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5 Days in Mexico City Itinerary [2024]

Delve deep into the culture and history of CDMX with this power-packed 5-day Mexico City itinerary.

It’s massive, energetic, and frankly, misunderstood. As the 6th most populated city in the world (home to 22 million people), the high-octane megalopolis can seem overwhelming. But go a little deeper and you’ll discover a dynamic, multi-faceted city brimming with culture, history and character.

There are more museums in Mexico City than anywhere in the world, and the city is studded with charming neighborhoods, old-school cantinas, and awesome street food. Mexico City is now one of my favorite cities in the world — and I’m here to share a detailed Mexico City itinerary, that’ll help you go beneath the surface of this metropolis.

mexico city itinerary - 5 days in mexico city - mexico city in 5 days

Table of Contents

My 5-Day Mexico City Itinerary

This is part of our recommended 2-week Mexico itinerary. I recommend spending at least 5 days in Mexico City, if you want to get beneath the surface and experience as much as possible. It’ll give you enough time to see the best of the city and do a few Mexico tours.

Before you begin your Mexico City trip, be sure to check the Mexico Visa requirements; most nationalities don’t need a visa to enter Mexico. In this Mexico City itinerary, I’ve included a day-to-day breakdown of things to do, where to eat, and the best places to stay in Mexico City.

Mexico City Itinerary Day 1: Centro Historico

Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of Mexico City – just focus on different sections of the city each day and you’ll do just fine. On the first day of this Mexico City itinerary, we will start in the Centro Historico or Historic Center, packed with gorgeous colonial buildings and museums galore.

Start at Zocalo Square

The Zocalo sits at the very heart of the historic center of Mexico City. The grand square has witnessed thousands of years of history, from the rise of the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan to the flourishing of modern-day Mexico City. It is flanked by the Palacio Nacional on one side and the impressive Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral on the other. The square is always buzzing with life, from indigenous Mayan performers to street vendors and tourists.

zocalo in mexico city

Admire the Cathedral

The most prominent landmark on the Zocalo is Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. It’s not only one of Mexico’s most treasured architectural masterpieces, it is also Latin America’s largest and oldest cathedral.

While the Cathedral looks impressive from the outside, you need to head in to see the biggest draw of the Cathedral: Numerous works of art, religious relics and crypts adorn every orifice, including in the sixteen chapels.  Sadly, the cathedral – much like the rest of Mexico City – gradually sinks year after year into the shifting lake upon which it was built.

inside the cathedral - highlight of this mexico city itinerary

Watch the Spiritual Cleansing Rituals

Outside the Cathedral, you’ll usually find indigenous people perform traditional dance routines. The traditional healers offer a spiritual cleansing ritual called limpia. First, the healers rub the herbs around your entire body, while blowing smoke and incense. It’s said that the herbs expel evil spirits from your body and the incense provides your body with strength. You’ll then be asked to stamp on the herbs, signifying crushing the evil forces that have been eliminated from your body.

traditional healing process at zocalo

Visit Museo Templo Mayor

Just behind the Cathedral lies one of the city’s most impressive sights – the Templo Mayor. These are the ruins left behind from the great Aztec temple and the ancient city of Tenochtitlán, which was destroyed when the Spaniards conquered Mexico City.

It wasn’t until the 1970s, that some electricity workers discovered this amazing site, buried beneath the ground. It’s free to see the temple ruins from the viewing platforms, but I highly recommend visiting the Museo del Templo Mayor (entry is 80 Pesos). It’s one of the best museums in Mexico City in my opinion, with extensive explanations and displays of artefacts from the Mexica civilization. The stone carvings and sacrificial offerings found in the Templo Mayor ruins are exhibited here, and they’re seriously impressive.

templo mayor mexico city itinerary

inside museum of templo mayor mexico city

Museums in Mexico City are Closed on Mondays!

It’s important to note that many museums in Mexico City are closed on Mondays. This includes major ones such as the Templo Mayor Museum and National Palace. Make sure to plan your Mexico City itinerary accordingly and leave museums for other days of the week.

