I’m a lover of the world and far off places who is so excited that you’re here. Looking forward to sharing more of my world with you and all the things I love. I hope this site really does feel like a wellness oasis right here on the internet.
I’ve been going to Mexico City at least once a year for the past few years and I’m obsessed. It’s become one of my favorite cities and there’s just so much to love. This post was a long time coming, because I’ve been encouraging people to go and giving one off recommendations for what feels like forever. Finally, I took the time to put it all together. Mexico City is one of those cities I just can’t stay away from. If there is ever an opportunity to layover here, I’ll take it! The city is so rich with amazing culture and food, plus the weather has always been mild on my trips.
When most people think of Mexico, they think of the beautiful beach cities and all those parts of the country have to offer, but Mexico City is just as amazing, whether you are there for an extended amount of time or a short trip. I touched down for the first time and was so pleasantly surprised by how different the experience can be across all of the different cities in Mexico. Sharing all of my recommendation on places to go, things to do, and of course, where to stay. I have to say this is a community effort in so many ways because a lot of these recommendations were ones I was initially given the first time I went. Shoutout to my good friend, Gen, for really encouraging me to explore a alot of these places on my first trip.
I’ve often traveled alone to Mexico City (CDMX), and the value is incredible. I’ve felt safe and it’s been a great place for me to get to know myself even better. You can easily find a solid Hotel or Airbnb for under $100 per night but if you’re looking to do it big, the Four Seasons hovers around $200-300 a night and is STUNNING. I will say, usually I’m focused on saving, so I’ve stayed at a lot of Airbnb’s over the years during my visits and let me tell you, there are some really amazing options. Along with the Airbnb’s I’ve personally stayed in, I made sure to add a few extras to give you guys some options. When booking anything, my biggest piece of advice is to always READ REVIEWS, always.
Uber is so easy to use, there are uber’s everywhere, it’s so helpful to use the app and not have to worry about carrying cash or getting lost. If you’re traveling within Mexico City or to the airport, this is a great option. If you’re heading to another town that’s a bit farther away, keep in mind that Uber’s may not be available.
Your credit card will work basically everywhere (don’t forget to let your bank know you’re headed to Mexico) but having some pesos with you is always a good idea, especially when you are walking around in the markets you will need them. You never know when you’ll need a few for activities or street food.
A lot of people will say 4-5 days is good amount of time, but I’ve done long layovers in Mexico City and I’ve also spent some time doing day trips or more time-intensive activities, so it all depends on what you prioritize. I’ve visited several times and always discover something new, so truly think that you could easily spend weeks exploring. If you plan on doing some of the day trips I suggest below, I would maybe add a day or two to make sure you are getting the full experience.
Unlike the United States, dining is timed more European-style with lunch being the focal meal. The goal is not to breeze through meals with family and friends. Every meal is intended to last a few hours, spent with loved ones catching up and hanging out. Dinner is often quite late as folks are just finishing up lunch in the late afternoon so be prepared for that.
This is just my experience, but if you want current information, I’d recommend looking through this website that is updated by the Government.
I traveled in early October and a negative COVID test wasn’t required to fly in although the boarders for drivers are still closed. This could change, but while traveling around Mexico, we just needed to fill out a form online before we got on our flight. There’s usually wifi in the airport, but doing it in advance can save time if you’re traveling to a few places.
Most restaurants do outdoor seating where they can and have a limited capacity indoors, so if you’re trying to go to Lalo for breakfast (highly recommend BTW) just be mindful of timing and don’t try to go in a rush because popular places may have more of a wait than usual. Since restaurants are doing their best to make it work, hours may shift and so just check google quickly or call before heading over.
I didn’t spend a ton of time in touristy areas this last trip, but while dining indoors, Mexico City seemed to have the process down. You enter and get a temperature check along with hand sanitizer and then you’re seated at your table which is 6+ feet away from others. Honestly, everyone was really good about wearing masks and I felt more comfortable in CDMX than some US cities.
Habitacion Avant garde, con bella vista al jardin – This is where I stayed most recently and it was honestly gorgeous. The Airbnb felt like a museum in the best way and the room was huge, perfect desk for getting work done too. The perfect location for us to get around town, along with so many amazing restaurants pretty closeby.
LOFT Paseo de la Reforma – This Stunning loft overlooks the city and the rooftop pool had stunning views. The overall space in the apartment was great but there wasn’t as much within walking distance as you’d find in Roma or Condesa.
