Best Things To Do in Mexico City

Mexico City is a vibrant destination full of history that offers many tourist attractions for visitors. Here are some of the best things to do.

Andressa García

Andressa García

13 min read

Best Things To Do in Mexico City

Mexico | ©Ricky Esquivel

If you visit this city, it is essential that you go to the historic center, where you will find places such as the Zócalo, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. Not far from the historic center, you can visit the Coyoacán neighborhood, known for its plazas and cobblestone streets, as well as Frida Kahlo's house-museum, La Casa Azul.

In addition, Mexico City is famous for its museums, including the National Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Modern Art and the Soumaya Museum. You should also try some of the delicious Mexican dishes offered at local restaurants, such as tacos al pastor, chiles en nogada and antojitos mexicanos (Mexican snacks) at the stalls.

1. See and photograph the Zócalo

The Zocalo| ©Kelvin Flores
The Zocalo| ©Kelvin Flores

In Mexico, many towns and cities were designed under the colonial urban layout and have a central plaza, often known as the Plaza de Armas or Zocalo, and that is just what happens with the Zocalo in Mexico City. To get to know it, I recommend you sign up for a tour of Mexico City, which will take you to see this and other important points of the city.

In the case of the Zócalo of CDMX, it is one of the largest squares in the world, with an area of about 57,000 square meters, which over the years has been the site of some of the most important events in the history of Mexico. Within this square you will find a variety of important tourist attractions, among which are the Cathedral of Mexico, the National Palace and the Templo Mayor, which are notable buildings within this area.

But besides being considered one of the most important monuments and historical sites in the city, the Zócalo is also famous for hosting numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including film screenings, concerts and theatrical performances, which if you can witness any of them, you can experience the local culture and Mexican diversity.

Another thing you can do near this place is to enjoy a good Mexican meal in one of the nearby restaurants. Among those places to sample the Mexican flavor is the El Mayor cafeteria, where you can see incredible panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace.

Details of interest

  • Price: you don't have to pay anything to visit this place because it is a public space.
  • Hours: the Zócalo has no visiting hours, so you can go whenever you want and stay as long as you want.
  • Location: the Zócalo of Mexico is located in the center of Mexico City.

Sign up for a tour of Mexico City

2. Visit the interior of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City

Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico| ©Carl Campbell
Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico| ©Carl Campbell

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico is one of the most impressive architectural monuments in Mexico City, and it is right in the Zocalo. What will catch your attention the most when you visit it will be its huge baroque style structure. And if you take a guided tour you will have the opportunity to learn about its history, so this visit is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Mexico City.

The cathedral was built over the ancient Templo Mayor of the Aztec civilization and its construction began in 1573 and was completed in 1813 after 240 years, which makes it a special building in the city. Inside the cathedral you will be able to see different beautiful spaces, among which stand out the Chapel of the Kings with its altarpieces and pilasters of Churrigueresque style.

You can also see inside, its beautiful vaults, structures and imposing domes that make it a true visual spectacle. But, in addition to its beauty, the cathedral keeps some secrets inside, such as the crypt where the remains of emblematic figures of Mexico's history are kept, including the most prominent bishops and archbishops.

Details of interest

  • Price: to take a guided tour of the Cathedral of Mexico you will have to pay a little more than 29 euros per person.
  • Hours: you can enter the facilities between 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., every day.
  • Location: the Metropolitan Cathedral is located in the heart of the Historic Center of Mexico City, specifically in the Plaza de la Constitución, also known as the Zócalo.

Sign up for one of the best activities in Mexico City

3. Take a tour through the streets of Mexico City

Getting to know Mexico| ©Caroline Cooke
Getting to know Mexico| ©Caroline Cooke

One of the things you can not miss in the city, is to sign up for a tour through the historic center of Mexico City, and a good way to do it is on one of the best bike tours in CDMX, because this way you can enjoy the scenery and the weather in a more fun way.

This kind of tours are usually guided, so your guide will take you through the main places of interest, starting with the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, a fascinating Mexican temple that is integrated as an important part of the history of the Mexican people. You will learn about the culture and history of the region and right after you will go to see the Metropolitan Cathedral.

After seeing the Cathedral you will explore the Central Mall, the Post Office building and the Santo Domingo Church, all of which have a rich history and architecture to admire. In addition, you will be able to appreciate the baroque architecture of the Casa de los Azulejos, which is one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City.

Your guide will also take you to some of the most important theaters and art centers in the city, such as the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Teatro de la Ciudad. By the end of the tour you will have learned much of the history and most important historical monuments of Mexico City.

Details of interest

  • Price: you will have to pay around 60 euros per person to enjoy this bike tour.
  • Duration: the experience will take about 5 hours to complete.
  • Location: the tour starts at the point established by the tour guide and you will get to know most of the important sites of the city.

