Mexico City (CDMX) - Hidden Treasure
In recent years, Mexico City has gained serious popularity amongst millennial travelers. So when we had the opportunity to visit during a friend’s wedding in November 2022, we jumped at the chance to experience the magic for ourselves. We’re here to tell you, CDMX is a hidden treasure. We were beyond amazed at how much this beautiful city had to offer. History, culture, archeology, architecture, and the most incredible food we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. This capital city is a gorgeous mix between contemporary and historic, young and old. Mexico City needs to be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
Casa Decu Condesa - Adorable, art deco, 1930s boutique hotel in one of the best areas in Mexico City, Colonia Condesa. Surrounded by buildings of a similar style, you’ll have the freedom to walk down quiet streets covered by lush green plants and trees. Allow time to wander the neighborhood and let your heart (and stomach) guide you to stores, restaurants, and bars all within walking distance of this hotel. When you’re ready to rest, return to the hotel, ring the doorbell, and be greeted by a friendly doorman. Rooms are spacious, artfully decorated and clean. Continental breakfast is included on the roof and definitely worth a visit if you’re short on time.
Things to do
Xochimilco trajineras - Board colorful river boats and cruise through the Xochimilco canals eating, drinking, and dancing! We had heard this was more fun with a large group so we decided to book our very first Airbnb Experience: Xochimilco - Tequila, Mezcal & fun. We were NOT disappointed. Probably one of the most fun experiences we’ve EVER had during our many travel adventures. Spend a couple hours cruising while stopping along the way to visit vendors, purchase more beverages, and be serenaded by a mariachi. Our host truly made the whole experience worth the money. She shared history about the area, told us scary stories of myths and legends, and made sure everyone got to know each other with fun drinking games and shots of tequila. I can’t recommend this experience enough! Absolutely worth every penny!! (Tip: bring cash to pay for vendors and tip the mariachi and bartenders.)
Teotihuacán Great Pyramid Of The Sun - visit the archaeological site (1 hour from Mexico City) to see the pyramids of Teotihuacán to learn about Aztec history. We fell in love with our first Airbnb experience so we figured we’d try another, and we were glad we did! During this experience, you not only visit the pyramids but you also visit La Calzada de los Muertos, a natural cave where you can see your aura color! Before heading back, you stop for lunch at the home of “Teotihuacáns Grandma” (Techinanco) where you’ll eat their special family Mole recipe. It doesn’t get more authentic than this!
Frida Kahlo Museum - We had set aside time to visit this museum (and even watched the Frida movie in preparation lol) but upon arrival, realized we needed tickets!! They were completely sold out for the entirety of our trip. This is at the TOP of our list for our next visit to CDMX. If you have time, you’ll want to explore Coyoacan Market, across the street, for souvenirs and artisan crafts.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia - Another incredible museum focuses on the ancient civilizations and anthropological history of Mexico. Unfortunately we didn’t get to visit because they were closed on Mondays (the one day we had time). We’ll be adding this to our itinerary during our next visit as well.
Eat your heart out!
Mexico City has got to have some of the BEST restaurants/culinary experiences we have ever had. The food is fresh, the service is top notch, and the restaurants have a fun, artistic, and unique vibe. Wherever you are in the city, you’ll no doubt find a yummy spot to fill your belly. Here are the places we enjoyed:
Pueblo Chico - Mexican cuisine (obviously) served in an open-air two-story dining space. We had dinner on the 2nd floor where a wall-to-wall bar was located. Food and drinks were delicious and the staff were friendly and professional. Half way through our meal, a dj began playing disco/70s music. The space really starts to get lively late at night, so don’t be surprised if you’re the only ones there around 7-8pm. We enjoyed the appetizer platter so we could taste a little bit of everything 😛
Maque - breakfast of my dreams!! This has got to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Be prepared to wait since this spot is a neighborhood favorite - but it’s so worth it! Upon being seated, you are welcomed with a warm, fresh tray of pan dulce - free of charge! The pan dulce is your appetizer! Like honestly, the meal could’ve ended right then and there and I would’ve given this place 5 stars. But no, then you’re approached by the mimosa server and he offers you a mimosa (for a fee). Finally, you place your order for the rest of your breakfast and you’re blown away by quality and flavor. Don’t miss out on this spot!
Chilpa - popular brunch spot serving chilaquile bowls! Another spot you should prepare to wait. It’s popular for a reason. The build-your-own chilaquile bowls are to die for! You can pick and choose the toppings, how you want your eggs, and the spice level. Need I say more?
Café Comunidad - on our last morning, we were in a bit of a time crunch for breakfast and we had really only hoped to grab some coffee. However upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a spot - think trendy, hipster, vegan breakfast. Coffee was delish but the vegan chilaquiles were (surprisingly) the star of the show.
La Capital - upscale restaurant with craft cocktails and modern takes on traditional Mexican dishes. Rey enjoyed a cocktail with a smoke infused bubble that was prepared at our table by the mixologist. We ordered the guacamole served with pomegranate seeds and grilled cheese with tostillos…DELICIOUS! (reservations recommended)
Azul Historico - dimly lit sophisticated restaurant, perfect for date night. Indoor trees covered in lights, candles, and inside an antique building gives it a vintage, romantic ambiance. We visited this contemporary Mexican restaurant on our last night in Mexico City. You can’t go wrong with their cocktails, wine, and entrees. Their signature dish: the tortilla soup - served in an adorable calavera catrina dish is a must! (reservations recommended)
Uber/Lyft - use ride share to get around the city. It’s safe, convenient, and cheap!
Schedule a ride from the airport - ride share is hard to find at the airport. Use Booking.com to schedule a ride. The driver will even wait for you at the baggage claim with your name on a sign. Note: be prepared to drive through some sketchy looking streets. We were surprised when our driver started taking detours and went off the main road. I think they just look for less crowded streets so it was a little nerve wracking for us first-timers.
Weather - we visited in November and the weather was perfect! Mexico City’s rainy season is June-September. For warm, mild weather February-March and October-November are your best bet.
Language - it’s important that you have some basic Spanish-speaking skills. While most restaurants and popular tourist destinations will have English-speaking staff, you will come across drivers, vendors, and people on the street that only speak Spanish. It’s never expected but always appreciated when you can immerse yourself into the culture and learn to communicate at a basic level. 🙂
Cash - we don’t always suggest bringing cash but there are certain cities/countries where it’s helpful to have. CDMX is one of those places. Street vendors, public bathrooms, tipping our experience hosts, are just some of the few reasons we needed to have cash on us during this trip.