A list of Unique Activities to do When Visiting Mexico City
As a Local Tour Guide in Mexico City, I've always been swept away by the magic of this Urban Jungle, I know that diving into the usual touristy activities in Mexico City is practically a Must. But trust me, there's a whole world of unique experiences waiting to be explored beyond the typical Attractions. In this guide, I'm thrilled to share some of the most captivating and offbeat things to do in this vibrant city.
Now, don't get me wrong – hitting up the iconic landmarks is an absolute must, especially if you're a first-timer. However, let's make the most of that precious free time you've got on hand. Between you and me, I've got a soft spot for those charming rooftop bars and restaurants that offer a taste of Mexico City's skyline like no other. Trust me, the view is worth every sip and bite.
But that's not all. I'm also letting you in on the secret of the best season to experience Mexico City's enchantment. Seasons can make or break a trip, and I've got some solid reasons for waving the flag for this particular time of year while also sharing some of the best activities to do during this season.
So, whether you're an intrepid explorer seeking the road less traveled or just eager to inject a dash of the extraordinary into your trip, I've got you covered. Let's dive in and uncover the hidden gems that'll make your Mexico City adventure truly unforgettable.
The Best Season to visit Mexico City for Unique Activities in Mexico City
This is perhaps my most important recommendation for your Mexico City Visit. Are You ready? Come visit during the Fall, the weather is incredible not unlike the summer where most of the time it's always raining. Many people consider Summer the low season in town because there is not much to do and the rain is kind of a turn-off. That being said, the fall season brings plenty of activities like the Formula 1 race, Mexican celebrations, attractions, and unique activities to do because of one very important tradition: The Day of the Dead. Let's dive deep into my recommendations for this season.
Exploring the Enchantment of Mexico City's Day of the Dead Season Activities
If you're seeking an unforgettable escapade blending culture, tradition, and a touch of the extraordinary, I've got just the ticket for you. Imagine immersing yourself in the magical colors, lively celebrations, and heartfelt tributes that define Mexico City's Day of the Dead season. From late September to November 2, which is the official Day of the Dead celebration, this captivating experience should firmly find its place on your travel wishlist.
Mexico City is renowned for its iconic landmarks and tourist hotspots. Yet, let me share a secret with you: the Day of the Dead season here adds a whole new layer to your adventure. Sure, the typical tourist attractions are worth your time, but there is something magical rooted in the Mexican Culture during the Day of the Dead Season. One of the most captivating highlights of this season is the creation of "ofrendas," or altars, designed to honor the loved ones who are no longer with us in Life These captivating ofrendas are sprinkled throughout the city, with the grandest exhibit nestled within Zócalo de la Ciudad de México, the very heart of Mexico City.
The Ofrendas a Mexican Tradition with a Rich History
Prepare to be entranced by the ofrendas – masterpieces fusing colors, textures, and cherished memories. As you explore the Streets of Mexico City, you'll stumble upon these artistic marvels at various corners, each narrating its unique tale. And there's more: head to Chapultepec Park, and you'll find yourself with captivating altars, accompanied by rituals that will undoubtedly leave you mesmerized. There are also the typical Alebrijes that if you've seen the Coco Disney Movie you probably know what I'm talking about.
A City Adorned: Day of the Dead Decorations
As you traverse Mexico City, you'll notice an enchanting metamorphosis unfolding. Streets, markets, and public spaces are adorned with vibrant marigold blossoms, intricate paper embellishments, and sugar skulls that infuse an otherworldly essence into the city's ambiance. It's akin to stepping into a dream realm that bridges the realms of the living and the departed.
Xochimilco Boat Show
Now, let's delve into the gem: the Xochimilco Trajineras boat ride. While this might be a tourist's darling year-round, during the Day of the Dead season, it attains an entirely new dimension. Picture yourself gliding along the canals, enveloped in the captivating enactment of Mexico's most legendary urban fable, La Llorona. The spine-chilling narrative of her anguish unfolds right before your eyes – an experience that promises to send shivers down your spine.
