10 Things to Do in Mexico City in January

January is part of the winter in Mexico City, but the activities do not stop and if you plan to visit the city during the first month of the year, you can discover the local culture through fairs and festivals. Here are some of the best options.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Mexico City in January

Metropolitan Cathedral | ©Carl Campbell

If you are planning to visit Mexico City in January, you will find the Mexican winter, which while not too cold, can be a bit windy during the cold days, but it is also an ideal month to discover the local culture through the annual events, many of which are available for the whole family.

Among the best things to see and do in Mexico City in January are attending the Festival del Centro Histórico, participating in the Jazz Festival, experiencing Three Kings Day in El Zócalo, attending the season opening at the Tamayo Museum, visiting the International Tourism Festival and getting to know local flavors at the Feria de la Gastronomía típica.

1. Get to know Mexico's culture at the Festival del Centro Histórico (Historic Downtown Festival)

Historic Downtown Festival| ©Milton Martínez
Historic Downtown Festival| ©Milton Martínez

Mexico is a country rich in history and culture, and one of the best ways you can find to immerse yourself in it is through the Historic Downtown Festival held in January in Mexico City.

This internationally renowned festival attracts artists, musicians and dancers from all over Mexico and around the world, offering a wide variety of cultural events in the iconic spaces of the city's historic downtown. From traditional and modern music concerts, to folkloric and contemporary dance performances, to art and theater exhibits, this festival offers options for all tastes.

The event also features a number of culinary options that allow visitors to sample some of the most representative dishes of Mexican cuisine. From tacos and tamales to mole and pozole, there is a wide variety of delicious dishes that can be enjoyed at the numerous food stands that line the streets of the historic center and are often included in gastronomic tours of Mexico.

In addition to being a cultural event, this festival is also an opportunity to explore the city's monuments and historic sites. During the festival, many of the emblematic sites in the historic center offer guided tours and special activities for visitors, especially the best museums in Mexico City.

Book tickets for a tour of Mexico City

2. Enjoy the Mexico City Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival| ©salva1745
Jazz Festival| ©salva1745

If you're a jazz fan, there's no better place to visit in January in Mexico City than the Jazz Festival. This annual event brings together some of the best national and international jazz artists in a unique musical celebration that attracts a multitude of jazz lovers from all over the world.

The festival is held in different venues throughout the city such as concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs, offering a wide range of live music options for all tastes. From traditional jazz to modern jazz, funk and blues, all styles are represented.

However, this festival is not only about live music, you will also be able to attend workshops and master classes for musicians of all ages and levels, taught by some of the festival's most prominent artists. Generally, most of these activities take place in Polanco, which is one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City.

In addition, the festival offers a wide variety of gastronomic options for attendees. Near the concerts you will find food stands and restaurants offering traditional and contemporary dishes that you can enjoy while listening to live music.

Book a food tour in Polanco

3. Experience the opening of the season at the Museo Tamayo

Chapultepec Forest| ©luuzzy :)
Chapultepec Forest| ©luuzzy :)

If you are passionate about contemporary art, you can't miss the season opening at the Tamayo Museum in January in Mexico City. This event marks the beginning of a new season of exhibitions, where the museum presents the works of some of the most important artists in the contemporary art world.

The Tamayo Museum, located in the Bosque de Chapultepec, is one of the most important museums in Mexico City and is known for its large collection of contemporary art. During the season opening, you can explore the new exhibitions and get a first glimpse of the artists' works that will be presented throughout the year.

In addition to the exhibitions, the season opening at Museo Tamayo also features a wide variety of cultural activities such as artist talks, guided tours, film screenings and live music.

Museo Tamayo offers a unique experience for those who prefer contemporary art. With a wide variety of exhibitions and activities, the season opening is an ideal opportunity to learn about the latest trends in contemporary art and immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico City.

Book tickets to visit Chapultepec Castle

4. Participate in a local experience at the National Enchilada Fair

Enchiladas| ©camknows
Enchiladas| ©camknows

If you are looking to experience local culture and gastronomy, you can't miss the Feria Nacional de la Enchilada. This event brings together some of the best chefs and restaurants from all over the country to offer a wide variety of dishes that feature the enchilada, a Mexican dish consisting of a corn tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese, beans, chicken and vegetables and topped with chili sauce.

