Heading Mexico City and looking for the best recommendations? Then you’re in the right place! In this article, I will share the best 4-day itinerary in Mexico City to make sure you have the BEST time in this beautiful, vibrant city.
Between sharing our estimated times, prices, and routes, with this guide you won’t need to spend hours researching online. And the best part: this guide was written by a Mexican local, so get ready to have a true Mexican experience!
- Is Mexico City Safe?
- Top Rated Tours in Mexico City
- Mexico City Day 1: Exploring Centro Historico & Zocalo
- Where to Have Dinner in Mexico City?
- Mexico City Day 2: Teotihuacan + Tlatelolco
- Mexico City Day 3: City Sights + Nightlife
- Mexico City Day 4: Coyoacan & Xochimilco
- Final Recommendations and FAQs on Mexico City
Is Mexico City Safe?
Mexico City is unlike no other place in the world. With streets full of history, vibrant music, and food with unique flavors, it is a place that everyone needs to visit at least once.
However, I’m sure that in the forefront of your mind, you’re wondering, is Mexico City safe? The answer is yes.
In reality, petty crime can happen in Mexico City, however, with that being said, this occurs in any city in the world. Compared to other South American capitals, Mexico City is relatively safe and secure, just as long as you know which places to avoid.
In this particular 4-day Itinerary, we made sure to only recommend places that are safe for tourists (including solo travelers!).
With that being said, we always recommend that you keep your belongings in a purse close to you and not to walk at night in alleys or secluded areas. Anti-theft bags are a must when visiting popular cities like CDMX.
Also, make sure you have travel insurance! Although seems pretty simple, traveling with a good travel insurance is a MUST! We recommend or Safety Wing. It will come in handy if you get into any emergencies.
With that being said, let’s get started with the itinerary!
Top Rated Tours in Mexico City
The easiest way to explore Mexico City is through guided tours. Not only will it save you time and money, it is also a great way to get to know more about the history and culture of the place. Here are a few of the most popular tours that get booked month on month.
- Hot Air Balloon over Teotihuacan
- Authentic Downtown Food Tour
- Street Art Bike Tour
- Volcano Hiking Tour
Mexico City Day 1: Exploring Centro Historico & Zocalo
We’re not gonna lie, the first day after getting to a new place is usually the most tiring. That’s why the best plan you can make for this day is to visit downtown to see the sights and sounds.
Here’s our recommended downtown itinerary, including a food tour that we recommend you do!
First off, depending on what time you get in / feel like venturing out, the first thing we recommend you do is to go on a food tour.
Guided tours are a great way to get your bearings + get insight into the BEST taquerias. Here is one we recommend booking:
Authentic Downtown Food Tour– This tour starts at 11:30 and brings you around a market, street food stall, as well as popular restaurants and cantinas in the downtown area. This epic food crawl takes you around 8 different spots while getting a brief tour around the historic center.
After your food tour, it’s time to walk away all the tacos you ate! Here are a few museums and popular places of interest:
Average Time: (15 min)
Zocalo is the common name for the main square in Mexico City. The Zocalo of Mexico City will be your starting point for getting to know the city. Take 15 – 20 minutes to walk around, admiring the surroundings by this beautiful square. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find festivals, street music, vendors, and food around the area.
Here you’ll see the Cathedral, the National Palace, the Palace of Fine Arts, and all the must-see places on your trip. All these stops are a few steps away, so once you get there you can walk to move to each one.
How to get there?
- By subway: Line 2 stop Zocalo / Tenochtitlan
- By bus: 1, 109, REFORMA – BICENTENARIO, RUTA 18, RUTA 71, RUTA 99
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral (30 min)
North of the Zocalo, you’ll see one of the most iconic colonial treasures and the biggest cathedral in Latin America. Construction started in the XVII and finished in the XIX century, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is considered a World Heritage site. Here, you canl admire the architectural history throughout three centuries of different styles: renaissance, baroque and neoclassic.