A Spectacle Like No Other: The Day of the Dead Parade
The relatively recent addition to the Day of the Dead festivities is the Dead Parade. This visually dazzling extravaganza garnered fame after its appearance in the James Bond film "Spectre." The fascinating twist? The movie's props were bestowed upon the city, enabling the creation of this parade each year. Imagine being part of this vibrant procession – a fusion of culture, art, and cinematic enchantment.
A Pro Tip: Plan Ahead
Allow me to share a nugget of wisdom because this season is undeniably popular. Therefore, if you're set on joining the revelries, it's prudent to plan your trip well in advance. From accommodations to activities, arranging everything beforehand ensures a seamless and stress-free escapade.
Mexico City's Day of the Dead season is a one-of-a-kind odyssey that elevates you beyond the ordinary tourist fare. Embark on a journey through the ofrendas, embrace the city's metamorphosis, witness the haunting tale of La Llorona, and be part of the mesmerizing Dead Parade. The allure of fall in Mexico City beckons, and mark my words, this is an experience you won't want to forgo!
Coyoacan Neighborhood, a Place of Rich History in Mexico City
Coyoacan neighborhood is a perfect combination of history, artistic allure, and culinary delights that will impress every visitor when visiting Mexico City.
As you step into Coyoacán's cobblestone streets, it's as if history comes alive around you. Begin your journey at Plaza Hidalgo, a bustling square that sets the stage for your exploration of this captivating neighborhood.
Imagine immersing yourself in the world of art and creativity. Casa Azul, the former residence of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, opens its doors to offer you a glimpse into their vibrant lives. Walking through rooms adorned with their masterpieces and personal mementos is an intimate connection to their artistic spirits.
Savoring the Moments: Churros and Culinary Marvels
Prepare your taste buds for a treat – the irresistible churros! Indulge in warm, crispy churros filled with rich chocolate or velvety Nutella. It's a moment of pure culinary bliss that lingers long after the last bite. Also, be sure to get a typical hot coffee in the famous Coypacan Coffee shop called “El Jarocho” Pairing this with a Churro is a perfect idea.
Culinary Excellence at "Los Danzantes"
Coyoacan is the neighborhood of one of Mexico City's popular restaurants for Mexican Food "Los Danzantes" by Chef Patricia Quintana. This restaurant elevates traditional Mexican flavors to create modern dishes for its customers. Each dish is a celebration of Mexico's gastronomic heritage, presented with a modern twist. This popular spot tends to be fully booked, and you'll want to guarantee your seat on this culinary journey.
Coyoacán isn't just a place – it's a canvas painted with stories of the past, strokes of art, and layers of flavors. Even if it's in the South Part of Mexico City, this neighborhood is a must-do visit when traveling to Mexico City, Oh I forgot to mention that the Frida Kahlo Museum is located in Coyoacan Neighborhood.
Visit one of Mexico City’s Hottest Rooftop Restaurants
Ling Ling Mexico City, the most famous rooftop restaurant in town
Step into a world of culinary enchantment at Ling Ling Mexico City – a rooftop restaurant that's all the rage right now. Owned by the prestigious Hakkasan Group, Ling Ling is your ticket to an Asian dining experience like no other, perched on the 56th floor with stunning city vistas.
Nestled within the iconic Chapultepec Uno skyscraper, Ling Ling treats you to an impressive 360-degree view of the city's wonders. It's just a stone's throw away from landmarks like the Diana the Huntress Fountain and the Angel of Independence, making it a perfect spot for soaking in the city's pulse.
As you step inside, you're welcomed by an inviting space that transforms from a cozy lunch haven into a lively dinner hub. But the real star of the show? The terrace is lush with greenery and positioned on the 56th floor for a dining experience that'll literally take your breath away. The triple-height terrace adds an unexpected twist, while the glass atrium gives you a window to sweeping cityscapes.
