In this blog post, you’ll learn the best way to spend four days in Mexico City! I’ve carefully selected this specific 4-day itinerary after spending three months living here in 2024, so you’ll find lots of Mexico City travel tips based on my experiences.

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With a fascinating history spanning centuries, from Aztec times and its colonial past to a thriving arts scene, endless museums, and excellent food, Mexico City is one of the world’s most interesting capitals. Even if you spent years here, I can’t imagine you’d run out of new things to see and do.

With that in mind, curating the perfect CDMX itinerary is tricky! How do you decide what to do in a city that has everything? 

Thankfully, you can easily split your four days between four iconic Mexico City regions, which will help you make the most of your time here: the historic centre, Coyoacan, Chapultepec, and Teotihuacan.

Tip: In Spanish, Mexico City is called ‘Ciudad de Mexico,’ often abbreviated CDMX.

Four days in Mexico City itinerary

In this travel guide, you’ll learn the best things to do in Mexico City in 4 days, alongside optional additional day trips and activities. I’ve also included a Q&A with a list of travel tips based on the three months I lived here, from vegan restaurants to where to stay, so you know what to expect from your visit.

A woman solo travelling in Mexico City, standing in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral in the Historic District

Day One: Centro

The Historic Centre is where 16th-century Spaniards once built this city atop the ruins of the conquered Aztec empire. 

Morning: Free Centro walking tour.

Although some people may prefer visiting the below attractions on their own, I loved going on a free walking tour and learning about Ciudad de Mexico with a local guide! 

While walking tours are free to book, a tip of 100-200 pesos is appreciated if you enjoy the tour. I did my truly excellent Centro walking tour with Estacion Mexico. 2-hour tours begin at the main door of the Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00, 14:30 and 16:00 every day, though you should book online (for free) in advance.

Our guide Laura told the history of Mexico City while we saw sights that correlated with each era, bringing them to life.

Three key eras of history were discussed on the tour, beginning with the pre-Spanish times – a very long period that includes ancient times until the 15th century when Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, was formed here and was one of the world’s largest and most prosperous cities of the time.

TIP: You can connect to public WiFi, and Internet Para Todos (Internet for Everyone), all around the city.

Laura was very receptive about leaning into the interests of the tour group of five, from answering my questions about the current women’s movement to giving me the scoop on how those grizzly Aztec sacrifices went down.

No matter what corner of the world you’re from, chances are your ancestors thought up some truly sordid ways to kill people…

She also explained WHY sacrifices were made, as the Aztecs believed they were required to move the sun across the sky and preserve their lives. Or else the sun god Huitzilopochtli wouldn’t get fed enough blood to be in the constant war against darkness.

Templo Mayor was the main temple of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). The temple represented Huitzilopochtli (who represented war, sun and masculinity) and Tlaloc (who represented rain, water, fertility and feminity). It would have once been pyramid-shaped, like many ancient temples in Mexico, with two separate staircases leading to a shrine to each God. Much was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521.

Next came the colonial era, when Spaniards built ‘New Spain’ right on top of the ruins of Tenochtitlan, including the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Mexico), built between 1573 and 1813. The original version of the church was built on a section of Aztec Sacred Ground, which contained racks of sacrifice victims.

Many colonial-era buildings have Baroque architecture – this lavish style partly developed as a sneaky way for the heavily Catholic culture to sharply contrast with the more sobre Protestant style of architecture!

And finally, we learned about the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century.

The Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) is one of the standout buildings from during this time, with its detailed architecture and opulent golden dome. Originally designed by Italian architect Adamo Baori in 1904, construction was halted during the Mexican Revolution (1910—1920).

Palace of fine arts mexico city

Eventually, it was completed in the Art Nouveau/Neoclassical style, as intended. Inside are murals (including by Diego Rivera), other artworks, and regular folklore ballet performances.

The postal palace was also designed by Adamo Baori in the early 20th century and is another example of Art Nouveau architecture in the city. It has continuously operated as a post office since 1907.

Afternoon: Museums

After hitting your step count, you’ll probably want to recharge with some food (I went to Vegamo for veggie options). But afterwards, there are plenty more sights to see in Centro. 

With among the most museums of any city in the world, there are plenty of interesting galleries and museums to see during an itinerary for Mexico City. Perhaps one of the museums you saw during your tour caught your interest (for example, the Palace of Fine Arts has fantastic exhibits for art lovers) or are interested in going somewhere completely new.

