Travel Guide to Mexico City: Best Places to Stay, Get Drinks, Food, and Fun Activities

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Mexico City Travel Guide

Drinks, Bites, and Adventures.

Mexico City can be a beautiful & life changing experience

I'll be sharing my tips and suggestions for having the BEST possible time, experiencing the different sides of Mexico City, and the concerns I hear from others.

And YES - I'm a solo female traveller, I'm bilingual in Spanish so that helps, but like most places, if you're respectful and you try to speak the language, you'll get around just fine. 

See below for my favorite areas, places to stay, adventures, dancing, and food in Mexico City!


Where to Stay 

My favorite areas to stay in Mexico City that are safe, walkable, and surrounded by activities, restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Condesa is walkable with hip bars, coffee shops, and cool shops on every corner. Wake up to tamales and fall asleep to dancing at the club. 

Roma is within walking distance to Condesa, super walkable as well with great bars and restaurants! This part of the city is very safe and has great artsy vibes.

So Polanco is a little too ritzy and posh for me - but if you're here on a romantic getaway or feel like spending time in the high end area of Mexico City, this is definitely for you! Legit the Soho (Manhattan) version of Mexico City with restaurants and high end shops.  

If you'd like to stay in the more traditional, bit slower, artsy area of Mexico City, Coyoacan is absolutely for you.   

Staying off a Reforma is a huge plus if you want to be able to walk easily to the center and Chapultepec park. Personally - I don't recommend staying in the center because it's touristy, not as safe, and a little dirty. This is a great alternative! Also, pretty sure this is the coolest hostel in Mexico City with the best crowd of people!


Where to eat

Food is the highlight to many of my trips, but Mexico City? One of the best cities to visit for food. If that's your sole reason for visiting, you absolutely won't be disappointed. Here's my tips on my favorite places to eat in Mexico City. 

Roma + Condesa

  • Mercado Roma

    • Super cute and hip indoor market with different options for food, drinks, and sweets! Tip, check out the beer garden upstairs!
    • When to go: afternoon for snacks or a late lunch
    • What to eat: as I like trying many different things, I'd recommend going around to all the little shops and trying a whole bunch!
  • El Tizoncito

    • It's so easy to win me over when you offer a whole bunch of salsas and dips as soon as you sit down, well, this is one of those places! Plus, probably the best tacos I tried in Condesa. 
    • What to eat: pastor tacos and mushroom cheese tacos! So freakin good.
    • What to drink: one of those damn good Micheladas. 
  • El Morro

    • Go for the churros. And more churros. And churro ice cream sandwiches. Definitely a must see for best desserts in Mexico City. This is a chain and there's multiple in the Condesa/Roma areas so make sure to look it up!
  • Libreria el Pendulo

    • When to go: breakfast in Condesa!!
    • Cutest bookstore restaurant in Mexico City for sure. Pro tip - you can 100% work here as well. 

El Centro / Cuahtemoc 

  • VEGAMO

    • Vegan Food in Mexico City - but wait, incredibly delicious, diverse, and natural vegan food. I can't recommend this place enough.
    • What to eat: Acai bowl, chilaquiles, juices, waffles... honestly, I went about 5 times in a week and everything is good!
  • Taqueria El Caifan

    • The Center doesn't have the best options to eat - a bit pricey, not as clean, etc. This is a great option! Cheap food, good tacos..
    • Pro tip: don't leave without trying a Mamay popsicle (don't know what that is? Just ask for a pallita de mamay).

Polanco

  • Guzina Oaxaca

    • Great for sharing and getting small plates! (Hint, my favorite kind of eating..)

    • Must have: the salsa prepared at the table.

  • Pujol

    • One of the top 50 restaurants in the world, if you're down to spend a whole bunch on a meal. Pujol is the place to do it. 

Coyoacan 

  • Los Danzantes

    • Great for: Breakfast

    • What to order: Classic Chilaquiles with Steak, Fruit, Fresh Juices

  • Corazon de Maguey

    • Great for: unique Mexican food, desserts, margaritas!

    • Must eat: tacos fritos de jamaica, chileajo

    • Dessert: pastel de elote (if you have any one dessert in Mexico, this should be it)

    • Drink: any margarita!

  • Street food

    • Ice cream: on the corner, visit one of the local ice cream shops for some yummy goodness!

    • Esquites: corn with mayo and cheese, very traditional Mexican street food, find it in the center. 


Drinks + Dancing

Roma & Condesa

  • Luciferina(Drinks)

    • Chill bar near Roma/Condesa Area with a nice terrace and lounge.

    • Must Have: honestly, the Tarantula Venom Cocktail is the main reason to go here! They'll explain to you how to drink it - but let's say you don't speak Spanish? You're going to drink just the top part (see how it's black? That's the venom) and swish it around in your mouth for about 3 minutes. Then you'll swallow it and they'll give you a mineral water to really feel it's effects.

  • Xampaneria(Drinks)

    • Good vibes at this Condesa bar with champagne based cocktails. Also - they have some really awesome DJ's!

    • Must drink: personally their mezcal cocktails were my favorite!

