Mexico City has so much to offer that one To-Do-List is not enough. Nevertheless, here goes number one of two parts to help you choose what’s really worth seeing in Mexico City. All of those tips are really my favourite things to do and to see and I enjoyed every single one of them! So definitely chek out all of them on your next trip to Mexico City, a city that you should really see at least once in your life!
Free Walking Tours
Free Walking Tours have been pretty popular all around Europe for quite some time and it’s slowly gaining more fans in Mexico as well. One of the first agencies to offer those tours is Estación México and they also include some other paid activities in their programme, like Pub Crawls. I disovered the Walking Tour in Coyoacán via Couchsurfing when I was looking through the events. When I got out at the Metro station Viveros/Derechos Humanos I was not really excited to see this shady looking neighbourhood. But while walking around Coyoacán in this three-hour-tour I discovered more and more really cool and beautiful places there and so it slowly grew to be my favourite neighbourhood in Mexico City!
I did the Walking Tour through the centre with my hostel. They offered the tour but actually anyone can take part in this. The tour was also about three hours but halfway through the tour we were asked if we still wanna go on as it was a lot to see and a lot of information. But yes, we did want to go on so we ended up going on a travel through time through Mexico City, climbing up the cathedral’s bell’s towers, taking a look at huge murals of Diego Rivera and getting to know about prehispanic artefacts in the Escuela Prehispánica. I can really recommend this tour to get some insights into Mexican history!
Free Walking Tour Centre
- Meeting Point: Hostal Regina, just ask the people working in the hostel before or contact the agency
- Time: every Wednesday at 09.30AM
- Agency: Ollintzin Tours
Free Walking Tour Coyoacán
- Meeting Point: at the ticket office of Metro station Viveros/Derechos Humanos
- Time: every day at 03.00PM
- Agency: Estación México
Floating on a boat on the Xochimilco canals
This is a thing that I wanted to do before I even arrived to Mexico City and I finally had the chance to do it after nine days. The problem is that you’ll have to go there with a group of people, so I first had to look for some people that were up to it as well. Why can’t you do it on your own? Well, technically you could but first it’s very expensive when you do it on your own and second it could be a bit boring alone. After all it’s really just floating a little while on a boat and this is a lot more fun when you have nice people around you that you can share a Michelada with (beer mixed with lemon, some sauces and chili). And under this conditions Xochimilco is really great. Watching the people on the other boats, listening to the Mariachi bands, buy food and drinks on your boat and just enjoy the moment. An amazing contrast to the noise and speed of the centre!
How do you get there? An Uber takes you there in 20 minutes from the centre. You can also take the Metro line 2 from the centre to Tasqueña and then change to a bus which takes all in all about 75 minutes. Once in Tasqueña just ask for the bus that goes to Xochimilco. The second option is definitely the cheaper one as you pay $5 for a metro ticket and $6 for the bus ticket, so that sums up to $11 (ca. 0,50€). With Uber you’ll pay around $150-180 (7,50-9,00€).
How much does it cost? It really depends on which landing stage you are. People from my hostel paid $700 (ca. 35€) for two hours. We could only negotiate with the boatsman to $850 (ca. 42,50€) for one hour but as we were three people, we shared the price so that everyone just had to pay $280 (ca. 14€). However you should definitely check out different landing stages and ask for the price. Tell them that the people before gave you a better price of $700 for two hours, most of the time they’ll give in. Speaking Spanish helps a lot here.
Bosque de Chapultepec and Museo de Antropología
First of all: make sure that you plan one complete day for this huge park in the middle of the city and the museum. The park itself ist really incredibly big and has a lot of things to offer. There’s a lane packed with bistros and restaurants, a place where you can rent some paddle boats to float on the lake and a mini theme park that’s called „Jardín de los Espejos“ („Mirror Garden“). It is not the prettiest theme park I’ve ever seen but for $12 (ca. 0,70€) I decided to give the mirror labyrinth a go. For $30 you can also climb around the tree installations that consist of three different elements. The security standards are by far not as high as in Germany but if this doesn’t scare you can definitely spend some fun time here. There’s also the Castillo de Chapultepec but unfortunately I didn’t have the time anymore to visit this castle. However I heard people say that it’s definitely worth going there! If you prefer a quieter place a little further away from all the stuff that’s going on in the park, you can cross the street and take a walk in the west part of the park. This one is less touristy but therefore also has less things to offer. However this is definitely the better part of the park to hear the birds sing or to dive into a book.
The Museo de Antropología (Museum of Anthropology) is also pretty big. At the same time it is one of the most impressive museums I’ve ever been to. Even without a guide you can learn a lot about Mexico’s beginnings and its people, about ancient indiginous tribes and languages, customs and cultures that still exist today. I especially enjoyed the temporary exposition about the Huicholes. Their history was explained by an animation film that was projected on a huge wall. In this exposition their believes, symbols and traditions were shown in detail which offered a deeper insight into the cultural diversity in Mexico.
Museo de la Antropología
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 09.00AM – 07.00PM
- Price: entry $65 (ca. 3,75€)
Mercados Medellín and Roma
By now I know that in Mexico’s markets you can get really great food or sometimes, well.. not so great food. I started at Mercado San Juan but I have to say that this one didn’t impress me much. Alright, it was not bad but I liked Mercado Medellín a lot more. This one was not only bigger but also better structured and everything appeared really fresh and of quite high quality. The prices are affordable as well as you pay $50 for a one-litre-smoothie (ca. 2,50€) and about $60-$80 (ca. 3-4€) for a lunch dish. You’ll mostly find traditional Mexican dishes but also ecological products, flowers and (especially at Christmas time) Piñatas.
The Mercado Roma has high qualitly food and dishes to offer but still at prices that are alright. You’ll find dishes from all over the world as well as fusion kitchen and innovative recipes like for example the Sushi Burrito. If you’re looking for something extraordinary to eat then this is the place you have to go to! Plus the whole market is super trendy with modern interior design. Inside the market there’s also a kind of printer where you can print out your Instagram pictures in Polaroid format. A nice thing to play around with!
- Address: Calle Campeche 101, Roma Sur, 06760 Cuauhtémoc
- Opening Hours: everyday 08.30AM – 06.00PM
- Address: Calle Querétaro 225, Roma Norte, 06700 Cuauhtémoc
- Opening Hours: everyday 09.00AM – 09.00PM