Blogger Mal at Zocalo during 5 days in Mexico City itinerary.
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5 Days In Mexico City Itinerary – By Local Expats!

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CDMX has a lot of cool neighbourhoods to pack into a 5 days in Mexico City itinerary, from the history-rich downtown to the stylish colonias of Roma Norte and Condesa.

To see it all means following a busy, maybe even hectic, schedule, but we’ve tried to build in a bit of leisure time in the city’s parks and cafes so it’s not all go, go, go!

This is definitely not a definitive guide to everything that’s worth seeing. Over 5 days, you probably won’t have time to explore some of the city’s sketchier districts like Tepito and La Merced, which we recommend as eye-opening contrasts to the more tourist-friendly parts of town.

Instead, we’ve focused on the essentials of what to see in Mexico City in 5 days for first-time visitors. Once you’ve fallen in love with la Ciudad, you can always come back for more!

⚠️ 10 Survival Tips For Your Trip To Mexico City. We live here and know both the amazing and the ugly sides of the city. ➡️ ➡️ Get your FREE Guide here.

5 Days In Mexico City Itinerary: Overview

5 DAYS ITINERARY

  • DAY 1 – Historic Centre 🎟️ (BEST TOUR)
  • DAY 2 – Teotihuacan + Basilica Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe 🎟️ (BEST TOUR) + Lucha Libre
  • DAY 3 – Neighbourhoods Of Roma Norte 🎟️ (BEST FOOFIE TOUR) + La Condesa
  • DAY 4 – Coyoacan + Xochimilco 🎟️ (BEST TOUR)
  • DAY 5 – Anthropology Museum + Polanco Neighbourhood + Chapultepec Park

Day 0 Of Itinerary For Mexico City – Arrival Day / Hotel Check In

The first thing to decide when planning a trip to Mexico City is where you’re going to base yourself. We always recommend staying in Roma Norte or Condesa, as both neighbourhoods are pretty, safe and have lots of nice places to chill, with Roma Norte being a better choice for lively nightlife.

On our first visit to CDMX, we stayed in the downtown area, which we didn’t overly enjoy. It was convenient to see the major sights, but it gets a bit dodgy at night and feels grubby compared to Roma Norte and Condesa. Better to visit the area than live in it!

We always catch an Uber from the airport to our accommodation because it’s cheap and convenient, but it’s also possible to use public transport. There’s a swanky Metrobus system as well as the cheap and cheerful metro lines connecting the airport to most places in town.

Day 1 Of 5 days in Mexico City itinerary – Centro Historico

Map of day 1 of 5 days in Mexico City Itinerary.
Click anywhere on the map to access its interactive version.

The Centro Historico (aka Historic Centre) is a good place to start your five days in Mexico City. Before the arrival of the conquistadors, the area was home to the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, which was founded in 1325.

Back in its heyday, it was thought to contain more than 200,000 people, putting it on a par with the great capitals of Europe.

Looking around the lively streets now, it’s hard to imagine that originally Tenochtitlan was built on an island in Lake Texcoco. This lake was drained by the Spanish to reduce flooding back in the 1600s, although there have been long-term consequences to the architecture of the city.

In fact, the city and its monuments are slowly sinking. We only recently learned that the iconic Palacio de Bellas Artes, for example, has sunk 4 metres since it was erected. All the more reason to see it now while you can!

We’ve provided a very brief outline of the area’s history, but the best way to get a feel for the Centro Historico is with a guide. There are several companies that offer walking tours, or you can go for a personalised private experience, which is still very affordable.

📍 Breakfast At Casa De Los Azulejos

House of tiles downtown
Mal at house of tiles

Start your day at the absolutely stunning House of Tiles (Casa de los Azulejos), an 18th-century palace that’s covered in blue-and-white Talavera tiles that were made in the nearby city of Puebla. 

Aside from being a great Instagram spot, we also discovered that there’s a cool restaurant inside the building’s picturesque courtyard. Surrounded by dramatic interiors influenced by mudejar architecture, you can enjoy a Mexican-style breakfast to the gentle sounds of piano music. Alternatively, pop by later on for the happy hour, when they do good deals on cocktails plus snacks.

Don’t forget to use the toilet before you go. There’s an early work by the famous Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco randomly located above the entrance to the loos! 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 07:00 – 01:00

📍 Metropolitan Cathedral Of Mexico City

Metropolitan Cathedral is a must visit on your 5 day itinerary Mexico City
Zocalo in Mexico City Downtown

From the Casa de los Azulejos, head directly east until you reach the Zocalo, CDMX’s main square.

This area is always abuzz with activity, and we often come here for free events. It’s also where residents pack in for strikes, which happen fairly frequently.

Surrounding the plaza are a couple of noteworthy buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana). It took almost 250 years to complete this elegant structure from when the Spaniards first broke ground in 1573.

It’s free to enter, so make sure you don’t spend all your time here just gawping at the elaborate stone portals outside!

Despite a massive fire that ripped through the interior in 1967, the cathedral still hosts some ridiculously OTT altars and splendidly gilded chapels

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 09:00 – 17:30

📍 Templo Mayor 

Templo Mayor in Centro Historico is a must visit for 5 days in Mexico City itinerary

Before the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Spanish, there was the Templo Mayor of the Aztecs. It was destroyed and built over after the fall of Tenochtitlan – to add insult to injury, some stones from the temple were taken to build the cathedral.

