Mexico City is both the capital and one of the most populated cities in the world. There are plenty of things to do here! You could easily book the ticket and spend many weeks exploring this great urban centre, but you’d still need to take more time to explore all the neighbourhoods.
Moreover, most travellers don’t have time to explore the depths of a place for extended periods. Then this guide is perfect for those with a limited time in Mexico City. Although, this 3-day Mexico City itinerary is easy to follow and will allow you to get a great overview of the major attractions without feeling rushed. Since you can change any attraction to your liking or follow the 72-hour guide.
Here’s the deal:
DAY 1 – CENTRO HISTORICO At Mexico City
The Centro Historico is Mexico City’s historical city centre. This day is your first day. Although, you need comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet most of the day.
TORRE LATINO AMERICANA
Take the elevator to the Torre Latinoamericana Skyscraper’s 360-degree observation deck. It will be clear if you are lucky enough to see Mexico City from your vantage point.
The Observation Deck is available daily between 9 and 10 p.m. An adult ticket costs 130 pesos and children 90 pesos. Children under 3 years old are free. You can visit the museum as often as possible on the same day, so it is worth returning for nighttime viewing.
PALACIO DE BELLAS ARTES
After your feet have settled, you can cross the street to see Palacio De Bellas Artes, a concert hall hosting opera, ballet, and theatre performances. Palacio also hosts a variety of photography and artwork exhibitions. Its stunning domed roof is one of the most prominent landmarks in Mexico City.
Visit the museum if you are interested. You will find many murals and works by famous Mexican artists like Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera.
Take a postcard-worthy picture of the Palacio De Bellas Artes by going across the street to the Sears department shop and taking the elevators up the outdoor cafe terrace, where you will see the Palacio.
THE HOUSE of TILES
Next stop is La Casa de los Azulejos. This former palace, which dates back centuries, is also known as The House of Tiles. This historic structure’s outer façade is covered with blue, white and yellow tiles from Puebla. This makes it a great photo opportunity.
The building’s interior is accessible to the public. You’ll find murals from Mexican artists on the walls and Sanborn’s, a chain of department stores and adjacent restaurants. It’s nothing to write home about, so I recommend skipping it.
LUNCH IN CAFE DE TACUBA
Cafe de Tacuba is a great place to have lunch. The quesadillas and other traditional Mexican dishes are fantastic! ).
The restaurant’s interior is decorated with colonial murals. Chandeliers are everywhere. Servers wear traditional white uniforms. Cafe de Tacuba is about more than just enjoying the food.
Cafe de Tacuba, one of Mexico City’s most well-known restaurants, can sometimes be crowded. Although the price is higher than other restaurants in the vicinity, I believe the food and atmosphere are well worth it!
Continue your lunch at Catedral Metropolitana. It is the largest and oldest Cathedral in Latin America. This impressive structure is located on the northern edge of Plaza de la Constitution, also known as the Zocalo or Mexico City’s main square.
Catedral Metropolitana was constructed next to Templo Mayor, the Aztec primary worship site, after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City).
Many of the stones used in building the Cathedral came from Templo Mayor. Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador, is believed to have laid the first stone.
The construction of the Cathedral took nearly 250 years. Because of this, many architectural styles can be found throughout the structure. The Cathedral is free for the public to view.
Visit the Cathedral and then step back in time by visiting the excavation site at Templo Mayor. Electrical workers discovered them during construction in the 1970s. Several buildings had to be demolished in the surrounding area to excavate the entire site.
Today visitors can visit Museo del Templo Mayor. Here, exhibits showcase ancient artefacts. It provides details about pre-Hispanic Mexico. You can get a great overview of the site from the street-level platforms at the edge of it if you don’t have the time or interest in the museum.
Next, a visit to Mexico City’s Zocalo. Here you will find many events, such as concerts and protests. You can get busy there at times.
A huge Mexican flag is usually flown in the central square. To the left of the Zocalo are the Catedral Metropolitana (which allows visitors free entry) and the Palacio Nacional.
DINNER IN THE DOWNTOWN BUILDER
The Downtown building is one of my favourite places in Centro Historico. It is a renovated 17th-century structure home to artisan shops and a boutique hotel. There are also delicious Mexican restaurants.
Azul Historico, Downtown’s other restaurant, offers a fine-dining version of classic Mexican dishes. It’s a great place to eat, and I’ve had it twice. The restaurant is located in the courtyard of the building, and the tables are interspersed with living trees that have been lit up.
While you wait for your food, you can watch the chefs make fresh tortillas from scratch. ).
The Azul Historico is where you can find one of my favourite and most memorable experiences on my travels. Azul Historico prepares escamoles or ant eggs, a Mexican delicacy. It is served with tortillas and guacamole. It was delicious, even though I was initially reluctant to try it. There are many great options, including tortilla soup, enchiladas and mole.
