Mexico City Nightlife: 7 Ways to Spend a Night Out

ViaHero
Updated March 25, 2020

Mexico City nightlife is incredible. Locals tell us that some of CDMX's coolest activities take place once the sun goes down. So, with some local input, here are seven reasons why Mexico City nightlife will be the highlight of your trip. 

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Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

#1: The salsa scene is fantastic

Salsa dancing | Ardian Lumi/Unsplash

Locals tell us that Mexico City is definitely a dancing city—and salsa is king! Don't know how to pick a salsa spot? Get some local advice. Our trip planners tell us that these are great starting points:

  • Mama Ruba: Mama Rumba, in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, has long been a local favorite for salsa dancing. Head there early and stay late!
  • Salon Los Angels: The classic Salon Los Angeles (which is one of the oldest clubs in the city—established in 1937!) is another great choice. At Salon Los Angeles the saying goes: Those who don’t know Salon Los Angeles do not know Mexico.
  • Local choices: There are salsa clubs and classes that cater to dancers of all levels and all ages, so get some personalized recommendations. Our local trip planners can even help you book a class!

#2: The craft beer selection is excellent

If you're a beer drinker, then locals tell us that one of the greatest things to do in Mexico City is exploring the craft brewing scene. Great local ales can be found throughout Mexico City’s neighborhoods (especially in Roma and Condesa).

What's your travel style? Our locals can give specific suggestions based on how you like to explore. If you're into local beer and looking for some international options, our trip planners suggest visiting El Deposito in Condesa. If you're looking for a brewery that also has food options, locals suggest drinking at Escollo in Roma.

Local Tip:

Wherever you go, keep an eye peeled for Cerveza Cosaco, thought to be Mexico City’s first craft brewery.

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#3: Shhh....try the speakeasies

Cocktails in CDMX | Hari Nandakumar/Unsplash

Shhh—locals say some of the coolest things you can do in Mexico City are also the most secret. Mexico City has a fantastic network of speakeasies and hidden bars...if you know where to look...our trip planners say the secret is out (kind of!) about these excellent spots:

  • Hanky Panky: Visitors will have to ask for directions to find this secret bar, but the fuss will be mightily rewarded. The craft cocktails are excellent—opt for the featured drink of the night, or scan the menu for something made with mezcal.
  • Xaman Bar: Although not as hidden as some other speakeasies (no password required here) it will take sharp eyes to find the basement-based Xaman bar. Once inside, be sure to try specialty cocktails made with local herbs and fruits.
  • Maison Artemisia: Nestled in the hip Roma neighborhood, Maison Artemisia is on the second floor of an upscale French restaurant. Ask about the bar, and you’ll be ushered upstairs. Absinthe is the favorite spirt at Artemisia, so you know you’re going to have an amazing time here.

#4: You can taste traditional spirits

Mexico City offers a great selection of beer, cocktails, and wine. But locals tell us that if you want to explore the city in a different way, look out for some of the country's traditional spirits. Our trip planners say that these include:

  • Mezcal: Mezcal is traditionally cooked in pits lined with lava rocks, wood, and charcoal, which gives the spirit its smoky flavor. The legend of mezcal, which states that a bolt of lightning struck an agave plant to create the drink, isn’t so far from the truth.
  • Pulque: Visitors to Mexico City should definitely seek out one of the region’s most ancient and unique spirits—pulque! A fermented drink made of maguey sap, pulque has been popular since before the Spaniards arrived. It’s a bit like alcoholic kombucha—drink it straight or mixed into a delightful fruity cocktail.
  • Charanda: Perhaps the most elusive of Mexico City spirits, charanda is a rum-like liquor that is only made in Michoacan, just west of Mexico City. 
Local Tip:

If you're into tequila, then visit the Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal (it also happens to be one of the coolest tourist attractions in Mexico City).

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#5: You'll find tons of excellent live music

Let’s do it live! Locals tell us that Mexico City has some great choices for live music.

  • Traditional Mexican music: If it’s hot outside and you’re looking for music to match, locals say that one of the best things to do in Mexico City is to spend an evening enjoying traditional mariachi music (ideally outdoors). They suggest going to Plaza Garibaldi, just north of El Zocalo. You can pay a mariachi band for a song, or simply listen to the music. Plaza Garibaldi can get rowdy, however.
  • Hot hoppin’ jazz: Locals say that Mexico City has an incredible jazz scene. Our trip planners tell us that if you're looking for a traditional jazz show, Zinco Jazz Club is the place to go. For jazz with a twist, they suggest check out Jules Basement
  • Latin American & international superstars: For some of the city’s hottest live music, check out the grand Auditorio Nacional. Centrally located on Paseo de la Reforma, the Auditorio showcases superstars from around the world. Plus, it houses the largest pipe organ in Latin America.
Local Tip:

This is a good time to mention that while Mexico City is very safe, it is a big city and normal precautions should be taken. Don’t go wandering down dark alleyways, call an Uber when it’s time to go home, and keep an eye on your belongings.

#6: Two words: Zona Rosa

If your itinerary starts around 10 PM, then locals tell us that Zona Rosa is the ideal neighborhood to stay in Mexico City

Zona Rosa is one of Mexico City’s top attractions because—in addition to offering fantastic nightlife options—the area is considered Mexico City's LGBT core, as well as the home of the city's Koreatown. 

Locals say to be prepared to spend some pesos if you choose the club route—if you’re a man, that is. Women often get to skip the cover at Mexico City clubs. Prices in Mexico City are fairly advantageous for foreigners, but men will have to pay around $15–$25 USD to get in the door at the city’s coolest spots.

Local Tip:

Here's a good Mexico City travel tip: enjoy street food after a night out. There's nothing like a simmering, fresh elote after a few hours of dancing at a hot club.

#7: CDMX abounds with classy options

Palacio de Bellas Artes | Matthias Mullie/Unsplash

If the thought of shouting over loud music in a club makes you nauseous, fear not! Locals tell us there are plenty of other options for exciting nightlife in Mexico City.

Palacio Bellas Artes (the Palace of Fine Arts) is not only one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City—it’s the cultural soul of the city, and the best place in town to catch a classy performance. Any Mexico City itinerary is enhanced by the Ballet Folklorico, which frequently performs at Palacio Bellas Artes.

And the Palacio Bellas Artes’ calendar is packed with other cultural events almost every night of the week, which include orchestral performances, piano concerts, and more.

Local Tip:

Enjoy a post-show drink at the ultra-chic La Opera bar (just a three-minute walk from Palacio Bellas Artes). This historic bar is one of the best places in town to sip good tequila.

Still have questions about travel to Mexico City?
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