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Things to do in Mexico City

Things to do in  Mexico City

Welcome to Mexico City

Colonial architecture, urban energy, and Mayan heritage have overridden Mexico City’s formerly negative reputation. Travelers flock to Central America’s largest metropolis and Mexico’s cultural and official capital for tacos, tequila, and temples. Top draws for culture connoisseurs include Coyoacán, a small town replete with cobbled streets and colorful 16th-century mansions and the Frida Kahlo Museum, which lends itself well to walking tours—often combined with a boat ride along the canals of nearby Xochimilco. Within the city, the Centro Historico, built atop ancient Tenochtitlán, holds much of the city’s living history, while the Museum of Anthropology holds history long since carved in stone. Teotihuacan’s pyramids, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are best discovered on an early morning tour to avoid crowds and scorching midday heat—alternatively, take a hot-air balloon ride over the archaeological site. Either way, a licensed guide to explain the meaning and history adds much-needed context to a visit to the ancient structures. Outdoor adventurers find stunning city views after hiking to the summit of the Iztaccihuatl Volcano; fans of Mexican wrestling can capture the sport’s wild spirit during a lucha libre match; and gourmands can sample culinary classics such as tostadas and tamales on market and food tours. Puebla (City of Angels) and Cholula, famed for gorgeous colonial architecture and dramatic volcanic backdrops, both make for easy day-trips from CDMX. If you’re spending more time in Mexico, the capital serves as a convenient gateway to other top vacation destinations, including Acapulco, Guadalajara, and Oaxaca.

Top 10 attractions in Mexico City



Just north of Mexico City are the mysterious Teotihuacán Pyramids, built beginning around 300 BC as the centerpiece of an enormous city, often compared to ancient Rome. They were inexplicably abandoned centuries before the arrival of the Aztecs, who called the ancient architectural marvel the "Birthplace of the Gods." Neither they, nor modern archaeologists, have been able to unravel the secrets of these massive ruins, presided over by the third-largest pyramid in the world. Constructed according to precise astronomical measurements, and filled with the bodies of sacrificial victims, it was perhaps a place where bloody rituals were performed to keep the end of the world at bay. But no one really knows. Thus, this mystic spot is one of the most enigmatic, as well as impressive, archaeological sites in North America. Its vast stone expanse of humbling temples are still covered with rich and detailed stone statues, even faded paintings.More


Perfumed with flowers and plied by trajineras, a sort of gondola cheerfully painted to reflect the canals' lush beauty, the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco were once the agricultural breadbasket of Mexico City. Today, these last lovely remnants of ancient Lake Texcoco are more a destination for young lovers and enchanted tourists in search of a romantic afternoon. Though most of the Aztecs' massive system of canals have long since been drained, the suburb of Xochimilco ("Place of Flowers") offers a glimpse into the ancient beauty of of Tenochtitlán. The "floating gardens" that once fed the great nation are smaller, but still here; the trajineras may now come equipped with engines, but they are still festively decorated, and many carry troupes of mariachis and offer relaxed "restaurant" service.More

Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo)

La Casa Azul, or the Blue House, was the birthplace of iconic artist Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954), whose beautifully tortured self portraits and passionate, tumultuous life with muralist Diego Rivera have elevated her to the status of legend. Her home, today one of Mexico City's most popular museums, doesn't have an outstanding collection of her own work, though there are several sketches and less famous pieces to see. Instead, the rooms and gardens - still in much the same state as she left them - offer insight into her life as a wife, lover, artist, and hub of the city's (and Latin America's) socialist intellectual scene during the 1920s and 1930s. The tender details, from her brushes and canvasses, the pre-Columbian art collected by her husband, and even the prosthetic leg she wore in the months before her untimely death, will touch even casual visitors to the Museo Frida Kahlo.More


Villa Coyoacan is 29 blocks of one of Mexico City’s most charming districts. Also one of the area’s oldest districts, the area is filled with cobblestone streets, counterculture museums, and small park plazas that date back to Spanish colonial times and have an absolutely charming feel. Independently ranked as one of the best urban places to live, Coyoacan is where Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Leon Trotsky all chose to reside, and museums dedicated to them now fill their old houses. Tranquil on the weekdays, filled with culture and music come the weekend, Coyoacan is more than simply a nice neighborhood – it’s a hotbed of culture and a must-see if in Mexico City.More

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe)