  • Condesa DF Hotel (Drinks)

    • Beautiful hotel with a gorgeous terrace to enjoy the view of the city and sip drinks. 

  • Patrick Miller(Dance)

    • Ready to dance? One of the cooler clubs in Mexico City, especially for how unique it is. 

    • Quick tip: they're only open on FRIDAYS

    • Be ready for a line, be ready for sweaty (I recommend going after a few drinks), but be ready for the music to seep into you and to have a cool, crazy, time!

  • Salon pata Negra (DANCE)

    • The music here depends on the DJ, some times it's great, sometimes it's not. Either way you can have a great time with a cool crowd that's ready to dance.
    • Pro tip: if you're outside of the club you'll see a door guy to your left, head up those stairs for more latin music to dance to (salsa, reggeaton, bachata)..

Polanco

  • Jules Basement (Speak Easy)(Drinks+dance)

    • One of my major rules when visiting a new city is that I need to find the cool speak easies. Well, I found it with Jules Basement. Cool vibes, great music with a dj, and awesome drinks (be prepared to spend more on a tequila shot than you normally would, but it's worth it).

    • How to get in: when you arrive at the restaurant that's at the address, go straight through the middle and there should be a man on your right in front of a fridge door, he'll let you in (worse comes to worst, just ask the staff and they'll point you in the right direction.)

    • What to drink: cocktails or tequila shots.

    • Dress code: I imagine you can show up in anything but I'd do business casual or night out. 

  • Limantour(Drinks)

    • Supposedly, Limantour hosts the best cocktails in Mexico City, and some of the best in Central America. 
    • What to get: honestly? Everything we tried was delicious, and as their cocktails were seasonal, I'd recommend ordering one of their changing ones. 

Adventures + Day Trips

Teotihuacan Pyramids

  • The Pyramid of the Sun is one of the three largest in the world. Gorgeous, and worth a visit.

  • Pro tips:

    • Lots of hotels and hostels will offer tours, but if you feel like going on your time, an Uber is about $20US each way. 

    • You'll probably get out of breath hiking up (and if not, well, good for you..) don't be surprised by this, it's just the elevation. Bring water and dress comfortably!

Parque Los Dinamos

  • Looking for somewhere to go for a long hike that's still within the city? I was incredibly surprised by what we found at Los Dinamos. Waterfalls down the entire trail, it felt like we were somewhere in New England, not in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world.
  • It's not a fully natural escape as you'll find people and random stops with food and restaurants, but it's a great workout and an escape that's super close.
  • Getting there: $10 Uber from Condesa area. 

Xochimilco

  • If you don't know, Mexico City was built on water and used to be full of canals - now, Xochimilco is all that's left of this lifestyle. Visit for a beautiful boat ride through the canals, with stops if you're interested.

Desierto de los Leones

  • Another beautiful (yet close) escape from Mexico City to go hiking and enjoy the wilderness. Visit the beautiful old convent on the way up the mountain. 

Nevada de Toluca

  • If you have more time to spare and transportation (or book a tour), visiting the volcano Nevada de Toluca is a gorgeous and exciting option! Hike up or drive up to view the lakes and the volcano. 

Activities + Museums

Mexico City has an endless stream of museums and activities to spend time in - while when I travel I tend to prefer to immerse myself in the culture and with the people than in the museums, these are my personal favorites for unique experiences. 

El Centro / Cuahtemoc 

Coyoacan 


Quick Tips & Common Questions

what's the best way to get around?

My personal favorite is using Uber - it's super cheap, reliable, and safe. 

What should i pack?

Cute but comfortable shoes (if you dress like a tourist, they'll know), I recommend bring clothes you were on the daily. Sneakers like converse, vans, etc. are great cause they still look stylish but are comfortable.

If you plan on going out and dancing (like I do) you don't need to super dress up, but it's nice to have some options. 

It tends to get chillier at night, bring a few layers and a light jacket.

Lastly, a fillable WATER bottle. Believe me, the beautiful thing about this city is you a walk, A LOT. Come prepared. 

is it safe?

Man, seriously one of the top questions when visiting Mexico City.

Well, here's the real answer.

Yes, yes it's safe. You'll feel the same as when your in a large city like LA or NYC. But here's the thing, would you feel comfortable walking through skid row? Oh, no? Cool, me neither. Don't go into areas if you haven't checked them out or don't know if they're safe. If you stick to my recommended areas and attractions you might actually find yourself wanting some of the gritty parts of Mexico City because they're so nice. 

Quick tips for safety:

- Don't use the ATMs at night

- As a woman at night, don't walk around looking clueless or lost (try not to use maps if you don't need to)

- Think layers, if you're wearing a short dress or skirt, have a jacket or sweater to cover up

- Don't get into unmarked cars or taxis, check the license plate first. 

Best time to visit

My favorite times are September through May.

Some key dates that are just beautiful:

- Independence day on September 15th 

- Day of the Dead November 1st & 2nd

- Christmas and New Years

- Spring (weather is perfect!)


Coming Soon - Mexico City for Digital Nomads