Escapism TO
Menu Search

11 best things to do in Mexico city on any budget

From the butterfly sanctuary to tasting menus at Quintonil and cheap street tacos from Taqueria Los Cocuyos, here are the best things to do in Mexico City.

Now that mostEuropean borders have reopened along with borders in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, you can bet that Mexico City is at the top of our vacation wish list.

There's so much more to do in Mexico than lounging by the pool at an all-inclusive resort. From an under-the-radar wine scene in Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe to art walks and farm-to-table dining in Los Cabos – your plate and to-do list will always be full. But perhaps our most favourite destination is Mexico's vibrant capital and we've got a list of the best things to do while you're there.

Once overlooked, Mexico City is now home to world-class dining experiences, boasts a rich arts and culture scene and has something for every type of traveller and bank account with our list of the best things to do in Mexico City – no matter how much money you've got to spend. Whether you're looking for an 11-course meal at one of the world's best restaurants or just want to tuck into a delicious taco from a street vendor, Mexico City is bustling with parks, neighbourhoods and menus just waiting to be uncovered.

Plan your trip: 11 things to do in Mexico City

What to do

Butterfly Sanctuary Tour $$

View on Instagram

For centuries before the current hordes, the monarch butterfly was the original tourist to Mexico. When in season, the Piedra Herrada Sanctuary is a world-class attraction with thousands of the little lepidoptera. Tours include admission and transportation for the hour-long trip out of town. Go the extra mile and add a dedicated pro photographer for a package price of $510.

Parque Espana $

There are plenty of free activities in Mexico City – stroll around the Palacio de Bellas Artes and soak up centuries worth of dance, theatre and opera culture. Then, on the eastern edge of Condesa, Bosque de Chapultepec is the so-called Central Park of CDMX. Sure, it's grand and sprawling, but Parque Espana is where you'll get a true sense of the neighbourhood's vibrancy. We could spend hours watching the expert dog trainers frolic with their packs. Noël Coward would be pleased to see that these dogs are given the perfectly sane chance to escape the midday sun for a nap, all in a row.

What to eat and drink

Tasting menus $$

View on Instagram

Because rent, labour and produce is cheaper in CDMX than major cities in Canada, the U.S. or Europe, this is a city where you can splash out on a tasting menu without blowing a pile. Of the two Mexican contenders on the World's 50 Best list, Quintonil (11 courses for $180) offers a more casual and inventive menu. Maximo Bistrot, in the Roma district, serves Mexican and French fusion food and farm-to-table cuisine.

Tacos, tortas, tortillas $

You are bound to grab tamales and hot chocolate at Maiz de Cacao and don't skip Taqueria Los Cocuyos, an unassuming taco stand in the historic centre of Mexico City (each taco costs around $2 dollars). Stay in Condesa for carnitas tacos by Don Juan or at (almost) all hours you can head to Narvarte for tacos de Suadero from Tacos Tony. If you can't stand the idea of making reservations months before vacation, get the whole Pujol experience at their Molino. Tortillas are sold by the kilo ($4+), along with corn-based bites.

Where to stay

Las Alcobas $$

View on Instagram

Nestled amongst the swish boutiques and temples of gastronomy in Polanco IV (around the corner from trendy Condesa) this 35-room hotel is designed to look like a luxury condo building. Unwind at Aurora Spa with treatments featuring artisanal, local ingredients. Take advantage of the full-service concierge and have them set you up with an expert guide who can unlock the true Capitalino experience.

Rooms from $451.

Hotel Stanza $

Roma Norte has become Condesa's even cooler, next-door cousin with bakeries, taquerias and rooftop bars aplenty. So, it's easy to enjoy a stay at a streamlined hotel with clean rooms, free wi-fi and a fitness centre. Just across the street, Jardin Pushkin is a calm spot where locals relax and Museo del Objeto is a few blocks away.

Rooms from from $79.