21 Best Things to Do in Mexico City, From Fine Dining to Local Shopping

From visiting art museums to learning about tequila, these are the best things to do in Mexico City.

Mexico City is centuries old, and it would take at least that amount of time to experience all the culture, dining, arts, and hidden corners the city offers. The sprawling metropolis is home to over 21 million residents divided into countless colonias, or neighborhoods. There's simply too much to do, see, taste, and experience, but we came up with 21 of the best things to do in Mexico City to kickstart your exploration.

See the Murals at Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palace of Fine Arts, Art Deco mural by Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads, with students taking selfies.
Rosie Irene Betancourt/Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Construction on this iconic Mexico City concert hall and arts center started in 1905. Today, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco building holds multiple historic murals. The most famous, on the third floor, were painted by Mexican artist and revolutionary Diego Rivera.

Indulge in Fine Dining at Pujol

Pujol has topped most lists of the best restaurants in Mexico City since it opened in 2000. The seasonal tasting menu focuses on traditional Mexican techniques and ingredients, including a signature mole aged for over 1000 days.

People Watch in Parque Mexico

This urban park is the green heartbeat of Condesa. The leafy trees and ample seating provide respite for well-heeled people and pup watching. Explore the manicured walking paths with an espresso or hot chocolate in hand.

Find Art Inspiration at the Frida Kahlo Museum

The Blue House, easily spotted thanks to the striking cobalt shade, is where Mexican artist and revolutionary Frida Kahlo spent much of her life. Today, the museum holds some of her personal belongings, art, and dresses in a series of rooms and gardens.

Shop Handicrafts at Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela

You don't have to travel to Oaxaca to find handicrafts and souvenirs made by local artisans. This market is the place to shop for ceramics, silver jewelry, wool blankets, and art handmade all over Mexico.

Wander Through Bosque de Chapultepec

Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City, known for its architecture, city views, stained glass windows and history as the former residence of t became the official residence of Emperor Maximilian I.
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At more than 1,600 acres, Bosque de Chapultepec is more than just a park. It houses a zoo, multiple museums, a recreational lake, and monuments to Mexico's heroes. Food vendors and street performers draw locals on weekends.

Marvel at Museo Soumaya

The striking architecture is just part of what makes this jaw-dropping art museum one of the best things to do in Mexico City. The private collection holds over 66,000 pieces with an alleged value of over $700 million, but admission is free.

Wander the Stacks at Biblioteca Vasconcelos

You might not initially think of a library visit on a list of things to do in Mexico City, but Biblioteca Vasconcelos is an architectural marvel. The bookshelves are cantilevered out from the sides, giving them the appearance of floating from the ceiling. Smoked glass floors and multiple levels add to the almost dizzying bibliophile aesthetic.

Chow Down at Churreria el Moro

Chewing on churros is easily one of the best things to do in Mexico City. While you'll find slightly stale (and cheaper) churros from street vendors, Churreria el Moro is an authentic stop for perfectly chewy churros, hot chocolate, and ice cream sandwiches.

Soak Up Culture at Mercado de Sonara

Mexico City is home to multiple markets, but Mercado de Sonara is one of the few that sells occult products alongside pinatas, home goods, and fresh cactus. The rear end of the market holds stalls dedicated to medicinal herbs, santeria icon statues, and Day of the Dead altar materials.

Visit Barrio Alameda

This Art Deco shopping and design center sits at the western edge of a popular park by the same name. It's one of the best things to do in Mexico City if you like visiting edgy boutiques and upscale restaurants. The rooftop patio is especially popular.

Order Seafood at Contramar

You might not think of landlocked Mexico City as a hotspot for seafood, but Contramar is the exception to the rule. Creative takes on whole grilled fish and oysters abound. Don't skip margaritas by the liter.

Honor History at El Zocalo

The palace faces the main square, the Zocalo, also referred to as Constitution Square. This site has been a palace for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec empire.
John Coletti/Getty Images

Mexico City's Zocalo is one of the largest urban plazas in the world and has served as a center of importance since Aztec times. Today, an enormous Mexico flag marks the spot and soldiers raise it daily in ceremony.

Stop by Tizoncito for Al Pastor Tacos

This Condesa taqueria claims to have invented the al pastor taco in the 1950s. While that's unlikely, Tizoncito does have some of the best al pastor tacos in Mexico City. Thinly-sliced and marinated pork is topped with raw onion, fresh cilantro, and a sliver of sweet pineapple.

Listen at Plaza Garibaldi

Plaza Garibaldi draws roving bands of Mariachi performers. Snag a spot at a nearby bar, order a tequila, and enjoy the Mexican musical show for the price of a song.

Take a Shot at the Tequila and Mezcal Museum

Whether you choose a guided tour or wander through the tequila displays solo, there's a lot to learn about Mexico's most celebrated party drink. And yes, shots are included with admission.

Spot the Street Art

Mexico City is a respected art capital, but you don't have to visit a museum to see all of the masterpieces. Street art offers the opportunity to view an ever-changing showcase of murals and pieces, especially around Roma and Condesa.

See an Archeological Site at Templo Mayor

Ruins of Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, Mexico City.
Getty Images

Templo Mayor was once the temple of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Now, it's an archaeological site and museum where visitors can view artificats of the main Aztec temple.

Eat Something Unexpected at Quintonil

More than just a restaurant, Quintonil is a gastronomy experience renowned around the world for ultra-modern Mexican cuisine with a traditional angle. Ant larvae never tasted so good.

Experience Zona Rosa Nightlife

The "pink zone" is one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Mexico City, and is particularly popular with the art and LGTBQ crowd. From karaoke bars to cocktail lounges to dancing, there's something for every taste.

See History at Museo Nacional de Antropologia

The National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park Mexico City
Matt Mawson/Getty Images

Natural history and artifact enthusiasts will appreciate multiple exhibition rooms and outdoor gardens. Don't miss the sun stone in the Mexica room.

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