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How to Spend 2 Days in Mexico City

How to Spend 2 Days in Mexico City

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Are you wondering what to do in Mexico City for 2 days? Keep scrolling for my detailed post about how to spend 2 days in Mexico City and see if it’s worth adding to your Mexico itinerary!
This guide about how to spend 2 days in Mexico City was co-written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Guest post by Dani Ramos

Spending 2 days in Mexico City? Even though that’s pretty short for such a huge city, it’s still possible to pack a ton in just 48 hours!

With its pulsating energy, colorful streets, and rich tapestry of history and culture, Mexico City (also known as CDMX) offers an unforgettable experience that can be surprisingly deep even in a short span of time.

What makes Mexico City so special is how varied it can be. In the morning, you can be walking in a forest right in the center of town, and one hour later, you can be exploring ancient sites, trying out street food, or dining at some super high-end restaurant.

Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest in this incredibly exciting city.

While two days in Mexico City may not be enough time to even scratch the surface, it should still give you time to check out some of the main sites. In this guide, I’ll show you how to do it!

Is Two Days in Mexico City Enough?

Honestly, it’s tight, but you can still get a pretty good introduction with 2 days in Mexico City. 

The city is a sprawling metropolis with so much to offer, and 2 days in Mexico City only allows you to scratch the surface. 

However, with some planning, you can still make the most of your short visit if you prioritize and plan your visit right. 

Tip: Traffic in Mexico City can be chaotic, and some attractions may be further apart than they appear on a map. To save time, group your activities by location, so you can spend less time in transit and more time exploring.

Moreover, take breaks when needed. Exploring Mexico City can be tiring, especially when you’re trying to pack everything into two days. Don’t be afraid to take some time in a park, cafe, or just people-watch on a bench. After all, part of the charm of Mexico City is immersing yourself in its vibrant vibe.

Planning 2 Days in Mexico City: Basics

How to Get Around Mexico City

Metro 

The Mexico City Metro offers an efficient, fast, and inexpensive way to get around. It has 12 lines with more than 195 stations. Fares are incredibly affordable, at just 7 pesos per ride. 

Image of a red metro in Mexico City
The Metro is great for visiting Mexico City on a budget.

Keep in mind that the Metro can get crowded during rush hours, but it’s still an excellent choice of transportation. 

Metrobus

The metro in Mexico City can be a pretty hectic, so another great way to get around is by using the metrobus, which works just like a tram. It has it’s own lane, so it’s a great way to avoid traffic in the city and get around quicker. It costs 7 pesos per ride.

Taxis 

Taxis are a convenient way to get around Mexico City, although a bit costlier than public transportation. 

To avoid getting ripped off, opt for authorized taxis known as “sitios,” which you can find at taxi stands or book via an app (Mi Taxi App). These taxis are safer and have set fares.

Rideshare Apps 

Ridesharing apps like Didi or Uber are my preferred way to get around Mexico City. These apps typically provide a better experience than traditional taxi services and offer price transparency. It’s my favorite way to get around Mexico City, personally.

Bike Sharing 

If you prefer a more active mode of transport, Mexico City has a bike-sharing service called EcoBici. For a small fee, you can rent a bike to ride around designated city areas.

It’s a great way to explore the city and soak in the sights while getting a bit of exercise. Best Time to Visit Mexico City

Best Time to Visit Mexico City

Mexico City is a fantastic destination all year round, but it’s essential to pick the right time to visit to make the most of your trip. 

Here are some tips to help you decide when you should schedule your visit.

Spring (March-May) is an excellent time to be in Mexico City. The weather during these months is delightful, with average temperatures between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C). 

As it’s not too hot, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities and events during this season, perfect for exploring the city streets and parks. 

Keep in mind that April and May can sometimes get a bit hotter, so be prepared.

Local’s tip: March is one of my favorite months in Mexico City because it’s jacaranda season! Thousands of jacaranda trees bloom all over the city and blanket it with shades or purple.

Image of Jacarandas in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
We love the jacarandas! Photo credit: Dani Ramos

Summer (June-August) is the rainy season in Mexico City. Although the temperatures stay relatively mild, around 70°F (21°C) and 75°F (24°C), you’ll likely experience showers.

With that being said, showers almost always occur during the afternoons, so it shouldn’t spoil your trip too much as you can use this time to explore galleries, museums, cafes, and restaurants.

During the fall (September-November), Mexico City truly starts to shine. 