Fortunately for history buffs, modern excavations have managed to uncover some of the remains of what must once have been an extensive religious complex. 

Unfortunately, for history buffs, the current site isn’t much to look at. Where there once would have been a large pyramid where defeated enemies were ritually sacrificed, today there’s not much more than ruined walls.

The on-site museum helps massively to give a bit of context, as well as housing some choice pieces that have been unearthed by archaeologists.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 95 PESOS (JUST OVER $5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 09:00 – 17:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Coffee At Balcon Del Zocalo 

Blogger Robin at Balcon del Zocalo during his Mexico City itinerary.

We’re going to cover a lot of eating and drinking places in this Mexico City trip itinerary since that’s a huge part of coming to grips with the capital’s appeal.

First on our list is the Balcon del Zocalo, a restaurant located inside the Zócalo Central Hotel. 

As you might have guessed, this place is a lovely perch for views over the square, particularly of the cathedral – just make sure you don’t get stuck on an inner table.

The restaurant does a decent-tasting menu with prettily plated dishes, but we usually just come here for coffee, a pastry, and those lovely panoramas.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 07:00 – 23:00

📍 Plaza De Santo Domingo

Robin at Plaza Santo Domingo Church
street food stand at Plaza Santo Domingo

From here, head north along Calle Monte de Piedad to Mexico City’s second most important square, the Plaza de Santo Domingo. 

Established by Dominican monks in the 16th century. Most of the original buildings have since been rebuilt due to structural issues caused by subsidence (remember how CDMX is built on a lake?), so the majority of what you see now comes from the 18th century.

That includes the suitably imposing Palace of the Inquisition, now the Museum of Mexican Medicine, and the pretty Church of Santo Domingo.

The square is also a great place to come for street food. Our 5 day Mexico City itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of our favourite taco spots, El Puma, which sells delicious tacos al pastor for 30 pesos (about $1.50) a piece.

📍 National Art Museum

National Art Museum Mexico City
National Art Museum

About 15 minutes’ walk from the Plaza de Santo Domingo, the National Art Museum (Museo Nacional de Arte) is home to an interesting collection of Mexican works by post-colonial artists.

They have a bit of everything here, from early pieces from the 1600s, all the way up to modern greats like Diego Rivera.

The building itself is just stunning. Originally the Palace of Communications, it’s worth the 90-peso ($5) entry fee just to see the grandeur of the interiors. (Note that it’s 5 pesos extra to take photos.)

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 90 PESOS ($5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 17:30 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Palacio Postal 

Just across the road from the National Art Museum is the Palacio Postal, another fabulous edifice erected in the early 1900s under the direction of Porfirio Diaz. 

Appropriately enough, it now functions as a post office, so you can wander in for free to look at the incredible blend of metalwork, marble, and frescoed plaster.

Only make a quick stop here on your way to lunch.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 17:00 / SATURDAY 09:00 – 15:00 / SUNDAYS CLOSED

📍 Lunch With A View

lunch at Finca Don Porfirio

Finca Don Porfirio is a CDMX institution. It has one of the best views in Mexico City, overlooking the Palacio de Bellas Artes, so expect it to be busy. 

We normally wait around 30 minutes for a table. Generally, we first get seated by the wall, before the staff move us to the edge of the terrace once chairs become available.

The menu is simple, relying mainly on molletes (open-faced sandwiches) and cakes.  We always order the same light meal every time we come here: cheese and ham croissants! Mal pairs hers with the cookie and cream latte, but the coffee menu offers plenty of choice.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 11:00 – 20:00

📍 Palacio De Bellas Artes

Palacio de bellas Artes is a must visit during 5 days in Mexico City

Another highlight on our Mexico City 5 days itinerary is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. One of the most iconic buildings in the capital, it was built between 1904 and 1934, the break in construction leading to strikingly different architectural styles between the exterior and interior.

Outside, it’s pure art nouveau, the curving façade crowned with glorious orange roof. Inside, it’s quintessential art deco, as you can immediately see from the marble-plastered atrium.

Although you can enter the lobby for free, we recommend paying 85 pesos (around $4.90) to see the first-floor murals, including Diego Rivera’s masterpiece, El Hombre Controlador del Universo (Man, Controller of the Universe). This work has a controversial history, as its forerunner was erased from the walls of the Rockefeller Center for being too socialist.

Time your visit to coincide with one of the free tours, which run at either 12p m or 4 pm for the history of the building and 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm for detailed examinations of the murals.

For classical lovers, there are several theatres within the palace that regularly host concerts, opera, and ballet. 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 90 PESOS ($5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 18:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Alameda Central Park

Exit the Palacio de Bellas Artes into the adjacent Alameda Central, the city’s oldest public park.

We like to hang out here, and people-watch since it’s a very popular meetup spot for locals. On weekends, the place is filled with people selling street food and handmade accessories.

Sit for a short while to give your feet a rest before continuing onto the next stop.

📍 Barrio Chino

Blogger Robin cycling through China Town Mexico City
China Town in Mexico City

Wander in the direction of La Ciudadela, passing through the Barrio Chino on your way. This area sprung up in the 1880s as a home for Chinese immigrants, who came to Mexico to labour on the railroads and in the mines.

