Looking for the ideal Mexico City itinerary? You’re in the right place! This post will guide you through the best itinerary for Mexico City in 1 to 5 days.
Mexico City is a place that’s absolutely bursting with history and culture. However, it’s hard to do and see all that Mexico City has to offer if you’re only in town for a few days.
To help you out, I’ve put together the perfect Mexico City itinerary that will let you enjoy your days in Mexico City and see all the most iconic Mexico City attractions.
1 TO 5 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY | MEXICO CITY ITINERARY
So, you want to know what the ideal Mexico City itinerary looks like? Check this program out!
Make sure you have travel insurance before leaving for your trip to Mexico! As we all know after the last couple of years, unexpected things can happen and you want to be covered when you need it the most.
SafetyWing is the insurance I’ve been using for the last 3 years. It costs USD 42 for 4 weeks (and much less if your trip is shorter!) and provides coverage for COVID-19. For a more comprehensive, but pricier, coverage you can check out WorldNomads, which is another excellent choice.
➤ Read also my post that compares the best travel insurance options.
Day 1| Mexico City Centro Historico & Zocalo
➤ The 3-hour Historic Downtown Walking Tour is the perfect introduction to Downtown Mexico City for first-time visitors. You’ll cover many of the stops included on the first day of this Mexico City itinerary, accompanied by a local, knowledgeable guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you’re already traveling with a big group and would rather go on a private tour around Downtown Mexico City, you can do so with the 3-hour Private Walking Tour, in which the guide will be at your complete disposal. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
MORNING | The Historic City Center
What better way of kicking off your itinerary in Mexico City than by exploring its ancient heart? With its cobbled streets and winding alleyways, Centro Historico still contains plenty of traces of the city’s colonial past, setting it apart from other neighborhoods. What’s more, it’s also Mexico City’s cultural hub, with numerous museums, galleries, and incredible architecture to discover.
Visiting Mexico City in a day is mission impossible, but if you only have one day in Mexico City, I recommend you follow today’s Mexico City itinerary.
Once upon a time, the Centro Historico was home to Tenochtitlan, the capital of the mighty Aztec empire, until the Spanish settlers came here in 1521 and ransacked the city, razing it to the ground and building on top of the ancient city.
Centro Historico is extremely easy to get around on foot, so there’s no need to worry about transport today. We’ll start our Mexico City itinerary at the very center of the city: the main square, or Zócalo. This vast space is one of the largest public squares in the world.
Much like the neighborhood itself, though, Zócalo dates back to Aztec times, and was once the ceremonial center of Tenochtitlan.
Standing in the center of Zócalo, you’re flanked by some of the city’s most notable buildings. First, head to the Metropolitan Cathedral. This building is hard to miss- in fact, it’s the largest cathedral in the Americas! Not only that, but the Metropolitan Cathedral is also one of the oldest remaining buildings, too.
If you want to experience a stunning view of the plaza below, then be sure to take the (Spanish language-only) tour up to the upper levels and the bell tower.
Come out of the cathedral, and your next stop is within view: the National Palace. While it’s no longer the President’s official residence, it’s still an incredible place and tours are free. Inside you can find murals by Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband) showing the country’s history.
➤ You can also visit the Museum of Templo Mayor and the Archaeological zone, where you’ll find the last vestiges of Mexico City’s pre-Hispanic heritage, with a digital guide. If requested you could also get a physical guide to show you around, or include a photoshoot at the site. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
From the Zocalo, take Paseo Madero, which is a pedestrian street full of shops and cafès and restaurants, so a good place to stop for coffee or lunch.
If you’re an Instagram fan like me, you also need to stop and take a couple of shots at the Casa de los Azulejos [Sanborns restaurant] that’ll remind you of Portugal, and at the Palacio Postal (postal office) which has some really luxurious interiors.
AFTERNOON | Stunning Views & Art
Do you want to get a great glimpse of Mexico City from the top? Your Mexico City itinerary continue with the view from the Torre Latinoamericana [Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 2].
