One Great Weekend: What to do in Mexico City

A heady mix of traditional cultures and cosmopolitan buzz, there is no doubt that Mexico City is having a moment. A rich indigenous and Spanish colonial history, a vibrant arts scene and one of the most exciting culinary scenes on the planet, the allure of Mexico City is endless. As one of the world’s largest cities, it’s nearly impossible to ever fully know Mexico City but you can certainly get a taste of the Mexican capital in two days time. Here are my recommendations for what to do in Mexico City.

Stay

Hotel Villa Condesa-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Hotel Villa Condesa

Located in the art-deco neighborhood of La Condesa, Hotel Villa Condesa offers a quiet oasis in Mexico City. Behind the blue gate this boutique hotel features an airy courtyard and spacious rooms. Hop on one of the complimentary bikes to explore nearby Chapultepec Park.

Hotel Downtown Mexico

With its rooftop pool and trendy shops and restaurants, its no surprise that Hotel Downtown Mexico is one of the most buzzed about hotels in Mexico City. Occupying a seventeenth century mansion near the Zocalo, this boutique hotel mixes traditional and modern design elements seamlessly offering up one of the most unique hotels in the city.

Pug Seal Boutique B&B Polanco

Pug Seal Boutique B&B Polanco offers an elegant, yet unpretentious stay in the upscale Polanco neighborhood. High design meets the comforts of home at the art hotel with some of Mexico City’s best restaurants and shopping just steps away.

Do

Chapultepec Park/Castle

Mexico City’s version of Central Park, Chapultepec Park stands as a green oasis among Mexico City’s urban sprawl. On any given day you can find locals and visitors strolling throughout the park’s many trails or visiting one of the several museums on the park’s grounds. Rising high above the rest of the park is Chapultepec Castle, once serving as a presidential residence the castle is now home to the National Museum of History.

Chapultepec Park-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.comChapultepec Castle-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology, located within Chapultepec Park, is Mexico’s most visited museum and one of the most fascinating museums I’ve been to. The museum’s striking modern exterior houses one of the world’s largest collections of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican artifacts including the Aztec Stone of the Sun Calendar and massive Olmec stone heads.

Museum of Anthropology-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.comMuseum of Anthropology-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Zocalo

Once the center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, the Zocalo is the heart of modern day Mexico City. Bordered by the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral the Plaza de Constitution ( the formal name for the Zocalo) plays host to a number of cultural events and celebrations.

Metropolitan Cathedral-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Palace Bellas Artes

Home to Mexico’s national Ballet Folklorico, the beautifully domed Palace Bellas Artes stands as Mexico City’s regal grand dame. In addition to hosting a vareity of performance, the Palace Bellas Artes is home to two museums and houses murals by notable Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo.

Palace Bellas Artes-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Eat

Pujol

Mexico City’s fine dining scene has never been hotter or more diverse, but if you only have time for one high end meal make it Pujol. Chef Enrique Olvera inventive take on contemporary Mexican cuisine has earned Pujol(in the elegant Palanco District) a spot on many a “best restaurant” list with standout dishes such as a one year aged mole and street corn coated in a coffee mayo and sprinkled with smokey chicatana ants. With the multi-course tasting menu running about $80 USD, Pujol is the most affordable Michelin star dinning experience on the planet.

Fonda Fina

One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.comCoctails at Fonda Fina-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Can’t get a reservation to Pujol but still want a taste of what Mexico’s best chefs have to offer? Make a bee line to Fonda Fina where Chef Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil (also one of San Pelligrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World) offers up his take on classic Mexican comfort food at this Mexican bistro. Tucked into the artsy La Condesa neighborhood Fonda Fina serves a fine array of tamales and smokey moles that pair pefrectly with a mezcal cocktail or mango margarita.

Bosforo

Mezcal-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Mezcal is the spirit of choice in Mexico and there is not better place in Mexico City to sip this smokey libation (served with orange slices and ground chile) than Bosforo. The staff at this tiny mezcalaria, located on a side street in the frenetic Centro, features dozens of mezcal from across Mexico. The friendly and knowledgeable staff won’t steer you wrong.

Mercado de San Juan

Mercado de San Juan-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

Mercado de San Juan is a dizzying foodie utopia in Mexico City’s Centro neighborhood. Spend a few hours wandering among an impressive array of produce, meats, seafood and Mexican specialties, Mercado se San Juan is a true feast for the senses.

Helados Santa Clara

Helados Santa Clara has been serving up some of Mexico’s best ice cream since 1924. With small batch ice cream in over 50 flavors (caramel macadamia was a personal favorite) this is the place to get your ice cream fix in Mexico City.

Heladaria Santa Clara-One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.comDo you have any other recommendations for Mexico City? Please let me know in the comments!

One Great Weekend:What to do in Mexico City www.casualtravelist.com

41 Comments on “One Great Weekend: What to do in Mexico City

  1. What perfect timing, I’ll be visiting most of these attractions in about two weeks, fantastic food suggestions, will have to try some of these places

  2. While Pujol is definitely fantastic, there’s so much more (in my opinion) to the food scene in DF. Street food at the markets, pozole at La Casa de Toño, antojitos at the mercado de antojitos in Coyoacan, brunch at Nico’s in claveria. Hope you get a chance to come back and eat more!!

  3. I was just writing about getting to Mexico City (and three other Latin American capitals) using a United Miles hack. I had not been interested until I saw the most recent 007 movie, which had a truly grand opening scene during Dia de los Muertos in the city-center. Now I have even more reasons!

  4. Mexico is a beautiful city with loads of culture, food and colors and in my opinion I’ll require at least 10-15 days to explore it slowly. But thanks to you, you showed us what we can do if we do not have enough time.
    Nisha recently posted…Iloilo City, the City of LoveMy Profile

    • Mexico City can’t really be known fully but getting a taste no matter what time we have is better than nothing

  5. I lived in Guadalajara the year I was in eighth grade while my parents attended language school. I always wanted to visit Mexico City, especially to see the Aztec pyramids, but we never made it. Hopefully I will be able to travel there before too long and sample your recommendations.
    Howard Blount recently posted…Experience Haunted St. Augustine, FloridaMy Profile

  6. This is it! I think we will definitely be planning a stop in Mexico City during our travels next year. We watched Chef Table’s show on Pujol/Chef Olvera and have been wanting to try his food ever since. Thanks for your recommendations on the city!

  7. I’ve only passed through Mexico City on my way to Puerto Vallarta. I think a trip is due to Mexico City soon. Pujol sounds amazing…did you say you ate “ants”, how were they? The anthropology museum and market would also be places I’d love to hit up. Great recommendations for my “soon to be planned” trip to Mexico.

  8. The other big thing to see are the Rivera murals in the National palace. You are already there at the Zocalo so just take a minute and go inside. Also walk over to see the temple mayor on the side of the Catedral. If you want to get a taste of Mexican crafts visit the ciudadela; expensive but you can’t beat the variety available there.

  9. Mexico City is one of my favourite cities on the planet. I have been there several times and will return there later this year to use it as a base for exploring various parts of Mexico for 10 weeks.

  10. Mexico City has long been on our list of places to visit since it’s a convenient flight from home. Hope to make it out this year finally! Thanks for the recommendations. The food is what grabs our attention the most. 🙂

    • I didn’t even scratch the surface of Mexico City’s food scene, I need to go back!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

X

Pin It on Pinterest

X