5 days in Mexico City

5 days in Mexico City

Looking for places to visit in Mexico City? In this post, I recommend an itinerary and I give you an idea of the budget you require.

Mexico City (CDMX), formerly known as the Federal District, is a very popular destination because of its culture, history, architecture and its people. If you are thinking of spending a few days in this great city, this post will help you to define your itinerary and budget.

We spend 5 days in Mexico City, so we would like to share with you our itinerary. The proposals on what to do each day are based on the proximity and the facilities to move between the different attractions.

My recommendation is to spend at least 3 days in Mexico City. However, you can stay in the city for more than 5 days and never get bored.

One day in Mexico City

🇲🇽 Historic Center

If you only have one day in Mexico City, consider focusing on the Historic Center, there are many activities and places to see.

  • In the Plaza de la Constitución, known as the Zócalo, you can visit the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Also, take a look at the architecture of buildings such as the Gran Hotel Mexico City and the Majestic, which are around the Zócalo. Approximate time: 1.5 hours / Price: Free.
  • Templo Mayor Museum. One block from the Zócalo you can find this archaeological center, which includes a series of constructions, buildings, and towers. Approximate time: 1.5 hours. Price: free on Sundays, the rest of days $4. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Tip: Keep in mind that on Mondays the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Templo Mayor Museum are closed.
Monumental flag located in the Zocalo, City of Mexico
Monumental flag located in the Zocalo, City of Mexico
  • On the way to the Palace of Fine Arts, in the Francisco Madero Avenue, you can find the Church of the Profesa and the Iturbide Palace. Approximate time: 30 minutes / Price: Free.
  • The Casa de los Azulejos is in the southeast corner of the Palace of Fine Arts and is a must visit, where you will appreciate the architecture of what was once a palace and the varied and delicious Mexican food. Super recommended! Free entrance.
  • The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the architectural wonders of the city. Inside is the Museum of Fine Arts where you can see art noveau and art-decó architecture. Approximate time: 1.5-2 hours. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30 hrs. Price: $3.5. On Sundays the entrance is free, so you can find long lines.
  • The Latin-American Tower is a skyscraper where you can appreciate an excellent view of the city and find the Museum “The City and the Tower Through the Centuries”. Approximate time: 1.5 hours. Price: $6.5, Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • If you still have energy, you can visit the La Ciudadela Market, that specializes in the sale of Mexican handcrafts and folk art. Open every day from 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Ready for the party and take some tequilas? Go to Plaza Garibaldi, Polanco or La Condesa after 10 pm.
  • Tip: There is a free tour that goes to most of these destinations – link.
The Angel of Independence located on Reforma Avenue
The Angel of Independence located on Reforma Avenue

2 days in Mexico City

🇲🇽 Pyramids of Teotihuacan

About an hour and a half from the CDMX are the archaeological remains declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here you can find the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, the Palace of Quetzalcoatl and the Palace of the Jaguars.

View from the Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán.
View from the Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán.

To visit the Pyramids there are multiple options: the Turibus has a circuit; Uber costs approximately $70 round trip; You can hire a tour for $50, or use public transport and take the metro and bus.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán
Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán

🇲🇽 Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Whether for religious reasons or not, a visit to the Basilica is mandatory. The architecture of the different buildings of the complex worth the visit. In the vicinity of the complex, you can find food and souvenir sales.

3 days in Mexico City

🇲🇽 Chapultepec

Chapultepec is a park that measures 686 hectares and has so many activities that you can spend more than a day in the area without getting bored. Among the main attractions are the Anthropology Museum, the zoo, El Castillo de Chapultepec, the Lagos Mayor, and Menor, and the fair with rides. Most of the attractions are free or cost about $ 5. Take into consideration that the park closes on Mondays and some holidays, such as January 1. If you have little time, I recommend you visit first El Castillo de Chapultepec.

The Lake of Chapultepec is an artificial formation that was built in 1962 on an old area of mines that were filled.
The Lake of Chapultepec is an artificial formation that was built in 1962 on an old area of mines that were filled.

You can also go to the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the entrance costs $3. It is closed on Mondays; On Sundays it’s free.

4 days in Mexico City

🇲🇽 Coyoacán

In Coyoacán you can see Allende Park, Frida Kahlo Museum and the Handicraft Market. It is worth walking through the area and enjoys the place, culture, cuisine, and architecture. On Sundays, the atmosphere is very familiar.

