4 Days in Mexico City: The Ultimate CDMX Travel Itinerary

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posted by Shelley | last updated February 13, 2021


Planning to spend 4 days in Mexico City?

You’re in for an epic trip! You’re also in the right place — and you’ve come to the right guide, as I lived there for about a year. I know firsthand that planning a trip to North America’s largest city can be intimidating.

However, it doesn’t have to be!

Speaking from experience, the keys to planning the ultimate Mexico City trip are to:

  • plan ahead so you know which things to see in Mexico City,
  • stay in one of the centrally located, best neighborhoods in Mexico City, and,
  • plan strategically so you’re only visiting 1-2 neighborhoods each day.

With these three strategies, you’re going to experience the best places during your 4 days in Mexico City. This article will provide a neighborhood-by-neighborhood Mexico City itinerary, and the areas you’ll want to stay in, but for more suggestions on Mexico City things to see, head to this article, 150 Best Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City.

Ready to dive in? Let’s start with the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, and then get to the 4 days in Mexico City itinerary…. so you’re two steps closer to an epic Mexico City trip.

🧳 Wondering what to pack for in Mexico City? Head here for your Mexico City packing list!

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Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City

On the map below, you’ll find pins for all the areas mentioned in this blog. They have the largest concentrations of things to do in CDMX, and are the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, overall.

For first timer visitors and solo female travelers, stick to either Roma Norte or Condesa for a place to stay. These are safe, cool, fun, centrally located, and two of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City. However, the two others you might consider are Coyoacan and Polanco.

Beautiful homes in Mexico City
4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Roma Norte

From the beautiful architecture, pretty parks, walkability, cute cafes, street art, street tacos, and overall chill vibe, Roma Norte is one of the best Mexico City neighborhoods.

Roma Norte (North Rome) and Roma Sur (South Rome) make up Colonia Roma (Rome Colony). In Mexico City, colonias are designated areas within counties.

Roma Norte is the nicer of the two, and tends to have better Airbnb options, which you’ll find below.


• Pick Roma Norte for: It has everything all the other areas have, it just happens to also be the prettiest!
Best Things to Do in Roma Norte: Stroll Avenida Alvaro Obregon, Visit the Museo del Objeto del Objeto (Museum of the Purpose of the Object), Visit Fuente de Cibeles (Cibeles Fountain)
• Best Parks in Roma Norte: Plaza Luis Cabrera, Fuente de Cibeles
Best Tacos in Roma Norte: Taqueria Orinoco, Tres Galeones, El Hidalguense

Best Airbnbs in ROMA NORTE

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $65 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Colorful buildings in Coyoacan
4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Condesa

You’ll sometimes see this area referred to by its technical name, La Condesa, but they are the same neighborhood.

Condesa and Roma, are “sister neighborhoods,” and located just right next to one another, across Avenida Insurgents (Insurgentes Avenue). 

While they are both great, with the same great amenities and hip vibes, Condesa is a little more lively at night, and a little louder, which is why many choose Roma. If you’re looking for more nightlife, you might pick Condesa over Roma.

• Pick Condesa for: Beautiful parks during the day, and great bars at night
Best Things to Do in Condesa: Stroll the Hipódromo around Avenida Amsterdam (Amsterdam Ave.), Eat some churros from Churreria El Moro in Parque España
Best Parks in Condesa: Parque España, Parque Mexico
Best Tacos in Condesa: El Pescadito, Taqueria El Greco, El Tizoncito

BEST AIRBNBS IN COndesa

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $65 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Mirrored Soumaya Museum
4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Polanco

This most posh area of CDMX, located in the northwestern part of Mexico City, bordering Chapultepec Park.

While this is certainly a nice area of town, and there are some great museums and shopping, I tend to steer people away because this isn’t the most walkable area and Mexico City’s traffic isn’t great.

However, if you do want to stay in Polanco, you’ll find a list of the best Airbnbs in Polanco below.


• Pick Polanco for: Upscale accommodations
Best Things to Do in Polanco: Visit Museo Soumaya and Museuo Jumex (both museums), Shop till you drop on Avenida Presidente Masaryk (Presidente Masaryk Ave.), AKA the “Rodeo Drive of Mexico”
Best Parks in Polanco: Parque Lincoln, Parque Americas
Best Tacos in Polanco: El Turix, La Casa del Pastor, Taqueria El Califa

Best Airbnbs in POLANCO

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $65 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Coyoacan

Coyoacan is a lovely neighborhood, in fact, it’s where Frida Kahlo lived!