Other things to do in Mexico City’s Centro Historico include:
  • The colourful Museum of Popular Art, where you can see Mexican folk art from around the country.
  • Go up the Torre Latinoamericana Tower to see the best views of the city from the observation deck
  • Look inside the yellow-domed Palace of Fine Arts to see the Art Deco interior and artworks on display.
  • Escape the traffic and stroll through the shaded pathways of Alameda Central Park.
  • Visit the Templo Museo Museum (next to the archeological site) to see more Mesoamerican artefacts on display.
  • Go inside Palacio Nacional to see the Diego Rivera murals

Evening: Watch a sunset

There’s nothing like getting the lay of the land after arriving in a new city than finding a great view! And after a day exploring Centro, heading to a rooftop bar is a perfect way to wind out your first day in Mexico City.

I went to Hostel Mundo Joven Cathedral which has a fantastic rooftop bar with views over the Cathedral, Square, and beyond. Perfect for a soft drink, cocktail, or Mexican bites.

Swankier rooftop bars for a Centro sunset include Terraza Catedral, El Mayor, or Downtown Hotel Terrace Bar, which also offer fab views, cocktails, and food. 

Day two: Chapultepec

Walking around the expansive Chapultepec Park was one of my favourite things to do in Mexico City while living there. As a neurodivergent traveller who is as overwhelmed by cities as I am intrigued by them, I always find a spot of nature to escape the hustle and bustle, whether it’s London parks, Sydney coastal walks, or Auckland beaches.

Morning: exploring the park & Chapultepec Castle

The park is double the size of New York’s Central Park, and within it are some fantastic attractions, including the wonderful castle and fantastic views from the top of the hill, which was once a sacred site for the Aztecs.

The first thing I noticed while exploring the park was all the locals feeding the squirrels. Part red and part grey, they reminded me of a cross between English and Scottish squirrels and were distinctly beautiful. I also saw people enjoying the market stalls and taking pedalos out on the lake. 

Castillo de Chapultepec was built to be a stately home by a military leader of ‘New Spain’ (aka a colonialist…) in the late 1700s. 

From my first look inside, I was extremely impressed. With the grand interior and wealth of paintings, it was like time travelling back to another time. 

And, since it was built at the top of a hill at 2353 metres tall, the views are fantastic, too. 

Afternoon at Antopology Museum

With a towering fountain sculpture greeting you upon buying your tickets, I knew the Museo Nacional de Antropologia would be remarkable; I’d never seen a museum entrance as impressive as this one!

While the indoor exhibits are exceptional, what really makes the museum special is that you can wind in and outdoors. As part of the complex, there are luscious gardens filled with huge, real-scale replicas of Mayan temples and ancient sculptures. It feels like the closest you’ll ever get to stepping into a Tardis (or your time machine of choice…) and experiencing Earth at another time entirely.

Inside, there are huge Colossal Almec heads, which were carved by the first Mesoamerican culture (1200-400 BC). There are also replicas in the garden area.

Another incredible (and giant) artefact is the Aztec sunstones, which weigh up to 24 tons with a diameter of 12 feet. Some believe these stones were used as a calendar, though it was potentially used as a sacrificial altar for the Aztec sun god.

Smaller artefacts are kept inside large replicas of temple facades, and these replicas make the museum feel very immersive

Evening in Roma Norte or Condesa

The trendiest neighbourhoods in CDMX and expat favourites are Roma Norte and Condesa, best known for their exceptional food scene. ( If you’re a vegan traveller, skip to the end of this post where I’ve shared all my favourite eateries in the neighbourhood!)

With traditional Mexican cuisine to international favs, you’re spoilt for choice, and it’s well worth spending an evening walking along the pretty, tree-lined streets before grabbing some delicious food. 

Since it’s a safe and well-located area, many travellers also choose to stay within these neighbourhoods.

Can’t decide where to eat? Take this Authentic Mexican food tour around Roma.

Day three:  Coyoacán

Known for its colourful colonial facades, artsy vibes (not least because it was once the home of Frida Kahlo), markets and museums, the bohemian borough of Coyoacán is undoubtedly one of the top things to see in Mexico City. 

