Exploring Mexico City: A Guide to the Vibrant Mexican Capital

Mexico City, often referred to as CDMX (Ciudad de México), is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world. With a rich history, dynamic culture, and an array of attractions, it offers something for every traveler. This guide provides an overview of where to stay and must-visit places in this captivating metropolis.

Imagine stepping into a city where ancient Aztec ruins nestle beside grand colonial cathedrals, and vibrant street art brings color to every corner. Welcome to Mexico City, a sprawling metropolis that pulses with energy and history. From the bohemian streets of Roma and Condesa to the bustling heart of the Zócalo, this guide will lead you through the best places to stay, eat, and explore.

Whether you’re enjoying pastries at Panadería Rosetta or marveling at the murals in Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City offers a rich tapestry of experiences that will captivate your senses and ignite your adventurous spirit. Dive in and discover the magic of the exciting Mexican capital.

Where to Stay

For a memorable stay in Mexico City, consider the charming neighborhoods of Roma (specifically Roma Norte) or Condesa. These boroughs boast tree-lined streets, a wealth of superb dining options, and, most importantly, a strong sense of safety.

They are conveniently situated near Chapultepec Park, one of Latin America’s largest urban parks. This oasis offers more than just leisurely walks and botanical gardens; it also features expansive lakes, vibrant market stalls, a zoo, museums, and even a castle. To put its size into perspective, Chapultepec Park is twice the size of Central Park in New York City.

Roma Norte

Roma Norte is known for its bohemian vibe, art galleries, and trendy cafes. It’s a hub for foodies, with numerous restaurants offering both traditional Mexican cuisine and international dishes. The area is also rich in history, with many buildings showcasing beautiful colonial architecture.


Condesa, adjacent to Roma, is equally charming with its own unique flair. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a mix of nightlife, shopping, and green spaces. Parque México and Parque España are two central spots where locals and visitors alike gather for relaxation and recreation.


Parque México, located in the heart of the Condesa neighborhood, is a lush urban oasis featuring Art Deco design, winding pathways, serene ponds, and vibrant flora, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and leisurely strolls.

Historic Center of Mexico City

The historic center of Mexico City, often referred to as the “Zócalo,” is a mesmerizing blend of the past and present. With its roots dating back to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, this area boasts a rich tapestry of colonial architecture, ancient ruins, and vibrant squares.

Plaza de Santa Domingo: This iconic square is a perfect starting point to explore the historic center.

Palacio de Bellas Artes: A magnificent building with marble floors, housing a performance hall and murals by renowned Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera. It’s an architectural and cultural gem.

La Bandera: The colossal Mexican flag that proudly flies over Zócalo, raised at 8 am and lowered at sunset each day by soldiers. It’s a sight to behold and a symbol of national pride.

Palacio Postal: The city’s main post office, an architectural marvel both inside and out. It’s worth visiting to admire its intricate design and historic significance.

Metropolitan Cathedral: An imposing structure and one of the oldest and largest cathedrals in the Americas, offering a mix of baroque and neoclassical styles.

National Art Museum: Home to an extensive collection of Mexican art, it provides deep insights into the country’s artistic heritage.

Must Read This: 24 Best Things to Do in Mexico City


The name of this borough translates to the “place of coyotes,” a nod to the numerous statues, fountains, and artifacts of coyotes scattered throughout this bohemian area. Don’t miss the Jardin Centenario, where you can admire the iconic coyote fountain. However, Coyoacán is perhaps best known for the Museo de Frida Kahlo, dedicated to the famous Mexican artist. Be sure to book your museum tickets in advance. You can easily have no agenda and wander the colorful streets, lined with vibrant houses and eateries, to soak in the area’s unique atmosphere.

Plaza Garibaldi

This lively square is famous for its mariachi bands, which perform daily. For an authentic experience, visit in the evening when you can expect a vibrant crowd and many bands playing traditional Mexican music. During the day, you’ll likely encounter mariachi bands waiting for tourists, but the real energy comes alive at night.


This affluent neighborhood in Mexico City is renowned for its luxury shopping district and upscale dining establishments, including Pujol (offering a tasting menu in a formal dining room) and Malix (a small-plate restaurant helmed by a young, talented chef). Located north of Chapultepec Park, Polanco is also home to El Ángel de la Independencia, a monument representing Mexico’s independence, topped by the goddess of victory.


Proceed with caution when exploring this neighborhood, as it is the birthplace of one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels, “La Union Tepito.” Most visitors come here to explore the market, the largest in the city. Tepiteños proudly claim that you can find anything and everything in this Mercado. However, it is also infamous for pickpocketing and robberies and should be avoided after dark. If you decide to visit, travel light, carrying only what you need and a minimum amount of cash, staying within the confines of the market.

Panadería Rosetta – CDMX

Nestled in Roma Norte, Panadería Rosetta is a must-visit for any food enthusiast. Known for its delicious pastries and artisanal bread, this bakery offers a delightful breakfast or snack stop. The peaceful atmosphere and the smell of freshly baked goods create an inviting experience. Try their guava rolls and almond croissants they are particularly popular among locals and tourists alike.

The Best Cafes in Belfast, Northern Ireland

While exploring the vibrant scenes of Mexico City, you might also be curious about other travel destinations. Belfast, Northern Ireland, offers a burgeoning cafe culture that is well worth exploring. Here are a few top picks for the best cafes in Belfast:

Established Coffee

Located in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, Established Mexico city Coffee is known for its minimalist design and top-notch coffee. They offer a selection of pastries and light bites, making it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a quality brew.

General Merchants

This cafe has multiple locations across Belfast and is celebrated for its brunch menu. Their unique offerings include dishes like Turkish eggs and avocado toast, paired with excellent coffee.

Kaffe O

A taste of Scandinavia in Belfast, Kaffe O provides a range of Nordic-inspired treats and beverages. It’s a cozy spot to enjoy a fika (coffee break) with friends.


Situated on the Ormeau Road, 5A is a small but charming cafe known for its friendly service and delicious coffee. It’s a local favorite for a quick pick-me-up or a leisurely coffee.

Read Also: Surfing as a beginner in Puerto Escondido, Mexico


What is the best time to visit Mexico City?

The best time to visit Mexico City is during the dry season, from November to April. The weather is pleasant, and there are numerous festivals and events during this period.

Is it safe to travel to Mexico City?

While Mexico City is generally safe for tourists, it’s important to stay vigilant, especially in certain areas like Tepito. Stick to well-traveled neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, and Polanco, and take usual precautions like avoiding isolated areas at night.

How do I get around Mexico City?

Mexico City has an extensive public transportation system, including the metro, buses, and taxis. Ride-hailing apps like Uber are also widely used and considered safe.

What currency is used in Mexico City?

The official currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN). It’s advisable to carry some cash for small purchases, although credit and debit cards are widely accepted.

Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Mexico City?

While knowing some basic Spanish phrases can be helpful, many people in tourist areas speak English. Learning a few common phrases in Spanish can enhance your travel experience.


Mexico City is a vibrant and diverse destination with something for every traveler. From historical landmarks and cultural hotspots to trendy neighborhoods and delicious food, it offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re wandering through the historic center, enjoying a mariachi performance in Plaza Garibaldi, or savoring pastries at Panadería Rosetta, Mexico City never ceases to amaze.

 As you explore, remember to stay safe and respectful, immersing yourself fully in the city’s many treasures. And if your travels take you beyond Mexico City, the delightful cafes of Belfast await your discovery. Enjoy your journey.

Leave a Comment