A Long Weekend in Mexico City [4 Day Itinerary]
This year has been a year of the long weekend travels! Graduating from business school and returning to the corporate world has meant that I have had to return to my top strategies (read more on them here) to continue traveling while working a full-time 9-5 job.
Mexico City, commonly referred to as CDMX, was not a place that I had particularly considered visiting in the past; however, over the last 2 years, I have heard nothing but amazing things from friends visiting this city, so I knew I had to go check it out for myself. I convinced two close friends to head there with me and we had an absolute blast!
I have to give a huge thank you to both of them for helping me plan this trip, as well as many friends and classmates I reached out to for their tips and recommendations on what to do in CDMX.
Below you will find the perfect long weekend itinerary for CDMX, full of amazing food and adventures! You'll definitely want to go back and visit the rest of the incredible things CDMX has to offer!
MEXICO CITY ITINERARY
Day 1 / FLIGHT TO MEXICO CITY
Mid-day - Flight to CDMX (5-hour direct flight time from NYC)
Afternoon - Arrival in CDMX. Uber is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around in the city. I don’t think we waited more than 2 minutes for an uber anywhere we were in the city
Check into accommodation. We stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb in La Condesa (link here). This newly renovated apartment was the perfect mix of modern with traditional Mexican detailing!
Evening - Dinner at Pujol. Pujol is home to Chef Enrique Olvera - celebrity chef behind NYC’s Cosme, and considered in the top 50 restaurants in the world. They offer two dining options: the multi-course tasting menu and the “taco omakase”. We weren’t able to snag a reservation, but I have heard the tasting menu is worth every last cent! If you do plan to dine here, you should make your reservation as soon as you book your flight
If fine dining isn’t your thing or you’re looking for a more low-key atmosphere, try the hole in the wall taco stand Taqueria Los Cocuyos. Word on the street is that Anthony Bourdain and his crew made a stop here every single day while filming an episode in CDMX.
Day 2 / Roma + Coyoacán + Xochimilco
8AM - Breakfast at Lalo! Cute atmosphere and delicious eats. I highly recommend ordering the chilaquiles with huevos!
9AM - Walk to Panaderia Rosetta to grab some baked goods to go. Panaderia Rosetta is a little cute bakery known for their artisanal baked goods like the guava and cheese roll or the fig croissant, along with the classics. You can’t miss it since the line is always out the door, but don’t worry, the line moves quickly
10AM - Take an uber to Museo de Frida Kahlo. Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time online, so you’re able to bypass the general admission line. I had trouble with their online payment system, so I emailed them directly to let them know. They gave me a contact name to ask for at the door and miraculously was able to bypass both lines completely! I don’t know if you’ll be able to do the same, but it’s worth a shot ;)
Explore the Frida Kahlo museum. Take time to read the beautiful poetry and stories about Frida throughout the house. Don’t forget to walk past the garden and to the back right to one of my favorite sections of the museum.
Noon - After visiting the museum walk straight from the entrance a few blocks to the Mercado de Coyoacán. Browse the colorful clothing and home decor. Along the outside perimeter (facing the park) you’ll find a food stall that sells delicious quesadillas, gorditas, and aguas frescas. These gorditas were my friend’s number one food item we had this entire trip, so that says something!
2PM - Order an uber and head to Xochimilco for a classic trajinera ride and experience. Be sure to have the uber drop you off at the main embarcadero, as there are many smaller ones nearby. Type in this address when you order the uber and you should get dropped off right at Embarcadero Caltongo: Avenida Nuevo Leon 112, Caltongo, 16090
3PM - Arrival at Xochimilco. The prices for trajineras (the colorful boats) were pretty standard when we were there (2018) at 500 pesos p/hour with a 2 hour minimum (1000 pesos total); however, I have heard of tourist getting completely ripped off, so be sure to negotiate down to this price if you are being offered a higher price
You have two options for food and beverages, you can buy ahead and bring your own on board or you can purchase everything while on the trajinera. We wanted the flexibility of seeing what options were offered on our route, so we decided to purchase on board. While we were loading into the trajinera we were offered beverages (alcoholic and non), as well as an array of musical groups (mariachi, trio, marimba) and speakers. I really wish we had rented the speakers because we were one of the only trajineras without our own music! Once you take off, it is too late to rent a speaker, so be sure to ask for that as soon as you walk on the board. For the other musical groups, you will have the chance to rent them along your journey. Prices offered are per song not per hour.
Xochimilco was one of my favorite activities in CDMX. I loved that it was full of both tourist and locals, celebrating birthdays, graduations, or just a friends’ day on the water. Each trajinera had their own different type of music and people of all ages dancing away.
7PM - Dinner at Azul Historico. The decor inside was gorgeous at nighttime (even more so than in daytime in my opinion). This is a great time to try the guacamole with chapulines (dried grasshoppers, a CDMX delicacy). Be sure to also try the mezcal, which is served in a small coconut shell and is meant to be sipped and “chased” with small orange slices sprinkled with chili powder. But be careful, the mezcal is STRONG!!
Nightlife - After dinner, if you want to hit up the town for drinks and some salsa dancing, head to Mama Rumba
Day 3 / Centro Historico
Morning - Start your morning with a little breakfast snack at Churreria El Moro and a stroll through the neighboring Parque Mexico. Churreria El Moro has a ton of locations, so if you aren’t staying in La Condesa, don’t worry you should be able to find a location near you
Late morning - Brunch at the classic Restaurante El Cardenal in the Centro Historico. If there is a long wait, put your name down and walk around the Centro Historico in the meantime
Mid-day - After brunch, continue to explore the Centro Historico. Visit the Zócalo plaza, the famous Cathedral, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon an Aztec performance like we did
Early afternoon - Take a break from all of the walking and recharge with a coffee at Cafe de Tacuba. They have a beautiful and charming dining area on the right after you walk inside
Afternoon - Visit the street markets all around the historic center. A great market to buy souvenirs is the Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela
Dinner - If you do one thing while you are in CDMX, be sure to have a meal at Contramar! I was super skeptical of the hype that people were giving Contramar, but the Contramar fish tacos were hands down my favorite meal in CDMX. Come with an appetite so that you can try the tuna tostadas, shrimp aguachile and the grilled octopus, and make room for some nutella flan for dessert! Contramar is a super popular place, so be sure to make a reservation as soon as you can!
Evening - End the night exploring the beautiful neighborhood of Polanco
Head to Limantour for some delicious handcrafted cocktails
Day 4 / Teotihuacán
Early morning - Wake up early and uber to the Aztec Pyramids of Teotihuacán. The ride is close to an hour and around 500 pesos each way (keep in mind fluctuation with demand surcharges). There is a local bus that departs from Terminal Norte de Autobuses, but if you are flying out that night, I say it’s more convenient to arrive/depart on your own schedule and take an uber
Be sure to visit the famous Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon
My flight actually departing early in the morning, so I didn’t personally get a chance to visit the pyramids, but if I had had more time I would’ve definitely added this to my itinerary.
Early afternoon - Uber to accommodation to pick-up luggage
Evening/Night - Return flight
Image source : Visit Mexico
I hope you enjoyed this long weekend Mexico City itinerary. If you are interested in more long weekend itineraries, check out my 4-day Guatemala itinerary to Antigua and Lake Atitlan.
Til next time!
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