Visiting Mexico City Guide

I lived in an apartment without an elevator on calle Renán in the Anzures neighbourhood of Mexico City with Mercedes and Rodrigo, who was less than two years old at the time. There was a double mattress on the floor of the master bedroom, a crib in the other room, and a kitchen table which doubled as a writing desk in the living room, with two single-seat chairs which were put to whatever use was needed. We had decided to stay in this city which at that time still retained a human scale, with its diaphanous air and deliriously coloured flowers in the avenues, but the immigration authorities didn’t seem inclined to share in our happiness. Half our lives were spent in immobile queues, sometimes in the rain, in the penitents’ courtyards of the Secretariat of the Interior.

I went on a trip to Mexico city in mid April 2024 and I wanted to share my thoughts.

Up front - my friends Dylan and Lily gave me a lot of the ideas that go into this guide, so big shoutz to them for all their recommendations!

What to bring

You can buy sunscreen at pharmacies and such so no need to lug it along. If you plan on being out a lot during the day, some places (like Teotihuacan) are very exposed and you will want to have more protection. So:

are all good ideas to bring on your trip.

random thoughts

jacaranda trees Jacaranda trees

inca dove Inca dove (credit: VJAnderson on wikimedia commons)

Getting around


Uber is very cheap in Mexico City, and it’s a great way to get around. I would recommend using it to get to and from the airport, as well as to get around the city. It’s also a good way to get around if you don’t speak Spanish, as you can enter your destination in the app.


We didn’t actually use the metro when getting around, but I’ve heard that it is a good way to get around the city. It’s very cheap, but gets very crowded.

Where to stay

view from Roma towards the city center view from our hotel room in Roma Norte towards the city center

I stayed in the Roma neighborhood, which I would highly recommend. It’s a very trendy neighborhood with lots of great restaurants and bars. It’s also very safe, and it’s a good place to stay if you want to be close to the city center. Roma / Condessa is the general area you want to stay in. Great walkability and lots of places to go for dinner and drinks.

What to do

I’ve included some links to my google maps lists throughout this guide. You can click on them to see the locations of the places I mention. They are divided into different lists so you can use the lists you want and ignore the ones you don’t want.

Things to do in Mexico City google maps list:

Most of these things take around a half day or longer to do. You COULD try to do multiple in one day but you will need to start early if you want to do that.

Chapultepec Park & the Museo Nacional de Antropología

chapultepec castle Chapultepec castle

Chapultepec Park is a huge park in the middle of the city, centered around a large hill that is topped by a museum, the Castillo de Chapultepec. It’s definitely worth a visit to take a look around and orient yourself before going to the Museo Nacional de Antropología, which is just outside the park. The museum is huge and has a lot of interesting exhibits on the various cultures that inhabited what is now Mexico (the Aztec (or Mexica) and Maya have the largest exhibt halls). It’s also a beautiful brutalist building.

ancient mural Ancient mural

Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl

gladiator stone Gladiator stone (not a calendar)

We spent the entire day in the park and museum, and I would recommend doing the same. It’s a great way to get a sense of the history and culture of Mexico and it was a perfect first full day activity. There’s a starbucks before the museum entrance if you need a coffee or snack, and there are also lots of restaurants towards the metro station on the east side of the park.


temple of the moon The temple of the moon

Teotihuacan is an ancient city located about an hour outside of Mexico City. The city is huge and it was built by some real haters - they constructed one of the pyramids to hide another pyramid from view because the family that built the now-hidden pyramid fell out of favor. Gotta respect spending three generations on hate. I would recommend going early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat, and also getting a tour guide. There is a museum on the site but the site is so huge that a guide is really helpful in understanding what you are looking at.

We spent 6 hours getting there and walking around with a tour guide but had to leave early to get back to the city for our flight. This is definitely a full day activity.

Link to tour we went on to Teotihuacan:


frida kahlo house Frida Kahlo house

Coyoacán is a neighborhood in the south of Mexico City that has a bohemian (read - not many tall buildings) vibe. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon wandering around and checking out the local shops and restaurants (we bought our souvenirs here). There is a large market in the center of the neighborhood that is worth checking out, as well as the Frida Kahlo museum and the Trotsky Museum. The Frida Kahlo museum is book ahead, but all the tickets are gone basically immediately. If you want to go, you’ll need a guide. The Trotsky museum was very good in my view, but I am a socialist.


the canal tour The canal tour

Xochimilco is a neighborhood in the south of Mexico City that is known for its canals, which are the last remaining aztec canals. We went on a canal tour with a group, which we booked via Viatour (though you can book with AirBnb). It was a fun, boozy afternoon. Our tour group was almost all Americans and it was a fun way to compare notes on our trips and activities so far. On our tour there was also a chance to see the axolotls in like a little aquarium, which was very cool, though sad, since they are endangered by invasive carp who eat them :disappointed:

axolotl Axolotls

Link to tour we went on in Xochimilco:

Centro Histórico

the metropolitan cathedral The metropolitan cathedral

Zocalo flag The Zocalo

The Centro Histórico is the historic center of Mexico City, and it’s a great place to spend a half day wandering around and checking out the local shops and restaurants. There are lots of beautiful buildings and churches in the area, as well as some great museums. We spent a full day here and had a great time. Mostly uncovered, hats and umbrellas recommended.

Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre Lucha Libre match

Lucha Libre is Mexican wrestling, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. The good guys are the Tecnicos and the baddies are the Rudos, and you can cheer for either. We sat next to a guy who was a superfan and had different masks for every match. All the matches are tag team, and they only last 15 minutes or so.

There are two arenas for the Lucha Libre - make sure to check your tickets if you book online so you know which one to go to.


The food in Mexico City is amazing, and there are so many great places to eat. My favorites:

huitlacoche quesadilla Huitlacoche quesadilla

Cafe de olla Cafe de olla

Pulque Pulque

Vegan Restaurants

Vegan restaurants in Mexico City google maps list:

All of the restaurants on the above list are good, but two we went back to:

Taco Santo Vegano - you can get huitlacoche quesadilla, sopa azteca, gringas, and great tacos here. Our favorite restaurant in Mexico City.

Gracias Madre Vegan Tacos - they have a large selection of stuff here, but are open early and have breakfast menus and coffee, so we stopped here before heading out a few days.

Coffee shops

Coffee shops in Mexico City google maps list:

third wave coffee spots - the ones in this list are nice - I think Buna had the nicest coffee.


Nightlife in Mexico City google maps list:

We had a great time at Pulqueria Los Insurgentes - it’s a very divey bar but it does have delicious and inexpensive pulque. It’s mostly dead during the week and you can probably find seating on the roof terrace (it’s 4 stories tall) but it gets very busy on the weekends, and finding a table in the evening is harder. It would also be nice to sit on the roof in the afternoon. The bouncer on the weekends has his eyes tattooed black and looks scary as hell but he was actually chill. That’s me on the roof terrace in the picture above with the big litre of pulque.

lots of cocktail places that are around $10 a drink - the one that was hopping and needed reservations was Limantour. We didn’t go to it but instead went to Maison Artemisa one evening and Balmori Rooftop on another. No reservations at either place and we got in immediately.


I loved it and you’re gonna love it. I’d go back any time if it was an option. Enjoy the food, culture, and people, and reach out if you’ve got more questions!