Planning to spend 5 days in Mexico City but are not sure where to start?
I’m here to help you!
Mexico City is a huge metropolis, and narrowing down a list of places to visit here is not an easy task.
Until recently, Mexico was mostly known for its coastal areas with postcard beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Inland parts of the country were considered not that interesting at best or downright dangerous by many Western travelers.
Mexico City was one of those overlooked destinations. Thanks to the negative coverage (especially by the American media) that portrayed it as corrupt and unsafe, Mexico City had less than a stellar image in the eyes of an average traveler.
But things have changed.
Now Mexico City is one of the hottest destinations in Latin America, with an incredible food scene, many historic landmarks, gorgeous colonial neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and a thriving art scene.
It also became VERY popular with digital nomads who praise its social scene and the abundance of things to do. If you are one of them, spending a few months in Mexico City is an excellent idea 😊
If you have never been to Mexico City, it’s time to put it on your itinerary, because you are missing out on a real gem!
How many days do you need for your Mexico City itinerary ?
Mexico City is home to over 150 museums, countless restaurants, and many spots that are well off the tourist radar. Even after spending a few weeks here, I still haven’t scratched everything from my list of things to do in Mexico City!
5 days in Mexico City is a good amount of time that will allow you to explore the largest city in the country and enjoy its top highlights.
Do you need to rent a car in Mexico City?
I typically recommend renting a car in Mexico for most destinations, but Mexico City is different.
The traffic in Mexico City is notoriously bad, and drivers tend to be aggressive. Driving around Mexico City takes some getting used to, and since the public transportation is fast and convenient, you don’t really need a car rental in Mexico City.
When you should rent a car in Mexico City
Renting a car in Mexico City makes sense if you are going to take day trips from Mexico City and visit some of the best pueblos Magicos in the region like Tepotzlan, Valley De Bravo, or Taxco. Central Mexico has many incredible places many of which are located within 1-2 hours of driving of Mexico City.
I recommend renting a car with DiscoverCars, one of the best car rental companies with flexible rates and good selection of vehicles.
PRO TIP: Read my article on renting a car in Mexico to avoid mistakes and save money.
Where to stay in Mexico City
Mexico City is huge and you should choose hotels based on the areas you plan to explore.
Centro Histórico is a great area to stay because you will be close to some of the best things to do in Mexico City and will be able to jump on public transportation to get around quickly.
Here are a couple of ideas:
Budget: Hotel Templo Mayor – a great budget hotel in the heart of Mexico City
Mid-range: Domingo Santo Boutique Hotel – a beautiful boutique stay near Templo Mayor and Zocalo
Luxury: La Valise Mexico City – one of the most beautiful hotels in Mexico City in a quiet walkable neighborhood
5 Days In Mexico City Itinerary
Mexico City is the largest city in North America that is home to over 21 millions of people (including the metro area). Exploring it could take you weeks!
But don’t worry, in my itinerary for 5 days in Mexico City, I’m going to give you a complete overview of the top highlights of Mexico City and provide insider tips on how to stay safe during your trip to Mexico City.
With so much ground to cover, let’s dig in!
Day 1 in Mexico City: Zocalo and Centro Historico
To start your Mexico City itinerary, head to Centro Historico, the heart of Mexico where you can learn about how the country was born.
Begin your Mexico City itinerary with a visit to Templo Mayor, an open-air museum consisting of the ancient ruins that were the center of the Aztec Empire in the Pre-Hispanic times and were destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors who built the modern Zocalo on top of it. Here you can get some context of the country’s history before moving forward.
Zocalo is a lively place where you can watch street artists, grab some street food, and enjoy the atmosphere. And bring some change to give it to the street performers who make a living here.
Best guided tours of Centro Historico
If you are visiting Mexico City for the first time, booking a guided tour of Centro Historico is a great idea. Guided tours are very popular in Mexico City, because they provide a lot of history of the area, and help you better understand the country’s culture.
PRO TIP: Join a popular walking tour of Mexico City led by a local. This tour includes stops at major points around Zocalo and nearby areas and is a great way to start your 5 days Mexico City itinerary.
