Bloggers Mal and Robin exploring the best things to do in Mexico City.

29 Best Things To Do In Mexico City – By Local expats

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In a place the size of CDMX, you can bet there’s a ton of ways to spend your holiday. So, how do you distil the best things to do in Mexico City down to a relatively manageable list of activities?

To be honest, we’re not sure you can! After several years of living in the capital, we’ve just got too many recommendations to gush about, from hiding out in stylish cocktail dens like Limantour to whooping it up at a football match at the Estadio Azteca.

So, instead of creating a post of just 5 or 10 items, we’ve put together a whopping 29 suggestions for what to do in Mexico City. There’s plenty for every kind of traveller to try, from architecture aficionados to die-hard foodies.

Like the equivalent of a travel Build-A-Bear, you can construct your own personal itinerary to suit your tastes using our top tips.

⚠️ 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.

#1 Lucha Libre – An Unmissable Cultural Curiosity.

Watching a Lucha Libre match is one of the coolest things to do in Mexico City
Lucha Libre show in Mexico City

A winning combo of athleticism and acting, lucha libre is Mexico’s unique form of wrestling. Beloved by the local populace, it’s a hugely engaging spectacle that easily makes the cut of our top things to do in Mexico City.

There are two main venues where you can see lucha libre: the Arena Mexico and the Arena Coliseo. We’d definitely recommend going to the Arena Mexico – it’s a much larger venue and a rite of passage for first-timers.

🌟 We chose to go as part of a tour via Viator, which included visits to a local cantina and a taqueria, accompanied by a seasoned guide. You can do the whole thing yourself, but it means going to buy tickets yourself a day or two beforehand at the arena, which is in the somewhat dodgy neighbourhood of Doctores. 

Plus, without a guide we wouldn’t have learned about the history of the sport – or had someone to question when we were confused about what on earth was going on!

#2 Teotihuacan Pyramids – Best Things To Do In Mexico City For History Buffs.

a visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids is a must thing to do in Mexico City
Blogger Mal visiting Teotihuacan - one of the best things to do in Mexico City.

Visiting Teotihuacan is one of the must do things in Mexico City. This ancient metropolis was built 2,000 years ago, but a significant number of buildings can still be seen today.

The crowning glory of the site is the monumental Pyramid of the Sun. Reaching 65m (213ft), it’s one of the tallest pre-modern pyramids in the world.

🌟 Teotihuacan is where we took one of our all-time favourite Mexico City day trips: a sunrise balloon flight over Teotihuacan. Watching the first fingers of sunlight touch the Avenue of the Dead was a magical experience, providing a superb panorama of the area before we touched down to explore the tezontle (volcanic rock) buildings up close.

Although we loved our sunrise excursion, it’s also easy to make your way to UNESCO-listed Teotihuacan on your own using public buses from the North Bus Station.

#3 Taco Tour – Gorge On Mexico’s Favourite Street Eat.

Blogger Mal during a taco tour, one of our favourite activities in Mexico City
joining a taco tour is one of the must do things in Mexico City

Eating tacos in Mexico City should be on everyone’s bucket list. There are a ton of different types to try, from the Lebanese-inspired al pastor, which is sliced off a vertical spit, to the suadero, a cut of beef unique to Latin America that’s slow cooked then fried.

As you can probably imagine, the streets of CDMX are filled with taco sellers, from hole-in-the-wall joints to more upmarket spots with gourmet gimmicks.

🌟 One of the coolest things to do in Mexico City is to go on a taco tour. We did this on one of our earliest trips to Mexico City and discovered places that we still go back to today!

If you speak un poco de Espanol and want to blaze your own trail, you can also create your own eating excursion. To get you started, Los Tacos de Homero Roma is our favourite spot for cochinita pibil tacos, while Tacos El Gato Volador is our go-to for no-frills birria tacos.

#4 Free Walking Tour Of Zocalo – Get To Know Downtown CDMX.

what to visit in Mexico City
Zocalo in Mexico City Downtown

Embarking on walking tours in CDMX is one of the best ways to find your bearings early on in your holiday. 