Morning: Museo Frida Kahlo

Discover Frida Kahlo’s birthplace and home at Museo Frida Kahlo. Doubling as a historic home and art museum, it is a fantastic way to learn about the life of one of Mexico’s most famous artists. 

The museum contains many of her artworks, along with those of other Mexican artists including her husband Diego Rivera. Giving an insight into how wealthy bohemian artists may have lived in the 20th century, you can explore the rooms and see many unique artifacts, photos, and other personal memorabilia. 

Signs in English and Spanish tell the story of Frida and her family, going beyond facts and instead demonstrating the spirit of Frida, her perseverance, and her art. Outside, her artistic spirit extends to the painted blue walls, unique sculptures and leafy garden.

What really stood out to me is not only her talent as a disabled artist but how the privilege of having supportive loved ones (both financially and especially emotionally) can transform the lives of those with chronic illnesses. For instance, her mother installed a mother above her bed to assist Frida when painting self-portraits; a small gesture that allowed Frida to continue her work and retain her sense of self.

For disabled and chronically ill people, a sense of self can sometimes be overshadowed by how others view them differently. So I loved that – throughout all her awful struggles – Frida was always seen as Frida. I hoped the gallery would inspire visitors to see all humans for their personalities and passions, first and foremost.

Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan Mexico City
Frida Kahlo Museum opening hours and tickets:

Tickets cost $270 for foreign tourists (about 16 USD).

To visit the museum, you HAVE to book tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum in advance!! While most activities in CDMX can be planned last minute, this is the exception. They’re usually booked out two to three weeks in advance.

Although the Frida Kahlo Museum is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, I recommend trying to book one of the first slots of the day (from 10 am onwards, in 15-minute increments) to avoid the crowds. Expect to spend 60-120 minutes exploring the museum. 

Book your tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum here

Afternoon option one (best for groups): Xochimilco

The best way to explore the waterways is, of course, from the water, usually via a traditional, brightly-painted Trajinera boat, though kayaking tours are offered too.

Although the Xochimilco canal system is a World Heritage site, I’ve specifically mentioned it’s best for groups as you rent boats here per group (not per person). For this reason, it’s a pricey activity for solo travellers! The canal tours also have a reputation for having a party vibe that can be more fun with people you know.

Also known as the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, the canals date back centuries when they were manmade to assist with farming in the nutrient-rich soil, though today their better known for being a tourist destination.

If you’re not travelling with a big group but are keen to visit Xochimilco, then you can book individual tickets on a tour here: Top-rated Xochimilco Boat Tour with meal and drinks

Afternoon option two (best for solo travellers): Anahuacalli Museum and exploring Coyoacán

Thankfully, even if you don’t make it to Xochimilco, there is still more to explore during an afternoon in Coyoacán!

My top recommendation is the Anahuacalli Museum, as the entrance fee is included with your ticket to the Frida Kahlo Museum. This ‘temple to the arts’ is where Frida’s husband, Diego Rivera, showcased his murals alongside featuring many pre-Columbian artworks.

Upon approaching the museum, the domineering stone building looked more like a fortified castle than a gallery, and stepping inside the dark entrance felt no different. With low lighting and cavernous stone rooms, the walls are lined with 20th-century artworks and ancient Aztec sculptures. As you explore a series of winding, tunnel-like staircases, you’ll be met with more grey walls. Slit-style windows – akin to those you’ll find in Medieval fortresses – allow slithers of light to fall upon the gallery.

Upon ascending the final staircase, I was met with the bright light of the outdoors and a welcoming blustering wind – which I was grateful for in the hot weather. On the roof, I felt like I was exploring the barracks of Diego’s artistic kingdom, looking out upon the city and the mountains beyond.

Other things to see in Coyoacán include:
  • Explore Leon Trotsky’s House Museum
  • Buy a souvenir at Coyoacán Market
  • Stroll around Jardin Hidalgo (where you’ll find the Coyoacán letters)
  • Take a tram (Tranvia Coyoacán)
  • Visit the Museo Nacional Culturas Populares
  • See the historic church inside Plaza de la Conchita
  • Look inside San Juan Bautista Church
  • Greet Frida and Diego’s statues within Frida Kahlo Park

Make the most of your time in Mexico City with this combined tour of Coyoacán, the Xochimilco UNESCO waterways, and the Frida Kahlo House.

Evening: Cineteca Nacional 

In the evening, head to the outdoor cinema at Cineteca Nacional. Many English-language movies are shown with Spanish subtitles, and international visitors are welcomed.

