Top 20 best things to do in Mexico City 2024

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Mexico City stands as the fifth largest urban center globally, a vast metropolis where the threads of history and culture interweave into a vibrant tableau of vivid hues, eclectic culinary delights, and bustling neighborhoods.

My affection for this city knows no bounds. I’ve visited multiple times and each visit brings a fresh wave of excitement as I delve into its myriad attractions and savor its delectable cuisine. Without fail, every experience is truly memorable. So enamored am I with this city that I’ve even led tours here, leaving every participant utterly captivated. It seems there’s simply no room for dislike in this extraordinary place.

Given its immense size and rich history, it’s no surprise that Mexico City offers an abundance of attractions and activities. From immersing yourself in renowned museums to indulging in authentic street tacos and discovering hidden gems in quirky neighborhoods, the options are endless. Even with a week-long stay, you’d barely skim the surface of what this city has to offer.

Here’s my curated list of the top experiences in Mexico City, designed to ensure you have a blast while delving deep into the essence of this vibrant capital and its culture during your visit!

1. Take a Walking Tour

Embarking on walking tours provides an invaluable opportunity to delve into a destination’s history while ensuring you don’t overlook any essential sights. I kick off my travels with at least one walking tour, finding it to be the most effective method for familiarizing myself with the area and engaging with a knowledgeable local guide who can address any inquiries.

Estación Mexico Free Tours and the Monkey Experience both provide complimentary historic downtown tours, offering a comprehensive overview of the city’s highlights. Additionally, Estación Mexico offers four other complimentary tours exploring various neighborhoods. While these tours are free of charge, it’s customary to show appreciation to your guide with a tip after the tour.

2. Visit the Museo Nacional de Antropología

Nestled within Chapultepec Park, this renowned anthropology museum stands as the largest of its kind in Mexico, boasting an impressive annual visitation of over two million guests. Since its establishment in 1964, it has curated the world’s most extensive collection of sculptures, jewels, and artifacts from ancient Mexican civilizations. The museum organizes its exhibits into expansive halls according to different historical periods, each accompanied by bilingual informational signage. Plan accordingly to allow yourself plenty of time to thoroughly explore the wealth of exhibits. Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to relax and observe the surroundings in the museum’s picturesque courtyard.

“If you’re eager to plan this incredible tour, give us a call at +91 981-150-2655 to discuss your dream adventure: Talk to us!” 

3. Tour Frida Kahlo’s House

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are iconic figures in Mexican art history, with Frida gaining renown for her captivating portraits and self-portraits. Exploring their former residence, known as “Casa Azul” (Blue House), offers a fascinating glimpse into their lives and work. The house is adorned with original artwork by Frida and provides insight into her creative process. Beyond the art, Casa Azul boasts a charming garden and informative exhibits detailing Frida’s life. Additionally, the residence regularly hosts a diverse array of artistic workshops each month, making it worth checking the schedule if you’re keen on participating.

This guided excursion through Coyoacán, the neighborhood surrounding the museum, grants you admission to the museum as part of the experience. After immersing yourself in the history and ambiance of the area, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera once resided and created, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the museum at your leisure.

4. Attend a Lucha Libre

Mexican “free wrestling,” known as lucha libre, is a beloved national pastime renowned for its exhilarating entertainment and affordability. This unique form of wrestling takes the spectacle to extraordinary heights, captivating audiences with its electrifying performances. Whether you opt for a refreshing beer or a spirited shot of tequila, prepare to be enthralled throughout the match, as the action unfolds unpredictably.

When attending a lucha libre match, it’s important to note that cameras are prohibited and must be checked at the entrance. Arena México and Arena Coliseo stand as the premier venues to witness these thrilling contests. General admission tickets are remarkably affordable, often starting at just 56 MXN. Avoid purchasing tickets from scalpers to steer clear of potential trouble with law enforcement, and always verify your purchase at an official tequila (ticket booth) to ensure you’re paying the correct price.