During high season, some of the museums can have long lines of visitors, especially National Anthropology Museum and Frida Kahlo Museum. Be sure to book tickets in advance.

Have Lunch at the Balcon de Zocalo

Take a break and head up to the Balcon de Zocalo, a rooftop restaurant in the Hotel Zocalo Central. The upscale, stylish hotel is housed in a 1890s building and its rooftop restaurant is my favorite place to eat in Mexico City.

Besides the phenomenal views of the Zocalo, the restaurant serves up contemporary Mexican cuisine made with high quality ingredients. If you’re on a budget, I suggest coming here before 12pm when they’re still serving the breakfast menu. You’ll get to fill up with contemporary versions of chilaquiles or enchilada, without breaking the bank!

view from balcon de zocalo kaleya at balcon de zocalo mexico city

Join a Night Street Food Tour

Mexico City is undoubtedly the best place to try authentic Mexican food. Street food vendors ply the streets of Centro Historico with delicious and authentic Mexican antojitos (street food) like tacos, tortas, quesabirria and more. To get under the surface of the street food scene here, we joined a night street food tour and had an amazing time learning about Mexican street food.

This after-dark taco tour consists of an epic, six-course menu covering the city’s essential styles like brisket, canasta, and al pastor, plus beverage pairings like pulque and beer. Do ask about the post-taco private tasting of Mexican spirits, a one-of-a-kind chance to sip mezcals from lesser-known regions like Durango and San Luis Potosí.

enjoy street food during your 3 days in mexico city


Mexico City Itinerary Day 2: Centro Historico

Wander around the Palacio Bellas Artes

On day 2 of this Mexico City Itinerary, take an Uber or metro to Bellas Artes metro station. The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the most famous landmarks of Centro Historico and it houses the country’s most important art collections. Rooms and exhibits follow a chronological order, first looking at works from the ancient pre-Hispanic period, then the colonial era, and finally art from an independent Mexico.

Head up to the Rooftop of Sears!

For a view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes (and take a picture like below), head to the rooftop cafe at the Sears department store across the road. The Sears Rooftop Cafe has gorgeous views, but they don’t take reservations and you have to wait in line at the entrance of Sears to register before heading up. It took us 15 minutes to get up there. I recommend getting here at 11am, when they open.

mexico city bella artes - start of your mexico city itinerary

Stroll through Alameda Central

Next, stroll over to the lush green Alameda Central Park and take in some fresh air. The beautiful park is criss-crossed by pathways, which culminate in French-style, ornate fountains. What was once an Aztec marketplace is now one of Mexico City’s primary green spaces. If you are spending Day of the Dead in Mexico City (like we did), this park is a great spot to soak up the atmosphere and join in the festivities.

See also  Best Time to Visit Mexico City 

At the end of the park, you’ll also find an outdoor market and plenty of street food. Don’t forget to try my favorite esquite (spicy corn with lime) and elote  (corn on the cob smothered with mayonnaise and cheese).

alameda central park in mexico city

Visit the Museo de Arte Popular

Just a few minutes’ walk away is the Museo de Arte Popular, our favorite museum in Mexico City.  The beautiful art deco space is dedicated to the wonderful folk art traditions of Mexico. On display here are some of the weirdest and most wonderful religious monsters, skeletons, piñatas, and pottery you are likely to see anywhere.

The brightly lit main atrium of the museum also features several alebrijes, gigantic and fantastical animal figures like flies with dragon tails and multi-headed lions, all painted with neon colors.

alebrije in museo of popular art

Amble along the Pedestrianized Madero Street

Then, walk a few blocks to Madero Street, one of the most popular and busiest roads since colonial times. This was one of the first streets to be drawn of the new Spanish city on the ruins of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. It was named in honor of Francisco I. Madero, who was briefly President of Mexico before his assassination in 1913. Today, the pedestrianized street is flanked by renown landmarks, museums and renown shops.

madero street in mexico city

Eat at Casa de los Azulejos

One of the most famous restaurants in Mexico City is located along Madero Street. Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles) is housed in a gorgeous historical building covered in blue, white, and yellow tile. Its interior features a mural by famed Mexican painter José Clemente Orozco; and its glass-ceilinged atrium contains stone pillars, murals, and a fountain.