➤ With the Torre Latinoamericana Entry Ticket, you’ll get to go up the 44th floor and enjoy 360° views over the city, which are spectacular! You’ll also have access to the Bicentennial and City Museums, located in the same tower. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Torre Latinoamericana Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 9 PM, Saturday & Sunday open until 10 PM. Torre Latinoamericana Entrance Fee: 200 MXN.
If you are into arts, don’t miss a visit to the Palacio of Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) [Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico]. The building includes an architecture museum and often hosts great events in music, dance, theatre.
Palacio Bellas Artes Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Palacio Bellas Artes Entrance Fee: 80 MXN.
➤ Mexicans are very passionate about their food, so you could add a Historic Center Food Tour to your itinerary, finishing the day with a full belly and newly acquired knowledge about the culinary culture and traditions of the city. Plus, you’ll discover tons of delicious food to keep trying the following days! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
NIGHT | Lucha Libre Show
If your three days in Mexico City include a Tuesday, a Friday, or a Saturday night, don’t miss the Lucha Libre show. Lucha Libre is pretty much like wrestling, but dirtier and rougher. And locals love it! Go for watching the show, but mostly to join the action and scream at the fighters together with everyone else.
Beware: if you get easily offended, this might not be the show for you. There’s lots of political incorrectness involved – the show might or might not include a little person and lots of cussing – but everyone seems to have a lot of fun.
➤ Check out the Lucha Libre Experience to enjoy the show with a professional guide who will tell you all about the Lucha Libre culture, and also enjoy a visit to a pulqueria where you’ll try the Mexican cocktail, and get a fighter’s mask as a souvenir! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Wondering where to stay?
Uma Casa is a design hotel with beautiful aesthetics. Created to become a house for travelers, it’s located in the heart of Mexico City but its wide spaces and greenery make it an oasis untouched by the hassle and bustle.
It’s an ideal place to rest, enjoy a book or a meditation session on the rooftop area, and be inspired by its unique and stylish rooms. Breakfast is hearty and delicious, and its location is perfect to be close to the attractions but far from the city’s noise.
Day 2 | Xochimilco & La Casa Azul
➤ The Xochimilco, Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour takes you to the attractions of day 2, so you could join the tour to have transportation covered and visit the sites with a professional guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
MORNING | Frida Kahlo’s House & Coyoacan
This morning you’ll be making two stops: La Casa Azul (or Blue House), and the Mercado de Coyoacan. Both are situated in the Coyoacan district, so make your way there via public transport (metro to Coyoacan stop) or a taxi (ask the driver to use the taximeter or you can download Cabify for better pricing).
Firstly, it’s time to visit La Casa Azul, or the “Blue House” [Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán]. Named for its distinctive blue walls, this house served as the childhood home of Frida Kahlo, possibly Mexico’s most famous artist.
The house is also known as the Frida Kahlo Museum, as it has been converted into a museum of her life and works, and it’s a great place to learn more about the fascinating life of this giant of the art world. Definitely one to add to your Mexico City itinerary.
➤ Get the Frida Kahlo Museum entry ticket in advance to avoid the queues of people waiting to buy the entrance on the site. You’ll choose a timeslot and access the museum when you arrive. The ticket also grants you admission to the Diego Rivera Museum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Frida Kahlo Museum Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM
Frida Kahlo Museum Entrance Fee: 230 MXN on weekdays, 270 MXN on the weekend.
Up next, let’s wander through this peaceful neighborhood until we find ourselves at the Mercado de Coyoacan. This authentic Mexican market is the ideal place to stop for some food, and it manages to not be too touristy, too. Instead, it mainly caters to the locals, serving up home-cooked food as well as groceries, clothes, and crafts.
Otherwise, as an alternative, you could instead prefer visiting this other famous house-museum in Mexico City.
Leon Trotsky Museum
The Leon Trotsky Museum is a museum in Mexico City that was built in honor of Leon Trotsky, along with an organization that supports political asylum. At the heart of this complex is the home of Leon Trotsky and his wife. This was also the same home where he was murdered.
The house has been kept intact, particularly the study wherein he was murdered. There is also a garden and high walls that surround the museum complex, along with two watchtowers.
Leon Trotsky Museum Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Leon Trotsky Museum Entrance Fee: 40 MXN.
