Mexico City in 48 Hours
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Let me start with this: the answer is yes, tacos really are that much better in Mexico.
There are few places in the world that have such a rich culture embedded into the cuisine—from the sketchy street corner stand to the 6th course at the number 5 restaurant in the world, you'll find the heart of Mexican cuisine: a taco. Mexican cuisine is a humble one but a powerful one, and since most of this post goes into describe the best places to eat in Mexico City, I'll stop my rant now. But when you visit, savor every bite! Without further ado, my Mexico City travel guide:
Safety Tips for Traveling to Mexico City:
Like any major Latin American city, you should be aware of your surroundings and take necessary safety precautions. With that said and in doing that, I felt very safe in Mexico City.
Buy a trendy fanny pack—Petty crimes are the most common in Mexico City, and for women, purses are an easy target. I converted this super chic thick-strapped Coach purse into a fanny pack and was able to pair it with every single outfit I wore; so not only did I look cute, but I kept my purse close by (even in restaurants, I kept it strapped around me). Because it was an adjustable strap, I could even turn it into a shoulder purse (if needed for the outfit, of course).
Travel with someone—If you're a pro female solo traveler, you could probably manage just fine, especially if you speak Spanish. If you're not, I'd recommend not making this your first solo female trip.
Book the nicer hotel—Unless you're traveling with a larger group, I would probably recommend a hotel over an AirBnb in Mexico City. I'd also recommend splurging a little more than usual on the hotel here because some of the typically nicer hotels will have 24/7 security, car services and overall better locations.
Have someone pick you up from the airport—Call your hotel, most of them with have a car service they use for an extra cost. It's a bit more than a typical Uber, but the airport exit is crowded and chaotic and worth having someone with your name written down to guide you through it.
Ubers over taxi—Aside from the airport pick-up I noted above, I would use Uber. Most are only $2-$4 to get around so it's fairly cheap, but you can always share your ride location with others and you can check their license plate and name before entering.
Best Restaurants in Mexico City:
Pujol—Currently the number 5 restaurant in the world, Pujol will blow you away. I know this sounds pretentious, but I truly believe this restaurant was just as much about food as it was art as it was telling a story. That's all I say because you need to experience it for yourself!
Filigrana—Another restaurant for the books, Filigrana served me easily the most beautiful meal I've ever eaten. We had their tasting menu, and luckily for us, we visited Mexico City in late August during chiles en nogada season (typically August to early October), which was the main course on their menu, and it was fabulous.
Rosetta—Another renowned spot, Rosetta has both a restaurant and a bakery—I recommend trying to get a reservation at Restaurante Rosetta but if you're too late, definitely visit Panaderia Rosetta (their bakery). If you do make it to the restaurant, you have to try their famous pink mole (served with pork neck), it's what they're known for and you can easily taste why.
El Tizoncito—Supposedly, El Tizoncito is the creator of tacos al pastor—whether or not that's true, they made really good tacos.
Tomasa—When in Mexico City, try their concha (traditional Mexican sweet bread)—You can get concha most places, but Tomasa makes them in dozens of fun flavors!
Mercado Roma—Not sure what to eat? Head over to Mercado Roma, where you can try all of the things. They have dozens of different food & drink vendors and shared eating spaces in the middle.
Lardo—Lardo was one of the places that everyone raved about in blog posts, but I found it to be quite equitable to that of a popular brunch place in the States. We had wine & dessert, and it was great, but if you're time is limited in Mexico City, it might be best to skip this one.
Best Things To Do in Mexico City:
Hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan pyramids—This was the experience of my dreams. You can book this exact experience here; they will pick you up from your hotel, drive you out to the mountains, there's a little cafe you can enjoy breakfast and coffee while the get the balloons ready, you'll soar above the pyramids for ~1 hour and then they'll drive you back to your hotels. It comes out to $160 per person, but you'll only pay a small deposit on AirBnb to book (~$14/person) because if for whatever reason the weather is really bad, they won't go up. I found this price so much cheaper than several other I compared to so it's definitely a great deal!
Churro making class—What an incredibly fun way to spend an afternoon! You can book this exact churro making class here, which took place in Condesa (it was actually only one block away from the hotel we stayed at)! Our instructor even sent us the recipe after!
Best Places to Stay in Mexico City:
Condesa DF Hotel | Moderate—This is definitely not the cheapest hotel you'll find in Mexico City, but here's why I would still highly recommend staying here: it's centrally located, there's 24/7 security, they have their own driver, breakfast is included and the concierge will message you on WhatsApp to help book reservations, rides, etc. Even if I was getting back from dinner at 1 a.m., I felt so safe knowing that there were people from the hotel standing outside all hours of the day—I cannot recommend this stay enough!
Downtown Mexico City | Affordable—If Condesa df is out of your price range, Downtown Mexico City much more affordable and is owned and managed by the same people! While I didn't actually stay here, I loved the management of Condesa df so much that I'd imagine if this hotel was run similarly, it would also be fabulous. Note that this hotel is located in downtown Mexico City, not Condesa, like the other hotel.