The one negative to Coyoacan is that it’s in the south part of the city, so getting to anything north (where most of the stuff you want to see is) takes a lot of time.

If you do want to stay in Coyoacan, make sure you pick one of the Airbnbs on this list. This area is walkable in some parts, and not so much in others. It’s also cute in some parts, and frankly, not cute in others.

Take a tour of Coyoacan to see everything this Mexico City neighborhood has to offer.


• Pick Coyoacan for: Off-the-beaten-path, funky, artsy vibes!
Best Things to Do in Coyoacan: Frida Kahlo Museum AKA Casa Azul (Blue House), shop the Mercado Artesinal (Artisan Market), see a movie at the Cineteca Nacional (National Cinema)
Best Parks in Coyoacan: Jardin Centenario, Frida Kahlo Park
Best Tacos in Coyoacan: Casa de los Tacos, Super Tacos Chupacabras, but also, get some tostadas at Mercado Coyoacan

Best Airbnbs in COYOACAN

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $65 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Day 1: Teotihuacan

4 days in mexico City Itinerary

Teotihuacan Ruins

Teotihuacan is one of the oldest and most important of Mexico’s archeological sites, and one of the 35 Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In fact, Mexico City shares top honors for the most UNESCO Sites with Oaxaca state; each of them has three.

While suggesting you devote one full day of your 4 days in Mexico City to seeing Teotihuacan may seem extreme, realistically, visiting Teotihuacan is a daylong affair.

For those who simply can’t sacrifice one whole day, book the Teotihuacán Express Tour or the Teotihuacán Quickie Tour. These abridged tours means you won’t get the full experience, but you will get to at least see this amazing place.

Though only about 35 miles north of Centro Historico (downtown Mexico City), the drive alone can take up to two hours due to the Mexico City traffic. How can you cut your travel time down? Head out early; as in arrive to Teotihuacan right when it opens at 9am.

Aztec pyramid and some cacti
Teotihuacan pyramid
Teotihuacan pyramid

This strategy not only reduces your time in traffic, but it also reduces your time in the hot, midday sun! Teotihuacan, and most Mexican archeological sites, often lack one thing — shaded areas. As historians frequently conduct research at Teotihuacan, most trees have been cleared for ease of study. 

If you’re looking to climb all three of Teotihuacan’s pyramids, you’ll definitely want to arrive early so you’re not waking up hundreds of stairs under the midday sun! When the sun gets more intense, head indoors to the Teotihuacan Museum and the semi-shaded Sculpture Garden.

After you visit Teotihuacan, spend some time exploiting the pueblo magico (magic town) of San Juan Teotihuacan, where the pyramids are located. Take the Experience with A Teotihuacan Native Tour to really understand this magical area!


LA GRUTA RESTAURANT

When it’s time to eat, head to the La Gruta restaurant.

This is the well-known grotto/cave restaurant near Teotihuacan, and the only place to experience a cave restaurant in Mexico City!

La Gruta serves both tacos and other traditional Mexican favorites, and also uncommon dishes like escamoles, often referred to as Mexican caviar.

🌮 Head to both La Gruta and Teotihuacan on the Live the Pyramids & Eat Under the Earth Tour.

Eat underground in this cave restaurants near Mexico City!

How to get from Mexico City to Teotihuacan

Uber to Teotihuacan: Besides taking a tour, this is the most convenient way to get to Teotihuacan. Prices will of course vary, but figure about $1,000 pesos ($50), round trip. There is a designated Uber Zone at Teotihuacan, which has the best cell signal and where Uber drivers knew to pick passengers up.

Bus to Teotihuacan: Buses depart from Mexico City about every 30-45 minutes from Terminal del Norte (North Terminal). Round trip tickets are about $150 pesos ($7). When you arrive at the bus station, look for Gate 8, and buy your ticket from the booth near the end of that concourse.

🚌💨 Pro tip: Double check to make sure your bus goes to the Teotihuacan archeological site — and not the town of San Juan Teotihuacan.

• Drive to Teotihuacan: Driving in Mexico City is not for the faint of heart, but for those who want to rent a car and drive to Teotihuichan, it’s a relatively easy drive. 🚙💨 Make sure you read these Mexico driving tips before you go!

Teotihuacan Tours

The easiest, most convenient way to see Teotihuacan? On an Airbnb Experience tour, of course. Here are best Teotihuacan tours you can take from Mexico City.

What is an Airbnb Experience?

