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All You Need to Know for Visiting Teotihuacan, Mexico

Visiting Teotihuacan and looking for the best travel advice? Here you’ll find all the necessary info to make your Teotihuacan day trip a total success!

Teotihuacan is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico. This site is only 40 km away from Mexico City, so Teotihuacan is a popular day trip destination for tourists based in the city. 

The site is especially famous for its large pyramids dedicated to the sun and the moon, but here you’ll also find a museum and several structures with murals and ancient carvings on them. Walking around these structures is bound to take you back to the times of the ancient Mesoamericans.

Visiting Teotihuacan is a must if you’re interested in the fascinating history of Mexico and the Aztec people, and you’ll likely be blown-away by the enormous pyramids and all the Teotihuacan facts you’ll learn at the site’s museum. 

Best Tours to Teotihuacan, Mexico

There are quite a few tours to Teotihuacan that offer transportation from your hotel and certain perks like early access or the knowledge of a guide to fill you in on all the Mexican history. Check out some of the best tours from Mexico City to Teotihuacan. 

➤ This Teotihuacan Early Access tour is the perfect choice to avoid the crowds, as you’ll enter the archeological site before anyone else. An archaeologist will explain the history of the pyramids and its inhabitants, and you’ll get to take pictures without other tourists ruining them. To cap off the tour, you’ll visit an obsidian factory and enjoy tastings of tequila, mezcal and pulque. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, Guadalupe Shrine and Tequila Tasting Tour is quite comprehensive, as you can see from its name. The full-day tour takes you to some of the top historical attractions in the area, starting with Tlatelolco, where the main market of the Aztec empire once stood. You’ll then head to the Shrine of Guadalupe, one of the most popular Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world, and finally visit the archaeological site of Teotihuacan. To finish the tour on a good note, you’ll enjoy a tequila tasting. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Ever wondered how Teotihuacan looks from above? You can now find out with the Hot Air Balloon Flight that soars over Teotihuacan Valley and the archaeological site. You will be served breakfast, toast with complimentary alcoholic beverages and get a diploma. The flight lasts about 45 minutes, depending on weather conditions, and transportation from Mexico City is available. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

How to Get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City

The location of Teotihuacan is 40 Kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Mexico City. While you can drive to the site, traffic is pretty mad in Mexico City, and you may waste a lot of time in traffic jams; the most reliable way of getting to Teotihuacan from Mexico City is public transportation. 

There are buses departing every 30 minutes from Terminal del Norte, the bus station. Once you get to the station, head to Gate 8 to buy your bus tickets to Teotihuacan. The trip takes around one hour each way, and it costs 106 pesos (USD 5.2) roundtrip at the time of writing. 

Pro tip: Take the bus at 8 AM to get to the pyramids of Teotihuacan as soon as they open, avoiding the crowds that arrive around noon. 

Practical Info for visiting Teotihuacan Archaeological site

How much does it cost to visit Teotihuacan? 

The Teotihuacan entrance fee is 80 pesos (around USD 4) at the time of writing and it includes entrance to the museum. 

Teotihuacan Opening Hours

These Aztec pyramids near Mexico City open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Is Teotihuacan open since the Pandemic? Yes. While there are a few restrictions to keep everyone safe, the site is open to visitors. 

What’s the best time to visit Teotihuacan? 

To avoid the crowds, the best time to visit the site is early in the morning, as soon as it opens. Most tour buses arrive around noon, so that is the busiest time in Teotihuacan. 

Short History of Teotihuacan

The construction of the pyramids and other structures at the pre-Hispanic site of Teotihuacan is estimated at around 200 BC. Until today, the language that was used by the ancient inhabitants is unknown so they are known simply as “Teotihuacanos”. The ancient civilization rose to the peak of its power between 300 and 600 CE. During that period, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

It was abandoned in the year 800 for unknown reasons. It also marked the end of the Classical period in Mesoamerica, and it’s considered as a sacred site by the Aztecs even though it was abandoned long before the Aztecs were established. In fact, it was the Aztecs that named the site Teotihuacan, which means “city of the gods”.

