The 150 Best Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City


posted by Shelley | last updated January 15, 2021

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Looking for non-touristy things to do in Mexico City?

You’ve landed on the right article, because I used to live there — which, is how I was able to compile this epic list of 150 unique things to do in Mexico City, as well as the must see Mexico City sites, and all the best places to eat in Mexico City.

👋 I’m Shelley, and I’ve been living and traveling solo through Mexico since April 2018! I’ve been to half the states in this country — and full disclosure, Mexico City (AKA CDMX) is my favorite place! In fact, I lived there for almost a year, exploring and eating my way through this top Mexico travel destination.

As an ex-local, who now lives in Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula, I spent enough time in CDMX to be able to point you in the right direction to find all the coolest, non-touristy things to do in Mexico City. Besides unique things to do, you’ll also discover how to best explore this city, the best neighborhoods in Mexico City that you’ll want stay in, what Mexico City neighborhoods to avoid.

PIN-150 Best Things to Do, See & Eat in Mexico City
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Colorful paper lanterns and umbrellas in Mexico City's China Town

Mexico City Travel Guide

TIP #1: Plan your trip neighborhood-by-neighborhood

As North America’s largest city, planning a trip to Mexico City can be intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be… if you plan ahead, and if you plan strategically. So, exactly what does planning strategically mean?

With a population of about 8.5 million people, Mexico City’s massive size and epic traffic are the stuff of legend. The traffic, specifically, is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs! For this reason, plan to explore just one or two CDMX neighborhoods per day, so you’re not wasting time commuting between neighborhoods.

One of the best ways to get to know the neighborhoods of Mexico City is on the Great introduction to Mexico City Tour, the perfect thing to do the first night of your trip so you have your bearings.

🇲🇽 Mexico City Best Neighborhoods Guide: Roma Norte, La Condesa, Coyoacan & Polanco

TIP #2: Opt for Uber over public transportation

Yes, there is Uber in Mexico City, and using Uber over public transportation is one of the best tips for both Mexico travel safety, and for conserving your precious travel time. While this does cost more, the financial cost ends up being near-insignificant when compared to the amount of time you’ll save. 

For reference, the 7.5-mile (12km) bus trip from Roma Norte to Coyoacan would cost about $1.50 — though it could take up to two hours on a crowded bus. The same trip in a private Uber would cost you about $5 and take just 30 minutes.

Now that you have a solid Mexico City travel strategy, let’s look at a neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to the 150 best Mexico City things to do, see and eat. Speaking of eating, make sure you also check out this Best Tacos in Mexico City guide 🌮

Things to Do In Teotihuacan

1. Visit Teotihuacan: These famous pyramids in Mexico City are one of the most important and most visited sites in the country, though no one should skip out on this amazing place! It’s touristy, but still cool enough to make this list. Below you will find some unique, non-touristy ways to visit Teotihuacan Mexico — including on a hot air balloon.

Regardless of how you choose to explore this UNESCO World Heritage, make sure to climb the three Teotihuacan pyramids (Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent/Quetzalcoatl), and visit the onsite museum and sculpture gardens. Wear comfy sneakers, a sun hat, eco-friendly sunscreen, and bring your LifeStraw refillable water bottle, because it gets hot 🥵!

For a detailed guide on how to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City, head to this article. Teotihuacan is open daily, 9am-5pm, and costs $75 pesos ($4) for entry. It is located about one hour from Mexico City, if there’s no traffic.

🇲🇽 Prefer a Teotihuacan tour? Book your spot on the Teotihuacan Exclusive Access Tour, and get the VIP treatment. 

Teotihuacan hot air balloon ride
The best way to experience Teotihuacan Mexico? Easy: From above on the Hot Air Balloon Teotihuacan Tour!

Mexico City to Teotihuacan Tours

2. Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Ride: A once-in-a-lifetime experience! See this ancient Mexico archeological site from above, the only real way to appreciate its vastness. 🎈 Book the Hot Air Balloon Teotihuacan Tour and see a side of Teotihuacan so few will.

3. Teotihuacan Scavenger Hunt: Climb all three of the Teotihuacan pyramids and see all its unique sites — while playing a fun scavenger hunt game. After leaving, enjoy a traditional lunch and sample locally-made alcoholic beverages, like pulque, an ancient prehispanic drink.

4. Visit San Juan Teotihuacan: Explore the city Teotihuacan is in, San Juan Teotihuacan, one of about 140 pueblos magicos (magic towns). Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism awards the prestigious distinction of pueblo magico to pueblos (small towns) with characteristics including exceptional natural beauty, unique culture and historic relevance.⁠

🇲🇽 Experience Teotihuacan With A Native Tour: To really understand this unique Mexico pueblo magico, book a tour with Alejandro, a Teotihuacan local and tour guide who knows the area well.

5. See Teotihuacan at Night: During this experience, you’ll get to see Teotihuacan under the light of the moon and stars, as so few do. There’s also a video mapping display on the largest pyramid at the site, the Pyramid of the Sun. Book your spot on the Teotihuacan Nighttime Light & Sound Show Tour to see Teotihuacan by night.

7. Magic Teotihuacan & Chocolate Tour: See the pyramids at Teotihuacan, explore the pueblo magico (magic town) of San Juan Teotihuacan, and the refresh with a traditional prehispanic drinking chocolate, and some pulque, known as “the drink of the gods.” These two ancient beverages are still made the old fashioned way in the pueblo of San Juan Teotihuacan.

Colorful table and chairs in a restaurant called La Gruta inside of a cave near Mexico City

8. Eat at La Gruta Mexico Restaurant: La Gruta means the grotto/cave, and as the name has already clued you in on — this restaurant is located inside a cave! They serve all the traditional Mexican favorites like tacos, as well as specialities like escamoles, AKA Mexican caviar. Head to La Gruta restaurant after visiting Teotihuacan with a group on the Live the Pyramids & Eat Under the Earth Tour.


What’s the coolest place you’ve ever eaten? 🌮 🍽 🍺 Check out this article to discover the coolest & “most underground” place to eat in all of Mexico City 🇲🇽 #CDMX

Things to Do In Coyoacan

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Coyoacan & Surrounding Areas


9. Frida Kahlo Museum: This is admittedly on the beaten path, but the Casa Azul (Blue House) is worth a visit. Once the home to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and now one of the best museums in Mexico City, the Blue House offers a glimpse into both Frida’s life and art. Take the Frida Kahlo/Coyoacan Tour for an in-depth look at Frida’s the artist, and the Mexico City neighborhood she called home.

💡 Pro tip: If you don’t go with a group tour, definitely buy your tickets in advance as the line is always super long!

10. Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum: Frida’s husband and another one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Diego Rivera, has a lesser-known museum not far from Casa Azul. The Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli features his impressive collection of prehispanic artifacts, as well as some of his murals and mosaics, housed inside a mesoamerican temple-style building.

💡 Pro tip: You get free admission to the Anahuacalli Museum with your Frida Kahlo Museum ticket.

11. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo House Studio Museum: Much like the Casa Azul, this museum offers a further glimpse into the lives of Mexico’s powerhouse artist couple. Take the Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera House & Murals in UNAM Tour to see even more of Diego Rivera’s work on the UNAM college campus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

12. Frida Kahlo Park: Need even more Frida? Head to this small park in Coyoacan, named for the city’s most famous resident, and see the bronzed statues of Frida and Diego.

13. National Museum of Popular Culture: This small museum packs a powerful, colorful punch. Dedicated to Mexico’s unique ethnic and cultural diversity, see folk art styles from indigenous peoples living all over the country. 

14. Shop at the Coyoacan Artisan Market: The Mercado Artesanal Mexicano (Mexican Craft Market) is located just across the street from Parque Centenario, the Coyoacan main square. If you’re looking to buy Mexican folk art souvenirs, this is the best place to shop in Coyoacan.

Entry arches to Plaza Hidalgo/Parque Centenario, the main square in Coyoacan Mexico.

15. Plaza Hidalgo/Parque Centenario: The Zocalo is the main square of Coyoacan. Here you’ll find restaurants, the famous coyote fountain (Coyoacan means “a place of coyotes” in the Aztec language), and the town’s largest church. Gain a deeper understanding of this historic neighborhood on the Coyoacan Legends Tour, where you’ll see five of the neighborhood’s best sites.

