Finally--we have compiled the top 40 things to do in Mexico City!
Although there are literally hundreds of things to do and see in this incredible city, we have narrowed the list to the top 40 must sees in the big city! Whether your plan is to spend one week or one year in Mexico City, the options are endless for things to do, places to see, and new foods to try! Here are some of our favorite things to do around Mexico City--
1. Roam around the Zócalo
The Zocalo is a great place to take pictures of the giant Mexican flag and see the Palacio Nacional and Metropolitan Cathedral. The Zócalo is also often the place for large concerts and other events held in the city center.
2. Visit the House of Frida Kahlo
This is one of the top rated things to do in Mexico City and we could not agree more! This museum is SO well done. From artifacts to details, this place is truly incredible. Tip: buy your tickets online ahead of your visit to avoid the line.
3. Indulge in Lucha Libre
Lucha Libre may seem like an overly touristy thing to do, and it probably is, but we had so much fun! The tickets were relatively inexpensive and the place had such a crazy energy running throughout the entire show. Tip: you have to leave all cameras (but not phones) at the front paqueteria to be picked up after the show as there is a strict no filming/no picture policy.
4. Head to the Top of the Latinoamericana Building
Want a 360-degree birds eye view of Mexico City? This is exactly the place to do it! Cost is $110 pesos per adult and you are allowed to spend as long as you want at three separate levels at the top. Take the elevator to the top at sunset for some incredible views!
5. Try Street Food in Coyoacán
Coyoacán is known for several incredible things, but the street food is one of the best parts about this neighborhood! Wander around the blocks near the market and you are sure to find some delicious street treats.
6. Visit the the Metropolitan Cathedral
Open to the public, this church is massive and extraordinary to see. Wander through one of the oldest churches in Latin America which began construction in 1573.
7. Take the Turibus around Town
The Turibus is a large double decker hop on-hop off bus tour around Mexico City. It has four different routes that allow you to see a large portion of CDMX. The Turi Busses run from 9am to 9pm every day and cost 140 pesos per person on weekdays and 165 pesos per person on weekends. You can buy your ticket right when you get on the bus, so you don’t need to worry about printing off tickets or incurring any headaches to make this tour happen. Your ticket is good for all 4 bus routes (downtown, southside, Polanco, and Basilica.) One great thing about the Mexico City Turi Bus is the audio program that gives you a quick history of what you are seeing. We could have walked to some of the areas that we saw but it would have taken way longer and we wouldn’t know what the heck we were looking at!
8. Board the Paddle Boats in Chapultepec
Located inside Chapultepec, these paddle boats are a lot of fun and are a great, inexpensive way to enjoy the afternoon.
9. Walk along Madero Street
One of the busiest streets in the city, this pedestrian only street rivals Times Square. Lined with tons of places to shop, this street is always full of energy!
10. Visit the Beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes
This building is incredible on the outside as well as on the inside! The upstairs area boasts several iconic murals from well-known artists and the museum is also a sight to see
11. Taste the Treats in Pasteleria Madrid
This bakery opened its doors in 1939 and has amazing bread, pastries, and cakes. This is a great opportunity to try all different sorts of sweet bread since most pieces are around 8 pesos or less than 50 cents!
12. Visit the Pyramids of Teotihuacan
Less than two hours away from the heart of Mexico City is Teotihucan, an archaeological site containing over 100 pyramids. Take a tour with Amigo Tours to explore what was once the largest pre-Columbus American cities with over 125,000 people living there!
Our experience was full of information, exploring, and comfortable accommodations and we will remember this magical place for a long time. We chose to book with Amigo Tours and were so glad that we did! From pick up to drop off, our guide was energetic, fun, and so well informed. We have outlined a few tips below that really made our trip the absolute best it could be!
VISIT EARLY: We opted for the sunrise tour and would highly recommend this option. Meeting the guide at 6:20AM was a bit early, but we were able to beat the crowds to the pyramids and when we first got there, had the entire place to ourselves! We would also recommend avoiding visiting on a weekend if at all possible. Sundays are free and therefore can get extremely crowded. (Note: cost of entry is $70 pesos on every other day and is included the price of the tour with Amigo Tours.)
CHOOSE A GUIDED TOUR: Our tour guide with Amigo Tours is an archaeologist and he provided so much insight and information on what we were looking at. His energy level was high and lasted throughout the day. I typically do not choose guided options for tours/museums/etc, but this is definitely the way to go for the pyramids. The information he shared was not only incredible, it was entertaining and interesting! He really chose the neat information to share and kept everyone engaged the entire day!