Covering just a couple of blocks along Calle Dolores, it’s not as impressive as Chinatowns elsewhere in the world, but we still found it interesting to wander past the various Chinese restaurants and shops selling Chinese goods.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: LIVELY FROM 12:00 – 18:00

📍 Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela

Blogger Robin wandering around Ciudadela Market

The Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela (commonly shortened to just La Ciudadela), is a great place to pick up a memento.

Although the prices are a little inflated, we like coming here to pick up souvenirs and gifts because it has a bunch of handcrafted items for sale, including traditional textiles, Dia de los Muertos paraphernalia, and the distinctive papier-mâché alebrijes sculptures.

For first timers to CDMX, the market is also very tourist friendly and easily navigable. It’s certainly more chill than some of the other mercados we’ve visited in the capital.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 19:00

📍 Dinner At Altanera Rooftop

Blogger Mal having dinner at Altanera Rooftop bar

Round out the first 24 hours of your 5 days in Mexico City itinerary with dinner at Altanera (one of the best rooftop restaurants in Mexico City). 

Another place with superb views, this time of the modern skyline, Altanera serves up contemporary Mexican with a flashy twist. The standouts for us are the guacamole with grasshoppers, and the chicken with mole negro, but everything is good – although the portions lean on the small side.

Prices are quite punchy for CDMX, but the trade-off is the restaurant has a nice casual-cool vibe, and the service is exquisite. We have found the manager particularly helpful with menu recommendations.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: SUNDAY – THURSDAY 13:00 – 22:00 / FRIDAY – SATURDAY 13:00 – 00:00

Day 2 Of Itinerary For Mexico City – Teotihuacan & Basilica Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

After packing a lot into Day 1 of your itinerary for Mexico City, we’d suggest going a bit easier on Day 2. 

Teotihuacan and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe are both remarkable places in completely different ways. Both are north of the downtown area, so they pair together well.

🌟 There’s actually a great group tour 🎟️ that combines these 2 locations if you don’t fancy making your own way. The schedule also includes a trip to the minor archaeological site of Tlatelolco and a local booze tasting. Visiting the pyramids is one of the most popular day trips from CDMX, and there is a good reason for that!

And, if you still have the energy, we highly recommend a Lucha Libre show to end the second day of your Mexico City itinerary!

📍 Teotihuacan 

Teotihuacan is one of our favourtie things to do on a 5 day itinerary in Mexico City

Teotihuacan is one of the most impressive, well-preserved Mesoamerican sites in all of Mexico.

Nobody knows for certain which civilisation actually built the city, but they left quite a bit behind for us to pore over, including the Pyramid of the Moon, the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, and numerous smaller temples lining the Avenue of the Dead.

Towering over everything else is the Pyramid of the Sun, which was built around 200 AD. At 65m, it’s one of the tallest ancient pyramids in the world

Pre-Covid, you could still climb to the top of the pyramids, but these days the authorities have (probably rather sensibly) decided to keep people off the monuments to help preserve them. 

Our advice is to take an organised tour so you can get to grips with the history. Without any context, you might find it feels a bit like just looking at a bunch of old bricks!

One of the best experiences we’ve had so far in Mexico was taking a sunrise balloon flight over Teotihuacan. Seeing the ancient city from the sky gives you an unforgettable panorama of the area, before you descend on foot to get up close and personal with the buildings. 

If you decide to go there on your own, it’s quite easily reachable by car (50 pesos parking). Alternatively, public transport is also super convenient. Just grab a bus from the Central de Autobuses del Norte.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 90 PESOS ($5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 17:00

📍 Basilica Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadelupe Church

On the way back into town, you can catch a bus that will stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec convert named Juan Diego and asked him to build a shrine to her atop Tepeyac Hill. The local bishop initially refused to give permission, so the Virgin Mary told Diego to gather roses from the hill in his cloak. 

When Diego let the roses fall before the bishop, the image of the Virgin Mary was imprinted on his cloak, convincing the bishop of his holy mission.

Since those days, several religious buildings have been erected around the Plaza Mariana, including the Capilla de Indios, the Capilla del Cerrito, the Capilla del Pocito, and the Old Basilica.

It’s the New Basilica, however, where you can see the cloak with the image of the Virgin Mary. Consecrated in 1976, it attracts 20 million people a year.

There’s plenty to explore around the Plaza Mariana, but don’t wander too far afield. We found the surrounding district surprisingly dodgy, and it’s certainly not somewhere we recommend going for a curiosity-fuelled stroll.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 06:00 – 21:00

📍 Lucha Libre Fight

Bloggers Mal and Robin attending a Lucha Libre show.

To wrap up the day of your 5 day Mexico City itinerary, dive into the thrilling world of Lucha Libre, Mexico’s unique form of wrestling that involves a little bit of athleticism and an even bigger dose of theatrical flair. This beloved local spectacle is an absolute must-see and is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

There are two main venues where you can catch a Lucha Libre match: Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo. We highly recommend Arena Mexico for its larger venue and iconic status – it’s a rite of passage for first-timers.

We opted to experience this event through a tour booked via Viator, which was one of the most fun tours we took in the city. The tour included visits to a lively local cantina and a taqueria, all guided by a local who shared interesting insights into the sport’s history.

