Mexico City Travel Guides

Super useful & totally free CDMX travel guides, written by travelers who know and love Mexico City

View of people and trees in a Park in the Juarez Neighborhood
A March Afternoon at the Park in the Juarez Neighborhood

Why We Love Mexico City: Mexico City, the country’s wonderfully green capital, attracts over 97 million tourists every single year, and for good reason. It’s an expansive collection of interesting neighborhoods with distinct flares. Within Mexico City, you’ll find incredibly diverse food options, picturesque weather, and an endless list of things to do.

Best of Mexico City

Things to Do

Overlooking view of Mexico City from Mirador Torre Latino Americano
Expansive Views Over Mexico City from Mirador Torre Latino Americano

Mexico City provides an eclectic mix of activities that can appeal to any type of traveler. Including things like museums, parks, archaeological complexes, and more. 

  • Teotihuacán – A famous sweeping archaeological complex that dates back to 400 B.C.
  • Chapultepec Park – Stroll through one of the largest parks in the Western Hemisphere at 686 hectares.
  • Zócalo – The city’s main square in Centro Historico is known for hosting cultural events.
  • Mirador Torre Latino – Take in panoramic views of CDMX from an observation tower over 500 feet high.
  • Arena Mexico – Watch a Lucha Libre professional wrestling show.

👉 Explore all things to do in Mexico City

🗺️ Where to Stay

There are quite literally hundreds of neighborhoods scattered throughout Mexico City. However, you want to dedicate your time to the best areas. Here are some of my top recommendations for where to stay:

  • Roma Norte/Sur– The ideal district for travelers craving a rich restaurant and nightlife scene.
  • Centro Historico – A busy, central neighborhood with lots of history that’s best for first-time visitors.
  • Coyoacan – A perfect spot for families and lowkey visitors, complete with thriving markets and museums.

👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Mexico City.

View of people in Parque Mexico
The Enormous Parque Mexico in the Roma Neighborhood

🛎️ Best Hotels

View of the bedroom interior in Mumedi Design Hotel
The Stunningly Unique Bedrooms at Mumedi Design Hotel in Centro Historico

There are many hotels throughout Mexico City. There is a wide variety of options available to suit every type of visitor and budget. 

  • The Wild Oscar – An upscale boutique hotel in Polanco within walking distance from the Museum of Anthropology and the metro.
  • Stanza Hotel – A comfy budget hotel in the top-notch location of Roma Norte.
  • Zócalo Central Hotel – A high-end hotel overlooking the Zocalo with a rooftop restaurant.

👉 Read the full list of Mexico City’s best hotels

🍽️ Restaurants

The Farmacia Internacional from the outside
One of my Favorite Places for a Light Lunch or Homemade Poptart in Juarez

Many people put Mexico City on their “must-travel” list for the food alone. There are just so many unique restaurants to dine at. 

  • Restaurante Rosetta – A famous fine-dining eatery filled with plants and local dishes.
  • Maximo – A brunch destination featuring tacos, suckling pigs, and an array of Mexican wines.
  • Los Callejeros – A taco joint serving up authentic local fare.
  • Pujol – An upscale dining establishment akin to a Michelin star restaurant.
  • Meroma – A chic spot offering local and international cuisine along with clever cocktails.

🍽️ Read the complete list of the best restaurants in Mexico City.

🚗 Day Trips

Scenic view while on a hike in Cerro Zapotecas Hike in Mexico City
Mountain Scape Views at Cerro Zapotecas Hike in Puebla
  • Puebla – A cute city located an hour southeast of Mexico City known for mole and unique pottery.
  • Cuernavaca – The capital of Morelos state, also known as the City of Eternal Spring for its gorgeous climate.
  • San Miguel de Allende – A colonial-style town in the central highlands with a flourishing arts and culture scene.
  • Xochimilco – Famous canals dating back to the Aztec era with colorful gondolas and many vendors. 
  • Tepoztlán – A beautiful city 1.5 hours south of CDMX offering a vibrant weekly market and the Aztec Tepozteco pyramid.

🚙 Read about the best day trips from Mexico City.

