Ahhh Mexico City. When I got back from Remote Year, the #1 question people would ask me was “what place was your favorite?” Well—I refuse to pick a favorite, because I honestly don’t have one. But Mexico City, or CDMX, is the place I say that I would move to in a heartbeat. It’s often referred to as the NYC of Latin America—just waaay less expensive with lots of amazing Mexican food. Read on for my overview!
I’ve been to CDMX twice now—once for a long weekend with a friend in July 2017, and the second time for the entire month of June 2021 with Remote Year. The first time I went, we opted to stay in an Airbnb downtown (AKA Centro or the Historic District), and in June I stayed in an apartment in La Condesa.
Having stayed in both of these popular neighborhoods, I can safely say that La Condesa is the clear winner here. Staying downtown is the equivalent of staying in Times Square in NYC—it’s safe, but totally overcrowded with tourists—and while it’s worth seeing during your visit, it will only be a quick, cheap Uber ride away from the trendier, less touristy neighborhoods.
La Condesa is super cute (and a bit more upscale), nestled between a few of the city’s popular parks. It’s very safe, and everything you need is a short walk away: amazing food, groceries, cafés, coworking space, and more. There are several surrounding neighborhoods that are also worth looking into when browsing hotels or Airbnbs, including Roma Norte and Hipódromo.
Xochimilco is in the south of the city, about a 45 minute ride away from Condesa, where locals and tourists alike hop on colorful boats to ride around the canals drinking, singing, and enjoying. BYOB (or buy some from the vendors there), bring some coins (for using bathrooms along the way), and enjoy the boat ride. You’ll be able to easily grab an Uber to get there, however getting one back to the city can often take time at the end of the day (especially if it starts to rain, as it often does in the later afternoon in CDMX during rainy season), so just be prepared to be patient and maybe grab some street tacos while you wait.
Frida Kahlo’s famous “Casa Azul” is located in the cool, artsy neighborhood Coyoacan about 20 minutes south of Condesa, and it’s worth a visit. Just make sure you buy tickets online ahead of time to avoid the long lines. Before or after, give yourself time to walk the streets and explore the surrounding markets.
Honestly, what’s better than Mexican food? I can probably eat it for 3 meals a day… everyday. We did a cooking class (on my birthday, no less!) and had the best time learning how to make traditional Mexican dishes, such as homemade tortillas, mole, salsa verde, and more.
This spa is right on Parque México and a dream come true. I got the spa day package, which was 3+ hours and included time in the sauna, a massage, body scrub, and facial all for about $160 USD.
This is owned + operated by 2 women who are from Florida + studied in New York. I got a haircut I was really happy with, and a friend of mine got some blond highlights that came out great. It was about $20 USD for a women’s cut so… yeah, enough said.
F45 is my absolute favorite workout and I was ecstatic when I realized they had a location right in Condesa. You can easily book a drop-in or a longer package via WhatsApp, and since all the exercises are always on the TV screens, you’ll be able to figure it out even if you don’t speak Spanish.
Comadre is a worksplace whose mission is to give working mothers the tools they need to work while raising their children (but it’s for men too!). It’s a cutely decorated, modern coworking space with multiple floors, phone booths, and private meeting rooms. It’s where we worked for the month of June, and if you need to work during your stay but don’t want to be stuck in your apartment, I’d highly recommend it.
Orinoco Tacos → The best tacos. Just trust me.
Enhorabuena → One of my favorite smaller cafés to work from. I got the chilaquiles a few too many times to count.
Ojo de Agua → One of my favs for a faster casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Delicious + healthy sandwich, salad, and juices.
Kuko → Great sushi.
Pujol → If you’re a foodie, this is worth a visit. They have a 7 course tasting menu with mole that’s been aged for a crazy amount of time. The food was delicious, but you’re really paying for the experience. Make a reservation far in advance!
Lardo → A delicious and cutely decorated Mexican-European fusion restaurant that’s great for any meal. If you go for lunch or dinner, make a reservation and prepare to share a lot of dishes.
Water → Don’t drink it… you’ll regret it. To avoid constantly buying plastic water bottles, I like to buy a big jug to keep in my apartment/hotel to fill my reusable water bottle up with.
Ubers → Are VERY cheap. A ride across the neighborhood will cost you a couple bucks; a 20 minute ride will cost you like $5.
Cell phone → If you’re on AT&T or Verizon, your plan should work the same as at home for no extra cost. Double check though.
Money → Credit cards are widely accepted, ATMs are easy to find. I always had some cash on me, but not much.
Tipping → 10% is standard if the service is good. You’ll have to tell them to add it before they swipe your card, or you can leave cash.
Altitude → Mexico City is at 7,500 feet above sea level, so if you’re sensitive to altitude, you may feel it your first few days. I recommend drinking a lot of water + electrolytes and staying away from the booze while you adjust.
Rain → Always have an umbrella on you. Particularly during rainy season.