Skip to content

Discover the Best Things to Do in Mexico City: A Comprehensive Guide

Photo things to do in mexico city

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With a population of over 21 million people, it is one of the largest cities in the world. The city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with ancient ruins and colonial architecture coexisting with modern skyscrapers and bustling markets.

The city is located in the Valley of Mexico, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Its high altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 feet) above sea level gives it a mild and pleasant climate year-round. However, due to its location in a valley, the city is prone to air pollution and smog.

Mexico City is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers. It offers a wide range of attractions and activities, from exploring ancient ruins to experiencing the vibrant nightlife and sampling delicious Mexican cuisine. The city’s rich cultural heritage, diverse art scene, and friendly locals make it an exciting and memorable place to visit.

Key Takeaways

  • Mexico City is a vibrant and culturally rich destination with a fascinating history.
  • Visitors can explore historical landmarks, museums, and street art to discover the city’s art scene.
  • The city’s nightlife and entertainment scene offers a variety of options for all tastes.
  • Mexican cuisine is a must-try, from street food to fine dining experiences.
  • Shopping in Mexico City ranges from traditional markets to designer boutiques, and outdoor activities include parks, gardens, and sports.

Exploring Mexico City’s Historical Landmarks and Cultural Heritage

One of the highlights of visiting Mexico City is exploring its historical landmarks and cultural heritage. The city is home to numerous ancient ruins and historic sites that offer a glimpse into Mexico’s fascinating past.

One must-visit site is the ancient city of Teotihuacan, located just outside of Mexico City. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to the famous Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Climbing to the top of these pyramids offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also explore the Avenue of the Dead, which was once the main thoroughfare of this ancient city.

In the heart of Mexico City lies the historic center, also known as Zocalo. This area is home to many important landmarks, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and the Templo Mayor. The Templo Mayor was the main temple of the Aztecs and is now an archaeological site where visitors can learn about the ancient civilization that once thrived in this area.

For those interested in learning more about Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology is a must. This world-class museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian civilizations, including the Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmecs. The museum’s exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of Mexico’s history and culture.

Experiencing the Vibrant Nightlife and Entertainment Scene

Mexico City is known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. Whether you’re looking to enjoy live music, dance the night away, or watch a unique sporting event, the city has something for everyone.

A visit to a traditional cantina is a must for those looking to experience authentic Mexican nightlife. These traditional bars offer live music, dancing, and a wide selection of drinks and snacks. They are a great place to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in Mexican culture.

For those looking for a more modern and trendy nightlife experience, the neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma are the place to be. These areas are home to numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to a younger crowd. From rooftop bars with stunning views to underground clubs playing the latest electronic music, there is no shortage of options for a night out in these neighborhoods.

One unique entertainment experience that shouldn’t be missed is watching a lucha libre wrestling match. Lucha libre is a form of professional wrestling that originated in Mexico. The matches are known for their colorful masks and high-flying acrobatics. Watching a lucha libre match is an exciting and entertaining way to experience Mexican culture.

Sampling Mexican Cuisine: From Street Food to Fine Dining

Restaurant Name Location Price Range Rating (out of 5)
Taqueria El Fogon Cancun, Mexico 4.5
Pujol Mexico City, Mexico 4.8
La Condesa Austin, Texas 4.3
El Charro Cafe Tucson, Arizona 4.2
Los Tacos No. 1 New York City, New York 4.6

No trip to Mexico City would be complete without sampling the delicious and diverse Mexican cuisine. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the city offers a wide range of dining options to suit every taste and budget.

One of the best ways to experience Mexican cuisine is by trying the street food. Mexico City is known for its street food culture, with vendors selling everything from tacos and tamales to quesadillas and elotes (grilled corn on the cob). Exploring the city’s street food scene is a great way to taste authentic flavors and experience the local culture.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Mexico City is home to several world-renowned restaurants. Pujol, led by chef Enrique Olvera, is consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world. The restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine, using local ingredients and innovative techniques. Quintonil, another top-rated restaurant, focuses on seasonal ingredients and offers a tasting menu that showcases the best of Mexican flavors.