This fair is very popular with locals and tourists alike, offering a unique and authentic experience of Mexican gastronomy. During the fair, visitors can sample a wide variety of enchiladas, from the most traditional to the most creative and innovative.

In addition to food, the fair also features a wide variety of cultural activities and live entertainment, such as music, folkloric dances and games for children. It also offers nighttime activities, making it one of the best things to do at night in Mexico City.

If you are planning to visit the Mexican capital in January, this event is a unique opportunity to explore the culture and interact with the local community and culinary traditions of Mexico.

Book your place on a night tour in Mexico City

5. Discover the season's premieres at the Jewish Film Festival

Enjoying the movies| ©Jake Hills
Enjoying the movies| ©Jake Hills

If you are a film buff, in January you can discover the Jewish Film Festival, an annual event that presents the best new releases of the season. This festival is an ideal opportunity to discover new stories and explore the rich Jewish culture through the big screen.

The Jewish Film Festival is held at various venues in Mexico City and features a wide variety of films in different genres, from dramas to comedies, documentaries and short films. In addition, the event also features guest directors and actors, providing an opportunity to meet the creators behind the films.

In addition to the selection of films, the Jewish Film Festival also offers a variety of cultural activities, such as lectures, workshops and exhibitions, allowing visitors to further explore Jewish culture and its influence on contemporary society.

6. Attend the Mexico International Tourism Trade Fair

Mexico International Tourism Fair| ©Gobierno de Oaxaca
Mexico International Tourism Fair| ©Gobierno de Oaxaca

The International Tourism Fair, also known as FITUR, is one of the most important events of the year for the tourism industry in Mexico. If you are a travel lover and are looking to learn about the latest trends and tourist destinations in the country, you can't miss this fair in January.

FITUR is an ideal opportunity to interact with tourism experts, tour operators and representatives of different destinations and attractions from all over Mexico. During the fair, you can learn about the latest products and services, participate in activities and workshops, and make contacts with people and companies related to the tourism sector.

In addition to offering tourism products and services, FITUR Mexico also features cultural activities such as exhibitions, contests and gastronomic events, allowing visitors to experience Mexico's rich culture and traditions.

7. Taste local flavors at the Rosca and Chocolate Fair

Chocolate Fair| ©Dimitri dF
Chocolate Fair| ©Dimitri dF

If during your trip you want to discover the most interesting sweet flavors of Mexico, you can visit the Rosca and Chocolate Fair, where you can taste a variety of typical desserts, such as roscas de reyes, traditional sweet and savory tamales, and the famous Mexican hot chocolate.

In addition to food, the fair also features a variety of cultural activities, such as live music, traditional dances and fireworks shows. There are also exhibits and workshops that allow visitors to learn more about the history and culture behind the local flavors.

The Rosca and Chocolate Fair is a unique opportunity to experience some of Mexico's most authentic flavors, and is an excellent choice for those looking to immerse themselves in Mexican culture and traditions.

In addition, you will be able to tour it in a short time since it is not a very large fair, which will be ideal if you are planning a short stay. If that is your case, here is a list of activities to discover Mexico City in 3 days.

8. Experience Three Kings Day in Mexico City

Three Kings Day| ©Jose Javier Martin
Three Kings Day| ©Jose Javier Martin

Three Kings Day is one of the most important celebrations in Mexico, especially for children. In Mexico City, this date is celebrated in a special way, with many activities and traditions that make the experience unforgettable.

In Mexico City the festivities begin on the eve of Three Kings Day, when families gather to cut the Rosca de Reyes, a crown-shaped cake that is decorated with frosted fruits.

Inside the Rosca de Reyes, there are one or more little dolls representing the Baby Jesus, and the people who find them are responsible for organizing a party for Candlemas Day, which you can enjoy if you plan to stay in Mexico City in February. This is a very fun and exciting tradition for children and adults alike.

