Everyone You Know Is Going to Mexico City: Here’s How to Spend a Weekend There

First your food-obsessed college roommate went to Mexico City. Then your artsy coworker came back raving about the museums and boutiques. Now it seems like every weekend someone you know is posting Instagram Stories filled with tacos and colorful architecture. And we highly recommend you follow suit: Here’s everything you need to eat, see and do in CDMX. 

Your Next Weekend Escape Greenport, Long Island

mexico city skyline
ferrantraite/ Getty Images

Get There

One of the biggest reasons everyone’s flocking to Mexico City? A plethora of four-hour nonstop flights for as low as $300 round trip. A few things to note: When you arrive in Mexico, you’ll get an immigration card—hang on to it for your entire trip, because you’ll need to submit it when you leave. And we highly recommend downloading Mobile Passport so you can skip the immigration lines when you arrive back in the U.S.

mexico city hotel
Courtesy of La Valise

Stay in the Hip Heart of Town

Your most cost-effective option is to nab one of the many (many) stylish Airbnbs around town. We like La Condesa and neighboring Roma for their proximity to restaurants and nightlife. The area is also home to a handful of stylish hotels like Condesa DF and La Valise.

Take a Street-Food Tour

You’ll encounter sidewalk vendors with sizzling carts almost everywhere, but to really get acquainted with the city’s eclectic street-food scene, book a guide. Check out Eat Mexico, which offers itineraries through various neighborhoods and markets. They’ll introduce you to local-favorite spots and dishes you’d never find otherwise.

casa azul mexico city
R.M. Nunes/Getty Images

Visit Casa Azul

Pay your respects to a creative icon at Museo Frida Kahlo, the longtime home of the artist and her husband, Diego Rivera (also known as Casa Azul—the Blue House—for its vibrant facade). Pro tip: Book your tickets for first thing in the morning, as this is (understandably) a very popular attraction.

colonial architecture mexico city
abalcazar/Getty Images

Gawk at Colonial Architecture

After leaving Casa Azul, wander over to the nearby San Ángel neighborhood, known for its picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful colonial homes, plus a lively artisan market on Saturdays. (And for architecture of the modern variety, be sure to check out Casa Luis Barragán and Casa Gilardi, two supremely Instagrammable buildings designed by a legendary Mexican architect.)

Go Museum Hopping

Aside from Museo Frida Kahlo, CDMX is home to some 150 museums (a contender for highest in the world). At the Museo Nacional de Antropología, history buffs can geek out at hundreds of artifacts from pre-Columbian civilizations, while art fans won’t want to miss Museo Soumaya, which houses an eclectic art collection spanning 30 centuries, ranging from ancient Mesoamerican sculptures to works by Salvador Dalí.

Sample Baked Treats

Yes, you could subsist entirely on tacos and other tortilla-based meals, but you’d be missing out: There are some incredible bakeries in town, including García Madero and Panadería Rosetta. Be sure to try conchas, sweet buns with a crackly topping that go great with coffee.

Have a Leisurely Lunch

If “non-vacation you” eats salads at your desk, “vacation you” needs to do the exact opposite. Grab a table at the seafood-centric Contramar for tuna tostadas and strawberry meringue cake, or dig into chilaquiles and mole at Fonda Mayora.

mexico city tacos
Carolyn Stanley

Eat Tacos

As if you needed us to tell you. We’re still dreaming about the offerings from Taquería Los Cocuyos, a hole-in-the-wall stall that draws crowds of locals until well after midnight (it’s open until 5 a.m.). The fillings include suadero (a type of beef brisket), longaniza sausage and, if you’re adventurous, various types of offal (our favorite was the tripa, for the record). We also love the fast food–style chain Taquería Orinoco—be sure to try all of the house sauces.

mexico city pyramids
Mexico Shoots/Getty Images

Climb a Pyramid

Just over half an hour north of the city sits Teotihuacán, one of the country’s major archaeological sites. The ancient Mesoamerican city once had a population of 125,000 (making it the world’s sixth largest city at the time), and today you can walk amongst the site’s massive pyramids, temples and other structures and marvel at the fact that it was all built some 2,000-odd years ago.

mexico city boats
Glow Images/Getty Images

Party on a Boat

If you’re here celebrating an occasion—say, a birthday or a bachelorette party—head about an hour south to Xochimilco, an area marked by winding canals dotted with trajineras: colorfully painted boats that are sort of like gondolas. Rent one for an hour or an entire day and you’ll be treated to a floating party of sorts, complete with mariachi bands, drink vendors and other boatfuls of revelers. (Keep an eye out for the reportedly haunted—and definitely eerie—Island of the Dolls.) 

Catch a Lucha Libre Fight 

We admit that we wouldn’t have thought this would be our kind of thing, but holy theatrics, Batman. It’s an incredibly entertaining way to spend an evening. (If you watched GLOW, you might have some idea.) Matches take place three times a week and tickets are usually $20 or less, so you’ll definitely have cash left over to buy your own luchador mask outside. 

purewow author


From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.