While you can definitely plan this outing on your own, it involves buying tickets at the arena a day or two in advance, which is located in the somewhat sketchy neighbourhood of Doctores.

Day 3 out Of your 5 day Mexico City Itinerary – Roma Norte & Condesa

A Map of Day 3 of 5 days in Mexico City itinerary.
Click anywhere on the map to access its interactive version.

Roma Norte and Condesa are our two favourite parts of town. Both are safe, trendy and provide a nice quality of life.

Roma Norte is the buzzier of the two. It began its existence as the pre-Hispanic village of Aztacalco. After the arrival of the Spaniards, it was rechristened La Romita because the area looked like the suburbs of Rome in Italy. The area also expanded significantly after Lake Texcoco was drained.

The colonia has seen its share of ups and downs. At one point in the 19th century, it was a dangerous place where criminals plied their trade – and were executed in the squares. 

Under Porfirio Diaz, money was pumped into the district, with the aim of turning it into the Paris of Latin America. Art nouveau and art deco architecture sprang up all over the place.

In the mid-1900s, it began to fall into disrepair once again before the 1990s saw another push to revitalise everything, turning it into the trendy ‘hood’ that it is today.

Condesa by contrast has always been green and leafy and residential. Its name means ‘countess,’ a reference to the fact that the land was once owned by the Countess of Miravalle. 

At one point, it was home to a horse-racing track, reflected in the fact that two of the colonias that make up Condesa have Hipodromo in their name. You can (roughly) walk the track today by following the Avenida Amsterdam around the Parque Mexico.

After the Mexican Revolution, the area became a popular haunt for intellectuals and artists. Rather appropriately, Condesa’s bookshops and art galleries remain some of the neighbourhood’s principal attractions.

📍 Start With A Fancy Breakfast

Madre Cafe in Roma Norte

Begin Day 3 in Roma Norte with a meal at our favourite breakfast spot, Madre Cafe. It’s set in an elegant Roma Norte mansion with a leafy terrace where you can dine al fresco in fine weather. This charming area, known for its artistic vibe and historic architecture, is also home to many fantastic restaurants in Roma Norte.

The enfrijoladas are a fav of ours here, the tortilla generously stuffed with chicken, chorizo, and cheese, then smothered in bean sauce. There’s also a delicious selection of pan dulce if you want something sweet but lighter.

We highly recommend getting one of their excellent coffees, which will set you up for a long day of adventure.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: SUNDAY – WEDNESDAY 08:00 – 23:00 / THURSDAY – SATURDAY 08:00 – 01:00

📍 El Parian 

El Parian in Roma Norte
Roma Norte

Head just around the corner and pass through El Parian on your way to the Museo del Objeto del Objeto (MODO).

Though this stylish covered passageway was constructed in 1926, during Roma Norte’s boom years, it was only recently rejuvenated. Emerging from its Covid cocoon, El Parian has become a hub for indie eateries and cool designer boutiques.

We always do a bit of window shopping here as we’re passing by, but it’s also a pretty place to snap a pic for the Gram.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 23:00

📍 Avenida Alvaro Obregon

Avenida Alvaro Obregon Street in Roma Norte

Coming out of El Parian, you’ll find yourself on Avenida Alvaro Obregon, Roma Norte’s main artery. It’s lined with tons of places to eat, drink, and shop, including one of the city’s best cocktail hangouts, Licoreria Limantour, and the fun rooftop bar Supra Roma.

If you head west from here, to where Alvaro Obregon meets Insurgentes, you’ll also find one of our favourite corners for street food.

Mentally bookmark these suggestions for later and continue northward.

📍 MODO Museum

Blogger Robin at Modo Museum in Roma Norte.
MODO.
As part of the 5 days in Mexico City Itinerary visit Maia Contemporary Art Gallery.
MAIA.

MODO is possibly the oddest museum we’ve visited in CDMX. It has a collection of more than 150,000 everyday objects, which are cleverly curated into temporary exhibitions on different themes. 

When we went recently, the museum was hosting a fascinating look at how household items have been used in politics, from cigarette lighters to leather boots.

The museum isn’t particularly large, but there’s always something thought-provoking on display. We’ll come onto more standard historical and cultural museums in a bit, but what we like about the MODO is that it always approaches its subject in a novel and original way.

Tickets are 60 pesos (just over $3).

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 60 PESOS ($3)
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 18:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍MAIA Contemporary Gallery

Hidden down an alley just a couple of doors down from MODO, MAIA is another small CDMX gem.

This free gallery promotes contemporary Mexican artists, so it’s worth popping in to get a flavour of the city’s art scene.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: TUESDAY – SATURDAY 11:00 – 19:00 / SUNDAY 12:00 – 18:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Plaza Rio De Janeiro

Plaza Rio de Janeiro in Roma Norte

Make a short detour to the Plaza Rio de Janeiro and take a break on a bench. 

This park’s main claim to fame is that it contains a replica of Michelangelo’s David. According to a tour guide who took us around the area, the bronze statue’s installation sent shockwaves around the conservative families of Roma when it was installed in the 1970s, particularly since it seemed to be pointing towards a nearby church.

Random fact: the Plaza Rio de Janeiro was the first park in Latin America to get electric lights.

📍 House of the Witches

Blogger Mal enjoying a cocktail at Las Brujas Bar

On the eastern side of the Plaza Rio de Janeiro is the so-called Casa de las Brujas (House of the Witches). It’s easily distinguishable because one of its roofs looks like a witch’s hat.