Best things to do in Centro Historico, Mexico City
- Zocalo – Mexico’s main square, Zocalo is home to Templo Mayor, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Palacio Nacional where you can find a house museum of Benito Juarez, the first indigenous president of Mexico, as well as Gardens of Empress and ruins of pyramids that rest underneath this building.
- Palacio De Bellas Artes – One of the best museums in Mexico City. Here you will find rotating exhibits as well as murals of Diego Riviera, one of the most famous Mexican artists.
- Casa De los Azulejos – If you are looking for a perfect insta shot, head to Casa De Los Azulejos, located across the road from Palacio De Bellas Artes. This historic building features white and blue tiles and also has an upscale restaurant inside.
- Parque Alameda Central – Adjacent to Palacio De Bellas Artes, Parque Alameda Central is a sprawling park with gorgeous sculptures and fountains where you can take a break after exploring Zocalo. From March through April, you can also see the blossoming jacaranda trees that come out in stunning purple color.
- Barrio Chino – Do you know that Mexico City has its own China town? While it’s not as big as the famous China towns in the United States, this barrio (or neighborhood) is a great place to try Chinese food, grab some souvenirs and take colorful photos.
- Torre Latinoamericana – One of the top landmarks that define the Mexico City skyline. This 44-story skyscraper miraculously survived two earthquakes, one in 1985 and another one in 2017. When you get to the top, you will be treated to incredible panoramic views of the city below you. I recommend coming here for the sunset.
Torre Latinoamericana price: 170 Pesos
Day 2 in Mexico City: Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan, one of the most important archaeological areas in the country is one of the must stops during your 5 days in Mexico City.
You can book your hot air balloon Tour of Teotihuacán online ahead of your trip. Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in the morning and you will get transported to the area right outside of Teotihuacan from where you will take off in a hot air balloon and see the magnificent Pre-Hispanic City light up in the golden colors as the sun begins to rise.
Touring Teotihuacan on foot
You can also take a guided tour of Teotihuacán on foot and climb the famous pyramids to take some epic photos. You can hire a licensed tour guide when you enter Teotihuacan ruins or book a guided tour of Teotihuacan online ahead of your visit.
Teotihuacan price: 75 Pesos
Best hot air balloon tours of Teotihuacan
PRO TIP: Hot air balloon rides take place easy morning, and you can see the spectacular view of the area during the sunrise. After you are done with the trip, you can head to the ruins, and check out the archeological area on foot.
If you have a car rental, make sure to check out San Juan Teotihuacan, a pueblo magico near the Teotihuacan ruins where you can try authentic Mexican food and walk around before heading back to Mexico City.
Best tours of Teotihuacan from Mexico City
Driving to Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan is located in the state of Mexico, about 50 kilometers (32 miles) away, but getting here takes an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes. If you have a car rental, it makes sense to drive to Teotihuacan. Arrive by the opening time at 9 a.m. to skip the crowds and avoid the hot midday sun.
Taking Uber to Teotihuacan
You can also take an Uber from Mexico City to Teotihuacan. It’s going to cost between 1,000-and 1,300 Pesos depending on the day and time, and you can find designated Uber stops near Teotihuacan ruins.
Public transportation to Teotihuacan
The cheapest way to get from Teotihuacan to Mexico City is by public transportation.
You can catch a bus to Teotihuacan from Terminal Norte. Round trip tickets cost around 200 Pesos, however, make sure that clarify that your bus is going to take you to Zona Arqueologica Teotihuacan (the Archaeological Area), and not San Juan Teotihuacan, the pueblo near the ruins.
Attend a Lucha Libre show at night
Lucha Libre is one of the best cultural experiences in Mexico City, even if you are not a fan of wrestling. Lucha Libre is not really about a fight, but more about colorful costumes, acting, and a good mood.
Arena Mexico is the best place to see Lucha Libre in Mexico City, and you can see luchadores (or wrestlers) dressed in colorful costumes and masks every night. You can book your tickets on the spot or ahead of time.
You can also book a guided Lucha Libra tour online to have a better and a safer experience since the neighborhood around Arena Mexico is not the safest. Still, you can visit the show on your own, just get an Uber, and don’t walk alone at night.
