looking for some tips + tricks for your next adventure that don't break the bank (or your finally-developed self-care habits)?! i've compiled everything i found during my favorite trips around the globe so you don't have to!
Mexico City is a city of ironies. It’s colorful and vibrant, but still perfectly relaxing. It has world class food for insanely cheap prices. It’s home to 9 million people, but everyone is still…nice.
It might be one of my favorite cities in the world, even though I wasn’t feeling well for a large majority of my time there. Beware of altitude sickness (for real!). As someone who loves trying new foods, especially in different cultures, this lady was really upset that I ended up having pizza (yes, seriously) in a place that has hundreds of amazing restaurants.
But, that FOMO aside – Mexico City has plenty to do regardless of your interests. Whether you’re an art lover or prefer sitting in the park, it has everything that one could imagine – and a vibe that you don’t want to miss.
We stayed in one of my favorite Airbnb’s ever – the room was on the rooftop of the building, which was decorated with Frida Khalo’s face (yes, seriously). Let alone that the spacious room was less than $50/night and located in one of the coolest neighborhoods – we were sold.
Airbnbs are trendy and inexpensive, so definitely look out for those. Here are some of the coolest neighborhoods you’ll want to stay in:
Roma Norte / Juarez: This is the neighborhood we stayed in and it was freakin’ perfect. It reminds me of a cleaner, Mexican version of Williamsburg. Tons of cool restaurants, art galleries, vintage stores and coffee shops. And, it’s totally walkable.
La Condesa – This is the neighborhood that everyone can’t stop talking about in CDMX. It’s right next to Roma and has a similar vibe; it’s a bit more colorful and trendy.
Polanco – this is like the Upper East Side of CDMX; super wealthy and spacious. The only difference? It’s filled with tons of famous restaurants (think: Pujol and Quintontil). If you’re looking for a high end hotel, this is probably your spot.
CDMX is extremely easy to get around. Be sure that you have Uber on your phone before you go – it’s so easy to use and insanely cheap. On average, the price to go nearly anywhere in the city is about $2.
Just beware – the city itself seems walkable…until you try it. You can definitely stroll within neighborhoods and potentially around the city if you’re feeling adventurous – but taking a car is much easier.
Oh wow – the food in CDMX is a major activity. Eating happens on the late-night, and street food is just as exciting as fancy restaurants. There are also tons of cool bars, coffee shops and bakeries that I can’t name them all here! There are lots of articles that try to summarize the best, but here are some of my favorites:
Huset: beautiful outdoor garden seating area with delicious drinks and food. Unassuming from the outside, but worth it for a lazy, late afternoon lunch!
Pujol: Oh wow – this is a must-do while in CDMX. It’s a famous restaurant and lives up to it’s expectations. Also, when can you get a 7-course meal for $120?! Definitely not state-side. Be sure to have your drink or dessert in the garden.
Mercado Roma: Cool, trendy food hall with lots of CDMX favorite spots in one location
Churreria el Moro: Oh gosh – you’ve got to go. Best churros in the city – and such a cute spot!
Licoreria Limantour: Rated as one of the best cocktail bars in the world last year! Really unassuming spot but delicious drinks (and non-alcoholic ones too!)
Ojo de Agua: Multiple locations around CDMX but a safe spot to get juices and healthy foods. You’ll need it after all those street tacos!
Vegamuso: We found this spot when we needed some vegan goodness – and it lived up to the expectation. Definitely go for the Mexican foods (not the smoothies), but delicious anyhow!
Café NIN: Really cool coffee shop in Juarez with a bookshop-vibe. Great for an afternoon relaxing coffee shop after exploring.
Blend Bar: This spot is super popular with digital nomads, so it might be better to grab your cold brew on the go! But, it’s a perfect spot if you’re craving a strong coffee (…and maybe missing those avocado toasts).
Café Avellaneda: We didn’t get to go here but a famous coffee spot near the Frida Khalo museum.
A lot of the best things to do in Mexico City are just strolling around without a plan. My favorite parts of our trip were stumbling upon a cool shop or restaurant. But, here are a few can’t miss things to do:
Visit Frida Kahlo’s home (be sure to get tickets in advance, it gets busy!) and stroll around this neighborhood south of the city
Have a picnic in the park
Visit art galleries in Roma Norte
Attend a Lucho Libre match!
Take a day / night trip outside the city – our favorite spot was going to Tezpotzlan (a town 1.5 hours south) for Tezmacal. More on this soon!