16. Iglesia de San Juan Bautista: Located in the center of Coyoacan, this massive Spanish cathedral dates back to the 16th Century. You’re free to take photos inside, as long as you’re respectful.

17. See a movie at Cineteca Nacional: The Cineteca is more of an experience than a movie theatre, but if you’re in the mood for a movie night, this is theater unlike any you’ve seen. Note: They regularly show English films.

18. Eat tostadas at Mercado Coyoacan: A lively and traditional Mexican mercado (market). The Coyoacan Market is well known as the place to get the best tostadas in Mexico City. Each tostada stand in the market sells several toppings, so you can sample a few things, like tinga de pollo, a kind of shredded BBQ chicken, and coctel de camarones, shrimp cocktail.

19. Try Coyoacan’s Tepoznieves: Besides tostadas, people come to Coyoacan for tepoznieves. These are basically a mixture of ice cream and shaved ice. You’ll find this in shops and from old school ice cream cart-style vendors on the streets.

🚴‍♀️Biking Food Tour: Gain a deeper understanding of Coyoacan’s culinary side, and let a local show you even more tasty things to eat from all the best places to eat in Coyoacan.

20. Walk down the Callejón del Aguacate: Possibly haunted, the Callejón del Aguacate (Avocado Alley) is an interesting off the beaten path Mexico City walkway. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the narrow alley and see if you can hear the reported screams of the child-ghost who haunts Avocado Alley.

21. Parque Masayoshi Ôhira: Love travel photography? Head to this off the beaten path park that will transport you to Japan! Photograph the cherry blossom trees, Asian-style bridge atop a flowing stream, and iconic red arch.

Things to Do in San Angel Mexico City


22. Buy Art at the San Angel Saturday Market: The up-and-coming neighborhood of San Angel is located right next to Coyoacan. It’s famed Bazar Sabado (Saturday Market) is the place to buy artisan-made handcrafts, art, jewelry and more.

🎨 La Catrina Art Workshop: Explore your creative side and paint your very own La Catrina, the Day of the Dead skeleton-woman icon, using the traditional Cartonería painting technique.

23. Parroquia de San Jacinto: A beautiful, historic Dominican church in the San Angel neighborhood.

24. Brunch at the San Angel Inn: Located in an old monastery, the San Angel Inn is now the neighborhood’s best known restaurant. Looking for a fancy Saturday brunch in a beautiful, historic setting before heading to the San Angel Saturday Market? This is your place!

Things to Do In Xochimilco

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Xochimilco & Surrounding Areas


25. Visit the UNAM Central Campus: The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was awarded the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The campus consists of buildings and open spaces constructed by more than 60 architects, engineers and artists.

Done by the architect and painter, Juan O’Gorman, his iconic painting on the Central Library UNAM is said to be the largest mural of all time. Besides O’Gorman, see the works of Mexico’s other great muralists, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera.

👨‍🎨 Diego Rivera House & UNAM Mural Tour: Noticing the name Diego Rivera coming up over and over? He’s quite important, as far as contemporary Mexican artists go! Gain a deeper understanding of Mexico’s famed artist on a Mexico City tour to see his art.

26. Museum of Contemporary art at UNAM: One of the best museums in Mexico City, which boasts 150 of them! This is also the city’s largest contemporary art museum, and located on the beautiful UNAM Campus, itself a work of art.

UNAM is… an exemplary monumental complex of 20th century modernism that integrates urbanism, architecture, engineering, landscaping and fine arts, associating all these elements with references to local traditions, and in particular to the pre-Hispanic past from Mexico. ~UNESCO

Xochimilco Tours


27. Floating Gardens of Xochimilco: These manmade canals, dug by the Aztecs centuries ago, once served as the civilization’s major thoroughfare. Hop on a brightly-colored trajinera, the colorful gondola-style boats, to tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Depending on your preferences, you can take a Xochimilco cruise during the day or at night.

The easiest, most fun way to visit Xochimilco? On an Airbnb Experience group tour, like the ones below. Xochimilco is a festive place, and tends to be much more fun with a group, and unless you speak Spanish, bargaining with a boat operator can be challenging. Boats often wait to fill up with at least 8-10 people before departing, so you may have to find a group of strangers when you arrive.


28. Boat to the Island of the Dolls: The Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) is as creepy as it sounds!

This island, filled with baby doll parts and heads strapped to trees, is something out of most peoples’ nightmares; but hey, some other people are into that!

Get to Xochimilco early to take this trip, as it’s about a five-hour boat ride to the island and back, and boat operators tend to not want to make the trip later in the day.

☠️ Mexico City: Streets of Santa Muerte Tour: Hoping to do some dark tourism in Mexico? This tour has your name all over it!

baby doll hanging on a tree at Island of the Dolls
One of the residents at the Isla de las Muñecas, or Island of the Dolls, in Xochimilco Mexico

🦇 Did you know one of the creepiest places on the planet is in Mexico City? 💀 Click to find out what this spooky sight is. 🦇 #CDMX #DarkTourism


29. Los Dinamos: This natural protected area spans 6,000-acres of forest, with 16 miles (26km) of hiking paths. On the paths, you’ll see numerous waterfalls and cascades flowing down from the Magdalena River, Mexico City’s last remaining river. Also enjoy biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and more. Discover Los Dinamos on the Live the Mountain Without Leaving the City tour.

💦 Hike to the Waterfall of Diamonds: Discover even more off the beaten path Mexico City nature at the Cascada de los Diamantes (Waterfall of Diamonds), located about 90-minutes outside of the city.

30. Dolores Olmedo Museum: Mexican businesswoman Dolores Olmedo’s gorgeous hacienda-turned-museum features the largest collection of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera artworks in all of Mexico City. The beautiful grounds are home to many animals including peacocks and xoloitzcuintles, Mexico’s beautiful hairless dogs, called xolos (pronounced show-lows) for short.

31. Visit Tlalpan Mexico: This neighborhood, located on the southern outskirts of Mexico City, is as historic as Coyoacan, though not as touristy. Check out the Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), Mercado Publico (Public Market), churches, and Cafetlan to sample a soup made famous in Tlalpan, caldo tlalpeño.

32. Cuicuilco Archaeological Zone: Located in Tlalpan, the origins of this lesser-visited, yet amazing, Mesoamerican archaeological site remain a mystery. This circular-shaped ruin site also has a small museum with artifacts unearthed during Cuicuilco archeological digs.

Things to Do In the Zocalo

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Zocalo


33. Templo Mayor: This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the location of the central temple of the Aztec empire. You can stroll the remnants of the temple and see some of its most historic archeological treasure in the onsite museum. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm; Cost: $70 pesos ($3.50).

34. Metropolitan Cathedral: From the rocks that were once Aztec temples, the Spanish conquistadors had the giant Catedral Metropolitana de Mexico constructed. Of all Mexico City’s many churches, this cathedral is the most opulent, and contains the largest pipe organs in the all of the Americas.

35. Palacio Nacional: The 660-foot long/200m Palacio Nacional (National Palace) spans one entire side of the Zocalo square, and houses Mexico’s Federal Treasury and National Archives. Inside, don’t miss the murals painted by one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Diego Rivera. It’s free to enter the Palacio Nacional, but you have to leave your ID at the entrance.

🇲🇽 Explore Mexico City’s Historical Center Highlights: Make sure not to miss any must sees Mexico City sites in Centro Historico!

36. Grand Mexico City Hotel & La Terraza (The Terrace) Restaurant: The gorgeous old school hotel lobby of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico welcomes you, but the views on the rooftop restaurant steal the show! Enjoy a sunset cocktail or full meal at La Terraza, while admiring the gorgeous Zocalo views. 🏩 Book your stay at the Gran Hotel Mexico City

37. La Casa de las Sirenas: Another beautiful rooftop restaurant/bar that overlooks the Zocalo. This historic building dates back to 1754, and is as gorgeous as its rooftop views.

🍷🍽 Restaurants Not to be Found in Guides Tour: Looking to eat in some off the beaten path Mexico City restaurants? Let Jacinto, a CDMX local, show you all the best culinary treasures only a locals know about.

Things to Do In Centro Historico

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Centro Historico


38. Wander Around Centro Historico: Mexico’s entire Historic Downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The seat of the Aztec Empire from the 14th-19th centuries, Tenochtitlan, as it was known, has so many historic landmarks you could spend weeks there and not see them all.