The Patron Saint of Mexico, and of all the Americas, is the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to legend, she appeared to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on December 9, 1531. In his vision, she was a teenage girl of indigenous complexion, and spoke to the recently baptized Aztec in his native Nahuatl. There, atop Tepeyac Hill, she asked him to build a shrine in her honor. When the Spanish priests refused to believe Juan Diego's tale, she gave him a sign: Roses in December, and the miraculous painting, echoed all over the world, and still revered today. Today, the Shrine of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic religious site on Earth, and pilgrims attribute to her image all manner of miracles. They pack the enormous basilica, designed to offer a fine view of her image from anywhere within, asking her help with everything from relationship woes to healing terminal cancer.More

Plaza de la Constitución (Zocalo)

Located at the heart of Mexico City in the center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, Plaza de la Constitucion—better known as Zocalo—is where old and new Mexico meet. Pre-Hispanic ruins exist side-by-side with impressive colonial structures, and white-collar workers stroll among cultural performers and traditional art vendors. This city-block square is also a gathering place for political protest and cultural celebration—and it’s an ideal spot to savor the flavor of real Mexico City. Tour nearby Palacio Nacional, just east of Zocalo, where massive murals by Diego Rivera depict the nation’s vibrant history. Next, pass through the doors of Catedral Matropolitana for a look at religious colonial art and impressive golden altars. When it’s time for a break head to the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, where incredible views and strong drinks from the terrace bar round out the perfect day.More

Centro Historico

Mexico City's Centro Historico was once called Tenochtitlán, founded in 1325 atop a an island in Lake Texcoco. The seers of the wandering Aztec tribe had received a vision, telling to found their great city in a spot where an eagle, perched on a cactus, was devouring a serpent. Their quest ended here. The lake has long since been drained, though the eagle still flies over the old island - today enormous Plaza del la Constitución (more commonly called the Zócalo) - as part of an enormous Mexican flag. The seat of government since Aztec times, the Centro Historico is surrounded by fantastic architecture from every age: The Templo Mayor, an Aztec Temple that was once North America's most important; the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest and oldest cathedral in the hemisphere; and the Torre Latinoamericana, once the tallest building in Latin America, and still one of the world's largest earthquake-resistant structures.More

National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)

It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring the nearly 20 acres that make up Mexico City’s most-visited museum. Opened in 1964, the National Museum of Anthropology houses the largest collection of traditional Mexican art in the world—including the famous Aztec Stone of the Sun (Although the giant carved heads from the Olmec people, uncovered deep in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, are equally impressive). Each of the museum’s 23 permanent exhibit halls is dedicated to a different cultural region or indigenous group, making it an ideal place to learn about the country’s rich history and the traditions of its diverse capital city.More

Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes)

Considered one of the world's most beautiful buildings, the Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts - or Palacio de Bellas Artes - is a harmonious synthesis of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Baroque styles, a style sometimes called "Porfiriano," after architecture-obsessed Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, who commissioned the project. The exterior, surrounded with gardens, rises in elegant columns and domes above the cool, green Alameda Central. Inside, it is an exceptional art exhibition, filled with a permanent collection of statues, murals, and other outstanding ornamentation. In addition, there are regular world-class art exhibitions open to the public. In addition to its daytime attractions, you can appreciate the building's acoustic excellence by enjoying a performance at its National Theater. International artists appear regularly, but try to catch Mexico City's own Ballet Folklórico de México Compania Nacional or National Symphonic Orchestra.More

National Palace (Palacio Nacional)

The seat of Mexico's federal government since the age of the Aztecs (at least), the National Palace - or Palacio Nacional - is a working building, and many offices are off limits to visitors. You can, however, pass through the enormous baroque facade dominating the eastern side of the Zócalo and enjoy some of its ample interior. Though the arcaded courtyards and fountains are fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture, you're here to see artist Diego Rivera's triptych of murals, "Epic of the Mexican People." From the creation of humankind by Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent god, and subsequent rise of the Aztecs, Rivera plunges you into the horrors of the Spanish Conquest - rape, murder, slavery, and finally, mercy to the defeated survivors. In the final piece, Mexico's resistance to invasions by France, the United States, and corporate robber barons including Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, are depicted.More

Trip ideas

Ways to Experience Mexican Culture in Mexico City

Ways to Experience Mexican Culture in Mexico City

Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City

Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City

How to Spend 3 Days in Mexico City

How to Spend 3 Days in Mexico City

Top activities in Mexico City

Private Tour: Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine

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Private Tour: Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine

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Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, Guadalupe Shrine and Tequila Tasting Tour

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Small Group: Discover Xochimilco, Coyoacán, Frida Kahlo Museum and House

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Recent reviews from experiences in Mexico City

Great introduction to downtown Mexico City
Simon_R, Oct 2020
Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Emiliano was very knowledgeable guide, spoke great English, paced the tour well and provided an interesting commentary throughout our tour.
Carmen_C, Oct 2020
Small-Group Teotihuacan Pyramids from Mexico City
Also her English was excellent.
Is it weird to go on a tour during a pandemic? Yes, but it's also very memorable!
Xian, Nov 2020
Tour to the Pyramids of Teotihuacán and Basilica of Guadalupe
For my first-ever full day in Mexico City, I decided to book the English-language version of this tour.
Mexico City is Amazinh
Connor, Oct 2020
Mexico City Layover Tour: Downtown City Sightseeing
All in all an incredible tour, a great way to see the city, and very safe, masks and social distance the whole way.
Private Guide-Driver Mexico City Sept 2020 - Frida, Rivera, Post Office, Revolution Monument
MARK_H, Sep 2020
Mexico City: Customizable Tour with a Private Guide & Transportation
Just to advise - I wanted to see -- Frida Kahlo's House -- the Post Office - The Rivera Mural and the Monument of the Revolution.
Lianglu_O, Mar 2020
Teotihuacan Morning Tour with an Archeologist and Tequila Tasting
Nice experience, the necessary place to visit when you come to Mexico City.
Great Cultural and Historical Experience
Jewel, Mar 2020
Teotihuacan Morning Tour with an Archeologist and Tequila Tasting
He was transparent about what was happening, what we were doing and a great communicator in both a English and Spanish.
Great way to see the highlights of Mexico City!
annmarie919, Nov 2019
Xochimilco, Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour
This was the perfect way to see some of the city’s highlights in a short amount of time.
Excellent tour if you have only 2 days
conradowa, Sep 2019
Mexico City Super Saver: Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, and Guadalupe Shrine Plus Xochimilco and Frida Kahlo
Well organized tour of Mexico City most important attractions.
Great experience
algona1963, May 2019
Private Arrival Transfer from Mexico Airport to Mexico City Center
Driver was prompt, courteous, friendly, spoke great English, and I felt 100% comfortable with him.
Great day trip!
Relax22884214980, Mar 2019
Private Tour: Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine
My tour guide Brenda and my driver Pedro was excellent and it was a very wow experience to see the pyramids and learn the history of Mexico City!
Puebla and Cholula are gorgeous cities...
Zehra R, Jan 2016
Puebla and Cholula Full-Day Tour from Mexico City
Our guide, Abnar, was sweet and could explain in English really well.
A delicious introduction to Mexican...
pat23martin, Nov 2017
Polanco Food Tour in Mexico City (Private and Smalls Groups Only)
We were going to visit the Contemporary Art Museum but it was closed so check opening days if you intend to do this.
I had a great time on the tour! Our...
Vanesa V, Sep 2017
Xochimilco, Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour
The tour was perfect chance to visit such iconic places and learn the history behind them.
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It was...
Bob, Jan 2018
Puebla and Cholula Full-Day Tour from Mexico City
It was sad to see the damage to the architecture because of the recent earthquake.
This was a fantastic way to spend a...
Kathy W, Apr 2018
Mexico City Layover Tour: Downtown City Sightseeing
I got to experience some of the major attractions as well some local, authentic experiences.
Great day tour to see incredible...
Antonio H, Jun 2017
Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, Guadalupe Shrine and Tequila Tasting Tour
Great day tour to see incredible pyramids, the beautiful Basilica although would've been nice to spend more time there, and get a real feel for the culture and flavor of the greater Mexico City area.
Our tour guide Evelyn was the best...
Andrew S, Jan 2017
Mexico City Original Markets & Street Food Tour
It was easy getting around with her guiding us and I would recommend this for anyone looking to see authentic markets and different parts of Mexico City.
Our guide was great. His English was...
Deborah M S, Apr 2017
Mexico City Private Tour
His English was a little bit difficult to understand, but he made up for that with his friendliness and knowledge of Mexico City and it's history He reviewed the other tours we had signed up for, and then took us to sites and museums to cover the res
We had an excellent private English...
lamb0000, Oct 2016
From Mexico City: Private Tour to Teotihuacan Pyramids with Tequila Tasting
We had an excellent private English speaking tour guide.

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