Mexico City Itinerary: The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

Mexico City had been on my bucket list for YEARS before taking this trip. Everyone said that it is a must visit if you like good food and unique culture – and they were right! I spent days researching (and testing out) the perfect 4 day Mexico City itinerary so you don’t have to. Keep reading to find out the best places to eat, where to stay, and all the must-do Mexico City activities!

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Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Palacio de Bellas Artes

Mexico City Itinerary: The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

Before we jump into your detailed 4 day Mexico City itinerary, lets go over some must-know things about planning your trip.

How many days in Mexico City is enough?

Mexico City is huge. It is twice as large as New York City, larger than Los Angeles, and the largest city in North America with over 9 million inhabitants. You could spend years exploring every little nook and cranny, museum, art gallery, restaurant, and nature park. With that in mind, the best way to answer this question is to first ask what you want to get out of your trip.

For us, we were limited on time, and our main goal was to enjoy Mexico City’s famous food scene while squeezing in a few activities. There are so many incredible restaurants in this city, and we wanted to hit as many as possible with the small amount of time we had. We found that 4 full days was a great amount of time for a first visit to Mexico City. We didn’t miss too much work, and because everything was relatively close, we were able to visit a bunch of what we had on our list.

On the flip side, if you want to do a deep dive into Mexico City and its surrounding areas, I would recommend at least a week, but possibly more. This will give you time to enjoy the Mexico City food scene, explore some less touristy areas of the city, and also get out to visit nearby national parks and historical sites such as the Teotihuacan pyramids and Puebla.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Best Places to Eat in Mexico City

When is the best time to visit Mexico City?

Most people will tell you that the spring months of March through May are the best time to visit Mexico City. This is the most popular time for tourists to visit, and for good reason. Temperatures average around 76 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius), the sun is out the majority of the time, the beautiful jacarandas are blooming,  and the rainy season is still around the corner. 

But, if you’re staying in the city and mostly looking to explore the dining scene as we were, maybe you should consider the shoulder seasons or even the off-season. This way you will avoid the busiest tourist season, and the colder weather and a bit of rain really shouldn’t put much of a damper on your trip.

June through August is the rainy season in Mexico City, and as a result, this is the quietest time of the year. It’s still warm, with similar temperatures to spring, but most days in the afternoon you will get some heavy rain. Nothing that can’t be avoided with a good umbrella though! As a result of the rain, the infamous smoggy skies are clearer, making it easier to breathe. Less tourists in town also means it will be easier to secure reservations in restaurants, and accommodations are often a little cheaper at this time.

September through November is an excellent time to visit if you love festivals and other cultural events. Dia de los Muertos occurs from the end of October through the start of November and is one of the most exciting times of the year for locals. The Formula 1 race also happens at the end of October. The weather is slightly colder than spring and summer, but not by much. If anything, this is probably a positive in my opinion. You may get a little bit of rain in the afternoons left over from the rainy season, but don’t let this turn you away. 

December through February is the coldest and driest time of the year. It’s probably best to avoid Christmas through New Year’s as a lot of places are closed, but outside of that, winter is a great time to visit. Temperatures are a little cooler at 68-72 Fahrenheit (20-22 Celsius) which can be nice. But you’ll want to pack a jacket for the evenings as it gets quite cold! Tourists are lower at this time, making it easier to get into the busy locations and get last-minute restaurant reservations.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Best Places to Eat

How do you get to Mexico City?

Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) is Mexico City’s main airport and one of the largest in Latin America. This airport has direct flights from all around the world including most major US cities (Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and many more), Asia (Tokyo and Seoul), all around Latin America, and even some of the larger cities in Europe including London, Madrid, Paris, and more. This makes it super easy to get to Mexico City. Direct flights to Mexico City are shorter from a lot of cities in the US than flying from LA to NYC.