WATER AND SNACKS: Our bus stopped once on the way to the pyramids for a quick bathroom break and a chance to grab coffee. The gas station was nice, clean, and had plenty of options for breakfast, snacks, drinks, and everything in between. This is the place to grab enough water and snacks for the day, as well as use the clean restrooms. There are not a lot of options for these things once arriving at the actual pyramids.
WHAT TO BRING: While we went early in the morning, it really heated up around 10:30AM. There are obviously no trees around the pyramids and thus, no shade at all. The sun is intense and beaming! We recommend bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Also, tons of walking is involved! Obviously climbing the tall, narrow stairs to the top of the Sun and Moon pyramids involves lots of walking, but the actual grounds in between all 174 pyramids is huge. Come prepared with comfy tennis shoes ready to get lots of steps in!
13. Visit the Museum of Anthropology
This is one of the largest museums in Mexico City and is incredible! There are tons and tons of artifacts separated into different regions and time periods in Mexico.
14. Wander Through Parque Mexico
Parque Mexico is a big, beautifully maintained park in the Condesa neighborhood. It is really large and has a work out area, a playground, a large pond, a dog park, and an amphitheater. Added bonus: there are a few vendors around the park with snacks!
15. See Incredible Art in San Angel on a Saturday
Artists of all types set up their beautiful pieces of art every Saturday in the two main squares in the San Angel neighborhood. This is a lively area and a lot of fun to wander around on a nice Saturday morning.
We arrived around 10am and both parks were packed with artists setting up their creations! From abstract creations to textured oil paintings to sculptures, the diversity of the art in the parks on Saturdays in San Angel is incredible. We had the opportunity to interview some of the artists and a few of them have been coming to share and sell their art for more than 25 years! We ran into Ricardo, one of our amigos that watches our videos. I instantly felt as if I had just shaken the hand of a famous person! His art is incredible. And he did the coolest thing we could ever imagine--he GAVE us a piece of his art! Neither Greg or I are very artistically inclined and this is our first piece of art to own and wow is it a special one! Here is a pic of Ricardo, an incredible artist and SUCH a nice guy:
There was a huge mariachi band playing celebratory tunes for a couple that got engaged there in the park. There were ice cream vendors, churro vendors, and everything in between. The park was packed by 12:30pm with people wandering around to enjoy the art. In my opinion, this is the best place to see art in the city. Bonus: it is free and you can actually meet the incredibly talented artists!!
We also took the opportunity to wander off the beaten path in San Angel to see what the neighborhood is all about. And WOW-some of San Angel is insanely fancy! There are beautiful mansions behind closed gates with beautiful flowers and huge wooden doors. The streets are quiet and colorful.
Where: Plaza San Jacinto 11, San Ángel TNT, San Ángel, 01000 Ciudad de México, CDMX
When: Every Saturday beginning at 10:00AM
16. Take a Walk Through Alemeda Park
This park is located right in the heart of downtown and people can always be found here relaxing and enjoying the nice weather of Mexico City. Plenty of benches and shade make this park the perfect place to relax and recharge!
17. Eat at Pizza del Perro Negro
The most interesting combinations for pizza can be found here! If you are in search of some of the best pizza around or just want a quick break from Mexico food, this place is your place.
18. Check out the Soumaya Museum
The Soumaya Museum is one of our absolute favorite museums in the entire city! This is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slims' personal art collection and wow is it extravagant! There are 66,000 pieces of work here. I am perhaps most amazed by the fact that a person, ONE single person, has a collection of 66,000 pieces of anything-that's crazy!
The museum itself is massive and beautiful. It is free admission, which makes it easily accessible for everyone. Greg loved this museum better than any others we have been to and I think his reasoning is spot on--
The space is used brilliantly. We went on a Sunday midday and while it was busy, the space is organized in such a way that there was plenty of room to spread out and we never felt cramped.
The diversity of the art here is tremendous! There is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you like Italian-inspired pieces or are intrigued by sculptures, there is something for everyone to love!
The museum is free. That is right-zero admission every single day! This is truly awesome. It allows all different sorts of people to experience art without boundaries!
19. Visit the neighborhood of Santa Fe
Santa Fe is a major business district in the western part of Mexico City with lots of high-rise, modern buildings reaching into the sky. A great place to explore in this neighborhood is the new Parque La Mexicana!
20. Roam through the Chapultepec Castle
Of all of the museum type attractions in Mexico City, this is one of our favorites! Pro tip: the museum is free on Sundays but usually very crowded. Try heading there during the middle of the week—the 70 peso entrance fee will be worth it. Museum is closed on Mondays.
