Mexico City is colorful and exciting. There’s always something going on. The streets are always packed, the markets are always full. There are so many places to get great Mexican food, including street food stalls, top restaurants, and food markets. It’s just never dull.
With so many great things to check out while you’re there, you’re going to need our essential travel guide to Mexico City, which includes what to see, do, eat and drink in the city.
» Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines, and there are plenty of unique foods to try in Mexico City.
Transportation options are plentiful in the city, allowing you to get out and explore every corner with ease. We even took Uber rides from one side of the huge city to the other for only a couple of dollars.
And believe me when I say there are a ton of things to do. While I don’t always recommend it, the Hop On Hop Off bus is a great way to see Mexico City, because it goes to so many of the top attractions and makes getting around so easy.
I think it’s best to spend at least 3 days in Mexico City to get a true feel for it. You need time to try the food, eat in the many restaurants, and go on long walks through the neighborhoods, as well as seeing the top sights.
Spending more time in Mexico? Check out our list of 8 beautiful places to visit in Mexico and check out all the delicious food you must try in Mexico. See our guides for Cancun, Mexico City, and Cabo San Lucas.
Quick. Check these necessities off your prep list!
- There’s no one-size-fits-all travel insurance. Get a personalized quote from Yonder.
- The right luggage can make or break your trip. These hard-sided suitcases make traveling a breeze.
- Find your rental car on Rentalcars.com. They search all major rental companies to find the best deal.
When to Visit Mexico City
If you want to visit when the weather is at its best, plan your trip for March – May, or in the later part of the year for shoulder season prices. It can get extremely hot and rainy during the summer, but it’s never really too cold.
If you want something different to do for Christmas, Mexico City is actually alive and festive at the holidays. They put on a major Christmas show in the Zocolo with tons of Christmas lights, large floats, and major decorations. You can find special Christmas dinners happening all over town.
Don’t forget to check out our infographic guide below (scroll down) to discover the best things to do, and places to eat and drink in Mexico City. ↓
What to Do in Mexico City
There are so many fun things to do in Mexico City, like walking around Polanco, activities at Chapultepek Forest, taking a day trip to the pyramids, or indulging in all these great foods at Mercado Roma.
Check out these great Mexico City dining experiences. I highly recommend eating at Pujol restaurant for a fine dining look at ancient Mexican ingredients.
Want to plan ahead and book some of the activities we mention below, plus a few more? We’ll make it easy on you. Check out these links to book great tours in Mexico City:
- Teotihuacan Morning Tour with an Archeologist and Tequila Tasting
- Mexican Food Cooking Class
- Historic Center Food Tour in Mexico City
- A Night of Tacos and Mezcal in Mexico City
What & Where to Eat in Mexico City
Mexico City is well known for their food scene, which spans from amazing street food to high-end restaurants, and even a few of the world’s top 50 restaurants, like Pujol.
You don’t wan to miss these specialties while in the city:
- El Caguamo for fresh seafood (Centro)
- La Reina de la Roma for carnitas (Colonia Roma)
- El Pescadito for tacos (Colonia Condesa)
One of the coolest dining experiences you can have in Mexico City is at La Gruta, a restaurant in a cava that’s lit by candlelight.
When you’re ready for some libations, be sure to do a mezcal tasting at one of the top Mezcalarias in Mexico City. Our favorites are:
- La Botica (multiple locations)
- La Nacional (Roma Norte)
- La Clandestina (Colonia Condesa)
- El Mexicano (Juarez)
Where to Stay in Mexico City
In such a large city, there are many different areas to stay in. I love it when there’s one stand out neighborhood where tourists should stay in a city, but that’s not really the case in Mexico City.
Where you stay should depend on what you like most. History lovers should stay in Centro Historico or Reforma, food lovers should stay in Zona Roma, and shopping fanatics should stay in Polanco.
Here are our top recommendations. I cannot recommend any of these enough. All three are great hotels with a high standard of service and professionalism:
- IN REFORMA: Hilton Reforma ⇒ Read reviews | Book a stay
- IN REFORMA: Marriott Reforma ⇒ Read reviews | Book a stay
- IN POLANCO: Hyatt Regency Mexico City ⇒ Read reviews | Book a stay
>>Ready to explore more of Mexico? Check out these 8 beautiful place to visit in Mexico.
Tours to Book:
Essential Travel Guide to Mexico City
Read More About Mexico City
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Be Prepared For Travel
Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:
🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home
- Find and book the best hotel (our favorite booking site is Expedia)
- Research flight options (our favorite tool is Skyscanner)
- Book a tour (we always use Viator to find the best tours)
- Rent a car through Discover Cars (they search the best deals for you!)
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited over 75 countries.
18 thoughts on “Essential Travel Guide to Mexico City”
Thank you for this great article 🙂
Very informative article.
Amazing! For people like me who are more visual and struggle with large blocks of text, this is perfect 🙂 Isn’t it amazing how uber has taken off in the last year – like almost everywhere in the world?
Yes, and Uber really saved our butts in Mexico City because I broke my ankle on that trip and I wouldn’t have been able to get around so easily without it.
This is awesome! Pinning it now. I wish I had this graphic for every place I want to visit.
I’m working on it, Lesley! Check our destination page for more. 🙂
Wow! Very handy guide, thanks!
Great guide–thanks for sharing! I’ve never been to Mexico, but this made me want to visit! I think I’d prefer Mexico City over the beach towns–the culture is just too interesting!
I much prefer Mexico City. The beaches serve their purpose, but they aren’t the real Mexico.
Great pdf. I have saved this for when I do a short travel break to Mexico City.
Great, Jennifer. I’m sure it will come in handy.
This is a great post and a great idea (creating a PDF for quick reference) Very informative!
What a great post! Everything you need to know about Mexico City in one easy to read place.
Great idea for a post. Pinned it for my future travels 🙂
Mexico City Top 10 Attractions
While visiting Mexico City there are a lot of attractions that you should be aware of to possibly plan into your trip. The esteemed Federal District locality of Mexico has attractions which you could be familiar and others which aren’t that familiar to non local locals of Mexico City we have put together a Top 10 list to help you:
1. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
2. Piramides de Teotihuacan
3. Castillo de Chapultepec
4. Palacio de Bellas Artes
5. Edificio de Correos
6. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso
7. Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino
8. Museo Memoria y Tolerancia
9. National Palace (Palacio Nacional)
These are a simple starting point if you have taken a quality guide book you with discover these more and if you have long enough in Mexico City. You will surely discover an array of interesting attractions and locations about the Mexico City vicinity of Mexico.
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