It’s claimed that a woman called Barbara Gerrero (known as Pachita) performed miraculous surgeries here. She told people she was possessed, but rather than put people off, her supernatural claims attracted a high-class clientele of businessmen and politicians.

Whatever the truth of this urban legend, what is beyond doubt is that there is a female-run bar in the House of the Witches that makes excellent cocktails!

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES (BAR): 17:00 – 02:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Plaza De Romita

At the eastern edge of Roma Norte, the Plaza de Romita is probably the most traditional park in the colonia. 

Historically, this is where criminals were hung from the trees in the square. Today, it’s a much more wholesome neighbourhood spot where local people gather for meals at the weekend. 

Investors have been trying to snap up this valuable piece of land for a while, but the local community is in an ongoing fight against the development. For now, it’s a little reminder of the non-gentrified side of Roma.

📍 Fuente De Cibeles

Our last stop in Roma Norte is Fuente de Cibeles. If anybody reading this has been to Madrid, the name might ring a bell. That’s because the Fountain of Cybele is an homage to the much older fountain of the same name in the Spanish capital.

Depicting the Roman goddess of fertility, its installation in 1980 is meant to be a “symbol of brotherhood” between CDMX and Madrid.

From here, hail an Uber to Condesa.

A map of Day 3 of Mexico City itinerary 5 days.
Click anywhere on the map to access its interactive version.

📍 Lunch Among The Books

El Pendulo Book Store Coffee Shop in Condesa

Mexico City has a great cafe culture, with loads of great places to grab a brew and chill. 

One of the nicest is Cafebreria El Pendulo, a cafe-meets-bookstore that does a great line in brunch/lunch dishes.

We have an ongoing love affair with the chicken enchiladas, which are doused in a rich mole sauce, but there are some very good vegan recipes, too. Wash it down with one of the huge glasses of freshly made orange juice.

At weekends, live music is normally played here, turning the weekday workspace into a social hub for the local neighbourhood.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 23:00

📍 La Nao Galería

Blogger Mal at La Nao Art Gallery in Condesa.
La Nao Art Gallery.
On day 3 of the 5 day itinerary Mexico City visit Mooni Art Gallery in Condesa.
Mooni.

We’ve already mentioned that Condesa is filled with cool galleries, but this is one of our favourites. It’s only a small space, but everything is pristinely presented.

The exhibitions centre on the work of contemporary artists from Mexico and occasionally from other parts of Latin America.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: FRIDAY & SATURDAY 11:00 – 16:00 / TUESDAY – THURSDAY 11:00 – 19:00 / SUNDAYS – MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Mooni

A couple of blocks over, Mooni is another of the best galleries we’ve visited in Condesa.  The vibe here is much more eclectic, with every space on the wall crammed with funky paintings by emerging artists.

They also have a location in Roma Norte, right next to the MODO, if you want to check out more of their wares. 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 11:00 – 19:00 / SUNDAY 11:00 – 17:00

📍 Ice Cream Stop

Bendita Paleta & Gelato Condesa
Bendita Paleta & Gelato Condesa

Given that the temperature in the capital is almost always hovering around the mid-20s mark, we can’t resist including an ice cream stop on our 5 days in Mexico City itinerary!

We live in the Condesa neighbourhood, so Bendita Paleta & Gelato is our go-to heladeria. 

As the name implies, their twin specialities are scoops of gelato and super cute paletas (the Mexican answer to ice lollies). The paletas are particularly good – we usually go for a refreshing passion fruit and mango, but the cookies and cream are also delicious.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 22:00

📍 Parque Espana & Parque Mexico

Parque Espana Condesa
Parque Mexico Condesa

Enjoy your paleta from Bandita as you stroll through the Parque Espana and the neighbouring Parque Mexico.

Both these foliage-filled spaces are filled to the brim with local life, from dance classes to dog walkers. It’s all very safe and serene, which is why we love coming here in the evenings for a chill.

Parque Mexico, even has an area called the Audiorama with special seating and soothing music that’s designed to encourage zen-like peace and quiet.

📍 Dinner At Toscano

Blogger Robin at Cafe Toscano Restaurant in Condesa
The pizzas we had at Toscano Restaurant

Continue the people-watching at Café Toscano, located on a lively corner of Parque México. They have outdoor seating where you can enjoy the scenery as well as the sounds of the street musicians, who always seem to be performing whenever we go. This vibrant area, known for its bustling energy, is home to many fantastic restaurants in Condesa.

Admittedly, it’s more Italian than Mexican on the menu, which might be a turnoff for some visitors, but we’re not ashamed to admit we enjoy our pizzas!

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 23:30

📍 Churerria El Moro

Mexico City Churreria

Skip dessert at Café Toscano and head instead to the branch of Churreria El Moro across the road. 

No itinerary for Mexico City would be complete without at least one churro, and Churerria El Moro is the capital’s most popular chain selling the more-ish treat. 

The crispy sticks of dough come with a choice of dips. Chocolate is, of course, the reliable standby, but the hazelnut is also tooth-achingly good. For something a bit more old school, go with the cajeta (caramelised goat’s milk).

