The Best Places to Visit in Mexico City (+ Where To Stay & Things To Do!)

Mexico City (la Ciudad de Mexico), the place I currently call home, is the second largest city in North America and is overflowing with things to do for travelers of all ages and interests. Mexico City has more museums that any other city in the world; serves up some of the best street food I have ever tasted and has North America’s largest urban green space, the Bosque de Chapultepec. With so much choice, you’re probably wondering what to do in Mexico City so I’ve put together my recommendations of the best places to visit in Mexico City to help you decide on the best things to do & where to stay!

Places To Visit to Mexico City

The Best Places to Visit in Mexico City (+ Where To Stay & Things To Do!)

A Guest Post by Lauren Cocking from Northern Lauren


Things To Do & Places to Visit in Mexico City

Stand in the Middle of The Largest Plaza in Latin America

Mexico City What To Do - Visit ZocaloThe Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México (Historic Center of Mexico City), also known as the Centro or Centro Histórico, is the central neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico, focused on Zócalo or main plaza and extending in all directions for a number of blocks, with its farthest extent being west to the Alameda Central. The Zocalo is the largest plaza in Central America and is Mexico Citys main square. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. It can hold up to nearly 100,000 people and is the historic site of the Aztec rulers which is now home to many of Mexico’s celebrations such as the Day of the Dead parade.


Eat the street food

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitAs mentioned above, the street food in Mexico City is ridiculously good, insanely well-priced and literally all over the place; walk down any street in the capital and you’re guaranteed to find someone hawking tamales or tacos de canasta. At the very least you’ll be able to get your hands on some great crisps, complete with chili sauce and lime. But whatever you do, don’t leave without trying some (if not all) the staples of Mexico City street food, including tortas de tamal, pambazos, tacos al pastor, gorditas and a crema and cheese covered elote (corn on the cob).

Ready to take your foodie adventures to the next level? Then sign up for a 3 hour walking food tour and satisfy your inner foodie! Or if you prefer to explore on your own, take a look at the Best Places to Eat in Mexico City.


Visit the museums

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitMexico City boasts over 150 museums, making it the capital with the most museums in the world. While there are plenty of Mexico City hidden gems and niche interest spots hidden in and amongst the 150, there are also tons that are often considered some of the best places to visit in Mexico City.

If you want to learn more about the history of Mexico, then the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) should be your top choice, but be warned, it’s massive and you’re unlikely to see it all in a day. Instead, choose the area that interests you most and stick to it.

If you like art then Museo Soumaya, Museo Tamayo and pretty much any fine arts gallery in Roma/Condesa will be well worth your time. And if you want to learn about Aztec history, Museo del Templo Mayor with its exhibits about the teotihuacan pyramids would be a great choice. You should definitely narrow down your options before you get to Mexico City though, otherwise it will just be overwhelming.

For those interested in seeing the works of the famous Mexican artist, Diego Riveras (who was twice married to Frida Kahlos, another famous Mexican artists) there are 4 locations in the city that can be included in a walking tour of the historic center. They are located at:

  • Palacio Nacional  (Plaza de la Constitucion S/N): A huge mural by Rivera can be found right off the national palace’s courtyard, facing you as you walk up the stairs.
  • Secretaría de Educación Pública (Calle Republica de Argentina 28): Rivera’s murals cover two levels of the interior courtyard of the Mexican government’s public education ministry.
  • Museo de Mural Diego Rivera (Calle Balderas y Colon S/N, Cuahtemoc, Centro): built to house one of the Rivera’s most famous murals, The “Dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alameda Central Park,” painted in 1947.
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes (Av. Juarez, Centro Historico): The mural located here is called “Man, Controller of the Universe” and depicts a man at the crossroads between capitalism and communism.


Walk in the park

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitA Mexico City tour wouldn’t be complete without a walk in the park. The Bosque de Chapultepec is an essential stop for any traveller in the Mexican capital and given that it’s situated right in the heart of the historic center (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), next to the famous Paseo de la Reforma (also worth exploring on foot), it makes the ideal destination. Full of tame squirrels who’ll eat crackers and nuts right from your hand, there are also plenty of museums dotted in and amongst the trees, including the aforementioned Museo Tamayo and the excellently curated Castillo de Chapultepec.