We took a free walking tour of downtown Mexico City on our first visit, before we decided to live in the capital, and it helped us quickly narrow down the places we wanted to explore in greater detail.

One of the best cheap things to do in Mexico City (the tour is “free”, but you’re expected to give a tip), the 2-hour trek covers all the major historical sites, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Templo Mayor, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes, as well as more modern spots like the Torre Latinoamericana.

#5 Frida Kahlo Museum – Must Do In Mexico City For Art Lovers.

Inside the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Blogger Mal at Frida Kahlo Museum Coyoacan

We would happily put the Frida Kahlo Museum in our top 5 best things to do in Mexico City. Just walking in the footsteps of Mexico’s greatest artist is a real thrill, particularly if you’re a superfan like Mal!

One of the most interesting Mexico City museums, it occupies Kahlo’s long-time home, the Casa Azul. This bright-blue building is not only where Kahlo grew up but also where she lived with husband Diego Rivera until her death.

Today, it contains a mixture of her artwork, her creative tools, her collection of decorative folk items, and even her clothing, giving a fascinating peek into her daily life.

🌟 Pro tip: Get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. They’re easily purchased online.

#6 Chapultepec Park – A Leafy Oasis of Calm.

Blogger Mal at Chapultepec Castle.
Blogger Mal at Chapultepec Lake - one of the best things to do in Mexico City for couples.

Twice the size of New York’s Central Park, the Bosque de Chapultepec is a huge green area containing lakes, museums, and historical mementoes like the Moctezuma Baths.

It’s not far from our flat in Condesa, so we often come here when the weather is nice, and we need a bit of nature. There are bikes you can rent to cycle along the pathways, as well as rowing boats and pedalos on Chapultepec Lake. 

Contained within the park is one of the top attractions in Mexico City, Chapultepec Castle. This incredible colonial-era monument boasts lavish staterooms and a fabulous checkerboard terrace with a great panorama of the Paseo de la Reforma.

If you need a coffee break, the Libreria Porrua on the northern side of the park is a cute café/bookshop where you can re-energise. Nab one of the tables by the lakeside and take in the serene views.

#7 Xochimilco – CDMX’s Best Boat Parties.

things to do Mexico City
Xochimilco floating market

Among the most fun things to do in Mexico City is to visit Xochimilco, a suburban borough to the south of the centre. 

Originally built by Mesoamericans as both a transportation network and a farming system, the combination of canals and chinampas (artificial islands) have become a place to go for celebrations.

One of the local things to do in Mexico City is to rent a vividly painted trajinera (flat-bottomed boat) and drift down the waterways for an hour or two. As the boatman punts you along, there are smaller vessels that will come alongside to sell drinks and snacks, as well as the occasional mariachi band offering their musical talents for a fee.

We’ve visited Xochimilco a couple of times, once by ourselves using a combo of metro and tram and once on a tour.

🌟 Personally, we preferred the tour. Negotiating with the boatmen for a ride is a bit of a chaotic experience, and it was much easier just to let someone else take care of the practicalities while we chugged back micheladas!

#8 Drink At A Rooftop Bar – See Mexico City From Up High.

Of all the cool things to do in Mexico City, none is more relaxing than sipping a refreshing drink while gazing down on the cityscape.

We’ve drunk our way through the best rooftop bars in CDMX one cocktail at a time, and there are a ton of places we can recommend.

Cityzen, up on the 38th floor of the Sofitel, is our fav for views. From these heady heights, you can see what seems like the whole capital spreading out before you.

When we want to party with a panorama, Supra Roma has an awesome vibe and some great tunes in the evening. 

If you’re more of an eater than a dancer, Altanera is a special-occasion venue that serves up contemporary upscale Mexican with views. We love the guacamole with grasshoppers, and the chicken with mole negro, but everything is beautifully done.

#9 Palacio De Bellas Artes – An Architectural Icon.

Palacio de bellas Artes is one of the must places to visit in Mexico City
Palacio de Bellas Artes.

One of the main attractions in Mexico City is the gorgeous Palacio de Bellas Artes, a building that blends art nouveau and art deco to create one of CDMX’s most recognizable landmarks.

