How to explore Mexico City (CDMX)

Average reading time: 1mins 45s.

First time in the city? It’s bigger, safer, more modern than you expect, while also being packed with ruins, history and tradition. Here’s how to get a good cross section of the people and places of CDMX.

Day 1: Reserve a table on the terrace of Hotel Zocalo Central’s restaurant, and watch the city come to life while eating a traditional Mexican breakfast. If it’s your first time in CDMX, your best option for covering Centro Historico is by foot. Check out my walking tour (Triposo plan included) in tomorrow’s post!

Day 2 – Anthropology museum. Categorically the best collection I’ve seen. Teeming with Pre-Colombian artefacts, a scale model of Tenochtitlan (Aztecs Mexico City), some sacrificial altars, pyramid reconstructions, Moctezuma’s headress, and a woolly mammoth (for good measure). If you’re spending some time traveling the rest of Mexico chances are, you’ll visit sites/ruins where parts of the collection is from. It helps to see the “missing pieces” before you go. If time is scarce, it’s a fantastic walk through history and you can get through the first 3 rooms in an hour. Also, the internal courtyard is a work of art in itself. I’d recommend anything from 1hr to 1 day here. If you get through it quickly, walk into Chapultepec park (probably a future blog), then head to a mercado.

Day 3 – Teotihuacan day tour (we DIY’d this one, and you can too). Climb the pyramid of the sun and be amazed at the history and intelligence of the Aztecs. Take suncream, a hat and an umbrella, there is minimal shade and sunburn is highly likely.

Day 4 – Coyoacan, Frieda’s House or Xochimilco floating markets. If you make an early start you’ll probably fit all 3! Hot tip: book tickets for Frieda’s house in advance, online. You get to queue jump, saving you 45mins-1hr (or more). Also, check out Los Danzantes for lunch or dinner – they do amazing things with fresh, local produce.

Day 5 – taco crawl, art gallery and (hopefully this aligns with a Friday night) a Lucha Libre match!

There are smaller towns located on the outskirts of Mexico City that are worth some time, keep reading for Puebla, Cholula, Tlaxcala blog posts, coming soon.

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