Mexico City Backpacking Guide & Thoughts


You have finally arrived to Mexico City and aren’t sure what to do or have a few things in mind? Don’t sweat it, although you probably are, I got you covered.

Where to Begin?

For starters, the FOOD is going to be apparent as soon as you hit the streets, as it is EVERYWHERE. Make it a priority to eat as many Tacos Al Pastor as possible with your time here. If you didn’t eat the one that you just passed on the corner, not to worry, there is guaranteed to be another stall a block in any direction. (Seriously).

Aside from tacos here are some other must trys:

  • Tlayudas – Think Mexican Pizza
Tlayudas
Tlayudas
  • Quesadillas
  • Tortas
  • Churros
  • Chicharron
  • Jugos Natural

Angel of Independence is one of the most recognizable sites of Mexico City and be sure not to miss it. Situated in Reforma and centered in a roundabout, this site is best enjoyed at night but remember that your chances of a perfect selfie will be limited with droves of people seeking the same.

Insider tip –> Take the 10 story claustrophobic spiral staircase trip to the top for the panoramic views of the Ciry. Register for free with a city official or give a few dollars to a worker there.

Museums. Mexico City is home to some of the most exquisite museums in the world and when it gets hot here you’re going to be thankful for the abundance of them. Where to start with CDMX museums?

  • National Museum of Anthropology
  • Museo Soumaya
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes
  • Museum Memory & Tolerance
  • Frida Kahlo Museum

Mercados aka Markets. Being one of the largest cities in the world, your options are almost endless at these as there are some in almost every section of the city but here are some favorites.

  • San Juan Mercado – Interesting and endless options of food. Outside features a variety of clothes and electronics vendors. Rougher part of CDMX.
  • Coyoacan Mercado – My 2nd favorite on this list. This market is heaven if you like Tostadas. HEAVEN IF YOU LIKE TOSTADAS
  • Jamaica Mercado aka Flower Market – Come for flower displays galore and possibly a bouquet for that special someone.
  • La Merced Mercado – Easily the largest and most diverse. One of the main spots for plethora’s of produce and anything else you can imagine. Don’t miss this spot**
  • Tipito – The No go zone. Or as EVERYONE advises against unless you wan’t to get robbed.

Neighborhoods

Condesa/Roma

These are the must see neighborhoods & where most of the new hip activities take place. Both neighborhoods feature beautiful parks lined with lavender trees & a variety of lush verdant offerings. As expected, it is more expensive than other sections of the city but well worth a trip. I recommend basing yourself here for your time here.

Coyoacán

My favorite part of Mexico City is definitely Coyoacán. Situated about 15 minutes south of the Heart of the city via train, this haven deserves at least 1 whole day even more for those who don’t move as fast with their travels. Picture quaint, colorful homes. Tree lined streets and some lively markets. This happened to be my 2nd favorite favorite market in all of Mexico City specifically for the Tostada part of the market. (Pictures coming)

Reforma

The business center of Mexico City. It’s pretty spectacular to see such lavish, modern buildings juxtaposed to rampant poverty just a few blocks away.

Polanco

The wealthiest part of Mexico City. Wealth is just oozing & the buildings around match it. Home to some of the cities best museums, Polanco isn’t for everyone but it is undoubtedly a lovely spot.

Things to Keep in Mind in CDMX

1) Pick-pocketing & petty theft is rampant. Although this is true & did effect me, don’t let it make it a deciding factor about going here or not. Just like anywhere , things happen just make sure you have your phone stored or in your hand on metro. I got robbed but am still itching to get back.

2) Uber is EXTREMELY CHEAP. Okay the Metro is super cheap too (about $0.30 a ride) but Uber is dirt cheap. Rides as far as 45 minutes away can turn out to be only around $7//8.. keep this in mind if you considering riding the metro during rush hour & possibly getting into a sticky situation like #1

3) Learn some of the basics of Spanish such as (Hola, de donde eres, qué tal, cuánto cuesta). These will go a long way with anyone. Although enough English is spoken by a wide amount of people, particularly younger, there was countless times when Spanish was the only option.

4) Traffic is terrible. When rush hour hits (7-9 am) & (4-6 pm) you better hope you’re not trying to go anywhere. Every & any type of transit will be uncomfortably packed & add a significant time to your travel. Keep Uber at top of mind for comfort.

5) The city is HUUUUUGE. With an estimated ____ people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what to do & see with so much to choose from. Planning is CRITICAL if you’re short on time.

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