The palace contains a glorious lobby that can be entered for free, as well as a couple of venues that hold classical music, opera, and ballet performances.

Our favourite feature, though, is the museum (85 pesos, just under $5), which contains a collection of murals. 

The highlight is Diego River’s El Hombre Controlador del Universo (Man, Controller of the Universe), a sprawling political work that was relocated here after being scrubbed out in the USA for its communist elements.

🌟 One of the best things to do in Mexico City is to join the mural tour, which gave us lots of interesting nuggets of info about the works on display. These take place at 2 pm on Wednesday and Friday. 

#10 National Museum Of Anthropology – A Journey Into The Pre-Hispanic Past.

Blogger Robin at Anthropology Museum - one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
Blogger Mal at Anthropology Museum.

Another of the top 10 things to do in Mexico City is to visit what we would argue is its best history museum, the National Museum of Anthropology

It’s basically a one-stop guide to thousands of years of Mesoamerican culture, told through a diverse array of objects, from an Aztec sunstone to a jade mask of the Zapotec bat god.

The place is filled with info in English, so you don’t need to worry about getting to grips with the details, although the museum does also offer free tours throughout the day.

🌟 Our tip is to arrive before opening time to avoid the crowds that swarm the place during the day.

#11 Lunch In Condesa – A Peek Into Local Life.

Blogger Mal enjoying an Aperol Spritz at Toscano in Condesa.
The pizzas we had at Toscano Restaurant

Condesa is a breezily chill part of town that combines a residential vibe with lots of cool art galleries and boutiques. It’s a great place to come for a stylish meal in a calmer part of town.

This is our neighbourhood, so we have a lot of recommendations for restaurants in Condesa. Our favourite lunch spot is Cafe Toscano, which serves up Italian classics – we particularly love the pizza. 

We don’t come here just for the food, though, but for the people-watching around the Parque Mexico. If you want to get a feel for local life in one of the capital’s trendiest areas, a midday meal at Toscano is one of the best activities in Mexico City.

#12 Coffee & Pastry At Cafe Nin – Experience CDMX’s Cafe Culture.

Blogger Mal enjoying lunch at Cafe Nin.
The interior of Cafe Nin.

There’s no shortage of coffee shops in CDMX, a tribute to the fact that the capital has eagerly embraced the third-wave coffee trend.

One of the cutest places to go is Cafe Nin, housed inside an early 20th century mansion. It’s owned by Elena Reygadas, who was named the World’s Best Female Chef in 2023 – which explains why we love the pan dulce here so much!

Paired with the sweet pastries is a to-the-point coffee menu that focuses on quality beans over elaborate flavours. 

We usually have to queue for a little while, but come early or late if you don’t want to wait long for a seat.

#13 Ciudadela Market – The Place To Go For a Souvenir.

Mercado Ciudadela.
Blogger Robin wandering around Ciudadela Market

There are several cool markets in Mexico City that we recommend checking out, but La Ciudadela is where we go for artisanal gifts, mementoes and souvenirs.

Admittedly, it’s more of a tourist-oriented place, but on the upside, it has a broad selection of goods that showcase the spectrum of Mexican handicrafts, from traditional indigenous clothing to papier-mâché sculptures of mythical beasts.

La Ciudadela is also a good shout for first timers in Mexico City because it has a relatively calm atmosphere. You can always dive into the grittiness of places like the Mercado de la Merced and the Mercade de Sonora after you’ve got your bearings!

#14 Coyoacan Neighbourhood – Soak Up The Traditional Vibes.

Robin in Coyoacan
Mercado de Coyoacan

One of the most underrated Mexico City things to do is to hangout in Coyoacan. This neighbourhood almost doesn’t feel like it’s part of the capital because the pretty houses and cobblestone streets are more reminiscent of towns like Merida and Queretaro. We love it!

If you’re strapped for time, you can hop on one of the Mexico City tours that cover the district. Personally, we prefer taking our sweet time whenever we come to Coyoacan for a break.