21. Taste Mazapán
Mazapán is typically made of ground almonds (sometimes peanuts), sugar, and egg whites. It is powdery, sweet, and delicious! Mexico City has tons of mazapán around town that is incredible! Try some at Mazapanes Toledo in El Centro.
22. Visit Los Pinos
Los Pinos opened its doors to the public on December 1, 2018. After housing 14 of Mexico’s past leaders, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador decided to open the space up for the public to explore. Since this is super high on our list of must-sees in Mexico City, here are a few more details about Los Pinos--
HOW TO GET THERE
The best spot to enter the residences it at the intersection of Av Constituyentes and Av Quebrada. Note—there is no parking available here—only a place for an Uber or taxi to quickly drop you off. You will walk in towards the park on Av Quebrada about 300 meters to the entrance on the left.
Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00AM-5:00PM. We would recommend arriving around 9:30AM-9:45AM. As we were leaving around 12:30PM or so, the property was substantially more crowded than at 10:00AM when the property opened.
completely FREE. That is right! What is probably the most incredible “museum” in all of Mexico is 100% completely free during all open hours! (Bonus: you can even take pictures and videos for free too!)
PLACES TO VISIT
Now open to the public are the following highlights and places of interest within Los Pinos:
♦ Calzada de los Presidentes: a beautiful walkway with statues of all Mexican leaders from Lázaro Cárdenas to Enrique Peña Nieto
♦ Casa Miguel Alemán: the main, massive house on the property where you can wander through the Vasconcelos Library, the president's office, several reception rooms, as well as the kitchen and bedroom/living space of former presidents. (Yes—you can even see their massive closet space!)
♦ The Path of Democracy: a winding walkway in between the houses that doubles as a picturesque botanical garden space. This portion is lined with statues of important historical figures in Mexico’s democracy.
♦ Casa Miguel de la Madrid: you can access the Board Room of the Cabinet as well as another presidential office
♦ Venustiano Carranza Hall: here you can see a portrait of this former president by David Alfaro Siqueiros as well a HUGE meeting room with 50 seats
♦ Casa Lázaro Cárdenas: this was the very first the first one in the complex, and is where President Lázaro Cárdenas chose to live instead of the Castillo de Chapultepec so that the castle could be opened to the public.
♦ Arrive early, around 9:30AM-9:45AM to avoid the crowds.
♦ Bring a camera!
♦ We walked around 10,000 steps just throughout the property so plan to wear comfortable shoes for lots of walking.
♦ There is no food or drinks anywhere around here. I did see a few water fountains around the property, but not much else anywhere near.
♦ You can plan to spend about two hours wandering through the grounds.
Well, that completes our list of the TOP 40 things to do in Mexico City! Enjoy one of the most spectacular cities in all of the world!
23. Visit an old Churreria at El Moro
This place is incredible! It is so reasonably priced and an awesome way to spend a chilly evening in the city! The waitresses uniforms are set back in time and this is a special place with so much history.
24. Board the Boats in Xochilmilco
Located on the far south side of the city, you can board a small boat with about 12 people and explore these beautiful canals. There are boat vendors along the way selling cerveza and snacks.
25. Eat a Torta de Chilaquil
It is just what you should do in Mexico City! This is exactly what it sounds like: broken chips smothered in red or green sauce, with onions and cheese. They also put milanesa de pollo inside! There is a specific place we would recommend in Condesa. Address: Av. Tamaulipas 146, Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México. Tip: go early because the line can get really long.
26. Take a Stroll Along the Reforma
Both side of the Reforma are lined with big office buildings and there are incredible statues and sculptures to see along the way. A good place to start is the Angel of Independence, where you can walk all the way to Chapultepec.
27. Eat at Fishers Seafood
A staple in Mexico City and now all across Mexico, this place should not be missed. Very inexpensive, quality seafood. Do not worry seafood haters (myself included), there are plenty of non marisco options here too!
We recently visited Fisher's for the send time in a few weeks because ever since we tasted their delicious chilaquiles con mariscos, we have been dreaming of them again! Fisher's has such an interesting history-a stand alone small restaurant opened its doors in the area of Naucalpán on October 10, 1970. With only four tables, a cold menu and disposable dishes, a tradition was born.
