Mexico City is a sprawling metropolis full of colour and culture. You could easily spend a month there and still not get to see and experience everything the city has to offer. If you only have a weekend, you can still get a taste of Mexico City’s delights, but be warned – you will probably be booking your next trip as soon as you arrive home.
With more museums than any other city in the world, amazing architecture, delicious street food and many other attractions, Mexico City is one of the most exciting cities on the planet.
Juarez International Airport is located eight miles from Mexico City. If you arrive late at night, it is advisable to take an official taxi to the downtown area. During the day, the metro is a good alternative.
Mexico City’s metro system is extensive and one of the cheapest underground systems in the world. Having said that it isn’t the most comfortable of transport options during rush hour. Taxis are cheap, but make sure you take one from the official sitio taxi stands or use Uber.
A Mexican Breakfast
Start the day with Huevos Rancheros, a classic Mexican breakfast – tortillas, fried eggs, salsa and refried beans. Try Café El Popular (5 de Mayo esq Palmas, just off the Zocalo). It’s a popular spot with both locals and tourists.
The Blue House
After a hearty breakfast, head to the charming neighbourhood of Coyoacan. The number one attraction here is La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s house, which has now been turned into a museum. It provides a fascinating insight into the lives of artist Frida and her husband Diego Rivera. Make sure you arrive early and if possible, pre-book your tickets on the website as it gets very crowded.
The Leon Trotsky Museum
Afterwards, head around the corner to the House of Leon Trotsky. The Communist revolutionary lived the last couple of years of his life at this house. It was there that he was murdered by an assassin in his study. In contrast to Frida’s colorful abode, it is an austere house which has been changed little since Trotsky lived there, but is an intriguing slice of political history.
Tasty Street food in Coyoacan Plaza
Coyoacan Plaza is a great place to sample some tasty street food. At weekends, it is particularly lively with food and handicraft stalls aplenty. There is a festive atmosphere and it feels like small town Mexico in the heart of the big city.
Back in Centro Historico, take a stroll around the huge main plaza, the Zocalo, the second largest public square in the world after Russia’s Red Square. There are plenty of museums, shops and cool street art to explore in the surrounding areas.
Dinner with a View
El Balcon del Zocalo is a perfect place for dinner. The restaurant has a rooftop terrace providing spectacular views of the cathedral and Zocalo. It has an international, Mexican and veggie friendly menu.
Breakfast in the Park
Pasteleria Ideal (Calle 16 de septiembre 18, Col. Centro) could be the largest bakery you have ever seen, and is an ideal place to pick up some pastries for breakfast. The choice of baked goods, both sweet and savoury, is a feast for the eyes. With breakfast and coffee in hand, make tracks to Alameda Park and find a bench to sit to enjoy your first meal of the day and a spot of people-watching. You can’t miss the opulent architecture of Palacio de Bellas Artes, the grandest building in Mexico City.
Museum of Mexican Folk Art
Just across the road (Calle Revillagigedo 11, Cuauhtemoc), check out the Museo de Arte Popular. Housed in an ex-fire station, this contemporary museum is full of colorful Mexican folk art. It’s fun and quirky and the exhibits range from Day of the Dead skulls and skeletons to vibrant piñatas.
La Ciudadela is an artisan market (Calle de Balderas, s/m Centro, 06040 Cuauhtemoc). It specializes in handicrafts from all over the country. Prices are reasonable and you are bound to find something that catches your eye.
Even if you have never considered attending a wrestling match before, Lucha Libre is a unique Mexican experience and not-to-be-missed. (Arena Mexico,189 Calle Dr. Lavista, Colonia Doctores). Regular sessions are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons). The atmosphere is electric and whole families attend, shouting abuse at the bad guys and cheering for their heroes.
Tequila and Mariachi
Round off your time in Mexico City with some tequila and mariachi music at the Tequila Museum on Plaza Garibaldi. Afterwards, carry on the party at one of the many bars in the plaza. The haunting sound of roving mariachi bands echo around the square as you reflect on two action-packed days in this amazing city.