Aside from the Frida Kahlo Museum, it’s also home to some of the earliest churches in Latin America, including the Parroquia San Juan Bautista and the Capilla de la Conchita.

We always pay a visit to Cafe El Jarocho for amazing coffee when we’re in this area, while the Mercado de Coyoacan has some of the best tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches) we’ve eaten in town.

#15 Roma Norte Neighbourhood – The Capital Of Cool.

Roma Norte
The streets of Roma Norte.

No list of what to see in Mexico City would be complete without a trip to its trendiest colonia, Roma Norte.

A couple of centuries back, the area was home to dens of thieves, who were executed in the public square whenever they were caught. It then underwent a massive overhaul in the early 20th century, as art nouveau and art deco buildings were erected to fulfil Porfirio Diaz’s dream of making it a fashionable, Parisian-style neighbourhood.

A few more ups and downs later, and today, Roma Norte is easily among the coolest places to go in Mexico City, especially if you’re a night owl. Many of the best CDMX nightlife bars and clubs are found here, including Licorería Limantour, Supra Roma, and Departamento.

But it’s not all about partying in Roma Norte. There’s also a quirky collection of galleries like MAIA and museums like MODO, as well as cool markets like Huerta Roma Verde and picturesque squares like Plaza Rio de Janeiro.

We can’t not include our fav breakfast place on a list of the best things to do in Mexico City! Madre Cafe in Roma Norte (one of the best restaurants in Roma Norte) has our favourite version of enfrijoladas, served up on the leafy terrace of a converted mansion.

#16 Cooking Class – Elevate Your Palate.

Bloggers Mal & Robin enjoying the cooking class in Mexico City

Even if you never use the recipes ever again, taking a cooking class is one of the essential things to do around Mexico City. There’s no better way to really get stuck into the history and passion of Mexican cuisine than by making it yourself under the guidance of a knowledgeable expert.

🌟 We’ve tried quite a few over the years, but this one from Viator is our favourite (so far). The group class was super fun and we got to learn a mixture of techniques while cooking up a diverse menu of appetizers, mains, and a simple dessert. 

Make sure you pick a class that includes a chef-led tour of a local produce market with tastings. It’s honestly one of the best things to do in Mexico City for foodies!

#17 Attend A Football Match – Unique Things To Do In Mexico City.

If you’re after non-touristy things to do in CDMX, we found attending a local footie match a lot of fun. 

Robin is a huge football fan, which is what initially led us to the Estadio Azteca, where home team Club America plays their games. Most of the people in the stands when we went were families with children, so the experience felt wholesome and safe – though the area outside of the stadium seems a little sketchy.

You don’t need to buy tickets in advance but get here at least 2 hours before a game so you have time to visit the box office, grab refreshments, and find your seats before the match starts.

The stadium is pretty far out of town, so leave plenty of time to get there. Uber in Mexico City is a lot more convenient than public transport, but bear in mind that you’ll have a lot of competition for cars once the match ends! We got lucky and snagged a lift back to Condesa from a friendly couple that sat next to us, but otherwise, you might want to investigate the metro or buses.

#18 Templo Mayor – A Glimpse Into The Past.

Mexico City best things to do for history buffs

Modern CDMX is built on the foundations of a Mesoamerican city that existed long before the arrival of the Spanish. Almost all that history was wiped away over the ensuing centuries of colonial rule, but there are still a handful of ruins that testify to the earlier civilization.

Found behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Templo Mayor is where archaeologists think the main temple of the Aztecs was situated. There’s not much to see today aside from ruined walls and the occasional sculpted decoration, but we still found the on-site museum a worthwhile visit to get a little perspective on the past.

#19 Polanco & Soumaya – Modern Mexico City Attractions.

Filled with fancy shopping malls like Antara, fine dining restaurants like Pujol, and some very swish museums, Polanco is Mexico City’s most upscale neighbourhood.

Although staying in this part of town will set you back a few hundred bucks, there’s no harm in visiting the area to go window shopping in the Pasaje Polanco or people-watching at Parque Lincoln.