Never heard of Airbnb Experience? You’re not alone! While most people have heard of Airbnb for home/apartment rentals, Airbnb Experiences are newer and lesser-known — but just as awesome.

Basically, these are small group tours; though Airbnb Experiences are better than taking a large tour for a few reasons.

  1. You’re directly supporting a local and the local economy.
  2. They are smaller groups, which means a more personalized experience for you.
  3. You can instantly book them online, so you won’t have to spend your precious travel time finding a tour company.
  4. Like with an Airbnb stay, the guide gets rated at the end, motivating them to do a great job.
  5. They are a great and easy way to meet other solo travelers.

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $17 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Teotihuacan hot air balloon ride
Book the Teotihuacan Balloon Ride Tour to see this ancient archeological site from above — the only real way to appreciate its vastness!

Day 2: Coyoacan & Xochilimco

4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Coyoacan

Located not far from one another in the southern part of CDMX, Xochilimco and Coyoacan make a great one day Mexico City itinerary excursion. For these two destinations, you’re going to want to do a little advanced planning.

Frida Kahlo Museum

Coyoacan is one of the city’s most colorful neighborhoods, and the former home to one of its most colorful women, Frida Kahlo. As one of Mexico’s iconic figures, you can imagine the Frida Kahlo Museum, AKA Casa Azul (Blue House), draws some crowds.

As the name Casa Azul states, this is her blue house, which is a great glimpse into the artist’s life — but it also means this isn’t a big museum, it’s a small (well, smallish) house.

The line starts forming early, and stays long all day, as only a few people can go in at a time.

If you are planning to visit, please do yourself this simple: Buy your Frida Kahlo tickets in advance!

The famous Casa Azul (Blue House) AKA Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan.

When you buy your tickets online, you select an entry time and day, and your ticket is emailed to you. On the day of your reservation, you show up at that time, and they scan the ticket in your email. 

Though the Casa Azul is the most visited of all things to do in Coyoacan, there are many others. Check out these great Coyoacan tours below, and head to this article for a list of other top sights in Coyoacan.

Coyoacan Tours

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $17 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.
colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

What is Xochimilco?

Lake Xochimilco is a series of canals, manmade by the Aztecs way back in the day as a commerce and trade thoroughfare. It is now one of Mexico City’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Home to Mexico City’s brightly-colored trajineras (gondola) boats, Xochimilco is high atop many Mexico City bucket lists.

Famed for its festive atmosphere, visitors and locals alike charter trajinera (gondola-style) boats to go out on the canals and see this more natural side of Mexico City.

While boating through the canals, other boats will float past yours selling food, beer and pulque, a prehispanic adult beverage made from fermented agave. Pulque is an acquired taste, but worth trying at least once in CDMX.

You’ll also see boats with mariachi bands floating past, which you can hire to sing you some songs. As you can see, Xochimilco is a bit of a fiesta — and it’s a lot of fun with a group. For this reason, you’ll want book a Xochimilco tour below.

colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.
The most fun way to go to Xochimilco? On a group tour, like the Xochimilco: Tequila, Mezcal & Fun Tour, or the Xochimilco and Mexican Party Tour!

💡 Pro Tip: A Xochimilco tour is also good for anyone who isn’t confident with their Spanish. Xochimilco boat prices, your trip length, etc. have to be negotiated with boat captains before they agree to take you.


Xochimilco Tours

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $17 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Day 3: Centro Historico & Chapultepec Park

4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Centro Historico & the Zocalo

With its endless amounts of history, you could spend weeks exploring Centro Historico (Historic Downtown) and the Zocalo (Main Square). Looking for the deepest possible understanding of this amazing area of Mexico City? Book your spot on the Secrets of the Historic Center of Mexico.

Just want to see a few thing? Here are Top 5 best things to do in Centro Historico.

European style Bellas Artes building
Torre Latinoamerica skyscraper and buildings
Mexico's main Cathedral in the Zocalo

1. Zocalo: This is the central square in downtown Mexico City. It is an actual square with the Templo Mayor (Main Temple of the Aztecs), Metropolitan Cathedral and Palacio Nacional as the highlights. While they are all great, I’d spend the most time exploring the Templo Mayor, the most important Aztec site in CDMX.

2. Palacio Bellas Artes: If you’ve ever seen an image of downtown Mexico City, chances are you’ve seen Palacio Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). This golden-domed, classical European building is a work of art in itself, but do head inside to see the gorgeous art deco interior and museum.