AFTERNOON | Canals of Xochimilco
In the afternoon, it’s time to head over to a district of Mexico City with a very different feel: Xochimilco. Located in the south of Mexico City, this borough remained separate from the rest of the city for most of its history. For that reason, it’s got a unique feel about it which makes it well worth a visit while you’re in town.
How to get to Xochimilco: take the metro to the Tasqueña metro station (line 2), and transfer to the “tren ligero” to Xochimilco. When you step off the train. follow the signs to the “Embracadero”. It’s quite a long journey, but you will save a lot of money!
Xochimilco is famous for its canal network. Once upon a time, these canals connected most of the settlements in the Valley of Mexico, but nowadays, only the canals in Xochimilco remain. That’s not to say that they are small, though- there’s still a 100-mile network that winds its way through the entire district!
Amongst the canals lie chinampas, or floating gardens. The best way to see Xochimilco is by trajinera- a colorful boat like a gondola, which you can hire for a tour of the waterways. Along the way, you’ll likely come across mariachi bands offering to serenade you, as well as some tasty street food if you get hungry.
➤ Looking for a tour to visit Xochimilco? The Xochimilco & Coyoacan Tour, which includes entrance to the Frida Kahlo Museum, includes transportation to the three attractions from a meeting point as well as the insights of a professional guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you’d rather enjoy the trip with your own group, get the Private Tour: Xochimilco, Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo Museum. A guide, hotel roundtrip transportation, and entrance fees are included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
READ ALSO: 17 Best Mexico City Tours
NIGHT | Mariachi & Street Food
After all that sightseeing, you’re bound to be hungry. Well, you’re in luck- Mexico City has some of the most delicious street food in the world. There are often stalls all around the Zócalo, but if you want to take a walk further afield, just stroll down any of the nearby streets and you’ll find plenty of food.
If you want something a little bit more folkloristic, head to Plaza Garibaldi in the historic centre, which is also known as Mariachi square… you’ll soon understand why! Eat at one of the restaurants around the square, and the mariachis will come and ask if you want a song. Even if you don’t, someone else around you will and you’ll get to listen to them.
➤ The Garibaldi by Night experience is the perfect way to enjoy a Mariachi Variety Show at the famous Plaza Garibaldi. You’ll get to dance to the beat of the music and appreciate the tradition of folklore. A drink and transportation are included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
If you only have 2 days in Mexico City, I suggest you combine day 1 and day 2, or day 1 plus a day trip to the Teotihuacan pyramids (keep scrolling!).
Day 3 | Day Trip to Teotihuacan
So far, we’ve explored some of Mexico City’s more historic districts, but today you’ll be going on a day trip to the Teotihuacan pyramids. These might not be as famous as Chichen Itza or the Tulum ruins, but they’re absolutely worth a visit in my opinion.
READ ALSO: 20 Best Ruins in Mexico (with map)
The Teotihuacan archaeological site saw its first settlement around 300 BC, but it was during the first seven centuries AD that it became one of the largest cities in the Americas.
It’s believed that it was originally a religious center, which later became one of the most populated sites in Mesoamerica, although it still remains a mystery the origin of the Teotihuacan civilization and the purpose of this settlement.
Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, and that’s reason enough to add it to your Mexico City itinerary. At the site, you’ll find the two most popular pyramids, the Sun and the Moon pyramids, but also thousands of other pyramids, structures, and residential compounds that still stand.
The site covers a very big area (about 13 square kilometers, to be precise), so plan to spend at least half a day exploring it.
Teotihuacan Opening Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 5 PM (Last entry at 3 PM).
Teotihuacan Entrance Fee: 80 MXN.
HOW TO GET TO TEOTIHUACAN FROM MEXICO CITY
Teotihuacan is 40 km from Mexico City, and it’s quite easy to get here on your own. Make your way to the Terminal de Autobuses Norte; from here, there is a bus leaving to Teotihuacan every 30 minutes. The ride takes about 45 minutes-1 hour depending on traffic; try and get to Teotihuacan as early as possible to beat the crowds!