Dedicated to exhibiting Mexican and World Cinema, the film archives here are worth a look for any film lovers, but the outdoor screening room is a real Mexico City gem for everyone to enjoy.

Day four: Teotihuacán

Just 50km from Mexico City is the must-see ancient temple at Teotihuacán! In fact, the pyramids are so old that the civilisation who built them pre-date the Aztecs by many centuries. There’s no question that this ancient marvel should be included in your Mexico City itinerary. If it looks similar to Aztec temples, it’s because they were very inspired by the Teotihuacan culture.

And honestly, visiting this fascinating pyramid complex is one of the best travel days I’ve ever had! And the entrance ticket is only 80 pesos (about 8 GBP / 5 USD)!

Pyramid of the Moon -Teotihuacan - Mexico City

The ancient city of Teotihuacán was first established in 100 BCE, with the complex being built from around CE 250 onwards. At its peak, it had around 125000 inhabitants, making it the world’s sixth largest city during its time! The entire complex spans a large area and is considered one of the most significant Mesoamerican sites.

Alongside the dominating sights of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, the massive complex also includes the remains of palaces and family homes, alongside colourful well-preserved murals and geometric stone patterns. Much of the stunning architecture flanks a large pathway in the centre – the 4km-long Avenue of the Dead.

The Pyramid of the Sun dates back to around 200CE and spans 735 feet wide while towering at 215 feet (65 metres) tall, making it the largest pyramid in the world. There would have been a giant pedestal at the top to honour the human sacrifices made there.

Below is Palacio Quetzalpapatol. Due to the location facing the Valley of the Dead and the intricate stonework, it’s believed this palace was designed for a high-ranking priest or dignitary.

3 ways to get to Teotihuacán:

  1. Take the bus from the Northern Bus Station: This was super easy and a great budget option for backpackers. Arrive at the Northern Bus Station by Uber or Metro. Buy a ticket from the ticket office right next to Gate 8 where you catch your bus. On the way back, the bus stops right outside the temple at Exit 2 and is straightforward to find. It cost 136 pesos (about 6.50 GBP/ 8 USD) for a return ticket – so in total, my trip to Teotihuacán cost just over 10 GBP (12 USD / 19AUD)!
  1. Take a tour: This is the top-rated Teotihuacán tour, which arrives early so you can avoid the crowds: Top-rated Early and Express tour to Teotihuacan Pyramids. If you’d like a tour that combines Teotihuacán with Guadalupe Basicila, I recommend this one: Teotihuacan tour with Basilica, Tlatelolco and Cave.
  1. Take a taxi: Yes, you can order an Uber to the temple (I checked). However, I’m not sure how much luck you’d have getting one from the temple towards the city, so you’d likely have to take the bus on the way back. 

If you’re visiting Mexico City for a special occasion, the sunrise hot air balloon flights over Teotihuacán are a magical way to finish up four days in Mexico City.

The Temple of Jaguars!
The temple of Jaguars

What to bring on a Teotihuacán day trip:

  • There is no dress code, so don’t worry about covering your knees or shoulders like in temples elsewhere. That said, there is little shade cover, so wearing loose, long clothing can help you avoid the sun.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen are necessary.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! 
  • A reusable water bottle is a must, but snacks help too. 

Optional: see Basilica de Guadalupe on the way back from Teotihuacan

Many tours include Guadalupe in their day tour, but even if you’re visiting by local bus, the bus stops very near the cathedral so it’s easy to add into your itinerary.

This huge Catholic Church dates back to 1709 and is an important site for Catholics. However, many people visit to climb the hill behind the Basilica (you can’t miss it!) to visit the lookout point at the top.

Since I was feeling rather fatigued following my day trip to Teotihuacan, I finished off my last day in Mexico City with this exceptional view!

Evening: Dive deeper into Mexican culture with a fun activity

Switch things up by seeing a Lucha Libre show or doing a night your with mariachi music. Alternatively, watching the Mexican folklore ballet is a pretty iconic way to spend an evening in Mexico City.

Longer than 4 days in Mexico City itinerary? 

