When I’ve been: July 2017, June 2021, May 2022

Truly my favorite city! Here’s how to do it:

where to stay:

Get a hotel or Airbnb in Condesa. When Ryan and I most recently went for a week we stayed in this Airbnb and loved it… perfect location and a great rooftop pool. Surrounding neighborhoods like Roma Norte, Roma Sur, and Hipódromo are all great options too. 

what to do:

Hot air balloons over the pyramids at sunrise

SO magical – even if you think you’re afraid of heights / flying / hot air balloons I encourage you to go! We booked this experience, which picked us up near our Airbnb at an ungodly early hour and brought us about an hour away to a hot air balloon site near the Teotihuacán Pyramids. When you get to the site they give you time to grab a coffee and use the bathrooms before calling your name to float up, up, and away for about 45 minutes right as the sun is rising over the pyramids.

HEADS UP: When you book your tour online, you typically have an option to choose just a hot air ballon ride or hot air balloon ride with a visit to the pyramids. You do not need to go to the pyramids – you see plenty from the sky and they are incredibly boring / touristy / hot. The tour groups keep you there for literally hours so you end up stuck there til it’s time for the bus to bring you back to CDMX. We got so bored we ended up finding an Uber to bring us back early, but this was not easy or convenient. So unless you reallyyyy need to see the pyramids up close, skip that part. Consider yourself warned. 

Boat day at Xochimilco

Xochimilco is a neighborhood in southern CDMX that is known for its canals and colorful boats. Locals and tourists alike go there for a fun day of floating down the canals, having drinks and authentic food, and listening to mariachi. 

I’ve done Xochimilco 3 times now, 3 different ways. The first time I went with just one other friend and we tried to do it ourselves and we totally messed it up – we were ill prepared to negotiate, literally ran out of cash, got stuck in the pouring rain, etc. etc. etc. The second time I was with a larger group of friends and we knew what we were getting into, so we did it ourselves without a guide. The third time it was just Ryan & I, so we opted to pay a little extra for an Airbnb Experience

Here’s what I recommend:

Xochimilco is best done with a group. So if you already have a group of friends, I say no need to pay for an Airbnb Experience. Here’s how you’ll do it:

  • Plan to Uber there (a 45 minute ride from Condesa, which will probably run you about $40). You’ll want to put Xochimilco Embarcadores as your destination.
  • Bring your own drinks, plenty of cash (ideally MXN, including coins, which you’ll need to use the bathrooms), an umbrella (it usually ends up pouring in the afternoon), and leave your valuables at home. 
  • When you get close to the dock, don’t go with any of the guys selling you a Xochimilco experience on the mopeds. They are persistent, but I’ve found it better to just go all the way to the dock to find a boat.
  • Know the going rate for the boat and prepare to negotiate if they see that you’re a tourist and start high. Last I checked, the going rate for a boat is about $25 USD / hour. 
  • Have some extra cash to tip your driver — they do a lot of work to navigate you around the canals! 
  • When you get off the boats in the afternoon, prepare for there to be no Ubers available! Don’t panic — just plan to enjoy yourselves and get some amazingly delicious and authentic tacos while you wait. Once the crowds dissapate (and the rain lets up, which may very well be coming down in buckets), there will be Ubers available and likely even some taxis. If you opt to get a taxi, just make sure you agree on a price ahead of time, or use the meter, and confirm whether they take cash or card. 

If you’re traveling solo or just with a partner, I highly recommend the Airbnb Experience that we did or something similar. There are lots of reasons why:

  • Xochimilco is fun with a group, so sitting on a big boat by yourself or just with your partner isn’t going to be the best time. 
  • Our guide provided transportation to and from Condesa, which was a gamechanger. We didn’t have to worry about being stranded waiting for Ubers in the rain at the end of the day. 
  • We didn’t have to worry about negotiating or getting ripped off trying to get a boat – there was a boat waiting for us when we got there. 
  • They provided all the drinks and really yummy food on the boat.
  • There was an educational component, and we even stopped in the town center on the way in for a short walking tour. 
  • We truly didn’t have to lift a finger – we just showed up. 

Explore Coyoacán & Frida Kahlo’s house

Coyoacán is a colorful, artsy neighborhood about 20 minutes south of Condesa by Uber, and it’s totally worth checking out. 

The Frida Kahlo Museum, which is at her and Diego Rivera’s house in Coyoacán, is a must-see. The property is stunning and the museum gives a great overview of her life and her work. Make sure you book tickets ahead of time so you can skip the line.