Day 3 in Mexico City: Coyoacan and Xochimilco
Coyoacan is an unmissable stop on any Mexico City itinerary, and I suggest at least half a day there.
What is Coyoacan?
Coyoacan is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Mexico City about 10 kilometers south of Centro Historico. It’s filled with cobblestone streets, museums, and colonial churches, and has become one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico City.
The best thing about Coyoacan is that it’s walkable and you can spend your day exploring this area on foot.
Best things to do in Coyoacan
- Museo Frida Kahlo (Casa Azul) – Mexico’s most famous artist Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacan and also died here. The house where she spent her life is now a museum where you can enjoy Kahlo’s works and learn about her biography. This is one of the most popular museums in Mexico City and tickets can be purchased ONLY online at the official website.
- Mercado De Coyoacan – the main market in Coyoacan where you can find artisan works, delicious food, and many other things
- Cineteca Nacional – One of the top attractions in Mexico City, Cineteca Nacional is known for its gorgeous architecture and screening of documentaries and alternative films
- Viveros De Coyoacan – is one of the most beautiful parks in Mexico City that is popular for running and strolling. Come here to enjoy the green space and take a break from the busy streets of Coyoacan.
- Church and Ex-Convent of San Juan Bautista – This famous Coyoacan cathedral is easily one of the most beautiful churches in Mexico City
- Museo Anahuacalli – While everybody knows about Museo Frida Kahlo, not everyone is familiar with Museo Annahuacalli which houses a collection of prehispanic artifacts that belonged to Diego Rivera, a partner, and husband of Frida Kahlo.
Best Coyoacan Tours
Where to stay in Coyoacan
Coyoacan has tons of things to do, which warrants a stay here. This neighborhood has many hotels, and if you are looking for a more tranquil stay than Centro Historico in Mexico City, spend at least one night in Coyoacan. Here are my top suggestions:
Budget: La Casita De Coyoacan – small home-style accommodation in the heart of Coyoacan
Mid-range: Loft Exclusivo – a gorgeous airy loft near restaurants, museums and the best things to do in Coyoacan
Luxury: Agata Hotel Boutique and Spa – one of the best boutique hotels in Coyoacan with top-notch amenities
Where to eat in Coyoacan
- Vege Taco – is a great restaurant with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options
- Churreria General De La Republica – no trip to Coyoacan is complete without Churros, and this is one of the best places to get them
- La Pitahaya Vegana – one of the most popular vegan restaurants that have several locations in Mexico City including Coyoacan
- La Casa del Pan Papalotl – this neat restaurant is one of the best places to visit in Coyoacan for healthy dining. All the food here is made out of organic ingredients supplied by local farmers and it’s delicious!
- Los Famosos de Coyoacan – One of the best ice cream shops in Coyoacan, this place offers a ton of flavors and friendly staff.
How to get to Coyoacan from Centro Historico
Since Coyoacan is a distance away from Centro Historico, you will not be able to reach it on foot. If you have a car, you can take a ride, but be prepared for traffic. The best way to get to Coyoacan is by Metro, and all you need to do is get on a green line south and get off in Coyoacan.
PRO TIP: Be sure to avoid a Metro commute during pica hora (or rush hour) when trains are full with people, and it’s common to get pushed and shoved. Pickpockets also love this time, as it’s easy to steal things when the trains are crammed.
Make a stop in San Angel
If you have extra time, make a stop in San Angel, a sleepy neighborhood with beautiful churches and parks about 10 minutes away from Coyoacan by car.
Saturday Bazaar in San Angle is worth a stop. Here you can buy traditional Mexican textiles, jewelry, and handmade chocolate and cheese. San Angel is located off the beaten path and makes for a great addition to your 5 days in Mexico City itinerary.
You can quickly get to San Angel from Coyoacan by Uber.
Add a Xochlimco stop to your Mexico City itinerary
Coyoacan is located not far from another popular stop in Mexico City, Xochimilco aka The Venice of Mexico.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Xochimilco is a small town whose main attraction is a series of artificial canals that were used by the Aztecs for commercial routes in the pre-Hispanic times.
