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Looking for the ultimate cool aesthetic girl guide on Things to do in Mexico city? I have exactly what you’re looking for.

Vibrant, energetic and captivating, Mexico City is a mecca for lovers of art, design and delicious cuisine. As a solo traveler, I recently spent a week in Mexico City exploring this dynamic metropolis, uncovering unique experiences and hidden gems. From floating above ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan in a hot air balloon to visiting the studios of renowned artists, Mexico City offers an unforgettable aesthetic journey. Whether you’re an art aficionado, design enthusiast, or passionate foodie, this guide reveals the top things to do in Mexico City that will ignite your senses and spark your creativity. Get ready to fall in love with the colorful wonders of CDMX!

 From the moment I arrived, I was captivated by the city’s energy, color and flavor. Over a week, I uncovered hidden gems, explored cutting-edge galleries, and indulged in mouthwatering cuisine. In this in-depth guide, I’ll share my top recommendations, insider tips and personal experiences to help you plan your own Mexico City aesthetic adventure.

 Mexico City Travel Guide: 23 Incredible Things to Do in Mexico City for Art, Design & Foodie’s Dream

No Time To Read it All? Here’s a Quick Highlights:

Read on for the full scoop on these experiences and many more incredible things to do in CDMX!

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things to do in mexico city

What to Know Before Visiting Mexico City

Best Time to Visit Mexico City

March to May (spring) and September to November (fall) for mild weather and cultural events like Day of the Dead. Expect rain in the summer months.

  • High Season in Mexico City (Dec-Apr): Dry, mild weather but bigger crowds and higher prices.
  • Shoulder Seasonin Mexico City (May-Jun, Sep-Nov): Pleasant temps, occasional rain, thinner crowds. Cultural events like Día de los Muertos make fall an exciting time to visit.
  • Low Season in Mexico City(Jul-Aug): Heavy rains and hot, humid temps. Sightseeing can be a challenge but you’ll find great deals.

I visited in early April and found the weather ideal – warm, sunny days perfect for exploring on foot.

things to do in mexico city

Weather of Mexico City

 Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate, resulting in mild, pleasant weather year-round. However, there are some distinct seasonal variations:

  • Dry Season in Mexico City(Nov-Apr): Warm, sunny days and cool nights. Daytime temps average 70-80°F (21-27°C). Occasional cold fronts can drop temps into the 50s°F (10-15°C).
  • Wet Season n Mexico City( (May-Oct): Higher temps and humidity, with frequent afternoon showers. Daytime highs can reach the mid-80s°F (30°C), with lows in the 50s-60s°F (10-20°C).

Here’s a table of the average weather conditions in Mexico City by month:

MonthAvg. High Temp (°F/°C)Avg. Low Temp (°F/°C)Avg. Rainfall (inches/mm)Avg. Rainy Days
Mexico City weather in January71°F / 22°C43°F / 6°C0.4 in / 10 mm2
Mexico City weather in February75°F / 24°C45°F / 7°C0.2 in / 5 mm1
Mexico City weather in March79°F / 26°C48°F / 9°C0.4 in / 10 mm2
Mexico City weather in April81°F / 27°C52°F / 11°C1.0 in / 25 mm4
Mexico City weather in May81°F / 27°C54°F / 12°C2.4 in / 61 mm8
Mexico City weather June79°F / 26°C55°F / 13°C5.5 in / 140 mm13
Mexico City weather in July77°F / 25°C54°F / 12°C6.7 in / 170 mm16
Mexico Cityweather in August77°F / 25°C54°F / 12°C6.3 in / 160 mm16
Mexico City weather in September75°F / 24°C54°F / 12°C5.1 in / 130 mm14
Mexico City weather in October75°F / 24°C50°F / 10°C2.0 in / 51 mm7
Mexico City weather in November73°F / 23°C45°F / 7°C0.6 in / 15 mm2
Mexico City weather in December71°F / 22°C43°F / 6°C0.2 in / 5 mm2

As I discovered, the key to packing for Mexico City is layers. Mornings can be crisp, afternoons warm and evenings chilly, especially in the dry season. I was glad to have a light jacket, scarf and umbrella on hand to adapt to changing conditions.