I highly recommend using Expedia to research and book your flights. The Expedia Price Tracking tool is a game changer because it sends you notifications when flight prices go up or down, allowing you to choose the best time to book your trip.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Where To Stay in Mexico City Vrbo

Where is the best place to stay in Mexico City?

In my opinion, the best way to explore Mexico City is to base yourself in one area and take ride-share vehicles and buses to places that are out of walking distance. This way you don’t have to deal with packing bags and moving between accommodations, which is always a plus in my book. Here are a few of the most popular places for tourists to stay in Mexico City:

Roma Norte or La Condesa

Roma Norte and La Condesa are trendy neighborhoods to the west of downtown Mexico City are both known for their beautiful tree-lined streets and eclectic architecture. We stayed in La Condesa and found the area to be a perfect base for our Mexico City stay. We were within walking distance of all of the popular restaurants that we found online and never ran out of interesting boutiques, parks, cafes, and art galleries to see. This area felt like a great blend of modern Mexican culture, while still keeping some a little traditional flair around. I think these are the two best options, and highly recommend most travelers to stay in one of these two neighborhoods.

Places to stay in Roma Norte
Places to stay in La Condesa

Historic Center (Centro Historico)

This is the heart of the downtown area in Mexico City. The atmosphere here is a lot more similar to a typical large, inner-city than Roma or Condesa which feel more like trendy inner-city suburbs. In the Historic Center, you will find more street vendors selling goods, performing artists, traditional Mexican restaurants, and larger hotels for visitors. The Historic Center is home to many of the hugely popular tourist sites such as Palacio De Bellas Artes, National Art Museum, Templo Mayor Museum, Metropolitan Cathedral, Palacio Postal, Diego Rivera Mural Museum,  Casa de los Azulejos (The House of Tiles), Zócalo (main square), and much more. For those who intend to spend many hours each day in museums, and prefer traditional food, this area might be better for you than Roma or Condesa. 

Places to stay in the Historic Center


Polanco is an up-scale neighborhood on the other side of Bosque de Chapultepec from Roma and Condesa. Home to high-end boutiques, hotels, and restaurants, this is a great area for luxury travelers who aren’t looking to prioritize a local Mexican experience.

Places to stay in Polanco


Coyoacán is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Mexico City, and is popular for its colonial architecture and more laid-back atmosphere. This is also home to one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mexico City, the Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azul). If you want to stay in a quieter, more relaxed area of the city with more local culture, this might be the place for you. 

Places to stay in Coyoacán

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is Mexico City’s financial district and home to a lot of the larger businesses. You will find large skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and bustling shopping malls here. This is a popular spot to stay for people traveling to Mexico City for work.

Places to stay in Santa Fe
Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Palacio de Bellas Artes 2

4 Day Mexico City Itinerary

Mexico City can be an overwhelming place to plan a trip. There are infinite activities and dining options and figuring out which are worth your time is tough. The good news for you is that I spent a LOT of time researching all of this for my own trip recently, so now you don’t have to! Our group had the best time in Mexico City, and we all left in agreement that the itinerary we followed was perfect for those wanting to spend four days enjoying the highlights of this enchanting city. Let’s jump into the detailed Mexico City itinerary!

Note that these days can be flipped around as necessary. For example, the Saturday market only runs on, you guessed it, Saturday! I am also going to assume you are staying in La Condesa or Roma Norte, as these are by far the most popular spots for tourists to base themselves.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Art Museum - Museo Nacional De Arte 3

Day 1: Centro Historico

Start day 1 of your Mexico City itinerary by jumping in an Uber and heading towards Centro Historico. Today you will be introduced to the historic center of Mexico City and receive a crash course in its history of architecture, art, and culture.

Grab some breakfast somewhere nearby. Here are a few suggestions:

Now that your belly is full, take a walk around Alameda Central park. This is Mexico City’s oldest municipal park and the center of the historic district. From here, you will either meet with a local guide for a guided tour or continue on your own, which is what we did. I’m going to continue the itinerary as if you’re going it alone, but a guided tour is another great option.

