If you would like to experience the cultural phenomenon that is Lucha Libre Mexico City is the best in the world to see this form of sporting entertainment.
We live in Mexico City (when we’re not travelling) and are here to share our local insights!
Lucha Libre is a highly entertaining, immersive form of freestyle acrobatic wrestling that is unique to Mexico. It has a long, proud tradition in the country and is deeply rooted in Mexican heritage, politics and popular culture.
Mexico City is considered to be the home of Lucha Libre, and as a result, the city has several Lucha Libre arenas, including the largest and most modern purpose-built arena in the country.
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If you are lucky enough to visit Mexico City Lucha Libre is an unmissable experience. Not only will you have a fun night out, but you will experience a piece of Mexican modern-day culture and have the chance to live like a local for the night.
Lucha Libre Mexico City At A Glance
Lucha Libre is a Mexican cultural phenomenon, and we highly recommend adding it to your CDMX itinerary. Our first show was amazing! We were amazed and excited by the high-flying acrobatics and theatrical flair of the wrestlers. It was an evening full of excitement where we often found ourselves gasping in awe at the sheer spectacle of the fights.
It’s freestyle wrestling loosely based on traditional Greco-Roman wrestling moves.
What makes Lucha Libre distinct from other wrestling styles around the world is its acrobatic high-flying manoeuvres and elements of martial arts. It is also known for the colourful and elaborate costumes worn by the wrestlers.
These athletic masked fighters are known as a luchador or luchadores and are known for hiding their true identity behind a full-head mask. A luchador can go through his entire career, never revealing his identity.
Lucha Libre matches are either single-combat fights or fights consisting of tag teams of three. These teams are known as ‘trios’. Each match tells a story loosely based on the ongoing struggle between the good luchadores, or the ‘técnicos’, who play by the rules and the bad luchadores, who are the rulebreakers and who are known as ‘rudos.’
There are four ways a Lucha Libre fight can be won – by pinning an opponent to the mat for a count of three, by making an opponent submit defeat or by knocking your opponent out of the ring. It is also possible to win a Lucha Libre fight if the opponent fighter is disqualified for making an illegal move, such as a piledriver or for removing their competitor’s mask.
Generally speaking, it is the técnicos who prevail at the end of the fight, though there will be the occasional match where the rudos are declared the winners.
Similar to boxing, there are different classes based on the weight and build of the fighters. There are also female fighters called ‘luchadoras’ and wrestlers dressed in drag outfits called ‘exóticos’. Luchadores can amass a cult following, and with their Superman-style capes, many Luchadores achieve superhero status in Mexican culture.
Each Lucha Libre match has a predetermined winner, but that hasn’t stopped the sport from becoming a much-beloved sport and Mexico’s second most popular sport after football.
5 Best Tips For Visiting Lucha Libre
#1 Visit The Lucha Libre Fight with a tour
Visiting a Lucha Libre match with a guided tour is a fantastic way to enhance your experience. Knowledgeable guides can provide valuable insights, secure tickets, and ensure you navigate the lively atmosphere seamlessly. It’s an excellent way to dive into Mexican wrestling culture with confidence and convenience.
#2 Get to the arena by Uber if you decide to go independently
Arriving at the Lucha Libre arena using Uber independently offers safety and convenience. It allows you to avoid potential navigation challenges and unreliable taxi services. Uber provides a reliable and secure transport option, ensuring you get to the event hassle-free.
#3 Watch the alcohol
Watching your alcohol intake at Lucha Libre matches is crucial for safety and a memorable experience. While it’s common to enjoy a drink, excessive alcohol can impair judgment and reactions in crowded settings. Staying sober or drinking in moderation ensures you stay alert, aware, and respectful of fellow spectators.
#4 Leave Your Expensive Camera At Home
Leaving your expensive camera at home is a smart choice, as many Lucha Libre arenas do not allow cameras inside. This restriction helps maintain a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all spectators. Instead, rely on your smartphone to capture memories while respecting the venue’s rules and ensuring a hassle-free experience.
#5 Bring Small Cash For Snacks
Food vendors in and around the arena often prefer cash, and having small denominations on hand simplifies transactions. It ensures you can savour local treats hassle-free and enjoy the full Lucha Libre experience without worrying about payment issues.
What Is Lucha Libre Mexico City?
