A city full of colors, sounds, and smells is not a rare find these days. What separates Mexico City (D.F.) from the rest is its accessibility, its prices, and its natural beauty. Yes, D.F. is incredibly beautiful–trees, parks, fountains, etc. An added bonus is the hospitality of the people, and language isn’t much of a barrier. Mexicans are so friendly they’ll do whatever it takes to get you what you want or need. Oh, and did I mention the prices? You can easily pop to Mexico City and spend anywhere from $25-$60 a day. If you’re spending $25, you’re staying in hostels, eating low key, yet delicious, food, drinking cheap beer, and taking the metro, which is the kind of traveling I love best. If you’re spending $60, you’re staying in an AirBNB, eating in mostly restaurants, and partying at some of the posh clubs. Either way, you can’t go wrong. It is my favorite city in the world; it is truly a place you won’t want to leave.
Where to Stay
La Condesa or La Roma
By far the coolest, trendiest neighborhood in D.F. you can’t go wrong staying here. The location is superb–you’re within walking distance to great bars, food, markets, parks etc. Furthermore, there are lots of budget friendly hostels in this area where you can stay for as little as $10 a night. The neighborhood itself is charming and green.
Where to Eat
This is one of my favorite options for eating. You can go to a market, check out the people and the wares, then have a three course meal (called Comida Corrida) for $4.
It’s incredible and so cheap. I always look for places that have a 4 gallon jug of purified water somewhere nearby, that way you know they’re cooking/cleaning with non-street water. A taco will run anywhere from $.75 to $1. A cup of Esquites (street corn) will cost you $1 give or take.
Anywhere with Lots of Mexicans
This goes for fancy or low key. If the locals are there, it’s good.
Where to Drink
Head here for an old time Cantina experience. Bad lighting, cheap beer, live music, and old Mexicans–you can’t go wrong. To name a few: Cantina Tio Pepe (oldest in D.F.) La Faena (the matador cantina), Rio de la Plata (lots of fun).
These neighborhoods cater to the “higher end” partier, meaning you’ll find lots of rooftop bars with beautiful woodwork, potted plants, and Edison bulbs. Beer prices range from $1.80 to $4 a beer. A $1.80 is fairly standard anywhere you go in D.F., but the posher more exclusive places obviously charge higher rates.
What to Do
Walk Around the Neighborhoods
Coyoacan: Frida Khalo’s neighborhood. Lots of bright colors, charming cafes, and artesenal markets
Centro Historico: historic, chaotic, loud, and a bit dirty, you’re bound to see something hilariously absurd in this area.
Condesa/Roma: street food, markets, parks, and cool bars.
Go to a Park
Chapultapec is my favorite. It’s massive with lakes, museums, vendors, and plenty of trees for napping under if you partied too hard the night before.
Go to a Market
Whether you go to an artesenal market or a food market, you absolutely must go to one. Ask your accomodations for suggestions on good ones in your neighborhood.