Mexico!

This full-day tour is one of the highest-rated Teotihuacan tours out of Mexico City, so it’s a no-brainer we added it to our list!

The best part of the tour is the two hours at Teotihuacan, it’s just too impressive to be topped. I love that it has a 1-hour guided tour, so you can learn all about it, then gives you over an hour to explore on your own. It will give you enough time to truly get a feel for this ancient city!

This tour also stops by Taletalolco, the ancient Aztec market. It was the largest market during their era and is right in the city. You’ll also visit the Shrine of Guadalupe, the most important Catholic religious site in the country. Many people make a pilgrimage here from all over the world, so it was fascinating to tour and learn a little more. 

Lunch and the tequila tasting was another highlight of my experience. We got to try Pulque, Tequila, and Mezcal, all three are staples in Mexican culture! They also served a lovely lunch with local dishes, it was so yummy!

You can choose between a shared tour, which will have up to 35 people and is only $57 USD, or a private tour for $255 USD. It includes all entrance fees and the tequila tasting, but you will have to pay for lunch on your own. This tour is a full 9 hours, so you won’t be able to join the cooking class we have planned next, but you can still do the evening activity!

All details aside, this is a fantastic experience, the guides take good care of you, and you can see three iconic Mexico City sites. 

3. Teotihuacan Private Tour from Mexico City

Wide view of Teotihuacan, Mexico with tourists walking the grounds
What a place!

We think this private tour to Teotihuacan is a fantastic option for those looking for a streamlined experience. Private tours are so easy, and this one only lasts for half the day, leaving time for other activities back in the city (stay tuned!). 

The day starts with a hotel pick-up at 8 am, which will get you to the ruins before the big tour buses arrive. The guides had a wealth of knowledge and seemed to be able to answer every question I had (and there were a lot, trust me). We had a few hours to explore the ruins with our guide and even had some downtime to explore on our own. That’s the beauty of private tours – they are as flexible as you’d like!

After we had our fill of ruins, we got to go for a tequila tasting and even had some mezcal too. I think that the mezcal stole the show for this part of the tour! Entrance fees, transportation, and the tequila tasting are included, but any other souvenirs or food are at your own expense. 

This tour can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 13 people and the price is based on the size of your group, ranging from $112 to $126 USD. They also offer free cancellation 24 hours before the tour departs, just in case your plans change. 

Day 2: Afternoon/Night – Mexican Cooking Class or Lucha Libre

For your last evening in Mexico City, we wanted to leave it up to you! Both this cooking class and a Lucha Libre show are incredible experiences, and after trying both for ourselves we think that either is a great way to finish up your two-day itinerary.

Option 1: Mexican Cooking Class and Cocktails

Making Guacamole on a cooking class in Mexico
Making fresh guacamole was a highlight!

While in Mexico City, we ate a lot of good food – I’m talking a LOT! To try and recreate the magic back home, we always enjoy cooking classes! This Mexican Cooking Class and Cocktails was a fun way to connect with the culture and people, plus we got to eat the amazing food we made. Even if you’re known to burn toast, this tour is a great introduction and the local who teaches it is truly a gem!

Jose was our fearless leader and we spent 3.5 hours with some new friends in the kitchen. We tried our hand at homemade tortillas (harder than it looks) and a delicious tequila cocktail (easier than it looks!). Jose told us that the entrees rotate by season and availability of ingredients, but we made Guisados, which is like a Mexican stew. 

We were stuffed and a little buzzed at the end – someone was heavy-handed with the pours! But we had a fantastic experience overall. This tour is capped at 6 people and they offer 11:30 am and 5 pm options. For this itinerary, you’ll need to book the 5 pm.

It includes all the food and drink costs, plus your amazing guide! They can also accommodate any dietary restrictions, just be sure to tell your host beforehand. This experience is $129 USD and worth every penny if you ask me!

Option 2: Lucha Libre

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at a Lucha Libre show in Mexico city
It’s so much fun!
People Lucha Libre fighting in Mexico City during a show
You don’t have to be close to get amongst the action!

Lucha Libre is a huge part of Mexican culture and is such an entertaining way to spend an evening! The heart of this sport is right here in Mexico City, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go. 

Lucha Libre is essentially theatrical wrestling, you’ll likely recognize the luchador masks and be wowed by their impressive physical feats. All the while the crowd goes crazy, full of passion and energy. It is truly a sight to see! Before you go, you can read about our experience seeing a Lucha Libre show here so you know what to expect!

You can always go to a show by yourself, but we chose to book a tour. It made getting tickets and transportation to and from the arena much easier, and they also usually bring more to the experience like taco and mezcal tastings. Our tour was led by a former luchador, and we found it insightful to learn about the sport. Here are our favorite Lucha Libre tours in Mexico City!

Best Night Ever Tour 

This Best Night Ever Tour is aptly named because it truly was our best night in Mexico City! We started off at a taqueria to fill our belly with tacos, then it was off to a cantina to taste many styles of mezcal. We were thankful we ate so many tacos beforehand because we also tried pulque, which is basically an agave wine. 

By this point, we were ready for some Lucha Libre! Our guide took us to the iconic Arena Mexico and we had an absolute ball at the show. Our group and guide were a lot of fun and we got really into the show, I even lost my voice by the end!