3. Alameda Central: Located next to Palacio Bellas Artes, the well-maintained Parque Alameda Central is a large urban park with beautiful sculptures and fountains. Don’t miss the beautiful Benito Juarez Hemicycle monument and the Bellas Artes Metro sign, a gift from the French president.

4. Torre Latinoamerica (Latin American Tower): An iconic building in Mexico City’s skyline! Head to the top of the tower on a clear day for some amazing city views. Located nearby, take the elevator inside the Sears department store building to the cafe on the top floor for another vantage point.

woman holding tacos to serve
man cutting meat for a taco

5. Eat Tacos: Centro Historico boasts many of the best tacos in Mexico City, as well as the most well known and beloved taquerías (taco shops) and taco restaurants.

Some of the standouts include: Los Cocuyos, El Huequito, Taquería Arandas and El Pescadito. Don’t miss Tacos de Canasta los Especiales to try tacos de canasta (basket taco), Mexico City’s original street food taco.

Still need more tacos? This is totally normal, btw! Let a local take you around and share the city with you so you try all the best Mexico City taco, and book one of the CDMX Taco tours below.

Related Blog 🌮 Eating Alone While Traveling: How to Overcome Your Fear

Mexico City Taco Tours

New to Airbnb? Sign up with THIS LINK and get up to $17 OFF your first Airbnb booking.


Book the Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour to cover as much ground as possible at this giant park!
4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Chapultepec Park

After a few hours in Centro Historico, head to the Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park).

Now, this park is massive — as in 1,700 acres massive! Given its large size and variety of attractions, you could spend a week in Chapultepec and not see everything. From the beautiful Castillo de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Castle), nine museums, two lakes, a zoo, and more, you have to be intentional with your time.

Looking to see a lot of this park? Book the Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour to cover as much ground as possible.

If you’re headed there on foot, the two standout attractions in the park are the Castillo de Chapultepec and National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología), the most visited museum in all of Mexico City!

The castillo is North America’s only real castle, because royalty did once live there. The former home of Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota is now considered one of CDMX’s most iconic sites.

💡 Pro tip: Admission is free on Sundays, but arrive early because it gets crowded! They open at 9am.

Of the park’s nine, if you had to pick just one museum in the park, consider the Anthropology Museum. This covers thousands (yes, thousands) of years of Mexico’s history, dating all the way back to the elusive Olmec civilization in ca. 2,500-400BC, which was over 4,500 years ago.

Seem overwhelming?! Oh, it is.

If you want to get the most out of this world-class museum, book the Mexico Unearthed at Anthropology Museum Tour, led by a female anthropologist/archaeologist with 22 years of experience in Mexican history.

Day 4: Roma Norte & La Condesa

4 DAYS IN MEXICO CITY ITINERARY

Do you know this statement all too well: I need a vacation from my vacation!

In an effort for you to not feel that way at the end of your 4 days in Mexico City, this last day is all about relaxation, pretty parks, and of course, tacos! For this reason, I highly recommend you spend your last day in two of Mexico City’s best neighborhoods, Roma and Condesa, just strolling around.

👯‍♀️ Prefer a guided tour? Book the Roma & Condesa Discovery Tour, which covers both neighborhoods.


Roma Norte

Does the name Roma ring a bell? It should; this is the neighborhood from the movie Roma, the 2019 Oscar-winning film by Mexican director, Alfonso Cuaron.

Within Colonia Roma, you’ll notice there’s both a Roma Norte (North Rome) and Roma Sur (South Rome) neighborhood. They are both great and safe, though personally, I find Roma Norte the prettier of the two.

Some of the neighborhood’s nicest architecture, and best cafes and shops line Avenida Álvaro Obregón (Alvaro Obregon Ave.). This street also comes alive at night, having some of Mexico City’s best nightlife spots right here, as well as the best late night taquería (taco shop), Taqueria Orinoco.

Large fountain with monument with a woman on a chariot
Fuente de Cibeles (Cibeles Fountain), both in Roma Norte.

Condesa

Just across one of Mexico City’s main streets, Avenida Insurgentes (Insurgents Avenue), you’ll find yourself in Roma Norte’s sister neighborhood, La Condesa. 

Get to know the Condesa neighborhood by strolling the tree-lined Hipódromo (racetrack), a walkable pathway that circles Avenida Amsterdam (Amsterdam Ave.). Once a horse racing track, as you’d notice from its name and circular shape, the street is now a peaceful way to explore La Condesa.

