2-Day Local's Guide: Outdoor Adventures and Nightlife in Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico

2 days

Placa de la Republica at dusk
Zocalo square and city cathedral
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Monument of the Angel of Independence
Palace of the Fine Arts

About Mexico City, Mexico

Experience the vibrant culture and rich history of Mexico City, Mexico's bustling capital. This city is a blend of old and new, with ancient Aztec temples, colonial-era cathedrals, and modern architecture. Explore the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or visit the world-renowned National Museum of Anthropology. Indulge in the city's culinary scene, from street food to gourmet dining. Enjoy the lively nightlife, with everything from traditional Mariachi music to trendy clubs. Take a boat ride through the ancient canals of Xochimilco or a stroll in the beautiful Chapultepec Park. Mexico City offers an unforgettable travel experience filled with art, history, food, and adventure.

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Chapultepec and Coyoacán

Morning

Start your day with a refreshing walk in the Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. It's a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Don't forget to visit the Chapultepec Castle located within the park.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Mexican lunch in one of the local restaurants in the Polanco district. This area is known for its wide variety of gastronomic options, from street food to gourmet cuisine.

Afternoon

After lunch, head to the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House. This museum is dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It is located in the Coyoacán district, a charming area with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings.

Dinner

For dinner, head back to the city center and enjoy a meal in one of the rooftop restaurants. These places offer great views of the city and a wide variety of dishes to choose from.

Evening

End your day with a visit to one of the city's vibrant nightclubs or bars. Mexico City has a lively nightlife scene with a wide range of options to suit all tastes.

Morning

Start your second day with a visit to the Zócalo, the main square in central Mexico City. Here you can see the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor.

Lunch

For lunch, try some of the local street food in the Zócalo area. You can find a variety of delicious options, from tacos to tamales.

Afternoon

After lunch, take a boat ride in the Xochimilco Canals. This is a unique experience where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and the lively atmosphere.

Dinner

For your last dinner in Mexico City, head to the Roma district. This area is known for its trendy restaurants and bars, offering a mix of local and international cuisine.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to one of the city's popular jazz clubs. These places offer a relaxed atmosphere and great music, making it a perfect way to end your trip.

Attractions in Itinerary (8)

Chapultepec Park

1
Chapultepec Park

Chapultepec Park, also known as the 'lungs of the city', is one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. It houses a zoo, several museums, a castle, and beautiful gardens.

Parks
Attractions
Chapultepec Castle

2
Chapultepec Castle

Located on top of Chapultepec Hill, this historic site houses the National Museum of History.

Attractions
Monuments
Museums
Frida Kahlo Museum

3
Frida Kahlo Museum

Also known as the Blue House, the Frida Kahlo Museum is dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It is located in the house where she was born and died.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Zócalo

4
Zócalo

Zócalo, also known as Plaza de la Constitución, is the main square in the heart of Mexico City. It is one of the largest city squares in the world and it is surrounded by historic buildings, including the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. The square is a hub of cultural and political activity and is often the site of protests, concerts, and other public events.

Attractions
Landmarks
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Neighborhoods
National Palace

5
National Palace

The National Palace, or Palacio Nacional, is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. It's located on Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. It houses some of the offices of the President of Mexico and the Federal Treasury.

Attractions
Monuments
Architecture
Metropolitan Cathedral

6
Metropolitan Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the Americas and a stunning example of Spanish colonial architecture. It's located in the historic center of Mexico City, right next to the Zocalo.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Architecture
Templo Mayor

7
Templo Mayor

An ancient Aztec temple that is now a museum showcasing the rich history and culture of the Aztec civilization.

Attractions
Museums
Cultural Experiences
Xochimilco Canals

8
Xochimilco Canals

Xochimilco Canals are a system of waterways and flower gardens dating back to the Aztec era. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride on traditional 'trajineras' while listening to mariachi music.

Attractions
Tours
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

A popular street food in Mexico City, Tacos al Pastor are made with spit-grilled pork, served on a corn tortilla and garnished with onions, cilantro, and pineapple.

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada

A traditional Mexican dish originating from Puebla. It consists of poblano chilis filled with picadillo (a mixture of shredded meat, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag.

Pozole

Pozole

A traditional soup made from hominy corn, with plenty of herbs and spices, cooked for hours with pork or chicken, and garnished with shredded lettuce, chili peppers, radish, onion, lime and oregano.

Churros

Churros

A sweet dessert, churros are fried-dough pastries—predominantly choux—based snacks, coated with fine or powdered sugar. They are common in Mexico City and are often enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate.

Elote

Elote

A popular street food, Elote is a grilled corn on the cob, covered in creamy mayo, cheese, chili powder and lime juice.

Enchiladas

Enchiladas

A traditional Mexican dish made of corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Fillings can include meats, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or combinations.

