4 miles from downtown
A millionaire’s playground. Mexico’s movers and shakers flash their considerable cash in Polanco. Calle Masaryk’s designer boutiques boggle the mind with high-end couture and price tags to match. See how funny the rich man’s world really is at Soumaya Museum, which houses the private art collection of one-time world’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim.
Places to stay from $17 a night
Mexico City Historic Center
Take a deep breath… and dive in! In the city centre you’ll be plunged into a maelstrom of fractious traffic, swirling crowds and boisterous market stalls. Check out modern Mexico’s square roots in teeming Plaza Zócalo before elbowing your way past shoppers on Calle Madero. If it all gets too much, come up for air in leafy Alameda Central.
Places to stay from $6 a night
3 miles from downtown
Like a black-and-white film star, there’s an air of faded glamour about Condesa. Its Art Deco façades radiate beauty from a bygone era. Along classy, jacaranda-lined streets, you’ll find boutiques, bars and bistros. Grab a sweet treat from a French patisserie before waltzing off into peaceful Parque Mexico. Here’s looking at you, Condesa!
Places to stay from $20 a night
6.6 miles from downtown
Colours come alive in Coyoacan, a bohemian neighbourhood with a rainbow palette. Frida Kahlo’s life and art merge vividly at Casa Azul (Blue House), and every day is a red-letter day at Leon Trotsky’s old pad (painted red, of course). Coyoacan Market sparkles with trinkets and snacklets from technicolour-lacquered skulls to crunchy grasshoppers.
Places to stay from $16 a night
2.1 miles from downtown
Juarez is a district of contrasts. Paseo Reforma’s skyscrapers soar above cracks in the pavement, trodden by shiny brogues and flea-bitten trainers alike. Stare down Juarez’s waxy residents at Museo de Cera before making a Korea move for dinner – to “Little Seoul’s oriental eateries. Finally, mingle merrily with all persuasions in the bars of Zona Rosa.
Places to stay from $6 a night
Steeped in history and culture, Mexico City is the ideal starting point for a holiday in Mexico. Visitors will find a wealth of attractions in its eclectic neighbourhoods – from museums and ancient ruins to sprawling parks and art galleries.
The capital of Mexico is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic centre of the city. You can view the remains of an Aztec structure at Templo Mayor or walk a few steps to admire the architecturally magnificent Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral nearby. The National Palace, Palacio de Bellas Artes and Zócalo Square are worth a visit too. A stroll down Paseo de la Reforma will lead you to the Angel of Independence statue that has become an icon of the city. Art lovers can head to the Frida Kahlo Museum and Museo Mural Diego Rivera.
At the cantinas (local bars), street food stalls and high-end restaurants of Mexico City, you can savour traditional delights such as tacos and quesadillas paired with drinks like mezcal and tequila. Tacos, especially the tacos al pastor variety (spit-roasted pork with a pineapple flavour) are a firm favourite among locals and tourists alike. Tlacoyos, oval-shaped thick corn tortillas topped with fava beans and other ingredients, are great for a hearty snack.
There’s no dearth of things to do in Mexico City. You can spend time picnicking, boating or cycling at Chapultepec Park. Day trips to the archaeological complex of Teotihuacán or the World Heritage Site of Xochimilco are popular too.
From $17 per night
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|Most popular time to visit||October-December|
|Cheapest time to visit||January-March|
|Average weekend price||$101 per night|
|Average weekday price||$107 per night|
|Average stay||2 nights|
Mexico City is friendly and easier to navigate than it seems--you must relax expectations and be willing to be a little surprised, and the surprise will usually be a pleasant one! Bike tour of Coyaocan was a true highlight, don't miss Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the food is varied and tasty and magnificent and does NOT resemble food at "Mexican" restaurants in the US. Mexico has had a EUROPEAN heritage for 500 YEARS, much longer than the U-S, and as a result has a much deeper and richer history of arts and culture, along with a direct connection to its pre-history of advanced civilizations from Mayan to Aztec. Uber is safe and easy--much cheaper than US! Plenty of public parks. Panhandlers are mostly polite if you make eye contact and say No, gracias. We felt safe night and day, plenty of police presence at all tourist sites. Eat at Carmela y Sal in Polanco.
Mexico city was a really pleasant surprise! I loved the museums and just walking around the city. Food is relatively cheap unless you eat in expensive neighborhoods like the Condesa. Getting around was easy with the Metro. But do your research on how to use it beforehand. I was very confused the first day. There is always Uber, of course, but you losing a lot of the experience. For solo travelers I would recommend just roaming around the different neighborhoods and go on some of the trips that take you outside of the city, e.g. Teotihuacan. I met other solo travelers like that and they were a pleasant company. Watch out for tourist traps, especially if your Spanish is no bueno.
Mexico City is an interesting destination with lots to see and do. It has a nice mix of history, natural beauty, and is fairly affordable if you know where to go. Chapultepec Park is a beautiful place to visit; there's a zoo and a castle with really nice views. The pyramids outside the city, the museums, and the parks are also worth exploring. Definitely consider using the bike shares or public transportation to get around in the city; there are bike stations all along Reforma Avenue. It's a practical way to explore the city because the traffic can be Horrifying. I also recommend treating yourself to affordable hair salon and spa services. Overall, the city was very interesting, and I definitely want to go back and see more.
Mexico City is a fabulous destination for a visit. There is so much to do. Aside from the outstanding archaeological museum, there are endless more museums, nooks and crannies for shopping, nooks and crannies for traditional menus, parks throughout the city, to sit and relax, or watch people and, the walking is the best. There is also a very efficient system of public buses and the metro system of course can take you in all directions and save a great deal of time. This was our second visit, and I promise it will not be our last.
Amazing city and great day trips available. We stayed in Cuernavaca 2 days, day in Taxco, visited Teotihuacan on a day tour (Headout - Teotihuacán Pyramids Afternoon Guided Tour - mezcal tasting and dinner - private pay) and the rest in Mex City visiting family. The city is immense - you have no idea until you see it, how populated it is. Traffic is no joke. I highly recommend a private driver / tour guide which is not expensive considering the headache and pain of navigating on your own and much more convenient. Turibusj (hop on/off) was tough if you wanted to get a birds eye view of the city due to traffic but a great option to stop and get off to visit museums, sites, etc. We ended up abandoning in favor of walking/taxi. Uber was our fastest option but inDrive is definitely cheaper - used both but more luck with Uber. Next time will likely pick a couple of key areas to explore - having a plan is best and simply keep in mind, there's ALOT to see and experience. Just enjoy being where you are... food, people, culture. You won't see it all but that's ok.
Like many cities Mexico City has some beautiful landmarks but also visions of poverty. The area where I stayed (close to Zocalo Square) was quiet and I always felt safe and secure, although I didn't wander too far from there and mostly during the daylight. I walked quite a bit but there seemed to be plenty of other options for traveling around (taxis and buses). Lots of local options for dining was a pleasant surprise. Navigating the Mexico airport was no easy task as I feel they could definitely improve their signage to help tourists like me know where to go.
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