Edgar and I started 2023 in Mexico City! Despite being sick at the beginning and end of the trip, I had a great time which says a lot about the city. Seven days is a long time to spend in one place, but we never ran out of things to do. If I could summarize CDMX in a sentence it would be: a beautiful blend of old and new, chaos and tranquility, with endless possibilities and street food.
Castillo de Chapultepec
A castle located on a hill in Chapultepec park which served as a sacred place for Aztecs, then imperial residence, presidential residence, and National Museum of History over the years. With beautiful views of the city and architecture, this is a must-see in Mexico City.
Catedral Metropolitana de La Ciudad de México
Built from 1573 to 1813, this masterpiece took just under 250 years. A perfect addition to a trip to Zócalo as the cathedral sits on the northern side of the square.
El Angel de la Independencia
El Ángel is located in Paseo de la Reforma. It was built in 1910 to commemorate Mexico’s War of Independence. The victory column is located on a roundabout and can be accessed by crossing the street (carefully).
Palacio de Bellas Artes
A cultural center which has been called the “Cathedral of Art in Mexico” due to hosting notable events and important art exhibitions. It’s located next to the Alameda Central park in the historic center of the city.
We spent an afternoon looking at the art exhibits and huge murals lining the halls.
Located 25 miles northeast of Mexico City are Mesoamerican pyramids. The city of Teotihuacan began as a religious center and was host to many different cultures.
The main square in Mexico City. It is surrounded by the Catedral Metropolitana de La Ciudad de México, Palacio Nacional, and Mexico City administrative buildings. When we visited, the Christmas lights were still up which gave the square a magical feel.
Ballet Folklórico de México
Foklórico is a type of Mexican dance emphasizing the many traditional dances and local folk culture. The women often wear brightly colored skirts that are fanned out as they twirl.
We were able to experience Mexico’s national folkloric ensemble at the Auditorio Nacional. The show included scenes of the Nativity with live animals and was fantastic.
Lucha Libre at Arena México
There are multiple ways to see Lucha Libre in Mexico City as it’s very popular. We easily bought tickets on Ticketmaster for a show the same day. Even on a weekday the crowd was large and vocal, making for an exciting atmosphere.
My favorite experience of the trip was our boat ride in Xochimilco. You can book a tour or show up and hire a boat on the spot. We booked a 2 hour ride and had a whole boat for just the four of us (plus our captain). The canals are bumper-to-bumper with other boats. Vendors come around in boats selling food, music, or goods (like the flower crown I’m wearing below). We paid for two different music groups and had a blast dancing. It’s definitely a party scene while remaining family-friendly.
The street art in CDMX is impressive. Walking around and appreciating it was a fun adventure in itself.
Vintage shopping in Roma Norte is a fun way to spend an afternoon. You’ll find cool pieces that make for souvenirs you’ll actually use. I found a really cool scarf, silk dress, and cow print vest.
Bosque de Chapultepec
This is one of the largest parks in Mexico City. The park contains the Castillo de Chapultepec, Zoo, Museum of Anthropology, and Rufino Tamayo Museum.
After checking out the castle and grabbing a bite to eat, we hopped in a paddle boat for some time on the water.
Located in the Condesa neighborhood, this is a great park for a peaceful walk. The trees and plants are luscious making it an urban oasis.
On Sundays there are dogs out for adoption and we couldn’t help fawning over the cute puppies.
We loved Junkie Cafe in Roma Norte with its outdoor seating and strong espresso.
The street food in Mexico City has a strong reputation for a reason: it’s fantastic. So cheap yet so delicious.
Mercado La Merced
A bustling market with plenty of food options. You can book a guided tour but we decided to save some money and make our own. We found two different areas with food stands so if you don’t immediately find them, keep exploring!
Located in the Condesa neighborhood is the Oaxacan-style restaurant Pasillo de Humo. We came here for my birthday dinner and were not disappointed. The dishes were artsy and delicious. The main attraction, Mole, hit the spot.
Venture to Roma Sur for some of the best tamales in the city. We arrived in the afternoon (rookie mistake) and everything was sold out except for two flavors.
Obviously we tried both: Cuitlacoche con queso Oaxaca and Cuitlacoche con queso de Cabra. Both were incredible which goes to show that anything from the menu will be outstanding.
If you want to try various flavors, go in the morning before they sell out!
Our favorite non-street-food tacos in the city! Taqueria Orinoco has multiple locations and both times we went there was a line out the door. The tacos are worth the wait, trust me.
A trendy churro spot with multiple locations. I liked it but Edgar thought the churros were a little hard. It’s worth checking out at least once!
Street churros are much cheaper than El Moro and often softer. They’re abundant throughout the city and worth stopping for a try.
We picked the Stanza Hotel per my sister-in-law’s recommendation because of its location in Roma Norte. The neighborhood is COOL. Peaceful streets for walking around, fun vintage shops to explore, and great food. If I come back to CDMX I would stay here again in a heartbeat.
One of my favorite hostels! I booked Viajero based on reviews that it has a great atmosphere for meeting other travelers. The common area is set up well to start conversations over a meal. The staff also puts on events such as yoga and walking tours. We stayed here on New Year’s Eve and they threw a fun party in which we met other guests, ate, drank and danced the night away. We had a private room with a great king bed.
This was a fancy hotel we booked through Marriott points for my birthday. With my Marriott credit card, I’m a Marriott gold elite member so we were upgraded to a suite. The hotel and staff were great. After checking in, we immediately went to the pool and had the place to ourselves.
The Mexico City airport has sleeping pods in both terminals 1 and 2 that are very convenient for staying in before an early morning flight. There are two areas: one with the sleeping pods and the other with the bathrooms/ showers that also have lockers for your luggage. The pods are for a single person and contain a tv, mirror, pillow, and comforter. I found it to be comfortable and had a great night’s sleep. Would highly recommend it to anyone with an early flight the next morning!
Uber and walking were our main forms of transportation. Uber is cheap in Mexico City (around $5 a ride) making it a convenient choice.
We also rented bikes for a day which was intimidating at first as the streets can be a bit crazy. After the first 20 minutes, however, I was used to it and ended up having a blast.