What to Visit at Teotihuacan

I put together a list of must-see attractions when you visit the ancient site of Teotihuacan and its pyramids so you know what to look for!

Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan  

The Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan is the most important and visually imposing structure in the architecture of Teotihuacan. This pyramid is also one of Mexico’s largest ancient structures at 200 feet high and 700 feet wide. 

Unlike the famed pyramids of Egypt that had a pointed top, the pyramids in Teotihuacan are flat on the top which often served as a base for temples. The pyramids were built on top of a sort of cave that was unearthed during the 1970s. The cave itself is 100 yards long and it’s shaped like a four-leaf clover, composed of four chambers. 

During the times of ancient Mexico, caves were referred to as underground passages that provided a point of entry to the underworld. As such, these sites were considered sacred. 

Climbing the pyramids at Teotihuacan is allowed, and you’ll have to go up 250 steps to reach the top of this pyramid; the views from above, though, are worth it. 

⚠️ Due to COVID, the pyramids cannot be climbed currently, although the restriction appears to be temporary.  

Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan  

Another notable attraction at the Teotihuacan archaeological site is the Pyramid of the Moon. This structure is believed to have been used for ritual sacrifices and offerings, and as the burial ground for sacrificial victims. 

While the Moon Pyramid in Teotihuacan is not as tall as the Sun Pyramid, it is situated on higher ground, therefore competing for the highest point in the site and offering astounding views of the Avenue of the Dead, the Moon Plaza and the other pyramids surrounding it. 

Temple of the Feathered Serpent 

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent is another must-see attraction during your visit to the ancient city of Teotihuacan. It’s the third-largest pyramid on the site and is striking because of the discovery of potential sacrificial victims and their remains beneath this structure during the 1980s. The structure, along with the burials made on this site, dates back to 150 to 200 AD.

 The pyramid was named after the feathered serpent images that were found on the sides of its structure. This is believed to be one of the earliest uses of the image, which was later associated with the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Actually, the name Temple of the Feathered Serpent is a modern name for the structure because it was once known as the Temple of Quetzacoatl. 

Palace of Quetzlpapalotl

The Palace of Quetzlpapalotl is without question the most impressive structure in Teotihuacan’s ancient archaeological grounds in terms of sheer beauty. It boasts of fine palatial details that include ornately carved pillars, tablero-style lintels, and an architectural masterpiece that showcase power and wealth. This structure was configured as part of a square courtyard, made up of four porticoed vestibules that lead to rooms on all sides.

The Palace of Quetzlpapalotl was named after the images that were carved onto its pillars. This structure was built upon a much older structure on the site, the Temple of the Feathered Conches, which was buried beneath the Palace of Quetzlpapalotl but when the archaeologists performed excavation, they uncovered that this structure remained intact. During that time, the archaeologists built access to the buried structure so it’s now possible to visit that one too! 

Avenue of the Dead

The Avenue of the Dead is another must-see attraction when you visit the Teotihuacan archaeological site. It served as the main axis of the ancient city of Teotihuacan, and it’s the avenue where those destined to die in the pyramids walked, hence its name.  

The Avenue of the Dead starts from north of Citadel and extends all the way to the Temple of the Moon. The configuration of the avenue is purposefully designed to be at a 16-degree angle facing northwest which, according to the archaeologists, was designed like that to achieve alignment with the setting sun during certain times of the year. 


The museum at Teotihuacan archaeological site is one of the attractions you can’t afford to miss during your visit. Known as Museo del Sitio, this museum is to the south of Pyramid del Sol. The museum is a favorite stop among those who explore the historic archaeological complex and it’s home to a fantastic display of historical artifacts, real skeletons that were uncovered from the ground, and fresco panels.

There’s also an interesting showcase about local beliefs and ancient rituals which will help you understand the significance of each structure here even more. 

Spring Equinox at Teotihuacan 

The Spring Equinox is an annual event observed in Teotihuacan around the 20th day of March. Similar celebrations also occur on other sites in Mexico with pre-Hispanic importance such as Chichen Itza and Malinalco.