This experience is available on Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 6:30 pm, Sundays at 3:30 pm, and Tuesdays at 7 pm. The exact meeting location depends on which day you select and it is available for all ages, but you have to be 18 to drink alcohol. Kids love Lucha Libre shows though!

All of your food, drinks, and tickets are included, plus a souvenir. If you want any extra drinks or treats at the show, that’s at your own expense. But, for $95 USD and such a memorable experience, we think this tour is well worth it! 

Lucha Libre and Palacio de Bellas Artes

We also love this Lucha Libre tour, which takes all the great elements of the previous tour and adds a visit to the Palacio de Bellas Artes! You’ll learn some history on a walking tour, taste yummy mezcal, and see the famous Lucha Libre show for a memorable night in Mexico City. 

This tour takes off from the Palacio de Bellas Artes and you’ll spend some time walking from each location while learning about the best city sights from your guide. But you won’t have to walk too long without a drink, soon enough you’ll stop by a mezcaleria to taste some locally made mezcal. While this tour doesn’t provide any food, you will learn all about the history of Lucha Libre from your guide, a former luchador. 

Then, it’s time for some Lucha Libre! You’ll walk over to the arena and be amazed by the show. It’s actually a hilarious experience!

Be sure to eat before and wear comfy walking shoes for this tour. You can also bring cash and buy food at the arena. This tour is available on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, Fridays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm. You can book this experience for $95 USD per person. 

Other Activities to do While in Mexico City

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!

If you’re staying longer than 2 days in Mexico City, we’ve got you covered. There are many more fun things to do in Mexico City. Trust me, you’ll have no problem filling that extra time in this bustling city. To give you an idea of some other activities, I’ve highlighted our favorites below!

  • Soak in hot springs – If you’re looking to escape the city for a day, the crystal-blue waters of Las Grutas de Tolantongo Hot Springs are the perfect remedy. They’re set against a backdrop of gorgeous mountains and one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. It’s a bit of a drive, though, which is why I recommend this full-day tour.
  • Shop for local souvenirs – If you want to go shopping or find some local souvenirs, head to the La Ciudadela Artisanal Market. This market showcases artists’ work from around the country for very affordable prices – and the selection is huge!
  • Visit a butterfly reserve – The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is about 2 hours from Mexico City and is home to millions of butterflies. Butterflies visit this UNESCO World Heritage site between November and March, but January and February are the best times to come. The easiest way to get there is by taking this butterfly tour from Mexico City.
  • Join a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour – The Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour is a great way to see multiple neighborhoods on a budget! And if you like what you see, you have the flexibility to hop off and explore it further. Turibus also offers a hop-on hop-off tour stopping at many of the sights I mentioned on this itinerary!
  • Day trip to Puebla and Cholula – If you have a few extra days, visit the towns of Puebla and Cholula! These charming towns have fascinating temples, museums, and stunning town squares. On this organized tour to both cities, you’ll get a feel for life outside the capital.

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. 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.

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico – $$$

For luxury travelers, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is a top choice. This incredible 5-star hotel has the BEST location since it’s right in the Zócalo – the main plaza in the city. This is a beautiful, historic hotel with a lobby that looks like it belongs in a movie! You’re within walking distance of so many of Mexico City’s best sights and the rooms are spacious. Plus, breakfast on the rooftop terrace is a highlight!

Rooms start at $200 USD per night, but you’ll save a lot on transportation costs since you can walk to so many amazing places! Book a room online here.

Hotel MX Roma – $$

Hotel MX Roma is a clean, medium-budget hotel in La Roma, close to shops, bars, and restaurants. It has both standard and 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, free bikes, and 24-hour front desk service. It’s also an allergy-free property, so there’s no smoking and they use hypoallergenic products.

Rooms run $150 USD in peak season. However, you can snag one as cheap as $70 USD a night when you book in advance online!

Selina Hostel – $

For budget travelers, the Selina Hostel in downtown Mexico City is a great, well-known chain. I stayed here during one of my visits and loved the downtown location. Although the area may seem unsafe to some, it’s the historic center of Mexico City and where I spent most of my time. They have a common area, pool table, board games, and a bar – so it’s easy to meet others. If working remotely, there’s also a coworking space for an extra fee.

Bunk beds cost around $25 USD, and private rooms start at $80 USD. If you’re traveling on a budget, you can book Selina Hostel online through Hostelworld or Booking.com.

Thanks for reading!  

couple takes a selfie with a mariachi music player in Mexico City
Thanks for reading!

Mexico City is a vibrant city with so much to do! With only two days, you can definitely get a good feel for the history, culture, people, and food. These are some of our favorite experiences in the city, and while we hope you have more time to explore, we know you’ll have a good time with this itinerary!

Thanks so much for reading our blog! If you found it helpful, be sure to read our other blogs about Mexico as you plan your travels. We’ve been all over this beautiful country and love sharing our experiences! Here are a few to get you started:

Is Mexico City Safe? Tips and Info on Staying Safe

​​22 Things to Know BEFORE Renting a Car in Mexico

12 BEST Places to go Scuba Diving in Mexico