Lucha Libre is hugely popular in Mexico City; it is popular throughout Mexico, but Mexico City is considered to be the birthplace of Lucha Libre and its ‘spiritual home.’ The Lucha Libre organisation has its Mexican headquarters in Mexico City, and it is also home to the biggest Lucha Libre stadium in all of Mexico, the Arena Mexico.
If you want to see Lucha Libre-style wrestling Mexico City is the best place to see it.
Where To Buy Lucha Libre Mexico City Tickets
You can buy Lucha Libre tickets from the box office of any of the Lucha Libre venues in Mexico City. Box offices will be open on the day of advertised matches so you can turn up, buy a ticket and go into the stadium to watch a match.
You can also buy Lucha Libre tickets online in advance from Ticketmaster, though you will have to pay a per-person booking fee, and you will have to collect your ticket in person. If you are visiting for a short period of time or wish to see a Lucha Libre match on a popular Friday or Saturday night, it is essential to book your ticket in advance online.
You can also book Lucha Libre tickets from third-party websites or from tour operators in Mexico City, though you will pay more than if you buy direct from the stadium.
Again, if you are visiting Mexico City for a short period of time, it will be easiest to book with a tour operator as you are guaranteed a ticket, and most tours will include a guide who can explain the traditions and rules of Lucha Libre so you can understand what you see in the ring.
Plus, some tours offer transport to and from the Lucha Libre venue, which is ideal for solo travellers or for those unfamiliar with Mexico City.
If you want to go to Lucha Libre on a Tuesday night, you may not need to book in advance, but if you want to go to a show on the most popular Friday and Saturday nights, you will need to book well in advance of the show.
Lucha Libre Mexico City wrestling tickets range in price according to the venue you choose, the event you are attending and how close you wish to sit to the wrestling ring. The most expensive tickets are ringside, with the cheapest tickets further back and higher up in the stadium.
For example, buying advance tickets online with Ticketmaster for Arena Coliseo will cost from $90 MXN up to $120 MXN. A ticket to a Friday night show at Arena México costs between $150 MXN to $600 MXN ($8 to $33). The Sunday family shows at Arena México are cheaper to attend, with tickets ranging from $70 MXN to $420 MXN.
Where To See Lucha Libre In Mexico City
If you are wondering where to watch Lucha Libre matches in Mexico City, there are several Lucha Libre Mexico City venues, including Arena Naucalpan, Arena San Juan Pantitlan and Arena Lopez Mateos.
However, the two most famous venues are Arena Coliseo and Arena México.
Arena Coliseo is one of the oldest Lucha Libre venues in Mexico City and dates back to the 1940s. It is a smaller, more intimate venue where you will experience old-school Lucha Libre fights without the loud music or state-of-the-art light show. You may even be able to get a photo with one of the wrestlers after a fight at Arena Coliseo.
Arena Coliseo shows are held every Saturday night at 7.30 pm. Their shows are a little cheaper than Arena México, so if you are travelling on a budget, this is the arena for you.
However, this Mexico City wrestling arena is in the Cuauhtémoc neighbourhood, which is considered a rough neighbourhood to visit, so you may want to arrange your transport to and from the stadium in advance.
The new, modern Arena México was purpose-built for Lucha Libre matches. It is considered to be the best Lucha Libre Mexico City venue for all-around entertainment. It is a huge arena seating 17,000 spectators, and if you want pounding music, raucous crowds and jaw-dropping light shows, this is the venue for you.
Arena México holds shows every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. The Friday night shows are the most popular and the most expensive Mexico City Lucha Libre tickets. On Sundays, the venue hosts family-friendly shows (called Domingo Familiar) at a child-friendly time of 5:00 p.m.
These shows offer cheaper tickets, so they are a good option if you are travelling on a budget.
You can find out more about upcoming Lucha Libre shows Mexico City on the Arena México website.
Best Lucha Libre Tours Mexico City
The following tours are recommended as they each offer a guide which will enhance your experience of Lucha Libre. Each tour offers something extra such as a trip to a local cantina or transportation to and from the venue.
Joining a tour is a perfect opportunity to see and learn about Lucha Libre, especially if you are a solo traveller or nervous about travelling to certain Mexico City neighbourhoods after dark.
#1 Lucha Libre, Pulque and Tacos Private Tour
If transport to and from the venue is important to you, then this Lucha Libre Mexico City tour with Pulque and tacos is the tour for you.