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 08:00 – 23:00

Day 4 Of Itinerary For Mexico City – Coyoacan & Xochimilco

Day 4 of 4 days in Mexico City itinerary.
Click anywhere on the map to access its interactive version.

It might seem like we crammed a lot of things into the Roma Norte and Condesa part of our 5 days in Mexico City itinerary, but the area is so easily walkable and laidback that it shouldn’t feel very taxing.

Coyoacan and Xochimilco, on the other hand, is a very full day of activities! 

Coyoacan has been around for a long time. Meaning ‘place of coyotes’ in Nahuatl, it had already been settled for several centuries before Hernan Cortes showed up and made it the capital of New Spain for a few years.

For a long time after the colonisation of the region, Coyoacan remained a separate entity from Mexico City, which explains why it has retained such a distinct character. To us, the cobblestone streets and colourful architecture of its historic centre feel more like Queretaro or Merida than CDMX.

These days, Coyoacan is probably most famous as the birthplace of Frida Kahlo, who kind of kicked off the area’s reputation as a bohemian hotbed in the early 20th century.

Blogger Mal visiting Coyoacan on 5 day Mexico Itinerary.

Like Coyoacan, Xochimilco’s name comes from the Nahuatl language. Meaning ‘flower field,’ it came to prominence as a farming area in the Mesoamerican era when Indigenous people built chinampas (artificial islands) amidst the natural waterways to plant and harvest crops.

Over the centuries since the arrival of the Spanish, the lakes and canals that made the region so unique have begun to shrink. Although some people still ply the old farming trade, it’s become a popular spot for people to enjoy a bit of a boat party as much as sightseeing.

Covering both Coyoacan and Xochimilco in a day is a grand undertaking, which is why we recommend taking a combined organised tour for those who don’t want to worry about the logistics.

On the other hand, there’s something to be said for setting your own pace. Since Uber is so cheap and reliable in CDMX, that’s our preferred method of travel. Just make sure you start out early in the morning and take account of the traffic.

There’s also the option of using public transport to Coyoacan (nearest metro station Viveros y Derechos Humanos on Line 3) and Xochimilco (take the Light Rail from Tasquena).

📍 Frida Kahlo Museum 

Inside the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Inside the Frida Kahlo Museum.

A highlight of our Mexico City 5 day itinerary is a visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum. Mal, in particular, is a big fan of the groundbreaking artist, so it was one of the places we visited on our very first trip to the city before we decided to live in the capital for part of the year.

Known as Casa Azul because of its bright blue wall, the museum occupies Kahlo’s childhood home, where she spent her married life with Diego Rivera. Right in the heart of old Coyoacan, it’s a good place to kick off Day 4.

Inside, there’s an engaging mixture of household life and artistic process. Restored to how it might have looked during Kahlo’s lifetime, the house makes you feel like you’re walking in the artist’s footsteps – a thrilling sensation for any devotee!

You definitely need to book in advance, as it’s busy all year round.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 320 PESOS ($18)
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:00 – 18:00 / WEDNESDAY 11:00 – 18:00 / MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Coyoacan Market

Mercado de Coyoacan
Mercado de Coyoacan

A lot of places in Coyoacan have connections with Frida Kahlo, including the local market. It’s rumoured that she used to come here to purchase everyday goods, though the place has changed quite a bit since then!

One of the better markets for souvenirs, you can find a good mixture of artisanal goods, often with a Kahlo twist. All the stall owners we’ve met here have been very friendly, which makes for a very relaxed shopping experience.

What we really come here for, though, is the food. It’s one of the best places on our Mexico City 5 days itinerary to sample classic street eats like tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches) and tostadas (toasted tortillas with toppings). 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE

📍 Cafe El Jarocho

Blogger Mal drinking at El Jarocho in Coyoacan.

A short walk from the market, Cafe El Jarocho is like a blast from the past. In business since 1953, it still sells affordable coffee, both hot and cold.

The place has become quite famous over the years, leading the descendants of the original founder to expand the brand throughout the city. We usually head to the original, but there are several branches just in Coyoacan.

Expect a line, although it always seems to move pretty fast. If you’re feeling peckish, they do some very nice pan dulce. 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 06:00 – 00:00

📍 Bazar Artesanal Mexicano

Mercado Artesanal in Coyoacan

Just off Coyoacan’s main square, the Bazar Artesanal Mexicano is another market that’s worth exploring if you’re in the market for a souvenir or two.

It’s essentially a small complex of vendors with a mixture of handcrafted items and more general mementoes. There’s quite a bit of variety, from clothes to candy, all squeezed together and sold at a decent price point.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: MONDAY – THURSDAY 11:00 – 20:00 / FRIDAY – SUNDAY 11:00 – 21:00

📍 Jardin Centenario & Jardin Hidalgo

Jardin Centenario in Coyoacan.

These two park squares are the centre point of Coyoacan and a meeting place for the locals to come and shoot the breeze. 

A fountain of two coyotes is, aptly enough, at the heart of the Jardin Centenario, while Jardin Hidalgo contains the statue of Miguel Hidalgo, often cited as the ‘Founding Father of Mexico.’

You’ll find several places selling nieves (frozen treats) surrounding the jardines, as well as cafes where you can take a load off for a few minutes. 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE
  • OPENING TIMES: ALWAYS

📍 ​​National Museum of Popular Culture

​​National Museum of Popular Culture in Coyoacan.