Despite the ritzy address, Polanco boasts one of the best things to do Mexico City for free: the Museo Soumaya. This art museum’s pieces include everything from masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance to works by the foremost Mexican muralists. 

It’s one big, glorious hodgepodge, all found inside one of the capital’s most incredible buildings.

#20 Torre Latinoamericana – Dizzying Views From A Historic Skyscraper.

Centro Historico.

A famous landmark in Mexico City, the Torre Latinoamericana is not only one of the top things to see in Mexico City because it’s among the tallest buildings in the capital but also for its earthquake-proof design.

The top of the building has an observation deck, but you can save money on a ticket and just head to the Miralto rooftop restaurant for a drink and the same stunning views.

They don’t allow a professional camera, which is a bit of a bummer, so it’s smartphone snaps only.

#21 Eat Churros – The Ultimate Sweet Treat.

Mexico City Churreria

Churros is a must-try street food in CDMX, and nowhere does it better than the Churerria El Moro chain.

Even though the brand now looks supremely polished and commercial, it actually has humble origins in 1935 as the dream of a Spanish immigrant. Fast-forward to today, there are 15 branches spread across the capital, a testament to El Moro’s popularity with Chilangos.

One of the best things to do in Mexico City is to grab a handful of churros and one of El Moro’s signature sauces, then savour them slowly from the comfort of a park bench.

#22 Barrio Chino – Mexico City’s Chinatown.

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

We’d be lying if we said the Barrio Chino was the most impressive Chinatown in the world, but it’s an interesting reminder of the part Chinese immigrants have had to play in the creation of modern Mexico. 

On one of our walking tours, we learned that they were instrumental in building the country’s infrastructure, though their community was regularly persecuted in the 20th century.

We can’t imagine the collection of Chinese restaurants and shops you see today bears much in common with the original Barrio Chino of the 1880s, but we still come here once in a while whenever we have a craving for chow mien. 

#23 Cocktail At Limantour – The Best Drinks In The City.

Blogger Mal at Limantour Cocktail bar in Roma Norte

Just as thriving as the city’s coffee shops are the cocktail bars in CDMX. A surprisingly large number of them make the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, including Handshake Speakeasy, Hanky Panky, and Baltra.

Out of all the cool places to visit in Mexico City for cocktails, however, we like Limantour the most. On our first visit here, what started as one quick drink turned into a whole evening of cocktail exploration and friendly chats with other couples – and we haven’t looked back since!

Whenever we come here now, we just ask the bartender to prepare something according to our flavour preferences and let him work his mixology magic. For newbies, the Margarita Al Pastor is a delicious place to start.

#24 Ride The Cable Car – A Whole New Perspective on CDMX.

Blogger Mal in the cable car

One of the more unusual things to do and see in Mexico City is to take the Cablebus, which we found eye-opening in more ways than one.

The cable car travels over Iztapalapa, a huge borough that has long been regarded as one of the most dangerous parts of CDMX. We found the aerial tramway itself pretty safe, though, with amazing views over the houses, some of which have murals on their roofs.

🌟 If you want to get more of a flavour of Iztapalapa, we took this awesome tour that explores the area in greater detail but with the safety net of a local guide.

#25 Basilica Of Guadalupe – Join The Pilgrimage. 

Another of the best things to see in Mexico City that you won’t find on every itinerary is the Basilica of Guadalupe. 

Around 20 million people visit the basilica a year, many of them religious visitors who come to pay homage to a cloak that is said to have been miraculously imprinted with the appearance of the Virgin Mary. 

🌟 We took a free tour with a very knowledgeable tour guide, which we highly recommend if you want to learn more deets about the legend of the cloak and its owner, Indigenous convert Juan Diego.

Although the New Basilica was consecrated as recently as 1976, the site has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Today, you can still see the original Old Basilica (completed in 1709), as well as several chapels and an impressive former convent from the 18th century as part of the wider Tepeyac complex.

#26 Tolantongo – Best Things To Do Near Mexico City.

Winter months are perfect for visiting Tolantongo Hot Springs.

