10 Must-Dos In Mexico City

By: Kim@ A Moving Story

Mexico City (DF) is well known for its less attractive qualities: pollution, crime, traffic and over-crowding. But, the reality of Mexico City is much different from the myths. Mexico City is a beautiful, unique city. It's charming, fun, and best experienced when you know where to go! I’ve made a list of 10 must-do activities if your travels take you to DF!

1. If you visit Mexico City, you must see a mural. Used by artists and governments used to tell the story of the country to its illiterate population, murals are rich in personality and history. These illustrations are a wonderful way for visitors and nationals to observe and enjoy the rich history and culture of Mexico.

Mexico is known for having three great muralists: Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. If you’re short on time, the Palacio de Bellas Artes is a wonderful place to see murals from the three greats in one convenient, centrally located place. Bellas Artes is a beautiful art deco building with a Tiffany glass ceiling and is steps away from the Zocalo, the main square in Mexico City.

2. Did you know that there’s a castle in the middle of Mexico City? Castillo Chapultepec is located in Chapultepec Park—Mexico City’s urban oasis. Formerly an imperial palace and presidential residence, today the Castle is a national history museum featuring panoramic views of the city. Twice the size of New York’s Central Park, Chapultepec Park features boating, a national zoo (with pandas!), and a variety of impressive art museums.

3.  In Mexico City, Friday night is fight night! If you’re in town on a Friday, make plans to catch a wrestling match. Luchadores (wrestlers) are revered athletes in Mexico City, and wrestling is the second most popular sport here—right behind soccer! Mexican professional wrestling is known for its fancy masks and high-flying acrobatic moves. Male wrestlers, female wrestlers and the mini-estrellas (shorter wrestlers) perform amazing aerial maneuvers and enact dramatic plots, making this a must-see in Mexico City.

4.  If you come to Mexico City, regardless of your religion, you must go to church! Be sure to make a personal pilgrimage to the Basilica. This is the site where Juan Diego, a simple peasant, experienced an amazing miracle. Today, modern day pilgrims from all over the world make their way to Mexico City to visit the Basilica, making it the second most-visited site in Catholicism.  

5. Stop by a speakeasy. Mexico City has several secret bars. These speakeasies are a lot of fun once you’re inside. The craft cocktails, knowledgeable mixologists and clandestine atmosphere are not to be missed!  My favorite speakeasy is a bar called, “Jules Basement”, where  mixologists pour delicious drinks and DJs spin the hottest hits.

6.  Support artisans and shop the Ciudadela Mercado. This market is a great place to shop for a variety of made in Mexico souvenirs. The prices are fair—though it’s ok to bargain—and the quality is impressive. It’s a great place for high quality, one-stop shopping and the best place to find the best arts and crafts from all over Mexico in one location.

7. Check out the ruins! In 1978, while performing routine electrical services downtown, workers discovered a 12-ton stone carving of the Aztec moon goddess, Coyolxauhqui.  This discovery lead to the uncovering of Templo Mayor, an amazing temple in the middle of the city, and one of the main temples of the Aztecs.

If you’ve got a little extra time, Tenochtitlan, which is located a bit north of the city, is an amazing, well organized series of pyramids. Known as the “birthplace of the gods” this city was built around 300 BC and mysteriously abandoned shortly before the arrival of the Aztecs.  

8.  Be sure to visit the home of Frida Khalo. Casa Azul (the Blue House) is the home eccentric artist, Frida Khalo, shared with her husband, Diego Rivera. Located in the quaint and historic city of Coyoacan, this home is lovingly decorated with traditional Mexican arts and crafts, and features the clothing and personal items of the artists.  

9. Enjoy tacos el pastor. Mexico City is well known for its tacos, and everyone has a favorite. My personal favorite? Tacos el pastor (chicken) from La Casa del Pastor.

Thin slices of chicken marinated with chilies and colored bright red are stacked on a vertical skewer forming a large, bell-shaped trompo (spinning top). This mass of meat has an onion and a wedge of pineapple, which slowly rotates in front of a vertical grill. The tacos are amazing, and a must-eat item on your local food checklist.

10. Dine with one of the city’s top chefs. Located in Condessa, one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, MeroToro is an amazing synergy of surf and turf. Led by Jair Tellez, an inventive up-and-coming-chef, the restaurant has an extensive, well-executed menu and beautiful décor. The service is impeccable and the prices are reasonable.

