Located at an elevation of 7,382 feet, Mexico City is the country's largest and most populous city. Known for its anthropological history, this high-altitude capital is revamping its image with its entrepreneurial spirit and exploding culinary scene. Whether exploring ancient ruins, eating at gourmet restaurants, or watching lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) matches, there is something for everyone. It is an increasingly popular weekend destination spot for travelers from the United States, and the itinerary below can give you a starting point on how to spend your time there.
US and Canadian citizens do not need a visa for stays in Mexico under 180 days, however, they must have a valid passport at time of entry. Citizens of India visiting Mexico for tourism or business also do not require a visa as long as they hold a valid US visa, or have permanent resident status in Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, or Schengen countries. Please refer to your country's official resources to determine your visa requirements.
Even though Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Mexico, the government does not recognize it as Mexico's official language. This is because they want to promote the country's many indigenous languages that are at a threat of extinction. Visitors can get away with speaking English and some common Spanish phrases in tourist-heavy areas. With regards to currency, as of September 2020, $1 USD = 20.97 Mexican Pesos. Many establishments take credit cards, but be sure to keep some cash handy as some small vendors and food stalls may not accept credit card.
Traveling around Mexico City by Uber and taxi was fairly easy and safe in the tourist-heavy areas. We used these two options as our primary mode of transportation while we were in Mexico City. We chose to take a bus to Teotihuacan and did not have any issues. We found that knowing some Spanish helped us navigate our way through the ticket counter and to the correct bus. You can also rent a car at the airport if you wish to have easy access to a vehicle throughout the duration of your trip.
We were told to stay in the Roma Norte, Condesa, or Polanco neighborhoods as they are all safe and near a lot of shopping and restaurants. Travel + Leisure has a great guide detailing some of the neighborhoods visitors should considering staying in depending on the type of experience they are seeking. The guide also includes hotel recommendations.
Spend a few hours exploring the family home of Frida Kahlo in Coyoacán, which was turned into a museum in 1958. Known as Casa Azul, or the Blue House, the museum showcases some of her most important works as well as some of her personal belongings. If you decide not to purchase a ticket to the Frida Kahlo Museum in advance, I suggest planning your visit to be the first activity of the day. Plan to arrive at the museum 45-60 minutes before opening time to stand in line as the line grows very fast and is there is usually a long wait time throughout the day.
Mercado Roma is a gourmet food hall in the Roma Norte neighborhood that is a fun take on the traditional markets found throughout the city. You can spend time tasting various wines and artisanal cheeses, or pick up a few tapas and small plates from different vendors and find a spot at the communal tables stationed in the back of the food hall. With so many options available, everyone is sure to find something to satisfy their cravings.
If you’re looking for a nice, delicious meal that won’t break the bank, head to Fonda Fina where chef Juan Cabrera Barron is putting a spin on traditional Mexican dishes using fresh, local ingredients. The food was delicious and the space was very warm and inviting. Some of our favorite dishes included their crema poblana and peneques rellenos de queso.