Average Time: 2hrs
To the right of the Zocalo Central, is the National Palace or Palacio Nacional in Spanish. Constructed in 1522 as the second private residency of Hernan Cortes, this palace is home to the Mexican president and other political figures.
Also, it’s one of the most visited places by tourists due to its impressive fountains, gardens, and murals of Diego Rivera.
National Museum of Art
Cost: Around $3
Average Time: 2 hrs
Founded in 1982, the MUNAL (Museo Nacional de Arte in Spanish) exhibits five centuries of Mexican and International Art (from 1550 to 1954). You can find around 3769 pieces out of more than 430 such as oil paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It’s totally worth a visit.
This is a great stop for those who are interested in art and history!
Palacio de Belas Artes
Cost: Around $4
Average Time: (1 – 2 hours)
Constructed during Porfirio Diaz’s presidency to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the Independence of Mexico, this art nouveau and deco-style building (called Palacio de Bellas Artes in Spanish) was founded in 1939.
It has an impressive National Theater with a glass curtain, lots of galleries and exhibition halls, a bookstore, a shop, and its own cafeteria. It’s also home to the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Theater Company, the National Opera Company, and the National Dance Company.
It is one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City and is a must stop, even if you just want to walk around the building facade.
You can visit the museum in 1 hour, but there are always temporary exhibitions that can lengthen your tour. To get to this museum you’ll have to walk 10 minutes northwest of the Zocalo.
You can check current events and exhibitions here: Palacio.bellasartes.gob.mx/cartelera.html
Mirador Torre Latino (Latin American Tower)
Cost: Around $6 if you want to enter the museum (optional) and closes at 10 pm
Average Time: (1:30 hours)
In front of the Palace of Fine arts, there’s a big tower that has the most impressive view of the city. Inside, you’ll see a museum and photography exhibition of how the building was built and destroyed due to earthquakes.
Also, on the top floor, you’ll find a rooftop bar with the most impressive view of Mexico city. We recommend getting there by sunset (around 5-7 pm) and so you can enjoy a few drinks while the sun illuminates the city behind you.
Entering the museum is optional, but going to the rooftop is a MUST.
If you want to book your tickets ahead of time to avoid lining up, you can get them here. Mexico City: Torre Latino Observation Deck Attraction Tickets.
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Where to Have Dinner in Mexico City?
After a long day full of good eats and culture, you’ll probably be very thirsty, and hungry. If you are looking for a restaurant or bar to end the day, we recommend you check out Balcón del Zócalo which is located in a popular hotel. You don’t need to be a guest to go (you only need to make a reservation in advance) but the food and the view from here is spectacular.
If you’re feeling fancy, go ahead and try one of their tasting meals- you won’t be sorry!
If you’re looking for something a bit more low-key this place hits the spot. It serves really delicious tacos in a restaurant setting, allowing you to enjoy the best street food eats in a relaxed setting.
Mexico City Day 2: Teotihuacan + Tlatelolco
The second day is all about going outside the city to visit the most important archaeological ruins near Mexico City.
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to get to these places, we recommend going on a guided tour.
Guided Tour Options
Tour Option 1: This Tour of Teotihuacan and Tlatelolco will take you to ancient Teotihuacan and the Basilica by van and includes entrance costs, guided tours, hotel pick-up, drop-off, and liquor tasting at an excellent price so you don’t have to worry about anything.
We highly recommend it to save time on transport and entrance and also have the best experience by visiting these two unmissable places.
Tour Option 2: If you want to do something a bit more unique, you can go to Teotihuacan and go on a hot air balloon flight. Through this tour, you’ll be able to explore the landscapes of the Teotihuacan Valley on a hot air balloon. Afterwards, you can enjoy breakfast & refreshments!
If you’re doing this tour, we recommend you bring a photo ID as this is a requirement! We can’t even describe how wonderful it is to admire this area from up in the air! Truly a bucket list when traveling around Mexico City.
