A city sprawling a massive 573 square miles (that’s half the size of Rhode Island!), Mexico City is every bit cosmopolitan, cultured and exciting, and none of the dangerous and chaotic that you often see in the news. For having a population that rivals the entire country of Canada, it miraculously still has a small town, world-of-its-own vibe where there is always something going on. It is a beautiful city that is rich in history, art, culture and cuisine that you could spend weeks here without getting bored. Alternatively, you could also easily spend a long weekend here, and jam-pack it with some pretty amazing things.
True, Mexico’s sun and palm-lined sand beaches are drop-dead gorgeous (stay tuned for the 411 on Puerto Vallarta this fall), but Mexico City deserves a ever chance to win your heart (which it absolutely will!) And although I mentioned it briefly, I would like to point out again that it is not the polluted crime hub that many people think. A little fun fact from the farm, the New York Times named Mexico City as the number one travel destination for 2016 and called it “a metropolis that has it all.” That being said foodies, travel lovers, history buffs and fashionistas, are flocking to Mexico City, for their 100+ museums (including the famed Frida Kahlo Museum), the ruins, mouth-watering food, and mega-talented designers. And now, with the Mexican peso hitting record lows, it’s that much easier to book your next trip to this magnificent capital.
How To Get There
The beauty of Mexico City is that it’s a MAX 4 hour flight from basically anywhere in the U.S., making this a prime location for a long weekend getaway. Couple that with the fact that it is around $300 round trip for a nonstop flight, and I’m pretty sure I can hear you packing your bag as we speak.
INSIDER TIP: For the best deals, I suggest using the booking app Hopper. You can view prices for airfare months in advance as well as set up alerts with your dates to receive notifications when the price has increased or decreased. It will also let you know if the prices are expected to increase/decrease more and/or if this is the best price and that you should book now.
As with any international travel, upon arrival, be prepared to wait in a long customs line and bring a pen to fill out the custom forms that are required when entering Mexico and the United States!
Tips & Tricks
Whenever you are traveling anywhere, be aware of your surroundings. Although Mexico City is very safe (Homeland Security has given Mexico the same “safe” rating as Italy), it is good to protect yourself any mischief. Just like any city anywhere in the world, especially ones you’ve never been to, you can end up in the wrong place easily. With that said, I had no issue at all and NEVER felt unsafe.
Bring elastic waistband pants. No, seriously. The food is legit to die for (this coming from the pickiest eater that ever existed!)
Everything is extremely affordable! Because the Mexican Peso is valued so much lower than the US Dollar, shopping, recreation and meals will cost you almost nothing. Our most expensive meal was $50 and was three courses with beverages and a whole babka to go. (I know!)
Uber will be your best friend. While we walked almost the whole city in the 7 days we visited, there were definitely times when we just couldn’t take one more step (and this is from a New Yorker where walking is as much as life necessity as food and water). For those of you who are not used to walking, I absolutely suggest that you have the Uber app downloaded on your phone prior to arriving.
Do not miss the “Bazzar el Sabado,” aptly named as its on Saturdays in the beautiful area of San Angel, where you will find blocks and blocks of artists selling their wares. We came home with five pieces of breathtaking art for under $250.
Frida Kahlo, Frida Kahlo Museum
This northern part of the city is an area that the rich and famous call home. Polanco offers the very best in upscale shops and dining, while maintaining a blend of European and Mexican style and aesthetic with local hospitality.
Around Polanco, many of the winding roads are accompanied by large palms offering shade from the midday sun. The roads seem to diverge in any and all directions, leading to roundabouts that open passageways to more alluring streets. You’ll find cafes, international cuisine, and outdoor dining on patios and in courtyards. It’s a place to get lost, both literally and figuratively. We found ourselves lost many times, which was fine by us as we found a gem of a restaurant that we fell in love with in every way.
Definitely the most populated area, El Centro is the heart of Mexico City. This magical, downtown district alone is worth an entire vacation. From the massive structures of the Supreme Court to the Palacio de Bellas Artes (which happened to be across the street from our hotel and the many outdoour markets…hello, elote!), there is so much life and history to be seen, you’ll never be bored!
Read more about El Centro here!
La Condesa and Roma
La Condesa, a fashionable area with tree-lined streets, is the “hip” and up-and-coming area where you can find amazing restaurants, small boutiques, vintage stores, and even a few old school record shops. It neighbors Roma, a similar arty enclave, but with more of a hipster edge. Needless to say, we fell in love with both.