The electricity and life that comes sprawling out of Mexico City is definitely on everyone’s radar. The historic city is booming with culture and a newly developed cosmopolitan feel. Follow this 2-day itinerary to guide you through the must-sees. From food, to markets, to plazas and nightlife, we’ve got you covered with the best that Mexico City has to offer. You’ll get the most out of your 2-day trip to “La Ciudad,” with our 48-hour itinerary for Mexico City.
9:00 am Grab some breakfast from the local street vendors
Regardless of where you’re staying in the city, there are stands with tamales and fresh juices that begin serving by 9 am. You can ask your Airbnb host or hotel if they recommend one in particular, but most of the vendors offer similar savory delights. Don’t be afraid to flag down the men riding bicycles who also sell various pastries and coffee.
10:00 am Historic Center
After you’ve fueled up, explore Mexico City’s most famous Plaza de la Constitución, better known as the zócalo, often filled with festivals and parades. This historic square, which is truly the heart of the city, is an ideal starting point before heading off to the nearby National Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral.
1:00 pm Lunch at Restaurante El Cardenal
This traditional restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine offers a perfect location in the middle of the historic center. The food is well known for good reason, so prepare to have a mouth-watering experience. The chilaquiles, mole, and pipian all provide explosions of flavors. Enjoy large portions for $9-$15 per plate.
3:00 pm Museo de Templo Mayor
Since you’re already in the plaza, head over to the Museo de Templo Mayor. For an entrance fee of $3, enjoy learning a bit more about the history of Mexico from an up close and personal viewpoint. The museum includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as the chance to explore some of the ancient Aztec ruins.
6:00 pm Dinner at La Casa de Tono
Some of the best food can be found in fondas, or family-fun restaurants/cafes. La Casa de Toño is no exception. The family-owned joint gets busy fast, but service is seriously quick and efficient. This dine-in experience at a cheap price will leave your pocket as full as your stomach. Homemade masa, enchiladas, pozole, and guacamole, are just a few of the items on the menu that will have you salivating for more.
8:30 pm Drinks and music at a local cantina
A trip to Mexico City is not complete without some live music and, well, tequila. Head to Salon Tenampa for Mariachi bands and lots of drinks. This noisy cantina is bustling with locals and foreigners alike, each there to drink and dance the night away.
11:00 pm Stay at the local Hotel Historico Central
Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Historico Central is close to everything. Enjoy an air-conditioned room featuring two double beds, a private bathroom and a balcony overlooking the city. With 24-hour service, you’re welcome to check in late and quickly crash out after a long day’s worth of non-stop exploring.
9:00 am Breakfast at Pastelaria Ideal
Start the day off with a pastry and coffee at one of Mexico City’s most well-known bakeries, Panaderia Rosetta. This quaint and charming cafe lures you in with the smells of freshly baked bread. Every one of the baked goods is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Try the rollo de guayaba, chocolate concha, or the cardamom roll. You will not be disappointed.
11:00 am Take a stroll through Mercado San Juan
Just a few blocks from the main plaza, head over to Mexico City’s largest open-air market and experience the authentic way of shopping for food. Mercado San Juan has it all. Don’t be surprised to see exotic foods of all kinds. It’s busy, efficient, and there are lots of deals being made, so don’t be afraid to bargain. And if you’re brave enough to try something different, this is the best place to do so.
1:00 Have a picnic in Chapultepec Park
Have a picnic in the largest park in Latin America with all the exotic delights you picked up from Mercado San Juan. Chapultepec Park offers an oasis of greenery amidst a concrete jungle. After your picnic, you can walk along the wide paths and enjoy views of historic statues, fountains, small lakes, various vendors selling their goods and even an amusement park. In addition, you can visit one of the ten museums located inside the park.
4:00 Coffee break
Grab an espresso at one of Mexico City’s best and highly esteemed coffee shops, Cafe Avellaneda. The cozy cafe is situated in the charming neighborhood of Coyoacan and offers a wide variety of brews. If you’re a real coffee connoisseur then you’ll love that these beans are local and obtained through processes that support the growers.
6:00 Dinner at a top seafood favorite
Mexico City has some top-notch seafood, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t try a tuna tostada. Luckily, Contramar offers some of the freshest fish around. From grilled octopus to shrimp ceviche, and a wide variety of cocktails, Contramar is a lively restaurant that is sure to fulfill all your seafood desires.
9:00 Get your rumba on
It’s your last night, so top it off with some dancing: Latin style, of course. Mama Rumba is the best salsa dancing club in Mexico City. No worries if you don’t know how to salsa dance, a local will willingly teach you a thing or two.