This Mexico City travel blog covers everything you need for backpacking in Mexico City. We showcase many non-touristy things to do in Mexico City on a budget. If you’re interested in off-the-beaten-path Mexico or hidden gems, this is the article for you.
This week, I was lucky to have my friend, the local globewanderlove, showing me her Mexico City. We did an easy self-guided walking tour and she showed me some of her favourite bars and cafes – all in Mexico City center.
Update February 11, 2022: Epicurean Expats let us know that Mexico does not require anyone to fill out the health questionaire when entering the country by plane. This is a recent change.
I travelled to Mexico City in January 2022. There were no special entry requirements but I had to fill out the cuestionario de pasajero, a questionnaire asking about my health status. Entry into the country went very smoothly.
When I visited, it was mandatory to wear a mask in closed spaces and voluntary outdoors. Mexicans are generally very exemplary wearing masks and you can pretty much buy them everywhere - even in the Metro.
The week I visited, all museums closed down due to COVID indefinitely so I sadly didn’t manage to visit any of them...
Please keep us updated about any new regulations and developments in the comments! We would love to keep this blog post as updated and relevant as possible for you!
I travelled Mexico City alone as a solo female traveller and I felt completely safe walking the neighbourhoods Centro Historico, Roma Norte, and La Condesa.
I also braved the public transport system to save some money and did not encounter any problems. You pay 15 MXN for the Metro Card and 5 MXN per Metro ride (4 MXN for the Metro Bus) so it’s much cheaper than an Uber. There are women’s only compartments in the trains and buses for extra security.
Start your tour at the Palacio de Bellas Artes Metro Station. It’s not only a convenient starting point but also features the Galeria Metro - an art exhibition that’s free to visit for everybody with a Metro Ticket. On some days you can even see a light installation!
The Postal Palace of Mexico City is a hidden gem, which is completely free to visit. Its architectural style is a mixture of Art Nouveau, Plateresque, and many more. The staircase and the dome are its most noteworthy features but don’t miss the elevator- it’s one of the first three elevators that were installed in Mexico City!
I know the Casa de los Azulejos is not exactly a hidden gem. But did you know that it features the most beautiful public toilets in Mexico City which you can use free of charge? Additionally, you can find the mural Omniscience by Jose Clemente Orozco in the stairwell.
Right across the street from the Casa de los Azulejos, a free Dali exhibition takes place. The Soumaya Museum and the Mexico City municipal government showcase 20 bronze statues. And the best? - It’s completely free to visit!
A stroll through Chinatown with its many colourful lanterns and umbrellas will lead you to your next stop, San Juan Market. Don’t miss the big Chinese style gates!
Strengthen yourself on San Juan Market for the next leg of your tour. Here, you can not only find Mexican street food classics but also very unique dishes. Why not try insects like grasshoppers (which I really liked) or tarantulas (which I was not brave enough for)? You can also try exotic meats like crocodile, armadillo or even lion!
Hotel Imperial is the Flatiron Building of Mexico City. But it’s not the only highlight in this area. Keep your eyes open for some amazing art installations at Banco Santander. Additionally, this is a good place to admire some of Mexico City’s many skyscrapers.
The Monument to the Revolution is the world’s tallest triumphal arch with a height of 65m (213 ft). The monument was built in the 1930s. While the monument itself is well-known, the glass elevator leading you to an observation deck inside the cupola is lesser-known. Why not go up and enjoy an off-the-beaten-path view of Mexico City’s skyline?
While the Torre Latinoamerica is a well-known sight, only a few people know that it also features a restaurant and a bar. Here, you can enjoy a reasonably priced drink with the best view of Mexico City without having to pay the entrance fee of the observation deck.
A little lower but also with a free entry you can find the cafe of the Sears shopping centre right next door. Here, you have a great view over the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Make a stop a Churreria El Moro for the best churros in town. Not much more to say here.
While it’s not exactly on the route of our walking tour, I still had to mention this beautiful motto cafe. Everything is pink here - from the outside over the decorations to the drinks. This is probably the most instagrammable spot in Mexico City!
We only spent 4 days in Mexico City because the museums were closed but that’s around the time you’ll need at least.
I spent around 30€ or 30$ per day:
Of course, any tours or entrance fees will add to this, but there are so many things you can do for free on your own as our walking tour shows.