While there's much more to do in Mexico than the 10 things I've listed, this is a great start. Mexico City is a wonderful place to live or visit. If your travels bring you to town, please don’t hesitate to write or call for additional suggestions. I’d love to provide you with the assistance you need to enjoy my city to the maximum!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingKim@ A Moving Story is an American expat living in Mexico. Blog description: A first time expat, I am loving every minute of my experience. I blog about food, travel and family adventures. Thank you for following me on my amazing Mexican adventure!
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Contest Comments » There are 72 comments

Germaine wrote 10 years ago:

Kim is so passionate about Mexico City. I enjoy reading her blog and observing her discoveries. She's quite the little explorer and her adventures are always colorful, funny and delicious!!

Rob S wrote 10 years ago:

As a newcomer to Mexico Kim´s blog has been invaluable. It has great content that ranges from great places to eat,where to shop, and just how to navigate the good and bad aspects of being a expat in Mexico. Kim does all this with a very authentic stories that I really enjoy reading.

Mani wrote 10 years ago:

I enjoyed this post. Being from Mexico City (and having not lived there since 2008), I am always nostalgic about posts like this. I'm glad you included tacos al pastor because it was one of the highlights of my visit two weeks ago. :)

Brenda wrote 10 years ago:

I look forward to reading Kim's blog every day. Through her blogs you feel as if you're actually experiencing the adventure,wheter she's writing about a cultural experience, history, or one of her favorite restaurants.

Annie M wrote 10 years ago:

Kim from "A Moving Story" is my favorite Blogger because she is inspirational, aspirational, FUNNY and sincere. She makes every day occurances in her world a "must see/do/have" in my world. Mexico City was never on my bucket list until I started reading "A Moving Story"!

Pam wrote 10 years ago:

Hey Kim, I love your blog about Mexico. I actually had a chance to visit Mexico some years back. I did enjoy the culture. The art is a must see "before you leave this earth". I also enjoyed visiting the ancient churches. I remember lighting a candle and saying a prayer there. Hey I recall the air is a bit thin there, I suggest folks take some ginger candy with them. Good Luck with your blog and adventures, Pam

Elaine wrote 10 years ago:

I so much enjoy reading Kim's blog on a daily basis. It feels like I'm in Mexico with her. Her warm, funny and informative blogs are so well written and awe inspiring.

Tonya wrote 10 years ago:

I love reading "A Moving Story" Kim is so funny, sincere and inspirational. Her story makes me feel like I am going right along with her and her family on this journey.

Tonya wrote 10 years ago:

I love reading \"A Moving Story\" Kim is so funny, sincere and inspirational. Her story makes me feel like I am going right along with her and her family on this journey.

David wrote 10 years ago:

Reading Kim's blog is always uplifting. Funny and curious, I've enjoyed reading about her adventures in Mexico.

Paulina wrote 10 years ago:

Kim really has a knack for making her posts relevant to fellow expats in Mexico City but also anyone who is interested in learning more about the city, the country -- and herself!!

Keisha wrote 10 years ago:

I absolutely LOVE Kim's blog! She really shares her stories in a way that everyone can relate and I love that. Her posts are honest, heart warming and inspirational. She definetly deserves to be voted Mexico's Best blog!

Kara wrote 10 years ago:

I love Kim's blog! She has a way of showing us the Mexico we didn't know was there.

Melissa wrote 10 years ago:

I really enjoy Kim's blog! It's very informative and I love all the different aspects of Mexico that she writes about. A fun place to learn a lot more about Mexico!

Steven wrote 10 years ago:

I love to visit Kim's blog. Every entry captures the experience of another day in one the most exciting cities in the Americas. Keeping up with AMS is sometimes touching, sometimes inspirational and always entertaining.

Meredith wrote 10 years ago:

I just love A Moving Story. It's so much more than just an amazing travelogue of Mexico--it's an exploration of a family's life during their adventure abroad. Kim's writing is fearless: colorful, deeply personal and often very moving.

Matthew wrote 10 years ago:

A Moving Story paints a vivid picture of life in Mexico.

Max wrote 10 years ago:

I love to hear Kim's take on life in D.F.! It's great to hear about expats sharing their experience of living between cultures.

Andrea wrote 10 years ago:

I love A moving story, I love reading about Kim's adventures and learning about new things on her blog!

Kim wrote 10 years ago:

It's so great to virtually visit Mexico City and experience the adventure via Kim's blog! I especially love the photos of the city and surrounding areas :)

Jackie Raispis wrote 10 years ago:

Love your blog Kim! Always look forward to the next one

Hyacinth A Garrett wrote 10 years ago:

Not only do I desperately want to visit Mexico City but now I'll know what to do and see to make the most of a trip. Thank you for the inside scoop!