Ling Ling's menu? A tantalizing blend of Asian flavors that dances between Japan's Izakaya vibes and the best of Cantonese influences. It's a true journey for your taste buds, eyes, and ears – imagine an eclectic soundtrack of electronic beats and pop tunes that shift and groove as the evening unfolds.
Whether you're here for a quick drink or planning to dance the night away, Ling Ling guarantees an experience that'll leave its mark. Picture unforgettable evenings that linger in your memory, becoming stories you'll cherish and share long after the night is over. Ling Ling isn't just a restaurant – it's a slice of culinary heaven elevated by stunning views.
La Terraza Rooftop Inside the Famous Hotel de la Ciudad de México
Located in the Iconic Mexico City Hotel in the City Center of Mexico City, you cannot miss the opportunity to have an amazing lunch or Dinner in one of Mexico City’s most famous Rooftop “La Terraza” Get ready for a meal with a view that'll knock your socks off.
Here's the deal – picture yourself dining while soaking in one of the most jaw-dropping views of the Zocalo main square. It's like having a front-row seat to all the action. The energy of the square and its rich history come alive right before your eyes. And trust me, the feeling is electric.
Highlights of the Famous Hotel de la Ciudad de México
The Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico is renowned for its captivating history and stunning architectural elegance. It resides within a historic building that traces its roots back to the 17th century. Over time, this structure has undergone numerous renovations and restorations, ensuring the preservation of its historical allure while providing contemporary comforts for its guests.
Oh, and did you know that the opening sequence of the James Bond movie "Spectre" was filmed here? The hotel's got this amazing blend of old-world charm and classy vibes that'll leave you in awe.
Whether you are staying at the hotel with an amazing room view or visiting the “Terraza” Restaurant, you’re in for a treat in this amazing rooftop restaurant.
Last Recommendation: Have a Drink at the Famous Bar Carlotta, the view is Incredible
Mexico City is famous for its stunning views, and there's a hidden gem that stands out above the rest – welcome to Carlotta Reforma Bar. Located on the 38th floor of The Ritz-Carlton Mexico City hotel, this spot offers what I confidently claim to be the most breathtaking view in the city.
Picture yourself enjoying exceptional cocktails while taking in panoramic views of the sprawling urban landscape and the iconic Chapultepec Castle – this is the heart of Carlotta Reforma's charm. The bar's name is inspired by Empress Carlotta, a historical figure who once ruled Mexico from 1864 to 1867.
Yet, Carlotta Reforma offers more than visual splendor. It's a paradise for those who appreciate mixology. Carlotta Reforma offers signature cocktails that pay homage to Mexico's diverse flavors, especially with cocktails made of Tequila and Mezcal. I will give you a very good cocktail recommendation: The Chapulin Spicy (Tequila, Cilantro, and a Spicy Pepper Liquor) Incredible!
Whether you're a local seeking a new favorite spot or a traveler looking for an extraordinary experience, Carlotta Reforma Bar beckons. Come, unwind, and raise a toast to Mexico City's captivating skyline at this exceptional establishment.
I truly hope that these suggestions for exploring Mexico City beyond the usual tourist spots have sparked your curiosity. While the tourist spots are a must and have their charm, there's a whole world of unique experiences waiting for you.
Don't forget, those rooftop bars I recommend offer more than just a meal or a drink – they provide a panoramic window into the city's soul. And as for the best time to visit, trust me on this one: Fall (Late September and October) is the sweet spot. The weather is perfect, and the city comes alive in its own special way.
A quick tip if you're considering a fall trip: book your accommodations in advance. The city tends to get busy during this season.
As you set out to explore Mexico City, my biggest hope is that you create memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy every moment, from the bustling streets to the hidden corners. Safe travels, and may your journey be filled with wonder and discovery!
About the Author
Mauricio Vite is an Experiences and Workshops Organizer in Mexico City with his company Vite Presenta specializing in the Nightlife Scene and Mixology Events. He is also a travel and Entertainment blogger sharing insights about Mexico City and his Experiences from other Major Cities in the USA.