Housed in a quirky orange building, the National Museum of Popular Culture is just to the east of Plaza Hidalgo.

Founded in 1982, it’s essentially a collection of Mexican folk arts, from hand puppets and masks to embroidered traditional clothing like the huipil (a kind of tunic).

Considering that entry is only 18 pesos ($1), it’s definitely worth an hour’s exploration. We like it as a nice contrast to the more formal art that you’ll find in the Museo Soumaya (more on that later).

Most of the descriptions are in Spanish, so have that translator app handy if you don’t speak the lingo! 

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: TUESDAY – THURSDAY 11:00 – 18:00 / FRIDAY – SUNDAY 11:00 – 19:00 (MONDAYS CLOSED

📍 Capilla de la Conchita

Blogger Mal at Capilla de la Conchita on day 4 out of 5 day itinerary Mexico City.

Walk southeast from the National Museum of Popular Culture for about 10 minutes, and you’ll come to the Plaza de la Conchita and its associated chapel.

Originally built in 1525 on the orders of Hernan Cortes, the chapel lays claim to being one of the oldest churches in Latin America, although it was substantially rebuilt in the 17th century. We still feel there’s plenty of Old World character to the structure, which has an impressive dome for such a relatively small place!

Inside, there’s a glittering golden altar, inset with paintings of Jesus, angels, monks, and other religious figures.

Legend has it that the church and the garden were built for Cortes’ consort, La Malinche, an indigenous woman who acted as his interpreter as well as his lover.

📍 Frida Kahlo Park

Frida Kahlo Park in Coyoacan.

Just over the road from the Capilla de la Conchita is Frida Kahlo Park, a quiet, contemplative garden with statues of Kahlo.

There’s not much to see here, but it’s a good place to take a beat while you wait for your Uber to arrive to take you to Xochimilco.

📍 Xochimilco

We highly recommend adding Xochimilco to your Mexico City itinerary 5 days

There are two reasons people come to Xochimilco: to see the UNESCO-listed chinampas and to enjoy a Mexico City-style boat party. It’s easy enough to combine both! 

The colourfully painted trajineras (flat-bottomed boats) that ply the waterways are designed to barge their way down the canals as you swig back micheladas and feast on local snacks like elote and quesadillas. Mariachi bands drift along, singing for anyone with generous tips.

It’s chaotic but entertaining and an essential experience on your 5 days in Mexico City itinerary.

Xochimilco floating market
The entrance to Xochimilco - Embarcadero Belem.

The most stressful part is negotiating the price of a boat ride. We paid around $60 (1,100 pesos) for a 60-minute journey, but you may find it’s easier just to hop on a tour and let them take care of the whole thing.

If you do make your own way, it’s cheaper to purchase your own food and drink beforehand and then take it along on the boat. That’s certainly what the locals do!

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: VARIES DEPENDING ON DURATION OR TOUR OPTION
  • OPENING TIMES: 09:00 – 18:00

Day 5 Of Five days in Mexico City Itinerary – Anthropology Museum, Polanco + Chapultepec Park

A map of Day 5 Of Itinerary For Mexico City.
Click anywhere on the map to access its interactive version.

Wrap up your 5 day Mexico City itinerary with a stroll in the most upmarket part of town.

Polanco is sometimes called the ‘Beverly Hills of Mexico City’ thanks to its proliferation of fancy shopping malls stuffed with designer brands. It’s also a fine dining foodie destination, with a couple of places here regularly making the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. 

Although the area has been occupied since at least the time of Cortes, Polanco’s story didn’t really get going until the 20th century, when property developers realised the potential for this relatively unused land to satisfy the aspirations of the upwardly mobile middle classes.

Fast-forward a few decades, and the neighbourhood has cemented its reputation as the priciest and safest place to live in Mexico City.

It’s also home to a couple of top-notch museums that must be included on any 5 days in Mexico City itinerary. 

📍 National Museum of Anthropology

Blogger Mal visiting the Anthropology Museum
Blogger Robin visiting Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in October.

Start your final day at the National Museum of Anthropology. This large, well-curated museum was opened in 1964 to house the enormous collection of more than 600,000 Mesoamerican artefacts that have been discovered in Mexico.

The first time we visited, we spent a whole morning here, travelling back in time through statues, temples, and masks from a whole spectrum of pre-Hispanic cultures, from the Olmecs to the Aztecs. Basically, we covered more than 3,000 years in 3 hours!

Entry is 90 pesos and there are regular free tours, although there are plenty of plaques with English explanations, so we were fine without a guide.

Pro tip: Be there at opening time (9 am) to avoid crowds, as it can get really busy.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 95 PESOS ($5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 09:00 – 18:00 (MONDAYS CLOSED)

📍 Parque Lincoln 

Lincoln Park Polanco

About 15 minutes’ walk from the museum is the Parque Lincoln, in the heart of Old Polanco. When the neighbourhood first began to boom in the 1930s, this park was opened to provide a public area where people could enjoy some outdoor time.

It’s a supremely practical place, with a children’s playground, a dog park, and an aviary to cater for the needs of the residents.

Originally just called the Parque de Polanco, the space gets its current name from its statue of Abraham Lincoln, which was presented as a gift to Mexico by US President Lyndon B. Johnson in the ‘60s.