However, while Chapultepec is great, there are numerous other parks that shouldn’t be overlooked, including the art deco masterpiece Parque México in Condesa and the Viveros Coyoacán tree nursery in the southeast of the capital.

RELATED: Ready to explore more of Mexico – get off the beaten path with these  Incredible things to do in Oaxaca


Go for drinks

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitNo matter what kind of nightlife you like, Mexico City will cater for it. If you’re into metal and love anywhere with a gothic vibe then Real Under is for you, whereas if you like to get dressed up and aren’t too bothered about mainstream music, entry fees and inflated drinks prices then literally anywhere in Polanco would be ideal. For those wanting to try the Mexico City drink classic pulque (a viscose but ridiculously healthy drink, often flavoured by fruits and nuts) then you should go to Pulquería Los Finos Insurgentes or Las Duelistas. For craft beer Biergarten Roma is perfect, as is La Belga (both in Roma), but if you prefer a traditional cantina then go see the city’s most famous – Bar La Ópera.


Take in the sights (on a Mexico City Tour)

Places to visit in Mexico City - the view from the top of the buildings

Explore the Mexico City sights from above: Palace of Fine Arts/Palacio de Bellas Artes – Mexico City Mexico

What do you mean take in the sights? Isn’t that what we’ll be doing anyway. Well, yes and no. What I mean here is take in the sights from a height. There are tons of places across the capital that allow you a bird’s eye view over the city streets and you should make it your mission to visit at least one and get a new perspective on it all.

The obvious choice is the Torre Latinoamericana (go to the bar, not the mirador and enjoy the view with an ice-cold beer). However, the nearby Sears department store has an 8th floor café that arguably allows for some of the best photos of the Palacio de Bellas Artes (pictured above). Alternatively, try climbing the Angel of Independence / Ángel de la Independencia (bookings need to be made in advance) or the Monumento a la Revolución (both on Paseo de la Reforma).


Grab a coffee

Mexico City SightsCoyoacán is a nice place to visit in Mexico City and is actually my favourite coffee spot, as it’s leafy streets, arty vibe and entirely different atmosphere allows for a break from the polluted chaos of the centre. I recommend Café El Jarocho or Café Avellaneda, but if you’re not convinced by Coyoacán then wandering the streets of Roma will eventually lead you somewhere nice, brimming as it is with cafés and hole-in-the-wall takeout options. I really like Fruta Editorial. and it is one of my top places to visit in Mexico City.

Go to a football game

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitMexico as a country is football mad and there are numerous teams based in the capital, Mexico City. Even if you’re a non-football fan, like me, it’s well worth grabbing tickets (they’ll cost around $25/£20, if not less) because the atmosphere is incredible.

The choices of home teams in Mexico City include Cruz Azul who play at the Estadio Azul, Club América who play at the Estadio Azteca and Pumas who play at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario. Whichever one you choose, you’re guaranteed a good time and, at the very least, an interesting travel anecdote to tell your friends back home, so what are you waiting for?!


Snap some photos

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitOf course I’ll be taking photos, what are you saying?! Well, yes, but make sure they’re good! The best places for those perfect social media ready snaps include anywhere that has great street art and in Mexico City you’re spoilt for choice.

The Coyoacán district is a perfect option for this and there’s actually plenty of art lining the streets just off the main square, so they won’t take you long to find. Wander further into the residential zones and you’ll spot brightly coloured houses with exquisite tiles that’ll make the perfect backdrop for your impromptu photoshoot – just remember to be respectful of the residents.

Another option is the historic centre, although the crowds can make it hard to get a great shot, so many amateur photographers flock to Roma instead, which is renowned for fantastic street masterpieces. But realistically, everywhere in Mexico City is photogenic in its own way!