🏘️ Neighborhoods

A colorful art wall in a market in Mexico City
A Colorful Artisanal Market Located in the Juarez Neighborhood
  • Zona Rosa – An LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhood with a lively shopping and nightlife scene.
  • Condesa – A tree-filled art-deco neighborhood that makes for a great central base.
  • Polanco – A luxury district slightly outside the city center with upscale restaurants and lots of shopping.
  • San Rafael – A centrally-located neighborhood with unique architecture and museums nearby.
  • Narvarte – A quiet and calm neighborhood away from the busier parts of CDMX.

👉 Learn more about neighborhoods in Mexico City.

🍸 Bars

View of Tasty Carajillos Drinks on a table un Madre Cafe
Beautiful and Tasty Carajillos Drinks at Madre Cafe
  • Hanky Panky – A fancy members-only cocktail bar with a prohibition feel in Zona Rosa.
  • Balmori Roofbar – An upbeat bar/restaurant with international dishes and occasional DJs.
  • Wallace Whisky Bar – A quaint establishment featuring over 200 different kinds of whiskey.
  • Traspatio – A bar and grill with a magical atmosphere, outdoor seating options, and top-quality mezcal.
  • La Purísima – An LGBTQ+ bar in Centro Historico offering cocktails, snacks, and room to dance.

👉 See the full list of best bars in Mexico City.

🖼️ Museums

Aerial view of the illuminated Palacia De Bellas Artes Art Museum at night
The Palacia De Bellas Artes Art Museum in Centro Historico
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes – A legendary performance hall and art museum with works by Diego Riviera.
  • Soumaya Museum – Discover a huge European art collection inside of futuristic-style architecture.
  • Frida Kahlo Museum – Explore the world-famous artist’s lifelong blue home and her well-known works.
  • University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC) – A rotating collection of stunning modern exhibits and programs. 
  • National Anthropology Museum – Dive into the local history and see artifacts dating all the way back to the Maya civilization.

👉 Read the complete guide to Mexico City museums.

🛍️ Markets

View of botanas in Mercado de Jamaica
Tasty Botanas at Mercado de Jamaica
  • Mercado de San Juan – Wander around a gourmet and exotic food market with over 65 years of history.
  • Coyoacan Market – A massive two-story market that’s been around for 100 years with food, art, and clothes.
  • Mercado La Merced – One of the largest and busiest traditional food markets in Mexico City.
  • Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela – A cozy handicraft market in Zona Rosa offering customary gifts and folk art.
  • Tianguis Cultural del Chopo – An outdoor Saturday market specializing in hard rock and punk souvenirs.

👉 Check out our complete guide to the best markets in Mexico City

Mexico City Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

Many people assume that Mexico City has eternally beautiful weather, but that’s far from the case. There are distinct seasons and the weather fluctuates quite a bit in CDMX.

  • 🌤️ April-May – The shoulder season before the weather turns rainy is the cheapest time to visit with the best weather.
  • 🌞 December-April – The dry season attracts the most tourists because it’s consistently sunny.
  • May-October – The rainy season is usually less hectic but does entail afternoon showers on most days.
  • ⛈️ August-October – Hurricane season is the worst time to visit due to frequent heavy rains and possibly dangerous storms. 

👉 Read the full guide to the best time to visit Mexico

🚌 Getting Around

Mexico City is a gigantic city, but it’s super easy to get around. Whether you’re setting off on foot or need a ride further away, there are plenty of ways to explore Mexico City. 

  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – Mexico City is an extremely walkable city with the highest possible WalkScore of 100.  
  • 🚗 Driving – The roads of CDMX are pretty hectic, so I’d avoid driving yourself if possible. 
  • 🚇 Public Transit – Mexico City’s metro, buses, and trains are all very affordable and comfortable traveling options.
  • 📲 Ride Share – Uber, Cabify, and DiDi are the most common rideshare apps available in Mexico City.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – There are EcoBici bikes to rent all over Mexico City. Seven-day memberships cost $19.74 (391MXN).

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 🚰 – Don’t Drink the Tap Water – While Mexico City is a foodie hotspot, the water isn’t nearly as delectable. Definitely avoid drinking the tap water.
  • 💸 – Tip 10% to 15% – It’s very important to tip at least 10% in Mexico City because many service people are only paid through tips.
  • 💻 – Use a VPN – If you’ll be spending a lot of your time using public WiFi, invest in a reliable VPN. 
  • 💰 – Don’t Carry Loads of Cash – While you want to have some cash for street food and souvenirs, don’t carry more than you’re willing to lose. 
  • 🥘 – Go on a Food Tour – There’s so much good food around CDMX, but it’s sometimes hard to find as a foreigner. I’d recommend going on a food tour. 