Sign up for a bike tour of Mexico City

4. Embark on an excursion to Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan| ©Javier Ogeros
Teotihuacan| ©Javier Ogeros

The adventure is not only in Mexico City, in fact, one of the things you can do in the city, is to sign up for an excursion from Mexico City to Teotihuacan. To do so, I recommend you coordinate a guided experience in which you leave the city on your way to the also known as the City of the Gods.

To Teotihuacan you will arrive early in the morning, to avoid the long lines and crowds of tourists. You will begin your tour by exploring the Pyramid of the Sun, the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, the Causeway of the Dead, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.

During the experience you will also have the opportunity to visit a workshop operated by a local Teotihuacan family, where you can taste traditional cactus-based drinks, such as the classic tequila, mezcal and pulque. Before returning to Mexico City, you will have free time to enjoy the delicious variety of Mexican dishes offered by the stalls near the archaeological site.

Details of interest

  • Price: The excursions have different prices. Adults will have to pay around 33 euros, while children from 3 to 11 years old will pay around 30 euros, and those under 3 years old get in for free.
  • Schedule: the activity has a duration of 9 hours and is done with an expert guide in Mexican history and culture.
  • Location: Teotihuacan is located in the central region of Mexico, in the state of Mexico, northeast of Mexico City.

Sign up for an excursion from Mexico City to Teotihuacán

5. Take a night tour in an open top bus

Bus tour| ©Michel Charbonneau
Bus tour| ©Michel Charbonneau

One of the things you have to try is getting on the Mexico City sightseeing bus. Although the idea of taking the convertible bus tour at night in CDMX is an even more special activity. During the ride you will be able to see the city from a different perspective and feel its vibrant nightlife while you get to know the most iconic spaces of its streets.

This tour will take place at sunset, so while the sun sets on the horizon, you can visit landmarks such as the Independence Monument, one of the most recognized symbols of Mexico, which is about 45 meters high. You can also see the Diana Cazadora fountain, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes building, which combines art nouveau and art deco styles.

In addition, you can see other historic places under the night light and neon lights of the city, such as the historic center and Paseo de la Reforma, places where you can enjoy the modern buildings and monuments of the city. This type of tour usually lasts a little more than an hour and a quarter and is offered by private car. Usually your tour guide will offer you a ride back to your hotel or accommodation.

Details of interest

  • Price: you will have to pay between 15 and 20 euros per person for this experience.
  • Duration: the tour usually lasts one hour and fifteen minutes and takes place after sunset.
  • Location: the meeting point must be coordinated with your tour guide, although it is usually at the Capital Bus Stop Zócalo.

Buy a ticket to enjoy the Mexico City Bus Tour

6. Go to a Mexican wrestling show

Wrestling in Mexico| ©Emilio Olivares
Wrestling in Mexico| ©Emilio Olivares

For a wrestling experience in Mexico City you will have to go to the iconic Arena Mexico stadium, which is known as the cathedral of Mexican wrestling. Here you will be able to witness a special version of Olympic wrestling, which is characterized mainly by its spectacular acrobatics and daring jumps out of the ring.

If there is one thing you will notice about this show, it is that it is a unique blend of sport and performance that is as popular in Mexico as soccer. The wrestlers wear masks to hide their real identity and create characters that are often idolized by their fans.

The live Mexican wrestling show that you will see at Arena Mexico consists of two or three rounds, and while you watch the show, you will have an audio guide that will give you details about all the keys to the show, which also lasts approximately three hours. As for the technical characteristics of the stadium, you should know that it was built in 1956, and is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world of wrestling.

Details of interest

  • Price: you will have to pay around 35 euros per person. Children from 2 to 11 years old will pay around 25 euros and children under 2 years old get in for free.
  • Schedule: the show lasts approximately 3 to 4 hours, and usually takes place in the evenings.
  • Location: Arena Mexico is located at Dr. Lavista 189, Doctores de Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City.

Live the wrestling experience in Mexico City

7. Dinner at the Bellini revolving restaurant

At Bellini Restaurant| ©Hernán García Crespo
At Bellini Restaurant| ©Hernán García Crespo

A good way to start a good gastronomic tour in Mexico City is to enjoy a unique dining experience at the Bellini revolving restaurant. It is a restaurant that operates from the heights of the 45th floor of the World Trade Center. The most attractive thing about this place is that you can enjoy 360-degree panoramic views while tasting the flavors of international and Mexican cuisine.

I recommend you to go to Bellini restaurant at nightfall and get ready to enjoy an exquisite three-course dinner while enjoying the extraordinary 360-degree panoramic views of Mexico City illuminated by neon and night light. The best part of the experience is that while you are tasting the dishes, the restaurant's dining room is in progressive rotation, allowing you to contemplate views of the capital from different angles.