You will be collected from your hotel in a small van and will be driven back to your hotel after the tour ends. If you are not staying in one of the main tourist areas, you may need to pay an additional fee for transportation.
The small group tour starts in a local restaurant where you will see how tacos are made and learn about their history (and importance) in Mexican cuisine. You will then move to a local pulqueria to try pulque whilst listening to live music.
Pulque is a fermented alcoholic drink that has been made in Mexico since before Columbus arrived. It has a sour, yeast-like flavour and is cloudy white in appearance, and to be honest, it’s an acquired taste!
Similar to tequila, pulque is made from the fermented sap (or aquamiel) from agave or maguey plants. If you haven’t yet tried pulque, this tour is a good chance to do so.
You will then watch a Lucha Libre match at Arena México before being transported in safety back to your hotel.
The tour includes transport to and from Arena México, your pulque and taco tasting, your guide and a Lucha Libre ticket.
#2 Lucha Libre Experience and Mezcal Tasting in Mexico City
This highly rated half-day Lucha Libre tour Mexico City is led by a former luchador, so you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Mexican wrestling in Mexico from your guide.
The tour starts with a snack and Mezcal tasting at a local bar, during which your guide will introduce you to the history and rules of Lucha Libre. Your group will then take in a match at Arena México, the largest Lucha Libre venue in the country. Your guide will accompany you throughout the evening and will explain what you are seeing and how you can join in the fun.
At the end of the evening, you will be presented with your very own Lucha Libre mask as a souvenir.
The tour includes your knowledgeable guide, Mezcal and guacamole tasting and your entrance ticket to Arena México. Children are welcome, and soft drinks are available for kids and non-drinkers.
The tour does not include additional food and drink or your transportation to and from the stadium. The tour runs every Tuesday and Friday evening, plus Sunday afternoons.
If you want to learn about the history and culture of Lucha Libre in addition to simply watching it, this insider knowledge tour is the one for you.
#3 Lucha Libre Experience in Mexico City
This four-hour Lucha Libre tour starts with a cocktail or another drink in a local bar, where your guide will explain the rules and cultural status of Lucha Libre. You will then watch a match at either Arena México or Arena Coliseo, depending on the night you have booked the tour.
Your guide will stay with you throughout the match, so you can ask any questions if you are unsure what is happening in the Lucha Libre ring. You also receive a máscara to take home as a souvenir.
This small group tour is available to travellers aged over 18 and includes your welcome drink, a ticket to a Lucha Libre fight and a mask. It does not include hotel pick-ups or drop-offs.
Where Is The Lucha Libre Arena Mexico City Located?
The modern and biggest Lucha Libre Mexico City venue is Arena México.
This Mexico City Lucha Libre arena is in the Colonia Doctores neighbourhood near Centro.
It is a 35-minute walk or a 10-minute drive from El Zócalo, Mexico City’s iconic main square, and you can also reach the stadium on the Mexico City metro network.
Lucha Libre Mexico City Schedule
The different venues each have a different schedule, but you can usually find a Lucha Libre fight somewhere in Mexico City on most nights of the week.
The most popular days are Tuesdays and Fridays, and Saturday nights, with family, shows at Arena México on a Sunday afternoon. Check the Lucha Libre schedule Mexico City in advance of your trip on Ticketmaster or on the individual venue websites.
Lucha Libre History
Mexican-style wrestling first emerged in Mexico in the 1860s. The original Lucha Libre moves were based on traditional Greco-Roman wrestling moves with the addition of flamboyant, crowd-pleasing acrobatics. Lucha Libre was originally a travelling form of entertainment, but over the following years, it developed into a popular regional sport.
In the 1930s, the different regions banded together under the banner of the ‘Mexican Wrestling Entreprise’ (Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre). This organisation still exists today though it is now called the World Wrestling Council, which is based in Mexico City.
A national organisation led to better promotion of Lucha Libre as a sport which in turn led to larger crowds and bigger fights. With the advent of television in the 1960s, the popularity of Lucha Libre soared.
During this time, the country of Mexico was governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (known as the PRI), an authoritarian-style party which used Lucha Libre and its wrestlers in its propaganda to promote Mexican nationalism. The sport soon became a symbol of Mexican nationalism and part of the country’s cultural identity.
In the mid-1990s, the U.S. wrestling promoter World Championship Wrestling brought luchadores to the United States for televised fights with U.S. wrestlers. This brought Lucha Libre to a much wider audience and a new fan base.