During the Spring Equinox, thousands of people visit Teotihuacan, many of them dressed in white with red accessories. A variety of rituals take place on the site, including dancing, chanting and burning incense; the most popular, however, is climbing to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and stretching the arms toward the Sun in order to receive its energy. It’s believed that it also bestowes good health, and the best time to do it is in the morning, when the sun just rises over the horizon. 

Tips for Visiting Teotihuacan

▶ Teotihuacan is a large site of about 8 square miles (20 square kilometers), so be prepared to walk and climb quite a bit during your visit. Comfortable clothes and (especially!) shoes are vital to ensure a successful trip! Bringing a hat and sunscreen is also extremely important, as you’ll be wandering under the sun for the majority of the time. 

▶ There are no signs or information around the site as you visit it, so it’s a good idea to check out the Museum first to get some insight into the history of the ancient city of Teotihuacan, its architecture and models of how the city looked back in the day. If you’re really interested in the subject, you can visit the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City to learn all about the Mayan and Aztec people. 

▶ If you’re visiting on your own, hire a local guide at the site. While the sights of the pyramids are already worth your visit, it’s a whole other experience if you learn about the history of Teotihuacan while you’re there. 

Teotihuacan Hotels

If you want to spend the night closeby to visit the ruins early in the morning, you can stay in the town of San Juan Teotihuacan.

Bear in mind, however, that while it may be practical to stay near the archaeological site, the town is not very developed and there are not many facilities. If you like having different options to go out for dinner or shops and supermarkets nearby, you’ll be better off staying in Mexico City and traveling to Teotihuacan from there. 

If you don’t mind the lack of amenities and prioritize being close to the site, check out the best hotels near Teotihuacan where you can stay. 

Hotel Jatziri

The Jatziri hotel offers rooms with a seating area, private bathroom and free toiletries. TV and internet access are also available, and there’s a sun terrace from where you can see the pyramids at Teotihuacan. Most rooms facing the site also boast a balcony with views of the ruins. 

You can book a massage for an extra fee, and get free parking as long as you request it prior to your arrival. The archaeological site is a 5-minute drive from the hotel. 


Posada & Spa Jade Teotihuacan

Posada & Spa Jade Teotihuacan features rooms with private bathrooms that come with free toiletries and a hair dryer. There is a terrace with views of the garden accessible to all guests, 24-hour front desk and laundry facilities. WiFi access and private parking is included, and so are flat-screen TVs with cable channels in all rooms. Some of the rooms also boast a balcony or terrace. 

Massages and access to the spa jacuzzi can be booked at an extra fee. 


Posada Colibri – Hotel & Spa

This hotel near Teotihuacan offers spacious rooms decorated in a Mexican-style that have views of the garden, private bathrooms with toiletries and towels and flat-screen TV. 

Posada Colibri also boasts a swimming pool and offers temazcal treatments and spa, laundry services and a dining area with a piano, available for guests. Continental breakfast is included and the archaeological site is only a 6-minute drive away. 


Teotihuacan FAQ

Is Teotihuacan Aztec or Mayan?

Teotihuacan is an Aztec archaeological site northeast of Mexico City

What is Teotihuacan known for?

Teotihuacan, which means place where the gods were created in the Aztec language, is widely known for its two main pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, and the colorful murals throughout the site. Teotihuacan is home to some of the most architecturally important pre-Columbian pyramids; back in the day, the site was an essential part of the Aztec empire. 

Is it safe to travel to Teotihuacan?

The trip to Teotihuacan is pretty safe, and there is a security checkpoint at the terminal, as well as police officers around the site. Common sense, however, is always key to keeping safe anywhere. 

Can you still climb the Pyramid of the Sun?

The pyramids at Teotihuacan cannot be climbed currently. The restrictions were introduced after the site closed down for a few months during the pandemic, although there are no indications that they are definite. 

Can you Uber to Teotihuacan?

Yes, you can take an Uber for your Teotihuacan trip. If you’re not willing to travel on public transportation, it’s the best option! 

How much does it cost to go to Teotihuacan?

If you’re taking the bus to Teotihuacan, the visit with roundtrip transportation and entrance fee included will cost you around 10 dollars at the time of writing. 

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.