Mexico City is the high-altitude capital city of Mexico. It’s a colourful place that’s packed full of culture, and it’s a sprawling city with various neighbourhoods. Each has its own character and vibe, and there are so many landmarks peppered across the city. With so much to do, it can be hard to figure out the best possible Mexico City itinerary. It’s the perfect destination for spending 3 days exploring, but it’s important to have a strong plan in place to make the most of the city.
Highlights of Mexico City include the Plaza de la Constitución, with its main square also known as the Zócalo. Around here, you’ll see the Templo Mayor, a thirteenth century Aztec temple and the city’s enormous Mexican flag. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is one of the most famous buildings in the city also shouldn’t be missed. There’s Chapultepec Park, which is a sprawling park and home to the zoo, as well as so many incredible neighbourhoods to explore. Coyoacán is the cool and colourful home to Frida Kahlo’s former studio, and it’s so worth exploring. As well as making time to sample Mexico’s incredible food scene, venture a little further out of the city. Xochimilco makes for a great day floating around on a trajinera, and Teotihuacán is breathtaking.
There are so many things to do in Mexico City, and this guide to Mexico City including a complete itinerary should help you to plan your three days in this incredible city. A Mexico City itinerary has something for everyone, from climbing Mayan pyramids to sipping micheladas on a colourful trajinera, to exploring Frida Kahlo’s former home.
Table of Contents
Top Things to Do in Mexico City
- Casa Gilardi
- Frida Kahlo Museum
- Lucha Libre
- Trajineras Xochimilco
- Historic Center of Mexico City
- Angel of Independence
A 3 Day Itinerary to Mexico City
Day 1 in Mexico City: Condesa and Xochimilco
Morning: Condesa and Casa Gilardi
- Uber over to the stunning neighbourhood of Condesa. Said to be Mexico City’s coolest neighbourhood, it boasts tree lined boulevards, Instagrammable houses, and a young, boho crowd. Walk the streets and pick out your dream house.
- Go for brunch at Lardo. It’s a beautiful restaurant with huge vases of fresh flowers in the entrance, and colourful tiles everywhere. Even small details like rose gold cutlery are considered. Order fresh pastries, coffee, and your choice of eggs. Address: Agustín Melgar 6, Colonia Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140 Ciudad de México.
- Take a tour of Casa Gilardi. Casa Gilardi is an impressive house designed by contemporary architect, Luis Barragán. Famous for his bold, minimalist style, it’s an incredible property that utilises nature and colour for effect. Nowadays, it’s a family home, and one of the inhabitants of the property will show you around. Address: Calle Gral. Antonio León 82, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Ciudad de México.
- Take a trip over to Xochimilco, an essential on any Mexico City itinerary. One of the sixteen boroughs of Mexico City, Xochimilco is a neighbourhood famous for its canals. It’s easy enough (and super cheap) to get an Uber, and you’ll soon notice the climate start to change as you leave downtown Mexico City.
- Grab some beer and snacks and hire one of the colourful Trajineras of Magic Xochimilco. Tortilla chips, guacamole, and Coronas will set you up! Everywhere you look, you’ll see rainbow colours on the canals and you can simply float around. It costs around 750 pesos for a two hour private hire. Address: Calle del Mercado S/N, Xaltocan, Xochimilco, 16090 Ciudad de México.
- Keep your eyes peeled for the attractions on your way around. You’ll pass mariachi bands, and vendors selling fresh Mexico food and beer along the water. A key attraction is the Isla de las Muñeca (or Island of Dead Dolls). It’s a creepy place where you can stop off, with dolls all over the island and in the trees.
- Grab an authentic michelada on your way round – they’re super cheap and huge, you’ll most likely need to share else you could get very drunk very quickly!
- Did you know Mexico City is home to one of the World’s Top 50 Bars? You do now. After heading back downtown for a change, head straight for Fifty Mils in the Four Seasons Mexico City. It has beautiful interiors that are worth visiting in themselves, and the cocktails are excellent. Each is impressively curated and presented, and thanks to the exchange rate, they’re very reasonably priced. Don’t miss the 360 Cocktail with its ice glass. Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 500, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Cuauhtémoc.
- Head for dinner along the street at the exquisite King Cole Bar at the St Regis Mexico City. The service is excellent, the staff are charming, and the food is delicious. Make sure you try the ceviche as it’s delicious, and the cocktails here are also fantastic. Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma 439, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México.
- Party on at nearby Loft. It’s a fun local party spot, the drinks are cheap, and the vibes are friendly. Address: Av. Nuevo Leon 67, Col. Condesa, Mexico City 06100.
Day 2 in Mexico City: Frida Kahlo Museum and Coyoacán
Morning: Frida Kahlo Museum
- Make sure you book tickets in advance for the Frida Kahlo Museum. It’s a wonderful ‘caza azul’ (blue house) with stunning Mexican design details. Having been a museum since 1958, it’s a fascinating tribute to Kahlo’s life and works. You can walk around her old living space, which she shared with fellow artist and lover, Diego Rivera. Of course, you can expect to see plenty of her works of art too. Address: Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, 04100 Ciudad de México.
- Grab lunch at Mercado Roma. A short walk from the Museo de Frida Kahlo, you’ll find this incredible Mexican foodhall. There’s a wide range of vendors selling delicious meals for all kinds of foodie. Grab your food – from tapas to pork buns – and a sangria and settle down on the benches in the middle of the hall to enjoy. Address: Av Miguel Ángel de Quevedo 353, Santa Catarina, Coyoacán, 04010 Ciudad de México.