Today Lucha Libre fights draw huge spectator crowds in Mexico that are second only to football matches.
Lucha Libre meaning
The words Lucha Libre literally translated mean ‘free fight’, emphasising the freestyle nature of this type of Mexican wrestling.
Lucha Libre Costume
Lucha Libre is as much characterised by its flamboyant costumes as by its high-flying acrobatic moves. In addition to the colourful close-fitting spandex or Lycra fabric Lucha Libre outfits, the luchadores wear full head masks, knee-high boots and often Superhero style capes.
Lucha Libre Mask
The now famous full-head Lucha Libre masks (known as máscaras) that are worn by luchadores were not always a feature of Lucha Libre. It is believed that Jesus Velásquez was the first Mexican wrestler to wear a mask in 1936, performing as ‘El Murciélago’ or The Bat.
The mask was quickly adopted by other wrestlers and soon became a defining feature of the sport. Mask-wearing is taken very seriously, with many wrestlers never revealing their identity. Pulling off an opponent’s mask in the ring means instant disqualification for the de-masker.
One of the most famous Mexican wrestlers of all time, El Santo, fought all over the country and starred in over 50 films, but he did not reveal his identity until just before he died. He was buried wearing his trademark silver mask.
If you would like your own souvenir replica Lucha Libre masks Mexico City is the place to buy one. You will see máscaras sold in shops, markets and from street vendors outside Lucha Libre stadiums.
In the early days of Lucha Libre, masks were simple colours with simple designs and were primarily used to distinguish one fighter from another.
Today Lucha Libre masks are more colourful, with many masks featuring images of animals or Aztec or Mayan designs to link Mexican culture past and present.
To be ‘de-masked’ is considered a sign of defeat or a public admission of retirement. Some high-stakes Lucha Libre matches are played on the premise that the loser takes off their mask to reveal their identity. These matches are known as luchas de apuestas.
Lucha Libre Boots
Luchadores wear knee-length leather boots with laces from the toe to the knee, similar to wrestling boots worn by fighters in other countries. Some Lucha Libre boots are black, but most boots will have colours or designs to match the máscara worn by the fighter.
Lucha Libre Decorations
You can buy Lucha Libre decorations such as balloons, banners and posters as souvenirs or if you wish to host your own Lucha Libre party. You can even buy Christmas baubles painted with the masked face of your favourite fighter.
You will find a Lucha Libre store outside every stadium and throughout Mexico City selling Lucha Libre merchandise, including masks and boots.
Lucha Libre Movies & Lucha Libre Documentary
The film is based on the true story of Father Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, a Catholic priest in Oaxaca, Mexico, who was a professional luchador for over 23 years. The priest fought under the identity of Fray Tormenta to raise money so that he could financially support his church in Oaxaca and the orphanage it ran.
If you want to fully understand the sport of Lucha Libre, one documentary well worth watching is the 2016 ‘Lucha Mexico’. It is a fly-on-the-wall style documentary which follows the lives and matches of some of Mexico’s most famous wrestlers of the modern era.
Lucha Libre Mexico City: FAQ
What days are Lucha Libre in Mexico City?
The most popular Lucha Libre Mexico City match days are Friday and Saturday nights, closely followed by Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons.
There are several Lucha Libre venues in Mexico City, so you will most likely be able to find a fight on most nights of the week.
How to get tickets to Lucha Libre in Mexico City?
You can get Lucha Libre tickets on the day of the fight from the box office outside each Lucha Libre stadium. This is the cheapest way to get Lucha Libre tickets, as you will pay local prices without any fees or additional add-ons.
However, if you want to guarantee securing a Lucha Libre ticket on the night you want to see a fight, you are better off booking online in advance with Ticketmaster.
You will have to pay a booking fee for each ticket, but at least you are guaranteed a ticket, and you will avoid long queues at the stadium. The only issue with that is that you will have to get it sent to an address or collect it in person, which can be a little confusing.
If you want to watch Lucha Libre as part of a group or have safe, reliable transport to and from the stadium, book your Lucha Libre tickets through a reputable tour operator such as Viator.
How long does Lucha Libre last in Mexico City?
The Mexico City Lucha Libre schedule is not seasonal. The sport runs all year round, so you can expect to see a Lucha Libre match in Mexico City whenever you visit.
How long is a Lucha Libre fight?