Tour Option 3: Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine Day Tour takes you on a whirlwind trip around the famous ruins, church, and the site that was part of the capital city of the Aztec empire.
Here’s what to expect when you go on a tour visiting these areas:
Located 1 hour away from Mexico City, Teotihuacan is one of the most majestic archaeological centers in the world.
Teotihuacan, the city of gods, was inhabited from 100 a. C. until 650 AD. Thanks to its beauty, Teotihuacan was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It is a spot to visit if you want to find out more about Mexico’s history, architecture, and lifestyle of ancient civilizations.
Remember to put on sunscreen as it does get hot!
Basílica de Guadalupe
This church is one of the most visited religious destinations in the world with over 17- 20 million visitors a year. It is only surpassed by St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Upon visiting, you will see that the church is divided into 2. You have the old basilica as well as the modern basilica.
In 1921, a bomb planted by a terrorist was placed in a flower vase which caused some of the exterior parts damage. Between 1974-1976, newer and more modern additions were built to update this famous pilgrimage site.
Tlatelolco, a breathtaking Aztec archaeological site, located at Plaza de las Tres Culturas. Here, the remains of a pre-Columbian city has been found. The name Tlatelolco comes from the Nahuatl language, this city means “mound of sand” when translated. It used to be the main commercial center of the Aztec empire and is a pretty awesome place to visit if you’re interested in history!
After a full day of sightseeing, we recommend that you have dinner in a restaurant close to where you live! Later on this article, we will give you a few tips on our recommended places to stay in Mexico City
Mexico City Day 3: City Sights + Nightlife
On the third day, we’ll take you to three places that you need to visit if you are traveling in Mexico City and we’ll share a few recommended sensory experiences to immerse yourself in the Mexican atmosphere.
Average Time: 2 hours
Chapultepec Forest (or Bosque de Chapultepec in Spanish) is an urban park with an area of 678 hectares and many green spots. Here are various museums and tourist attractions.
Being on top of a hill, this place will also show off the best views of the city. Be prepared to walk a lot as you explore the surrounding areas! If you’re looking for greenery and nature while in Mexico City, this place is our go-to spot!
How to get there?
- By subway: Line 1 stop Chapultepec, line 7 stop Auditorio.
- By bus: 153, 34A, 57A, REFORMA – BICENTENARIO, RUTA 29, SIMESA.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Average Time: 2 hrs
Created in 1825, this museum (called Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Spanish) exhibits paintings and murals by 20th-century artists, as well as archeology, ethnography, museography, and other areas.
It’s one of the favorites of Mexicans and tourists alike but be warned, it is so huge that it could take you up to 5 hours to go through it if you stop to read and admire everything.
But we recommend that you don’t take more than 2 hours so you can visit more places in the area.
Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour
At noon, it’s time to take a break to eat. And what better way to try local food than touring the markets! You can do this through a tour, you can explore Colonia Roma which is a popular spot in the city for foodies. The foodie tour includes a pick up from your hotel (or a pre-arranged point) and can drop you off at your next stop.
The tour starts at noon and is a great way to experience the best of Mexican food within one hour.
Although Reforma Avenue is only one street, it’s one of the most beautiful streets in the city. In addition, the famous Angel of Independence monument is located there, so do stop by for to take a few snapshots of this popular attraction.
A good way to explore this area while obtaining interesting facts is with a hop-on / hop-off bus, which you can take as many times as you want in the day and use as a transport method to move through the zone and as a tourist guide to learn more about each place the bus covers.
This is one of the most lively squares in Mexico City since it has live mariachi and a very festive atmosphere full of restaurants. As a local tip, this place is highly overrated, and has large influxes of people who go there to get drunk and make noise. We recommend visiting it but there are far better places to get god food around the area.
