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12 Invigorating Things to Do in Mexico City

It's a city bursting with history, art and music. Discover must-see attractions in Mexico City. By Jeremiah Crossing | July 16, 2021
You can't help but be captivated by the cultural riches and vibrancy of Mexico City. The Mexican capital is a metropolis full of adventure, charisma, tradition and art. Here are the top things to do in Mexico City so you can make the most of your time in The City of Palaces. Create your next travel memories by experiencing:
  • Architectural icons: From 16th century cathedrals to legendary museums, the city's architecture is a celebration of the rich culture.
  • Art in unexpected places: Keep your eyes peeled for an iconic blue house and an angel in the sky.
  • The Venice of Mexico: Float down a canal while the sweet sounds of mariachi whisk you away.

Explore the Historical Center

Nestled in the center of Mexico City, the Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) and the Palacio de Correos (Post Office Palace) are not just architectural icons; they're also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here, you can walk down Madero Street - one of the busiest in the country - and observe the hallmarks of the city’s colonial history. You can take in street performances and stop in incredible restaurants and bars that are frequented by locals and visitors alike.

Metropolitan Cathedral

Insider tip: Pass through the cathedral's imposing facade and marvel at its dome. It was created by Manuel Tolsa and is the perfect spot for a photo with friends.

Visit the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral)

When you stand in front of one of the largest cathedrals in the Americas, you'll understand why it's one of the must-see places in Mexico City. Construction began in 1573 and ended in 1813, a span that itself represents numerous eras of Mexico’s history.

Xochimilco

Float along the canals where you'll likely find several boats with mariachis, trio rancheros or marimbas, to liven up your afternoon.

Take a Stroll Along Xochimilco

Often described as the Venice of Mexico, Xochimilco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 for its great respect for nature. Here, you can float through its canals in a traditional flat-bottomed boat, called a trajinera.

During your visit, don't miss the chance to visit La Isla de las Muñecas (The Island of the Dolls). Its spooky origin story is fascinating, but we won't spoil it for you here. The display offers a glimpse into Don Julian Santana Barrera’s state of mind while he was sequestered on the island in the mid-20th century.

Visit the Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park)

Bosque de Chapultepec is not just one of the top things to do in Mexico, it's several. At 1,700 acres, it is one of the largest parks in the Western Hemisphere and features the National Museum of Anthropology, the Chapultepec Zoo, the Museo de Arte Moderno, monuments, auditoriums and sports areas. It’s also the perfect place to gather with friends, both old and new. And you can even maintain your fitness routine by going for a run or a bike ride.

Angel of Independence

If you're not afraid of heights, you can climb the sculpture for a panoramic view of the city.

Walk Along the Paseo de la Reforma and Meet the Angel of Independence

One of the most important streets in Mexico’s capital, the Paseo de la Reforma is a microcosm of the city. With museums, parks, shops and restaurants lining the road, it takes you deep into the heart of Mexican culture. It also takes you directly to the Angel of Independence, a soaring sculpture measuring around 170 feet high.



Explore the Frida Kahlo Museum, Casa Azul (Blue House)

Frida Kahlo is an icon of the art world, and her legacy is a great source of pride for Mexicans. Located in the heart of Kahlo’s favorite neighborhood, Coyoacán, Museo de Frida Kahlo (Casa Azul), is also the house where she lived with her husband, artist Diego Rivera. As you enter the house, you are greeted with some of her most important works, such as “Viva la Vida” and “Frida and the Cesarean." You'll also see some of her diaries, the mirror she used to create many of her works and the vibrant colors of her legendary clothing.

Discover Coyoacán and San Ángel

While you're at the Frida Kahlo Museum, give yourself time to explore Coyoacán, a colonial neighborhood featuring narrow streets and colorful squares. Here, you'll find the Museo Casa de León Trotsky (Museum House of Leon Trotsky) and the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares (National Museum of Popular Cultures), as well as colorful murals by Diego Rivera and others in the heart of University City.

To soak in some nature, visit nearby Centennial Garden and the Plaza Hidalgo. Then, meander the cobblestone streets of San Ángel before stopping for a coffee at one of the cafes around the Plaza San Jacinto.

Sing Along

Music is a part of daily life in Garibaldi Square.

Visit Garibaldi Plaza

In Garibaldi Square, you'll take in the sensory delight of mariachis, singing along to your favorite rancheras. Your party continues alongside the locals at one of the bars that line the neighborhood. In this lively part of the capital, music is part of daily life.

Visit the Murals of the Palacio Nacional (National Palace)

At the Palacio Nacional, the legendary murals of Diego Rivera are just the beginning. Here, you'll have the chance to step onto the same balcony where priest Manuel Hidalgo rang the bell that called for the armed movement that led to the Mexican independence. You'll also see beautiful landscapes, Baroque architecture and historical artifacts in the city.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

The Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts has several murals developed by local artists and you can take advantage of exciting temporary exhibitions.

Discover Mexico’s Museums

Mexico City is home to more than 150 museums, including a few that are must-see destinations. The Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (University Museum of Contemporary Art) includes exhibits by national and international artists, film presentations and stage art. The Museo Nacional de Arte (National Museum of Art) provides the history of Mexican art, as told from the mid-16th century to the first half of the 20th century.

Explore the Polanco Neighborhood

A local favorite, Polanco is home to dozens of parks, shops, restaurants and bars. People from all over the world come to relax, eat, drink and meet people from near and far.


Hilton Hint

"Mexico City has some fantastic food options. From grab-n-go churros to fine dining there's something for every palette and occasion. Make reservations where you can to enjoy all the culinary experiences this city has to offer." Sarah Kiser, Hilton Team Member, Global Brand Marketing


Take a Bike Ride Through Condesa and Roma

A bike ride through the Condesa (Countess) and Roma (Rome) neighborhoods is the perfect way to get in a workout and some sightseeing – and it's great for groups of any size. With their tree-lined avenues, art deco-style apartments and art nouveau mansions — not to mention their cafes, bistros and taquerias — it's easy to spend a few hours, if not the entire day, meandering the streets. Enjoy the bustle of the city and take time to meet the locals.

Make Your Mexico City Memory

With so many things to do in Mexico City, it's hard to know where to start. But in a city so rich in art, culture and history (not to mention gastronomic adventures), wherever you begin, memorable experiences will follow.
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Jeremiah Crossing is always searching for his next travel adventure.
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