You can also opt for guided experiences, such as this lucha libre adventure. Throughout the match, you’ll indulge in a mezcal tasting, savoring chips and guacamole as you immerse yourself in the excitement. And as a memorable souvenir, you’ll depart with your very own lucha libre mask to commemorate the experience.

5. Day Trip to Teotihuacán

Day Trip to Teotihuacán

If there’s only one day trip you take out of town, let it be this one. Teotihuacán, situated approximately 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of modern-day Mexico City, was once a thriving ancient Mesoamerican city. During its zenith from 150 to 450 CE, it stood as one of the largest and most influential centers in the pre-Columbian Americas, boasting a population that soared over 100,000 inhabitants. Renowned for its remarkable urban planning and monumental structures, Teotihuacán is adorned with iconic landmarks such as the Avenue of the Dead, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcoatl).

Having visited a few times myself, I can’t stress enough how worthwhile this experience is, particularly for history enthusiasts. When we brought our tour groups here, everyone consistently had an unforgettable time.

You have the option of embarking on a self-guided day trip, with plenty of buses available for transportation or joining a guided tour that includes a stop at the Guadalupe Basilica, a significant pilgrimage destination. Regardless of your choice, remember to pack sunscreen, as the sun can be intense, and shade is sparse.

The entrance fee to the pyramids is 80 MXN per person, whereas a comprehensive full-day tour, inclusive of transportation and a knowledgeable local guide, is priced at 540 MXN.

6. Peruse the Mercados

In Mexico City, you’ll discover a vibrant array of bustling markets, each offering its distinct allure. Among these, Mercado de la Merced stands out as a sprawling market, celebrated as the largest in the city. Situated east of the Zócalo, it predominantly features an abundance of fresh produce, meats, spices, and other culinary delights.

For a more contemporary gastronomic experience, Mercado Roma is a must-visit destination. This modern culinary hub showcases the city’s diverse cuisine through gourmet offerings and artisanal products. Alternatively, Mercado Jamaica beckons with its captivating displays of colorful flowers and delightful fragrances, offering a unique sensory experience.

If you’re in search of distinctive souvenirs, look no further than La Ciudadela. This artisan market boasts a vast collection of traditional textiles and handicrafts, providing the perfect opportunity to acquire authentic mementos of your time in Mexico City.

Lastly, Mercado de Sonora distinguishes itself with its mystical atmosphere, revered for meeting spiritual and esoteric requirements. Here, you’ll find an array of offerings, from traditional herbs and potions to ritualistic artifacts. Indeed, Mexico City boasts a market to cater to every need!

For those who prefer guided exploration, there are tours available that visit both Mercado de la Merced and Mercado de Sonora. These tours include multiple stops to sample authentic local delicacies. Tickets for such tours are typically priced around 1,100 MXN.

7. Take a Food Tour

Take a Food Tour

The richness and uniqueness of traditional Mexican cuisine are so profound—and undeniably delicious—that UNESCO has rightfully recognized it on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list. While embarking on a self-guided taco tour can be enjoyable, the depth of understanding you gain pales in comparison to the insights offered by a guided food tour—an exceptional opportunity for a crash course in local gastronomy.

My friend Anais operates Devoured Tours, providing immersive journeys into CMDX’s culinary landscape, with a selection of five distinct four-hour options to choose from. Each tour introduces you to a local “tastemaker,” a seasoned expert who delves into the intricacies of Mexican culinary traditions, from crafting mouthwatering tacos to concocting exquisite mezcal cocktails. Tours commence at 1,625 MXN.

For those solely interested in indulging in tacos (and really, who isn’t?), Sabores Mexico Food Tours offers the Tacos & Mezcal Night Food Tour. This culinary adventure takes you on a delightful exploration of both traditional and contemporary taquerias, culminating in a tasting experience at Mexico City’s premier mezcal bar.

8. Sample Mezcal

I have a deep appreciation for mezcal. This traditional Mexican distilled spirit, derived from agave, is renowned for its smoky flavor and complexity. Throughout my visits to Mexico, I’ve delved into its intricacies, but my thirst for knowledge and exploration of new flavors persists.