- After lunch, it’s so worth walking around the beautiful neighbourhood of Coyoacán. Beyond the bright blue Museo de Frida Kahlo, there’s plenty of adorable cobblestone streets and incredible architecture. Pick which of the pastel coloured houses you’d like to one day live in while you wonder. There are plenty of gorgeous sidewalk cafes along tree-lined streets – which are particularly pretty when the lilac jacaranda is blooming in spring. Interestingly, this area was once home to Leon Trotsky, and there’s a museum dedicated to the Soviet revolutionary.
Evening: Lucha Libre
- Any Mexico City itinerary must include a lucha libre. It brings the best of the fantastic and ridiculous in Mexico together. The Arena México has a lucha libre every Sunday and Tuesday. Expect all the drama and laughs you could wish for. Tickets are cheap and so is the beer. Just don’t forget to buy your mask before the lucha libre! Address: Dr. Lavista 189, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720 Ciudad de México.
- Go for dinner at Páramo. Located in the beautiful neighbourhood of Roma, the interior is divine, lit with just a string of coloured lights. The food is truly special, with the most incredible tacos I’ve ever had. You won’t need many as each taco is pretty much a meal in itself. Wash it all down with some of their fantastic margaritas. Address: Av. Yucatan 84, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México.
Day 3 in Mexico City: Teotihuacán and the Historic Center of Mexico City
- Rise and shine early to beat the crowds over to Teotihuacán, around 45 minutes out of Mexico City. It’s relatively straightforward to get here via Uber, and also reasonably priced. Founded by the Aztecs in the 1400s, it’s a mix of ancient pyramids and ruins in what was once Mexico’s most significant city. You can climb both the Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon for incredible views over the area and beyond. Address: 55800 San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico.
- For lunch, head straight to La Gruta in Teotihuacán. Just a short walk from the pyramids, it’s a restaurant in an old grotto. Sun peeks in from holes in the cave, and it’s decorated with coloured chairs throughout. We ordered chicken and pork tacos with pork rind to start. The biggest bowl of guacamole I’ve ever seen arrived, and it was all delicious. Address: Circuito Arqueologico, Avenida del Puente S/N, 55820 San Francisco Mazapa, Méx.
Afternoon: Historic Center of Mexico City
- Ride back from Teotihuacán directly into the Historic Center of Mexico City. Here is where you’ll find dozens of iconic buildings, many of which date back to the Aztec period.
- Begin at the Palacia de Bellas Artes – it’s beautifully opulent and translates to The Fine Arts Palace. The palace is home to various art exhibitions, music, dance, and theatre displays. Address: Av. Juárez S/N, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Ciudad de México.
- Go for coffee in the Sears opposite the Palace. Head up to the eighth floor for the cafe and order a coffee. Here, you can enjoy spectacular views across the most iconic building in Mexico City. Address: Av. Juárez 14, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Ciudad de México.
- Wander around the area and tick off a few key sights within close proximity to one another:
- The Park Alameda Central, particularly pretty in the spring with the blooming jacarandas.
- Casa de los Azulejos, also known as the House of Tiles, famous for its facade of blue and white tiles.
- Palacio de Correos, the Postal Palace, is an elaborate building that boasts stunning gold detail throughout.
- Stop by Zócalo to see Mexico’s largest flag, the Templo Mayor, and the Catedral Metropolitana with its colonial architecture.
- On your way out of the Historic Center of Mexico City, stop by the the Angel of Independence. Finished in 1910, it marks 100 years of independence from Spain. It’s actually a duplicate, after the original broke during an earthquake in 1957. Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México.
- After a quick change, head out for dinner and drinks in the classy neighbourhood of Roma. Licorería Limantour is a great place to start – it’s a cocktail bar serving up delicious drinks. Address: Av. Álvaro Obregón 106, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México.
- Next up, move on to GinGin. It’s a sophisticated cocktail bar that also serves tasty food. The bar has great interiors with a cool array of copper skulls lining the walls. Try the La Bruja Verde (the green witch), made with gin, green apple juice, lime, and soda. Address: Av Oaxaca 87, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México.
When to Go to Mexico City
The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May. I visited in March, and the weather was great – warm but not too hot. The perk of going in spring is also getting to see the beautiful lilac jacarandas in full bloom. Visiting Mexico City in the winter can be cool, and the summer can bring rainy weather. The Mexico City average temperature is roughly 24°C (75°F) all year round.
One thing to bear mind is the high elevation of Mexico City. It sits at over 7,000 feet above sea level. This makes it more important than ever to drink lots of water and look after yourself. Don’t forget suntan lotion and holding back on excessive alcohol consumption. The air pollution in Mexico City is pretty well known. When it’s particularly bad, you may want to go outside with a mask and stay indoors where possible.
Getting to Mexico City
Naturally, this depends on where you’re coming from, but Mexico City is a major city. Bordered by the USA on one side, and South America on the other side, there are lots of options. While you can travel by train from the USA, flying is quicker and more efficient. Flights are cheapest during the low season (November through April). Meanwhile, Easter, summer holidays, and the Christmas and New Year period are the most expensive.
It’s easy enough to fly into Mexico City with major USA airlines, as well as many budget Mexican airlines like Volaris and Interjet. Canada also operates a service to Mexico City from both Toronto and Vancouver. It’s also possible to fly directly to the city from London.
That’s my three day Mexico City itinerary! Is there anything else you’d add in for a trip to Mexico City?