The temperatures are perfectly pleasant, ranging between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C). Plus, you get to experience the vibrant colors of the season as the city’s trees change hues.

Another highlight of this season is Day of the Dead in Mexico City! The big celebrations happen during late October and early November, but even if you visit earlier during October or after the main event, you’ll still find lots of Day of the Dead-themed activities and decor all over town.

Finally, the winter months (December-February) tend to be cooler, with temperatures dropping to 45°F (7°C) at night and highs around 68°F (20°C) during the day. 

Image of a huge gingerbread house in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
Christmas in Mexico City is worth seeing! Photo credit: Dani Ramos

However, this time of the year has the lowest chance of rain, so if you’re looking for drier weather, this might be your best bet.

Christmas in Mexico City is absolutely delightful too! 

Where to Stay in Mexico City

Polanco

In Polanco, you’ll find upscale hotels and chic boutiques. This is the place to be if you’re looking for luxury. The W Hotel and JW Marriott are popular options. 

Restaurants and cafes line the polished streets, so you’ll never be bored.

Condesa

Condesa is your go-to for trendy, laid-back vibes. 

Boutique hotels, like the Condesa DF and Casa Mannach, are perfect for couples or solo travelers seeking stylish accommodations. You’ll love strolling through the tree-lined streets, stopping at the vibrant cafes and bars.

Roma Norte

Stay in Roma Norte if you want a mix of old-world charm and modern establishments. 

This neighborhood offers a wide range of accommodation options, from quaint B&Bs to chic hotels like the Ignacia Guest House. 

Lomas de Chapultepec

Lomas de Chapultepec is a residential neighborhood, making it an ideal choice for a quieter stay. 

You’ll find beautiful houses and green spaces here. It’s perfect if you want to be right in the center of town but feel as though you’re far away as it’s incredibly quiet and green. I recommend you stay at UMA Casa for a delightful stay.

Juarez

The trendy Juarez neighborhood is perfect for travelers who love experiencing a city’s art and design scene. 

Look for boutique hotels, like the Chaya B&B, and enjoy visiting museums, galleries, and popup shops. 

It’s also home to “La Zona Rosa,” known for vibrant nightlife and LGBTQ-friendliness.

Coyoacan

For an authentic Mexican experience, stay in Coyoacan. Colorful markets, historic landmarks, and charming houses fill this neighborhood. 

The Coyoacán C36 guesthouse is a great option, and be sure to visit Frida Kahlo’s famous house-turned-museum while you’re there.

Keep in mind that Coyoacan is far from many attractions, so while it’s beautiful, it’s not ideal if you want to pack a lot during 2 days in Mexico City (but can be a great choice if you just want to focus on exploring that area).

Centro Historico

Centro Historico is the heart of Mexico City. It’s home to must-see sites like the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Templo Mayor. Stay at a hotel like the Zócalo Central to be in walking distance of these attractions. 

Image of Centro Historico in Zocalo in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
Centro Historico is a fascinating place to explore. Photo credit: Dani Ramos

Keep in mind that although some parts of Centro are safe, some parts aren’t, so even locals in Mexico City avoid it sometimes if they don’t know how to navigate it.

Moreover, it’s pretty packed and hectic no matter the time of the day, so it’s not ideal if you don’t like big crowds!

Is Mexico City Safe?

Like any other big city, safety in Mexico City can be a concern for travelers.

Safety Tips

  • Stay in well-known neighborhoods: Polanco, Roma, and Condesa are some of the most popular and safest neighborhoods for tourists. 
  • Avoid sketchy areas: Steer clear from Tepito, Doctores, or certain parts of the city center late at night. 
  • Use trustworthy transportation: Stick to authorized taxi services or ride-sharing apps like Uber.
  • Keep your belongings close and secure, especially in crowded areas like markets or public transportation.

Emergency Contacts: In case of an emergency in Mexico City, it’s good to have some important phone numbers at hand. Save these to your phone:

  • Emergency services (police, fire, ambulance): 911
  • Tourist assistance hotline: 078

2 Days in Mexico City: Itinerary

Day 1: Explore the Heart of the City 

Kick off your adventure in Mexico City by spending your first day immersed in its vibrant culture and historical landmarks.

Stroll Through Chapultepec Park 

Begin your morning with a leisurely walk in Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere (it’s almost the size of Singapore!)