RELATED: Where to Stay in Mexico City & Coolest Hotels in Mexico City

things to do in mexico city

Getting to Mexico City

 mexico city airport mex

The main gateway is Mexico City International Airport (MEX), which receives direct flights from many major US, Canadian and European cities. I used Skyscanner and Expedia to snag a great deal on a nonstop flight from Northern California. Once you land, the easiest way to get into the city is via authorized taxi stands or Uber (more on that below).

Time Zone In Mexico city 

what time zone is mexico city? Mexico City is in the Central Time Zone (UTC-6), same as cities like Chicago or Guatemala City. It observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) from April to October, during which it aligns with the US Mountain Time Zone. Keep this in mind when booking flights or planning calls back home.

One tip – most of Mexico, including CDMX, uses the 24-hour clock format. So if you see something listed as “14:30,” that’s 2:30 PM. It took me a minute to adjust but it’s actually a pretty clever system!

Currency & Money in Mexico City

 Mexico’s currency is the peso (MXN). At the time of writing, the exchange rate was about 20 MXN to $1 USD, but this fluctuates. Many tourist-oriented businesses accept US dollars but you’ll get a terrible exchange rate. Better to pay in pesos and small bills to avoid getting shortchanged on change.

ATMs in Mexico City

Atms are widely available in Mexico City, including at the airport. I recommend using ATMs at banks like Citibanamex or Santander for the best exchange rates and security. Avoid generic ATMs that might charge hefty fees or have lower withdrawal limits. Notify your bank of travel plans to avoid having your card frozen.

Morning Traffic on Street in Mexico Citythings to do in mexico city

Language in Mexico City

Spanish is the official language in Mexico City, but many people in the tourism industry speak English. Learning a few key phrases goes a long way!

Safety of Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe?I found Mexico City to be a lot safer than its reputation might suggest. Practice the same street smarts you would in any major city – be aware of your surroundings, keep flashy valuables to a minimum and stick to well-lit, busy areas after dark.  As someone who traveled solo to Mexico city for a 7 day trip, I felt safe at all times. Obviously, please exercise common sense precautions as you would in any big city. Some areas (like Centro after dark) are best avoided. Stick to Ubers over hailing street cabs. 

Most tourist-frequented neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, Polanco and Coyoacán are quite safe, even for solo travelers. Areas like Tepito and Iztapalapa are best avoided. When in doubt, consult your hotel concierge or Airbnb host for safety tips tailored to your location.

Mexico City Altitude Elevation

Not many blogs talk about this, but it is something you should know and prepare for. At 7,382 ft elevation, Mexico City’s altitude can cause shortness of breath, headaches or dizziness. Take it easy on your first day and stay hydrated.

RELATED: Where to Stay in Mexico City & Coolest Hotels in Mexico City

Mexico City Pollution

 CDMX has high levels of air pollution, which can be an issue for those with respiratory conditions. Check the air quality forecast and limit outdoor exertion on poor air quality days.

Drinking Water in Mexico City

Is the water in Mexico City safe to drink? Tap water is not safe to drink. Stick to bottled water and drinks without ice. Bring a reusable bottle to fill up at purified water stations in hotels/restaurants.

People in an Old Town of Mexico

Cellular Data In Mexico City& eSIMs

Will your phone work in Mexico city? Maybe. Having mobile data is a game-changer for navigating the city and using Uber. For the best coverage, I’d suggest getting an Esim from Ubigi or picking up a prepaid Telcel SIM at the airport or an OXXO convenience store – they have affordable data packages starting at around $10 USD for 2GB.