There are guides at the entrance if you want to go on a guided tour, or you can just go on your own. the climb to the top of the two main pyramids is quite some exercise, but totally worth it. The view is beautiful from up there!
In order to be at the pyramids before the crowds arrived, I spent the night before in Teotihuacan, but I honestly don’t recommend it.
There isn’t one single restaurant open at night in Teotihuacan and we ended up eating plain bread. Also, if you prefer the comfort of a luxury hotel, you won’t find it here. I stayed at a 3-star hotel that was barely decent, and that was the most luxurious option. Just make your way here early in the morning!
➤ If you don’t want to worry about transportation, check out the Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco Day Tour. You’ll explore the site of Teotihuacan with a guide, visit Mexico’s most important Catholic pilgrimage destination and wander around Tlatelolco. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Teotihuacan Early Access Tour with Tequila Tasting takes you to the archaeological site first thing in the morning, so you avoid the crowds. You’ll wander around the pyramids with an archaeologist, and then visit an obsidian factory, before capping off your day with a tequila tasting. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ What better way to marvel at the archaeological site than by watching it from above? Enjoy a 45-minute Teotihuacan Air Balloon Flight above the pyramids and the valley, and have breakfast after the flight. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Day 4 | The Cool Side of Mexico City: Roma Norte & Condesa
MORNING | Trendy Roma Norte
I hope you’re enjoying your Mexico City itinerary so far! If you have 4 days in Mexico City, today you’ll be visiting a thoroughly modern neighborhood: Roma Norte. If you only have 72 hours in Mexico City, follow the itinerary for the first three days, but if you have more time these modern neighborhoods are really worth a visit.
As the hub of Mexico City’s hipster population, it’s one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in town. Located just two miles from the very center of Mexico City, it’s a world apart from Centro Historico. Here you’ll find street art, craft beer pubs, and beautiful coffee shops.
You’ll quickly see that the standard uniform for locals is streetwear coupled with a skateboard. After all, this is one of the hippest parts of the city, so don’t be surprised if the crowds seem quite a bit younger than you!
Be sure to arrive early (not sleeping in!) and stop by Panaderia Rosetta [Colima 179, Roma Norte] for some freshly ground coffee and a tasty pastry for breakfast. You can tell it’s a local favorite because of the crowds. You might have to battle your way in, but it’s worth it!
Whatever your age, though, there’s sure to be something for you fashion-wise at one of the many independent clothes stores which litter the district. There are very few chain stores in this part of town; instead, it’s all about originality, and I love it!
I particularly recommend Goodbye Folk [Colima 198, Cuauhtémoc], a sprawling vintage store where you’ll be able to pick out clothes from across the ages, as well as shoes that are made to order. There’s even a “secret” barbershop tucked away in the back!
LUNCH TIME | Hipster Eateries in Roma
When lunchtime rolls around, there’s one place in Colonia Roma that you simply have to visit: Contramar [Calle Durango 200, Roma]. This ever-popular eatery is famed for its tostadas de atun, a beautifully cooked tuna loin served with crispy leeks and spicy mayo.
If that’s not your thing, or the restaurant is jam-packed, then you could also try the nearby Butcher & Sons [Orizaba 87, Roma Nte], a trendy diner where the burgers are named after musical icons and even the milkshakes come with a sprinkle of spice… after all, this is Mexico!
Looking for something more traditional such as some incredible tacos al pastor? Then head to Taqueria Orinoco [Av. Insurgentes Sur 153, Roma Nte], a no-frills place that serves some of the best tacos in the city. Don’t miss the tacos al pastor (with pineapple) and the chicharron tacos.
➤ Otherwise, go on a Colonia Roma Food Tour! You’ll visit the most popular eateries in the area, microbreweries, coffee shops, and ethnic restaurants to sample the tastiest Mexican food, and also learn about the neighborhood’s history. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
AFTERNOON | Churros & Condesa
Churros in Mexico City are a big thing! Do you like churros with a sauce of dulce de leche (cajeta)? What if I told you that this huge plate above was only $1? Yeah? Then head to the Churreria El Moro.