For those eager to experience mezcal firsthand and expand their understanding of it, there are several unique venues worth exploring. La Mezcaloteca, a bar/library, offers an opportunity to partake in a tasting session featuring five distinct mezcals. Additionally, La Clandestina in Condesa boasts an impressive selection of 25 mezcals sourced from across the country.

For a more immersive experience, the Museum of Tequila and Mezcal near Plaza Garibaldi offers guided tours led by experts. These tours provide insight into the intricate production process of mezcal, from harvest to distillation. Guests also have the chance to sample various types of mezcal alongside different tequilas, allowing for a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of Mexico’s two primary spirits. Tickets that include tastings are priced at 340 MXN.

9. Float Along the Xochimilco Canals

Float Along the Xochimilco Canals

While the Xochimilco Canals are renowned for their lively party boats offering bottomless drinks, embarking on a kayak tour presents a unique and enjoyable way to explore the enchanting waterways of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll paddle through the vibrant floating gardens, known as chinampas, witness the bustling activity of traditional trajineras (colorful boats), and admire the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Throughout the tour, you’ll gain insights into the rich history and significance of Xochimilco and its canals. This experience was a highlight of our tours and offers a glimpse into a side of Xochimilco that many travelers overlook.

For early risers, there’s the option of a sunrise tour, providing a serene atmosphere as you navigate the waterways with minimal crowds. Tours are available starting at 890 MXN.

10. Admire the View from Torre Latinoamericana

The Torre Latinoamericana stands as an iconic skyscraper situated in the heart of Mexico City. Erected in 1956, it once held the title of the tallest building in Latin America. Designed by architect Augusto H. Álvarez, the tower soars to a height of 183 meters (600 feet) and encompasses 44 floors. Notably, its innovative design incorporates a stabilizing core, enabling it to withstand numerous earthquakes.

Visitors to the tower can ascend to its observation deck, offering panoramic views that provide a striking perspective of the city’s vastness. Admission to the observation floor is priced at 200 MXN, and advance tickets are available for purchase. Alternatively, for those seeking a budget-friendly option, a visit to the bar on the floor just below offers the same breathtaking views for the cost of a drink.

“If you’re eager to plan this incredible tour, give us a call at +91 981-150-2655 to discuss your dream adventure: Talk to us!” 

11. Wander the Zócalo

Wander the Zócalo

The Zócalo serves as the vibrant heart of Mexico City’s historic center, boasting a sprawling square encompassing significant landmarks such as the ruins of Templo Mayor, the Palacio Nacional, and La Catedral Metropolitana.

Once the primary ceremonial center in the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán, Templo Mayor was razed in 1521 to make way for the cathedral. Remarkably, the very stones of the temple were repurposed to construct the cathedral. Today, visitors can explore ancient artifacts unearthed from the site, rediscovered in the 1970s, at the Museo del Templo Mayor, with entrance priced at 95 MXN.

Afterward, take in the breathtaking Spanish colonial architecture of La Catedral Metropolitana, which dominates the northern portion of the Zócalo. This 16th-century marvel is open to the public free of charge. Inside, you’ll be captivated by its ornate interiors, including a noticeably tilted floor—a testament to the perpetual sinking of the city, owing to its construction atop a lake and swamp.

12. Relax in Chapultepec Park

Chapultepec, which translates to “Hill of the Grasshopper” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, encompasses 686 hectares (1,700 acres) of lush greenery in the heart of Mexico City. As the second largest urban park in Latin America (with the largest located in Santiago, Chile), it ranks among the world’s most visited parks, drawing both tourists and locals alike. On Sundays, it’s a favorite spot for locals to gather, set up grills and enjoy leisurely picnics. Visitors can also rent rowboats or paddleboats to explore Chapultepec Lake. Whenever I seek a tranquil escape to bask in the sun, this park is my go-to destination.

Besides its numerous scenic pathways for strolls, Chapultepec boasts several notable attractions, including a zoo and several significant museums. Among these is the Museum of Anthropology, highlighted earlier, and Chapultepec Castle, which is further discussed below.