Next, make your way over to Palacio de Bellas Artes. This beautiful building is a cultural center of Mexico City, hosting performing arts events, exhibitions, and galleries. Enjoy the stunning architecture from the outside, or make your way in and pay an entrance fee to enjoy whichever exhibitions or galleries they currently have on display. To wrap up your morning, take a short walk to the National Art Museum (Museo Nacional De Arte). Typically there’s a small entrance fee, but we were there on a Sunday, and apparently, Sundays are free which was a nice surprise. We spent a couple of hours walking around and enjoying both old and new work from local Mexican artists. We aren’t usually the type of people to spend hours inside a museum or gallery, but the art inside this place was captivating.

By now you’re probably starting to get hungry. The good news is the historic district is famous for its traditional Mexican cuisine, and there are plenty of great options nearby. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Next, it’s worth checking out two of the Historic District’s most beautiful buildings. Walk to The House of Tiles (Casa de los Azulejos), and then to the Citibanamex Culture Palace (Palacio de Iturbide). Both of these buildings provide great photo opportunities. Now it’s time to gather your bearings from above. Walk to the Mirador Torre Latino, which provides 360-degree views over Mexico City and beyond from the main observation deck.

A 15-minute walk from the Mirador Torre Latino building is the Templo Mayor Museum and Templo Mayor Archeological Site, your next stop. This was once the ceremonial center of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), and provides a look into the religious and political life of the Aztec civilization. Here you will walk around the ruins of many uncovered structures, and see an array of artifacts uncovered from the Aztec’s time in the area.

After a tiring day walking around the Historic District, you are probably ready to head back to your accommodation and relax before dinner. Here are a few dining options for this evening*:

*or refer to previous suggestions

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Best Places to Eat Panaderia Rosetta

Day 2: Roma Norte and Condesa

Day 2 of your Mexico City itinerary is focused on exploring the area you’ll likely be staying in, the leafy neighborhoods of Roma Norte and Condesa. Full of wealthier locals and expats, Condesa and Roma Norte almost have a European feel to them as you walk the streets. 

Kick off the day by walking or riding an Uber to one of my all-time favorite bakeries, Panaderia Rosetta. Try an array of delicious pastries and breads, and don’t forget the delicious coffee! My favorite was the cherry tomato and rosemary focaccia, but everything I had was amazing. You can eat there if you don’t mind waiting for a table, or you can get take out and eat in the nearby park called Plaza Rio de Janeiro. There are some benches to sit and enjoy your food, and a replica of the State of David in the middle of the fountain makes for a great photo opportunity.

Now it’s time for some retail therapy. Roma Norte and Condesa are home to some fantastic local Mexican boutiques and vintage stores. Colima St in particular was beautiful and had a lot of cool stores.. A few of my favorite stores in the area were Goodbye Folk Vintage Store, Revolver Vintage, and Altiva Mexico

Once you’ve had enough shopping head west towards Parque Espana and Parque Mexico. These two beautifully maintained parks sit in the center of La Condesa and are filled with locals walking dogs and enjoying the lush greenery. From here, I suggest you continue a little further west for lunch at Lardo. Lardo specializes in a fusion of modern Mexican and Mediterranean dishes. Their bread and hummus in particular were to die for. It’s also absolutely beautiful, as is the case for so many of the restaurants in the Condesa and Roma Norte area.

Enigma Rooms are a fun next stop, especially if you have a group of 3 or more. Enigma Rooms are an escape room spot in Condesa. I’d done an escape room a few times before, but this was probably my favorite one thus far. I stumbled upon it as it had incredible reviews, and figured it would be a fun thing for the group to do. I highly recommend it. There are easier options, as well as harder options. We did the “Museo” room it provided a good challenge. It was also in English, which is great because we don’t speak much Spanish. This activity took us about an hour and was a fun break between sightseeing.

Continue to explore Condesa. It’s a large neighborhood, and there are so many cute stores, cafes, etc, to be found by just walking the streets and seeing what you run into. 

At 6 pm (3 pm on weekends) the world-famous cocktail bar Licoreria Limantour opens. Head on over for a little pre-dinner drinks session. This cute cocktail bar has been named in the top 50 in the world, and it doesn’t disappoint! 

There are so many amazing dinner spots within walking distance of Licoreria Limantour. Some of my favorites in the area were:

*or refer to previous suggestions

Ultimate Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

Day 3: Southern Mexico City

Start day 3 of your Mexico City itinerary with an Uber to the San Ángel Inn. This former monastery is a great place for breakfast before heading over to the Saturday Market (El Bazar Sabado). It has a stunning courtyard and a delicious, traditional Mexican breakfast food.

Nearby and worth a visit is the old studio of one of the most famous artists in Mexican history, Diego Rivera. The Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo gives visitors a look into the lives and artwork of this incredible artist and his equally famous wife, fellow artist, Frida Kahlo. 

Next, walk 15 minutes to the Saturday Market. This is a mixed indoor and outdoor market located in San Angel is a great way to spend an hour or two shopping goods from local artisans, food growers, designers, and more. The cobblestone streets are so cute, and you are bound to find something unique to take home as a souvenir.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Xochimilco Boat Tour

Jump in an Uber and head to Xochimilco. Xochimilco is a bustling neighborhood located in the southern part of Mexico City and known for its large network of ancient canals and manmade islands. The Xochimilco canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and date back to pre-Hispanic times when the region was part of the vast network of lakes and waterways that surrounded the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (where Mexico City now stands). 

The Aztecs built a clever agricultural system on the shallow lakes by building chinampas, which were floating gardens made from layers of mud, reeds, and vegetation. These were used to grow crops such as maize, beans, and squash, and they played a vital role in providing food for the growing population of Tenochtitlan.

Xochimilco’s canals have become a popular tourist attraction for locals and international guests alike, where visitors can take boat rides through the waterways, surrounded by lush vegetation and colorful floating gardens. Visitors can rent traditional wooden boats called trajineras, painted with vibrant colors and seating several people. While floating the canals, you will be approached by floating vendors selling food, drinks, and souvenirs, creating a festive and lively atmosphere. Our favorite was the mariachi band who jumped on our boat and asked us what kind of song we wanted. We asked for a romantic tune, and it was such a vibe while we floated down the canals!

In addition to these boat rides, visitors to Xochimilco can also explore popular spots like the Xochimilco Ecological Park and Plant Market, and the Dolores Olmedo Museum which has an extensive collection of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo artwork.

You can do Xochimilco as a guided tour, or go it alone. Guided tours will usually pick you up from your accommodation, take you to Xochimilco, and drop you back at the end of the day. These are often done with multiple people, meaning a larger group, and often involve a party-like atmosphere of drinking and other activities. These trips usually take up most of the day factoring in travel and all the stops.

Our group of 4 decided to do it ourselves. We got an Uber to this area of Xochimilco (Nuevo Nativitas Embarcadero) from Condesa, and it took around 1 hour with traffic. When we arrived, we walked to where all the boats were docked and paid a vendor 600 Mexican Pesos. This got our group of 4 a boat and driver for 1 hour. This was the perfect amount of time for us. We enjoyed a mariachi band, bought a flower crown from a floating vendor, and just enjoyed the beautiful canals before heading back to our apartment. In total, the trip took us about 4 hours.

The final stop for the day will be the famous Frida Kahlo Museum (AKA The Blue House). If you choose to do a Xochimilco guided tour, the Frida Kahlo Museum is often included on these trips. But, if you are solo, make sure you are booked ahead of time as it books out often during the busy seasons. Frida Kahlo was one of the most famous artists in Mexican history, and the wife of another famous artist mentioned earlier, Diego Rivera. This museum is the site of her lifelong home in Coyoacan, and you’ll find exhibits displaying her paintings, drawings, photographs, belongings, etc. Visitors will explore her home, gain insight into her busy life as an artist and political activist, and learn about her influence on Mexican culture. 

Time to head back to your accommodation and get ready for another delicious meal. Some suggestions are below*:

*or refer to previous suggestions

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Cafebreia El Pendulo Polanco

Day 4: Polanco and Chapultapec

It’s your last full day in Mexico City, and we’re going to kick it off with a nice breakfast. Some suggestions are below:

Now, walk or Uber up to Chapultepec Castle. This castle has been home to some of the most significant figures in Mexican history. In its initial form, Chapultepec dates back to the Aztec empire and was used as a retreat for Aztec rulers, including Moctezuma II. Later, during the Second Mexican Empire, Chapultepec received a renovation and became the home of Emperor Maximilian I. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it become the home of Mexican presidents including Benito Juarez and Porfirio Diaz. Today, Chapultepec is now the site of the National Museum of History and showcases culturally significant artifacts, exhibits, and artworks from various periods throughout Mexican history. The structure itself is also stunning, and the architecture alone makes it worth the visit! Allow roughly 2 hours here at Chapultepec. Here is a link to a guided tour option.

Next, enjoy a nice stroll through a small part of the 686-acre Chapultepec Park toward the nearby upscale neighborhood of Polanco. If you are a bookworm, I highly recommend visiting Cafebreria El Pendulo (Polanco). This is a cafe/bookstore combo and the inside is stunning. There is also a cafe inside if you want to refill on caffeine or snacks. Afterwards, have a look around Polanco. There are many great upscale cafes, retail stores, boutiques, and restaurants in this part of Mexico City. Grab some lunch, here are a few recommendations:

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Museum of Anthropology - Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Within walking distance is your final activity for the day, the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología). This anthropology museum is not only impressive from an architectural standpoint, but it also houses one of the most incredible collections of well-preserved ancient artifacts on earth. We were stunned by just how beautiful and old some of the pieces displayed in this museum were. Again, I want to reiterate that I am not typically a massive museum person, but this place is absolutely worth your time while in Mexico City.

I highly recommend hiring an English-speaking guide (unless you speak Spanish of course), as this was helpful for us in understanding exactly what we were looking at. Many of the signs are not in English, and I feel like we would not have gotten as much out of our visit to the museum without our guide. The museum is huge, so allow for at least 3 hours. Our tour was 3 hours long and the guide prioritized the highlights, but we still only saw a small percentage of the museum. 

Now it’s time for dinner. This is the last one of the trip, so better make it count! Here are a few more of my favorite dinner spots in the Polanco, Roma Norte, and Condesa area. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

*or refer to previous suggestions

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Art Museum - Museo Nacional De Arte

Other things to do in Mexico City

It’s possible to fit in some extra activities to the above itinerary, but honestly, you would be so tired there would be no time to enjoy any of it. Below are a few more things I think are worth checking out if you find you have extra time, or would prefer to swap them in for something else on the itinerary:

Luche LibreUnfortunately we didn’t have time for this, but I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun even if you are not a wrestling fan.

Cable car – The longest urban cable car in the world, Cable car line 2 offers beautiful views of Mexico City and it’s surroundings. This is a relatively new attraction in Mexico City, but has quickly become one of the most popular things to do. It was a bit out of the way for us with our limited time, but if I go back I’ll definitely be checking this out.

Street food tour (women-owned business) – One morning we were at a cute little coffee shop and noticed a bunch of people gathering and then leaving together. This happened multiple times while we were there. We found out that it was a local women-owned business offering delicious food tours of Mexico City. Check it out if this sounds like something you might be interested in.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Where to Eat

More Things To Know Before You Visit Mexico City

You’ve now got a detailed Mexico City itinerary, but before you go, let’s discuss some important tips about visiting the city.

Can you drink the tap water in Mexico City?

