Things to do in Mexico City
Centro Histórico is an excellent starting point to explore and understand Mexico City. Walk around Zócalo, the city’s main square and home to Palacio Nacional, the seat of the country’s government. Catch a performance by the Mexican Folkloric Ballet at nearby Palacio de Bellas Artes, or just step inside to admire its fabulous Art Deco interiors and murals by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over at MUNAL (the National Museum of Art), admire the work of Mexican masters like Gerardo Murillo “Dr. Atl” and José Clemente Orozco. Art lovers never run out of things to do in Mexico City.
The lovely, tree-lined streets of Polanco are lined with restaurants, cafés and bars, as well as some of the best designer boutiques. The neighborhood is also home to the National Anthropology Museum, which holds a vast collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, sculptures and crafts. To fully immerse yourself in Aztec culture, take a day tour to Teotihuacán. The archaeological site is a short drive away from the city and features the spectacular Sun and Moon pyramids, which, locals say, will recharge your inner batteries if you climb to the top.
One of the most popular things to do in Mexico City among locals is head to the market to shop for food. Mercado San Juan’s aisles are packed with everything from fresh local fruit to olive oils from Spain. For a hipper taste of local flavor, spend an evening strolling the streets of Roma and Condesa, two of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods thanks to their low-key vibe and endless dining and drinking options.
A perfect place for last-minute souvenirs, El Gran Pastor specializes in products from Monterrey, from traditional glorias, dulce de leche candies, rollos de nogate (guayaba and nut rolls), and caramel-filled marzipan to the famous regional specialty, machaca (dried bee
For those with an early-morning layover, Sala 21 snack bar and lounge is a perfect spot to read the morning paper while having a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and Viennese coffee. The lounge also offers travelers an excellent menu of appetizers and cocktails, featuring Tequila Milagro, in a sett
For vintage Luis Barragán chairs and other Modernist Mexican furniture.
This boutique features locally crafted jewelry made with silver mined from the historic city of Taxco, the world’s silver capital. Whether you are looking for modern designs or traditional Mexican folk images, you’ll find it here.
Three dozen kinds of dried chiles and mole pastes? Pungent Oaxacan cheese, stacks of nopals, and the mingled scents of guavas and epazote? It's all here at the gigantic Merced, which spans several city blocks and has more than 3,000 vendors from across Mexico.
A combination art-and-literature bookstore, objets shop, and photography gallery.
The colors, images, and symbols of Mexico’s rich culture—from pre-Columbian history to contemporary painters—are translated into stylishly designed clothing and accessories (scarves, ties, shoes, and bags) here. Aztec and folk images embellish earrings and cuff links in silver.
The 18th-century museum houses an excellent decorative-arts collection.
From the group behind the Mexico City–based indie fashion magazine of the same name, the store opened in October 2010 in a renovated 1940’s house in Polanco, it is stocked with everything from Christian Louboutin shoes to 19th-century Latin American silver.
Mexico’s leading health food store provides an alternative to fast food for airport meals or takeout: sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and the frozen yogurt for which the company is justly famous.
On the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico this museum showcases contemporary international and Mexican artists such as Gabriel Orozco in a soaring, light-filled building unveiled in 2008.
Get a bird's-eye view of Valle's pine forests and mountains with a paragliding lesson from FlyMexico. You'll leap off the 7,300-foot-high Peñón de Temascaltepec.
One of Mexico’s leading intellectual publishers, Fondo de Cultura Económica, has two shops at the airport (each with its own name) with a wide selection of books by Spanish-language and international writers. Both are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
An early-20th-century building turned experimental art and performance hall that was recently redesigned by star architect Enrique Norten.
Take a tour on a J-24 racing sailboat with expert guide Tito "El Chino" Benítez. Race other crafts around the lake or lazily explore the area, stopping for a dip under one of three waterfalls.