🚶‍♂️ Discover Centro Historico Backstreets Tour: Let Bernardo, a Mexico City local, guide you to all the hidden gems in Centro Historico you’d otherwise miss out on.

39. Barrio Chino (Chinatown): Can a city be considered a big city if there isn’t a Chinatown!? While Mexico City’s Chinatown isn’t big, it’s nice to walk through and snap some photos of the hanging paper lanterns and iconic red arch entranceway.

40. Palacio Bellas Artes: If you’ve seen an image of Mexico City, it was likely of the beautiful art nouveau Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) building.This classical European, golden-domed, building is a work of art. Head inside and check out the gorgeous art deco-style interior, and rotating art exhibits in the museum.

41. Bellas Artes Metro Sign: The Bellas Artes Metro station entrance sign was a gift from the President of France. It is a surprising little bit of Paris, right in the heart of bustling Mexico City.

42. Alameda Central Park: Located right next to Bellas Artes, this large and well-maintained urban park has beautiful sculptures and fountains to enjoy. Centro Historico can be overwhelming, so take a break from the hustle and bustle in Parque Alameda Central.

43. Hemiciclo a Benito Juarez: This beautiful monument to former Mexican president, Benito Juarez, is located at the edge of the Alameda Central Park, along the bustling Avenida Juarez.

📸 Discover the History of the Center Tour: History teacher Pau will show you all the secrets hidden-in-plain-sight in the buildings and on streets of CDMX. She’ll also highlight the fascinating connections between Mexico City’s indigenous, colonial, 19th century and modern eras.

European style Bellas Artes building in Mexico City
One of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in Mexico City, Palacio Bellas Artes.

44. Head to the top of the Torre Latinoamericana: One of the iconic buildings in Mexico City’s skyline! On a clear day, head to the 44th floor of the Latin American Tower for some amazing views. The mirador (viewing platform) is open daily, 9am-10pm; Cost: $125 pesos ($7).

45. Free views at Sears Department Store Cafe: The nearby Sears department store building also has a cafe where you can take the elevator up and see the city views — and unlike the Torre Latinoamericana — this is free as long as you buy something at the cafe.

46. Palacio de Correos de Mexico: Located near Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico’s Correo Mayor (Main Post Office) is easily the prettiest postal office on earth. 

47. Casa de los Azulejos: Located on the Callejon de la Condesa (Alley of the Countess), the House of Tiles is a famous building turned Sanborns department store, but the outside tile-work that made it famous remains. There’s also a beautiful restaurant inside.

🍻 Discover Centro Historico Backstreets Tour: Seeing the Hidden gems is the epitome of non-touristy things to do in Mexico City. Let guide Bernardo show you around Centro Historico, and even head to a local’s bar, where the first round’s on him!

Best Museums in Centro Historico


48. Diego Rivera Mural Museum: This small museum is home one of his most iconic paintings, Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central). The museum is located not far from the painting’s namesake, the Alameda Central Park. 

49. Franz Mayer Museum: This diversified museum has Latin America’s largest collection of decorative arts. Inside the gorgeous building, you’ll find everything from sculpture and paintings, to ceramics and textiles.

50. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (Old College of Saint Ildefonso): Considered the birthplace of the Mexican muralism movement. This beautiful ex-Jesuit boarding school now houses work’s by Mexico renowned muralists, Diego Rivera’s The Creation.

50-foot-long Diego Rivera mural painting of about 50 figures of people, significant throughout Mexican history, seen at the Deigo Rivera Mural Museum, one of the non-touristy things to do in Mexico City
Diego Rivera’s 50-foot-long “Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central” painting. | Photo courtesy of WikiMedia

51. National Art Museum: The Museo Nacional de Artes features an impressive collection of (mostly) Neoclassical and Renaissance art.

52. Museum of Memory and Tolerance: Through historical exhibits, the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia focuses on the consequences of discrimination and violence throughout human history. 

53. Museum of Antique Toys: The Museo del Juguete Antiguo houses the largest collection of antique toys in all of Mexico. This museum gives you an interesting look at Mexico’s history, seen through pop culture and toys.

🎨 Paint A Mural with a Street Artist: Make your own art in Mexico City! If painting with a street artist isn’t your thing, check out the Print a Tote Bag with an Artist experience.

Colorful piñatas and Mexican folk art hanging from the ceiling in the Museum of Popular Art in Mexico City, one of the non-touristy things to do in Mexico City
The Museum of Popular Art is one of the best museums in Mexico City.

54. Museum of Popular Art: The Museo de Arte Popular (sometimes called the Folk Art Museum), houses an impressive — and colorful — collection of folk art and handicrafts from throughout Mexico. After some time here, you’ll learn about Mexico’s indigenous peoples through their creative artworks.

55. Explore the City’s Secret Museums Tour: Mexico City has about 150 museums, with many in Centro Historico. While the big name ones are all Google’able, the Secret Museum Tour, led by a female museum curator, highlights all the off the beaten path ones.

Best Mercados in Centro Historico


56. Ciudadela Market: This mercado is one of the best places to shop in Mexico City for souvenirs and Mexican art pieces. The Mercado De Artesanias La Ciudadela is colorful, lively, and full of so many pretty things you’ll want to take home with you.

57. San Juan Market: Traditional Mexican mercado (market) — selling not-so-traditional foods! Mercado de San Juan is famous, maybe infamous for selling interesting edibles, like scorpions, armadillo, iguana, and crispy ants, among others.

58. Mercado Independencia: Not far from Palacio Bellas Artes, you’ll find this hip food hall style market. This chill place offers a nice respite from bustling Centro Historico, where you can sample foods from gourmet vendors, and have beer and mezcal.

💡 Pro tip: Mercados can be a bit intimidating, especially if you don’t speak Spanish. Consider a guided tour, like the Eat & Explore Local Markets Tour, to help you comfortably navigate the Mexico City mercados.

man cutting meat for a taco
When visiting, don’t shy away from eating street tacos in Mexico City — they are some of the best tacos in CDMX.

Best Restaurants in Centro Historico


59. Eat at El Cardenal: This is a Mexico City food institution. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch, but breakfast is the perfect time to sample their amazing hot chocolate, made tableside with a traditional Mexican molinillo (wood whisk).

🍷🍽 Dive Into the Real Mexico Food/Culture Tour: Looking for a deeper understanding of old school Mexican gastronomy? Join Paul as he takes you to off non-touristy parts of Mexico City to eat some of the best food the city has to offer.

60. Eat Tacos de Canasta at Los Especiales: This lively Los Especiales taqueria is the go to place for chilangos (Mexico City locals) who want the city’s original street food taco — the taco de canasta (basket taco). Like the name says, these tacos are served from a basket.

61. Eat Tacos Everywhere Else: If you come to Mexico, and don’t end up in a food coma from tacos, did you even come to Mexico?! 🤔 In Centro Historico, head to Taqueria Los Cocuyos, Taquería Arandas and El Huequito to sample some of the area’s best tacos.

For fans of the late, great, Anthony Bourdain, he ate at Taqueria Los Cocuyos when he filmed in Mexico City for his No Reservations show. Señor Bourdain recommends the suadero (flank steak) tacos.

🌮 Still need more tacos? #NoJudgement! Below you’ll find all of the best Mexico City taco tours.

62. Try Pulque at Pulquería Las Duelistas: Known as the “drink of the gods” by the Aztecs, pulque is made  from the agave plant, much like its more-famous cousins, tequila and mezcal. Pulque, however, existed long before tequila and mezcal. Sample this ancient, non-distilled adult beverage at Pulquería Las Duelistas.

63. Get Churros for Dessert: If you still have room, get some churros y chocolate (churros with chocolate dipping sauce) at Churrería El Moro. If churros aren’t your thing, head to the famous Pasteleria Ideal.

64. Eat at Azul Historico: For an upscale and traditional dining experience, head to Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita’s Azul Histórico, located inside a gorgeous, historic building. After eating, check out the amazing boutique clothing and jewelry shops upstairs, as well as the award-winning Que Bo! chocolate shop. They serve some amazing prehispanic drinking chocolates you won’t find many other places.