Get away from it all (on a Mexico city tour)

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To VisitMexico City is manic, there’s no denying that. And the truth is, sometimes it gets too much so you’re going to want to escape into the fresh air at least once during your trip. Many people forget that the capital is lined on practically all sides by amazing natural parks and open spaces, including the peaceful (some say spooky) Los Dinamos, the breathtaking Ajusco and the southern Desierto de los Leones. There’s also La Marquesa if you venture further towards the State of Mexico too. Whichever one you choose though, you’ll get a welcome relief from the chaos of the city for a few hours.


Read a book

Plcaes to see in Mexico City - the libraryThe number of beautiful libraries and bookstores in Mexico City is crazy, and you have to stop by at least one of them during your time here. If you want exclusively English language titles, then Under the Volcano Books is a classic, but if you’re comfortable branching out a bit then go to the Porrúa branch located in Chapultepec Park as it offers some gorgeous views over the lake. Alternatively, stop by Centro Cultural Elena Garro in Coyoacán on your Mexico city visit.

If you’d prefer to go to a library, then Biblioteca Vasconcelos will forever be my number one recommendation as the architecture inside is just stunning and the surrounding neighborhood is seriously underrated and well worth a visit. If you want a library that’s great to look at from the outside though, you should head to Ciudad Universitaria and find the iconic Juan O’Gorman designed building.


Where to Stay In Mexico City

The sheer size of Mexico City means it has plenty of accommodation options – which can become a little overwhelming(!) so we have put together 3 recommendations for hotels in Mexico City based on different budget levels – including luxury, mid-range and budget hotels to help find the perfect place to rest your head.

Best Places to Stay in Mexico City

Luxury Hotel – Live Aqua Urban Resort ($200+ per night)

Situated in Mexico City, this 4.5-star property is sophisticated and contemporary. The multiple facilities this luxury hotel offers include valet parking, a laundry service and vip rooms.
On-site dining options include a restaurant, which is a convenient spot to enjoy a meal. In the evening, guests can relax in the comfortable lounge bar.
Book NowCompare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Mid Range HotelLe Meridian Mexico City  ($100-$200 per night)

Contemporary in its design, Le Meridien Mexico City is positioned in a well-known area of Mexico City. Some of the facilities provided at this modern 5-star hotel include a Jacuzzi and an indoor pool.
Le Meridien Mexico City is conveniently located for sightseeing in Mexico City, with Paseo de la Reforma and the Monumento a la Revolucion only a short walk away.
Compare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Budget HotelHotel Brasilia Gustavo (<$100 per night)

Less than 20 minutes’ walk from La Raza Metro Station, Hotel Brasilia Gustavo A Madero provides guests with a convenient base when in Mexico City.
On-site dining options include a restaurant, which is an ideal spot to have a meal. In the evening, guests are welcome to relax in the comfortable lounge bar.
Book NowCompare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews


Extra Mexico City Adventures


  • Combine a visit to the Teoithaucan Pyramids with a visit to the Shire of Guadalupe – explore the UNESCO listed pyramids on this full day tour before visiting one of the most important religious and historical sites in Latin America and is perfect for what to do near Mexico City.
  • If you’ve always wanted to go in a hot air balloon – how does a flight above the pyramids sound? This can also be combined with a ground tour to explore the whole City of God site from every angle!
  • Feeling adventurous? A Volcano Hike would make for a perfect day tour!
  • And saving the best for last! No visit to Mexico is complete without attending a night of Mexican Wrestling!


So there you have it – hopefully you’ve enjoyed our Mexico City Travel Guide and found our travel tips useful; and that we have given you a great list of things to do and places to visit in Mexico City to make sure you have a great time. Don’t forget to let me know you’re own highlights once you’re back!


Oh, and if you liked this post please pin and share – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for full size images!

Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To Visit    Mexico City Tour Things to Do Places To Visit

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Lauren is a Mexico City based travel blogger who writes (mainly) about Mexico, food and feminism. While she loves writing about other people and places, she thinks there’s really nothing more horrifying than putting together a humble yet engaging personal bio. Find her rainbow coloured pictures and pins on Instagram and Pinterest, or follow her irreverent thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

30 thoughts on “The Best Places to Visit in Mexico City (+ Where To Stay & Things To Do!)