13. Visit Castillo de Chapultepec

Chapultepec Castle, the sole castle in North America to have hosted monarchs, was originally constructed in 1725 as a grand manor for the viceroy, the Spanish colonial administrator. Following its abandonment during the Mexican War of Independence in 1810, the castle later served as the residence for Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota during the Second Mexican Empire (1864–67).

Today, visitors can explore the castle’s opulently adorned period rooms, stroll through meticulously landscaped gardens, and admire panoramic views from its terraces. Additionally, the castle houses the Museo Nacional de Historia, which chronicles Mexico’s history from the era of Tenochtitlán to the Mexican Revolution.

14. Check out the art and history museums

Check out the art and history museums

Mexico City is home to a plethora of museums and galleries, each offering unique and enriching experiences. Here are some noteworthy ones:

  • Palacio de Bellas Artes (Fine Art Museum): Housed within an impressive Art Nouveau building featuring an Art Deco interior, this cultural center hosts various performing arts events. Its galleries showcase murals by Diego Rivera and rotating temporary exhibitions, and it also includes the Museum of Architecture.
  • Museo Nacional de Historia (National History Museum): Situated in Chapultepec Castle, this museum presents Mexico’s history across 12 permanent exhibition halls.
  • Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art): Located within Chapultepec Park, this museum highlights modern Mexican art, including the renowned piece “The Two Fridas” by Frida Kahlo.
  • MUAC (University Museum of Contemporary Art of UNAM): Positioned on the university’s grounds, this art museum focuses on contemporary Mexican art, featuring video and sound installations, paintings, drawings, and more.
  • Museo Nacional de Arte (National Art Museum): Divided into three main periods (colonial, post-independence, and post-revolution), this museum showcases Mexican art from the mid-16th century to the mid-20th century.
  • Museo de Arte Popular (Folk Art Museum): Celebrating Mexican folk art and handicrafts, this museum’s collection includes traditional textiles, pottery, glass, piñatas, and brightly colored sculptures known as alebrijes.
  • Memory and Tolerance Museum: This modern museum focuses on the history of genocides and crimes against humanity, promoting tolerance and inclusivity.
  • Tamayo Museum: Founded on the private collection of artist Rufino Tamayo, this museum emphasizes 20th-century international art, particularly avant-garde works.

15. Tour a Megalibrary

The Biblioteca Vasconcelos, nestled in the Buenavista neighborhood, is hailed as a shrine to literature, often dubbed a “mega library.” Serving as the largest library in the entire country, it was inaugurated in 2006 and spans an impressive 38,000 square meters (409,000 square feet), housing a vast collection of over 600,000 books.

However, what truly captivates visitors is not merely the extensive collection, but the remarkable architecture of the building itself. Featuring transparent walls, six deliberately mismatched floors, and sculptures crafted by renowned artists, the structure is a masterpiece in its own right. Moreover, it prioritizes sustainability, with features such as rainwater collection barrels, windows designed to illuminate the interior naturally while preserving the books, and a verdant green roof adorned with plants that contribute to cooling the building.

Be sure not to overlook the serene and expansive garden located at the back, offering a tranquil retreat amidst lush trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Admission to this architectural marvel is free, making it an accessible gem for all to explore and appreciate.

16. Marvel at the Soumaya Museum

Home to an impressive collection of 66,000 artworks from Central America and Europe, the Soumaya Museum showcases pieces by renowned Mexican artists like Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo, as well as works by acclaimed masters such as Botticelli, Dalí, and Rodin. This remarkable institution was generously donated and constructed by Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helú, one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

The Soumaya Museum is a visual masterpiece in its own right, adorned with 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles that gleam in the sunlight, earning it the reputation of being the most exquisite modern building in Mexico City. Visitors are treated to a breathtaking architectural experience before even stepping foot inside. Best of all, admission to this cultural gem is free, inviting all to immerse themselves in its splendor.

“If you’re eager to plan this incredible tour, give us a call at +91 981-150-2655 to discuss your dream adventure: Talk to us!” 