Best guided tours of Xochimilco
If you are not confident in your Spanish skills, book a tour of Xochimilco ahead of your visit. This way, you don’t have to deal with transportation, haggle on the price and figure out how to ask questions. A tour will provide everything for you.
Xochimilco is a popular stop for many travelers along the Mexico City itinerary and the best way to visit Xochimilco is with a tour. Many travelers come to Xochimilco to party, as you can buy food and drinks, while you are floating through the canals, and even hire a Mariachi band, who will sing for you.
But aside from all fiestas, Xochimilco is also a nice cultural experience, and if you a traveling in a group, it can be really fun!
How to get from Coyoacan to Xochimilco
To get from Coyoacan to Xochimilco, hop on the green line of Metro, and exit at the Xochimilco station. From the train station, it’s an easy walk toward the pier where the boats are parked and the locals are super friendly and willing to help you with directions.
PRO TIP: Xochimilco is a popular place for partying, and gets VERY busy here during weekends and big holidays. For best experience, plan your trip to Coyoacan and Xochimilco for a weekday.
Read my complete guide on how to get to Xochimilco from Mexico City and negotiate a boat price.
Day 4 in Mexico City: Bosque De Chapultepec + Polanco
Bosque De Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park) is an unmissable stop on your 5 Days In Mexico City itinerary. This huge park covers 1,700 acres and includes a ton of attractions including nine museums, two lakes, and several landmarks.
To get there, stroll along Paseo de la Reforma (Reforma Avenue), the heart of the city where you can find the golden Angel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence). Keep walking and you will eventually arrive at Castillo De Chapultepec.
In this section, we are going to take a look at some of the best things in Bosque Chapultepec, to help you plan your itinerary.
- Castillo De Chapultepec – the only real castle in North America, this is one of the top attractions in Mexico City that houses an impressive museum and used to be a residence of several royal families. Book a combined trip of Chapultepec Castle and Museum of Anthropology.
- Museo Rufino Tamayo – Out of all museums in Mexico City, this museum dedicated to Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo is one of the best places to see contemporary Mexican artworks
- Museo de Antropologia – If you have to visit just one out of dozens of Mexico City museums, it should be the Museum of Anthropology which covers thousands of years of the country’s history. Book a guided tour with a Mexican anthropologist who will give you a detailed overview of the country’s history.
- Food market – Right in the center of Bosque De Chapultepec, there is a big food market where you can find tons of traditional Mexican foods made on the spot for less than 100 Pesos
Make a stop in Polanco
Polanco is the most upscale area of Mexico City where you can find shopping malls, high-end condominiums, and some of the best bars and restaurants in Mexico City. Polanco is adjacent to Bosque De Chapultepec, and you can head there for some food and drinks in the late afternoon, and also make a stop in Soumaya and Jumex, the most popular museums in Polanco.
Best things to do in Polanco
- Soumaya – One of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City, Soumaya is a free museum that is home to the collection of artworks that donated by Carlos Slim, a Mexican businessman and one of the richest men in the world.
- Jumex – Located right next to Soumaya, Jumex is a great contemporary art museum where you can find rotating exhibits regularly.
- Avenida Presidents Masaryk – Also known as the Rodeo Drive of Mexico City, this street is home to many high-end stores
- Mercado Escondido – a great place to find homeware, jewelry, and accessories
- Polanco restaurants – Polanco has many famous restaurants like Pujol, which consistently ranks as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City; Rosetta with instagrammable decor and Cityzen Bar with awesome drinks and meals, and unbeatable views of the city.
Best foodie tours of Polanco
If you want to get a better idea of the delicious cuisine of this area, book a food tour of Polanco.
Day 5 in Mexico City: Condesa and Roma Norte
Condesa and Roma Norte are the two neighborhoods located next to each other that are popular with tourists and ex-pats. Here you can find tons of restaurants, green spaces, and pedestrian-friendly streets. Both neighborhoods are best explored on foot, and you should spend at least half a day exploring them.