🎒 What to Pack

  • ☀️ – Sunscreen – While you might not associate Mexico City with bright sunny days, it’s easy to get burned here. Sunscreen is a must. 
  • 🔋 – Portable Power Bank – You never want to get caught exploring with a dead phone, so make sure you carry a lightweight, portable power bank. 
  • 🏥 – First Aid Kit – Whether it’s a little scrape or a bad headache, you’ll be glad to have a first aid kit in Mexico. 
  • 😷 – Extra Face Masks – Face masks are required indoors in Mexico City, but many people wear them outdoors too. Make sure you have spare masks. 
  • 🧥 – Light Jacket – Mexico City gets pretty chilly at night no matter what season it is. Don’t forget to pack a light jacket and some pants. 

👉 Read our complete packing list for Mexico

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Census Population (2020) – 9.2 million (city), 21.7 million (metro)
  • Time Zone – Central Standard Time (UTC -5)
  • Area Codes – +52
  • Airports – Mexico City International Airport (MEX)
  • Nickname – DF, CDMX 
  • Demonynm – Capitalinos 
  • State – Mexico City 
  • CountryMexico 

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $50USD($990MXN)/night 
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $70USD (1,387MXN)/night
  • Rental Car – $50USD($990MXN)/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – ~$0.10USD-0.25USD (2MXN to 5MXN) 
  • Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $6.81USD (135MXN)
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $15USD (300MXN)
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $35USD (700MXN)
  • Draft Beer – $1USD-$5USD (20MXN-100MXN)

👉 Read our full guide to Mexico City on a Budget.

⚠️ Safety

Mexico City is safe and welcoming for tourists. While you’ll want to stay alert while traveling throughout Mexico’s capital city (and know which neighborhoods to visit vs avoid), there’s no reason to fear a visit. It’s a gorgeous and exciting city that can be navigated safely and easily with a little common sense. 

👉 Check out the complete guide to safety in Mexico City.

FAQs About Visiting Mexico City

Are there any travel restrictions to Mexico City right now?

As of April 2022, there are no longer any travel restrictions to Mexico City. However, the US CDC does rate it a Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19. You can fly to Mexico from the United States without getting a COVID-19 test or providing your vaccination status. On the way back to the United States, you will need a COVID-19 test. There are many testing facilities in Mexico City. 

What should you not do in Mexico City?

When you are in Mexico City, you should not flaunt your expensive jewelry or electronics, drink the tap water, or have way too much tequila. These are the types of behaviors that can get you into trouble one way or another. 

Can you drink alcohol in public in Mexico?

It is illegal to consume alcohol in public in Mexico. Even though many tourists think of Mexico as a party playground, you can get in big trouble if you take that energy on the streets. Drinking in public can land you with a fine or even time in jail. 

Is it ok to brush your teeth with tap water in Mexico City?

You should avoid brushing your teeth with tap water as a tourist in Mexico City. Most locals or long-term visitors feel comfortable brushing their teeth with tap water, but it can have a totally different effect on people who aren’t used to it.

Meet Our Mexico City Travel Experts

Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional writer from New York with an insatiable craving for exploring the world. After a post-college adventure around 6 Asian countries, she dove head-first into a writing career and travel lifestyle. Sky currently lives in Mexico City with her dog Bear. When she’s not whipping up content for Travel Lemming, she writes for Booking, Zippia, and her blog.

👉 Read Sky’s Articles

Nate from Travel Lemming

Nate Hake

Nate Hake is a travel writer and recovering attorney from Denver, Colorado. In 2016, Nate started traveling the world full time on a backpacking trip which took him to 43 countries across six continents in a single year (see his favorite travel photos from that trip here). Nate has been a full-time world traveler ever since. His travel advice has been featured in leading publications like NBC NewsCNNMicBusiness InsiderMashable, and Yahoo News.

👉 Read Nate’s Articles

📰 Mexico Travel Guides

Don’t stop here if you’re on a mission to plan your perfect Mexico vacation. If you are exploring the city or the rest of the country, be sure to read some of our helpful travel guides: 

🗺️ Mexico City Map