If your phone supports eSIM technology (like newer iPhones), you can also pre-purchase an eSIM data plan online and activate it upon arrival. I used Ubigi eSIM and had great service all over the city.

Travel Logistics for Mexico City

Getting There: Mexico City International Airport (MEX) is the main entry point, serving many direct flights from major US, Canadian and European cities. Once you land, the easiest way to get to the city is via authorized taxi stands inside the airport. Uber also operates in Mexico City and is generally a safe, affordable option.

Mexico City Airport (MEX)

Officially named Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez, Mexico City International Airport (MEX) is the country’s busiest airport and the main gateway to the capital. It’s located about 3 miles (5 km) east of downtown Mexico City.

The airport has two main terminals, T1 and T2, connected by a free monorail. Most international flights arrive at T1, while T2 primarily serves the domestic Aeromexico flights. Both terminals offer the standard amenities – duty-free shopping, restaurants, currency exchange and car rental desks.

Upon landing, you’ll go through immigration and customs before exiting into the arrivals hall. Be sure to have your passport, immigration form and customs declaration ready. Baggage claim and the taxi/ride-share stands are located outside the main arrivals area.

How To Get around Mexico City 

Getting Around Mexico City is straightforward. Mexico City is massive, so you’ll likely need a combination of walking, metro and Uber/taxi to explore. Some tips:

  • The metro is cheap and quick, but can be extremely crowded during rush hour. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid taking it late at night.
  • Ubers in Mexico City  is my go-to for getting around are plentiful and inexpensive compared to most major cities. Confirm your driver’s license plate matches the app before getting in.
  • Many neighborhoods (like Roma, Condesa, Juarez) are very walkable. Always keep an eye out for uneven sidewalks and unruly traffic when crossing streets.
Buddhist Center in Mexico City

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Mexico City

Mexico City’s best areas to stay for art/design/food lovers are:

  • Roma Norte & Condesa: hip neighborhoods full of galleries, restaurants and parks
  • Juarez: a cool, central ‘hood known for its Beaux Arts mansions and foodie scene
  • Polanco: posh area with high-end shopping, museums and swanky hotels
  • Centro/Downtown: bustling, uber-central area chock full of historic sights and architecture

RELATED: Where to Stay in Mexico City & Coolest Hotels in Mexico City

I personally loved staying in Roma Norte for its walkability, creative vibe and great food options. Read on for my hotel recs in the “Bonus” section!

Where to Stay in Mexico City CDMX: Best Hotels

To fully immerse yourself in Mexico City’s aesthetic delights, bed down at one of these stunning design-forward hotels:

  • Círculo Mexicano (Centro): ultra-stylish hotel with a rooftop pool and mezcal bar
  • Las Alcobas (Polanco): posh boutique sleep with slick contemporary decor
  • Nima Local House Hotel (Roma): 1920s townhouse transformed into a dreamy 4-room inn
  • Condesa DF: hip sleep drawing creative types with its Modernist-meets-colonial style

RELATED: Where to Stay in Mexico City & Coolest Hotels in Mexico City

Tip: Book well in advance for the best rates, especially during busy art and design weeks. For a more budget-friendly option, browse Airbnbs – there are plenty of cool, design-savvy listings.

Tipping: Tipping is customary in Mexico City. At restaurants, aim to leave 10-15% of the bill in cash (not on the card machine). It’s also good practice to tip 5-10 pesos per bag for luggage assistance and a few pesos to bathroom attendants.

A church with a bell tower and a sign

Things to See in Mexico City Mexico for Design and Art Enthusiast: The ultimate coOL Girl Mexico Itinerary

If you’re wondering what to do in Mexico city if you have a design forward aesthetic, the great news is there is so much to see. Here are some of my highlights.  

Dive into Mexico City’s Cutting-Edge Art Scene

Mexico City’s contemporary art scene is absolutely electrifying right now. A highlight for me was gallery hopping in Roma and Juarez – I discovered so many talented emerging Mexican artists.

