Mexico City captivates every visitor, and with equal parts cosmopolitan splendor and historic charm, just one trip to this city will have you hooked.
This bustling, sprawling city is the oldest capital city in the Americas and should be the first destination on your bucket list. From arts aficionados to street food connoisseurs to history buffs, every visitor will find plenty to pique their interest. While it’s impossible to experience the entire city in one trip, we’ve rounded up our favorite, can’t-miss spots to add to your itinerary.
See the city
There’s no better way to learn about a city than from a local expert, and there are tons of free walking tours available daily. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the city and see if anything piques your interest as you check off all the necessary spots. We recommend taking a tour through Centro Historico, where you’ll pass through sights like the central square (called Zócalo), the towering Metropolitan Cathedral, the nearby ancient ruins of Templo Mayor, which were the centerpiece of the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Don’t forget to tip your guide, and then grab a meal or drink at one of the rooftop terrace restaurants overlooking the square for a bird’s eye view.
Twice the size of Central Park, Chapultepec Park is home to everything from a theme park and free zoo, to museums and plenty of winding trails to explore. Grab a paleta (a fruit-based popsicle) while you wander along and people watch for a relaxing afternoon.
For an even more local experience, book a shoot with one of our incredible Mexico City photographers, who not only have the best insider tips on the city, but will also beautifully capture your vacation.
Taste the food
There’s no better place for traditional Mexican food than Mexico, and you could easily choose a different spot every day for the rest of your life in this gigantic metropolis. Street food is the great equalizer – where the rich and the poor, the locals and the visitors, the young and the old all come together in one spot. Mercado de la Merced is one of Mexico City’s largest and oldest markets. We only recommend visiting during the day for safety, but it’s worth the trip. You’ll find perfectly-done classics like tacos dorados, tacos el pastor and flautas de pollo. Don’t forget lots of agua frescas – these fresh squeezed juices will have you saying goodbye to soda forever!
Your day isn’t complete without a hot, fresh churro (or three!); fried bread covered in cinnamon and sugar is a sweet staple, and pair with a hot chocolate for a mind-blowing snack experience at the Instagrammable El Moro churerriá.
Enjoy the history
Palacio Nacional is home to Diego Rivera’s famous mural, The History of Mexico. It’s grandeur and massive size captivates every passerby, and best of all, it’s free to see! Museo Frida Kahlo, also known as “Casa Azul” due to it’s bright blue exterior, is a tribute to the artist’s life, and you’ll definitely want to buy tickets in advance. Make your way through the place where she was born, lived and died, and you’ll truly be able to imagine what life was like for her as she created world-famous pieces of art.
You’ll find stunning, panoramic views of the city at the National History Museum in Chapultepec Castle. It was previously both a sacred site for the Aztec and later, the official residence of Emperor Maximiliano I. Today, it’s a museum featuring the history of Mexico dating back 500 years.
While not in Mexico City itself, your trip isn’t complete without a day-trip to the spectacular ruins of Teotihuacan. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre is where you’ll find the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, which were actually built hundreds of years before the Aztecs even arrived. As the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, it was previously thought to have been home to around 125,000 people, and the views from the pyramids are still dazzling today.
With your trip itinerary ready to go, all that’s left to do in pack your bags and get ready for an amazing trip, and don’t forget to capture the magic of travel as you make unforgettable memories in Mexico City.