These lushly decorated walls have witnessed centuries of Mexican history, housing Spanish noblemen before evolving into the most beautiful branch of a chain restaurant. Besides soaking up the history here, you can feast on traditional dishes like pozoles (Mexican stew) and molletes (bean and cheese toast). It’s also a great spot for a traditional Mexican breakfast.

Head up to the Top of Torre Latinoamericana

After lunch, cross the road to Torre Latinoamericana, one of Mexico City’s most important landmarks. It was the world’s first major skyscraper successfully built on highly active seismic zone, and the skyscraper notably withstood the 8.1 magnitude 1985 Mexico City earthquake without any damage!

The observation deck on its 37th floor gives a bird’s eye view of the sprawling metropolis. The ticket also gives you entry to the museum on the 36th floor, where you can learn about the building’s construction. The Miralto bar and restaurant on the 41st floor serves up gourmet meals with the glittering lights of the city as the backdrop. Book your table here.

panoramic views from torre latinoamericana

Dine at a Traditional Mexican Restaurant

It’s been a long day, so kick back and treat yourself to a nice dinner at Azul Historico or Restaurant El Cardenal, two of the best traditional Mexican restaurants in the area. Azul Historico offers excellent multi-course lunches and has a beautiful, open courtyard lit up with tea lights. Restaurant El Cardenal is more of an institution well-loved by both locals and visitors. We loved both, but Azul Historico definitely won me over with its stunning courtyard.

eat at azul historico in mexico city

Best Rooftop Restaurants/Bars in Mexico City

There’s a whole range of rooftop bars and restaurants with gorgeous views of Mexico City, be sure to make reservations in advance as they do get booked up during high season. Check out my full list of the best rooftop bars in Mexico City.

  • Balcon de Zocalo — A stylish rooftop restaurant overlooking the Zocalo with spectacular views over the main square.
  • Puro Corazon — One of the best traditional restaurants in the historic center, also overlooking the Zocalo.
  • La Casa de las Sirenas Facing the Zocalo and Templo Mayor, this gorgeous rooftop restaurant is located in a a 16th-century building with an old-world ambiance.
  • Terraza Cha Cha Cha —  Overlooking the Revolution Monument, this chic rooftop bar dishes up contemporary Mexican dishes and well crafted cocktails.
  • Cityzen Rooftop Kitchen — An upscale rooftop restaurant boasting unparalleled views of the Paseo de la Reforma, serving French and Mexican cuisine.
  • Sears Rooftop Cafe — Best view over the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They don’t take reservations and you have to wait in line at the entrance of Sears to register before heading up.

Mexico City Itinerary Day 3: Bosque de Chapultepec

The next day, take an Uber or metro to the green lungs of Mexico City, Bosque de Chapultepec. This huge park covers a whopping 686 hectares, making it one of the largest city parks in the western hemisphere.

Filled with green meadows, forested areas and lakes, the Chapultepec Park itself is home to a zoo, multiple museums, a botanical garden, a recreational lake, archaeological sites, and monuments to Mexican patriot. There are snack vendors, street performers, and plenty of food stalls. It’s impossible to take it all in, but spending a day in the park gives you a taste of what it has to offer.

Bike Ride Chapultepec Park

One of the most fun ways to see the park is by bicycle. Mexico City has the great EcoBici bike share program available. You just need to download the app, and  buy a 1-day pass for 112 Pesos (US$5) or 3-day pass for 372 Pesos (US$18). With your EcoBici membership, you can explore Chapultepec Park and other areas of Mexico City.

