Mexico City is a destination that offers a perfect blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and modern charm. From its stunning architecture and historic sites, to its thriving food and arts scene, this city is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s ancient civilizations, sampling its delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in its lively culture, the Mexican capital has it all. In this guide, we will take you on a journey through the heart of CDMX, and show you the best things to see and do in this amazing city, so you can make the most of your time in this incredible megalopolis.
What to do in Mexico City?
There’s a wealth of exciting activities for visitors of all ages and interests in CDMX. For history buffs, Historic center of Mexico City is a must-visit, where you can learn about the ancient civilizations of Mexico. Art and design lovers can visit galleries and exhibitions, including Casa Gilardi and Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo. Adventure seekers can take a bike tour or walk through the city’s beautiful parks, such as Bosque de Chapultepec, and shoppers will love exploring the Polanco area. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone in Mexico City.
Hop aboard an hop-on hop-off tourist bus in Mexico City
Taking a tourist bus in Mexico City is a great way to see the sights and learn about the city. Every time I visit a city for the first time (just like I did in Valencia, Spain), I get a ticket for an hop-on hop-off tourist bus, because it’s a convenient and affordable way to explore the city and visit popular tourist destinations. The buses have multiple stops and run along a set route, allowing you to get on and off at any of the stops to explore the area at your own pace. Some of the stops on the tour route include the National Museum of Anthropology, Chapultepec Park, and the historic center of the city. The buses are equipped with audio guides in multiple languages, providing interesting and informative commentary about the city’s landmarks and history. I decided to go with a company named City Tour, because it had the best ratings and the best prices, but there are several other options, which you can all book online or in person, at the bus.
Make a stop at Bosque de Chapultepec on your Mexico City bus tour
Bosque de Chapultepec is one of the largest parks in the city. It is a popular destination for picnics, jogging, and other outdoor activities. While you’re there, take time to take a selfie in front of the CDMX giant letters. Inside the park, at the very top of the hill, you’ll find another great Mexico City attraction: Castillo de Chapultepec — which is definitely worth a visit.
Another popular stop on the hop-on hop-off bus: Historic center of Mexico City
The historic center of Mexico City is a must-visit for any traveler to the city. This vibrant neighborhood is steeped in history, with colonial-era buildings, ancient Aztec ruins, and stunning cathedrals. Visitors can explore the Templo Mayor, which was once the center of the Aztec capital, and admire the stunning Baroque architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral. The center is also home to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a cultural center that houses concerts, exhibitions, and performances, as well as the Alameda Park, a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
More about Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City Historic center
This beautiful building is a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture and is considered one of the most important cultural institutions in the country. The building is home to a number of galleries and museums, including the Museum of Mexican Art, which houses one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the world.
Visit Casa Gilardi by renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán
Casa Gilardi, also known as Casa Estudio Luis Barragán, is a landmark modernist building in Mexico City, designed by renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán. This stunning residence, located in the Chapultepec neighbourhood, is considered one of the finest examples of Mexican modernist architecture and is a must-visit for any lover of design and architecture. Visitors to Casa Gilardi can tour the house, which is filled with bright colors, intricate patterns, and bold design elements, and learn about the life and work of Barragán. The house also features a beautiful garden with a reflecting pool, which adds to the tranquil and serene atmosphere of the space. Casa Gilardi is a unique and inspiring architectural gem, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of Mexican design and architecture.
Shopping in the Polanco neighbourhood of Mexico City
If you want to have a great shopping experience while you’re in Mexico City, head over to Polanco neighbourhood. Polanco is a chic and upscale area in Mexico City that is well-known for its high-end shopping, dining, and nightlife. The neighbourhood is home to a variety of upscale boutiques and designer shops, but what really caught my attention are smaller independent boutiques like Xinú Perfumes, a high perfumery brand that uses aromatic ingredients that are indigenous to the country of Mexico. In this area of the city, you’ll also find one of the most beautiful Apple stores I’ve ever seen, which is right in front of Museo Jumex, another place worth visiting whether it’s for the architecture or the exhibits.
Explore Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo
Visiting Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in Mexico City is a must-see for art and history lovers. This house museum was the former studio and home of the famous Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and is now a cultural center showcasing their works and their lives. Visitors can expect to see original paintings, sketches, and personal objects, as well as photographs and murals by Rivera. The house, built in the modernist style, is also an architectural gem in its own right and provides a unique glimpse into the artists’ world. With its rich history and cultural significance, a visit to Casa Estudio is a memorable and enlightening experience.
If you’re in the area on a Saturday, go to El Bazar Sábado…
Where to eat in Mexico City?