  1. Nathan says:

    I’m feeling a real pulling to Mexico in general but specifically Mexico City. It seems to be getting a lot of attention lately and I want to go soon to check it out for myself.

  2. Barb says:

    That museum looks pretty cool. I like funky looking museum buildings. The arepas look very tasty too. This post makes me miss mexico.

  3. Laura Lynch says:

    I could really spend so much more time in Mexico City. I really loved it. It was one of our favorite destinations and we just didn’t get enough time to see it all — because it’s MASSIVE. So many great things to do, and don’t get me started on the food.

  4. Jean says:

    Oh Mexico city looks like so much fun. Love this DIY tour. I so much prefer to walk around cities myself then be dragged around on a free walking tour.
    I love that there are museums as well as places to escape the urban sprawl.

  5. melody pittman says:

    I would choose to eat the food and see the sights for sure! I really enjoy the culture of all Mexican cities and Mexico City is on my bucket list. As for the hotels, I have been extremely happy with the other Le Meridian properties I have stayed at in Mexico.

  6. Leah says:

    Being from Texas, I still can’t believe I’ve never been to Mexico City. I want to go for so many reasons, but you hit the nail on the head with your first item: street food!

  7. FS Page says:

    I am blown away seeing the photograph of the museum. That’s an architectural marvel. I love visiting places which has something for everyone in its basket. Mexico seems to be one of them. Thanks for the lovely article.

  8. stacey veikalas says:

    I would eat, eat and eat again! I love street foods and my guess it that in Mexico it is amazing! Of course my hubby and kids would want to see a soccer game, but I would happy wandering the squares and the sights – well while eating of course!

  9. Travelwith2ofus says:

    150 museums that’s a lot. I would stick to your advice and try to visit the interesting parts of the Museo Nacional de Antropología though. I would definitely have to get some street food especially some tamales and tacos. I would likely go and see a football/soccer games as I hear the atmosphere at those Mexican games are amazing. Especially love doing the Mexican wave.

  10. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Mexico is a wonder. There is so much to do in Mexico and being a part of the football match would be so thrilling. The museum and getting away from all the hustle place is splendid.

  11. Cat says:

    I never knew that there’s so much to do in Mexico City! 150 museums? That will keep us busy for days! Adding hot air balloon and volcano hike sounds like a great idea!

  12. Janine Good says:

    This is a great guide to Mexico City! I love coffee and would be heading to that cafe for a java fix every day! 150 museums!? Wow that is a lot. I am not a museum fan, but I do enjoy going to one now and then while travelling. The street food would also be incredible as I love Mexican cuisine.

  13. Sara Broers says:

    I have not spent anytime in Mexico City and it looks very inviting. I can only imagine how the food is and the street vendors I’m sure offer some amazing selections. I would have never thought of Mexico City having such big book stores and so many museums.

  14. Global Girl Travels says:

    You completely sold Mexico City to me. I’ve always known Mexico to be a hit with foodies, so I would definitely hit up the streets and find some street food when I do get to visit. Those colorful and colonial buildings too make such great photo subjects – you’ve been able to capture great photos, I see!

  15. Mansoureh says:

    This post was totally different from any other articles I have read about what to do in Mexico city. 150 museums that’s a lot. I didn’t know there are many bookshops and library there. Thanks for the great tips

  16. Debra Schroeder says:

    The architecture of the Museo Nacional de Atropologia is amazing. It’s so modern, I almost expect it to house modern art of aviation. Unbelievable how inexpensive futball tickets are in Mexico.

  17. anna says:

    Bookmarking! Wow what a guide. Looks like I know now where to look in case we make a cheeky stop over to Mexico next year. That museum looks incredible by the way.

  18. Allison says:

    I love a DIY tour! Its so much more persona than a cookie-cutter one sized fits all group tour. I love that you have included street food at number one as I’m always thinking of my stomach lol. I had no clue you could catch a football game in Mexico City!

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