Besides the Rosca de Reyes, in Mexico City there are many other activities to celebrate this day. In the Zócalo, the main square of the city, there is a Three Kings Fair with attractions, shows, food and handicraft stands. In addition, you can also find parades and processions in different neighborhoods of the city, where children can see the Three Kings in person and receive candy and gifts.

9. Attend the International Children's and Young People's Book Fair

Person Reading| ©Joel Muniz
Person Reading| ©Joel Muniz

If you're planning to visit Mexico City with children, the International Children's and Young People's Book Fair is an event you might want to include on the itinerary. Held every January, this annual festival is one of the most important of its kind in Latin America and attracts writers, publishers and reading lovers from around the world.

This fair offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages. You will find book presentations, author talks, writing and illustration workshops and interactive activities for the whole family.

The fair also features a wide range of national and international book exhibitors and publishers, providing a unique opportunity to explore new titles and discover emerging authors. The fairgrounds are located in the Miguel Hidalgo delegation, which can be reached by public transportation or by Mexico City's hop-on-hop-off tourist buses.

In addition, the fair offers a unique opportunity to promote reading among children and young people. Visitors can participate in activities to encourage reading, meet authors of children's and young adult books, and attend workshops designed to inspire their creativity.

Book tickets for the Mexico City sightseeing bus

10. Visit the Typical Mexican Gastronomy Fair

Tlalpeño broth| ©Armando Cortez
Tlalpeño broth| ©Armando Cortez

The Feria de la Gastronomía Típica de México is an event that takes place in January and brings together chefs and cooks from all over the country to present the best of Mexican gastronomy in a variety of dishes from all regions of Mexico, from tacos al pastor from Mexico City to tamales from Oaxaca, to chiles en nogada from Puebla and seafood from the coast.

At this fair, you will be able to discover Mexico's winter gastronomy, but also dishes from other seasons. In addition, the fair also promotes cultural and artistic activities such as musical shows and exhibitions of regional crafts and textiles.

This event will give you a unique opportunity to get to know the diversity of Mexican gastronomy and experience the cultural richness of the country. In addition, you will be able to support the small businesses and local producers participating in the event.

Temperatures in Mexico City in January

Houses in Mexico| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd
Houses in Mexico| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd

Mexico City is a city with a mild climate all year round, although in January, winter is in full swing, so temperatures can be a bit cooler. The average temperature ranges from 7° to 21°, which means that days can be cold, especially in the morning and at night, while during the day the sun can be quite warm.

However, the weather in Mexico City in January can be unpredictable, so I recommend that you pack adequate clothing for the cold, such as coats, sweaters and scarves, but also light clothing for the warmer days. Also keep in mind that temperatures can vary drastically depending on the altitude, something that also happens in Mexico City in summer.

The influx of tourists in Mexico City in January

Touring Mexico| ©africankelli africankelli
Touring Mexico| ©africankelli africankelli

January, despite being part of the winter in Mexico, generates an increase in the influx of tourists due to the various cultural events and festivals that take place during that month. In addition, it is a time when many tourists enjoy school and work vacations, which makes it a perfect time to visit the city.

Although the influx of tourists can be high in January, the city has a wide variety of lodging options, from budget hotels to luxury hotels, which allows all tourists to find an option that fits their budget and needs. However, you should keep in mind that some attractions may be more crowded than usual.

Prices in Mexico City in January

Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

Prices in Mexico City in January may vary depending on the type of service required and the area of the city where you are located. In general, the capital offers a wide range of options in terms of accommodation, food and entertainment, which allows prices to be affordable for all budgets.

However, you should keep in mind that in January there may be some price increases due to the high tourist demand that is registered in the city at this time of year, especially in accommodation and tourist activities. Therefore, I recommend you to book in advance to get better prices and better lodging and tourism options.

What to pack to visit Mexico City in January?

Luggage| ©tookapic
Luggage| ©tookapic

In January the weather can be very changeable in Mexico City, but it is still part of the Mexican winter, so I recommend that you include the following in your suitcase:

  • Warm T-shirt
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Light pants
  • Sunglasses
  • Wool coat
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Wool sweater