There are quite a few in the city, but this super instagrammable one is at Río Lerma 167, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, which isn’t too far, so you can make a little tasty detour before heading to your next destination. Your Mexico City itinerary won’t be complete without some churros… you can even add some hot chocolate to the package!
In the afternoon, it’s time to head to the neighboring district of Condesa. A bit less hipster than Roma Norte, it’s still super cool. Rather than skateboarders, expect to see the cream of the crop of Mexico City’s classy youth, along with plenty of artists and intellectuals (and more street art). Start your exploration with a stroll through Parque Mexico.
Condesa is absolutely packed with trendy boutiques, so if you’ve got some spending money left, you might want to spend your afternoon shopping for the latest fashions.
For the culture vultures among you, you might want to stop and see a show at Foro Shakespeare [Calle Zamora 7, Cuauhtémoc, Condesa], a theater set up to showcase cutting-edge performances by independent theater companies.
NIGHT | Nightlife in Condesa
Condesa really comes alive after dark, though, so why not spend your final hours of this long weekend in Mexico City partying the night away? It’s the local custom to live it up until the small wee hours, and there are countless bars and clubs tailored to every music taste and age group.
Whether you’re looking to put on your dancing shoes and boogie away to some modern pop, or enjoy a more relaxed evening soundtracked by some 70s tunes, there’s no better place to enjoy Mexico City’s nightlife than Condesa.
DAY 5 | Chapultepec Castle & Anthropology Museum
If you have 5 days in Mexico City, you can either follow the itinerary below or go on another day trip. A few options are a day trip to Puebla, a colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage sIte, or the charming town of Miguel de Allende.
Your last day of this Mexico City itinerary is all about history and art. You’ll be visiting interesting museums and art galleries to explore this other side of the Mexican capital. Ready to start the day?
MORNING | Chapultepec Castle and Chapultepec Park
Chapultepec Castle and Park is one of the attractions to add to your Mexico City itinerary. Chapultepec Park is HUGE – in fact, it’s the largest inner-city park in all of Latin America. It’s TWICE the size of Central Park in NYC!
The Chapultepec Castle is the main attraction within this park, which is located atop Chapultepec Hill. This means that visiting the castle will offer spectacular views of Mexico City. It also earns the distinction as the only royal castle in the Americas.
The hill itself wherein the castle is built on is considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs. The building has also served many purposes over the years and has been a key part of many historical events over the years. It was once an Imperial residence, Presidential home, military academy, and observatory.
Today, the Chapultepec Castle is the home of the National Museum of History. Aside from the castle, you should also spend some time strolling through the Mexican version of Central Park.
➤ The Chapultepec Castle Tour offers you early access to the castle, so you can explore its over 10 halls without the crowds and learn about the site’s importance for the Aztec rulers. The tour also includes a guided visit to the National Anthropology Museum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Once you’re done strolling around Chapultepec Park, head to the Anthropology Museum, also known as the National Museum of Anthropology. This museum in Mexico City is a world-class museum that is home to over 600,000 objects relating to the anthropological Mexican history. Most of these items in the collection date back to prehistoric times.
➤ The National Museum of Anthropology Guided Tour allows you to see the artifacts exhibited with an archaeological and historical context provided by your guide, so you gain insights into the influence and contributions that those civilizations had on the Mexico you know today. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
AFTERNOON | Polanco
Continue your Mexico City itinerary by heading to Polanco. Polanco is the neighborhood in Mexico City where you’ll want to splurge in fine dining and boutique stores. This trendy, upmarket area hosts some museums and theaters but is mainly home to shopping venues, bars, and plenty of luxurious dining options.
For a sample of Polanco’s shopping culture, stroll down Avenida Presidente Masaryk, the main avenue which is lined by shops, and then head to Antara Fashion Hall, an open-air shopping mall with world-renowned brand stores, as well as some local ones, eateries, and a cinema.
➤ The Polanco Food Tour takes private and small groups to explore the culinary traditions of Polanco on a walking tour. You’ll try the most traditional dishes, drinks, and delicious chocolate desserts; a must-do for all foodies! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Right next to Antara Fashion Hall is Museo Soumaya, which should be the last stop on your Mexico City itinerary. This is home to the largest art gallery collection in the Mexican capital. First and foremost, this museum is an attraction because of its striking, modern architecture.
