Arriving to Mexico City is most probably always by plane. Flying in over this mega city brings up memories from Saõ Paulo or Bangkok. More than 20 million people live in this city founded on a swamp by the Aztec.
We must admit that none of our prejudices became reality. The city wasn’t dirty neither unsafe. Especially areas like Condesa, Roma, Polanco or Zona Rosa are all beautiful neighbourhoods with parks, cafés and lots to explore.
From the airport take an official taxi. Tickets are available right after the baggage claim. The price is fixed by zones and is around 14 €. Head towards the exit and hand the ticket over to the driver.
Uber, Uber and again Uber. It is safe, super cheap and convenient. The Metro is also a good option. A metro ticket valid for one route is only 5 MXN which is 0.25 €. Generally, try to avoid using the Metro during rush hour as public transportation will be congested.
Mexico has hotels from all major chains and numerous wonderful guest houses. Try the neighbourhoods of Condesa, Polanco or Roma Norte. We normally like to stay in an Airbnb but this this time we opted for the “Izta 54”. This is a new hotel which offers apartments, rooms and on the top floor even bunk beds for budget travellers which guarantees a nice mixture of guests in the house.
This restaurant has two outlets. One in Centro Historico and the other in Condesa. The one in Centro Historico is beautifully decorated with hundreds of hanging candles. Azul offers a culinary journey through all states of Mexico. Don’t be put off finding grasshoppers and ant eggs on the menu.
This Mexican fusion restaurant is a rather expensive but very good option. Excellent al-dente Risotto, homemade ravioli, fresh asparagus, tender filet, all served on beautiful ceramics. An excellent wine list will make it hard to choose from.
This underestimated restaurant in the Condesa neighbourhood offers an excellent journey around the world and especially from the Baja California area of Mexico. How about meat carpaccio with pieces of Serrano ham or fresh fish from the Pacific coast?
If you are a vegetarian, then this is the place for you. Even though it is a chain with many outlets the quality and freshness of the food is outstanding. They offer a selection of fresh juices that you will not find anywhere else. This is an excellent choice also for breakfast or take away.
Enough of Tacos and Quesadillas, ready for the best Asian food in town? Mog offers all kinds of Asian food, excellent fresh sushi, fried noodles and rice, curry or ramen and everything else you can think of in a buzzling open setting. If not, ask the chef and he will prepare it for you.
This very simple place has excellent fresh fish tacos. It’s worth standing in the queue and waiting with the locals. Add the extra ingredients to your liking from the buffet and choose from one of the many sauces to add. It gets busy for lunch but you will always find a seat.
Italian influenced Mexican fusion cuisine! What is that? Well, try Lardo! How about fried avocado with a fresh lemon dip, or cheesecake on homemade granola with fresh berries, or crispy, thin pizza with spicy chorizo and tasty burrata? If your weekend stroll brings you to that area, Lardo also has great coffees to go.
This fish and oyster bar is originally from Guadalajara and does not only offer food from the sea. Why not try the delicious sea bass from the grill topped with a fresh coriander salad or their numerous oyster combinations? Order a bottle of Chateau Minuty to accompany your choice. The area Roma where La Docena is located is the new up and coming area of Mexico City.
The best coffee in town is served at Chiquitito Café. The barista will prepare any coffee to your liking. If decaf, soy latte or delactosa cappuccino, everything is possible! This is a perfect spot also for an in-between snack. Try the whole-grain sandwich with avocado, rucola and chilli.
Mexico City has, next to London, the highest density of museums in the world. So depending on the duration of your stay you‘d better prepare a list before arrival. To see everything, you will need two weeks.
Plan one day for the Centro Historico, Templo Mayor and the adjacent museum, Zocalo and the Palacio Nacional. Plan another for the stunning journey through the history of Mexico in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Here, if your schedule is tight, skip the 1st floor and head over to the Bosque de Chapultepec and the Castillo nestled within and the Museo Arte Moderno.
Get up early and visit the Museo Frida Kahlo called Casa Azul. Be sure to buy your ticket online before to avoid long queueing. Watch the Frida Kahlo documentary on YouTube (German - English) in preparation for your visit. When done with Casa Azul visit her lovers, Léon Trotsky’s spartanic house. The Trotsky Museum offers exciting history just a few steps away from Casa Azul.
If there is still space in your schedule don’t miss the Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporaneo as well as the Museo Jumex with its excellent Andy Warhol collection. The Museo Soumaya across the street is beautiful to look at and to collect likes on your social media, however the exhibition is so badly curated that you will want to leave after visiting the first floor. Luckily the visit is for free.
Pack your mochila with water and sunscreen and schedule half a day for Teotihuacán. This Aztek wonder with the second highest pyramids on the globe will amaze you. Try to visit during the week to avoid crowds and let the Uber drop you at gate number 5 for fastest access.
If you are interested in architecture, visit the campus of the University of Mexico called UNAM south of the City. The central library is covered with beautiful mosaic murals. The whole complex is a Unesco World Heritage Site and the adjacent stadium was the site of the 1968 Olympics.
Did you know
Don’t drink the water from the tap, don’t even brush your teeth with it! Mexico City has a major water issue and if you want to enjoy your time here without Moctezuma’s Revenge, always use bottled water. Don’t worry about cocktails, all ice cubes are made from filtered water.
Mexico City was built on a lake and is slowly sinking into the ground. Many buildings in the Centro Historico don’t stand straight.
Investing 500 pesos (25 €) in a local SIM Card from Telcel will offer you a month of free local calls as well as to the US and Canada including 2.5 GB of mobile internet.