After the museum, head to Mercado Coyoacán to shop around the various vendors for crafts and souviners.

You can wander around the neighborhood on your own but Ryan & I did this walking tour last time we were there to learn a bit more about the history of the neighborhood. It was a good combination of history and authentic food, from the eyes of a local. 

Visit Bosque de Chapultepec

This is basically Mexico City’s Central Park, on the edge of the Condesa neighborhood. Wander around enjoy some green space, visit the castle, and head to the lake if you want to rent a small boat. 

Uber downtown for an evening

Downtown CDMX, or “El Centro,” is the bustling center of Mexico City, and it’s definitely worth a trip down. You can go day or night, but there’s a fun energy at night. Get a quick Uber there (without too much traffic it’ll be about 20 minutes, and probably no more than $5) and simply wander around.

Head to the famous Azul Histórico for dinner, where you can get their famous mole, guacemole with grasshoppers, and many other traditional Mexican plates in a more upscale (but not over the top) setting. They don’t take reservations, so put your name on the list and wander around the different shops in the building while you wait. 

Check out Palacio de Bellas Artes. Fun tip — if you’re there while the Sears is open, go to the café on the top floor for a coffee and a great view. 

The Torre Latinoamericana is the tall Empire State-like building that you’ll see downtown. If you’re interested in taking in a view of the city from the top, you can skip the long line (and the entrance fee) by simply going to the bar Miralto on the 41st floor. Just tell the security guards at the building you’re there to get a drink and they’ll let you right up. I don’t think it would be worth it to wait in the line, but getting a drink up there was fun.

There’s a ton to do downtown, so definitely explore. While I’ve never felt unsafe, it’s a very busy city center, so make sure you’re a little extra careful of your belongings. 

Go to a Lucha Libre match 

Lucha Libre is Mexican wrestling and a must-do. We did this Airbnb Experience which was great – perfect way to try some new taquerias, learn the history of Lucha Libre, and see the match with a group of people.

Get a reservation at Pujol 

Pujol was named the best restaurant in Mexico City, so if you’re a foodie it’s worth a visit. 7 course tasting menu, I think it runs about $125/per person, not including drinks. It books out far in advance so plan ahead, book your res here.

what to eat:


  • Taco Orinoco (THE BEST TACOS)
  • Tacos Hola 
  • Taqueria El Greco 

Cafes + breakfast spots:

  • Enhorabuena – this was one of my favs when I lived there in June 2021! 
  • Blend Station
  • Cafebreria El Pendulo – this is a book store and a café
  • Frëims
  • Santas Conchas – my favorite chilaquiles 
  • Tierra Garat – one of the few cafes that’s open early (7am)
  • Cardinal Coffee House
  • Quentin Café

When you need a vegetable:

  • Ojo de Agua (great salads, sandwiches, and juices)
  • Green Grass (literal sweetgreen ripoff, right down to the logo)

Nicer sit downs:

  • Lardo (make a res for dinner… they also have a great brunch)
  • Amaya (natural wine and farm to table dishes)
  • Rosetta (someone recommended this to me because it was their favorite restaurant and it didn’t disappoint)
  • Meroma 
  • Azul Historico (downtown)


  • Kuko for sushi
  • Handshake Speakeasy for craft cocktails (reservations required)

some other things

  • If you’re looking for a spa day, go to Vitali in Condesa. Lovely and very inexpensive compared to what we’re used to.
  • There are tons of workout studios, including F45 & Orangetheory.
  • Dos Flamingos is a hair salon run by 2 women who trained in NYC – they do a great job if you want a price-adjusted cut or color.
  • Comadre is my favorite coworking space in the neighborhood. 

things to know

  • Mexico City is at 7,500 feet above sea level and is known for it’s horrible air pollution – hydrate & prepare to feel a little crappy when you arrive. 
  • Don’t let the water ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR MOUTH! Not to be alarmist but you will regret it lol. Brush with a water bottle & bring some meds just in case.
  • Ubers are super cheap and the safest / easiest way to travel between neighborhoods. 
  • Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are easy to find. No need to carry around wads of pesos. 
  • 10% tip is standard if the service is good.
  • It may pour at any moment… bring an umbrella!
  • Condesa and its surrounding neighborhoods are very safe, but leave your rings/valuables at home and always keep an extra eye on your surroundings and belongings. 

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