Must see in Mexico City Art galleries:

  • Galería OMR: cutting-edge exhibitions in a stunning modernist space
  • Kurimanzutto: influential gallery with international names and local stars
  • LABOR: experimental, thought-provoking shows by up-and-coming artists
  • JO-HS Gallery: contemporary design gallery showcasing limited-edition functional art
things to do in mexico city

Mexico City Must see Design Gallery & Concept Stores:

  • Casa Mimi: expertly curated antiques, art and contemporary Mexican design
  • Studio IMA: dreamy, minimalist homewares and designer objects in a serene space
  • Chic By Accident: eclectic vintage and contemporary furniture in a quirky apartment
  • Ven a Mi: beautiful crafts, textiles and decor by Mexican artisans (open by appointment)

Insider Tip: Look out for open studios, pop-up shows and special events during Art Week in February. It’s a fantastic time to meet artists and curators. A lot of the galleries require reservation in advance so make sure to snag these one you start planning your Mexico City itinerary.

I also loved the immersive public art scattered across the city:

  • UNAM: a surreal sculpture garden and mosaic-covered buildings by Mexican masters
  • Ruta de la Amistad: colorful, otherworldly sculptures created for the 1968 Olympics
  • Casa Wabi: artist residency and gallery by Tadao Ando showcasing collaborations between international artists and local craftspeople

Things To Do in Mexico City for Design enthusiasists

Explore Iconic Mexico’s Architect and designer Luis Barragán Houses

For architecture buffs, Mexico City is a modernist mecca, full of breathtaking buildings by the legendary Luis Barragán. Visiting his masterful houses and studios was a revelation.

Must-see Luis Barragán sites:

  • Casa Gilardi: stunning pool of light and color, visits Wed & Sat by appointment
  • Casa Pedregal (aka Casa Prieto López): bold cliffside villa, open for tours Tues-Sun
  • Casa Barragán: the architect’s own home & studio, now a museum, book in advance

Tip: dslr Photos aren’t allowed inside most Barragán homes to preserve the furniture and art. Iphone photos are ok there is an additional fee. Book your tickets at leat a month in advance. The fee is from $25 USD. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere and play of light, shadow and saturated hues.

I also loved the immersive public art scattered across the city. Don’t miss the colorful, otherworldly sculptures along Ruta de la Amistad, an outdoor art corridor created for the 1968 Olympics. And riding the metro is an art experience in itself – many stations have stunning murals and installations.

Things to do in Mexico city: Popular Mexico City Attractions

Step into the World of Iconic Mexican Artists

Visiting the homes and studios of Mexico’s most celebrated artists is a can’t miss thing to do in Mexico City. Starting with probably the most famous of Mexican artist…

Museum Frida Kahlo Mexico City and Casa Azul

 Walking the through Frida’s cobalt blue house, filled with her vibrant paintings and personal possessions, I felt a deep connection to her fiery spirit.

Top Tip: Book tickets online in advance, as tickets are only sold online and the lines can wrap around the block. Go first thing in the morning for a more intimate experience.

I also loved the Diego Rivera Museum, housed in the artist’s former studio. You can see his sketches, brushes and unfinished canvases – it’s like stepping back in time. And architecture fans can’t miss Casa Estudio Luis Barragán, the Pritzker Prize winner’s gorgeously minimalist house awash in vivid colors.

Marvel at Mexico City’s Magnificent Architecture

Mexico City is an architecture lover’s playground, with gems from art deco to modernism. My jaw dropped when I first stepped onto the sprawling UNAM campus, dotted with futuristic sculptures and buildings by legends like Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman. It’s a surreal place to wander and picnic on weekends.