Aside from the architecture, it is also home to many notable art pieces such as Rodin’s The Thinker, Rio Juchitan, Madonna of the Yarnwinder (a version of da Vinci’s original creation), and the Virgen de Guadalupe con las cuatro apariciones (by Juan de Saenz). End your Mexico City Itinerary with a visit to this museum.
How to Get Around Mexico City
Getting around Mexico City is easy because there are plenty of options available. The best two are Uber (or taxi) and the Metro system.
Using public transportation is the cheapest way to travel in Mexico City. Each ride on the metro can cost as little as $0.25. Plus, a lot of the tourist attractions in Mexico City can be accessed by or are close to train stations.
The Metrobus (a faster type of bus), on the other hand, is another cheap yet efficient option to travel within Mexico City, but expect the buses to be quite crowded.
You can purchase the Smartcard for 16 Pesos (initial cost 10 pesos + 1 ticket) that you can use to pay when riding the metrobus and metro. It’s rechargeable and worth buying if you are going to travel around often with the metro system in Mexico City.
Uber and Cabify, which is the Mexican version of Uber, are probably the easiest way to get around, even though more expensive than the metro. You just need to have a local SIM card and download the app. I honestly recommend Uber and Cabify way more than taxis. It’s safer, it’s tracked, and you know the price beforehand.
If you decide to take a taxi, make sure you you ask your hotel to book one for you to ensure that get an official taxi and avoid scams. When around the city, look for the “Sitio” stands around the town. From there, you can flag down a taxi to take you to various parts of the city.
Always make sure that the driver has put the meter on, or ask for it (“taximetro”). If they refuse, get out.
Where to stay in Mexico City: Hotels for All Budgets
Book your accommodation by using the map below ⬇
Casa Malí by Dominion Boutique Hotel: This hotel features modern suites and studio. Every unit comes with a full-equipped kitchenette, washer and dryer. Excellent location in Condesa.
Check out prices and availability for Casa Malí by Dominion Boutique Hotel.
Las Alcobas – A Luxury Collection Hotel: This elegant hotlel boasts a delightful contemporary decor and spacious suites with a hydromassage bath and toiletries. There’s a spa, a gym and a great restaurant; breakfast is included with the stay.
Check out prices and availability for Las Alcobas – A Luxury Collection Hotel
Boutique & Mid-Range Hotels
Downtown: This elegant hotel is built in a restored 17th century palace, and it features a great outdoor pool and a roof terrace that offers incredible views over the city.
Check out prices and availability for Downtown.
Hotel Histórico Central: A 4-star hotel with elegant rooms in an excellent location in the city center. The free bikes for guests and the complimentary juices and sandwiches 24 hours make this place special.
Check out prices and availability for Hotel Histórico Central.
Hotel Templo Mayor: A 3-star hotel with basic, clean rooms right in the heart of the historic old town. Perfect location just steps from the Zocalo, in an 18th century building.
Check out prices and availability for Hotel Templo Mayor.
Mexico City Hostel: Both private rooms and dorms are available. In the center of the city, just 5 minutes walk to the square. The hostel offers a cooked breakfast, clean facilities, and common areas.
Check out prices and availability for Mexico City Hostel.
Looking for something different? Find here the best prices for hotels in Mexico City.
Best Time to visit Mexico City
The ideal time to visit Mexico City is during the months of March to May. It is also more crowded during this time of the year than any other months, but you can also enjoy the beautiful weather. The average temperature from March to May is at 22 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Another alternative season to visit Mexico City is during the dry season of December to April. When you visit this time of the year, you can expect almost no rain but very high temperatures. If you visit during the cooler months (December to February), hotel rates are lower but it will be cold, especially at night. If you want to avoid the rain, avoid traveling to Mexico City from June to August.
Is Mexico City safe?
Before heading to Mexico, everyone felt the need to warn me about it. Be safe! Mexico is dangerous! But… is it really? Sure, there are parts of Mexico that are extremely dangerous and you shouldn’t venture to, and there are areas in Mexico city and other cities where you definitely shouldn’t go, but isn’t it the same for any country in the world?