This green oasis offers picturesque paths, the celebrated Chapultepec Castle, and several museums, including the renowned Museo Nacional de Antropología, where you can spend a couple of hours marveling at ancient artifacts and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. 

Lunch in Polanco 

For lunch, make your way to the upscale district of Polanco, located just outside of Chapultepec. 

Image of a lunch dish in Polanco in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
Polanco has lots of lunch options. Photo credit: Dani Ramos

Here, you can find an array of dining options, from trendy cafes to gourmet restaurants. Choose a spot like Pujol for contemporary Mexican cuisine or enjoy fresh, vibrant flavors at Carmela y Sal. 

Explore Zócalo and the Templo Mayor 

After lunch, head to the heart of Mexico City, El Zócalo. 

Impressive buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace frame this grand square. 

Catedral Metropolitana is your first stop—it’s tough to miss with its imposing façade and intricate carvings. While here, you’ll get to marvel at its mix of architectural styles before heading next door to the Templo Mayor, an excavated Aztec temple where you can learn more about Aztec culture and history.

If museums are more your thing, Centro has got you covered! Start by exploring the National Museum of Art (MUNAL), which houses a fantastic collection of Mexican art from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. 

Visit Bellas Artes or Check out a Few Museums in Centro

Palacio de Bellas Artes is a tunning cultural center and architectural masterpiece.

Here, you can admire the murals by famous Mexican artists like Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. If you’re in the mood for a show, check their event calendar to catch a ballet or theater performance.

Dinner with a View at Balcon del Zocalo 

Balcon del Zocalo for a one-of-a-kind dining experience and it’s a must for anyone visiting Mexico City.

This fantastic restaurant, located on the rooftop of the Zocalo Central Hotel, offers a stunning view of the Zocalo Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral. 

Image of dinner at Balcon del Zocalo in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
You’ll love dinner at Balcon del Zocalo. Photo credit: Dani Ramos

As you take in the sights, you’ll also be treated to a delicious fusion of Mexican and international cuisines created by their renowned Chef. Plus, the restaurant also offers an extensive wine and cocktail list to perfectly pair with your meal and they offer seasonal tasting menus which are always one of a kind!

Go bar hopping in Roma or Polanco

After a long day of sightseeing, it’s time to unwind and experience Mexico City’s vibrant nightlife. 

Head over to either the trendy neighborhood of Roma which offers diverse and unique options for a night out on the town. 

Image of la Barra de al Lado in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
La Barra de al Lado is super fun! Photo credit: Dani Ramos

You can visit bars such as La Barra de al Lado, an intimate venue that offers a wonderful selection of cocktails, wine, and vermouth before moving on to Limantour. As one of Latin America’s top cocktail bars, it’s the perfect place to indulge your taste buds with innovative drinks. 

Other great options in La Roma include Casa Prunes, Balmori Rooftop, Long Story Short, or Antesala.

Day 2: Delving Deeper 

Morning in Coyoacán 

Begin your morning wandering through the tranquil and picturesque streets of Coyoacán, one of Mexico City’s most charming neighborhoods. 

Image of colorful buildings in the Coyoacán neighborhood in Mexico City
This is such a cute neighborhood.

Coyoacán, which means “place of coyotes” in the Nahuatl language, is a historic neighborhood boasting cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and charming plazas. 

Start your morning with a stroll through Plaza Hidalgo and Jardín Centenario, where street vendors, artists, and performers will offer you a taste of the local culture.

Café culture is big here, so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some pastries at a local café. 

Frida Kahlo Museum Visit 

Next, visit La Casa Azul, the iconic Frida Kahlo Museum. Here, you’ll find personal belongings, artwork, and the famed artist’s essence captured in her former home. 

The museum opens at 10 AM, and you need to reserve your tickets online in advance as you can’t purchase them on site anymore.

Traditional Lunch in Coyoacán Market 

By lunchtime, make your way to the bustling Coyoacán Market. Here, you can find lots of fresh produce, street food, and souvenirs. 

Make sure to sample some of the typical Mexican snacks, such as tostadas, tamales, and esquites. And don’t miss out on tostadas de tinga, which are crispy corn tortillas topped with shredded chicken cooked in a tomato, onion, and chipotle sauce. 

Ride over Xochimilco’s Canals 

In the afternoon, escape the city’s hustle and take a relaxing trajinera (gondola) ride through the canals of Xochimilco. 

Image of Xochimilco Canal Boats
I recommend taking a boat ride!

This UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for its floating gardens and vibrant market boats. Boating starts around noon, but the canals are less crowded in the early afternoon. 

Evening at Plaza Garibaldi 

As the sun sets, make your way to Plaza Garibaldi. 

This square is synonymous with mariachi music. Experience the tradition by hiring a band to play songs on the spot or simply enjoy the live music filling the air. 

Consider trying a glass of tequila or mezcal at one of the surrounding bars to cap off your night. 

As a tip, make sure you visit Plaza Garibaldi with a tour. Not only will you have a much better time, but you’ll also be visiting with a guide who knows the ins and outs of the plaza (it’s not exactly the safest spot in Mexico City even for locals). Check tour rates.

Day 2: Alternatives 

The above itinerary for 2 days in Mexico City is a pretty standard one for first-timers, but if you have other interests, there’s so much more to do in the city!

Here are some personal recommendations:

Art Lovers: Explore Roma and Condesa 

Roma and Condesa are two trendy neighborhoods in Mexico City that you simply can’t miss if you’re an art lover. 

From street art to galleries, you’ll soak in the creative culture that thrives in these vibrant areas. 

Image of an art gallery in Roma in Mexico City. Photo credit: Dani Ramos
Don’t miss the art galleries in Roma! Photo credit: Dani Ramos

A must-visit is Casa Lamm in Roma, where contemporary local and international artists display their work. Another great choice is Galería OMR, where you can marvel at cutting-edge photography and sculptures.

Shopping: Polanco 

Polanco is renowned for its luxury shopping. Known for its elegant streets and posh atmosphere, this neighborhood offers a mix of luxury boutiques, stylish malls, and lively stores that cater to every taste and budget.

Avenida Presidente Masaryk is Mexico City’s very own version of 5th Avenue. Here you’ll find high-end brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel nestled among trendy cafes and restaurants.

For more options under one roof, visit the Antara Fashion Hall or Pabellón Polanco malls. Both houses stores catering to different tastes and price ranges. 

History Buffs: Teotihuacan 

Teotihuacan is one of the largest pre-Columbian cities in Mesoamerica and dates back to 100 B.C. 

Here, you can wander through the Avenue of the Dead, climb the pyramids, and immerse yourself in the stories behind the ancient city. Moreover, you can also visit the on-site museum to dive deeper into the civilization’s cultural aspects for a well-rounded visit.

Image of Teotihuacan in Mexico
Here’s the Moon Pyramid.

As a tip, I recommend booking a tour to visit the pyramids for a better experience. Most of them include lunch at a cave, a tequila-tasting experience, or both. Check tour rates.

If you’re up for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can also book a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids! This will allow you to soar above the sky and truly see how vast the place once was. Check hot air balloon rates.

Architecture: Luis Barragan House and Studio

Built in 1948, Casa Luis Barragan was designed by the renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán, who is celebrated for his contribution to modern architecture and his unique style that blends traditional Mexican styles with contemporary design.

The house, which served as Barragán’s personal residence, is situated in the suburb of Tacubaya and is a masterpiece of color, light, shadow, form, and texture.

One of Casa Luis Barragán’s most famous features is its use of color, which includes vibrant pinks, oranges, and yellows that contrast with more subdued tones and raw materials. 

The colors are not just decorative; they are integral to the spatial experience and influence the perception of proportion and scale.

During your visit, you’ll find a world of minimalist design balanced with vibrant colors, a gorgeous garden and lots of beautiful spots to take pictures.

2 Days in Mexico City: Conclusion

I hope this guide to how to spend two days in Mexico City helped you plan a perfect quick getaway to one of the most exciting cities in the world! 

While just 48 hours isn’t nearly enough, it’s definitely enough time to make you fall head over heels in love with CDMX and you’ll soon be planning a return to explore further!

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture and art lover, or simply love trying new flavors at hole-in-the-wall restaurants, there’s something out there for everyone in this humongous metropolis.

About Dani

Dani Ramos is a Mexico City-born travel blogger. She has traveled solo across all continents while writing for the blog www.nohurrytogethome.com. These days, she spends most of her time in her hometown and covering all her favorite recs in the city at www.theguidecdmx.com.

Looking for more Mexico travel resources? Check out 15 Mexico Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts Worth Booking, 3 Cute Small Towns in Mexico to Visit on the Day of the Dead, Cabo vs Cancun, 25 Best Places to Visit in Mexico for an Unforgettable Vacation, and Cancun vs Cozumel!

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