If you decide to extend your time, here are a few alternative things to do in Mexico City

4 day Mexico City Itinerary and Travel Guide Q&A

Where to stay in Mexico City

Since I was in Mexico City for three months, I ended up splitting my time between Escandon and Roma Norte. In total, I spent around six weeks in each of these neighbourhoods. Although I loved staying in Airbnbs with local hosts in Escandon, which is also a cheaper option, I recommend Roma Norte if you have a short time in the city.

Roma Norte / Condesa: 

Roma Norte is an affluent neighbourhood popular with expats and, as such, is home to many of the city’s top eateries, cafes, and bars. With pretty tree-lined streets and trendy vibes, there is a reason most visitors stay in Roma Norte in the neighbourhood of Condesa. These neighbourhoods are also conveniently located, within walking distance to Chapultepec and have easy transport options to Centro and Coyoacan. 

For hostels, try Hostel Home in Roma or the highly-rated but pricer Casa Pancha in Condesa. 

Reasonably priced hotels are ULIV Cibeles or Nana Vida CDMX. If you prefer something a bit more special, look into Andaz Mexico City Condesa.

Amsterdam Avenue, Mexico City

Centro: 

While I’d argue Roma Norte is a better place to stay, Centro is home to most of the city’s best hostels. Plus there are some gorgeous hotels with rooftop bars for watching sunsets over the iconic Mexico City square. Just be warned that it’s busy and noisy! (That said, in Roma Norte, I lived next to a construction site, so…)

If you want to stay in Centro, the city’s best-rated hostels make it a good option for backpackers, including the Mexico City Hostel, Viajero CDMX, and Hostel Mundo Joven Cathedral (with the aforementioned fantastic rooftop bar). 

For a budget hotel try Hotel Isabel, or head to the lovely Zocolo Central Rooftop Hotel for a mid-range option. 

Luxury hotel options include Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico (the top-rated hotel in Centro!) and Hampton Inn & Suites.

Coyoacan:

This bohemian neighbourhood was once home to Frida Kahlo and the artsy vibes remain to this day. The downside is that Coyoacan is further from the city’s major sights, so may be better for return visitors to Mexico City.

Mina 32 Coyoacan is a superb budget hotel option, whereas Agata Boutique Hotel & Spa is a beautiful mid-range accommodation. 

Meanwhile, Suites Perisur is the top-rated hotel in the city at the time of writing, so their luxurious apartments are an ideal choice if you’re looking for somewhere special to stay in Coyoacan. 

Tip: I also spent just over a week petsitting in Roma Sur through TrustedHousesitters, which was a fantastic neighbourhood to stay in for free in Mexico City in exchange for taking care of the pet parents’ two lovely cats, Tinto and Masala. 

Free homestay in exchange for pet care – use code CASSIE25 to get 25% off TrustedHousesitters memberships

My favourite vegan restaurants in Mexico City

Of everywhere I’ve travelled, I didn’t expect Mexico City to be one of the best places I’ve visited for vegan travellers! But, seriously, the number of vegan restaurants here is INSANE. There are more vegan restaurants here than anywhere else I’ve lived! 

From budget-friendly streetside taco stands and contemporary Mexican restaurants, to vegan pizza joints and fab ramen options, there’s something for every vegan here! And since I stayed here for three months, it’s the law of being vegan that I pass on the knowledge I’ve gained to future vegan or veggie travellers. Although, honestly, you can’t go wrong here! 

Don’t have long in Mexico City? Head on this vegan and vegetarian street food adventure to try the best options with a local!

My favourite vegan eateries in Mexico City:

Pizza: Utopia has DELICIOUS vegan pizza! I miss this pizza joint so much. Forever (which was my first Airbnb host’s favourite vegan spot) also has pizza on the menu. 

High-end foodie spot: If you’re feeling classy, El Mundo Restaurant is the place for upmarket vegan cuisine and an inventive menu. 

Ramen: Vegan Ramen Mei CDMX served up my favourite vegan ramen in Mexico City, but I also loved visiting Sarumino – the first place I ate in Mexico City!

Other Asian restaurants: Plantasia is the place to go for delicious food with a stunning interior, Godzu Cocina is a cute vegan joint that was perfect for a casual dinner with friends, and Asian Veggie by Asian Bay hit the spot one night when I fancied Chinese takeout. 

Bakery: I Quit Bakery is the place I went to treat myself to delicious pastries and cookies!

Bar: For a fully vegan bar, Luvina Vegan Bar has two central locations. The drinks were great and the bar snacks were delicious, but admittedly was pretty quiet for a Saturday night.

