Mexico City’s used to be known as a rough and tumble town. This reputation is quickly changing. Mexico City has become a tourist haven and a great place to visit. To help make your trip easier, I have put together some of my favorite things to do in Mexico City. This list features off the beaten path activities in Mexico City as well as tourist favorites.
#12. Wake up early and watch the city come to life.
Wake up at dawn and wander the almost empty streets of the historic district. Watch the vendors set up for the day. For a few hours, you’ll be the only tourist. Once the sun is up, enjoy a cup of coffee with churros in one of the many coffee shops. This is also a great time to take pictures without the crowds.
#11. Score a Great Picture for Instagram.
This grass wall is located outside the historical downtown restaurant Padrino’s. Later in the day, it gets filled up with tourists – but if you come out around 8 am you can have the entire wall for yourself.
#10: Enjoy 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. So many museums are one reason why Mexico is a great country to explore on a budget.
In addition to visiting the museum, check out the scene outside. Locals hang out here and it’s a great place to people watch.
#9. Stroll the Central Alameda Park
Right next to the museum you’ll find Central Alameda Park, one of the lungs of this city. If you are lucky to visit in spring, as was I enjoy the blooms and check out the beautiful fountains.
#8. Enjoy a Delicious meal at 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.
#7. View the Local Art at 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 museums
#6. Check out 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. Devour a delicious meal 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. And with the house desert –
#4. Study History at the Trotsky House
Few men have had as much impact on history as Leon Trotsky. Exiled from Russia, Leon Trotsky lived and worked in Mexico City. His home and all objects remain as they were when he was alive. Eventually Leon Trotsky lost his life in this very home – killed by people working for Stalin.
#3. 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. You can hire a private guide at the information desk, or stroll on your own. Bring sunblock and water.
#2. Visit Frida Khalo’s Home and Museum
Located in Coyocan, the Blue House was Frida Khalo’s beloved home in Mexico City. She created some of her greatest work here. The museum preserves personal objects and many works of art created by Ms. Khalo.
Mexico City Travel Tip:
Purchase tickets for Frida
#1. Visit 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. To get here take the metro.
Mexico City Travel Tips:
- Not many people here speak English. Don’t expect people to understand you or respond back to you in English. For American tourists, Mexico City is still a somewhat exotic location which makes you feel like an explorer when you are here. People are very nice and try to be helpful, but you’ll need to communicate with sign language unless you speak Spanish.
- Everything is cheap! A full 4-course dinner will run you about $25 and a metro ride is just .50c. Definitely, have cash with you, but most restaurants and shops that cater to tourists will accept credit cards. Depending on your travel style you won’t need more than $100 in converted cash with you for a long weekend if you normally pay for meals and larger purchases with 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. I would suggest sticking to tourist districts for now.
- 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, as that’s considered the safer option.