Jeanne wrote 10 years ago:

Kim's blog is so helpful, I'm still working down the list of things to do...checking them all off! In a place the size of Mexico City, it's important to manage your time in an intelligent fashion. Kim helps you do that.

Beth Rousseau wrote 10 years ago:

Kim nails Mexico City so well. If you want to "travel" with someone who has the passion to really understand the soul of a city from an expat perspective, you can't do better than Kim. By the way - could I just second Kim, here? Merotoro rocks!!!

Linda Kwong wrote 10 years ago:

Kim's BLOG is insightful, funny and makes us readers feel as if we are in Mexico, living and sharing the experience with Kim and her Family! Bien escrito. Excelente narración de historias!

Russ Whitacre wrote 10 years ago:

I have been to Mexico City twice on business many years ago and once on a vacation. It is great to be reminded of many of the places that I visited and makes me want to return - especially for the tacos el pastor.

Melissa wrote 10 years ago:

Love your blog! Funny and informative. Always makes me want to move to Mexico :)

Jasmine Stringer wrote 10 years ago:

I thoroughly enjoy reading Kim's blog. She's totally changed my opinion of Mexico City. Thank you to Kim for sharing your experiences in Mexico with us.

Jan wrote 10 years ago:

I love reading this blog, it makes me want to visit Mexico City.

Dee wrote 10 years ago:

Ooh, this is a really awesome list of things to do in Mexico, makes me wanna go visit! Well done, Kim!

Jessica Beer wrote 10 years ago:

I've never been to Mexico, and Kim's blog gives me a chance to see it though her eyes! Love that!

Rachel wrote 10 years ago:

These are such great tips; I never knew the city had so much to see and do! Thanks, Kim!

Chris E. wrote 10 years ago:

I love how Kim experiences her world. Full of curiosity and good humor. And, of course, complete honesty. I've been to Mexico City and her blog makes me want to go back and experience it all over again through with her guidance. Always enjoy her post.

Mary G. wrote 10 years ago:

This is an an amazing combination of history, entertainment and culture. Kim does a fabulous job of drawing in the reader.

Kate wrote 10 years ago:

Kim, thanks for shedding light on Mexico City, the under-rated cultural gem that we love to visit. Your insightful posts pave the way for expats, business people and tourists.

Nick wrote 10 years ago:

I have not been to Mexico City, but after reading Kim's blog I look forward to visiting some day! This list will be my play book for that trip. Thanks Kim!

Beth wrote 10 years ago:

Reading Kim's blog makes me want to visit Mexico City. She makes it sound irresistible!

Julie wrote 10 years ago:

Kim does a great job of highlighting things about Mexico that are unexpected and not the "typical" information you would find if you just searched for things to do in Mexico. It gives you such a great perspective on the country, the people, and the food - I look forward to reading it every day!

Michael wrote 10 years ago:

I love Kim's outlook on Mexico City and life in general. Her enthusiasm for life and new experiences are obvious and it makes for a great read! Keep it up!!

Kristen wrote 10 years ago:

I love following A Moving Story. I originally began to keep up on Kim's experiences while living abroad, but now turn to it for so much more. Her candor, passion and wit all add to her colorful posts! I look forward to her posts and read them religiously.

Maria Lucia wrote 10 years ago:

This blog has given me great insight on Mexico City and has enriched my visits to my expat daughter also living in Mexico. Thank you so much for sharing your views, Kim!

Sarah K wrote 10 years ago:

It has been so helpful to read Kim's blog seeing that my family and I will soon be moving to Mexico.

Elizabeth wrote 10 years ago:

I love Kim's blog! Not only does she help us expats learn more about things to do and see, she brings in stories of the real people of mexico: the women sewing those gorgeous shirts, the families making those pewter plates. I look forward to her posts everyday!

Rosy wrote 10 years ago:

This blog has helped me tremendously guide my family and friends to places and events in Mexico I otherwise would never have known about. Thank you KIm 10 Must-Dos In Mexico City - Expat Contest www.expatsblog.com 10 Must-Dos In Mexico City by Kim@ A Moving Story - Expat Contests at Expats Blog

Jackie wrote 10 years ago:

Great blog, I love reading it and learning about cool places to visit in Mexico. I love how it's a blog that varies with food, places to see, things happening, very versatile.

Sarah H. wrote 10 years ago:

Reading Kim's blog has helped me to not only stay connected w/ her family and her adventures, but feel like I'm right there with her. She highlights the people, the neighborhoods, the artisans and the food like a seasoned travel writer. Most importantly, she's embraced her experiences with humor and grace.