🍫 Mexican Chocolate and Coffee Pairing Tour: Love chocolate? Trick question because Who doesn’t?! Mexico is one of the biggest cacao and coffee producers in the world, and this unique experience combines the two for a culinary supernova.

Nightlife in Centro Historico


65. See the Mariachis at Plaza Garibaldi: The place to hear mariachi music in Mexico City. Plaza Garibaldi is pretty much a 24/7 party for locals and visitors alike to dance and listen to Mexico’s most iconic music. 

66. Dance Salsa at Salon Tropicana: One of the most famous places to dance salsa and rumba in Centro Historico. Even if you have no idea how to dance, there are plenty of teachers on hand to get you going.

💃Lucha Libre-Salsa & Club/Disco Night Tour: Combine Mexico’s famed Lucha Libre wrestling and salsa dancing, for an amazing Mexico City nightlife experience.

67. Best Nightlife in Centro Historico: Bar hop to Centro’s best bars — Hosteria la Bota (quirky dive bar), Zinco Jazz Bar (uber-cool jazz bar; reservations recommended) and Bosforo (hip mezcal bar).

🥃 Mezcal Tasting at Top Mezcaleria Tour: Gain a deeper understanding of mezcal in Mexico City. Though most Americans associate Mexico with tequila, the country itself prefers its mezcal!

Lucha Libre masked Mexican wrestler
A masked Lucha Libre wrestler. It is the ultimate sign of disrespect to un-mask an opponent.

Lucha Libre (Mexican Wrestling)


68. Go to a Lucha Libre Match: Mexico’s masked wrestling is always a good time! All the best matches take place Saturday nights at Arena Mexico in the Doctores neighborhood, located next to Centro Historico.

Here’s how to see a lucha libre match in Mexico City: Head to Arena Mexico early Saturday to buy your tickets the day of the event, or buy lucha libre tickets online. Do keep in mind nearly all lucha libre matches at Arena Mexico sell out. The easiest and best way to see lucha libre in Mexico City is on a tour.

Lucha Libre Tours

While Mexico City is generally safe, even for a solo female traveler, the Doctores neighborhood doesn’t have a great reputation, and you shouldn’t head there solo.

For those who aren’t confidant with Spanish, this is another great reason to consider a lucha libre group tour, which also makes it more fun anyway.

Also, lucha matches always sell out, and booking tickets from the U.S. can be a bit tricky, so make it easy on yourself by booking with this Lucha Libre/Street Taco Tour, because Lucha Libre + Street Tacos = the best of all worlds!


Curious about Mexico solo travel safety? This is the podcast for you.

Things to Do In Chapultepec Park

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Chapultepec Park


69. Chapultepec Park: The Bosque de Chapultepec is one of the most-visited urban parks on the planet, right alongside NYC’s Central Park. Quite honestly, Chapultepec Park is massive — as in 1,700 acres massive. You could spend weeks there, exploring the nine museums, two lakes, a zoo, and more, so do be selective with your time in Chapultepec.

🚴‍♀️ Discover Chapultepec on Bicycle Tour: The best way to cover ground in Chapultepec Park is by bike. Let Alberto, a Mexico city cyclist and runner, show you all the highlights in this huge park.

70. Chapultepec Castle: The Castillo de Chapultepec is the only true castle in North America, as it’s the only one royalty did once live in. The former home to Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota is now a museum, and one of the best sites in Mexico City. Admission to Chapultepec Castle is free on Sundays, but try to arrive early to beat the large crowds.

Best Museums in Chapultepec Park


71. National Museum of Anthropology: This Museo Nacional de Antropología is massive — spanning 23 exhibition halls and 3,225 years of history. They offer one-hour English tours, but it barely scratches the surface at the Anthropology Museum, though you’ll see the highlights like the Piedra del Sol (Aztec calendar/Aztec sunstone), Olmec heads, Coatlicue statue and Moctezuma’s headdress.

🗿 Mexico Unearthed at Anthropology Museum Tour: If you’re deeply fascinated by Mexico’s extensive and profound history, consider the Mexico Unearthed Tour, led by a female anthropologist/archaeologist with 25 years of experience in Mexican history.

72. Museum of Modern Art: The Museo de Arte Moderno features contemporary art by both international and Mexican artists. The big names from their permanent collection include Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo. While visiting, take a leisurely stroll through the Sculpture Garden outside.

73. Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum: Founded by Mexican artist, Ruffino Tamayo, his namesake Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo (Tamayo Museum) houses a large collection of international contemporary art.

giant Olmec stone head sculpture at Anthropology Museum in Mexico City
One of the giant Olmec head sculptures in the National Museum of Anthropology. The mysterious Olmec civilization is the oldest known civilization on the Americas continent, in existence from about 1500BC-400BC.

74. Chapultepec Zoo: Check out the more than 200 species of animals, including giraffes, jaguars, lions, tigers, and even two panda bears. The zoo in Chapultepec Park is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am-4:30pm; Admission is free.

75. Rent a Swan Paddle Boat: Rent a swan-shaped paddle boat and see some of Chapultepec Park from the water. There are two lakes in this park; the rental boats are at lake in Section 1, near the zoo and the small Casa del Lago (Lake House Museum).

76. Niños Heroes Monument: The six niños heroes (boy heroes) are a key part of Mexican patriotic folklore. Debates abound as to the true story of the boys’ death, but all six child cadets died defending Mexico. Their beautiful Monumento a los Niños Héroes (Monument to the Boy Heroes) is one of the most beautiful pieces of art in Chapultepec Park.

Things to Do In Polanco

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Polanco


77. Visit Polanco: Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood is one of the fanciest parts of town! Stroll it’s tree-lined Avenida Presidente Masaryk (President Masaryk Avenue), known as the “Rodeo Drive of Mexico.” 

78. Stoll Parque Lincoln: The nicest park in Polanco, and great for people-watching. Some of the best cafes and bars in Polanco are located right around the park.

79. Soumaya Museum: The beautiful Museo Soumaya building is a work of art in itself! Inside, you’ll find the private art collection of Mexico’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim, who named the museum after his late wife, Soumaya. It’s free to enter the Soumaya Museum.

80. Jumex Museum: Museo Jumex is a contemporary art lover’s dream! This private collection includes works by so many of modern art’s big names — Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp and more.

Mirrored Soumaya Museum building in Mexico City
One of the best museums in Mexico City, Museo Soumaya, which also has free entry!

81. Eat at Pujol: The most famous fine dining restaurant and chef in all of Mexico! Enrique Olvera’s Pujol consistently ranks as one of the best restaurants in the world, according to the prestigious World’s Best 50 list. You’ll have to make a reservation to eat at Pujol Mexico City, as features on shows like Chef’s Table on Netflix has made it quite popular.

82. Eat at Quintonil and La Docena: If you can’t get a Pujol reservation, consider Quintonil and La Docena. These two restaurants also made the prestigious World’s Best 50 list; Quintonil not far behind Pujol! In fact, Quintonil chef Jorge Vallejo got his start at Pujol.

🍷🍽 Hands-On Mexican Food with Award-Winning Chefs Experience: Take some authentic Mexican food knowledge home with you after your Mexico City cooking class with award-winning chefs Graciela, Lorena, Krystel at Aura Cocina Mexicana cooking school.

The Street Snacks on Pujol’s tasting menu, as seen on the Netflix show, Chef’s Table. | Photo by Adam Goldberg

83. Find the Hidden Bar in Jules Basement: A speakeasy hidden inside an unassuming taquería (taco shop), that just so happens to be one of the hotspots of Mexico City nightlife.

🍸 Here’s how to find Jules Basement: First walk inside Surtidora Don Batiz, located at 93 Calle Jules Verne, Polanco. Walk down the long hallway towards the La Cocina (the kitchen) sign, and look for a guy in a suit by what looks like a refrigerator door. Unless they are at capacity, he will let you inside.

84. VIP Movie Theaters: Need a travel break? Head to one of the two premium movie theaters in Polanco, Cinépolis VIP Miyana and Cinemex Antara Platino. Unlike the high price tags in the U.S., the VIP movie theaters in Mexico City will only set you back about $5 per ticket.

Things to Do In Reforma

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Reforma


85. Reforma Avenue: Take a leisurely stroll along Mexico City’s beautiful Paseo Avenida Reforma, a nine-mile long street lined with trees, monuments, skyscrapers, posh hotels, cafes and lots of street art.