Other Mexico City must sees architectural sites

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/mexico-city-travel-guide-things-to-do-in-mexico-city/

Palacio de Bellas Artes: art deco beauty with murals by Rivera and Siqueiros

things to do in mexico city

Camino Real Polanco: modernist hotel with a jaw-dropping glass mural ceiling

Torre Latinoamericana: 44th floor observation deck for panoramic views

Strolling through leafy, upscale Polanco, I spotted sleek works by Mexican modernists like Luis Barragán and Ricardo Legorreta. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden architectural surprises around every corner.

what to do in mexico city 

Get Delightfully Lost in Colorful Artisan Markets 

One of my favorite things to do in Mexico city was lose myself in CDMX’s bustling artisan markets, full of eye-popping crafts, textiles and folk art.

shop at La Ciudadela Market

 This sprawling indoor bazaar is a treasure trove of authentic, high-quality handicrafts from all over Mexico. I spent hours browsing the stalls, chatting with artisans and scooping up gorgeous textiles, ceramics and Day of the Dead figurines. Bargaining Tip: Be friendly, respectful and don’t be afraid to negotiate – it’s expected! Start at 50% off the asking price and meet in the middle.

Other markets not to miss:

  • Mercado de la Merced: a huge, chaotic sensory explosion and foodie heaven
  • Bazaar Sábado: upscale weekend artist market in a colonial plaza in San Ángel
  • La Lagunilla: gritty, sprawling flea market brimming with antiques and oddities

mexico city things to do

Walk and Explore the charming Condesa and Norte Roma Neighborhoods

As I followed my nose and eyes throughout Mexico, walking around the cute and lush neighborhoods of Condesa and Norte Roma was such a great way to see the pulse of Mexico City and its unique neighborhoods. 

things to do in mexico city

Eat Your Way Through CDMX’  Hip Foodie ‘Hoods: Best Restaurants in Mexico City

As a gourmand, I was in heaven exploring Mexico City’s red-hot culinary scene, from chic cafes to bustling street food markets. The tree-lined neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa are an epicurean wonderland, packed with stylish eateries and foodie delights. Here are my top picks

Trendy Mexico City Restaurants to try:

  • Contramar: THE spot for leisurely seafood lunches (don’t miss the tuna tostadas)
  • Rosetta: rustic Italian dishes in a romantic, light-filled townhouse
  • Lardo: buzzy bakery and all-day cafe with killer chilaquiles and pastries
  • Máximo Bistrot Local: inventive farm-to-table fare in an airy, modern space Menu

Tip: Book reservations in advance. In Mexico city these are hot spots so it is essential you book reservations. I booked about a month in advance!

See my full restaurant guide to Mexico city and find the best restaurants in Mexico city has to offer.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without indulging in CDMX’s world-famous street eats. I spent many happy hours eating my way through bustling food markets like Mercado Roma and street stalls dishing up mouthwatering tacos al pastor and tamales. For an upscale spin on classic Mexican cuisine, splurge on a tasting menu at Pujol or Quintonil, two of Mexico city’s most celebrated restaurants.

Discover Mexico City’s Top Photo Spots

One of the great joys of exploring CDMX is stumbling upon jaw-dropping architecture and art at every turn. These photogenic gems are some of my favorite spots to snap a pic for the ‘gram:

Biblioteca Vasconcelos: jaw-dropping “megalibrary” with staggered glass bookshelves

Palacio Postal: opulent Italianate post office with gorgeous tiled interiors

Casa de los Azulejos: Baroque stunner covered in blue and white Puebla tiles

Palacio de Bellas Artes: grandiose Art Nouveau cultural center, especially glam at night

Castillo de Chapultepec: storybook hilltop castle surrounded by lush green park

Zócalo bustling main square flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace Photo Tip: Visit the Castillo de Chapultepec on a weekday morning to beat the crowds and catch the dreamy light. The palace’s lavish interiors are a photographer’s dream.

Things To DO in Mexico City

Hunt for Treasures at Flea Markets & Antique Shops


I could spend hours treasure hunting at Mexico City’s vibrant markets, full of handmade crafts, vintage furniture and all sorts of enticing curiosities.