Start your day by exploring two best markets in Mexico City, Mercado La Ciudadela and Mercado San Juan, the two markets located blocks away from Alameda Park on Balderas Avenue in Roma Norte.
- Mercado La Ciudadela – This is one of my favorite places in Mexico City! If you love arts and crafts, make sure to include this market on your Mexico City itinerary. I spent hours at this market shopping handmade artisan jewelry, home goods and clothing.
- Mercado San Juan – After shopping in Mercado La Ciudadela, head to Mercado San Juan, where you can grab some fresh produce, fruits, and veggies. The best thing about shopping in both of these markets is that you will support local farmers and artisans.
Here are the closest metro stations to Condesa and Roma, if you are coming from a different part of Mexico City:
- Patriotismo and Juanacuatlan (Condesa)
- Centro Medico (Roma)
- Chilpancingo (Roma South)
- Cuauhtemoc (Roma Norte)
Best things to do in La Condesa/Roma Norte
- Explore the area on foot – La Condesa and Roma are some of the safest and pedestrian-friendly parts of Mexico City. Walk around and explore the different corners of these barrios. Avenida Amsterdam, a tree-lined street is a perfect place to start
- Parque Mexico – a must stop where you can take homeless puppies for a walk in the city. Parque Espana is another great park
- Huerto Roma Verde – a community garden where with exhibits as well as sculptures and street art
- Luis Barragan Studio House – a UNESCO-listed museum that blends traditional and modern architectural styles
- Mercado Roma – an must stop on your Mexico City itinerary, Mercado Roma is one of the most popular places to eat that features food stands from many popular restaurants in the city
Best foodies tours of Roma Norte and La Condesa
Roma Norte and La Condesa are famous for their food scene. Book a a foodie tour during your 5 days in Mexico City to experience the local food scene that has so many incredible options!
Best restaurants in Roma Norte and La Condesa
- Lalo – one of the most popular restaurants in the Roma neighborhood, Lalo consistently gets great reviews for its food and gorgeous decor
- Forever Vegano – a great place offering a vegan spin on traditional Mexican food, but you can find a variety of international dishes here too. Highly recommend!
- Pan Comido – stop here for delicious vegetarian sandwiches, falafel wraps, and traditional Mexican dishes, as well as yummy cakes and cookies.
- Lardo – a more upscale option, Lardo is a great place to grab some brunch.
- Ojo De Agua – one of the best places to try chilaquiles, crispy tortillas that come with a variety of toppings
- El Moro – the best place to grab churros in the area right next to Parque Mexico
Best Tacos in Roma and Condesa
You have to try tacos at least once during your 5 days in Mexico City!
Around the city, you will find countless taco stands, small cafes, and upscale restaurants serving this staple of Mexican cuisine. Here are a couple of places to find the best tacos in Roma Norte and La Condesa:
- La Pitahaya Vegana – the best vegan tacos I’ve ever tried that cost 120 pesos for three tacos
- Taco Orinoco – one of the most popular places for tacos in the area located along Avenida Insurgentes
- Tacos Alvaro Obregon – serves tacos, gringas, volcanoes, and other traditional Mexican staples
- Pro Siempre Vegana – If you are a vegan, this is one of the best places to grab tacos in Mexico City!
Take a Mexican cooking class
Where to stay in La Condesa/Roma Norte
Casa Goliana La Roma – Gorgeous Bed and Breakfast with airport shuttle and central location
Villa Condesa – Great breakfast and spacious rooms. Bikes available on property
Hotel Parque Mexico – A stylish boutique hotel in the heart of La Condesa steps away from parks, restaurants, cafes
Most frequently asked questions about Mexico City
How to get around Mexico City?
The best way to get around Mexico City is by metro! Mexico City Metro is super easy to navigate as it is straightforward and can bring you to the most popular places to visit in Mexico City. A one-way Metro ticket costs 5 pesos
GOOD TO KNOW: If you are staying 5 days in Mexico City, consider buying a plastic card that also allows you to pay for your rides on Metro. This is more convenient than buying a ticket every time you need to catch a ride and you can just put more money on it through one of vending machines.
