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The Best Mexico City Attractions for Every Type of Traveler
Updated December 14, 2020
One of the greatest things about Mexico City is its sheer diversity of attractions. There are plenty of wonderful places to visit in Mexico City for all types of travelers—so whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, an outdoor adventurer, a nightlife connoisseur, or an Instagram star, there are tons of Mexico City attractions you’ll love. Check them out below!
One of Mexico City’s major attraction for foodies is the amazing street food. Street food is everywhere in Mexico City. Visitors shouldn’t miss out on the local specialties (tacos, tlacoyos, and tamales, to name a few). So where can you find the best street food?
Condesa Metro Stop: There is a ton of great street food outside the Chilpancingo metro stop in Condesa. Try the flautas—long, thin corn tortillas filled with meat and cheese and then deep-fried. Puesto de Flautas has some of the best in town.
Mercado Coyoacan: This excellent market in Coyoacan is a wonderful stop for street food. But wait, there’s more! In addition to tacos and other local faves, this is an excellent market to shop for souvenirs.
But Mexico City is not *just* amazing street food. There is also a killer restaurant scene that foodies can’t miss (seriously—some of the world’s best restaurants are in Mexico City). The neighborhood of Polanco contains two of them: Quintonil and Pujol.
And there’s plenty in-between. Whether you’re looking for a fancy sit-down spot or somewhere to grab a few tacos alongside a smoky mezcal, foodies will find it in Mexico City. Here are a few of the city’s favorites:
El Parnita: This popular lunch joint in picturesque Roma is one of the best places in town. El Parnita offers tons of Mexican classics like tacos, quesadillas, and ceviche. Top it all of a sampling of mezcals.
Pasteleria Ideal: Did someone say cake? One of the main draws of Pasteleria Ideal is its amazing cake room on the second floor. But the real magic happens down below. Don’t fill up on the free bread samples—there are so many delicious pastries to check out.
La Opera: Although this place is known primarily for sipping good tequila (and for the bullet hole that the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa left in the ceiling) the food is great too. Plus, the old-world atmosphere makes La Opera one of the coolest joints in the city.
The best way to uncover Mexico City’s unreal foodie scene? Get insider info from a local about all the great spots that don’t make it into guidebooks.
Attractions for HISTORY BUFFS
Mexico City is a city with a rich, multicultural history—basically, a paradise for the history nerds among us. There are a ton of great attractions that offer sweet history lessons. Some of the Mexico City's coolest places to see are deeply rooted in the city’s fascinating history.
Museo Nacional de Historia: Mexico City’s history museum is a great place to get a comprehensive look at Mexico’s story. There are a couple of perks to visiting this history museum. One: it’s nestled in Mexico City’s gorgeous Chapultepec Park. Two: it’s located within a literal castle, the Castillo de Chapultepec. An afternoon full of history and spectacular views? Yes, please.
Templo Mayor: For a clear example of Mexico City’s complicated and multicultural history, head to Templo Mayor. This archeological site and museum, located in heart of the Centro Historico, was once a grand Aztecian temple—before it was demolished by the Spanish. Fun fact: the stones were used to build the Catholic Catedral Metropolitana next door.
Monumento a la Revolución: Mexico City is full of great landmarks that tell its story. Any tour of Mexico City landmarks would be remiss without a stop at the Monumento de la Revolución. Basically a four-sided Arc de Triomphe, visitors can take a glass elevator to its dome for a great view of the city, or descend to its mausoleum to pay respects to some of Mexico’s revolutionary heroes.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia: The largest and most visited museum in Mexico, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia is a crowd-pleaser. With over one million artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past, this site will especially appeal to anyone fascinated by early Mexican history.
Centro Historico: It’s in the name! Mexico City’s historic downtown center is packed with stuff that will make history nerds tingle. From the Palacio Nacional to the Catedral Metropolitana to the nearby museums (including the excellent Museo Memoria y Tolerancia), this neighborhood is a history lover's playground.
Attractions for OUTDOORSY TYPES
There are so many attractions in Mexico City for outdoorsy types—both within Mexico City proper and nearby.
Chapultepec Park: Twice the size of New York’s Central Park, Chapultepec Park is the shining jewel among Mexico City’s (truly remarkable) park scene. The huge green space is a reason in itself to visit, but Chapultepec is packed with other attractions that make it a real treat. Visitors can enjoy the botanical gardens, the zoo, plenty of lakes, and a wide variety of monuments and museums.
Xochimilco’s Floating Gardens: Colorful riverboats? Check? Gorgeous crisscrossing canals? Check. A creepy island filled with toy dolls? Um… check. But really—the floating gardens of Xochimilco are a stunning site to check out, especially for the outdoorsy types. This place can be a bit touristy, so talk to a Mexico City local about how to get the most out of Xochimilco.