Mexico City Flea Markets:

  • La Lagunilla: a maze-like flea market brimming with antique finds and oddities
  • Mercado de Artesanías de Coyoacán: colorful stalls selling handcrafted masks, textiles and pottery in a quaint suburb
  • Mercado Insurgentes: bustling covered market full of vintage baubles and decor

Mexico City Antique & Vintage Shops:

  • Decada: well-edited 20th century Mexican furniture and art
  • Anfora: small but expertly curated shop specializing in Mexican ceramics
  • Goodbye Folk: quirky vintage emporium full of kitschy-cool decor and clothing

Tip: At the markets, don’t be shy to haggle – it’s expected! Start at half the asking price and negotiate with a smile. Bring cash and small bills to get the best deals.

Shop for Unique Mexican Designs & Handcrafted Treasures


Mexico City brims with stylish shops showcasing the country’s top designers and artisans. I loved browsing concept stores that tastefully mix fashion, crafts and homewares with a modern Mexican twist.

Chic Shopping boutiques in Mexico City to browse

Onora Casa: beautifully curated decor, textiles and accessories by Mexican artisans

Utilitario Mexicano: minimalist, functional housewares with traditional soul

Taxonomía: hip lifestyle shop stocking clothes, apothecary goods and gourmet treats

TANE A Mexican luxury jewelry house selling silver contemporary jewelry. (This area also has the famous cactus against the pink/red wall)

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/mexico-city-travel-guide-things-to-do-in-mexico-city/

IKAL A concept store with stylish housewares, accessories, clothing and jewelry from Mexico’s best artisans and designers.

For one-of-a-kind vintage and antique finds, I had a blast treasure hunting at La Lagunilla flea market and browsing midcentury modern furniture at Decada.

mexico city attractions: Incredible Things to Do in Mexico City Mexico

Escape the City on a Day Trip to Grutas de Tolantongo

For a nature break, I highly recommend taking a day trip tour to the otherworldly Grutas de Tolantongo. This spectacular canyon oasis features steaming thermal pools, waterfalls and caves to explore. I went on a guided tour and it was an unforgettable experience – floating in the warm mineral waters surrounded by lush greenery was pure bliss.

Hot Spring Pools at the Tolantongo Resort

Tour Tip: Book a Tour that includes transport and lunch to make the most of your visit. Be sure to pack a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and plenty of water!

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Ancient Pyramids

My absolute top Mexico City experience was gliding above the vast ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan in a hot air balloon at sunrise. Seeing the first golden rays illuminate the mysterious “City of the Gods” was pure magic. Our guide regaled us with tales of the Aztec civilization as we floated peacefully over the sprawling complex – it was a profound way to take in the site’s rich history and a total bucket list moment.

hot air balloon teotihuacan mexico city

Booking Tip: Reserve your balloon flight a 2-4 weeks in advance. It’s an early morning, but so worth it.

Take an Epic Taco Tasting Tour

As a taco fiend, one of my Mexico City highlights was going on an epic taco tasting tour with a local guide. We spent a delicious afternoon hopping between the city’s top taco spots, from old-school institutions to hip new joints. Not only did I get to sample a mouth-watering array of regional taco styles – I’m talking melt-in-your-mouth cochinita pibil, spicy shrimp tacos doused in salsa, and classic al pastor fresh off the spit – but I also learned so much about the rich history and preparation techniques behind each dish. Washing it all down with ice-cold Mexican Coke and a potent mezcalita or two, I was in taco heaven!

Tour Tip: Book a highly-rated tour that focuses on a specific neighborhood like Roma or Condesa, so you’re not spending all your time shuttling between far-flung spots. I loved Eat Like a Local’s Roma taco tour.