Tamales

Tamales

A traditional Mexican dish made of masa (a dough made from corn) filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables or chilies, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed.

Guacamole

Guacamole

A traditional Mexican dip made from ripe avocados, cilantro, lime, onion, and tomatoes. It's a staple in Mexican cuisine and a common appetizer in Mexico City.

Tequila

Tequila

A distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila. It's Mexico's most well-known alcoholic drink.

Mezcal

Mezcal

A distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. The taste is smoky and it's often consumed straight in Mexico City.

Pulque

Pulque

An alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant. It is traditional to central Mexico and a popular drink in Mexico City.

Michelada

Michelada

A traditional Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, assorted sauces, spices, tomato juice and chili peppers. It is served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Mexico City is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During these months, the weather is pleasant and the city is less crowded. The temperatures during this time range from 50°F to 75°F, making it ideal for sightseeing. However, if you're interested in experiencing the Day of the Dead celebrations, you might want to consider visiting at the end of October or beginning of November. Just remember that this is a popular time for tourists, so you'll need to book your accommodations well in advance.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

February 5

Mon

Constitution Day

March 18

Mon

Benito Juárez's Birthday Memorial

May 1

Wed

Labor Day / May Day

July 7

Sun

General Election Day

September 16

Mon

Independence Day

October 1

Tue

Inauguration day

November 18

Mon

Revolution Day Memorial

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

The Mexico City Metro is a rapid transit system that is the second largest in North America. It's a convenient and affordable way to get around the city, with 12 lines that cover a large part of the metropolitan area.

Buses in Mexico City are plentiful and cover nearly every part of the city. There are different types of buses, including the Metrobus, a bus rapid transit system, and the RTP, a city-run bus service.

Taxis are a common way to get around in Mexico City. It's recommended to use 'sitio' taxis, which are registered and can be ordered by phone or at taxi stands, rather than hailing one on the street.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Didi are widely used in Mexico City. They offer a convenient and often cheaper alternative to taxis. You can order a ride through the app on your smartphone.

Mexico City has a bike sharing program called Ecobici, which allows you to rent a bike from one of the many stations around the city. It's a great way to get around, especially in the city center where traffic can be heavy.

Renting a car can be a good option if you're planning to visit areas outside of the city. However, traffic in Mexico City can be heavy and parking can be difficult, so it's not recommended for getting around within the city.

Many parts of Mexico City are very walkable, especially the historic city center. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the city, but be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on traffic.

The Turibus is a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus that covers several routes around the city's main attractions. It's a convenient way to see the sights without having to navigate public transportation.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ MXN

Time zoneUTC-6

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 065; Fire: 068; Police: 060

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Mexico City, Mexico as a first time visitor

1

Mexico City is located at a high altitude (over 7,000 feet), so you may experience altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water and take it easy for the first few days.

2

The official language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas and hotels.

3

The currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases.

4

Mexico City is in the Central Time Zone (CST) and observes daylight saving time.

5

The city has a temperate climate with an average high temperature of 72°F (22°C) and an average low of 48°F (9°C).

6

Tipping is customary in Mexico. A tip of 10-15% is expected in restaurants.

7

Public transportation is extensive and includes the Metro, buses, and taxis. Uber is also available.

8

Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Petty theft can be a problem in crowded areas.

9

Tap water is not safe to drink. Always drink bottled water.

10

Mexico City has a rich culinary scene. Don't miss out on trying local dishes like tacos, tamales, and churros.

11

The city is known for its vibrant arts scene. You'll find numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues.

12

Mexico City is a bustling metropolis, but it also has many parks and green spaces for relaxation.

13

The city has a mix of modern and traditional architecture. Don't forget to explore the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

14

Mexico City is a fashion-forward city with a mix of high-end boutiques and local markets.

15

The city is known for its nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues.

16

Mexico City is a diverse city with a mix of cultures. You'll find influences from indigenous cultures, Spanish colonialism, and modern global trends.

17

The city is known for its festivals and public celebrations. Check local listings for events during your visit.

18

Mexico City has a strong coffee culture. Be sure to try a cup of local coffee.

19

The city is known for its street art. You'll find murals and graffiti art throughout the city.

20

Mexico City is a large city with heavy traffic. Plan extra time for travel, especially during rush hour.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Hola

oh-lah

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Adiós

ah-dee-ohs

Leaving someone

Please

Por favor

por fah-vor

Making a request

Thank you

Gracias

grah-see-ahs

Expressing gratitude

Yes

see

Agreeing or confirming

No

No

no

Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me

Perdón

per-don

Getting someone's attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Lo siento

loh see-en-toh

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

ah-blas in-gles

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

No entiendo

no en-tee-en-doh

Expressing confusion or misunderstanding

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está el baño?

don-deh es-tah el ban-yo

Asking for directions

How much does it cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

kwan-toh kwest-ah

Asking the price of something

I would like...