No visit to Mexico City would be complete without sampling mezcal and tequila, two iconic Mexican spirits. Mezcal is a smoky and complex spirit made from agave plants, while tequila is made specifically from blue agave. There are many bars and mezcalerias in Mexico City where visitors can sample a wide variety of mezcal and tequila, often accompanied by traditional snacks like chapulines (fried grasshoppers) or guacamole.

Discovering Mexico City’s Art Scene: Museums, Galleries, and Street Art

Mexico City has a thriving art scene that encompasses everything from ancient murals to contemporary galleries and vibrant street art. The city is home to numerous museums and galleries that showcase Mexican art in all its forms.

One must-visit museum is the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House. This museum is located in the house where Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s most famous artists, was born and lived. The museum houses a collection of Kahlo’s artwork, as well as personal belongings and artifacts that provide insight into her life and work.

Another important art destination is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a stunning art deco building that houses a theater and several exhibition spaces. The building is home to several murals by renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera, including his famous mural “Man at the Crossroads.”

For those interested in contemporary art, the Museo Tamayo and the Jumex Museum are must-visit destinations. The Museo Tamayo showcases contemporary art from Mexico and around the world, while the Jumex Museum is dedicated to contemporary art from Latin America.

Mexico City is also known for its vibrant street art scene. Neighborhoods like Coyoacán and La Roma are filled with colorful murals and graffiti that reflect the city’s rich cultural heritage. Taking a street art tour is a great way to explore these neighborhoods and learn about the artists behind the murals.

Shopping in Mexico City: From Markets to Designer Boutiques

Mexico City offers a wide range of shopping options, from traditional markets selling handicrafts and souvenirs to high-end designer boutiques.

One of the best places to shop for traditional Mexican crafts and souvenirs is the Mercado de la Ciudadela. This colorful market is home to hundreds of stalls selling everything from pottery and textiles to jewelry and leather goods. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts to take home.

For those looking for high-end fashion and luxury brands, the neighborhood of Polanco is the place to go. This upscale neighborhood is home to designer boutiques from both Mexican and international brands. From luxury fashion houses like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to local designers like Carla Fernández and Julia y Renata, there is no shortage of options for fashion lovers.

Another great shopping destination is the Bazaar del Sábado, or Saturday Bazaar, which takes place every Saturday in the San Ángel neighborhood. This open-air market is known for its arts and crafts, with vendors selling everything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and textiles. It’s a great place to find unique and handmade items.

Enjoying Outdoor Activities: Parks, Gardens, and Sports

Despite being a bustling metropolis, Mexico City offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and engage in sports and recreational activities.

Chapultepec Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world and a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The park is home to several attractions, including the Chapultepec Castle, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the Chapultepec Zoo. Visitors can also enjoy walking or biking along the park’s many trails, having a picnic by the lake, or simply relaxing in one of its many green spaces.

For those interested in botanical gardens, the UNAM campus is home to the Jardín Botánico, or Botanical Garden. This beautiful garden showcases a wide variety of plant species from Mexico and around the world. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy nature in the heart of the city.

Mexico City is also known for its passion for sports, particularly soccer. Watching a soccer match at the Estadio Azteca, one of the largest stadiums in the world, is an unforgettable experience. The stadium is home to Club América and has hosted numerous international matches, including two FIFA World Cup finals.

Day Trips and Excursions: Exploring Beyond Mexico City

While there is plenty to see and do in Mexico City itself, there are also many exciting day trips and excursions that can be taken from the city.

One popular day trip is visiting the ancient pyramids of Cholula, located just outside of Puebla, a city about two hours from Mexico City. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid in the world by volume and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also explore the tunnels that run beneath the pyramid and learn about the ancient civilization that once inhabited this area.