Each Lucha Libre fight lasts between 2 – 3 hours.
Can you buy Lucha Libre tickets at the door?
Yes, you can buy Lucha Libre tickets from authorised box offices outside each Lucha Libre stadium. The box office will open on the day of the fight.
However, you may not be able to buy the seat you wish to have and will have to queue alongside the locals to buy a ticket.
If you are going to Lucha Libre on a Friday or Saturday night, you can expect huge crowds, so you are better off booking online in advance with a tour operator or with Ticketmaster (remember that with Ticketmaster, you will have to collect the ticket in person or get it sent to an address well in advance of the chosen date).
Is Lucha Libre wrestling fake?
Lucha Libre is only ‘fake’ in so much as the outcome of the fight is predetermined – though the audience does not know which luchador will win. A Lucha Libre fight is a show, not a competition, and should be taken as such.
However, luchadores are well-trained and highly skilled athletes with a bit of acting thrown in for audience entertainment. The throws, backflips and acrobatics that you will see in a Lucha Libre ring are all real and have an element of risk. Luchadores suffer regular injuries, and sadly, there have been fatalities in the sport.
If you go to see Mexico City wrestling, you will leave the arena with a newfound respect and admiration for the luchadores strength and athleticism, as well as having a fun night out.
What should I expect from a Lucha Libre fight?
You should expect a fun, raucous, eardrum-bursting night out. You will be surrounded by huge crowds shouting, chanting and occasionally swearing, but also having a great time. You will see all ages represented in the crowds, from white-haired grannies to small children.
In the ring, you will see colourful-costumed skilled athletic wrestlers performing traditional and Mexican-style wrestling moves and acrobatics in a fight with a loose goodie versus baddie storyline. Even if you are not a wrestling fan, you will soon be on your feet cheering on the técnicos and boo-ing the rudos.
Is it safe to go to see Lucha Libre in Mexico City by yourself?
It is generally considered safe to watch a Lucha Libre match by yourself, especially if you attend a family-friendly show. You must expect large crowds and lots of raucous shouting and swearing, so if you think you will find this intimidating to experience on your own, you can book a tour instead.
However, some of the stadiums are in areas of Mexico City which can be considered unsafe, particularly after dark. If you can attend Lucha Libre with friends or a part of a group tour, there will be some safety in numbers. Whoever you go with, it is essential to prearrange your transport home after the fight has ended.
Is Lucha Libre kid friendly?
Lucha Libre is considered to be child-friendly, though you must expect to see bikini-clad women in the ring before, during and after the fights. There will also be A LOT of Spanish swear words flying about from the crowd, though if your children don’t speak Spanish, they won’t notice!
If you are unsure as to whether midweek or weekend Lucha Libre fights are suitable for you to bring your children to, go to the Family Sundays / Domingo Familiar at Arena Mexico.
Tickets for these shows are cheaper than Saturday evening shows and are held at a child-friendly time of 5 pm.
Is it worth it to watch Lucha Libre?
Yes, it is absolutely worth the expense and effort it takes to watch Lucha Libre Mexico City matches!
A Lucha Libre night is a fun, exhilarating night out that won’t bust the budget. It will also provide you with a glimpse into modern-day Mexican culture that has deep roots in the past.
What do I need to bring to a Lucha Libre fight?
You will need to bring a sense of humour and no inhibitions to a Lucha Libre fight. Don’t bring sensitive ears (for the swearing), and do bring a loud voice, as you will soon be joining in the chanting and shouting.
You can buy food and drink either outside or inside the venue. Note that you are NOT allowed to bring a camera or Go Pro into a Lucha Libre fight and are only allowed to take photos using a mobile phone.
Lucha Libre Mexico City: Final Word
If you’re keen on Lucha Libre, Mexico City is your ultimate destination. There’s nothing like the electric atmosphere of a live match, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd cheering as athletes perform breathtaking stunts. We were totally swept up in the energy, feeling every cheer and gasp of the crowd around us.
Mexico City, the heartland of Lucha Libre, boasts the best venues, grandest tournaments, and the liveliest audiences. When we attended a match, the vibe was exhilarating, far surpassing anything you’d experience watching it on TV.
Planning your Mexico City trip? Make sure to include a Lucha Libre fight in your itinerary. It’s not just an event; it’s a plunge into the local culture, guaranteeing a fun and unforgettable night. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
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