Nice Studio A | Design + Gym + Free parking – We all know when I travel I try to stay on top of my fitness goals and crave the mental clarity my workouts bring me, so when I came across this cute modern Airbnb with a gym I was already planning my next trip to Mexico City (kidding, kind of).
Mexican Artcraft. Balcony Flat. – This artsy Airbnb seems to fit well with the theme of museums and art exhibits in the city, so not only can you explore local art outside, but you can also enjoy it from within your own Airbnb space.
Loft with private terrace in the heart of Condesa – This loft opens to a private terrace full of plants with views of the city. Gives me all the modern cool vibes.
As we all know, I LOVE Airbnb’s, but sometimes when you are traveling, you want the comfort of a cozy hotel bed, a gym, & maybe even a restaurant an elevator ride away. I also know cleanliness is so key these days and some people feel more comfortable in a hotel setting, which is totally understandable. So I did a little research to find you guys some top notch hotels in Mexico City.
Orchid House – This absolutely stunning hotel is in a prime location, surrounded by the best restaurants, small boutiques and a quick walk to some of the best landmarks.
Downtown Mexico – One of the oldest buildings in the area, the rooms and over all hotel give off a chic bohemian style. There’s a rooftop bar along with a pool terrace that look right up my alley.
La Valise Mexico City – Referred to as an urban oasis this luxury hotel looks to be the ultimate exclusive experience with three elegant suites to choose from, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Above (top to bottom): Lalo Chilaquiles (no egg), Huset Evo Pizza & Pujol Course 4
Los Cocuyos – My friend recommended this place and told me that it’s THE BEST taco stand in the world. If you go, get the campechanos and you’ll enjoy every bite. Since I don’t eat meat I opted for El Pescadito!
Los Churros del Moro – This is located in El Centro. If you like Churros or want to try them while you’re in CDMX, this is definitely the place to go.
Downtown – Such a gorgeous, old hotel with the cutest rooftop bar for a quick drink before walking around the central square area.
La Especial de París – A cute traditional Mexican ice-cream shop, that has been around for almost 100 years.
Pujol – This restaurant is Number 12 on the World’s Best list, so you know it’ll be worth your time. It’s a higher end meal, but the value is still incredible. I went for a birthday dinner and it was really special. If you’re celebrating something, then you should definitely note that on your reservation. They have a lunch time seating that’s often easier to make a reservation for than dinner time, so look out for that. In current times, you can get seating more easily than usual, but it’s definitely something you want to book in advance.
Quintonil – This is another great place rated on the World’s Best list. Personally, I decided on Pujol instead but I’ve heard amazing things. The tasting menu is so so good. Sounds wild but if you go, get the escamoles, I’ve been told they’re INSANELY good (ant eggs, similar to caviar).
Huset – I’ve been here more times than I can count and honestly, they’ve always had such a beautiful outdoor space, so with new COVID procedures we’re all in luck. The Avocado Pizza isn’t on the menu but it is SOOO good.
Contramar – This is another fave that’s best for lunch because they’re usually only open 12-6pm. Seafood focused menu and their signature fish is EVERYTHING. It’s really good. Definitely a bit of a splurge but the fish is tasty and the vibe is great. If possible try to get a table outside and really enjoy the meal. Get the tuna tostada with avocado because it’s so so good. I went solo and you can actually get half portions of most appetizers so you can try a variety of things.
La Docena – This place is known for their grilled oysters and micheladas with such a great vibe in the space.
Lardo: Amazing spot for breakfast with tons of options for folks like me who don’t eat egg. Coffee was great! They’ve also got other options throughout the day that look amazing.
Ice Cream Nation: Honestly one of my faves because their cookies and cream slaps, it’s so good and made as you’re watching which is fun. Don’t eat this before a tasting dinner (talking from experience) but it’s so perfect on a hot day.
El Pescadito: THE BEST fish tacos and they don’t use egg in their batter, so I thoroughly enjoyed EVERY bite. There are several locations so just google the one that’s closest to you. Speaking of Google, love saving my list of places on there for easy access and navigation.
Tacos El Califa: Great for late night because they’re pretty much always open, we went at 11pm as soon as we landed this last trip and the food was so good. You order single tacos, so you can try a bunch.
This is one of the oldest areas where you can visit the Cathedral, Bellas Artes, Templo Mayor and Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (its a beautiful museum with amazing art by famous muralists, but it was once a school – – you can stroll down to el Zocalo (main square) and see a lot/get a sense of the space w/o going into any of the buildings.
Zocalo: The central square in Mexico City is virtually impossible to not visit while you are there! The buildings that surround this square are breathtaking and show much history.
