Mexico City is huge and full to the brim with art, architecture, amazing food, and culture. Here’s how to plan five days in Mexico City from my exact vacation itinerary. Let’s get into why solo female travel in Mexico City should be on your bucket list!
Mexico’s capital, Mexico City (also called CDMX for Ciudad de Mexico) is the largest city in North America and the oldest capital city in the Americas. It’s home to historic sites and is a major commerce center with a huge expat population. In many ways, it feels like stepping into a European city with architecture, dining, and even attire full of French, Spanish, and other Mediterranean influences.
But there’s a distinctly Mexican flair. Spanish and English are spoken widely, as is Nahuatl, an indigenous language that predates Spanish contact and colonization. In fact, Mexico City is an important place for Mexico’s native peoples as it was built on top of the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlan and Lake Texcoco.
Ruins from this history are still present in the city and were definitely part of my visit to Mexico City–more on that below!
I flew into Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX), which has daily flights from all over the world on the majority of major airlines. I’m located in Houston, Texas, so it was just a 2.5 hour direct flight on Viva Aerobus, where I caught an unbelievable roundtrip flight deal.
Check out all my best advice for traveling on a budget and catching flight deals!
There are two other nearby airports, Mexico City Santa Lucia Airport (AIFA), which is about one hour away, and Toluca Airport (TLC), which is about 1.5 hour away.
At this time, leisure travelers coming from the United States need a passport and there are no visa requirements. Getting through immigration was quick and painless, which was quite different from my experiences at other Mexican airports, thanks to electronic passport scanning for MEX, USA, and CAN passport holders. I liken it experience to coming back to the states with Global Entry.
Here’s how I get Global Entry and TSA Precheck for free with my travel credit card.
Pro Tip: I highly recommend exchanging your currency for pesos at the airport. You can do this before exiting to baggage claim and I was even able to exchange leftover euro from my four day trip to Berlin!
How to Get Around Mexico City
You can rent a car but public transit and Ubers are widely available. I also found the city to be very walkable and it reminded me more of my solo trips to NYC than other Mexican cities I’ve visited in the Yacatan Peninsula like Cancun or Playa del Carmen. The Uber ride from the airport to my hotel was just $10 and almost all the rides I took through my stay where less than that–as low as $2!
Visiting Mexico City in March
Is March a good time to go to Mexico? Yes. March kicks off Mexico City’s tourism high season, which runs through May. You’ll be in the thick of jacaranda season in Mexico City and everything is gorgeous.
Jacarandas trees filled with pretty purple flowers that bloom from February through May.
You’ll also miss Mexico’s rainy season, which is typically from June to October each year. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience any rain at all, though. The weather in Mexico City in March and April is mild, warm during the day with passing afternoon showers and cool to cold overnight into the early morning.
So springtime is the best time to visit Mexico City, in my opinion. And with the range of temperature from day-to-night, I recommend packing with intention for this trip.
As you plan for all the things to do in Mexico City, make sure you check out what to wear in Mexico City (for women)!
Where to Stay
I stayed a Nana Vida, a Mexico City boutique hotel in the Roma Norte neighborhood. The property was very warm and accommodating with novel touches like a self-service Mexican candy buffet and mezcal station.
At check-in, you’ll receive a welcome gift of local artisan soap in your choice of fragrance and there’s a complimentary light breakfast available each day.
I will say that this is not the hotel for peace and quiet. At the intersection of two busy streets in Roma, there was noise from bars, cars, and folks walking until very late at night.
Also, the curtains let light in so you won’t get a blackout sleep at night. The hotel does provide a white noise machine and ear buds to help. I’m not a light sleeper so this wasn’t an issue for me.
Additionally, this is not an accessible hotel, as climbing at least one flight of stairs is required to access the check-in area and the main level of guest room with most other amenities up more steps.
Ok, let’s get into how to spend five days in Mexico City!
CDMX Five Day Itinerary
Roma is a neighborhood full shops, restaurants, and art galleries so you’ll never wonder what to do in Mexico City here. Divided into three areas, Roma Norte, Roma Sur, and La Romita.
Gin Gin (Roma location) is a chain restaurant that was decent for my first bites and sips in the city. The food was ok but I really enjoyed the drinks!
Jazzatlãn Capital came recommended by a coworker and she did not steer me wrong! With shows starting at 6p and 10p, this place has amazing live music and is cozy, dark, and sultry–just what a jazz bar should be. I also enjoyed their panque de elote con helado and an artesinal tonic. You can pay the small cover charge at the door or have it added to your food and drink bill.
Alba Cocina Local in Juarez is a small and cozy eatery with a bar on the first level. I enjoyed a lovely late night dinner and highly recommend this place for unique local food and cocktails.
El Centro and Condesa
El Centro Histórico, also called downtown Mexico City, is the historic center of Mexico City with both pre and post-colonial significance making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where you’ll find museums, ruins, and more.
Madre Cafe – I started the day at this popular Roma neighborhood spot before heading out fo the day since there was a just a short wait and enjoyed French toast with eggs and frijoles, and a table-side ceremonial matcha.
Templo Mayor was my first historical site visit during this Mexico city solocation. This museum and ruins site showcases some of the pre-hispanic history of Mexico’s capital and sits in a large square in the shadow of an historic church, which speaks to the Spanish efforts to obscure and stamp out indigenous culture.
I recommend going early in the day to beat the heat and walking around the area to see other sites and you will likely also catch native song and dance performances and rituals nearby!
If you’re into Mexican historical sites, check out my guide to visiting the Mayan ruins in Tulum.
