A traveler’s guide to exploring Mexico City

by Candice Boyers

Do you dream of exploring Mexico City? Mexico’s bustling capital city should be on every curious traveler’s bucket list. A far-cry from the country’s tropical coasts, Mexico City takes visitors on a different kind of journey, and encourages you to see local life in a different light.

It has an extremely dense population, with almost nine million people living there. That’s more than the next five most populous cities in the country put together. Located in the center of the country, it sits at an altitude of more than 2,200m above sea level, making it one of the world’s most elevated capital cities.

Looking for a convenient and comfortable place to stay in Mexico City? We highly recommend Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico!

Cultural experiences are the order of the day in this part of the world, with the Mexican metropolis home to more than 150 museums and a similarly vast collection of world-class theatres. There are also a lot of misconceptions that travelers commonly associate with the region, which we’ll look to address in this post. Not least, it’s gained a reputation for being unsafe for tourists, but providing you exercise the necessary precautions, it is a pleasant place to visit.

If you’re thinking about a trip to the Mexican capital, it’s helpful to know what you can expect. In this guide, we dive into the most important information about the city to help you plan an unforgettable holiday to this Central American gem.

mexico city


The Best Time to Visit Mexico City

The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May, when weather conditions are most pleasant. However, the trade-off is the city is busiest during the spring months, with other like-minded tourists eager to avoid the rainy season. If you want to make the most of cheaper accommodation, consider a summer stay – just prepare for short but heavy downpours interspersed with plenty of sun. 

It’s worth keeping in mind that the country is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes towards the end of summer into autumn. While that’s not to say that tourism grinds to a complete standstill at this time of year, it’s important to do plenty of research and preparation ahead of time if you are organizing a trip between June and October to keep yourselves safe. You will also want to ensure that you have adequate insurance in the case that your trip has to be postponed.

Things to Do in Mexico City

Mexico City has something for everyone, but much of its appeal lies in its diverse cultural attractions. If you’re looking for an immersive cultural experience, head to some of the city’s famous museums, including the Museo Jumex, which is home to one of the country’s best collections of contemporary art, and Museo Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, encased in a building that dates back to the 16th century. Culture vultures will also be eager to explore the UNESCO-listed Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco, where you’ll find remnants of the Aztec Civilization in temple ruins and historic public buildings. 

Once you feel suitably enlightened, there are many more typical tourist attractions to discover across the city. The charming neighbourhood of Roma Norte is one of the most popular areas to visit and is known for its bohemian atmosphere and quirky, artisan shops. Taking a stroll through the colorful streets fueled by tacos and cocktails is a wonderful way to spend a day here; browse the local stores for souvenirs to remember your time in the city.

If you’re a digital nomad wanting to do a longer stint in an area, then we give Mexico the thumbs up. They even have a digital nomad visa!

angel statue mexico city

What to Eat in Mexico City

Mexico and food go hand in hand, and hungry holidaymakers shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to savor the local cuisine during their time here. If you think you’re already au fait with Mexican cuisine, a trip to the capital may just prompt you to rethink everything you know. Local ingredients are masterfully handled and arranged in traditional dishes that have been on the menu for hundreds of years. From tacos to churros, there is a local dish to suit every mood, no matter what time hunger strikes.

As important as it is to know what to eat, you’ll also need to know where to get your fill of Mexican fare. From street eats to fine-dining restaurants, the city takes you to all corners of the culinary landscape. For a unique dining experience, head to Pujol in the Polanco district. Headed up by the renowned Michelin-starred Enrique Olvera, this prestigious establishment celebrates the country’s fascinating culinary heritage, leaning on traditional cooking methods to create award-winning modern masterpieces. 

When you’re on the go, there’s nothing quite like tacos al pastor to fuel your Mexican adventures. Something of a staple in the city’s street food scene, this tantalising dish showcases three key ingredients – pork, onions and cilantro – to create a simple yet mouthwatering meal that’s perfect when on the go. 

taco in mexico

Safety Advice for Traveling in Mexico City

One common misconception is Mexico City isn’t a safe place for tourists to visit. While high rates of crime are cause for extra precautions to be taken, it remains one of the safest metropolises in the country, especially in the city center. However, the U.S. Government recommends exercising increased caution when visiting this region. Safety advice for tourists includes: 

  • Don’t display signs of wealth like expensive watches or items of jewellery 
  • Make friends and family aware of travel plans
  • Exercise extra caution when using ATMs
  • Avoid driving alone or at night 
  • When using public transport, try to use first-class buses where possible
  • Use trusted travel agencies – speak to your hotel for recommendations

Add Mexico City to Your Travel Itinerary

The tourist trail in this part of the world most commonly takes visitors towards the coastal regions, where dreamy sandy beaches and beckoning waters await on both the Caribbean east side and Pacific west. However, as we’ve discovered, there’s lots to love about the country’s cosmopolitan regions, too, which are teeming with opportunities for cultural exploration. 

With so much to see and do here, planning an itinerary ahead of time is recommended to ensure you can get the most from your stay. And, thanks to its central location, you could even explore beyond the city’s borders as part of the same trip. Keep this guide in mind when planning your holiday to Mexico City, and you’ll be left to enjoy a trip you won’t soon forget.

Are you looking for more fun, city guides? Check out more of our blog posts.

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