There is never an end to the interesting things to do in Mexico City. Unfortunately, this city is usually considered dangerous, so a lot of tourists prefer to avoid it and go directly to the wonderful coastline. But, seriously, Mexico City is very beautiful and not dangerous. With its incredible mix of modernity and history, it’ll blow you away. The Capital of Mexico is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere, so it is easy to imagine that there are plenty of things to do in Mexico City.
Every visitor should definitely visit the main attractions, but what we want to give you is a list of unique things to do in Mexico City, that will make your experience even more remarkable.
Among the Zocalo, Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Aztec ruins, the Casa Azul, Plaza Garibaldi, Palacio Nacional, Templo Mayor, the Museo Nacional de Antropología, La Ciudadela… there are few unique things to do in Mexico City that are hard to find in travel guides books.
10 + 1 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN MEXICO CITY
START YOUR DAY IN A ROOFTOP CAFÈ
Right in front of the amazing Palacio de Bellas Artes, on the Avenida Juaréz, you can easily spot the SEARS mall. Of course, we are not suggesting you visit a mall, but all you have to do is enter from the main door and go straight to the 8th floor.
Once out of the elevator, look for the signs that will lead you to the Don Porfirio Cafè. Frankly is not the best cafè we have ever been, but the view from there is spectacular. Grab a coffee or a frappè and enjoy the city from above.
PRETEND TO SEND A LETTER, GO TO THE POST OFFICE
The Palacio Postal, also known as Correo Mayor, is located in the historic center of Mexico City. It was designed by an Italian architect, Adamo Boari, in 1907. Since then the Palacio Postal is continuing to provide all the functions of a post office.
The interiors are a perfect mix of materials and design elements from Europe and Mexico. The marble floors and the bronze and iron frames were manufactured in Florence. The overall structure is absolutely stunning.
All jokes apart you don’t have to send any letter, the entrance is free.
EVEN THE HOSPITAL IS BEAUTIFUL IN CDMX
Known as one of the oldest hospital built in Mexico City, the Hospital de Jesùs Nazareno is an important spot in the city center. The hospital is still in operation since 1519 and visitors can admire the amazing courtyard. On Avenida 20 the Noviembre look for the Leone shoe store. You’ll find a driveway that’s open to ambulances, pass through that to get to the hospital entrance. By signing in at the entrance you can visit it for free and check out the stairs with some amazing murals from Josè Clemente Orozco. The mural “Primer Encuentro” represents the moment in which Moctezuma met Cortés. This hospital absolutely deserves to be part of our list of things to do in Mexico City.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PASTRY
If you walk in the city center you may notice lots of people carrying around big boxes wrapped in a white, red and blue paper. We have been wondering for a while until we found the magnificent Pasteleria Ideal. Located in República de Uruguay, 74 this shop offers an enormous amount of cakes, cookies, bread, and pie that you will never imagine. Get in, grab a tray and walk around grabbing your favorite goodies. Enjoy it!
LIVE THE AZTEC AFTERLIFE
Know as Mictlan, the Aztec Underworld is characterized by a long journey and nine hard challenges. Inside the religious shop “La Guadalupana”, located behind the Cathedral, you can experience this incredible journey yourself. It may not be easy to find, but once you get inside the shop ask for “El Viaje al Mictlan”. You will get down to the basement of the shop and ending up into a maze of dark corridors with colorful murals. The paintings represent all the stages the Aztec had to go through to get to the Mictlan. If you don’t believe us check this out!
WHEN YOU ARE LOST, TACO IS THE ANSWER
Mexican take taco very seriously so, please forget everything you know about hard shells, cheese fillings, and tomato toppings. These are not real tacos!
Check out our article “Myths and legends about Mexican food” to learn more.
Los Especiales – Taco de Canasta
We spotted this place while wondering next to Zocalo. We noticed a long queue of locals, so we immediately thought to have our first real taco. The place is a long corridor with the cashier right at the entrance. For 5 tacos and a soda you pay Mex$ 47 and you can select from 5 different flavors. Try them all! A guy will serve your tacos picking them from a big basket and place them in a plastic plate covered by a plastic bag. They definitely don’t like to wash dishes…
Get your order and walk through the corridor. Fill in your tacos with guacamole, jalapeño (very hot) and fresh salad.
COYOACÀN IS NOT JUST FRIDA KAHLO
The old city of Coyoacàn is a must place to visit when in Mexico City. Very well known for being Frida Kahlo’s birthplace, this residential neighborhood has always been an intellectual and cultural center. Plaza Hidalgo is where every weekend artists set up their booths and sell their beautiful pieces of art. Especially on Sundays, you can also find talented musicians and ice cream vendors. This square represents a hot spot for many Mexicans during their free time. Check out the main fountain.
XOCHIMILCO KNOWN AS THE MEXICAN VENICE
It may sound very touristic, but not, Xochimilco is a truly local experience! It deserves to be part of the unique things to do in Mexico City.
Since the first moment we saw pictures about it, we desperately wanted to go there. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco is a maze of canals where tourists and Mexicans (especially on Sundays) spend their days celebrating with friends.
We read so many reviews about how to get there, where to go and how much you should pay. It is definitely a thing you can do by yourself but it is always risky because the price of a boat could increase if you are not in a big group. Also, they don’t like when you try to join or create a group right in front of the boats. In the end, we choose to go there with the tour organized by our hostel (Casa Pepe, check it out, it is amazing!) and was definitely worth it. The more people are on the boat and the funnier it gets. Grab lots of beers before arriving at the imbarcadero and don’t worry, the gondola will stop a few times if you need to use the toilet.
FOOD LOVERS, STOP BY MERCADO ROMA
Are you sick of eating tacos? We don’t even know how it is possible, but if so, visit the Mercado Roma. This space, located in the Roma neighborhood, is the first gourmet market in Mexico City. In these three stories market, you can find any kind of traditional or exotic food. It hosts many different types of vendors, from pastry makers to craft beers and even some artisans. In Mercado Roma, you can find good quality food with a hipster touch. It may be quite expensive, compared to the average price, but definitely worth a visit. Don’t miss the terrace on the rooftop.
MORE THAN A BOOK STORE
Cafebreria El Pendulo is an amazing cafè-bookstore located in the heart of the Condesa neighborhood.
This two stories cafè is the perfect place to relax and taste some of their good dishes. The main floor is more informal, with couches and casual seats. The first floor, instead, is a bit more formal, business people can have their meeting there. Very remarkable is the terrace if you are lucky enough you can enjoy your breakfast admiring the view. The selection of books is not very special, but you can find also English books and vinyl. Cafè El Pendulo has also a branch located in the heart of Zona Rosa.
DON’T CALL IT WRESTLING, ESTA ES LUCHA LIBRE!
How do not mention, in this list of unique things to do in Mexico City, the incredible Lucha Libre. Arena Mexico is the temple of this discipline and Friday night – Viernes Espectacular – is the week’s best show. Hundreds of Mexicans fill the arena wearing their favorite Luchadores masks. If you are in the process of learning Spanish, here you can also learn how to swear properly. We bought our ticket online and took a taxi to reach the arena. If you purchase your ticket via web don’t forget to pick it up in one of the Ticket Master spot spread in the whole city. Be prepared to cheer, scream and jump, Lucha Libre is passion and sweat.