Pyramids of Teotihuacan: For anyone willing to trek outside the city in search of wonderful outdoor sites the Pyramids of Teotihuacan are *so* worth it. Bring athletic shoes! Visitors can climb up and down this site’s two main ancient pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
Parque Mexico: One of the main draws of the neighborhood of Condesa is its gorgeous Parque Mexico. Parque Mexico is extremely dog-friendly. That means that visitors can admire the greenery, go for a refreshing jog, and enjoy the sight of adorable dogs living their best lives.
Vivero Coyoacán: the neighborhood of Coyoacan has got it going on. Aside from the excellent Museo Frida Kahlo and the fascinating (and delicious) Mercado de Coyoacán, this neighborhood also offers a great nature spot: Vivero Coyoacán. This is a perfect place to jog, to enjoy the wealth of trees, or to feed the tame squirrels.
If the outdoors are your jam, Mexico City is an excellent destination. Wondering about when the best time to visit Mexico City is to enjoy them? Wonder no more—there really isn't a bad time. Even during Mexico City’s rainy season, generous sun breaks mean that outdoor activities are still super accessible (plus flights to Mexico City may be a bit cheaper).
Attractions for NIGHTLIFE CONNOISSEURS
Lots of Mexico City’s best places really come alive at night. A stunner during the day, Mexico City is drop dead gorgeous once the sun goes down. The streets swell with the sound of mariachi bands and excited conversation, and with the smell of grilled churros or elotes. For the night owls among us, this is the perfect time of day to see the city at its brightest.
Zona Rosa: This is considered one of Mexico City’s best neighborhoods for nightlife. Zona Rosa, also Mexico City’s LGBT capitol, has tons of dive bars, clubs, and plenty of live music. It’s not for the faint of heart: Zona Rosa parties hard.
Plaza Garibaldi: Top off an early evening trip to the Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal by exploring the adjacent Plaza Garibaldi. Known for its mariachi bands, this place explodes with life once it gets dark. Pay to be serenaded, or enjoy the dulcet tunes of all the competing bands that fill the square.
Salsa dancing: When in Mexico City, do as the locals do! There are a ton of great places to learn salsa dancing or to simply be swept off your feet by the pros. Mama Rumba is a perpetual favorite. Wanna learn to dance? Talk to a local trip planner about booking classes.
Palacio de Bellas Artes: the Palace of Fine Arts is a gorgeous place to visit in the day—the exterior is beautiful, and the Tiffany glass “curtain” should not be missed—but it’s also an excellent destination at dusk. We’ll gush for days about how beautiful buildings are lit up at night. At Palacio de Bellas Artes, the lit-up exterior is matched only by the eventful interior—they offer tons of nightly orchestral and ballet shows.
Speakeasies and other bars: There are a ton of speakeasies in Mexico City, which means you gotta know those who know. One open secret is Hanky Panky—although their location is so under wraps that prospective customers need to ask for directions. (Despite the song and dance, the bar is definitely worth the extra effort). Fortunately, there are also plenty of Mexico City locals who can let you into the secret of the city’s best underground bars.
Although Mexico City is safe to visit, there are certain sections to avoid, especially at night. Be smart, be aware, and when in doubt, just call an Uber.
El Angel: One of Mexico City’s most iconic landmarks, El Angel should not be missed. Whether during the day or lit up at night, this is one of Mexico City’s favorite selfie spots.
Pro tip: Visit El Angel on Sunday, when the adjacent boulevard Paseo de Reforma is closed to automobile traffic.
Roma and Condesa: This part of town is so freaking colorful, it’s like Instagram heaven. The colorful Art Deco architecture and leafy (dog filled!) Parque Mexico make for great content. Not to mention that Roma and Condesa are the best places in town for street art. This is a great non-touristy activity in Mexico City—AND it’ll make for some vibrant Instagram stories.
Torre Latinoamericana: If your brand is all about sweeping city views, look no further than Torre Latinoamericana. The tallest building in Centro Historico, it offers a jaw-dropping look at the city from above.
Churreria El Moro: Sure to please both the Instagrammers and the foodies of the world, this churro joint is delicious and photogenic. The churros at Churreria el Moro are some of the best in town and they look dazzling dipped in chocolate.
Diego Rivera Murals at the Palacio Nacional: One of the main reasons to Palacio Nacional is not to snag a selfie with the president. Rather, it’s to check out the gorgeous Diego Rivera murals, which tell the story of Mexico’s history.
Mexico City has so many great attractions to check out! Make sure you don’t miss out on the best of its gems, regardless of what you’re into—by having a local who actually lives there help plan your trip! It’s like having a best friend in Mexico City make you a guide to all their favorite places. Want to know more? Send us a message! And don’t forget to check out: