If you’re looking for an awesome 3 day Mexico City itinerary, you’ve come to the right place! Despite being a sprawling city, you can hit the highlights of the city, culture, and surrounding area in just a few days. Now let me take you on a visual tour around Mexico City; I promise that by the end, you’ll want to book a ticket!
Day 1 | Explore & eat your way through Mexico City
For your first day in Mexico City, spend some time hitting a few of the cultural hotspots and trying all of the local food. Alameda Park was a welcome bit of green in the city, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes was probably one of the most gorgeous buildings in the city.
A few other suggestions for your first day (and in general for your time in Mexico City): make sure to try all of the local foods and popular drinks you can. Food suggestions include enchiladas, quesadillas, roasted chicken, tacos, and churros. For drinks, make sure you try (many) margaritas, mezcal, michelado, tequila, and Indio (Mexican beer).
I found a couple favorite eating and drinking spots, and actually ended up at the first one FOUR times during my stay. You absolutely have to go to Café El Popular in the city center. The food is amazing, cheap, and the waitresses always come around with a pastry tray at the end…what more could a girl ask for?! Another recommendation (for fun drinks) is the Pata Negra, conveniently located right across the street from the café.
Day 2 | Xochimilco & National University of Mexico
For your second day in Mexico City, it’s time to learn a bit of culture and get out of the city center! Hop on this tour to Xochimilco, Coyocan, and the National University of Mexico. Our first stop was the university, where we got to check out their soccer stadium, their quad, and some amazing architecture.
Next up was Xochimilco, possibly one of the most colorful places I’ve ever been. I definitely could have spent an entire day just here, so make sure you give it plenty of time! Board your boat, and ride around drinking away the day. It seemed like the place to come for celebrations.
At one point, a band of mariachi pirates even boarded our boat to serenade us! Also, definitely take advantage of the floating kitchen. We pulled up there about halfway into our ride and took advantage of all the tasty snacks!
I seriously cannot recommend Xochimilco enough…you 100% need to include this in your Mexico City itinerary.
Day 3 | Teotihuacan & Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica
For your last day, partake in a bit of hostory, and grab a tour to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. However, before starting our climb, we stopped for tequila shots (definitely a perk of this tour!) The locals taught us the correct way to drink tequila: cut up the limes and salt them in advance. Then squeeze the salted lime in your mouth and pour in the tequila. You’ll avoid the sour face that way! After your tequila shot, it’s off to climb the pyramids.
And don’t worry… you’ll have plenty of time for ridiculous photo ops on top of the pyramids.
Something important to note–there were NO BATHROOMS at all in the compplex (as of January 2018). Just be mentally prepared for that little nugget.
In case climbing up the main pyramid isn’t enough, you’ll have plenty of time to climb up all the other pyramids too! (It’s an excellent day for a leg workout!)
The tour also included a stop at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica, which is great place to get a feel for the religion in Mexico City. However, for the not super-religious like myself, 45 minutes was much too long to explore the Basilica. Fortunately, there are beautiful gardens nearby, so take advantage and enjoy the views there!
Have a photo shoot if you’re up for it!
If you’re more efficient than me or are in Mexico City for a few extra days, I’d recommend checking out some of the following activities:
- Puebla & Cholula Day Trip : I was actually dying to see Puebla when I was in Mexico City since the town looks absolutely adorable. Sadly, the tour dates didn’t line up for me, but it looked gorgeous in the photos!
- Traditional Home Cooking Class : You can never go wrong with a Mexican cooking class!
- Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour : If you’d prefer a bus to walking around the city, this hop-on, hop-off bus makes Mexico City extremely easy to see…and you don’t even have to deal with the metro system!
- Mexico City Food Tour : Get into real Mexican culture with this taco and mezcal food tour. I think I basically took myself on a food tour of Mexico City’s top eats, but a tour would probably have been a much easier option.
- Taxco & Cuernavaca Day Trip : If you’re looking for another day trip from Mexico City, make sure to check out Taxco and Cuernavaca and discover the “Silver Capital of the World.”
Cheap Flights to Mexico City: I’d recommend looking up eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites, and plus they feature special flight deals. You can typically find good flights on Jetblue and AeroMexico. After landing, either grab an Uber or pay for an authorized taxi from the airport. Going from the airport to the city center should cost about 225 pesos (~$12 USD.)
Where to Stay in Mexico City: For higher end hotels, look into Hotel Catedral—the hotel has an awesome location downtown and incredible views over Mexico City. For a mid-range option, I’d recommend One Ciudad de Mexico Alameda; the hotel is located right by Alameda Park, and is one of the best selling hotels in Mexico City. If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend checking out Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral. The hostel is conveniently located in the middle of the city, has a restaurant downstairs, and best of all, a rooftop bar. It can get chilly at night so make sure to bring a jacket! The hostel is incredibly cheap, and also offers a sweet terrace and easy tour booking downstairs. You can show up and book right on the spot! If you’re traveling with friends, another good option here is to do a VRBO vacation rental.
Mexico City Resources: For a magical foodie guide through Mexico City, look no further than my 10 Best foods to try in Mexico City!
And there you have it, your ultimate 3 day Mexico City itinerary. Have you visited Mexico City? What are your tips for visiting?
P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I might make a little spending money, at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own.