TIP: the museum is very crowded and if you do not take precautions you can run out of tickets. At least buy the tickets a week in advance on the website. Price: $14.

🇲🇽 Xochimilco

Xochimilco is far from downtown, but you can take the subway to get there, or a private tour. In the place, you can take a ride on the canals in a trajinera (boat), or take a bike ride through the area.

In Xochimilco you can take a ride in trajinera
In Xochimilco you can take a ride in trajinera

🇲🇽 Frida Kahlo

In case you like Frida Kahlo, do not miss the Dolores Olmedo Museum, located near Xochimilco, and where many of her works are found. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Price: $ 6; On Tuesdays the entrance is free.

In Mexico City, you can find multiple Frida Kahlo artworks.
In Mexico City, you can find multiple Frida Kahlo artworks.

5 days in Mexico City

🇲🇽 Cholula

On the way to Cholula do not miss the Iztaccíhual and Popocatepetl volcanoes. The view is incredible and you will see the volcanoes almost the entire road trip.

On the way to Puebla, you can see the impressive Popocatepetl volcano
On the way to Puebla, you can see the impressive Popocatepetl volcano

In Cholula, you must visit the Great Pyramid, which from the distance looks like a mountain with a church at the top. However, this mountain is the largest pyramidal base in the world, with 400 meters per side. The church named Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios has a neoclassical style and is decorated with gold leaf inside. From the top of the mountain, there is an amazing view of the volcanoes and the city.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Cholula
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Cholula

🇲🇽 Puebla

In Puebla, walk the city streets and admire the architecture of the buildings. Do not miss the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Puebla, admire the architecture and decoration inside.

In the gastronomy of Puebla, mole and chiles en nogada stand out, you can not miss it. Before leaving, stop at the Handicraft Market, where you can see beautiful works in Talavera (a type of majolica ceramic that is distinguished by its vitreous white as a base color).

Puebla and Cholula tour can be done in one day and may cost approximately $50 per person.

6/7 days in Mexico City

🇲🇽 San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is a colonial city characterized by its Spanish Baroque architecture and its flourishing artistic panorama. The trip lasts 4 hours from Mexico City, but it’s worth it.

If you want a more leisurely trip, we recommend to stay overnight and visit the city of Queretaro on the way. Read more in our post: Things to do in San Miguel de Allende

Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel, San Miguel de Allende
Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel, San Miguel de Allende

Mexico City travel budget

A quick budget for two people: for four days and three nights may require an approximate of $ 785 (Hotel $ 210, Food $ 200, 2 Tours $ 200, Tickets to attractions $ 100, and Transportation $ 75, including the round trip to the airport). If you want to start planning your trip, look for the ticket and save the cost of the itinerary … or maybe a little more, because you will want to buy more than one souvenir, they are beautiful and very colorful!

If you want to extend your visit, here I share other information for your reference:

  • Food in Mexico is relatively cheap. For example, a coffee and sandwich 100 MXN, fast food 90 MXN, restaurant à la carte could be 150 MXN. Assuming you are going to make three meals and two snacks, you can spend daily $25 per person.
  • One day tours: each tour can cost approximately $40 – $50 per person. If you decide to do the tours on your own you can reduce that budget by half.
  • Transportation: CDMX is a big city so you must prepare to walk. There are attractions that require another type of transport. For example, the Uber costs less than 100 MXN per trip, the bus or the subway 6 MXN. In summary, you can spend between $5 and $10 per day.

Private tour Mexico City

CDMX is a big city and has huge traffic, so moving to some areas can take a lot of time. In my case, I made a combination of private tours and other activities on my own like the Historic Center, Chapultepec, Plaza Garibaldi, and some museums.

If you want to maximize your time and enjoy each place with calm, hiring a private tour is an option that I recommend. I used the services of two excellent guides, send me a message if you need the information.

Where to stay in Mexico City?

My recommendation is that you stay near Avenida Reforma, or in the Historic Center (near the Zócalo). A 3-star hotel can cost about $70.

In the Historic Center, I recommend Fiesta Inn Centro Historico, which costs about $ 90, or the Best Western Majestic that cost around $80.

In the av. Reforma I recommend staying at the Holiday Inn Express Mexico Reforma ($ 85) or at the Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel ($ 130).

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