Sip Your Way Through a Tequila & Mezcal Tasting


Did you even go to Mexico City if you didn’t throw back some tequila or Mezcal? For a fun, educational twist on the classic tequila shot experience, I signed up for a tequila and mezcal tasting with a certified master distiller. Settling into a chic private tasting room, we sampled our way through a curated flight of premium agave spirits, learning how to distinguish the bold peppery notes of tequila from mezcal’s signature smoky finish. Our host regaled us with tales of tequila’s storied past and insider sipping tips that forever changed my salt-and-lime game. Salud!

Mexicali

Tasting Tip: Keep an eye out for tours and tastings that include transportation, so you can imbibe worry-free. Some of the best take place at stylish downtown bars like La Nacional or Bósforo.

Get Your Adrenaline Fix at a Lucha Libre In Mexico City

Donning my glittery luchador mask, I cheered myself hoarse at a Friday night Lucha Libre wrestling match – a quintessential Mexico City experience. The vibe was electric as fearless luchadores in colorful masks and spandex bodysuits leapt, spun and grappled across the ring, egged on by the roaring crowd. Fueled by cold cervezas and Valentina-dusted popcorn, I lost myself in the campy spectacle, marveling at the acrobatic feats and feeling like I was part of this proud, one-of-a-kind Mexican tradition. Trust me – it’s worth braving the raucous crowds for a slice of lucha libre magic!

lucha libre mexico city

Booking Tip: Matches typically take place on Tuesday and Friday nights at Arena Mexico. Snag tickets in advance for the best seats (closer to the front = more fun). Most hotels can arrange transport or book a ticket that includes roundtrip transfers.

Cruise the Colorful Canals of Xochimilco

For a fun Mexico City day trip, head to the lively waterways of Xochimilco, about an hour south of the city center. Dating back to Aztec times, these scenic canals are all that remain of the massive lakes that once filled the Valley of Mexico. The festive vibe hits you immediately as you board a colorful trajinera, a traditional flat-bottomed boat decked out with bright flowers and grinning skeletons. With a cerveza in hand, I spent a blissful afternoon cruising past floating mariachi bands, food hawkers and families out for a day on the water. For a taste of old Mexico with a side of fiesta, Xochimilco is the place!

trajineras de xochimilco

Visit Tip: Skip the tourist-crammed embarcaderos and hop on at the more laid-back Embarcadero Nuevo Nativitas. Go on a weekday for a mellower experience and don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a hat.

Spend some time Exploring Chapultepec Park

You could easily spend an entire day (or more) discovering the wonders of Chapultepec Park, Mexico City’s answer to Central Park. This sprawling green oasis spans over 1,600 acres and is packed with museums, monuments, gardens and lakes. it’s said to be three times the size of Central Park in NYC. 

Some highlights not to miss:

  • Chapultepec Castle: Perched atop Chapultepec Hill, this grandiose former imperial palace boasts jaw-dropping city views. Don’t miss the ornate stained glass windows in the Alcázar.
  • Museo Nacional de Antropología: Arguably Mexico’s most important museum, this world-class institution showcases the nation’s rich pre-Columbian heritage. Give yourself ample time to explore the mind-blowing collection.
  • Museo de Arte Moderno: Set in a sleek modern building, this museum features an impressive collection of 20th-century Mexican art. The sculpture garden is a lovely spot for a picnic.
  • Chapultepec Zoo: Home to over 250 species, many endemic to Mexico. I was pleasantly surprised by the lush, naturalistic habitats.
  • Audiorama: A unique musical experience where you can relax in hammocks while listening to classical and traditional Mexican tunes.

Getting there is a breeze – the park is served by its own metro stop (Chapultepec) and is an easy walk from trendy Condesa. I recommend going on a weekday to avoid the Sunday crowds and bringing comfy shoes for all the walking. Spending a lazy afternoon people-watching by the picturesque lake was a definite highlight of my trip.