Bosque de Chapultepec - a stop on this Mexico City itinerary

Visit Museo Nacional de Antropología

Of the 150 museums in Mexico City, National Anthropology Museum is lauded as the best and it’s extremely popular. So get here at 10am when it opens (it’s closed on Sundays and Mondays) and plan to spend at least 3 hours here. The museum has exhibits on everything you’d ever wanted to know about Mexico’s ancient cultures, from the Mayans and the Aztecs to the Toltecs. Book your tickets here!

mexico city national museum of anthropology

Visit Chapultepec Castle

One of the monuments worth visiting in the park is the Chapultepec Castle. It is located on top of a hill, offering unparalleled views of Mexico City. The site of the hill was a sacred place for Aztecs, and the buildings atop it have served several purposes during its history, including that of Military Academy and Presidential residence, and since the 1940s, the National Museum of History. Get your tickets here.

chapultepec castle - essential sight in mexico city


Try Tlayuda at the Food Stands

You won’t go hungry in the park, as there’s no shortage of street food offering traditional Mexican antojitos here. A very popular dish to have here is the tlayuda, a traditionally Oaxacan staple and popular Mexican breakfast. It’s made up of a crunchy, partially fried or toasted tortilla covered with a spread of refried beans, nopales (cactus), avocado, meat, Oaxaca cheese, and salsa. You can easily get one for 20 Pesos (US$1). I got mine from the food stands at the castle’s front gate.

tlayuda in bosque de chapultepec

Enjoy an Afternoon at Libreria Porrua

Another cool spot in the park worth checking out is the gorgeous bookstore, Libreria Porrúa (yes I’m a geek!). This must be the most beautiful branch of the large bookstore chain, thanks to its spectacular lakeside location, open-concept design, and inviting lounging space. Set amongst the trees of Bosque de Chapultepec, the bookstore has floor-to-ceiling shelves covered in books, a lovely open air café, and lots of hanging chairs.

Watch a Lucha Libre Show

If you’re a fan of Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling), Mexico City is the best place to see it live in action. Lucha Libre is dramatic, acrobatic, and a little bit wild. We’re not wrestling fans, but even my daughter enjoyed the drama and acrobatic skills of the luchadores.

There are three arenas in Mexico City where you can see Lucha Libre. Arena Mexico in Colonia Doctores is the largest of the three and hosts luchas every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday night. Sunday shows at 5.30pm are designed to be family-friendly. Check out the lineup on the website of the CMLL. We got the tickets (for 125 Pesos or $5) just 10 minutes before the show started, so you don’t even need to plan in advance.

lucha libre in mexico city itinerary

Mexico City Itinerary Day 4: Coyoacan & Xochimilco

On the 4th day of this Mexico City itinerary, I recommend venturing further to explore the district of Coyoacan. It’s a 20-minute Uber ride (that cost around $10 each way) from the historical center. The beautiful neighborhood is lined with colorful colonial style homes, cute cafes and boutiques. It is a slightly upscale residential area with lots of Airbnbs for those who prefer to stay in a quiet area.

explore the Coyoacan neighborhood in this mexico city itinerary

Visit Museo Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous Mexican artists of all time, and her paintings are loved throughout the world. Her house, known as the Casa Azul, has been converted into a museum. She grew up in this home and later shared it with her famous husband, painter Diego Rivera. You’ll see both various pieces of her artwork as well as her personal belongings.

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Walk through her art studio, glimpse her beautiful kitchen, and see the bed where she slept and the garden in which she spent her afternoons dreaming or entertaining guests. Tickets must be booked online, you’ll not be allowed in without a prepaid ticket! They can be sold out for weeks, so book your tickets at least a month in advance!

frida kahlo museum mexico city

Wander through Mercado Coyoacan

Next, head to the Coyoacan Market, around a 15-minute walk from the Frida’s Casa Azul. It’s a great place to pick up some great souvenirs and to stop for a bit of lunch. The market is filled with small stalls serving up some of Mexico’s most authentic dishes, from stuffed chile poblanos to tacos and quesadillas. But the most famous dish to eat here is the tostada (toasted tortilla filled with all kinds of topping).