Don’t miss Parque Mexico (Mexico Park) and Parque España (Spain Park), two of Mexico City’s nicest parks that are both in Condesa.

Lush green park Parque Mexico
Parque España (Spain Park) in Condesa

tacos and a beer at restaurant in Mexico City
Best tacos in Roma: Taqueria Orinoco, and their try types of tacos, res (beef), trompo (tacos al pastor) and chicharron (fried pork skin).

Free Map: Best restaurants and bars in Roma and Condesa

Besides leisurely walking around and looking at buildings and street art, Rome Norte and La Condesa boast some of the best restaurants, cafes and bars in the city. Here are a few recommendations, all pinned to this map of Roma Norte and La Condesa.

  • Best Coffee/Tea Shops: Cardinal Casa de Café, Blend Station, Efimero Cafe, Cafebrería el Péndulo, Tomás Casa de Té, La Esquina de Té, Casa Tassel (the last 3 are tea shops)
  • Best Bakeries/Brunch: Panaderia Rosetta, Lalo!, Que Sera de Mi, Maque
  • Best Lunch: Contramar, Fonda Fina, La Docena, Lardo
  • Best Dinner Restaurants: Rosetta, Maximo Bistrot, Azul Condesa, MeroToro
  • Best Tacos: Taquería Orinoco (tacos al pastor), El Hidalguense (barbacoa/barbeque, open on weekends only), El Pescadito (seafood tacos), Tacos Hola el Güero (tacos guisados/stew tacos), Por Siempre Vegana Taquería (vegan tacos), Taqueria El Greco (tacos arabes/Arabian tacos)
  • Best Bars/Nightlife: Casa Franca (cocktails/speakeasy), Limantour (cocktails), Wallace Whisky Bar (whisky/spirits), La Clandestina (mezcal), Hotel Condesa DF (rooftop bar), Pulqueria Insurgentes (pulque), Loup Bar (wine), El Depósito (beer)

🥃 Discover pulque, Mexico’s oldest adult beverage! Book a spot on the Pulquera experience in Mexico City now.

Mexico City Travel FAQs

Is Mexico City safe for travel?

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: I have found most of Mexico City to be safe — and I lived there as a solo woman for about a year. For the most part, Mexico City is safe. The one disclaimer I make about safety is that you must make safety your highest priority.

There are some general and Mexico travel safety tips below in the accordion menus that will explain how. If you prefer podcasts, there’s also a Mexico travel safety podcast below.

✈️ Want to know more about Mexico City safety? This is the podcast for you!

Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?

Want an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times? Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

I’ll be honest, when I first started traveling solo, I wasn’t insured. However, after years of solo traveling, I wised up… now, I even have a whole page of this website dedicated to travel insurance, because it’s just that important!

If Mexico and Mexico City travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below now!

10 General travel safety tips
  1. Always listen to your intuition — because your intuition is always right.
  2. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place asap. Don’t worry about making a kind, nice or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away fast.
  3. Don’t walk home alone at night.
  4. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  5. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
  6. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things. This is annoying, for sure, but it works to not get your stuff stolen.
  7. Speaking of bar neighbors… don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended.
  8. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  9. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  10. This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but get Travel Insurance!
Register for the STEP Program

Make sure you enroll in the free STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home in the event of an emergency while abroad.

Neighborhoods to avoid in Mexico City

I lived in Mexico City as a solo woman for about a year, and felt quite safe…. though there are neighborhoods you should avoid, like Tepito and Doctores.

Tepito is located in Centro Hisotrico (Downtown), and should simply be avoided.

Doctores is safer than Tepito, but still, does not have a great reputation. It is located just north or Roma Norte, one of the city’s safest and best neighborhoods, and it also happens to be where all the big Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) matches take place.

I did go to a Lucha Libre match in Doctores once, and felt safe. However, this might be a good place to consider having a local with you — especially if you aren’t confident in your Spanish.

Don’t know a local and want to experience the famous (& fun!) lucha libre? No worries! Book the Lucha Libre/Street Taco Tour, because Lucha Libre + Street Tacos + Safety = the best of all worlds!

Colorful domes in churches of downtown Mexico City
The beautiful, domed buildings of Centro Historico.

How do I get to Mexico City?

To visit Mexico City, fly into Mexico City International Airport (Code: MEX). Depending on traffic, plan for 45-60 minutes to get to your accommodation from the airport. The easiest way to leave from the airport is via Uber, taxi or private transfer.

Airport Transfers in Mexico City

Is there Uber in Mexico City?