It is recommended that you do NOT the drink tap water in Mexico City. Even the locals tend to avoid it. We brought a water filter with us and used it for drinking and brushing our teeth to be on the safe side. Alternatively, you can buy bottled water, though we try to avoid that when possible to reduce waste (instead we use a water filter like this). Nearly all newer restaurants use filters, and thus their drinking water is supposed to be safe to drink. That being said, it’s always safest to ask the restaurant before drinking their tap water or drinks with ice.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - Where To Stay in Mexico City

Is it safe to eat street food in Mexico city?

Street food is a huge part of Mexican culture. With that being said, our tourist stomachs are unfortunately not as used to the kinds of bacteria that can often be found in these foods. As a result, food sickness is common as a result of consuming street food. We played it on the safe side and avoided the street food vendors. However, many do prefer to visit these as they are often cheaper and a more authentic culinary experience. 

If you do choose to consume street food, stick to the ones that appear to be busy. This way you have a better chance of getting fresh food that hasn’t been sitting around for too long. Take a moment to watch how they prepare their food. Does it look sanitary? Are their cooking utensils clean? It is popular/busy?

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Art Museum - Museo Nacional De Arte 2

How to get around Mexico City?

Uber – There are many ways to get around Mexico City, but the quickest way we found was to catch an Uber. Ride-share apps are popular and very affordable in Mexico City compared to the United States. Our most expensive Uber of the entire trip was around USD 15, and that was a 40-minute ride. Most of our small Uber trips around the city were a few dollars. Do make sure to tip well. While it might not be much for you, it means a lot to the drivers.

Walk –  It was super easy to get around Mexico City on foot. Staying in Condesa, we were within a 1-mile walk (20-30 minutes) of just about all the restaurants we wanted to visit. We tried to walk when we could to take advantage of the lovely weather and walk off all of the delicious food we were eating. It also allowed us to see many things we would have skipped if we had taken cars everywhere. I recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes, as some of the pathways can be quite uneven. 

Rental Car – I do not recommend hiring a car and driving around Mexico City as someone from the United States. As someone unfamiliar with their road rules, it seems to be very chaotic in comparison to the US, and I honestly don’t feel like I would be a safe driver in the busy downtown area. Mexico City is also known for its terrible traffic, which we experienced a few times while taking an Uber. It would be stressful trying to navigate this traffic and make all of your turns as someone unfamiliar with the streets and area.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Museum of Anthropology - Museo Nacional de Antropologia 3

Is it safe to visit Mexico City?

Like any major city in the world, Mexico City has its safe areas and its not-so-safe areas. The neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma Norte, and Polanco which we frequented on our trip felt incredibly safe. More so than a lot of large US cities I have spent time in. We never felt in danger, and only experienced positive interactions with locals.

Historico Centro (Historic Center) felt a little more like we had to be on guard, but we still never felt unsafe here. With that being said, it’s always a good idea when traveling to not be flashy with expensive items and to keep things close and tied to your body.

There are certain areas that tourists should avoid in Mexico City. But if you stick to the areas frequented by tourists such as those mentioned above, you are very unlikely to run into any issues.

One thing to be on the lookout for around touristy areas such as Xochimilco is tourist scams. This is where they will lure you away from reputable tour sellers with promises of “deals”, only to take advantage of your ignorance and overcharge for the same services. Be alert, plan ahead of time where you need to go, and don’t be lured away by people, even if they look official.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Museum of Anthropology - Museo Nacional de Antropologia 2

How much cash should you bring to Mexico?

Mexican Pesos are the local currency in Mexico. I would recommend bringing USD 100 to USD 300 worth of cash with you to tip local tour guides, pay street vendors, etc. Aim for the high side of that if you intend to visit more street vendors, or the low side if you are sticking to popular restaurants and not doing many tours. All restaurants we visited accepted credit cards, but the smaller street vendors often only accepted cash.