Another popular excursion is visiting the colonial town of Taxco, known for its silver mines and beautiful architecture. Located about three hours from Mexico City, Taxco is a charming town with narrow cobblestone streets, white-washed buildings, and a stunning cathedral. Visitors can explore the town’s silver shops, visit the Santa Prisca Church, and enjoy panoramic views from the Cristo Monument.

For those looking to relax on the beach, Acapulco is a popular destination located about four hours from Mexico City. Acapulco is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cliff divers who perform daring jumps into the ocean. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports during the day, and then dance the night away at one of the city’s many clubs and bars.

Transportation in Mexico City: Getting Around Safely and Efficiently

Getting around Mexico City can be a bit overwhelming due to its size and traffic congestion. However, there are several transportation options available that can help visitors navigate the city safely and efficiently.

The metro system is one of the most popular modes of transportation in Mexico City. It is affordable, efficient, and covers most areas of the city. The metro has 12 lines that connect different parts of the city, making it easy to get around. However, it can get crowded during peak hours, so it’s best to avoid traveling during rush hour if possible.

Another option is taking buses or microbuses. Buses are a more affordable option than taxis or Ubers and cover a wide range of routes. Microbuses are smaller vans that operate on specific routes and can be flagged down anywhere along their route. However, buses and microbuses can be crowded and may not be the most comfortable option during peak hours.

Taxis and Ubers are also widely available in Mexico City. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked through a taxi app, while Ubers can be requested through the Uber app. Both options are safe and convenient, but it’s important to ensure that the taxi or Uber is licensed and has a working meter or fixed fare.

When using public transportation or walking around the city, it’s important to take precautions to stay safe. Avoid displaying valuable items, keep an eye on your belongings, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to carry a map or use a navigation app to avoid getting lost.

Tips and Recommendations for a Memorable Trip to Mexico City

To make the most of your trip to Mexico City, here are some tips and recommendations:

– The best time to visit Mexico City is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is mild and pleasant during this time, with less chance of rain.

– When choosing a neighborhood to stay in, consider areas like Condesa, Roma, or Polanco. These neighborhoods are centrally located, safe, and offer a wide range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

– Don’t miss out on trying traditional Mexican foods like tacos al pastor, tamales, chiles en nogada, and mole. Also, make sure to sample local drinks like mezcal and tequila.

– While Mexico City is generally safe for tourists, it’s important to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, keep an eye on your belongings, and be cautious when using ATMs or carrying large amounts of cash.

– Other helpful recommendations for a successful trip to Mexico City include learning a few basic Spanish phrases, carrying a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, and wearing comfortable shoes for walking around the city.

In conclusion, Mexico City is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers something for everyone. From exploring ancient ruins and museums to experiencing the vibrant nightlife and sampling delicious cuisine, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this bustling metropolis. With its rich history, cultural heritage, and friendly locals, Mexico City is sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor.


What are some popular tourist attractions in Mexico City?

Some popular tourist attractions in Mexico City include the National Museum of Anthropology, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Zocalo, the Frida Kahlo Museum, and the Chapultepec Castle.

What is the best time of year to visit Mexico City?

The best time of year to visit Mexico City is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is mild and there is less chance of rain during this time.

What is the currency used in Mexico City?

The currency used in Mexico City is the Mexican peso.

What is the official language of Mexico City?

The official language of Mexico City is Spanish.

What is the transportation system like in Mexico City?

Mexico City has an extensive transportation system that includes buses, taxis, and a metro system. The metro system is the most efficient and affordable way to get around the city.

What are some traditional Mexican dishes to try in Mexico City?

Some traditional Mexican dishes to try in Mexico City include tacos al pastor, chiles en nogada, mole poblano, and tamales.

What are some safety tips for traveling to Mexico City?

Some safety tips for traveling to Mexico City include avoiding traveling alone at night, being aware of your surroundings, and not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables. It is also recommended to only use official taxis and to avoid using public transportation during rush hour.