Getting around Mexico City
By Metro – My favorite way to get around Mexico, Metro is the quickest and cheapest way to get around. Keep in mind that pica hora (or rush hour is not the best time to use it
By bus – You can explore Mexico City by hop on hop off bus which stops at major attractions or just use a regular bus. As with other public transportation in Mexico City, always use cash
Uber – the best and safest option to get around Mexico City, Uber here charges only a fraction of what you would pay in the United States. Expect to pay 150-200 Pesos for a 30-minute ride. This is a great option, especially during the night when it’s not always safe to walk depending on the neighborhood.
Is Mexico City safe to visit?
Mexico City is perfectly safe to visit! In the past, some thought of it as a sketchy crime-ridden place, but now more travelers are discovering what a true gem it is! The locals are warm and friendly, and most people are willing to help you out and answer your questions, if you are lost and need help with directions.
Most crime in Mexico City is related to drug trafficking, and as long as you stay away from doing drugs, your chances of getting in trouble are much lower.
But that doesn’t mean that you can put your guard down
As a foreign tourist you are more likely to be affected by petty crime like pickpocketing or bag snatching, so always keep an eye on your belongings, especially around crowded areas like Zocalo, where criminals normally operate.
Additionally, not all parts of Mexico City are safe for walking around, especially at night. Don’t walk alone at in the dark and stay away from isolated areas, as you would in any other city. Some neighborhoods like Tepito and Iztapalapa are not safe at any time, so it’s better to skip them altogether.
How to stay safe in Mexico City?
Mexico City is a popular tourist stop, and although the areas frequented by tourists like Zocalo and Centro Historico are perfectly safe, they also attract plenty of scammers and pickpockets. To stay safe while visiting Mexico, always be on guard, even if you are visiting a safe, popular spot.
General safety tips for Mexico City
- Don’t flash your wealth – Dress in plain, inexpensive clothes that can help you to blend in with the crowd
- Don’t carry all your valuables in your bag – Carry one credit card and some cash and leave your wallet and other valuables in your hotel room
- Do not drink tap water – This is one of my general Mexico travel tips. Like in the most of the country, tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink. Bring your reusable bottle that you can refill in some hotels
- Keep an eye on your backpack/handbag when you are walking in the crowd
- If something looks sketchy, it probably is – people eager to sell you tours or asking overly personal questions are some of those things. Be polite, but always know when to say no and walk away
- Use ATMs only affiliated with major banks – Avoid sketchy ATMs that are located in building walls and other random places, as they are more likely to be used by criminals to skim your banking information. I recommend Santander and Scotia Bank which have the lowest cash withdrawal fees of about 34 Pesos (or USD 1.5) per transaction
- Stay around areas frequented by other tourists – Areas like Coyoacan, Reforma, Roma Norte, and Condesa are considered some of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City
- Stay away from regular taxis and take Uber instead – not all taxis are safe in Mexico City, and some of them are operated by criminals. If a taxi doesn’t have a meter, that’s a huge red flag. Always take Uber to stay on the safe side
What is the best time to visit Mexico City?
The best time to visit Mexico City is from March through early May.
During this time, Mexico City has the best weather with plenty of warm, sunny days when the average temperature hovers between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. In March, you can see the blossoming jacarandas that come out in stunning purple color.
September through October is also a good time to visit Mexico City, as the weather is dry and mild, and it’s not as busy compared to the spring season. November is the beginning of the low season in Mexico City, when you can save money on tours and hotels, if you don’t mind slightly colder temperatures.
Winters can be chilly in Mexico City which could affect your travel plans, and June through October is the rainy season with frequent (but mostly short) downpours. If you don’t mind some occasional rain, this is a great time to visit Mexico City, because prices on hotels and tours are much lower.
A final word on spending 5 days in Mexico City
If you are still wondering whether you should visit Mexico City, my answer is a resounding YES! Mexico City is a vibrant city with a unique blend of cultures that is quickly becoming one of the hottest destinations in Latin America. My 5 days in Mexico City itinerary only scratches the surface, because once you visit it once, you will want to come back for more!
Go ahead and book your ticket to Mexico City now, so you could enjoy everything that it has to offer, from the rich culture to delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere.
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