86. Angel of Independence: Towering high atop the Reforma skyline, the golden Angel de la Independencia is unmissable. You can go up to the statue, located in the center of Avenida Reforma, for a close-up look at one of Mexico City’s iconic landmarks.

87. Reforma Avenue’s Sculptures and Benches: There are many large-scale sculptures along Reforma Ave., including the bronze wings, including Jorge Marín’s Las Alas de México, a favorite to take photos in front of. Many of this long street’s benches are also works of interactive art that you sit on. 

golden Angel of Independence statue on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City
The Angel of Independence statue, located in the center of Reforma Avenue.

88. Shop/Eat/Chill at Reforma 222: An all-in-one shopping/dining/movie theater complex in the heart of Mexico City. Don’t miss the famous Cocodrilo (Crocodile) sculpture by surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington, located just in front of Reforma 222.

89. Sunday Bike Ride: On Sundays, one side of Reforma Avenue shuts down to cars, and bikers, walkers, runners, dogs and skateboarders take over from 8am-2pm. It’s a fun, festive street party, even if you’re not biking.

🚴‍♀️ Unforgettable Mexico City Bike Tour: This guided Mexico City bike riding experience simplifies the bike rental process for you, and host LyRo takes you to everything you’d want to see on Reforma Avenue, and a few other areas of the city.

Trees and skyscrapers along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City
Reforma Ave. is one of the nicest, most walkable streets in Mexico City.

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Zona Rosa


90. Zona Rosa: Mexico City’s Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) is the epicenter of gay life in this very LGBTQ+ friendly city. Needless to say, Zona Rosa is the place to party into the wee hours of the morning.

91. Party at the Gay Bars: Bar hop at Zona Rosa’s most famous LGBTQ+ nightlife spots, El Almacen Bar, Kinky Bar, Nicho Bears & Bar, and Boy Bar. Check out the Gay History City Center & Gay Bar Row Tour, which highlights dozens of Mexico City’s best gay bars.

🏳️‍🌈 Want more info on all things LGBTQ+ in CDMX? Take the Gay History Top Landmarks Tour with host Carlos, a top-rated Airbnb Experience guide who also holds a Hosting Diploma from Walt Disney University in Florida!

LGBTQ+ rainbow flags at Pride Parade in Mexico city/Zona Rosa
Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) is the epicenter of the Mexico City LGBTQ+ scene.

92. Eat Pozole at La Casa de Toño: A Mexico City institution, beloved by locals. La Casa de Toño is the place to sample one of the city’s most beloved dishes, pozole (soup), for those who want to sample more than just tacos while in Mexico City.

93. Have a Spa Day the AWAY Spa in the W Hotel: If you are in the market for said spa day, the AWAY Spa in the W Hotel is widely known as the city’s best. 🏩 Book your stay at the W Hotel Mexico City

🔮 Prehispanic Shaman Renewal Temazcal Experience: Looking for a spiritual spa experience? Try an authentic temazcal, Mexico’s equivalent of a Native American sweat lodge. This is a great purification ritual for the mind and body, practiced by shaman and healers all over Mexico.

94. Stroll the Garden/Courtyard of the Four Seasons Hotel: The hotel itself is of course gorgeous, but the outside courtyard is really gorgeous. There’s also some art on display, and a small aviary with beautifully-colored pheasants. 🏩 Book your stay at the Four Seasons Mexico City

Things to Do In Juarez

PRO TIPS:

✔️ Don’t miss brunch at one of CDMX’s best known spots, Cafe Nin.
✔️ Head north of Juarez to the charming Santa María la Ribera neighborhood.

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Juarez


95. Monumento a la Revolución: The beautiful arch-shaped Monument to the Revolution commemorates the Mexican Revolution. Take the glass elevator to the top for some amazing city views.

96. Mercado de Artesanías: Head to the Plaza del Angel Artisanal Market in Juarez, One of Mexico City’s larger markets, for all the fun, colorful, beautiful Mexican souvenirs you want to take home with you.

97. Visit the Mucho Chocolate Museum: Sample “mucho” (many) types of chocolate at the Mucho Museo del Chocolate, and learn about the chocolate-making process as it journeys from large, raw cacao bean, to delicious truffle.

Large domed Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City
Monumento a la Revolución is one of the best things to see in Mexico City, and you can take the clear elevator in the center up to the dome.

98. Bazar Fusion: Hip market with handcrafted jewelry, unique clothing, fun art, and a few eateries. Head there after eating at Cafe Nin, as it’s only a few block away.

99. Eat Brunch at Cafe Nin: One of the best, prettiest spots in all of Mexico City for brunch! Cafe Nin is owned by famed Mexican chef, Elena Reygadas, and like her even-more-famous bakery, Panaderia Rosetta, you can eat her famous rol de guayaba (guava roll) here too. Arrive early, as there’s usually a long wait to eat here.

Cooking & Market With A Local Downtown Chef Experience: Want to learn authentic Mexican cooking from a chef? Join Mexican chef Diana, who will teach you some of her family’s best recipes and other Mexican food favorites.

100. Eat Dinner at Amaya: Mexico City isn’t known for wine, however, Mexican chef Jaír Téllez’s Amaya restaurants has one of the best wine lists in the city. Also enjoy modern Mexican cuisine and Mexican wines in a hip, rustic dining room decorated with vibrant artwork.

101. Find Mexico City’s Hidden Speakeasy, Hanky Panky: Perhaps Mexico City’s most secret of all the secret bars/speakeasies! Though known to be located in Juarez, Hanky Panky’s exact location will only be revealed to you after you make your reservation, but these extra steps are worth it because they make some mean cocktails.

Multi-colored kiosk or gazebo in Mexico City
The Kiosko Morisco (Moorish Kiosk/Gazebo) is one of the most beautiful, and non-touristy things to see in Mexico City.

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Santa Maria la Ribera


102. Kiosko Morisco: The northern Mexico City neighborhood of Santa Maria la Ribera is up-and-coming, for it’s beautiful and tranquility. The most beautiful landmark in all of Santa Maria is the Kiosko Morisco (Moorish Gazebo) in the Alameda Park.

103. Eat at Kolobok Russian Restaurant: Just across the street from the Kiosko Morisco is one of Mexico City’s only Russian restaurants. While some things in these two cuisines are similar — ie. Russian piroshkis and Mexican empanadas — this restaurant puts its Russian spin on other familiar Mexican food, and has been a surprising hit with CDMX locals since 2003.

Gabriel Orozco’s whale sculpture inside the giant Mexico City library, Biblioteca Vasconcelos. | Photo by Pierre Richer

105. Biblioteca Vasconcelos: Mexico City’s largest library, and certainly one of the world’s nicest mega-libraries! Look up when you’re inside to see the giant whale skeleton covered in graphite rings, an installation piece by Mexican contemporary artist, Gabriel Orozco.

104. Visit the Geological Museum: The Museo del Instituto de Geología de la UNAM (Geological Museum of UNAM University), is impressive. Both a gorgeous building, with even more gorgeous interior esthetics, you’ll also see tons of impressive stone, meteorite, rock and mineral specimens from all over the world. 

Things to Do In Roma Norte

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Roma Norte


106. Visit Roma Norte: Arguably the coolest neighborhood in Mexico City, you may recognize the name Roma from the 2019 Oscar-winning film of the same name; as this neighborhood is the film’s namesake! Vintage buildings in design esthetics ranging from colonial to art deco line Roma’s streets, each one somehow prettier than the next! You’ll find some of the most beautiful buildings, best cafes and bars just strolling Roma Norte.

107. Alvaro Obregon Avenue: Stroll Roma Norte’s beautiful and elegant, yet peaceful and hip, Avenida Álvaro Obregón (Álvaro Obregón Avenue). Some of the neighborhood’s best cafes, restaurants and bars line this street, including the amazing bookstore/cafe Cafebrería El Péndulo.

Best Museums & Street Art in Roma Norte


108. Take a Street Art Tour in Roma: One of the best neighborhoods for street art, consider a guided tour to get a better understanding of the political, social and cultural backstories of Roma’s impressive street art. The Roma & Condesa Discovery Tour covers both this neighborhood, and its sister neighborhood just next door, La Condesa.