Brunch: My favourite brunch spot is Cafe Vegetal!! I ADORED their Chilaquiles (which I got a couple of times, before branching out and trying their pancake stack). I opted for their set meal option, which included coffee, orange juice, and a vegan concha (which is a bit like a Mexican doughnut). 

Healthy: With a simple interior and small on-site vegan food store, Mora Mora is a good option if you want healthy food, especially if you’re craving healthy vegan proteins. Their bowls aren’t cheap, but they hit the spot after I’d been feeling rough for a few days and needed some energising nutrition. I also ate at Cafe Communidad on my first day in the city, which was healthy and tasty. Both these options are a little pricey, though. 

Tacos: There are so many excellent places to get vegan tacos! And, a bonus, their vegan renditions of classic tacos are some of the cheapest food in the city! 

A few of my favourites are La Plantesquira (yummy ‘fish’-style tacos), Por Siempre (this top-rated spot wasn’t my personal fav, but the staff are super friendly and it’s conveniently located by Parque Mexico), Taco Santo Vegano (super cute and very delicious), and Gracias Madre (I treated myself to their arroz con leche, which is a bit like a Mexican rice pudding). 

Veggie burgers: If you’re craving proper vegan fast food in the shape of Beyond Burgers, Goys specialises in vegan burgers and is likely the top spot in the city for unhealthy, juicy, burgery goodness. 

For something different,  VFT (Vegan Fried Tofu) is a good fast food takeout stall. For a healthier rendition of vegan burgers, Veggie House serves up delicious, fresh burgers that are made from vegetables rather than ‘fake meat’, alongside burritos etc.

Contemporary Mexican: For delicious vegan twists on Mexican classics, Ojo de Maiz is where I tried my first-ever enfrijoladas, flautas, and horchata. I also enjoyed the cute and colourful interior of Pali Pali while Veguisima was a handy spot to grab a Mexican-style lunch on the way into Chapultepec Park.

Groceries: It’s easy to find vegan milk in most major supermarkets, and often they also have a few vegan meat alternatives which are presumably imported from America. For this reason, they’re quite pricey and I mostly avoided them in favour of largely cooking with tofu, chickpeas, and refried beans, etc. 

If you are craving your fav vegan snacks, Mr Tofu is an expensive but fully vegan store where you can find fridges full of plant-based meats, cheeses, and snacks. 

Can you drink the water in Mexico City?

No, you can’t drink the water in Mexico City. 

Most accommodations will provide water bottles, though I highly recommend bringing your own reusable filter water bottle to reduce plastic waste. I’ve been using my Water to-go bottle for years and they’ve given me a discount code HAG15 to get 15% off all future purchases, which you’re welcome to use!

That said, while the water isn’t drinkable, you don’t need to worry about catching a droplet in your mouth while you’re showering… When I worked remotely in places like Malaysia or Indonesia, I was far more concerned about accidentally drinking a bit of water, as the chances of getting sick are very high.

While I did get sick once in the early days of staying in Mexico City, it only lasted one day, and after that, I never had any sort of trouble with the food. 

Buy your reusable filter bottle from Water-to-go and use the discount code HAG15 for 15% off. Water to go EuropeWater to go USA Water to go AUS/NZ

Pyramid of the Moon -Teotihuacan - Mexico City

Is Mexico City safe for solo travellers?

Yes, Mexico City is safe for solo travellers. As a solo female traveller, I never felt unsafe in Mexico City.

That said, I only stuck to safe neighbourhoods and never ventured anywhere alone after dark. But as an anxious traveller (who’s had issues in places like London and Sydney, cuz let’s face it, stuff could happen anywhere), it’s in my nature to be cautious!

I didn’t feel less safe in CDMX than in other cities I’ve lived in or visited, so there’s no need to do things differently.

It’s worth checking which neighbourhoods are safe when booking your hotel (Roma Norte and Condesa are popular options) as some local, tourist-free areas are known for being rough. If taking public transport such as the metro buses, you can use the women-only carriages, or stick to Uber which is a cheap and convenient option. 

Read these tips from the brilliant WhereGoesRose for the complete low down on solo travel in Mexico City.

Sunset in Mexico City

The best time to visit Mexico City

Since I lived in Ciudad de Mexico between January and April, I got to experience the city in two different seasons: Winter and Spring.