Browse through the Mercado Artesanal de Coyoacan

Famed throughout the country, this market is a great place to shop for souvenirs at prices lower than those found in the shops of Mexico City. The artisan market boasts a huge variety of handcrafted textiles, artwork and quirky souvenirs. Keep an eye out for traditional indigenous items such as rebozos (shawls) and huipiles (tunics) from the regions of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

mercado artesanal de coyoacan

Stroll through the San Angel

This picturesque neighborhood of San Angel, just southwest of Coyoacan, is a pleasant and leafy neighborhood worth visiting. If you happen to be in Mexico City on a Saturday, consider checking out the weekly Saturday bazaar that takes place here.

You’ll find streets and parks lined with artists and local vendors. Eventually, make your way to a building known as the bazaar (northwest of the Plaza San Jacinto).

san angel mexico city itinerary

Weave through the Canals of Xochimilco

In the evening, venture even further south to the canals of Xochimilco. The best way to get there is taking an Uber to the Embarcadero Cuemanco Xochimilco (which will cost another $10 from Coyoacan).

The canals and artificially created islands (called chinampas) of Xochimilco date to pre-Hispanic Aztec period, and were once part of a large lake and canal system. These remaining canals and their ecosystem were declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. These days, it’s extremely popular to glide down the canals on colorful, dreamily decorated trajinera boats. A boat trip usually costs around $500 Mexican pesos ($20 USD) per hour for the entire boat, not per person!

xochimilco mexico city

must do in mexico city

Mexico City Itinerary Day 5: Day Trip

Visit the Ancient Ruins of Teotihuacan

For your last day in Mexico City, take a day trip to the ancient pyramids located 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City. Visiting Teotihuacan is a rite of passage for any visitor to Mexico, as it’s the most impressive archaeological site in Mexico (in our opinion). It’s THE most popular of all the Mexico City day trips, for good reason. To make it all the more special, I recommend booking a Teotihuacan hot air balloon

The UNESCO World Heritage Site was settled as early as 400 B.C. and became the most powerful and influential city in the region by 400 A.D. The Aztecs found the city in the 1400s and named it Teotihuacan (meaning “the place where the gods were created”). It was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere at one point, and had thousands of residential compounds and scores of pyramid-temples.

We’ve been to several Aztec and Mayan sites in Mexico, but this was the most impressive of them all. Walking along the Avenue of the Dead, I was floored by the sheer scale and grandeur of the ancient city. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest building in Teotihuacan, and one of the largest in Mesoamerica. It is believed to have been constructed about 200 AD.

Visiting Teotihuacan 

Teotihuacan can get crowded especially if you’re visiting Mexico City during the peak season. Make sure to get there early or book a tour in advance for early access. These tours tend to include tequila tasting or visits to the nearby Shrine of Guadalupe.

To get to Teotihuacan, we took an Uber which cost US$30 each way (1hour). That’s the best way to get to Teotihuacan early, before the tour groups arrive at 10am. We were worried about finding an Uber home, but it was relatively easy to get reception at one of the gates. If you prefer to have a guide, then check out this day tour to Teotihuacan.


Have a Gourmet Meal in a Cave Restaurant

End your visit of the Teotihuacan Pyramids at Gate 5, and head to La Gruta Cave Restaurant which is just a 3-minute walk away. This was easily the best meal we had in Mexico City! They also had one of the coolest Day of the Dead ofrendas (altar) we’d seen.

The underground restaurant serves contemporary Mexican cuisine in at atmospheric volcanic cave illuminated by candles. The menu is made of traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist. My panceta (pork belly) with mole sauce was out of this world, and Alberto’s barbacoa lamb meat was divine. Their mezcal cocktails hit the spot and the chicharrone (crispy pork crackling) with guacamole was sinful yet incredible. Reservations, especially when visiting on a weekend, are highly recommended.

