The Ultimate Guide To Mexico City
During my first trip to Mexico City last year(3 days), I made a promise to come back because that wasn't enough time. Mexico City aka CDMX is so big, you need a more than just a few days to explore. There are so many things to do, activities and neighborhoods to see. One of my favorite things to do in the city is visiting markets, coffee shops and walking around. This time around, I've spent a little over nine weeks in the city, and still haven't seen everything. Exploring the city can be very affordable for some, depending on which country you're traveling from. I would suggest doing most things on your own as it is cheaper and easy. I made a list of all the things I think you should do in the city, perfect for everyone, no matter how long your stay is.
If you're coming to Mexico City, I'm sure you're already planning on visiting a few museums. Luckily, the most museums in a city belong to Mexico City, choosing one won't be an issue. The only problem you'll have is time. There are heaps of different museums to pick from, such as the famous Museo Nacional De Antropologia and Museo Soumaya. Entry to some of these museums can be a lot ( about $200 pesos for Museo Frida Kahlo), while some offer a student discount. One of my favorite buildings in the city( architecturally) just so happens to be Palacio de Bellas Artes. Tip for getting a shot like mine, head to the 8th floor of the department store Sears which is right across the street.
Tips: The most important thing to note when planning museum visits, is that they are all closed on Mondays. If you have a student ID old or new, bring it. It will save you a few pesos.
Probably one of the most visited sights in Mexico City goes to the ruins of Teotihuacan. Whether you make the trip on your own or with a tour, a visit is worth it. Situated 50 km north of Mexico City, this archeological site is which has the Pyramid of the sun and moon is was once home to the Aztecs, with a population of over 100,000 people.
Xochimilco aka the party on floating boats. I will always recommend this place to anyone visiting the city. Depending on which part of the city you're leaving from, it takes about an hour to get to the canals by train or Uber. Getting there by train is a hustle, I think Uber is a better option, especially if splitting the cost. How it works, is you have to rent a boat. How much you pay depends on how many people you have in your group. We had a group of about 12, which we arranged at the hostel and paid $100 pesos each for 2 hours and a Mariachi band.
EXPLORE THE FOOD & CULTURE
I'm sure you already knew how great the Mexico City food and drink scene is. This city not only has some of the best chefs but some of the best restaurants in the world too (Pujol). My favorite neighborhoods for great food are Roma and Condesa. Here, you'll find heaps of restaurants, such as Indian, Japanese, American, Argentinian, Fusion and much more. You will never get hungry. As far as bars, the list is endless as well. A must while in the city would be a Mezcal bar ( La Clandestina), or a pulque bar (Pulqueria Insurgentes). Other than those two, Mexico City's bar life is pretty impressive.
TRIP TO PUEBLA
If you're in the city for more than a couple of days, I would recommend taking a trip to the nearest cities Puebla or Taxco. Both cities are about 2 hours away and cost about $200 pesos each way. One day would be enough for both cities but, I may add an extra day or few hours for Puebla since it's a bit bigger.
WHERE TO STAY IN PUEBLA
Accommodation options in Puebla are an abundance. You can choose from hotel/hostels or boutique hotels, which is why I chose El Sueño Hotel & Spa. El Sueno is centrally located just a few blocks from the zocalo, bars, and restaurants. This beautiful boutique hotel has both a restaurant and bar area with great breakfast and cocktails. It's not only beautifully designed with a modern but yet authentic to the Mexican culture, but also has a great pool. The rooms are very nice and cozy with unique names and themes such as Antoinette. El Sueño's customer service is top notch, especially being greeted with a drink when checking in. Although I love staying at hostels, sometimes it feels good to have a ''treat yourself'' day.
Visiting markets has become a favorite. Mexico City has a ton of market, each a little different from the others. There's a market for everyone, whether you're looking for crafts, exotic meals or flowers. One of my favorite markets is Mercado De San Juan or Mercado Coyoacan. They're both big and filled with the most delicious foods. The other market, which seems to be the most popular with tourist is Mercado Roma, in the Roma neighborhood. Mercado Roma is what I like to call a hipster market, it's trendy, packed with tourists and a bit on the expensive side. One thing I do like about this market is how vegan/healthy friendly is it. It's not that often that you'll find vegan options in Mexico City unless you're in the Roma area.
A trip to Coyoacan is a must during your visit, come here for the Museo Frida Kahlo and stay for the market, coffee, and food. There's more to Coyoacan than Frida Kahlo's house. It just happens to be one of the prettiest, colorful neighborhood in the city. There's not a lot to do around, a few hours are enough to walk around and visit a few places like one of the oldest Cathedrals in the city. If you love food, you must visit Mercado de Coyoacan for traditional Mexican food.
Are you interested in a bunch of locals yelling the most profanity you'll ever hear in your life? Cool, me too. I'll start off by saying, I was not interested in going. I used to watch American wrestling back in middle/high school until I found out it was fake, which is part of the reason why I wasn't interested in going. But, someone managed to get me off the couch and into the Arena. Here I am walking into the Arena, and the first thing I hear is "pinche puta( fucken bitch)", and I knew I would love this place. It's funny, super fake with the most delayed reaction after a hit, fun, and loud. Most of the audience are locals and a few tourist.
Tips: Do not buy tickets online or from people selling them at the door, even if they claim to have the best price. The only place you should be getting your tickets is from the gate/booth. Lucha Libre is only open Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday I would not recommend going on a Sunday because it is a family day, meaning the crowd won't be wild.
- Tours- Mexico City has a ton of free things, from events, tours, and even city bikes. If you'd like an insider perspective of the city, a free city walking tour is the way to go. The free walking tours ran by CDMX Travel can be found in both Centro and Coyoacan.
- Events- Free events can be found throughout the city, regardless of the neighborhood. Many websites or Facebook pages have info on this. You can find, free Jazz, gallery openings and my favorite, night picnic at the park.