109. Visit Gallery OMR: The Galería OMR houses Roma Norte’s largest contemporary art gallery. 

110. MODO/Museo del Objeto del Objeto: The Museum of the Object of the Object is a small, hip museum in Roma with a rotating line up of strategically-curated exhibitions.

111. Casa Lamm and Gallery: One of the most beautiful of Roma Norte’s grand buildings! Casa Lamm (Lamm House) opened as a cultural center in 1994, and now hosts numerous exhibits. Don’t skip the beautiful outdoor gardens when you visit!

Best Outdoor Spaces & Parks in Roma Norte


112. Plaza Luis Cabrera: Small, peaceful park with large-scale art displays and pretty fountains. Head to the Cabrera 7 restaurant across the street from Plaza Luis Cabrera for one of Roma’s most instagrammable restaurants.

113. Plaza Rio de Janeiro: Nice plaza to take a people-watch with a giant replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Check out all the beautiful buildings surrounding this plaza, including the infamous Casa de las Brujas (Witch’s House).

114. Cibeles Fountain/Cibeles Circle: Located in the center of a trendy roundabout, check out Fuente de Cibeles’ large fountain of a woman in a chariot being pulled by lions. This fountain is a replica of the Fuente de Cibeles in Madrid. There are some great cafes and restaurants located on or around Cibeles.

tacos and a beer at restaurant in Mexico City

Best Restaurants in Roma Norte


115. Eat at Taqueria Orinoco: One of the most famous and most-visited taco shops in Roma Norte. Visitors and locals alike converge on this delicious taqueria (taco shop) for Mexico City’s most famous taco, the taco al pastor, as well as their res (beef) and chicharron (fried pork skin) tacos.

116. Eat More Tacos: In the most famous taco city on Earth, this is the time to just keep eating tacos! Head to some of Roma’s best: El Auténtico Pato Manila (Peking duck tacos), Taquería Álvaro Obregon (tacos al pastor), and El Hidalguense (barbacoa).

🌮 Still need more tacos? Understandable! Here’s some of the Mexico City’s best taco tours.


117. Eat Vegan Tacos: While Mexico is undeniably a meat-heavy country, Mexico City’s emerging vegan scene is making waves. Some of Roma’s standouts are Por Siempre Taquería Vegana and La Pithaya.

118. Four-Course Vegan Mexican Hands-On Cooking Class: Want to take some of that Mexico City vegan goodness back home with you? Since knowledge transports easier than actual food, the vegan Mexico City coking class with Graciela is the perfect way!

🌶 The Vegan Tacos and Street Art in Roma Norte Tour will give you an even better taste of Mexico City vegan food, as well as Roma street art.

tacos with veggies and bright pink tortillas
The famous pink tacos in Mexico City at La Pithaya Vegan Cafe. | Photo by La Pithaya Vegana

119. Eat at Panaderia Rosetta: Chef Elena Reygadas’ small bakery is a CDMX institution! Her long, narrow, Panaderia Rosetta is the quintessential big city bakery/cafe in that it’s both adorable, and also packed! If there’s no tables, grab her famous rol de guayaba (guava roll) and a cappuccino, and walk to nearby Plaza Rio de Janeiro to enjoy them.

120. Find the Secret Donut Society: Roma’s hidden donut shop! This fun experience starts by finding the place, as it’s the Secret Donut Society, after all. The Secret Donut Society, is located at Tabasco 262, Roma Norte, and the video will show you how to order.

Roma Norte has some of the best places to eat in Mexico City. When visiting, check out these standout cafes, restaurants and taquerías.


121. Best Cafes in Roma Norte: Cardinal Casa de Cafe, Dosis, Vocca Reposteria

☕️ Love coffee? Check out the Taste the Best Coffee of Mexico Tour.

122. Best Places to Eat Brunch in Roma Notre: Lalo!, La Bohême, Cafe Tres Abejas

123. Best Places to Eat Lunch in Roma Norte: Contramar, Fonda Fina, La Docena (Pro tip: Make reservations for all places.)

124. Best Places to Eat Dinner in Roma Norte: Maximot Bistrot, Rosetta, Nudo Negro (Pro tip: Make reservations for all places.)

Mercado Roma Mexico City is great for photos, shopping, and eating at the many food stalls and drinking in the upstairs beer garden. | Photo by Mercado Roma

Best Mercados in Roma Norte


126. Mercado Roma: Hip food hall in Roma Norte with food stalls from some of Mexico City’s best eateries, and artisanal products. Head to the top floor for a drink in their beer garden, Biergarten Roma, one of the best beer bars in Mexico City.

B Side CDMX – Walk, Eat & Drink – Art Culture Markets Tour: Head off the the beaten path to the B-Sides of CDMX with Jorge, a CDXM local who promises a unique balance of history, food and a cultural experience.

125. Mercado Medellín: A traditional Mexican mercado (market), perfect for snapping some colorful photos and also eating. The Moloch Cochinita Pibil food stand is known for having some of the best cochinita pibil (Yucatecan suckling pig) in Mexico City.

💡Pro tip: Traditional Mexico City mercados can be intimidating, especially if you don’t speak Spanish! Consider a guided tour, like the Eat & Explore Local Markets Tour, to help you comfortably navigate this bustling mercado

Patrick Miller Mexico City is an experience, to say the least. If you want all-night nightlife. in Mexico City, this is the place.

Best Bars & Nightlife in Roma Norte


127. Nightlife Legend Patrick Miller: Patrick Miller is more of an experience than a nightclub (check the Vice video above!), but ultimately, it is a nightclub. Located in a giant warehouse, Patrick Miller is Roma Norte best club, and its most interesting late night dance party spot.

128. Dance Salsa: Even if you don’t dance, there’s great people-watching at Mama Rumba, the best place to dance salsa in Roma Norte. Need a salsa partner? Book the CDMX Salsa Lovers Dance Experience, hosted by Salsa Lovers Worldwide, an international networking group for people who love dancing.

129. Pulqueria los Insurgentes: Sample pulque, called as the “drink of the gods” by the Aztecs, at this lively Roma Norte bar. Head to La Nuclear for pulque in an old school cantina/dive bar, which is a little further off the tourist radar.

🧉 Pulquera Experience in Mexico City: Combing drinking pulque with learning about pulque in the best traditional pulquerías (pulque bars) all over Mexico City.

Casa Franca is one of the best bars in Roma Norte, and one of a handful of Mexico City speakeasies. |Photo by Casa Franca

130. Get Swanky Casa Franca: Catch some live jazz at Casa Franca, one of Roma Norte’s coolest bars! Located inside of an old Victorian home, each room is as unique as the amazing musicians that play there. Enjoy their amazing cocktails and tapas also. Pro tip: Make reservations if you want to sit at a table for the music.

🥃 Mezcal Tasting at Top Mezcaleria: Join host Ivar for a seven-mezcal tasting, all of which come straight from the state of Oaxaca, the birthplace of mezcal.

131. Best Bars & Speakeasies in Roma Norte: Besides Casa Franca, Maison Artemisia, Limantour, La Nacional and Balmori Roofbar are some of the other great speakeasies and cocktail bars in Roma Norte.

Things to Do In La Condesa

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Mexico City: Condesa


132. Visit La Condesa: Located right next door to Roma, La Condesa (The Countess) is the perfect place to stroll and relax. One of the little known facts about Mexico City is that its full of parks and green spaces — and some of the best parks in Mexico City are right in Condesa. This tranquil neighborhood is also known for its shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

133. Go Shopping in Condesa: Known for its numerous boutiques, Viejo Amor, Carmen Rion, Rapsodia, ISMOS, DIME and Víntich have some of the most unique and best shopping in Condesa Mexico City.

134. Luis Barragan Studio House: Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, the Casa Estudio Luis Barragán represents “one of the most important contemporary architectural works,” according to the UNESCO site. Now privately owned, the family who now lives there graciously opens their home to visitors by reservation only.

135. Casa Gilardi: Want more Luis Barragan eye candy? Head to the nearby Casa Gilardi (Gilardi House), the famed Mexican architect’s last project. The family who owns it offers tours by reservation only.

Best Outdoor Spaces & Parks in Condesa


136. Parque Mexico: A beautiful urban park with Spanish/European elements like large sculptures in ponds and pergola-covered walkways. From here, you can take a vintage red tranvía (trolly car) to see other CDMX landmarks including Cibeles Fountain, Plaza Rio de Janeiro, and the UNAM college campus. For more info on the Roma-Condesa Tramway, head here.