Experience the Nightlife in Mexico City

To end your 5 days in Mexico with your bang, we recommend checking out the traditional cantinas or mezcal bars, also known as cantina. Cantina Tío Pepe dates back to the 19th century, making it one of the oldest cantinas in downtown Mexico City. With its beautiful carved-wood bar and stained glass work, this traditional spot is great spot for people watching.

Another place we love is Bósforo, a hip mezcal bar hidden away on a dark sidestreet in Centro Historico. It plays trippy music, has a mezzanine with cushions on the ground instead of seats, and serves a wild list of great mezcals.

bosforo bar and club in mexico city

Extending Your Trip in Mexico City

As one of the largest city in the world, Mexico City has so much to offer that you’ll need a lifetime to see and experience it all. 5 days will barely be enough for you to scrape the surface, so I suggest staying longer if you can and explore the areas surrounding it.

Mexico City’s location in the heart of Mexico also means you can head off in any direction and see ancient Mayan pyramids, colonial towns, and even wildlife reserves, in less than two hour’s drive.

If you’re here between November and March, make sure to do a day trip to the  Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site sprawling across an area of over 56,000 hectares. Migrating monarch butterflies travel in colonies of about 20 million insects to here every winter; it’s a sight to behold and truly one of the most spectacular natural wonders of Mexico.

Another spot I recommend visiting from Mexico City are the Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs. With warm water tumbling over calcified travertine pools and cascading down waterfalls, Grutas Tolantongo is home to some of the most beautiful hot springs in MexicoRead our detailed guide to Grutas Tolantongo.

Mexico City Travel Guide

I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance, whether you’re traveling Mexico City for a year or a week. It is particularly important to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19.

Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date. Refer to my travel insurance guide for more details.

best time to visit mexico

How to Get to Mexico City

The main gateway to Mexico City is the Mexico City Airport (also known as Benito Juarez International Airport). The national airline, AeroMexico, flies daily from many major cities in the US.

Flying into Mexico City from the US is quite affordable. You can fly from Los Angeles to Mexico City for as little as $300 return (4-hour flight). Flying from Europe to Mexico is also cheap, especially from London and Madrid. We took direct return flights from Madrid to Mexico City once for $400.

There is a very convenient and fast bus service that runs from Mexico City Airport to the city centre, the Metrobus line 4. These buses operate from 4:30 to 00:00 daily and take only 30 minutes to reach the centre of Mexico City. Tickets cost just 30 Pesos ($1.30) one-way.

cempasuchil marigold flowers

Best Time to Visit Mexico City

The best time to visit Mexico City is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain.

The coolest months are between December and February, although temperatures can reach averages of 82°F (28℃) during the dry season. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October.

Mexico City celebrates many cultural festivals throughout the year. We celebrated Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead in Mexico City, and had a blast at some of the biggest celebrations in the country. The festivities usually span across one week (26 October to 2 November). Read my guide on when to visit Mexico City.

See also  Is Mexico City Safe for Travel in 2024? 

celebrating day of the dead in mexico city

How Many Days in Mexico City?

Mexico City is HUGE, and if you want to see it all, I’d say you need 1 week in Mexico City. We spent 5 days in Mexico City, and definitely wished we had more time!

This Mexico City itinerary is pretty intense and packed with lots of things to do. Be prepared to be on the go from morning to night. For those who rather explore at a slower pace, I recommend removing the day trip to Teotihuacan. That way you will have more time in Mexico City to explore other neighborhoods.

If you have more time, I recommend doing a day trip to Taxco and Cuernavaca or the Monarch Butterflies Sanctuary. Check out our guide to the best day trips from Mexico City.

street food tacos in mexico city

How Safe is Mexico City?

Read my full article: Is Mexico City Safe to Visit?  In short, my husband, daughter and I all felt super safe in Mexico City and had no security issues at all. 