Given that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC overlooks a famous reflecting pool, it’s a nice bit of symmetry that Parque Lincoln is also home to a pair of its own reflecting pools. We often see people steering their model boats upon the water, which is rather cute.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE
  • OPENING TIMES: ALWAYS OPEN

📍 Lunch At El Turix

El Turix Taqueria in Polanco

Head out the northwest corner of the Parque Lincoln along Avenida Emilio Castelar, and you’ll soon come upon El Turix on your left.

This is the only place in Polanco we really rate for street tacos, particularly their exquisite cochinita pibil, which is an absolute must on any foodie itinerary for Mexico City. 

The tender meat, marinated in achiote paste and citrus juices, just falls apart in your mouth, releasing a perfect medley of flavours. 

Tacos cost 26 pesos ($1.50) each, which is great value for Polanco. They also serve the signature cochinita pibil in a crispy panucho (39 pesos, about $2).

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • OPENING TIMES: 12:00 – 00:00

📍 Quick Photo At México Mi Amor

Next up, walk a couple of minutes to the Tane jewellery store – not necessarily to buy anything, but to snap a pic!

The shop’s outer wall has become iconic thanks to its Mexico Mi Amor neon sign, which is the stuff of social media legend. Set against a pinkish-red wall with green cacti, it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick shot for the Gram.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE
  • OPENING TIMES: ALWAYS OPEN

📍 Museo Soumaya

Blogger Mal visiting the Soumaya Museum in Polanco

Head north 20 minutes via the Avenue Moliere, and you’ll come to the Museo Soumaya, one of the landmarks of New Polanco.

Named for the deceased wife of billionaire Carlos Slim, the building itself is spectacular, a shimmering, aluminium-skinned beauty that could just as well be a spaceship as an art museum.

Inside, there’s an eclectic mixture of artworks from around the world, sampling from Da Vinci, Botticelli, and Rodin, as well as pieces by local luminaries Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo.

We love the Museo Soumaya because it’s free! Nowhere else in the city has such an awesome collection that doesn’t cost a peso to see.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: FREE ENTRANCE
  • OPENING TIMES: 10:30 – 18:30

📍 Chapultepec Castle 

Chapultepec Castle

The last stop on our 5 days in Mexico City itinerary is Bosque to Chapultepec. A huge green space of lakes, trees, and museums, its name literally translates as ‘Chapultepec Forest,’ but it’s more commonly known as Chapultepec Park.

For 3,000 years, humans have been using the place as an escape from the city proper, from the Mesoamericans to the Spanish. 

It’s located right on the other side of Polanco, on the southern edge of the neighbourhood, so you’ll want to hail an Uber to get here.

Once you arrive, leisurely make your way towards Chapultepec Castle, the park’s most notable building. A grand edifice constructed for a former viceroy, it now houses a museum that covers the history of the Spanish in Mexico. 

The exhibits themselves are interesting enough, but it’s the fabulous rooms and incredible view from the terrace that make the castle a must-visit.

  • WHERE: LOCATION
  • TICKETS: 95 PESOS ($5)
  • OPENING TIMES: 09:00 – 17:00 (MONDAYS CLOSED)

📍 Chapultepec Lake

Spend you last day out of 5 days in Mexico City in Chapultepec Park

There’s a lot you could do and see inside Chapultepec Park if you have the time, but one thing we particularly recommend is renting a rowing boat or a pedalo on one of the lakes. 

We did this as a romantic activity on our weekend date day, but you don’t have to be with a partner to enjoy the soothing sensation of floating on the water, surrounded by the joyful sounds of people making the most of a day off.

It’s the perfect way to end your whirlwind 5 days in Mexico City itinerary!

5 Days In Mexico City Itinerary: FAQs

Is five days in Mexico City enough?

Determining how many days in Mexico City you’ll need is not an exact science, but if you’re someone who likes cramming in the activities, five is just right. For people who like more leisurely holidays, you might want to either spend longer in CDMX or cut out some of the items in our 5 days in Mexico City itinerary.

What should I pack for 5 days in Mexico City?

Although the climate in CDMX is mild all year round, over the course of 5 days Mexico City can be quite changeable. It’s best to pack a mix of mostly summery clothing with a couple of warmer items for the mornings and evenings, especially if you visit in winter.

How much money do I need in Mexico for 5 days?

As a rough guide, we would estimate accommodation, eating, and transport at 1,350 pesos ($80) for budget travellers, 2,500 pesos ($150) for mid-range travellers, and 7,000 pesos ($420) for luxury travellers. That means you should expect to spend between $400 and $2,100 in Mexico City in 5 days, plus the entry fee for attractions you want to visit.

What part of Mexico City to stay in?

We live in Condesa, which has a chill, residential vibe and pretty tree-lined streets. For somewhere that’s a bit more exciting, we recommend Roma Norte, where you’ll find numerous trendy restaurants and bars. Coyoacan is also a charming option, but it’s a little bit further away from the rest of the city.

5 Days In Mexico City Itinerary: The Wrap-Up

We know, we’ve packed a lot into our 5 days in Mexico City itinerary! We’ve tried to be as detailed as possible about the parts of CDMX that we love the most, but you can easily chop and change the general outline to suit your own interests. 

You won’t be able to see everything in 5 days, but you’ll get a great feel for the overall vibe of the capital. 

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