Must See Spots In Mexico City
Any time I have friends visiting the city for a couple days, I take them to these places.
I've been asked multiple times, so I'm finally writing an article to describe my MUST-SEE places in Mexico City for a 3-5 day trip. Instead of overwhelming you with an exhaustive list of every tourist spot in the city, I'll share a curated selection of places that I personally take my friends to when they are only in town for a couple of days. These spots offer a unique and memorable experience, ensuring you make the most of your limited time in Mexico City.
Teotihuacan - This is the number 1 place that should be on your list - and it's technically not within the city. Many people overlook the pyramids simply because they are about 45 minutes outside of the city. This will also be an entire day on your schedule, but it's 100 percent worth it.
Chapultepec Castle + Reforma/Angel of Independence - For some reason, a lot of people overlook the castle. I have no idea why. It's smack in the middle of one of the largest parks in the western hemisphere. Not only do you get an amazing view of the city, but the museum is pretty awesome. Once you leave the castle, you can either roam around the park OR pop out right at the start of Reforma Avenue. My only recommendation is to go in the morning as early as possible. You won't get burnt by the sun, and you'll miss the crowd of people. If you choose to go down Reforma - You can walk all the way down to the Angel of Independence monument, find a couple of cool spots, and see what a Mexico City Square looks like.
Arena Mexico - Lucha Libre - A Lucha Libre match is essential for a Mexico City trip. Matches happen on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday. Of course, the Tuesday matches are going to have fewer crowds than the weekend, but there won't be a significant difference in the match. I recommend you book your tickets in advance and get the best seats you can. *You can book on Ticketmaster.
Museum of Anthropology - Whether you are a fan of museums or not, this one is something you shouldn't miss. To be honest, you can spend an entire day here, but around the 3-hour mark, you'll probably be a little burnt out. But at least you can say you tried. *Make sure you go to the restaurant in the museum for lunch.* Fortunately, the museum is also in Chapultepec Park, so you can visit the Castle and the Museum on the same day.
Mercado San Juan - This is an exotic meat market. If you get there early in the morning, you'll see the butchers chopping up deer, goats, piglets, and more. Insect-wise, you can also try your hand at chapulines (crickets), escamoles (ant eggs), and more. I highly recommend this place because there are also a couple of stands that sell exotic meats. One of my favorite stands (I have no idea of the name) but you can get Lion, Tigers, Wild boar, Crocodile, Ostrich, Deer, etc. Tacos.... Yes.. they sell lion meat.
Torre Latin America - Bar on the roof - This place is kind of a hidden gem. Sometimes it doesn't even show up on Google Maps, but it's called Nivel 40 Skybar.
Typically, you need to pay to go to the very top of the tower, and there's a long line to do it. However, you can walk into the building, tell security that you are going to the sky bar, and they'll let you skip the line and go right up. The view is amazing, the bar is often empty, and it's a great place for a classy drink and a picture without feeling too touristy.
Centro/Zocalo/Templo Mayor/National Palace - Centro is a given. Go here on the weekend, and there's almost always a decent crowd of locals. There are indigenous dancers that play drums and give people cleansings right next to the temple ruins. Both the National Palace and the Sagrario Metropolitano are in the Zocalo - You can spend an hour or so exploring this plaza and enjoying the vibe.
**Bonus - Pulqueria La Risa is about a 10-minute walk from the Zocalo - It's tucked away on a side street that doesn't get much traffic, but I believe it's one of the oldest spots to get pulque in the city. What is Pulque? It's an alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the Agave plant. The building only fits maybe 20 people, but it's never busy. I feel like this is a must-try to get the Mexico City experience. I'm not gonna describe what pulque tastes like. I'm only going to use the word "interesting."
Restaurants - Restaurant recommendations are indeed challenging since everyone has their own taste and preferences. Tacos can be found all over the city, and it's hard to find a bad one. However, if you're looking for something different, here are a couple of places I take friends to:
1. Mercado Roma - This is essentially a food court with around two dozen restaurants, shops, and cocktail stands within the building. You can walk around and choose from different styles of food representing various regions and countries.
2. Cigar Lounge - You can also take the elevator and find the cigar lounge at the top of the building.
Comedor de los Milagros - This is similar to Mercado Roma - Only its specific to Latin America. Even though you’re in Mexico City - You can try Brazilian, Colombian, Peruvian, Argentina, etc food.
Carajillo - Specifically, the Mercado Roma in Roma is like a sit-down nightclub/restaurant. You definitely have to book an evening in advance. Throughout the night, they have live entertainment like violinists, singers, and saxophonists. This isn't a jazz club; think more of an upbeat and fun vibe.
Bars - Ling Ling & Cityzen - The food at both of these places is pretty mediocre considering their high prices, but the views at both are amazing. I would say Cityzen is great for early in the afternoon, while Ling Ling is good for late afternoon and into the evening. That way, you get to enjoy the sunset and an amazing view of Parque Chapultepec from the 56th floor of the Ritz-Carlton.
Nightlife - I won't give descriptions of many places as they tend to change and evolve over time. The best events and nightlife in the city are often private. If you are coming to the city, send me a DM on Twitter, and I might be able to get you into a private event if you're cool.
If you’re looking for my more detailed guide. This is where you should go. This will outline things like, neighborhoods, budgets along with links to my Google maps where there are 100s of spots saved for you to explore.
In the future, I plan to release a guide featuring my favorite personal spots in the city. These are places that the average gringo probably hasn't heard of. They include small intimate club venues and small restaurants with fantastic food that are close enough to tourist areas for easy access but not well-known among tourists.
There are plenty of amazing restaurants, especially right outside of Roma, that haven't sold out and raised their prices. As my Substack grows, and some of my articles get cached on Google, I will be releasing that guide as a paid post. Stay tuned for more updates and information!
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