As we visited Mexico City during Day of the Dead, it was crowded everywhere. But we kept our belongings close to us, brought minimal cash with us, and had no problems. Of course, we avoided seedy areas, and we weren’t hanging out late at night, or getting drunk on the streets.

All in all, stick to the tourist areas and you’ll be fine (that means centro historico, Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan and Xochimilco). The areas covered in this Mexico City itinerary are all safe to visit. Avoid areas like Iztapalapa, Tepito, La Lagunia, Mercado Merced, Doctores and Ciudad Neza.

crowded streets in mexico city

Where to Stay in Mexico City

The Centro Histórico (historic center) is a convenient location to stay, as most attractions, events and the parade take place here. We loved the location of our hotel, just a few blocks from the Zocalo. Many travelers also choose to stay in the green, leafy neighborhoods of La Condesa and Polanco.

Here is a summary of my hotel recommendations. For a full guide, check out my post on the best places to stay in Mexico City.

Budget: La Querencia DF

This budget-friendly bed & breakfast is housed in a colonial-style home in Roma Norte, one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. You’ll notice it straight away because of its bright orange color and cute little balconies. Rooms are brightly colored, clean and cozy. Check the rates here.

Midrange: Hampton Inn & Suites

We stayed at this hotel in the historic center and loved the location, just two blocks from the main square (Zocalo). Highly recommend it for families who need extra space. Check the rates here.

Luxury: Hotel Zocalo Central

Right next to the Cathedral overlooking the Zocalo (main square), this centrally located hotel is housed in a 1890s building and features a gorgeous design. Their rooftop restaurant is my favorite place to eat in Mexico City. Check the rates here.

Luxury: The St Regis Mexico City

Located along the famous Paseo de la Reforma, this luxurious hotel has a nice location in the centro historico but away from the crowded area. Check the rates here.

How to Get Around Mexico City

One of the best ways to get around Mexico City is the metro system, which is cheap and easy to use. Just buy a ticket (“bolleto” in Spanish) from the booth. A metro ticket costs only 5 Pesos ($0.23). You can change as many times as you need to without having to purchase the ticket.

We mostly took Uber as it was just so convenient and affordable. There are a lot of Uber drivers in the city, so you’ll never have to wait long for a car. It usually costs around US$2-6 to take an Uber in the historical center. To get to Coyoacan or Xochimilco, it ranges from US$15 to 30 depending on the time of travel.

mexico city metro - how to get around mexico city

How’s Traveling Mexico City with Kids?

Prior to the trip, I wasn’t sure if my daughter would enjoy such a massive sprawling metropolis like Mexico City; but I couldn’t be more wrong. She absolutely loved the museums, green parks and cultural spots — so much so that she was willing to wait in line and walk all day!

Most of the top museums in Mexico City are superb for kids, especially the Museo de Arte Popular (thanks to its colorful alebrije collection). Most of them are free for kids under 5. Bosque de Chapultepec is also an excellent area for young kids, as there are playgrounds, boat rides on the lakes, and plenty of space for them to run freely.

Mexican food is always a hit with kids — who doesn’t love tacos and quesadillas? There are always street food and snack stalls everywhere, which makes it easy to feed constantly-hungry kids. Street food is not the healthiest, but they’re usually hygienic (we’ve eaten at many stands and had no issues).

Best Places to Eat in Mexico City

Casa de los Azulejos

Housed in a gorgeous historical building famed for their azulejos (tiles), this heritage building (pictured below) has been converted into a restaurant. Besides soaking up the history here, you can feast on traditional dishes like pozoles and molletes. Read TripAdvisor reviews.

Taqueria Los Cocuyos

Located in the Centro Historico, Taqueria Los Cocuyos (pictured below) is probably the most famous taco stand in the city. This tiny stall produces authentic, handmade longaniza tacos 24 hours a day. We first came here around 7pm and the line was crazy long. I recommend coming in the morning as it’s empty and tacos are at their freshest. Read TripAdvisor reviews.