Yes, there is Uber in Mexico City!

Mexico City actually has quite a few transportation options — bus, metro, taxi and Uber. Personally, I recommend Uber, and though it does cost more than using public transportation, the price difference is relatively insignificant.

In Mexico, Uber tends to cost about 60% less than in the U.S. Of course, rates will vary, but figure about $3 for a 20 minute ride. While public transportation is less than half of that cost, you will spend three times as long to get around.

Taxis are about the same price as Uber, but you should only take a taxi from the secure, designated taxi stands, and remember you’ll need pesos/cash. Also keep in mind that, in Mexico, you negotiate and agree on the price before getting in the cab.

Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

No, you don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico from the U.S. This is another reason why, in general, Mexico is one of the best travel destinations from the U.S.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through the Customs and Immigration line, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper that you need to hold on to so you can give it back to Immigration at the airport when you leave the country. 

There is no charge for the FMM, but if you lose yours, there is a charge of about $550 pesos ($27) to replace it. You’d also need to get to the airport about an extra hour earlier than you’d normally have to in order to do the lost visa paperwork… the bottom line: Don’t lose your FMM!

What’s the best time of year to visit Mexico City?

Weather-wise, Mexico City has what is known as the “eternal spring” climate, meaning it’s never super hot or super cool. The rainy season is from April-September, and it can rain quite a bit.

Mexico City Weather

The prettiest time of year in CDMX is from (about) mid-February to the end of March, when the bright purple jacaranda trees are in bloom! This also coincides with the monarch butterfly migration in the neighboring state of Michoacan, which takes place March-June.

The city hosts the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade and festivities during the last week in October. This is one of the most lively, and busy, times in Mexico City.

If you want the city all to yourself, come during Semana Santa (Holy Week) when many Mexicans leave the city and head to the beach. The dates fluctuate, but Semana Santa takes place in late-March to early-April each year.

Do I need to learn Spanish to visit Mexico City?

If you stick to the popular areas and commonly-visited attractions, no, you can get by with just English. For the most part, about half of chilangos (Mexico City residents/locals) speak some English.

However, it is good manners to learn at last some basic Spanish when you visit Mexico City. 🎧 Listen to Episode 13 of the podcast as travel blogger Elizabeth talk about how she learned 8 languages, and gives great tips for how to learn language basics in easy, fun ways.

If learning Spanish isn’t in the cards for you, #NoJudgement! Pin and/or save the infographic below on your phone so you’ll always have the words and phrases you need, even if you’re off-WiFi.

List of useful spanish words and phrases
Mexico City Car Rentals

If you’re just staying in the city — don’t bother renting a car! However, if you’re planning to take a road trip to any of the amazing places outside of CDMX, like Las Grutas de Tolantongo hot springs, then a car rental makes perfect sense.

For a car rental in Mexico City, the airport is the best and most convenient place to rent from. Discover Cars has several Mexico City airport car rental options for your to choose from.

🚗💨 Need tips on driving in Mexico? Head here for 12 Useful Mexico driving tips.

Las Grutas Tolantongo natural hot spring pools near Mexico City
Looking for a great Mexico City day trip? Head to Las Grutas Tolantongo, the famous caves and hot springs in Mexico.

What do I pack for Mexico City?

🧳 Related Blog: The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Printable Checklist

Mexico City and Central Mexico have much colder weather than the tropical climates many associate with Mexico. As you can see by the average yearly Mexico City weather chart below, this part of Mexico has what’s called an “eternal spring” climate, meaning cooler springtime weather for much of the year.

Beyond planning what clothes to pack, keep in mind Mexico City is about 1.5 miles above sea level. If you’re not use to that, you can get altitude sickness, which is like the flu, and can ruin your trip. Many have great success with an Anti-Altitude Sickness Acupressure Bracelet, while others have to take Anti-Altitude Sickness meds.

Mexico city weather

What to wear in Mexico city

As far as how to dress in Mexico City — chilangos (Mexico City locals) tend to dress conservative, and even in warmer months, pants/jeans and long sleeve shirts are the norm. Mexico City sidewalks aren’t the easiest to walk on, and you’ll want to opt for flats over wedges or heels.

FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering exactly what to pack for Mexico City? Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers both Mexico beach packing and packing for Mexico cities. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.


Anything missing from this Mexico City itinerary?

Please join the conversation in the comments down below and share your knowledge!


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I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

I started this Blog and Podcast to help women like you cross Solo travel and Mexico travel off your bucket list… READ MORE

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