Mexico City Travel Guide
One of the largest, most populated cities in the world, Mexico City is a chaotic tangle of complexities. Outsiders are only now beginning to discover. Read More
One of the largest, most populated cities in the world, Mexico City is a chaotic tangle of complexities. Outsiders are only now beginning to discover what locals and expats who call the capital home have known for ages: despite the terrible traffic, the sprawl that intimidates even the most seasoned taxi driver, and, sadly, a pollution index that’s going back up after a decade of improvement, Mexico City is a metropolis of superlatives. It’s the city with the second-highest number of museums in the world (Paris is in the top spot), and many of them are free. It’s the city with the oldest forest in the Americas (Bosque Chapultepec, an urban park that’s double the size of New York City’s Central Park). It has more than 40,000 restaurants, and even its top tables offer exceptional tasting menus that are far more affordable than comparable restaurants around the world. And despite all that traffic, there are so many ways to get around—all of them affordable—that it’s possible to explore the most far-flung reaches of Mexico City, such as the canals of Xochimilco, or the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, in Spanish). Yes, it can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time visitor, but it’s also enchanting. In part, that’s because too many visitors simply don’t expect Mexico City to be so amazing. With a population of more than 20 million, the Mexican capital is an ever-changing metropolis, whose sheer size can be intimidating to even the most experienced travelers. Mexico City travel is like taking a trip through time: you can climb pre-Hispanic pyramids, snap photos of colonial buildings, and dine at an avant-garde restaurant—all in one day. With Travel + Leisure’s Mexico City travel guide, you’ll navigate the city like a pro.
Visit Mexico City
Best Time To Go
June through September is the rainy season, but don’t be put off by that label; rain tends to come in dramatic bursts in the evening, and it’s a rare day when the sky pours. It’s possible to travel to Mexico City at any time of year. Winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures dropping to the 50s, while falls are crisp, and springs are lovely, with jacaranda trees blooming all over town.
Transport options, both public and private, abound herel, which is convenient, given that there’s so much ground to cover. The Metro system isn’t frequented by tourists, which is a shame: though it can be hot and crowded, it’s extremely efficient, and at 5 pesos (about a quarter) a ride, it’s a bargain. Aboveground, there’s the MetroBus, taxis, and car services like Uber. Traffic jams are common but the city is pedestrian-friendly in many neighborhoods, especially Centro Histórico, Juárez, Condesa, Roma, Polanco, and Coyoacán.
May is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 64°F (18°C). December is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 55°F (13°C).
Know Before You Go
Uber is your best bet for getting around—it’s much more affordable than regular taxis, plus service is excellent, and drivers are all equipped with cell phones, so they can find places that regular taxi drivers may not be able to locate.