Mexico City is one of the most affordable major cities to visit in North America. Not just that, but there is a thriving art and food scene in Mexico City that everyone will be sure to enjoy. This city is rich in culture and history, so there is no short list of things to do but here are our top recommendations when you are visiting.
Explore the neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma
First time tourists might find the neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma to be especially inviting and lively. Laid-back and modern areas, both Condesa and Roma attract all kinds of visitors, including younger people. You can stay out dancing and enjoying the vast nightlife the area has to offer or grab cocktails at one of its many popular restaurants. Not only are Roma and Condesa full of residential areas, parks, plazas, cafes, and shops, but they’re also an easy walk to other neighborhoods. It is a safe place to stay due to its more mellow atmosphere.
If you’re looking to stay at the center of the history and culture, check out Centro Histórico, the oldest part of present-day Mexico City. Here, you are surrounded by museums, historic buildings, and attractions.
Explore the Ruins of Teotihuacan and Floating Gardens of Xochimilco
Two must-dos when visiting Mexico City are seeing the Ruins of Teotihuacan and Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. Both places are well-deserved UNESCO heritage sites that will take your breath away. The site of Xochimilco is a large canal system that once connected different settlements of the valley. Now, it’s become a tourist attraction due to the leisurely boat rides you can take around the island and canals. Hop on a traditional trajinera boat and enjoy the greenery and vibrant painted boats around you while being serenaded by mariachi bands. As you float, you’ll see local vendors selling empanadas, souvenirs, and more. Doesn’t it sound magical?
The Ruins of Teotihuacan can be explored together with the Gardens of Xochimilco as many vendors offer combined sightseeing day tours of both. Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city and what’s left today can be seen here in Mexico City. Plan to do a lot of walking and learning as you traverse the incredible history of this place or check out the views from above in a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids.
Check out the many museums
Mexico City ranks second after Paris as the city with the most museums. That’s no surprise considering its rich history and culture, as you can find pre-Hispanic art, the famous works of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and more. One outstanding museum is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a stunning building that can be admired just from the outside. Its architecture and indoor murals are something you won’t want to miss. The Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA) holds a great collection of pre-Hispanic art and the Frida Kahlo Museum hosts the stories of the incredible artist’s life and works.
Eat some delicious local Mexican food
Around every corner, you can bet you’ll find some tasty tacos or tamales. Tacos al pastor are a yummy staple meal you can try from the many local street stalls and vendors. For breakfast, chilaquiles, crunchy tortilla chips with fresh cheese and salsa, are a popular dish. Mole, tortas de tamales, and tlacoyos are also great lunch or dinner options. Make sure to also get a taste of some homemade churros, and of course, Mexican spirits.