WHERE TO STAY AT MEXICO CITY’S CENTRO HISTORICO
These are some places I recommend if you’re looking for accommodation right in the middle of everything and within walking distance from all the points of interest.
Media Design Hotel: A boutique hotel that is small and modern, located just outside the Zocalo. It has a restaurant on-site that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your stay includes a daily breakfast and mini-bar beverages. This hotel is a great choice for couples, girls’ getaways, and older travellers.
Downtown Beds: Downtown Beds is a hostel-type option in the Centro Historico. Its location, cleanliness and hip atmosphere make it one of the top choices. Private rooms and a daily breakfast are available. This hostel is a great option for families and budget-minded travellers.
Downtown Hotel: This hotel is located in the Downtown Building. It has a cosy feel but also has industrial vibes. The hotel has a rooftop bar and a swimming pool. This hotel is ideal for families and couples as well as seniors.
TEOTIHUACAN – DAY 2
A DAY TRIP TO TEOTIHUACAN’S PYRAMIDS
This second day of the 72-hour Mexico City tour is about Teotihuacan’s pyramids. While some may argue that you can visit the site in half an hour, I recommend taking your time and allowing yourself to explore the area for a whole day.
For 75 pesos per head, you can enter the site.
Teotihuacan lies just over an hour from Mexico City’s Centro Historico. Traffic may vary. The enormous Aztec city is home to several notable structures, including the Pyramid of the Sun (pictured above), the Pyramid of the Moon, which was the subject of the above photo, and the Avenue of the Dead (pictured below running through the middle of the site).
Teotihuacan’s unique feature is that visitors can climb the pyramids. This contrasts with other archaeological sites in Central America, which have restricted access to protect the structures. It’s only a matter of time before Teotihuacan has the same restrictions.
GETTING TO TEOTIHUACAN AND VISITING IT
Mexico City is home to many organized tours, including lunch. It would be best if you inquired about the tour once you arrive so that you can book in pesos. If you prefer to travel alone, you can take public transport. Buses leave Terminal de Norte multiple times per day. (And speaking of Terminal de Norte: Hotel Brasilia is a great option if you want to stay overnight near the bus station.
Allow yourself to take approximately 5-6 hours to appreciate the whole site. This includes climbing the pyramids (quite a workout), walking the entire Avenue of the Dead and visiting the other temples.
You can also wander through the beautiful botanical garden near the Pyramid of the Sun at the end of your visit.
WHAT DO YOU BRING TO TEOTIHUACAN?
To make your Teotihuacan visit enjoyable, there are some essential items that you should bring. It is a large, open site with little shade. You should bring plenty of water and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
It’s a good idea to apply sunscreen before you go out exploring. Even in overcast weather, you will be amazed at the strength of the sun’s rays. You don’t want a sunburnt Teotihuacan.
WHERE TO EAT NEAR TEOTIHUACAN
You’ll be hungry after a long day of walking around Teotihuacan. To enjoy delicious food, you don’t need to travel far places in Mexico. La Gruta is a restaurant that’s located in a natural cavern. They serve traditional cuisine and sometimes feature folkloric performances. You might find it quite busy, so I recommend booking a reservation.
We chose to eat in a restaurant just outside the Teotihuacan grounds. It was delicious, but I don’t remember the name. There are many dining options available on the roads just outside the site.
CONDESA DAY 3
CONDESA’S NEIGHBORHOODS – A SELF-Guided Walking Tour
This 72-hour Mexico City Guide is on the third day. Then, it’s all about slowing down to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in Condesa, one of Mexico City’s hippest and laid-back neighbourhoods.
Although you can get some recommendations on places to visit and things to see, the day is about exploring at your own pace. There is no wrong or right way to explore Condesa. Just enjoy it and take in the sights.
It is a great idea to start your day by walking along the beautiful meridian path that runs through the middle of Avenida Amsterdam, Condesa.
You’ll be making a loop through Condesa, where you will find unique boutiques, Art Deco-style buildings and lots of greenery. There are also independent cafes and restaurants. Enjoy people-watching in this great area of Mexico City by stopping wherever you like.
It’s easy for people to get lost in Condesa’s serenity and details. However, there is so much to see in Mexico City.
If you get hungry after all the walking, you will find plenty of great restaurants, bars and cafes to stop by.
Mercado Roma, a nearby market in Roma, is a popular spot. Moreover, it’s a food court that sells Mexican food such as tacos and enchiladas. Moreover, there are three levels of market stalls and vendors available so that there is something for everyone.
Mercado Roma is well-known among tourists and locals alike. Although it can be quite busy, make sure you arrive later in the evening or day. Also, there is often live music in the evenings.
That’s all! You can spend three days in Mexico City, which you can tailor to your travel plans.