Futuristic Architecture in Museo Soumaya, Mexico City, Mexico

Go on Unforgettable Mexico City Experiences

Mexico City offers so many unique and transporting aesthetic experiences beyond the typical tourist circuit. For me, the absolute highlight was gliding peacefully above the vast ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan in a hot air balloon at sunrise. Seeing the first golden rays illuminate the mysterious “City of the Gods” was pure magic. Booking Tip: Reserve your balloon flight a few days in advance, and cross your fingers for clear skies! It’s an early morning, but so worth it.

I also loved channeling my inner Frida on a floating trajinera boat down the colorful canals of Xochimilco, a UNESCO world heritage site. Pack a picnic, hire a mariachi band and enjoy the lively fiesta atmosphere. And for an adrenaline rush, don’t miss a lucha libre wrestling match – a distinctly Mexico City experience filled with high-flying acrobatics, outrageous costumes and rowdy fun.

Bed Down in Style at a Designer Boutique Hotel

To fully immerse yourself in Mexico City’s aesthetic wonders, stay at a thoughtfully designed boutique hotel in a great neighborhood. I absolutely adored the Ignacia Guest House in Roma, set in a 1913 mansion brimming with contemporary Mexican charm. With just five stylish suites and a tranquil courtyard, it feels like your own private art-filled oasis.

Mexico City chic boutique stays:

Or live like a local in a character-filled Airbnb – I spotted many gorgeous options in Art Deco and midcentury buildings across Roma and Condesa.

FAQs Things to do in mexico City:

What are Mexico City’s must-visit museums?

Besides the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera museums, I recommend:

  • Museo Nacional de Antropología: world-class museum of Mexican culture, history and art
  • Museo Jumex: top contemporary art in a striking David Chipperfield building
  • Museo del Objeto del Objeto: quirky collection of everyday objects and product design

Where can I find amazing street art?

Head to these neighborhoods for eye-popping murals and graffiti:

  • Roma & Condesa: look for murals on Avenida Álvaro Obregón and Calle Colima
  • Centro Historico: wander through Plaza Santísima and along Madero street
  • Colonia Doctores: an outdoor street art gallery known as Museo Mural

Any tips for art museum-hopping during Mexico City Art Week?

  • Make a plan: with so many openings/events it can be overwhelming. Pick a few must-sees.
  • Go gallery hopping in Roma, Juarez and San Miguel Chapultepec.
  • Check out the Material Art Fair for emerging art or Zona Maco for blue-chip galleries.
  • Leave plenty of time for traffic! Ubers/taxis are your friend during art week.

What are some lesser-known architecture gems in Mexico City?

Venture off the beaten path to discover these modernist treasures (many are by appointment only):

  • Museo Experimental El Eco (Sullivan 43): funky 1950s museum by Matthias Goeritz
  • Casa Orgánica (Pedregal de San Ángel): whimsical organic house by Javier Senosiain
  • Edificio Basurto (Av. México 197): colorful, curvy 1940s apartment complex

What are the best neighborhoods for art gallery hopping?

These areas have the highest concentration of cutting-edge galleries:

  • Roma & Juarez: OMR, Proyectos Monclova and Galería Hilario Galguera
  • San Miguel Chapultepec: LABOR, Kurimanzutto and Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo
  • Centro: Galeria Mascota, Licenciado and 123 Gallery Space

Ready to book your Mexico City Trip?

As you can tell, Mexico City stole my art-and-food-loving heart. I hope this guide inspires you to dive headfirst into CDMX’s thrilling aesthetic delights and culinary riches just as I did. With so much beauty, creativity, and exciting things to taste at every turn, your biggest challenge will be narrowing down your Mexico City to-do list! My advice? Take your time, savor each moment and let yourself be surprised by unexpected discoveries. ¡Buen viaje!

Remember, a little advance planning goes a long way in ensuring a smooth, art-and-food-filled adventure. From scoping out must-see exhibitions to booking coveted restaurant reservations, a bit of legwork pre-trip pays off in spades. And don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten path – some of my tastiest taco finds and coolest vintage scores happened while wandering a new neighborhood with an open mind (and an empty stomach!).

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