Some restaurants found here are:
- Guadalajara de Noche
- Salon Tenampa
Mexico City Nightlife
If you have energy left and want to party the night away, you can go to either Zona Rosa, La Condesa, or Roma Norte. Within these three central places, you will find many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. There is a wide variety to choose from catering to all kinds of budgets so you will be spoilt for choice.
- Toledo Rooftop (Roma Norte)
- Xaman Bar (Zona Rosa)
- Wallace Whisky Bar (La Condesa)
- La Clandestina (La Condesa)
If you feel like doing something completely different, check out this Mexican wrestling tour to witness the infamous Mexican Lucha Libres.
Mexico City Day 4: Coyoacan & Xochimilco
On your last day, there are two places that you still have to visit to be able to say that you knew Mexico City to the fullest: Frida Kahlo’s house, Coyoacan District, and the Xochimilco trajineras. The easiest way to see these two attractions is through a guided tour. Here are the ones we recommend:
Frida Kahlo Museum
First stop is Coyoacan which is home to the infamous Friday Kahlo Museum. People from all over the world flock to this small museum to see where she lived and spent her last few years with husband Diego Rivera.
Kahlo explicitly expressed that she wanted to leave her home as a museum so that the citizens could get to know the Mexico she loved.
If you’re a fan of Kahlo’s work, this vibrant colorful museum is a must. Casa Azul is one of the most visited places in the area so please make sure you book tickets in advance. If you haven’t booked this as part of a tour, you can easily grab a taxi (we recommend you use Uber) and head to Xochimilco.
The Xochimilco trajineras are a very picturesque and representative type of boat from Mexico City that reflect part of the history and culture of Mexico. Here, you can navigate canals made by the Aztecs as they used boats as trade routes. Nowadays, although very commercialized, the boats are a great way to eat, drink, and party.
Final Recommendations and FAQs on Mexico City
What kind of traditional Mexican food and drinks should I try while in Mexico City?
Tacos al pastor, pozole, sopes, tamales, tequila, mezcal. We LOVE doing food tours while in Mexico City. It is a great way to get acquainted with the best street eats.
What days is it advisable to go to Mexico City?
Most attractions are closed on Mondays, with Sundays being the busiest days. Take this into consideration when planning your trip. We recommend booking things like restaurants in advance as they get booked up (especially the famous ones that have recently been featured on TV!)
What neighborhood should I stay in Mexico City?
The best zones to stay are Reforma, Zona Rosa, Condesa, Roma Norte, Polanco, and Centro Historico. Whether it’s a hotel or Airbnb, these areas are central so it will be easy to get around and they’re meeting points for a lot of tours. Out of all those areas, we love Condesa the most.
How do I get to Mexico City?
Mexico City has now two airports, but the most popular is “Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico”. From there, you can get a taxi, private driver, or Uber to arrive at your hotel. If you take a taxi, make sure it has official plates, and ask about the charging method before taking it.
How do I get around Mexico City?
Mexico City has a well structured transport system. It’s not difficult to find a subway, bus, or bikes for rent. However, with that being said, if you don’t want to get lost, we recommend you use uber to make things easier. They are extremely affordable and easy to use.
What is the weather like in Mexico City?
The climate is warm during the day, while nights are cool in the summer (June-September) and cold during Winter (December-March) months.
Rainfall is concentrated in the summer months which have a maximum temperature of 27°C and during winter, the temperature can get as low as 7°C. The Winters are mild and are actually a great break to the usual heat that Mexico is known for.
Best time of the year to visit Mexico City?
The best time to visit Mexico City is the dry season, from November to April. Not only due to weather but also because several festivities occur during these months: Day of the Dead, Christmas, Carnival, Dia de Reyes, etc.
We hope you liked this 4-day itinerary in Mexico City. It is an incredible city and I never get tired of sharing my recommendations.
Headed to Mexico? Check out these articles
- Top 10 Things to Do in Mexico City
- Mexico City Travel Guide
- Las Grutas De Tolantongo Travel Guide
- Mexico Travel Tips
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