Jessica Lynn Writes wrote 10 years ago:

I love reading about Kim's adventures in Mexico. As close as the country is, it seems so foreign to me—and this is coming from someone who grew up in New Mexico, just skip, hop, and a jump from Mexico. This would be the perfect starter's guide to finding what to do in Mexico. Actually, i'm craving one of those tacos right now!

Bolette wrote 10 years ago:

Kim's blog is insightful and funny. Since arriving in Mexico City I have been reading it daily and it has helped me to appreciate how much there is to see and do here. I can't wait to explore! Thanks Kim!

Nicole wrote 10 years ago:

wow, I would love to see a mural from Diego Rivera or go to a Mexican speakeasy!! sounds amazing. I love reading Kim's blog and seeing all the wonderful things I can do once I plan my trip to Mexico.

David A. wrote 10 years ago:

I have been curious about going to Mexico City for some time now. Reading the blog I am planning a trip in 2014 to see the Luchadores!!

Don wrote 10 years ago:

I'm biased, because she's my daughter-- but the writing is great and so is the blogging.

Ali Perkins wrote 10 years ago:

Mexico City can be tough - it's so big and busy. Sometimes the way to enjoy it the most is to bring your sense of humour when you travel there. It's this light-hearted approach that Kim captures so well when she writes about the trials and tribulations of living in a colourful giant of a place. Don't stop writing Kim.

Erica wrote 10 years ago:

I'm so jealous of your adventures of life there! I went there when I was little but all I really remember is the giant flag. I'm going to have to keep this list handy for when I get to visit again. I hope it's soon!

Erica M. Corbett wrote 10 years ago:

What wonderful descriptions of a great "to do list" for Mexico. I have never visited Mexico and the details that you include in your blog definitely assure me that I have something to look forward to when I visit.

Malcolm wrote 10 years ago:

Mexico City has so much to offer. This post is great because it takes you deeper then the standard touristy attractions and gives you glimps into what locals will do for fun. AWESOME!

Brent wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks for sharing with us your wonderful experiences down in Mexico. It has been a complete joy living the life of an expat with you!

Dell S wrote 10 years ago:

I lived in Mexico years ago and spent a few weeks in Mexico City. It is a wonderful city and Kim captures all the positives. She even offers a personal touch. I can't wait to visit again next summer.

Jeff P wrote 10 years ago:

Thank you for this info. I will keep these notes very handy on my next visit to Mexico City.

Arthur wrote 10 years ago:

I've traveled extensively throughout Latin America. No blog or info source of all things cultural, culinary, or casual is better than Kim's blog! Always brings back fond memories and increases my desire to return to the D.F. ASAP. Keep it up!

Robert wrote 10 years ago:

This blog is very interesting and I know that all of its readers share the same excitement as I do when they read it.

Kim wrote 10 years ago:

Kim has such an interesting perspective on life in Mexico and has been helpful to me and other expats who are moving to Mexico. Good luck to her in her quest for best blog.

Renee wrote 10 years ago:

Kim's blog brings interesting insights into a new culture and lifestyle. it's a fun read and inspires me to try an adventure aboard.

Elliott Rodgers wrote 10 years ago:

We visited Mexico this summer and Kim's insight was spot on---it truly made for a first-class experience!

KAli wrote 10 years ago:

Awesome blog!!! I look forward to Kim's posts. Love hearing about her experiences abroad.

Clarence J Fluker wrote 10 years ago:

Lovely post on Mexico! I begin to expand my international horizons I'll keep it in mind. Cheers!

Carol C wrote 10 years ago:

I love Kim's blog. As someone who lived in Mexico, it's nice to be reminded about how fun, beautiful, and culturally rich the country is. She brings Mexico to life through her eyes and her experiencs.

Pri wrote 10 years ago:

I love Kim's blog! Definitely a great way to plan for your first trip to Mexico City. Thank you, Kim!

Jenn C wrote 10 years ago:

Great blog! Wonderful off-the-beaten path suggestions. If I'm ever in Mexico City, I'll be sure to check out these recommendations!

Andrea wrote 10 years ago:

Kim is the best! Can't wait to employ Kim's insight in my travels.

Jeff C wrote 10 years ago:

Having lived in DF for more than a year, I can say this is a great list! There are a few I haven't done yet and am looking forward to checking out soon.

Gina wrote 10 years ago:

Great post Kim! Cant wait to check out your top spots!

Fernando wrote 10 years ago:

I really enjoyed reading 'Kim@ A Moving Story' recommendations as to what to see and do in Mexico City. I also loved the picture of Mexico City as a tourist destination.

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