Interesting details

  • Price: you will have to pay around 68 euros per person to enjoy the experience.
  • Duration: you can stay in the restaurant for as long as you want. Open until late at night.
  • Location: located on the 45th floor of the World Trade Center in Mexico City.

Join a gastronomic tour in Mexico City

8. Visit the neighborhoods of Xochimilco and Coyoacán

Xochimilco| ©Anne and David
Xochimilco| ©Anne and David

If you travel to Mexico City for two days, I definitely recommend you to sign up for a tour of the historic neighborhood of Coyoacan, where you can learn about the legacy of Frida Kahlo. But I also recommend you to enjoy a memorable ride on a trajinera in Xochimilco.

To get to know both locations very well, I recommend you to take a guided tour that will start very early in the morning. From your hotel or place of accommodation you will go straight to discover the Roma, which is known for its numerous restaurants, museums, galleries, parks and stores. Then you will go to the Condesa, where you will see majestic mansions and tree-lined streets.

Later, after visiting Plaza Mexico, you will go to Coyoacan, where you can visit the church of San Juan Bautista, the fountain of the Coyotes and the House-Museum of Frida Kahlo. Your guide will help you review the legacy of this woman who is one of Mexico' s most famous artists. In addition, this is an excellent experience to get to know some of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City.

Right after, you will go with your guide to the idyllic district of Xochimilco, where I recommend you to let yourself go and enjoy a quiet ride on a traditional trajinera.

Details of interest

  • Price: you will have to pay around 55 euros per adult. Children under 3 years old ride for free.
  • Duration: the whole tour lasts approximately 8 hours.
  • Location: you will leave from Mexico City to visit the neighborhoods of Xochimilco and Coyoacan, which are located in the south and south-central area of the city, respectively.

Meet some of the best neighborhoods in CDMX

9. Climb the Torre Latinoamericana

Latinoamericana Tower| ©Alvaro Sánchez
Latinoamericana Tower| ©Alvaro Sánchez

The Torre Latinoamericana in Mexico City is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, so it's a must-see if you're visiting CDMX. It is the tallest skyscraper in the capital, so you can see from the viewpoint of its 44th floor, breathtaking views of the city. Among the iconic places you will have a panoramic view of are the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City and the Palace of Fine Arts, among other emblematic buildings.

As for its function as a professional building in the center of the city, the Torre Latinoamericana is an office tower that houses several companies and organizations. But also inside you can find a museum dedicated to the history of the tower and Mexico City. In addition, I recommend you buy a ticket to the Torre Latinoamericana to go up to the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower, where you can enjoy a good meal while enjoying the panoramic views of the city.

Details of interest

  • Price: to enjoy the views from the tower you will have to pay between 8 and 11 euros per person, depending on age.
  • Duration: you can stay inside as long as you want.
  • Location: the Torre Latinoamericana is located on the corner of Madero and Lázaro Cárdenas streets and on the corner of Francisco I. Madero, in the Cuahutémoc Delegation in the Historic Center of Mexico City.

Buy your tickets to go up the Torre Latinoamericana in CDMX

10. Go to see the Ballet Folklórico de México

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico| ©Gary Ashcavai
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico| ©Gary Ashcavai

During your stay in Mexico City, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy the show of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico of Amalia Hernandez. Generally, this type of Mexican folkloric dance event happens when the sun goes down, so it is one of the best things to see and do in Mexico City at night.

The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico company is an ambassador of Mexico's folk arts, with their show being performed in over 60 countries around the world and having toured more than 100 times internationally. The best thing about this show is that you can enjoy a night full of color and joy while the dancers take you to know the different regions of the country through their costumes and choreographies.

Details of interest

  • Price: to enjoy this show you will have to pay around 95 euros per person.
  • Duration: the artistic show usually lasts about three hours.
  • Location: depending on the month you go, the ballet will take place in a different location, although the most popular places to enjoy the ballet are the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris.

11. Visit the Basilica of Guadalupe

Basilica of Guadalupe| ©Kirk K
Basilica of Guadalupe| ©Kirk K

To discover the cultural and religious richness of Mexico, I recommend you sign up for a guided tour of the Basilica of Guadalupe where you can admire the most outstanding religious monuments, including the Expiatory Temple of Christ the King, the New Basilica and the Chapel of Pocito.

If you sign up for this guided tour, you can also visit the New Basilica, where your guide will explain everything you need to know about the Virgin of Guadalupe and her significance for Mexicans and believers around the world.

Details of interest

  • Price: these guided experiences around the city and especially in the Basilica of Guadalupe, you can find them for about 15 euros per person.
  • Duration: it will take you approximately 1 hour and a half to 2 hours to complete the tour.
  • Location: the Basilica of Guadalupe is located in the Gustavo A. Madero district of Mexico City, specifically near the Cerro del Tepeyac.