Honestly, I felt perfectly safe in Mexico City. The tourist areas are patroled by loads of policemen, which mostly avoids the petty crimes to happen. Just make sure you ask your hotel receptionist if the area you are heading to is safe. Take a taxi when is dark (have your hotel call for one) or use Uber and Cabify cars that are tracked and safer. You will be fine!
Areas to Avoid in Mexico City
However, there are some Mexico City’s neighborhoods that you need to be extra cautious when you choose to go.
Tepito is one of those neighborhoods that you must avoid whenever possible. It got its dicey reputation for a reason. Most of the tourists who come here do so for the opportunity to shop for cheap goods, but you are better off finding bargains somewhere else.
If you are a foreigner, going to this part of Mexico City is like an invite for muggers and pickpockets. To be 100% honest, I did visit Tepito and nothing happened, but I was with a local which does make a difference.
Doctores is one neighborhood that you probably won’t be able to avoid as it is the location of the arena where the lucha libre show is held. When you go to Doctores, make sure to plan your transport well. It might be worth paying extra to hire a Uber that will drop you off directly at the arena. When the show ends, don’t wander around.
Tourist Scams in Mexico City
Aside from these neighborhoods, it is also recommended that you beware of tourist scams when visiting Mexico City. Pickpockets in public transport are a very common scam in Mexico City. Beware when people approach you to ask questions or directions. Some of them could be distracting you while another person reaches into your bag to get your wallet or other valuables.
One more scam to watch out for involves your credit card. When paying with credit cards in Mexico City, make sure they do this in front of you. Some might steal your credit card information without you even knowing.
Finally, be very careful about fake banknotes in Mexico City. There are many of them in circulation throughout the country. Make sure you remain alert so you can avoid the fake bills.
How Many Days in Mexico City?
If you’re wondering how many days to spend in Mexico City, well, there’s not one good answer. To really be able to see the city, go off the beaten path, and go on a couple of day trips from Mexico City you’ll need one week in town… but who has all this time? 3 days in my opinion are enough to visit the main highlights of the city, and even better if you can have 4 or 5 days in Mexico City.
I’d say no less than 3 days and no more than 5 if it’s your first time in the city and want to get to know it… but you also want to have time to go and explore other parts of the country! How about combining Mexico City with a 2-week road trip in the Yucatan?
What to Pack for Mexico City
This is a list of the essential items you need to pack for your Mexico City itinerary:
Straw Woven Hat – It is a must in order to protect against the heat of the sun.
Light Pants – It is a versatile piece that can go from day to night. Plus, it has to be made of lightweight fabric so it can keep you cool in the heat.
Maxi Dress – It is stylish, comfortable, and easy to layer for day to night use.
Walkable Shoes – It can be flat shoes or sneakers. Either way, it must be comfortable enough to walk around in.
Theft-Proof Backpack – Mexico City is known for its pickpockets. It is important to protect yourself against theft when you navigate into crowded spaces.
Water Bottle –The heat can cause you to sweat a lot so make sure you stay hydrated.
Pashmina Scarf – The sun is more intense in Mexico City due to the high elevation. This scarf can be used as another layer of protection from the heat.
Mexico City Itinerary FAQ
Mexico City has lots to offer, so a minimum of three days is necessary to visit its main attractions and learn about the city’s culture and history.
March to May are the best months to visit Mexico City to experience great weather and avoid both the intense heat and the rain season.
Yes! Mexico City offers a great combination of history, culture, art, and ancient ruins that will give you a glimpse of the country’s past and how it’s helped to shape the Mexico of today. You’ll enjoy incredible food and witness local life closer than you would in Quintana Roo.
It is not safe to walk around Mexico City at night, regardless if you’re accompanied by someone (and especially if you’re alone!) I highly recommend spending a little extra on private transportation if you’re going out after dark.
Yes, Uber is regulated in Mexico City and it’s perfectly safe to use it.
Heading To Other Places in Mexico? Check These Out!
Have you been to Mexico City? Do you have any tips that I left out?
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