I wrote this itinerary for a friend who will soon be spending 3 days in Mexico City. I thought you guys might find it useful as well, as many of you were interested in my Mexico City posts. Enjoy!
There is so much to do, see, and eat in Mexico City. The food is delicious on any budget, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. It has gorgeous, leafy neighborhoods, with Art Nouveau architecture and hip breweries. And you can't visit Mexico City without seeing Teotihuacán, the sprawling Mesoamerican city just an hour outside of the capital.
Here is my itinerary for 3 days in Mexico City, the perfect place to spend a long weekend…
Day One: The Zócalo and Frida Kahlo Museum
Have an Uber pick you up at the airport – they're safer and cheaper than standard taxis in Mexico City.
Drop your bags at the hotel. I recommend staying at Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, a historic hotel located in the city center. Don't forget to look up at its Art Deco stained glass ceiling.
Have lunch at the hotel restaurant, Terraza, which has impressive views of the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square. After lunch, explore the Zócalo. Stop by the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is free to enter. Be sure to visit Templo Mayor, the main temple of Tenochtitlán, the ancient capital of the Aztec empire.
In the afternoon, call an Uber to take you the Frida Kahlo Museum, otherwise known as the Casa Azul. Pro tip — buy your tickets online in advance to choose your time slot and skip the lines.
Have dinner at Azul Histórico. Azul Histórico is a restaurant located in the courtyard of a gorgeous Spanish-style mansion. The restaurants specializes in traditional Mexican food — the chilaquiles are incredible. It's popular, so be sure to make reservations in advance.
Day Two: Teotihuacán Pyramids + Food Tour
Wake up early to see the pyramids of Teotihuacán by hot air balloon. On the balloon ride, you will see three main ruins: the Moon Pyramid, Sun Pyramid and Temple of Quetzalcoatl. It's gorgeous so bring your camera! And be sure to enjoy the free champagne at the end of the ride.
A few tips – Arrive at the meeting point at 6 a.m. sharp. If you miss the scheduled meeting time, you'll have to find your own transport to the pyramids. Also – wear layers and dress warmly! Teotihuacán is at high elevation, so can be very chilly.
In the afternoon, go on a food tour in Roma, one of Mexico City's most beautiful neighborhoods. We visited two craft breweries, a Oaxacan restaurant, an artisanal coffee shop, and a mezcal distillery. All in all, it was the perfect way to experience Mexico City's food scene and visit one of its coolest neighborhoods.
Day Three: The National Museum of Anthropology + One Last Amazing Meal
You can't visit Mexico City without seeing The National Museum of Anthropology, which showcases artifacts from all of Mexico's pre-Colombian civilizations. Admission to National Museum of Anthropology costs $3.50 per person. There's a lot to see — allow for at least 4-5 hours.
On your last afternoon in Mexico City, you can spend your time in a variety of ways:
See the Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City's futuristic library…
Float down the canals at Xochimilco, a colorful neighborhood south of the city…
Check out Condesa, another wonderful Mexico City neighborhood.
Before leaving the city, have dinner at Pujol, which is listed as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. The restaurant offers a seven-course tasting menu for $90 a person. (Full disclosure — I didn't make it there, but have heard great things about it.)
The cost of 3 days in Mexico City
You can spend a lot of money in 3 days in Mexico City, but you can also easily visit on a budget. Overall, it's much less expensive than major American cities. I spent around $1100 in three days, excluding flights: $550 on accomodation, $300 on food and drinks, $250 on activities, and $30 on transportation. It was a splurge, but one that was very worth it.
Here are some of the specific expenses:
Most Ubers in Mexico City cost us less than $3, so it's an inexpensive way to get around. I wouldn't recommend taking the subway, where you may be a target of pickpocketing (we almost were!)
Our private hot air balloon ride over the Teotihuacán pyramids was with Fly Volare and cost $180 per person. See my full review here. if you'd like to save more money, you can visit Teotihuacán and climb the pyramids.
Admission to National Museum of Anthropology costs $3.50 per person.
Safety in Mexico City
For the most part, we felt safe in Mexico City. if you exercise the same precautions you would in any city you should be fine.
As in most of Latin America, petty theft is relatively common in Mexico City. Case in point – my dad was almost pickpocketed while we were riding the subway. And like I mentioned, definitely take Ubers instead of taxis off the street.
Have you ever visited Mexico City? What would you recommend doing/seeing/eating there?
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