the perfect4 days visiting Mexico City
Mexico City is the fifth largest city in the world, and has a ton to offer in terms of culture, art, history, food, and arts. During our RV trip across Mexico, we spent two weeks visiting Mexico City and the surrounding area, exploring and experiencing all we could. We share some of the best things to do, see, and eat in this travel guide to Mexico City. If you’re planning on visiting Mexico City hopefully this guide will help you plan what activities to do in your time in the city.
Visit the Templo Mayor in the zocalo
In Mexico, the Zocalo is the main plaza or square in the center of town. Mexico City’s Zocalo is a popular destination because its home to the Templo Mayor, an Aztec Temple that dates back to the 14th century and was only recently discovered in the 1970’s when an electrical company found a monolith underground. After the Spanish colonized Mexico, the Templo Mayor was destroyed and the Aztecs were forced to build a church in the same location from the remnants of their sacred temple.
You can view some of the ruins of this temple at the Museum of the Templo Mayor, which is $70 pesos per person. The museum gives great insight into the history of the Aztecs including certain religious and cultural practices, likely rituals that were performed, and has a massive museum with artifacts from this site and other surrounding sites.If you prefer to simply stop and admire the museum there is a platform that overlooks some of the ruins for free, although the museum is well worth the low entrance fee.
Walk the historic center
The historic center of Mexico City is absolutely beautiful. It’s home to several museums as well as beautiful buildings including the Palacio Postal and Palacio de Bellas Artes. The Post office is by far the grandest post office we’ve ever been in. It’s adorned with marble, gold, and gorgeous mid-century modern architecture. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is Mexico City’s Theatre which often offers ballets, symphonies, and plays. If that’s not your thing, still stop by to admire the gorgeous architecture and pop inside to see the very grand interior.
Also stop by the Plaza de la Constitución which is where the opening scene of Jame’s Bond Spectare was filmed. In the center of the Plaza you will find the National Palace which is the Federal building for Mexico City. You can enter with your passport, and admire one of Diego Rivera’s murals.
Take some time to walk the streets. It seems every calle or avenida has a unique building filled with character. Lots of buildings are adorned with ornate Spanish tiles, including the famous tiled house, or La Casa de Azulejos.
visit the Teotihuacan pyramids
The Teotihuacan Pyramids are located about 45 minute to an hour north of Mexico City in the city of San Juan Teotihuacan, but is absolutely worth a day visit. Our RV was parked in this city, so we were lucky enough to get to explore the ancient pyramids both at day and night. These pyramids belong to an unknown civilization by the Aztecs that date as far back to 300 BC. If you’re planning a trip here, make sure to read our guide to visiting the Teotihuacan pyramids to help you prepare. It’s 100% worth a visit and is a must in our Mexico City travel guide!
mexico city Xochimilco
Xochimilco is a UNESCO World Heritage cite about 45 minutes south of Mexico City. It’s home to a series of canals and manmade islands that date back thousands of years, originally created by the Aztec for growing crops. This is a super popular activity for tourists, and is definitely on the top of the list for must do activities in a Mexico City travel guide. You can take a leisure boat ride through the canals or take an eco-tour like we did with De La Chinampas. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to learn about this history of this area and the importance it plays in supporting Mexico City’s ecosystem.
eat delicious food
There is no shortage of delicious food in Mexico City and the food scene is extremely diverse. You can have the most incredible taco for under a dollar, or dine at a world famous restaurant eating food by one of the best chef’s in the world. Below are a list of several restaurants that we dined at or came highly recommended.
Mexico city best restaurants
- Pujol – The most famous restaurant in all of Mexico City. If you want to dine here make reservations the minute you book your flight or determine your dates for visiting Mexico City.
- Amaya – Upscale Mexican cuisine by chef. We dined here and everything we ate was absolutely delicious. Reservations highly recommended.
- Rosetta – One of Mexico City’s finer dining establishments in the Roma neighborhood.
- Panaderia Rosetta – Freshly baked bread each day from various types of flours, incredible pastries, sit down breakfast and lunch options, and the most amazing doughnuts called Berli. Trust me, you want to eat here.
- Contramar – famous seafood spot to enjoy incredibly fresh seafood in the Roma neighborhood.
- El Moro – famous for their churros con chocolate, it’s a deserved stop with several locations for you to stop in and enjoy a sweet treat.
- Máximo Bistrot – We were told by several people that this is currently Mexico City’s best restaurant and has been voted in the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to dine here because they were booked. Make reservations well in advance if you want to dine here.
- Dr. Pizza – if you’re looking for something other than Mexican food, Dr. Pizza in the Juarez neighborhood is worth a stop and are open on Mondays (a notoriously sleepy day for restaurants in Mexico city). They had the best cocktail we’ve had our entire 2 months in Mexico so far!
- Tacos! Who doesn’t love a good taco? Tacos are eaten at night as a late night treat or meal before you go out on the town. Tons of stalls will pop up on the street once it gets dark out or you can visit an establishment with a permanent location. We heard Exquisitos Tacos de Mixiotes, Tacos Los Juanes, and Tacos el Huequito are good. Tacos al pastor are famous here, but you can’t go wrong with any type of taco.
Rather than navigate the food culture on your own, take a food tour. We explored the Roma neighborhood on a walking food tour with Secret Food Tours and got a great taste for the food culture of Mexico and Mexico City. If you’re interested in taking your own food tour, use code 25LIZ to get 25% off. No matter where you eat, or how you choose to explore the food scene, you really can’t go wrong here.
visit a museum
Mexico City has more museums than any other capital city in the world, over 150 to be exact. The most famous museums to visit are the Frida Kahlo Museum which is located in her residence. While we were unable to visit this trip, is high on our suggested stops based on recommendations from others. The Anthropology Museum also came highly recommended. If you’re a history buff, or simply enjoy learning about the history of Latin American ancient civilizations this museum is worth a stop. Plan to spend a significant amount of time here. I’ve heard it’s massive.
There are tons of other incredible places to explore, wonderful food to try, and awesome sights to experience. But hopefully, this Mexico City travel guide will be helpful in planning your own trip to CDMX. If you visit any of the suggestions in this guide we’d love to hear about them in the comment section below, as well as any other places you feel we should visit when we return.
Liz & Dennis
We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!
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