Once only a destination for intrepid travellers, Mexico City in recent years has exploded into life. Revamped public spaces, a mouth-watering culinary scene and a colourful tapestry of culture, tradition, and history has officially put Mexico City back on the map.
Having the second-highest number of museums in the world (Paris is in the top spot), a protected urban space double the size of New York’s Central Park, and more than 40,000 restaurants, Mexico City won’t leave you short of things to do, see and eat.
Your 3-day Mexican adventure will be filled with chatting to local street performers, learning about Mexican art and design, eating in world-class restaurants and sipping cocktails in stylish art-deco bars – all within skipping distance of each other.
With this guide, we’ll make sure you pack your 72 hours in Mexico City with some of the best museums, dining and nightlife spots the nation’s capital has to offer. Be warned, though: you may find yourself staying a little longer than planned.
Kick-start your adventure by treating yourself to a healthy breakfast at the Giornale cafe. They serve up delicious fruit smoothies, colourful açaí bowls and veggie-loaded omelettes made to order. Don’t miss their perfectly poached eggs on rye bread topped with crispy parsley and juicy avocado.
Once you’ve fuelled up, it’s time for some sightseeing. Everyone’s visit to Mexico City should begin with a walk around the city’s cultural hub: the historical centre. El Centro Historico is home to famously huge plazas, stunning historical buildings, and a never-ending stream of museums. The best place to take it all in is from the Zocalo square: a 240m space crammed with street performers, vendors, and local retirees playing chess.
Once you’ve taken in the frantic buzz of the old town, dive into the relaxing Franz Mayer Museum that sits just off the main square. Set in a beautiful 18th-century former monastery and hospital, Franz Mayer houses the largest collection of decorative arts in Latin America. The best bit? The exhibit halls open up onto a luxurious colonial courtyard, where you can get your mid-morning caffeine fix in the outdoor cafeteria surrounded by lush green gardens.
Just a few minutes walk from the Franz Mayer Museum you’ll be able to have your next fix of art and architecture. At the Museo Nacional de Arte, a beautiful Italian Renaissance-style palace built in the year 1900, you’ll find collections representing every school of Mexican art until the early 20th century. They also hold several workshops, talks, and concerts throughout the year. You can check out their schedule here.
After all that hard work learning about 19th-century Mexican art, you’re probably in need of an ice-cream. Just a 6-minute walk from Museo Nacional de Arte, you’ll find the freshest ice-cream in town. Nieves 100% Artesanales prepare their sweet goods using only fresh ingredients and traditional ice-cream-making methods. As Nieves’ ice-cream is made fresh every single morning, the flavours on offer change every day; but expect anything from coffee and banana to blackberry cheesecake.
Locals and visitors alike anticipate the setting of the sun in Mexico City. This is because, as well as being a great place to party, the nation’s capital is home to some of the best restaurants in the world.
You’ll be doing Mexico’s culinary scene proud by eating your first evening meal at Biko; where every dish looks more like an art-nouveau painting than a meal. Spanish chefs Mikel Alonso, Gerard Bellver and Bruno Oteiza have coupled Basque flavours with Mexican ingredients to bring you a Spanish-Mexican fusion of pure bliss. Expect anything from stuffed piquillo peppers to sautéed prawns served with a dust made from their own heads. Be sure to try the confit pork jowl.
The night is still young. Continue spoiling yourself with a few after-dinner cocktails at Jules Basement. This 1920’s Prohibition Era themed bar gets the party going with expertly crafted drinks, stylish decor, and live jazz music from 9.00pm. Their show-stopper cocktails include the “Oscar Wilde”, a Jameson whiskey blend with passionfruit puree and apple nectar, and “The Colony”; an exquisite Tanqueray No. 10 gin with fresh grapefruit juice and Maraschino cherry liquor.
When your feet can take no more, end your night at relaxing Las Alcobas. Located in Mexico City’s Polanco District, it’s within short distance from popular attractions such as Chapultepec Forest, the National Archaeology Museum, and Paseo de la Reforma. You’ll be truly pampered here: every room is equipped with a hydromassage bath, and skin treatments using natural, local ingredients are offered daily at the on-site Aurora spa.
For the full itinerary, check out Flight Network’s post.