The 25 best things to do in Mexico City
Choosing the best things to do in Mexico City is daunting task when you consider that it’s the 2nd largest city in the world. So we are giving ourselves the task of exploring the city, picking out the best events, places, free activities and unmissable hotspots for tourists and locals alike. You will come across everything from pre-hispanic ruins to eclectic architectural gems, places to exercise or go out at night and relive the US prohibition era in a speakeasy. We will also feature night visits to the best museums in the city, tours to admire the sunrise from high above and open air cinema in the middle of a lage. Dare yourself to discover these unmissable experiences in the city.
The 10 best attractions in Mexico City
Mexico City was founded on what was once the ancient Tenochtitlán, after the Aztecs are said to have witnessed an eagle perched atop a nopal while devouring a snake. You’re unlikely to see anything quite like this in Mexico’s capital nowadays, but you will see a huge range of stunning attractions that hark back to the city’s origins and rich history. If it’s your first time in Mexico City, we recommend starting with the following sights, which range from spacious parks to world-class museums and the monuments that give this metropolis its distinctive character.
The 10 best restaurants in Mexico City
The gastronomy of Mexico City reflects the history of Mexican cooking and it’s considered to be some of the best food in the world; but more specifically, it’s a collection of the most irreverent and exquisite follies of the genuines that call the shots with the stove. From Roma, Condesa and Polanco to other areas with gastronomic trends, Mexico City has its own unique voice when it comes to food. Here you can find the most traditional techniques and ingredients from Oaxaca, Yucatán and Michoacán; Spanish, French and Asian influences; as well as the use of more advanced technologies. From the deconstruction of a ‘mole’ sauce, a ‘taco placero’ or a ‘taco al pastor’ in the kitchen laboratories of Enrique Olvera’s Pujol; to the Jorge Vallejo’s quelites at Quintonil. The most noteworthy culinary approaches of Mexico’s capital city and of the rest of the world come together with to ask: what is haute cuisine? Experience all this at the 10 best restaurants in Mexico City.
The 10 best bars in Mexico City
Mexico City is full of nightlife surprises at every turn. Some of the best mixologists in the world can be found in Mexico City, in charge of the most iconic bars. Since 2016, Mica Rousseau has been recognized in the World Class as the best bartender in America for his Fifty Mils creations, while Limantour ranked 14th in the world on The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2017. Another highlight of the bars in Mexico City is the setting, such as the secret entrance to the 1920s world of USA prohibition found at the Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar, where you can also try the improved recipe of Ada “Coley” Coleman’s hanky panky drink from the Savoy Hotel in London. Discover using your senses the most seductive mixology formulas. You will experience the magic if you sit at the bar; it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to order, the bartender will have a special combination of unmissable cocktails in these top nightlife bars of the city.
The 10 best boutique hotels in Mexico City
Visiting Mexico City is a serious experience. As much for foreigners as for local tourists, there is something for everyone to enjoy thanks to such a huge range of activities: from dining at fantastic restaurants to discovering the best museums and buildings which we’ve included on our list of the 20 best things to do in Mexico City, at least once! The most important factor when it comes to immersing yourself in city life is to stay in a hotel that meets all your needs. If you’re coming on business, for a honeymoon or simply to chill and explore, we can recommend 10 boutique hotels that are well worth the visit. Some stand out for their luxury, others for their beautiful terraces and of course, not forgetting those that are renowned for their excellent service and cutting edge design. What do you say? Excited to visit Mexico City?
The best Mexico City restaurants
Mexico City bars and nightlife
The best speakeasies in Mexico City
Some of these cocktail bars have no signage, or at least unobvious signage, nor do they share their addresses on social media but you can often find them listed as some of the best bars in the world. These types of clubs prefer to hide themselves in unsuspecting places. Most of these bars have been inspired by the speakeasies and blind pigs of the 1920s Prohibition era in the United States, during which it was illegal to purchase or consume alcohol. Let yourself discover and explore these concept bars that will change your idea of an average night out on the town.