17. Escape to the UNAM Botanical Garden

For a tranquil respite from the bustling energy of Mexico City, the Botanical Garden at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) offers an idyllic escape. Rooted in ancient Aztec traditions that valued gardens for their medicinal and ornamental purposes, this sanctuary serves as a bastion of conservation and environmental education.

Nestled amidst lava formations from the Xitle volcano eruption, the garden’s pathways wind through naturally formed grottoes, alongside cascading waterfalls, and past serene ponds inhabited by koi fish and turtles.

Within this verdant oasis, visitors can marvel at an impressive array of plant life, including the world’s most diverse cactus collection boasting 800 different varieties, an orchidarium, and a medicinal garden. Additionally, the garden provides a habitat for diverse wildlife, from woodpeckers and owls to hummingbirds, rattlesnakes, lizards, and the rare Pedregal tarantula—a species exclusive to this small area of Mexico City.

18. Stroll Around Roma and Condesa

Stroll Around Roma and Condesa

Roma and Condesa, nestled side by side in the heart of Mexico City, offer a captivating urban landscape worthy of exploration. Renowned for its vibrant ambiance, these neighborhoods are among the top choices for accommodation as well as strolls.

Blending seamlessly into one another, both Roma and Condesa boast charming, tree-lined streets adorned with trendy boutiques, eclectic cafés, inviting restaurants, lively bars, and mezcalerías.

Roma exudes a bohemian charm, characterized by its European-inspired architecture and vivid street art. On the other hand, Condesa exudes a more relaxed and upscale atmosphere, featuring elegant Art Deco buildings and an abundance of sidewalk cafés.

Parque México and Parque España serve as emblematic green oases that gracefully divide the two neighborhoods, providing tranquil spots for people-watching and relaxation amidst the bustling cityscape.

19. Visit a Pueblo Mágico

The designation of “pueblos mágicos” (magical towns) is bestowed upon towns and villages by the Mexican government in recognition of their cultural, historical, and natural significance. To earn this distinction, a location must fulfill certain criteria, which encompass possessing a rich historical and cultural heritage, distinctive architecture, vibrant traditions, and folklore.

These enchanting towns typically showcase meticulously preserved colonial architecture, vibrant cultural customs, and a warm and inviting atmosphere, making them captivating destinations for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in Mexico’s rich cultural tapestry.

20. Offbeat Things to Do in Mexico City

There’s a plethora of offbeat attractions waiting to be explored in Mexico City, offering unique experiences that many visitors overlook. Here are some personal favorites:

  • Palacio de Correos de México: This stunning post office is a captivating blend of architectural styles, encompassing Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Gothic Revival, and more. Explore the free museum on the ground floor, which delves into the post office’s history, featuring a remarkable mural crafted entirely from stamps.
  • Ballet Folklórico de México: Experience the vibrant tapestry of traditional Mexican dance and music with this renowned folk-dance ensemble. Their performances are held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, with ticket prices starting at 1,200 MXN.
  • Museo del Objeto del Objeto (Museum of the Object of the Object): Delve into the world of everyday objects at this quirky museum, dedicated to showcasing the evolution of design and consumer culture in Mexico. Admission is free, offering an intriguing glimpse into the overlooked beauty of mundane items. 
  • Chocolate Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultivation of cacao in Mexico at the Chocolate Museum. Explore the exhibits detailing the significance of cacao throughout the country’s history. Afterward, indulge your taste buds at the attached café, where you can savor chocolates in various delectable forms. Admission to the museum is priced at 80 MXN, offering an educational and delicious experience for chocolate enthusiasts.

Mexico City stands as one of the world’s premier metropolises, boasting a wealth of attractions that capture the imagination. From the historic Zócalo and the awe-inspiring Teotihuacán pyramids to the bustling markets, eclectic neighborhoods, and flourishing culinary landscape, the city offers an irresistible allure. Whether you have a day or a week to explore, these diverse experiences promise to captivate you and ensure an unforgettable visit to this dynamic destination.