137. Parque España: Heavily-covered by trees and plants, this shaded park is where you want to head to escape some of the midday sun. There’s also some nice street art-style murals, sculptures and fountains in this park.

138. Stroll Avenida Amsterdam: Get to know the La Condesa neighborhood by strolling its tree-lined Hipodromo (racetrack), a circular pathway that goes around beautiful Avenida Amsterdam (Amsterdam Avenue). Once a horse racing track, hence the circle shape and name, it’s now a chill way to see Condesa on foot.

Urban park with large white sculptures in Mexico City
Parque España Mexico City is great for relaxing, people watching and walking.

Best Bars & Nightlife in Condesa


139. Dance Salsa at Para Negra: Pata Negra is known as the best place to dance salsa in Condesa. Need a salsa partner? Book the CDMX Salsa Lovers Dance Experience, hosted by Salsa Lovers Worldwide, an international networking group for people who love dancing.

140. Drink Mezcal: You’ll find two of the trendiest mezcal bars in Condesa. Conveniently enough, La Clandestina and La Lavandería are also located just next door to one another. Hoping to learn about mezcal, along with drinking it? Book your spot on the Mezcal Tasting Tour.

141. Bar Hop at Condesa’s Best Bars: Some of the best bars in Condesa include Xampaneria (cocktails), Wallace Whisky Bar (whisky, liquors), Baltra (cocktails), and of course, La Clandestina and La Lavandería for mezcal.

142. Rooftop Drinks at Hotel Condesa DF: The downstairs shops always feature a unique selection of amazing clothing and jewelry, but the real magic is on the roof. Hotel Condesa DF is known as one of the best rooftop bars in Mexico City, and this trendy spot doesn’t disappoint for its creative cocktails, hip decor and amazing views. 🏩 Book your stay at Hotel Condesa DF Mexico City

Hotel Condesa DF is one of the best bars in Condesa, and one of the best Mexico City rooftop bars. | Photo by Hotel Condesa DF

Best Restaurants in Condesa


143. Eat at Molino El Pujol: If you can’t get a reservation at Pujol in Polanco, head to Enrique Olvera’s casual neighborhood spot, Molino El Pujol. Though owned by one of the biggest name in Mexican cuisine, Molino el Pujol is essentially a traditional tortilleria (tortilla shop), albeit an elevated version.

144. Eat the Original Tacos al Pastor: To say this statement is a hotly debated topic is an understatement — but here goes — El Tizoncito says they invented tacos al pastor! Whether or not this is true, they do still serve them to their masses of fans to this day.

🌮 Cook Tacos Pastor, Barbacoa & Campechano: Want to cook some tacos al pastor of your own? Join host Graciela for this Mexico City cooking class dedicated to some of the most beloved types of tacos in CDMX.

145. Try Tacos Arabes: One of the best places to try tacos arabes is Taqueria El Greco in Condesa. This small place is always crowded, because they have the best tacos arabes in Mexico City.

So just what exactly is an “Arabian taco?”

Mexico had a huge influx of Middle Eastern immigrants from the about 1880-1935. These (mostly Lebanese) folks brought with them their customs, design esthetic, and of course, food!

Tacos árabes (Arabian/Middle Eastern tacos) have the same pork meat as tacos al pastor, but different seasonings, and are served on pan árabe, which is basically pita bread.

Taqueria El Greco | Photo by Doc Sconz

146. Eat More Tacos in Condesa: If you visit Mexico City and don’t eat waytoomany tacos, did you even visit CDMX? Head to El Pescadito, El Farolito and Tacos Hola el Güero to get your fill.

🌮 Still need more tacos? Who doesn’t?! Check out the Tacos Off the Beaten Path in Condesa Food Tour.

Condesa has some of the best places to eat in Mexico City. When visiting, check out these standout cafes, brunch spots and restaurants.


147. Best Cafes in Condesa: Blend Station, Efimero Café, La Esquina de Té

☕️ Love coffee? Check out the Taste the Best Coffee of Mexico Tour.

148. Best Places to Eat Brunch in Condesa: Maque, Qué Sería de Mí, Frëims

149. Best Places to Eat Lunch in Condesa:
Lardo, Chilakillers, Fonda Mayora

150. Best Places to Eat Dinner in Condesa:
MeroToro, Azul Condesa, Temporal, Cedrón (Pro tip: Make reservations for all places.)

Mexico City Travel FAQs

Is Mexico City Safe for Travel?

Keep in mind that CDMX is a big (huge) city; meaning, it comes with the same moderate levels of crime/petty theft you’d expect in most big cities around the world. As tourism is Mexico’s biggest money-making industry, the government takes measures to make sure the areas that attract tourists stay safe.

RELATED BLOG ✈️ Mexico Solo Travel: 5 Ways to Stay Safe On Your Trip

10 General Solo Female Travel Safety Tips
  1. Use a cross body bag instead of a shoulder bag, and keep it at your side or on your chest, instead of on your back. Better yet, invest in an anti-theft purse or anti-theft travel backpack.
  2. Don’t keep your phone in your back pocket.
  3. Take your purse or backpack into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch it.
  4. Don’t pull your phone out in a giant crowd and/or if the vibe feels sketchy. Remember, your intuition is always right!
  5. If the vibe feels sketchy, duck into a cafe, fill up your water bottle, buy a green tea, and wait a bit until you feel better about your surroundings.
  6. If a person you’re with or place you’re in feels “off,” get away immediately. If your safety feels threatened, don’t worry about a politically correct exit; just leave asap.
  7. Don’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. Side Note: Mexicans are relatively modest dressers.
  8. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  9. Don’t leave your drink unattended, and don’t let a stranger buy you a drink.
  10. Protect your health by bringing a LifeStraw water bottle. This reusable water bottle adds an extra layer of water filtration, so you stay hydrates and don’t get sick with Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico City.
Purchase Mexico Travel Insurance

Want extra travel peace of mind? Then don’t take any chances with your health and belongings while overseas. Just as you insure your home and car, it makes sense to insure your body and belongings when overseas.

World Nomads is one of the most well reputed and used companies in the world for travel insurance. Policies cover a range of circumstances, including medical and dental care, luggage loss, flight cancellations, and more.

If safety is on your mind, get your FREE quote now.

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. In Tulum, that’s the Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen.

After you’ve registered, a U.S. Embassy or Consulate 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.

What are the Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City?

You’re more or less safe in the Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan, Polanco and Centro Historico neighborhoods, but do try to avoid Doctores (unless you’re seeing a lucha libre match), and avoid Tepito entirely. For first timer visitors and solo female travelers, stick to either Roma Norte, Condesa or Polanco for a place to stay. These three are safe, nice, walkable, centrally located and have plenty of things to do, see and eat.

Las Grutas Tolantongo natural hot spring pools near Mexico City
Las Grutas de Tolantongo, located about four-hours from Mexico City, is a gorgeous natural paradise with hot springs! Find out everything you need to know about visiting Tolantongo Caves on a day trip from Mexico City.

Do Americans need a visa to travel to Mexico?

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

When you arrive in Mexico City and go through Immigration, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper you need to hold on to and then give back when you leave the country. There is no charge for the FMM, but if you lose yours, it costs $600 pesos ($30) to replace it, and you’ll need to fill out some paperwork at the airport.

Where is Mexico City?

Mexico City is in central Mexico, in Estado de Mexico (Mexico state).

What’s the best time to visit Mexico City?

Weather-wise, Mexico City and central Mexico has what’s known as “eternal spring” climate. This means the temperature is mild and temperate most of the year.

The dry season is from November to March, so those tend to be the preferred travel months for most.

Beyond that, late-October/early-November is a fun time with all the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Mexico City Weather

As you can see, temperatures do dip into the 40°Fs during the winter, and climb to the 80°Fs during the spring/summer months. Depending on what you’re visiting, you’ll want to pack accordingly.

Do I need to Speak Spanish to Visit Mexico?

It is commonly known among travelers that you get more respect and leeway from locals when you at least try to speak their language. Locals especially appreciate when you make an effort to know the everyday basics and casual niceties.

In short: Knowing a little Spanish goes a long way!

