Tips, to-do's and nicest restaurants in Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the most famous and notorious cities of the world. It has not always had the best name, but in recent years this has changed more and more. This city is a fascinating metropolis and it became one of my favourites in the world. It's maybe not your first choice in Mexico, but I would say give it a chance. The city of millions has a whole other side: centuries-old culture, large parks, lively markets, amazing restaurants and more than 200 museums. You'll love it!
Mexico City is a mix of art, unique culture, friendly people and special sights. The government has done a lot of work in making the city safe. In the 4 times I have been there I have never felt unsafe. Yes one time a suitcase of a friend got snitched when waiting for a taxi, but this can also happen in my home town Amsterdam. As long as you use your common sense, Mexico City is not an unsafe destination and you will find that the locals are incredibly friendly and helpful. One of the best tips I can give you is to buy a sim card when you arrive in Mexico City and use the app Uber to get around. It's safe, fast and honestly priced.
Cool neighbourhoods + restaurants
Mexico City is huge, but it has many nice compact neighbourhoods. Here some Spanish influence, there a touch of Paris, a little Madrid and a dose of good old Mexico. The city is also without a doubt a culinary destination pur sang with cuisines at a very high level. Here a list of our favourite neighbourhoods and where to eat.
La Condesa is a lovely fancy and authentic neighbourhood. It has trendy restaurants, great terraces and shops with better souvenirs than just sombreros. We recommend to have lunch at the vegetarian restaurant Veguísima.
Roma is a beautiful green neighbourhood with old houses, traditional food stands, hip mezcal bars, top notch restaurants and beautiful people. It's a hipster area where the locals themselves like to come. A day in Roma could look like this: Start your day with Breakfast at Rosetta (very nice coffee shop). On Sundays you can score nice Mexican design at: Trafico Bazar (a place where local designers gather great shoes, clothes and other cool stuff). For an healthy organic lunch had over to Plantasia or eat vegan taco's at Por siempre vegana 2. Have a coffee at El Cardinal (very nice coffee shop with good wifi and vibes). You can finish the afternoon with Mezcal at Cabrera 7.
We like the historical centre of Mexico City but it does feel a bit touristy. If you want to have the best view of down town we recommend drinking beer on the roof terrace of the Gran Hotel.
Next to Polanco you find another upscale neighbourhood called Lomas de Chapultepec. Home to some of the biggest mansions in the city and here you'll have a chance to see the rich and famous. We enjoyed our coffee at Chiquitito Café and in the evening we had one of our best Japanese meals ever (with many vegetarian options) at the Onomura Nigiri Room.
Where to stay
If you would like to stay in a work of art I can highly recommend Uma Casa in the quiet neighbourhood Lomas de Chapultepec. If you are into design, this place will knock you of your feet, from the architecture to the furniture and art.
I have never stayed in such a thoughtfully designed hotel. Each room has its own essence, thoughtfully curated with earth tones and warm textiles combined with unique pieces, all beautiful local Mexican design.
The common areas are breathtaking, particularly the rooftop. Here me and my girlfriend enjoyed a delicious breakfast every morning.
Uma Casa used to be a residential house and the owners transformed it into a new lodging experience for those seeking a healthy, meaningful and conscious place to stay. It is family run and they made a huge effort to make us feel at home. They
were always available to give recommendations, assist in anything we need, and
tell us about the house.
Our room was fantastic with an amazing shower and organic toiletries. Also whenever we went out and we came back and our glass water jars were refilled.
Next to that they made sure our bed was always comfortably made. The bed itself was so enjoyable it was hard to get out in the morning.
For us as digital nomads the 200mb per second internet was also a big plus. There's no other place I'd like to stay in Mexico City.
You might think of Paris or New York as the must-visit places to see the world’s top artworks and artists, but don’t rule out Mexico City in the process. Here a few of our favourites:
- Visit Frida Kahlo's Museum which is amazing. (we really recommend it!) The artist's life story is an adventure in itself. Visiting her home is a wonderful experience.
- The Museo Soumaya. This Guggenheim Bilbao meets Taj Mahal is particularly impressive, both from the outside and inside.
It has works of art of more than thirty centuries, with many Rodin, but also Aztec artefacts to Rembrandt, Picasso, Dali, and Venetian masterpieces.
- One of the most famous Museums in Mexico City is the National Museum of Anthropology. This is an amazing museum where you get to know about the history and appreciate how rich Mexico is in terms of culture. So much of the indigenous culture is preserved here, it is a tremendous accomplishment.
- Walk towards San Angel, where you have a really great market on Saturday, on this market you can buy beautiful handmade products.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May. However because of its location on a high plateau Mexico City enjoys mild, pleasant weather nearly all year. Winters are usually very mild. The temperature in winter averages between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius (68 to 74° Fahrenheit) and in summer the average maximum temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius (83° Fahrenheit).
October through May is the city's dry season, which means this period has very little rain. From June through September is considered the "rainy season". During the summer months it rains on average only once a day. In general the rain rarely lasts longer than a few hours. Click here for Mexico City's climate charts.