If you are short on time then this 3 day travel itinerary for Mexico City will be an ideal guide! I believe with good planning you can squeeze in a lot but also 3 days is the minimum you need for Mexico City.
Visit Mexico City in 3 days!
- DAY 1: Historic Center
- DAY 2: Chapultepec Park & Reforma Avenue
- DAY 3: Coyacan Neighbourhood
Let's cover the exact plan in a bit more detail!
DAY 1: Historic Center of Mexico City
The whole first day we will allocate for the Historic part of Mexico City as there is so much to see and do!
Start your day at the Zócalo, the city's main square and one of the largest public squares in the world. It's home to the magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. Take your time to admire the stunning architecture and soak up the historical ambiance. I strongly suggest taking a brief detour to the City Government Office, located across from the cathedral. This building houses a compact yet fascinating museum dedicated to notable events in Mexico City's history. Moreover, admission to this museum is free of charge.
Then stroll down Madero Street for some shopping and street food. This pedestrian-only street is lined with historic buildings and a vibrant mix of shops and restaurants. At the end of the street, you will see the Palace of Fine Arts.
There you will also see the Torre Latinoamericana. Make your way up to the observation deck for panoramic views of Mexico City. Sometimes there is a queue to get up so you need to allocate some extra time for that. The entrance fee to get to the top is MXN 180 (~$10). While the building reaches up to the 44th floor, the 42nd floor features a bar, offering a relaxed setting where you can bask in the splendid views.
For a great lunch spot in the historic center, consider the Palace of the Tiles. This remarkable Art Nouveau edifice, adorned with blue and white tiles, houses an extraordinarily unique restaurant. Despite its elegant setting, the prices are surprisingly affordable. If fortune favors you, you might even enjoy your meal to the melodious backdrop of live music.
After lunch/early dinner walk it off, by making your way to Monument to the Mexican Revolution. It will be a lovely 20 minute walk that starts with a walk through the Central Mexico City Park and then you make your way to Plaza de la República where the monument is located. You can take an elevator to the top of the monument for a stunning panoramic view of the city. Around you will find several cafes where you can enjoy the ambiance of the square as it is a bubbly public meeting point and some margaritas!
DAY 2: Chapultepec Park & Reforma Avenue
Start the day by exploring Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the world - even bigger than New York's Central Park.
The main thing you can't miss out on is the Chapultepec Castle. Once a royal palace, it now houses the National Museum of History. From the castle, you'll also get panoramic views of the city. The whole castle area is lovely to explore and there is quite a lot to see and learn in the museum, so I would allocate at least 2 hours for it!
Then take a stroll by the lake and make your way to the National Museum of Anthropology located within the park. This museum houses significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts, including the Stone of the Sun and the Aztec calendar stone. It is one of the best museums in the world and requires a minimum of 2 hours!
After take a leisurely stroll down Reforma Avenue, famous for its monuments, landmarks, and architecture. Key sights include the Angel of Independence and the Diana the Huntress Fountain. Ideally, you see the Angel of Independence statue during the day and evening as it lights up once it gets dark and has a whole different ambiance to it!
DAY 3: Coyacan Neighbourhood
Coyacan is a bit further away from the city center and all the main sites so you need to calculate a bit more time for the transportation considering Mexico City traffic.
Coyacan is a historic neighborhood in Mexico City that's known for its bohemian atmosphere, picturesque parks, colorful markets, and rich cultural heritage.
Begin your day at the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House. This is where the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born and spent most of her life.
Stroll around the Coyacan Market, a vibrant marketplace where you can try delicious street food and shop for souvenirs.
After, visit the Plaza Hidalgo surrounded by parks and cute little restaurants where you can have lovely traditional Mexican dishes.
Remember, Coyacan is best enjoyed at a slow pace. Take your time to wander around the cobblestone streets, explore the beautiful colonial architecture, and soak up the artistic and literary history that's deeply ingrained in the district's culture.
All of the above you can manage to do walking and using Uber. But a great option I want to recommend is the Turi Hop-On-Hop-Off bus as it offers 4 great routes and includes everything I have mentioned above. Even more, if you have some time left on any day, you can include a quick visit to Guadalupe Basilica or Soumaya Museum. These are also 2 great places to visit when in Mexico City but due to limited time I had to exclude them from the itinerary.