Azul Historico

One of the most famous traditional restaurants in Centro Historico is Azul Historico. This was also our favorite restaurant in Mexico City. They offer excellent multi-course lunches  made up of traditional Mexican fare. They’ve also got a beautiful, open courtyard lit up with tea lights by night. Read Tripadvisor reviews.

San Angel Inn

After you visit the Frida Kahlo house, walk next door to Restaurante Antiguo San Angel Inn. If the wedding scene in The Godfather actually took place in Mexico City, it would have been filmed here. Located inside a former monastery with a beautiful courtyard, this is the kind of legendary place that’s a destination on its own. Read TripAdvisor reviews.

El Hidalguense

El Hidalguense is only open on weekends (Friday-Sunday, 7am-6pm), but come to this massive Roma Sur restaurant any time during those hours and expect to walk into the biggest party in the neighborhood. Large families eating giant plates of barbacoa (it’s their specialty), and friends sipping mezcal shots and housing tacos. Read TripAdvisor reviews.

longaniza tacos in mexico city


How to Stay Connected in Mexico City

Internet in Mexico is pretty fast and reliable, and you can get WiFi in most hotels and guesthouses. But I recommend getting an eSIM before traveling or a SIM card at the airport upon arrival. You can also get it at any OXXO shop in Mexico.

A SIM card itself costs between 29 and 149 pesos (around $1-6 USD). You can get 3GB of data valid for 30 days on the sin limite plan (unlimited) for 200 pesos (~8 USD.) That will also give you unlimited calls, texts, and most social media within North America.

Read my guide on how to get a SIM card in Mexico. mexico city in 5 days

Cost of Travel in Mexico City

Mexico City is generally very affordable, especially if you eat local and stay in guesthouses. With 5 days in Mexico City, we spent around $500 per person, including accommodation, transport and entry tickets. If you follow this Mexico City itinerary, you won’t be spending way more than that.

Accommodation usually ranges from $30 for a simple guesthouse room to $150 for a 4-star hotel. Mexican food is incredibly good and cheap everywhere. You can get $2 a meal if you’re on a tight budget, or $10-15 per meal in a restaurant.

Day tours are usually around $100 per person. An Uber ride within the city center is usually no more than $3-5.

mexican pesos in mexico city

Planning A Trip around Mexico?

This Mexico City itinerary will give you a taste of just how incredible the capital city is. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments field below. I’d be more than happy to help you plan your Mexico City trip!

Read my articles on Mexico below:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you make a purchase or booking through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

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9 thoughts on “5 Days in Mexico City Itinerary [2024]”

  1. Hello My Name is Alex Trebek,
    We are planning a trip to Mexico very soon and your blog has been a huge help to answer some of my questions and concerns.

    Quick question, what is the restaurant ( patio with wood, hanging chandeliers and greenery) that appears in the first picture of this post? I couldn’t find the name.

  2. Hi, lovely to read that you have good experiences with traveling during COVID. Is there anything you can recommend to arrange beforehand aside from tickets for museums? How was your general travel experience during COVID? And do you have the website/link for DF Querencia? I could not find their hotel online. Thanks for your reply!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful website, it’s really comprehensive and easy to follow, and I’m making many notes for our trip to Mexico City! May I make a suggestion that you include picture captions? Many of your photos I’d love to know where they are. Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

  4. I’ve spent a week in Mexico City, and I must say I loved this city! There was so much to do, and the people were lovely. Tons of museums, and they all costed under $5 to get in. And the food!

  5. Hi. Realistically, how safe is Mexico City? I’ve done a search about this, and no matter what I read online, it says for all Americans to be extremely cautious. That is scary. Is this just media fear mongering?

    1. hi Jillian, yes it’s the media fearmongering. I’m not American, but have lived in the US before, and I have to say the US media is brilliant at fearmongering, more so than in other countries. I have so many friends who live in Mexico City or who have visited countless of times and none of them had any issue. At the end of the day, avoid the dodgy areas and stay on the well-trodden path and you’ll be fine.

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