Mexico City used to be known as a rough and tumble town. This reputation is quickly changing. Today’s new Mexico City is a tourist haven and a great place to visit. To help you maximize your time, check out some of our favorite (popular and off the beaten path) things to do in Mexico City. Pack your bags and let’s travel to “The City of Palaces.”
#12. Get a great Instagram pic at Padrino’s
This grass wall is located outside the historic downtown restaurant Padrino’s. Later in the day, its almost impossible to get a good picture here – tourists are everywhere. But if you come out around 8 am you can have the entire wall to yourself.
#11: Discover w
orld-class art at Palacio De Bella Artes
You may not know it yet, but you are in the museum capital of the world. Mexico City has more museums than any other city, over 150 at last count. Palacio De Bella Artes is one of the most famous.
In addition to visiting the museum, check out the scene outside. Locals hang out here and it’s a great place to people watch.
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#10. Stroll the Central Alameda Park
Right next to Palacio De Bella Artes, you’ll find Central Alameda Park, one of the lungs of this city. Here, walk along the quiet pathways as you enjoy the blooms and fountains.
#9. Enjoy a delicious lunch on Madero Street
The historic pedestrian-only Madero Street is the biggest thoroughfare in the city center. The street is lined with restaurants and shops. This is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner and to people watch.
#8. Explore Chapultepec Castle
Situated in the middle of one of the largest parks in the Western Hemisphere, Chapultepec Castle is impressive. First, explore the castle to see great works of art. Next, check out the terraces for incredible views of the city and the park below. And finally, wander the park to check out the many lakes and lush greenery.
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#7. Check out local art at the Palace of Idurbide
The Palace of Iturbide is a palatial residence and a free museum. Here you can wander galleries and enjoy rotating exhibits of artwork. The museum
#6. Marvel at the architecture in the Palacio Postal and the House of Tiles
Not far from the Palace of Iturbide you’ll find the Casa de Los Azulejos or “House of Tiles” and the old post office, Palacio Postal, both feats of architectural achievement and both free to visit.
If you want to send a postcard from Mexico City, the Palacio Postal is the perfect location to do so.
#5. Dine on fine cruisine in Cafe De Tacuba
Café De Tacuba is a hundred-year-old restaurant in the middle of the historic district. Start your meal with their famous guacamole. And finish with the house desert –
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#4. Study history at the Trotsky House
Few men have had as much impact on history as Leon Trotsky. One of the leaders of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky was eventually exiled from Russia. He settled in Mexico City, befriended by the great Frida Khalo. Eventually, Trotsky was killed by another of the Red Revolution’s leaders – Stalin. Today you can tour his home and see all his personal belongings in this communist outpost of Mexico City.
#3. Take a day trip to Teotihuacan
One of the best day trips from Mexico City, Teotihuacan is a huge, ancient complex of well-preserved pyramids, buildings and burial grounds. To get here either use public transportation or hire a private driver. The complex stretches on for miles. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Once you get here you can hire a private guide at the information desk, or explore on your own. This area is very hot, and there is almost no shade, so bring sunblock and a water bottle.
#2. Visit Frida Khalo’s home and museum
Located in Coyocan neighborhood, the Blue House was Frida Khalo’s beloved home in Mexico City. She created some of her most famous paintings here. The museum preserves personal objects and many works of art by Ms. Khalo.
Purchase tickets for Frida Khalo’s house in advance online. Lines are long and tickets for the day sell out early.
#1. Explore the tony neighborhood of Coyocan
One of Mexico wealthiest districts, Coyocan is full of colorful homes and old shady trees. It’s also the location of both Frida Kahlo house and the Trotsky house. You’ll find plenty of Insta worthy spots in Coyocan – and much fewer people than in the historic downtown.
Walk via one of the avenues named after a great city – Paris, Landes, Berlin or Vienna. Admire the colorful mansions and the blooming trees along the way.
Mexico City safety and travel tips.
- Few local residents speak English. Don’t expect people to understand you or respond back to you in English. Sign language and google translate are very helpful in Mexico City.
- Everything is cheap! A full 4-course dinner will run you about $25 and a metro ride is just .50c. Bring cash with you, but most restaurants and shops that cater to tourists will accept credit cards.
- Although Mexico City has been cleaned up a lot in recent years some neighborhoods remain dangerous. Before you venture into an unknown neighborhood be sure to ask your hotel if it’s safe.
- Taxis can be iffy and not always safe. When you are leaving the airport you can pay for the taxi inside the terminal, this way you get an authorized (safe) taxi. After that, I suggest you stick with Uber or the metro, both safer options in Mexico City.