Mexico City is also a great destination for foodies. The city is known for its rich and diverse cuisine, which is a combination of indigenous, Spanish, and other international flavours. You can find great options throughout the city: everything from traditional Mexican street food to fresh seafood, and the stylish D.F. restaurants, which offer a range of innovative dishes made with local ingredients. Here are a few restaurants I was able to try and I can definitely recommend to you, from breakfast all the way to late night snacks.
Grab a pastry like a local before breakfast at Panadería Rosetta
Panadería Rosetta is a bakery that is famous for its delicious and authentic Mexican baked goods, made using traditional recipes and the freshest ingredients. The guava pastry, in particular, is a standout treat, with its flaky, buttery crust and sweet, fruity filling. The pastry is made fresh every day, and the bakery often sells out, so be prepared to wait in line. However, the wait is well worth it, as the pastry is a true taste of Mexico and a perfect representation of the country’s rich culinary heritage.
Breakfast at Niddo in Mexico City
Having breakfast at Niddo in Mexico City is a delicious way to start the day. This charming cafe serves up a variety of traditional Mexican breakfast dishes, along with more modern options like avocado toast and smoothie bowls. The menu is made using fresh and local ingredients, so the flavors are always vibrant and satisfying. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, with warm lighting, comfortable seating, and friendly staff. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, Niddo has something to offer. The cafe is also a great spot for people watching, as it is located in a bustling neighbourhood full of energy and life.
Scrumptious lunch at Molino “El Pujol”
Molino “El Pujol” is the best place to have lunch for a number of reasons. Firstly, the restaurant is known for its contemporary Mexican cuisine, which takes traditional dishes and gives them a modern twist. The menu features a wide range of delicious and creative dishes, made using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Secondly, the atmosphere is sophisticated and welcoming, with warm lighting, elegant decor, and friendly staff. The restaurant is also located in a bustling neighbourhood, making it a great spot for taking in the local vibe. Finally, Molino “El Pujol” is owned and operated by world-renowned chef Enrique Olvera, who has won numerous awards for his culinary creations. With its combination of delicious food, inviting atmosphere, and top-notch culinary expertise, Molino “El Pujol” is the ultimate destination for a memorable and satisfying lunch in Mexico City.
A real Mexican seafood feast at Contramar in Mexico City
If you have the chance, you should get a reservation at Contramar for a dining experience like no other. This seafood restaurant is known for its fresh and flavourful dishes, which are expertly prepared using the finest ingredients. The menu features a range of seafood-focused options, from raw oysters and ceviche to grilled fish and other succulent seafood preparations. For the most memorable meal, get an order of atún tostadas, aguachile verde de camarón along with a banana tart. With its combination of fresh, delicious food and an energetic, upscale atmosphere, dinner at Contramar is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
Local and international flavours at Masala y Maiz
Masala y Maiz offers a unique and flavourful experience that combines traditional Mexican ingredients with Indian spices and cooking techniques. This fusion restaurant offers a menu filled with creative dishes, each one more delicious than the next. Whether you’re in the mood for a spicy curry or a more traditional Mexican dish, Masala y Maiz has something to offer.
Late night churro snack at Churrería El Moro
The churros from Churrería El Moro are considered the best for a number of reasons. Firstly, the churros are made fresh throughout the day, ensuring that they are always hot, crispy, and delicious. Secondly, the dough used to make the churros is made in-house, using a secret family recipe that has been passed down for generations. The result is a churro that is light, airy, and perfectly crispy, with just the right balance of sweetness. Finally, the churros are served with a rich, velvety hot chocolate, which is the perfect complement to the warm and crunchy churros. P.S.: there are plenty of locations throughout the city, so it’s pretty sure you’ll stumble upon one at any point during your trip.
Where to stay in Mexico City?
Mexico City offers a variety of accommodation options for travellers, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Some popular neighbourhoods for tourists to stay in include Condesa, Roma, and Polanco, all of which offer easy access to restaurants, shopping, and popular tourist attractions. If you’re looking for a more historic and cultural experience, consider staying in the historic center, home to many of the city’s oldest and most iconic buildings, including the Cathedral Metropolitana and the National Palace. For a quieter and more upscale option, consider staying in the upscale neighbourhood of Santa Fe, known for its modern architecture and shopping centres. Regardless of your preference, Mexico City has something for everyone.
Here are 5 great Airbnb in Mexico City
Mexico City is a city that is overflowing with history, culture, and adventure. From exploring the ancient ruins and museums, to savoring the city’s delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone in this vibrant metropolis. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, Mexico City is the perfect destination for your next trip. With a tourist bus, you can easily navigate the city and see the best of what it has to offer. So, book your trip today and get ready to discover the best of Mexico City!