In Mexico City specifically, you’ll find the most English-speakers and English food menus in Roma, Condesa and Polanco. Outside of these areas, fewer and fewer people speak English.

Taking the time to learn a few words and phrases in Spanish is both a sign of respect to others, and will help you travel easier. By a few words, we’re talking about 30 or so words/phrases, which you can learn over a few weeks on the free Duolingo App or Duolingo Podcast.

Your FREE Basic Spanish List

If learning Spanish just isn’t in the cards for you, #NoJudgement. In fact, here’s a pretty infographic you can pin on Pinterest for later, and also save to your phone as an image, so you can access it even if you’re off-WiFi.

List of useful spanish words and phrases
⤴ PIN THIS FOR LATER
Is there Uber in Mexico City?

Yes, there is Uber in Mexico City, and using Uber over public transportation is one of the best tips for both Mexico travel safety, and for conserving your precious travel time.

While this does cost more, the financial cost ends up being near-insignificant when compared to the amount of time you’ll save. 

For reference, the 7.5-mile (12km) bus trip from Roma Norte to Coyoacan would cost about $1.50 — though it could take up to two hours on a crowded bus. The same trip in a private Uber would cost you about $5 and take just 30 minutes.

How much Do I Tip Mexico City?

As with the U.S., if someone provides you a service, you should tip them. Keep in mind that there’s an $18-20 pesos to $1 exchange rate, so giving a someone $20 peso bill, is about $1.

At restaurants, bars and cafes, a 15%-20% tip is the norm. When paying by credit card, you’ll be asked by the server to put them tip on before they run the card. To keep it simple on yourself, just tell everyone “mas veinte por ciento, por favor,” which means to please add 20% more.

What do I pack for Mexico City?

Mexico City temperatures dip into the 40°Fs during the winter nights, and climb to the 80°Fs during the spring/summer days. Depending on what you’re visiting, you’ll want to pack accordingly. Keep in mind that on the whole, Mexicans are modest dressers, and even in warmer months, pants/jeans and long sleeve shirts are the norm. Mexico’s sidewalks aren’t the easiest to walk on, and most opt for flats over heels.

👗 Need more info on packing for Mexico? Head to this article, The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico, and download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers everything you’ll want on your Mexico city packing list, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.

Final Thoughts: Mexico City Travel

I first visited Mexico City on April 4, 2018. I fell in love at first sight — so much so, that I never left Mexico. Well, I left to Guatemala, but then returned back to Mexico City! After nearly a year there, I developed allergies that got so bad I dreaded going outside, otherwise I’d still be living there instead of Merida, Mexico, which ain’t too shabby either!

Admittedly, I’m biased af about this city… but it is pretty great. I think a big part of why it’s so great is that Mexico, in general, has such a terrible reputation that it’s not overrun with tourists and selfie sticks! For this reason, finding all the non-touristy things to do in Mexico City isn’t too hard. I hope you got some great ideas from this list, and enjoy your CDMX trip!


Know any non-touristy things to do in Mexico City?

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 & podcast to help women like you cross Solo travel & Mexico travel off your bucket list…

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32 Comments

  1. Demi

    Wow really Interesting. Great details . Love the pictures. I would love travel to Mexico one day. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Demi: Thanks for checking out the blog. I hope you make it to Mexico City one day soon.

      Reply
  2. Michele

    So many vibrant and colorful places. Love the photos and the food looks great! We love Mexico but have not yet visited Mexico City.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Michele: Thanks for writing! I hope you make it one day… I think it’s one of the best parts of Mx 🇲🇽

      Reply
  3. Kelly

    I’ve been to Mexico twice solo now. Cancun and Cabo San Lucas. I love the sound of visiting Mexico City as it seems more authentic and not geared as much to tourists. And there is a tonne to do!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Kelly: I hope you get to check out Mexico City. It’s a much different (and yes, much more cultural) experience than Cancun & Cabo.

      Reply
  4. Nina Bosken

    I don’t know how people even spend just a week in Mexico City. There is so much to do and see there. I remember a friend of mine took a bus into the city and told me that it took.a solid three hours to drive into the center. That blew my mind. Your guide is a great resource for those planning a trip there.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Nina: Your friend is right! That’s why I always advise to plan neighborhood-by-neighborhood, you have to plan around the traffic.

      Reply
  5. flourishwithmo

    Wow this is such an extensive post. I had planned to go to a resort in Mexico because I wasn’t sure where to go/what to do but I’ll just bookmark this page and use it as a reference. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Mexico definitely has gorgeous resorts 🇲🇽 …but imo, nothing beats Mexico City.

      Reply
  6. Olivia

    Wow, there are SO many incredible things to do in Mexico City! I’d definitely love to have dinner at La Gruta.

    Reply
  7. Caitlin

    It’s funny I was in Mexico City years ago on a day trip when I was living in Cuernavaca and my impression of it was so different then all that I now see on social medias and blog! Looks like a lovely city that I’d like to go back to 🙂

    Reply
  8. Digitaldaybook

    Such a beautiful and enriching place! Your photos are sooo gorgeous I felt like I travelled there

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi: Thanks so much for checking out the blog & taking the time to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, but Mexico is even more beautiful in person!

      Reply
  9. Rebecca

    This is such a great guide! I’ve never been but this hits all the points to be as prepared as you can.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hey Rebecca: Thanks for the compliment about this blog! I hope you get to check out Mexico City in person one day.

      Reply
  10. Taylor

    Wow! This is amazing Shelley! Now I know everything there is to do when I eventually make my way to Mexico. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Shalzmojo

    Oh my this is one helluva detailed post and you have really put down every experience possible, thanks to your own first hand one. The place looks amazing through your photography, making me want to travel here soon Shelley 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi! I lived in Mexico City for a while, which is how I was able to think of so many things to do! I do hope you get to travel to this amazing city soon. It’s hard not to love CDMX.

      Reply
  12. Katie

    Wow this is an incredibly thorough list! So much detail and helpful tips – we would love to visit Mexico City and visit these places. The safety tips are really helpful too and the restaurants look great 🙂

    Reply
  13. pip_says

    Such a great guide and the photos are lovely! I can’t wait to travel again after lockdown ends in Wales so I love getting some inspiration in the meantime. I’ve pinned for some future travel planning.

    Reply
  14. Erin C.

    Wow…what an amazing guide! I won a free weeklong stay in Mexico and can’t wait to use it once we’re able to travel again. Pinning this for future reference, although I think I’m going to skip the island of the dolls. lol That one’s a little too weird for me. 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Erin: I hope you enjoy Mexico City! You’ll enjoy Xochimilco, even if you skip the Island of the Dolls (which I think most people do 🤣!!)

      Reply
  15. Kate Toll

    Wow this is amazing! I spent two weeks in Mexico City before I started my blog, and I didn’t visit anywhere near as many places as I should have! On my next trip the Frida Kahlo Museum and las trajineras are at the top of my list! Saving your post for my next trip!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Kate: I lived there for about a year…. and there’s still sooo many places I haven’t been! We’ll both have to go back & continue exploring.

      Reply
  16. Ildiko

    Very cool list! I have to be honest, I generally find lists of over 20 things to do in a place daunting. My brain can’t process that. That is A LOT of information. But, I do like the way you broke things down by region and by topics. Pinned for sure. When I eventually get to Mexico City, which I will, I have NO DOUBT that your list will be VERY USEFUL. Thank you for categorizing all that information.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Ildiko: Thanks for that feedback… yes, 150 is a big number, so I’m glad the categorization was helpful.

      Reply
  17. Nina Out and About

    I love that you included safety tips for solo females. It’s so important to know how to see the things safely and to have the best time! I love the idea of seeing a lucha libre.

    Reply
  18. Jaclyn Kaiser

    This is a great list! Definitely saving for when I finally do make it to Mexico City!

    Reply
  19. Venaugh

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I always struggle to find places to see and eat so it’s so helpful to have in one place.

    Reply
  20. Venaugh

    Thanks so much for sharing. It’s so helpful to have everything in one guide as I always struggle going between so many sites to try and figure these things out.

    Reply
  21. shanelle

    wow this is an incredible list! I had planned a trip to Mexico City before COVID hit and obviously had to cancel my travels but saving this list when I’m able to go next time!

    Reply

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