Mexico City Itinerary - The Best Things To Do in 4 Days - National Museum of Anthropology - Museo Nacional de Antropologia 4

What language do locals speak in Mexico City?

Spanish is the local language in Mexico City. Some locals speak English, especially in more touristy restaurants, but it’s not something you will want to rely on. We found it helpful to download Google Translate’s Spanish translations before the trip. This way, if for any reason you don’t have service, you’ll still be able to translate a menu or communicate with a local if need be.

Mexico City Itinerary - All The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

What are some day trips from Mexico City?

Day trip to the Teotihuacan Pyramids

One the most popular day trips from Mexico City is a journey out to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, another UNESCO World Heritage site. At its peak, Teotihuacan is thought to have been to over 100,000 people. Dating back almost 2,000 years, it was one of the largest cities in the pre-Columbian Americas and an important trading hub for the Teotihuacan people.

The most famous structures here are the Temple of the Sun (216 feet / 66 meters) and the Temple of the Moon (140 feet / 43 meters). Visitors can climb to the top of these pyramids and get an incredible view of the ancient city and surrounding landscape. 

Tickets at the gate currently cost around 90 Mexican pesos (USD 5). Do note that most tour buses will arrive around midday, so I suggest arriving as early as possible (they are open from 9 am to 5 pm) to beat the crowds. Most visitors will spend a couple of hours at the site, so allow 4-5 hours for this trip including travel time. 

Below are your best options for getting to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan without the help of a guide:

  1. Bus – Take an Uber or the metro to the Terminal Central de Autobuses (North Bus Terminal). Here you will find several companies offering trips out to Teotihuacan. Head to gate 8 and look for the signs that say “Los Piramides.” Buses leave throughout the day and take around 1 hour to get to the pyramids. Return buses back to Mexico City depart from the same gate you arrived (gate 2) and leave roughly every 20 minutes.
  2. Car – Another option is to rent a car and drive yourself. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the driving throughout Mexico City as it seemed rather chaotic. But, if you’re a confident driver and have driven in busy Asian or South American cities before, this is an option.

Another option is to take a guided tour of the pyramids. Taking a private tour or group guided tour will remove any stress involved in getting to the pyramids yourself. Tours are relatively affordable, offer all transportation, and the guide will share with you a wealth of information about the history of the pyramids that might be missed if you do it yourself. There are even tours that offer a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan. The sunrise hot air balloon ride is one of the most popular things to do here, and I highly recommend it if it is within your budget! 

Day trip to Puebla

Sticking with the theme of UNESCO World Heritage sites, another one worth visiting is the beautiful town of Puebla. Located 2 hours from Mexico City, Puebla is known for its colorful colonial architecture, rich history, and as the birthplace of the famous Mexican food, mole. With transportation time, you will want to allow a full day to get out here, explore Puebla, and return to Mexico City.

To get to Puebla, you can take a bus from the Tapo Bus Station (Terminal de Autobuses de Pasajeros de Oriente) in Mexico City, or rent a vehicle and drive yourself. Or, take a tour and they will handle all of your transportation.

Day trip to Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs

Grutas Tolantongo are one of Mexico City’s most popular day trip destinations. Located 3-4 hours from Mexico City, dedicated travelers often make the journey all the way here and back to Mexico City in just one day to soak in the beautiful cliffside natural hot springs. While it’s possible to rent a car and drive out here by yourself, I recommend doing a guided tour and having them do the driving for you. It’s relatively affordable and this way you don’t have to deal with the roads, police checkpoints, etc.

This is the ultimate Mexico City itinerary for first timers! Find out everything you need to do, where to stay and the best places to eat for your 4 day trip.

One comment on “Mexico City Itinerary: The Best Things To Do in 4 Days

  1. You can’t climb the pyramids at Teotihuacan anymore. We were just there (March 2024). It used to be allowed but people stole rocks off the pyramids, so they had to close the pyramids for climbing.

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