The 10 best gay bars in Mexico City
Mexico City is the capital of extravagant and exciting gay clubs and bars which, throughout their history, have reflected the crazy nightlife of the city. With that in mind, we have found those spaces filled with individuality and dedicated to the gay community, such as clubs with drag shows and bars especially suited for the lesbian community. In this list of unmissable gay clubs, you will find everything from the classic Tom’s Leather Bar that has been a daring and exhibitionist option since the 90s; to Zona Rosa’s preppy club, Kinky, with this gogos and strippers; and of course La Purísima, named on multiple occasions as one of the community’s favourites.
Cultural highlights in Mexico City
Sights and attractions in Mexico City
The floating gardens of Xochimilco
One of the most classic places to visit in Mexico City is Xochimilco. Since 1930, they’ve been offering tourist trips in trajineras through more than 184 kilometers of waters that integrate the zone’s canals and chinampas. The chinampas represent a cultivation method that has been used since pre-Hispanic times in the Valley of Mexico. The area was, after all, a lake, and the best way to farm was to use artificial islands in the lake itself. Today, they are an example of sustainability and productivity: they provide five annual harvests of high-quality vegetables. Yolcan, a project that focuses on fair trade and rehabilitation of the chinampas, offers a food club that delivers fresh produce from farms in Xochimilco to homes and businesses across the city. Enter the canals of Xochimilco and enjoy its trajinera tours, along with the theater programs during the Day of the Dead season and discover the richness of its ecological reserve. And don’t forget to take advantage of a snack or two during your tour.
The best Frida Kahlo art in Mexico City
Mexico City is home to legacy of many great Mexican artists, such as the muralists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. The painter Frida Kahlo is no exception. Frida Kahlo’s life was marked by tragic events, such as the accident she suffered at age 18 which caused various fractures in her spinal column. The painter surrounded herself with the great muralists of that era and maintained a strong transgressive opinion in regards to topics such as politics and gender. All this was depicted in her work of art which André Breton labelled as surrealist, but for her it was nothing more than her feelings. Metaphorically, sensitive and hostile are adjectives which are used to describe her work and that has made her one of the most emblematic Mexican artists in the world. Her work has been exhibited in places such as the Orangerie Museum in Paris, the Botanical Garden in New York and the Cultural Museum of Milan. Find out which of Mexico City’s museums exhibit her work, such as the Frida Kahlo Museum, “Casa Azul”, where she was born on 6th July 1907 and also died on 13th July 1954; in fact, her ashes are now found in what used to be her bedroom. You can also discover other spaces, such as the Studio House of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, in which the architect Juan O’Gorman (1932) understood Diego and Frida’s needs, combined them with his own queries and exhibited the result in a functioning building.
Bosque de Chapultepec
Stepping foot in Chapultepec is obligatory for any Mexico City resident, and equally for its visitors, being that it’s one of the spaces that best maintains its tradition and history. Children, adolescents and adults enjoy various activities, such as feeding the enormous fish that inhabit the lakes, visiting the animals in the zoo or running and exercising in the forest. In the first section, there’s the sense of art and history, that house museums and cultural buildings like the Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola, the Museo de Arte Moderno, the Museo Tamayo and that of Antropología e Historia, in addition to the legendary Castillo de Chapultepec, scene of the Batalla del Molino del Rey y of the assault of the Colegio Militar, during the North American Intervention of 1847.
The best archaeological sites in Mexico City
Mexico's pre-Hispanic era (which chronologically began in the year 2000 BC) is culturally rich and particularly captivating. The experience of seeing with our own eyes the grandeur that was the pre-Hispanic villages through their architecture, daily tools and other objects of either religious or decorative significance, is the best way of taking us back in time to understand the Aztec way of life. The best archaeological sites in Mexico City, and the surrounding areas, are both excellent options for a trip in order grasp the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico. These sites give us a clearer idea of the social and religious relations that existed within these spaces and they allow us to marvel at the passage of time and the contrasts with current society. Be prepared for your expedition! We highly recommend comfortable footwear, drinking water, a hat and sunscreen.
The best things to do in Ciudad Universitaria UNAM
During the 40s, modernity and development in the country was uncontrollable, as was industrialization which claimed to materialize an architectural centre where the first activities of the most important cultural and academic project of the country began: the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 1952, Ciudad Universitaria was inaugurated by the President Miguel Alemán, and in 2007 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We invite you to enjoy this architectural landmark of the 20th Century in Mexico; visit its museums, enjoy the views and the green space and admire the different artistic portrayals which are found all over this cultural hotspot.