As if there weren’t enough things to see in the capital itself, there are also a lot of brilliant day trips from CDMX, including to nearby towns like Puebla and San Miguel de Allende.

One of the best getaways for nature lovers is Tolantongo. About 3.5 hours’ drive from the centre of Mexico City, it boasts natural hot springs, turquoise rivers, and enchanting grottoes, as well as man-made bathing pools built into the side of a hill.

🌟 There are only really two ways to get here: rent a car from Mexico City or take the same Tolantongo tour as we did.

#27 Dine At Pujol – Best Things To Do In Mexico City For Foodies.

One of the most famous restaurants in Mexico City, Pujol is an unparalleled eating experience. 

Consistently cited among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, its unique spin on Mexican cuisine uses traditional techniques and ingredients in fabulously inventive modern dishes. It’s the kind of fine dining place you go to not just for the taste of the food but for the way each dish is presented. 

It’s also got to be among the top crazy things to do in Mexico City, at least in terms of how much money you’ll spend. The tasting menu will set you back 3,500 pesos ($190) per person! 

Still, for any true foodie, it’s a bucket list item.

#28 National Museum Of The Revolution – A Brief Educational Exhibit.

Concealed beneath the Monument to the Revolution, the National Museum of the Revolution is one of the places to see in Mexico City if you want to learn about the tempestuous transformation of Mexican society at the beginning of the 20th century.

The permanent exhibition isn’t particularly large, so you can pick up a few factual titbits before ascending the central glass elevator to see the views from the top of the monument. 

Everything is in Spanish, so if you don’t speak the lingo, you’ll need Google Translate! 

#29 Cycle The City – An Efficient Way To See The Sights.

Blogger Mal at a bike tour Mexico City in October.

Last but not least on our list of the best things to do in Mexico City is to hop on a bike and cycle the city! 

In terms of how to get around Mexico City, it’s one of the most efficient (not to mention healthy) ways to see a bunch of places in one go. 

For example, if you start at Chapultepec Park, you can cycle along Reforma, past the Angel de la Independencia and the Monument to the Revolution, before turning off along Calle de Tacuba to see the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Zocalo.

🌟 On one of our earlier trips to the capital, we joined a bike tour, but these days, we often just use the public Ecobici system.

Try and time your bicycle trip to take place on a Sunday, when Reforma is closed to traffic.

Best Things To Do In Mexico City: FAQ

What is the number one attraction in Mexico City?

The National Museum of Anthropology is often cited as the most visited attraction in CDMX. For us though, the best things to do in and around Mexico City are probably either the Teotihuacan Pyramids or the Frida Kahlo Museum. Ultimately, it depends on what you like to do on holiday!

Is Mexico City a walkable city?

The downtown area of Mexico City is very walkable, but we can’t imagine anybody really wanting to go from the Centro Historico to Coyoacan on foot! We generally rely on Uber to get around because it’s cheap and convenient, but if you want to watch the pesos, the metro and Metrobus public transportation systems are safe and reliable.

How many days do I need in Mexico City?

For people who don’t mind dashing around, you can squeeze the must-see monuments, museums, and neighbourhoods into a 5-day itinerary. For a more leisurely visit, a week is probably about right, but it depends on whether you plan to embark on day trips during your CDMX stay.

Where to stay in Mexico City?

We live in La Condesa, which is the nicest residential area and has lots of cute boutiques, galleries, and cafes. For short-term travel, Roma Norte is a bit edgier and buzzier, with great transport links and loads of places to go out for dinner and drinks.

What is the best month to visit Mexico City?

A lot of people will tell you that the best time to visit is springtime, around April and May, because that’s the driest, hottest part of the year. We’d buck that trend slightly and say go in January or February. The weather is still dry and warm, but the crowds tend to be noticeably smaller.

Best Things To Do In Mexico City: Final Word

Historic attractions, well-stocked museums, happening cocktail bars, buzzy coffee shops, ubiquitous street food – there’s a lot to include on a list of the best things to do in Mexico City! 

This post is a good place to get started, but for second-time visitors or people who have booked longer stays, check out some our deep dives into the food, the culture, and the many daytrips that the capital has in store.

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