Now with 18 locations all throughout Mexico City, this once hole-in-the-wall place is absolutely thriving. There was a LINE 10 minutes before the restaurant even opened. The food is incredible! We were served a complimentary smoked marlin tostada the moment we sat down and wow-what a start to a delicious brunch! We have had chilaquiles con mariscos, the three cheese and egg sandwich, French toast, and of course a Modelo with shrimp (we like our food!) and all has been absolutely amazing!
Here are a few pictures of our incredible cuisine! Priced at such a low level (most breakfast and brunch dishes are less than $100 pesos!), Fisher's has quickly become one of our very favorite breakfast spots!
28. Go to a Soccer Game
If you have the opportunity, visiting Estadio Azteca should be on your list of things to do in Mexico City. We watched America vs. Cruz Azul there and the sound in the stadium is something incredible to experience.
29. Visit the Museo Nacional de Arte
This place is located right in the heart of downtown and is a great place to start in exploring all of the incredible, world class museums offered in Mexico City.
30. Rent a Bike on the Reforma
The Reforma shuts down traffic to cars and busses every Sunday morning and there are bike rentals available (some free!). This is a great way to see the Reforma and all of the beautiful statues along it without having to grab a cab/uber.
31. Try Traditional Mexican Candy
There are tons of places to try traditional Mexican candies in Mexico City. Any neighborhood market would be a great place to start. You can also take a look inside one of the old candy shops in the city, Dulceria de Celaya located in El Centro.
32. Eat Your Way Through Chinatown
Chinatown is located right across the street from the Alemeda Park in Centro Historico. It has recently been completely remodeled, is nicely decorated and feels very festive. On these you can find some really neat shops as well as the best Chinese cuisine in the city! If possible, try to check out the Chinese New Year celebration (sometime in January) in CDMX.
Packed with people, music, and food, this celebration was one to remember! 2018 was the year of the dog which is the 11th of 12 symbols celebrated on the Chinese zodiac sign. There were tons of dog-inspired trinkets, toys, and decorations everywhere. (All of which made this animal lover overjoyed!) This celebration is quite popular in Mexico City. In fact, we have never, EVER seen this many people in one place. (That is saying something for CDMX!) It was really neat to have the opportunity to experience a different culture’s celebration while we are living in a culture different than our original one to begin with...wow that's a lot of culture!
We had street food egg rolls that were probably the best we had ever tasted, we tried some sort of tea with boba, and of course we had plenty of fortune cookies! We have ben to Barrio China or Chinatown here in Mexico City before and have tried the incredible food, so we skipped actual restaurants this time around. I did see that they were offering a special menu for the celebration that was reasonably priced and came with a ton of food!
There was a parade with drums, dragons, and of course dancing. It was very dramatic with simple to complex drum beats and very serious parade participants. While it was indeed a celebration, it also seemed very serious and respectful. Later, there was a performance with large dragons, Chinese martial artists, and intense drums.
This celebration was one we will remember forever!
33. Try the Enchiladas at Sanborns inside Casa Azulejos
There are Sanborns all across Mexico, but this one is special. It is located in the heart of El Centro right on Madero street and is covered with beautiful blue and white tiles from the state of Puebla. It is worth having a meal here, especially if you want some of the best molletes around!
34. Listen to Mariachi at Cafe Tacuba
Cafe Tacuba is a very old, historic restaurant located on none other than, you guessed it, Tacuba Street in downtown. The food is really tasty and the huge mariachi band fills the entire building with some of the best music around!
35. Visit the Old Post Office
Located in El Centro, this building is worth stepping inside of! The staircases are beautifully detailed in gold and the entire building is astounding.
36. Get Lost in Chapultepec Park
Chapultepec Park is like nothing else we have seen. We have visited this park several times and have still only explored a tiny piece of this tree-filled, peaceful park in the heart of the city.
37. Visit the Palacio Nacional
This building is right along the Zócalo and it is a beautiful building, inside and out! Admission is free and there is a lot of open space to explore in this giant complex.
38. Explore the Coyoacán Market
This is anything but a regular neighborhood market in Mexico! Coyoacán is known for some of the best street type food in the entire city and the market has some of the best places to eat. Come hungry and be prepared to be amazed.
39. Walk Along Avenida Presidente Masaryk Street in Polanco
This street is famous for boasting the most expensive, exclusive shopping in all of Mexico City and in Mexico as a whole.
40. Explore the Botanical Garden in Chapultepec
This is merely a small section of the enormous Chapultepec Park but it is beautiful! Not very crowded, this free botanical garden is clean, very well manicured, and so very peaceful and quiet.
There you have it! 40 of our favorite things to do in Mexico City! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have regarding any of these activities and all things Mexico City!
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.