Pulqueria la Antigua Roma is a no frills old fashioned spot for pulque, which is a fermented agave beverage you can only get in this region of Mexico City so you MUST try it. This spot is pesos only so keep that in mind.
Condesa is considered the bohemian district of Mexico City, very trendy and full of charm.
Churreria El Moro – After all the walking in central Mexico City, I walked a little more for fresh churros with cajeta and Mexican hot chocolate at the iconic El Moro. There are multiple locations around town so you might be able to squeeze this in elsewhere on your itinerary!
Parque Mexico – I had to walk off the churros! This park is large, lush, and full of walkways, local vendors, youth groups, dancing, and, of course, dogs. There are lots of shops and restaurants around the perimeter of the park, which I stepped into for a bit of shopping.
Helado Obscuro has multiple locations famous for spiked ice cream. I slid into the one in Condesa, which has indoor/outdoor seating just as a rainstorm started to enjoy helado tamarindo con mezcal.
Teotihuacán Half Day Trip
Hot Air Balloon Teotihuacán Tour – I woke up super early for this excursion to see the Teotihuacan pyramids from a hot air balloon right around sunrise! This bucket list day trip included a walking tour of the arcahelogical zone as was such a teat.
Here’s the full guide to my Teotihuacán hot air balloon experience from Mexico City!
Blanco Colima – After I freshened up from my post-excursion nap, I got dressed for dinner at Blanco Colima, which is a swanky restaurant back in Roma. Great for date night.
Tolantongo Hot Springs Day Trip
Las Grutas de Tolantongo are thermal limestone pools located in Hidalgo, Mexico, about four hours road trip away from CDMX. I had another early wake up to join a day trip to experience all the resort had to offer, including local food, and even a water cave.
If you’re traveling solo to Mexico City, experiences like this will help you meet people. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Las Grutas de Tolantongo!
Taqueria Orinoco was my favorite taco spot. I grabbed dinner here in Roma after getting back from Tolantongo and washing up. Don’t skip the aguas frescas here!
Coyoacán + Mezcal Mixology Class
Coyoacán, which means “place of coyotes” in Nahuatl, is the oldest colonial Mexico City neighborhood, home to over 100 churches and notable artists like Frida Kahlo.
Photo Shoot + Walking History Tour – I got to artsy, picturesque Coyoacán early for a photo shoot with the amazing Daniel, who not only took great pictures but also provided great knowledge about the history and cultural significance of the Coyoacán neighborhood, it’s buildings, and even street names.
Here’s how to find a great travel photographer for while on vacation!
Authentic Breakfast – Daniel also put me onto where to get authentic tamales and atole for breakfast in the neighborhood–SO delicious! And I’m not gatekeeping but tt’s not a restaurant but a gentleman set up right in the park for people to buy and eat on their way to work.
Casa Azul – AKA Frida Kahlo’s house, is a museum onsite of the artist’s former home full of her original artwork and other artifacts from her life with Diego Rivera. The entire experience takes about 30 minutes but art and history buffs will certainly want more time.
There’s a restaurant and souvenir shop onsite. I purchased a timed entry pass in advance and will note that if you plan to take pictures inside, you’ll need a separate pass for that, which is currently about 30 pesos.
Mercado de Coyoacán is an iconic Mexico City market selling everything from local soaps and handicrafts to housewares, and fresh fruit. There are restaurants and bars inside, too. Stop in here for souvenirs and memorable experiences like insect tastings!
Picnic Helados is easy to miss so keep your eyes open for the walk-up ice cream shop on Malintzin! I enjoyed the mamey sorbet on a cone.
Mezcal Mixology Experience – This late night experience is set in a chic, lovely space with obviously passionate instructors. Part custom cocktail making and part history class, which, as a mezcal lover, I found perfect for my last night in Mexico City.
I highly recommend this CDMX mezcal class and loved having the agency to create cocktails unique to me rather than just following set recipes.
Is Mexico City Safe for solo female travelers?
So many people have asked me if Mexico City is good for solo travel and my answer is absolutely, yes. I did not experience any safety issues with theft, cat-calling, or the like traveling alone in CDMX.
This is only based on my experience, though, so I recommend taking the same safety precautions you would in any major city or at home, to be honest. Mexico City felt just as safe to me, if not more, than when I spent four days solo in Paris or on my solo trips to Washington, D.C.
If you’re considering traveling alone to Mexico City as a single woman, check out my ultimate solo travel guide for women!
Tips to Solo Travel Mexico City
- Learn some Spanish. Although CDMX is a global city with a large expatriate population, I always recommend practicing a few phrases in the local language.
- Exchange your money for pesos at the airport upon arrival.
- Take excursions and group tours to nearby sites and make friends along the way.
- Most businesses are closed on Mondays, so this is the day you’ll want to be low-key or spend outside the city on an excursion, if possible.
- Hire a personal tour guide for certain experiences to learn more than you would on your own.
Here are my top places to eat in Mexico City for everything from tacos to cocktails to fusion foods!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! From Black Mexican natives to expats, and other travelers, Mexico City is diverse and you will see people from virtually every background. Though I was often the only Black person or one of few on my adventures, I did not feel out of place or unwelcome anywhere.
Mexico City is as safe as any major metropolitan city. Common sense and safety best practices are advised.
It can be. There are a wide variety of lodging, food, and activity options, ranging from very budget friendly to luxurious and high end. There’s something for everyone.
More Favorite Mexican Destinations
By now, I’m sure your list is full of the best things to do in Mexico City in 5 days and I’m wishing you a wonderful trip. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin the best Mexico City solo female itinerary for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!