Winter: I appreciated being warned to bring jeans and a jacket for the final Winter months. Although I missed most of the cold spell, I am told it gets quite chilly towards the end of the year. 

Spring in Mexico was fantastic! The jacarandas were coming into bloom, and the weather was sunny every day of the week. The temperature was mild in early Spring, before reaching 27-31 degrees Celcius towards the middle of the season. 

Summer: Summer is known for when the city gets 85% of its annual rainfall, so expect plenty of downpours if you visit during this time of year! That said, the rain provides a break from the heat, while temperatures are still pretty warm. 

Autumn: Mis amigos who lived in Mexico City long term all told me that Spring and Autumn were their favourite months! Autumn is warm, but not hot. However, the Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events around the 1st of November make this season special. 

Aside from the weather, the city can be quite dry and polluted throughout much of the year. If you’re prone to dry skin (like me), you’ll likely find yourself going through lots of lip balm and needing plenty of water (another reason I was grateful for a Water to Go bottle)!

Spring Jacarandas in Mexico City
Jacarandas in the Spring

How many days to spend in Mexico City?

You should spend at least two or three days in Mexico City, as it covers a huge area and you don’t want to miss out. In only one day, you’d barely get to explore beyond the historic Mexico City centre.

If you only have time for a two day Mexico City itinerary, you’d have time to visit the Centro Historico to get a crash course on it’s fascinating history with a walking tour, visit the iconic Frido Kahlo Museum, and discover the magic of the Anthropology Museum. However, you would likely not have time to visit Teotihuacan unless you cut out another attraction – which would be a real shame.

If you have three days to spend in Mexico City, you can follow the above itinerary but could combine two of the days based on what your peferences are. For example, you could spend one day doing a Centro Historico walking tour in the morning while visiting the Frido Kahlo House in the afternoon.

This is why I think a Mexico City 4 days itinerary is an ideal amount of time to spend in the city, as you won’t have to skip any of the main attractions!

Of coure, with 5 days or even a week in Mexico City, you won’t run out of things to see and do, as there are endless additional suburbs (like Roma Norte and the UNAM district) and day trips (like Puebla or Taxco) to explore!

As visiting Mexico City was my first time in North America, I was happy to spend three months in the country to live, work, and really soak up the fantastic culture. (I’ve still yet to visit Central or South America, but they’re high on my list!)

Do you need to speak Spanish in Mexico City?

No, you don’t need to speak Spanish in Mexico City. However, it’s always appreciated if you learn a few keywords and phrases. 

During my four months in Mexico City, here are the phrases that I actually ended up using the most:

  • Gracias – thank you
  • Muchas gracias – thank you very much
  • Por favor – please
  • Yes/No – Si/No
  • Buenas dias/tardes/noches – Good morning/afternoon/night
  • Cómo estás? – How are you?
  • Bien – Good
  • Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you
  • ¿hablas inglés? – do you speak English? 
  • La cuenta, por favor – the check, please
  • Lo siento – sorry (for example: Lo siento, no hablo Espanol)
  • Una mesa para uno, por favor – A table for one, please
  • Uno, dos, tres, cuatros, cinco, seis, seite, ocho, nueve, diez, once, doce – counting 1-10
  • Tu perro es muy lindo!!! – Your dog is very cute!!!*

*I actually used this one a lot, haha. I adore cats (los gatos), but dogs are much more frequently seen in Mexico City! Just head to leafy Parque Mexico if you’re a dog lover needing a puppy fix…

TIP: Download Google Translate to translate menus, signs, or conversations while on the go. The app requires WiFi, so get a Mexico e-Sim for your travels if you plan to use it frequently.

Pyramid of the Sun and ruins -Teotihuacan - Mexico City

Let me know if you have any questions about planning your trip and I hope this post has helped you decide what to see in Mexico City in 4 days. I’d be happy to answer any queries if you drop them in the comment box below!

Overall, I truly had a wonderful and memorable trip to Mexico City, and I’m so glad I got to spend time here. Hopefully, one day I will return to Mexico to discover more of the fantastic sights and tacos here!

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four days in Mexico City itinerary and travel guide

Written by

Cassie

Hi, I'm Cassie, and I've been solo travelling the globe since May 2018. In this time, I've backpacked around Southeast Asia, Japan and The Balkans, alongside living in New Zealand and Australia. Current location? Mexico