Me gustaría...

meh goo-stah-ree-ah

Making a request or order

Help!

¡Ayuda!

ah-yoo-dah

In an emergency or needing assistance

Can I have the bill, please?

¿Puedo tener la cuenta, por favor?

pwe-do te-ner la kwen-ta, por fah-vor

Asking for the bill in a restaurant

Where is...?

¿Dónde está...?

don-deh es-tah

Asking for directions

Water

Agua

ah-gwah

Ordering a drink or asking for water

Food

Comida

ko-mee-dah

Talking about meals or ordering food

Good morning

Buenos días

bwe-nos dee-ahs

Greeting someone in the morning

Good night

Buenas noches

bwe-nas noh-ches

Saying goodbye in the evening or before bed

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Swimwear (if planning to swim)

  • Light jacket or sweater (for cooler evenings)

  • Pajamas

  • Hat and sunglasses

  • Rain jacket or umbrella (depending on the season)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications (if applicable)

  • First-aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic wipes, tweezers)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other ID

  • Printed copies of flight and hotel confirmations

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (in both your local currency and Mexican pesos)

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank (portable charger)

  • Headphones or earbuds

  • Camera (if not using your phone's camera)

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter (Mexico uses type A and B plugs)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Travel pillow and blanket for the flight

  • Books or e-reader for entertainment

  • Travel guidebook for Mexico City

  • Spanish-English dictionary or phrasebook

  • Notebook and pen

  • Tote or daypack for daily excursions

Weather Conditions

Mexico City, located in the highlands of Central Mexico, experiences a subtropical highland climate, which means it has a cooler climate than you might expect for a country known for its beaches and sunshine. The city has two main seasons: the dry season from November to April, and the rainy season from May to October. During the dry season, you can expect clear skies and mild temperatures, with daytime highs averaging around 70-75°F (21-24°C) and nighttime lows dropping to around 45-50°F (7-10°C). This is a great time to visit if you want to explore the city's many outdoor attractions, like the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan or the beautiful Chapultepec Park. The rainy season is characterized by afternoon showers and thunderstorms, but mornings are usually clear and sunny. Temperatures during this season are slightly warmer, with highs around 75-80°F (24-27°C) and lows around 55-60°F (13-16°C). Despite the rain, this can still be a good time to visit, as the city is less crowded and the rain often brings a welcome relief from the heat. Regardless of when you visit, it's important to remember that Mexico City is located at a high altitude (over 7,000 feet or 2,100 meters above sea level), which can lead to altitude sickness for some people. To avoid this, try to acclimatize slowly, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days of your trip. Also, due to its high altitude, the sun in Mexico City can be quite strong, even on cooler days. So, don't forget to pack sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Lastly, the city can get quite chilly in the evenings, especially during the dry season, so be sure to pack a light jacket or sweater. Enjoy your trip to Mexico City! It's a vibrant city with a rich history and culture, delicious food, and friendly locals.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

22° / 7°

January is one of the cooler months in Mexico City, but it's still quite mild. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the heat.

February

24° / 8°

February is a bit warmer than January, but still relatively cool. It's also a dry month, so it's a good time to visit if you want to avoid rain.

March

26° / 10°

March sees a slight increase in temperature, but it's still quite comfortable. It's also the start of the dry season, so you can expect less rain.

April

28° / 12°

April is one of the warmer months in Mexico City. It's also quite dry, so it's a good time to visit if you want to enjoy the outdoors.

May

29° / 13°

May is the start of the rainy season, but it's also one of the warmest months. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind a bit of rain and want to enjoy the heat.

June

29° / 13°

June is in the middle of the rainy season, so you can expect some showers. However, the temperature is still quite warm.

July

29° / 13°

July is one of the wettest months in Mexico City. However, the temperature is still quite warm, so it's a good time to visit if you don't mind the rain.

August

29° / 13°

August is another wet month in Mexico City. However, the temperature is still quite warm, so it's a good time to visit if you don't mind the rain.

September

29° / 13°

September is the end of the rainy season, so you can expect some showers. However, the temperature is still quite warm.

October

27° / 11°

October sees a decrease in temperature and less rain. It's a good time to visit if you want to enjoy mild weather and fewer showers.

November

25° / 9°

November is one of the cooler months in Mexico City. However, it's also quite dry, so it's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the heat and rain.

December

24° / 8°

December is the coolest month in Mexico City. However, it's also quite dry, so it's a good time to visit if you want to enjoy the mild weather and avoid the rain.

Did you know?

Did you know that Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas, founded by the Aztecs in 1325?

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