Metropolitan Cathedral :This cathedral is like nothing I have ever seen before, the outside architecture is beautiful and inside is another level of detail you can only imagine.
La Casa de los Azulejos: This is an 18th century house with traditional Talavera mosaic façade in el Centro, it’s a Mexico City must-see with beautiful peacock murals and early works from José Clemente Orozco
This is what some refer to as the “ritzy” part of town, reminds me a lot of Chicago & LA, in my opinion. Not only does it have some of the best food, but the shopping is unreal. Along with shopping, there is no shortage of museums to check out.
Antara Fashion Hall: This open air high end shopping center is beautiful & has everything you could want in one central location.
Bosque de Chapultepec – This is one of the largest parks in Mexico City with a large lake in the middle, its surrounded by museums & just as beautiful as one can imagine.
Museo Jumex: This art exhibit holds one of Latin Americas largest contemporary art collections. When traveling I really like to take in the culture and history, so museums and art exhibits are a great way to do that.
One of my favorite parts of the city with beautiful architecture, the two main squares are Plaza Río de Janeiro and Plaza Luis Cabrera. There are a lot of restaurants and cute places around there as well as streets like Colima, Alvaro Obregón and Orizaba. There is also a lot of really great shopping here. I highly suggest this area if you’re like me and just love to walk around. There’s so much beauty to take in, and you’re likely to stumble upon some hidden gem.
Museo del Objeto del Objeto: This museum of everyday objects is an interesting take on museums. They previously had exhibits containing art such as Concert Posters, Goals & Passions: 11 Decades of Soccer in Mexico and Children of the XIX century to name a few.
Street Art: Although there are a ton of museums for you to check out, there are a lot of street art and buildings to check out in this area of Mexico City. I also enjoy wandering around a new place so its a bonus when its as beautiful as this.
I stumbled upon the Casa Lamm Cultural Center (Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm) and would highly recommend stopping in for a glass of wine or drink just to take it all in. Enjoy their library space if you can!
Mercado Medellín: This is such a cute market to wander around in, they’ve got fruits, veggies, snacks, and a lot to enjoy. They’ve got food from all throughout Latin America which is fun. You’ll find Mexican delicacies of course, but there’s also so much more.
Helado Obscuro: A super cute ice cream shop with a twist! Famous for having tons of boozy cool options, I’d recommend going especially on a hotter day.
Teotihuacan Pyramids: Teotihuacan is known as the city of the Gods with towering pyramids and stone temples. If you can find a way to sneak this day trip into your vacation, I would say it’s a MUST see. There was so much history that I was unaware of, and the views were literally our of this world. There are a ton of tours you can join to see everything, but after going on a hot air balloon ride myself, I would highly suggest checking that option out.
Volare Hot-Air Balloon: I had the opportunity to do a sunrise hot-air balloon ride (separate from seeing the pyramids), and it was such an amazing beautiful experience. Getting up early was difficult, but so worth it once you are up there and can see the city. They also did take great COVID precautions and did pickup in time for sunrise with breakfast included, you can book on Viator easily!
Tepoztlan: If you have an extra day or two I highly suggest making the day trip out to Tepoztlan. Its about 46miles south of Mexico City, the perfect adventure for a day and another way to explore more of the non-traditional Mexico. Sierra de Tepoztlán is something I would highly suggest if you do end up making this trip, this temple overlooks the city and is absolutely stunning! I also ended up getting a tattoo while I was there at Lado B Custom Tattoo and enjoyed my experience that was originally booked via Airbnb. So far so good! Everything was super clean, and we got a thorough explanation of everything including when it was purchased. We ate at Pueblo Gaucho afterwards, and it was great. If you’re going to go for the day, organize your transport back or be prepared to pay for a taxi in pesos since Uber isn’t reliable in the area.
Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum : I’m not sure what their current COVID regulations are, but it’s definitely a cool experience with a lot of room outside as well. Make sure you get tickets in advance because trying to go same-day is much more challenging.
Biblioteca Vasconcelos: Such beautiful architecture, although the neighborhood is a bit seedy so would just be mindful when going.
Angel of Independence: Great to see near Paseo de la Reforma.
Xochimilco: Lake town and super popular activity. I’ve not done this but it’s definitely popular, and tons of my friends have done it and had fun.
Lucha Libre Wrestling: This is super fun and honestly, I had way more fun than I expected so highly recommend if you’re already downtown. You can go on a tour but also on your own.
If you take a trip you’ll have to share which place is your favorite!