Mexico City: debunked. (a.k.a CDMX - Ciudad de Mexico; a.k.a Mexico City DF - Distrito Federal). Unfairly burdened by the stereotypes of Western media as a crime-filled megalopolis, one truly will find those tropes to be laughable after a first-hand experience in the heart of Mexico. What you will find is that the most populous city in North America (second-largest in the Western Hemisphere) is actually a world-class city that actually nurtures some of the most creative minds in the world. You can go on a true food and art bender here as the city is blessed with architectural, artistic, and culinary geniuses influenced by the cultural traditions and tapestries of Latin America, Europe, and, of course, all of its rich history from its pre-Columbian era. While tourism to the city is increasing, it is still relatively "under-the-radar"; it was what Iceland was 10 years ago. Yes the city has a few unsafe areas and some heavy traffic, but it is no different than New York City or Atlanta in that regard. We found the neighborhoods we explored to be safe and used Uber liberally. Given the false narrative that follows Mexico City, it is often eschewed by travelers for other locales in Mexico. But as much as the swanky resorts and crystal blue waters of Cancun, Tulum, and Los Cabos beckon your wanderlust, a walk through the wide avenues and green spaces of Mexico City will not only give you an unforgettable metropolitan experience in a world class city at an affordable price (compared to its contemporaries), it will shatter your preconceived notions of the city and the country itself. As a bonus, if you are an American traveler, it would be a short flight from much of the continental US without a significant time change.
We would recommend at least 3 full days in Mexico City on your maiden voyage (let’s be real, once you come here you probably will want to come back in the future). For reference, we spent 3.5 days as a family trip with our parents. While the city can be explored in any particular order based on your interests, we will continue our Mexico City itinerary series with a day exploring the Centro Historico (Historical Downtown) of Mexico City and an evening in the “we got next” neighborhood of Roma Norte. This day is a must do; it serves as the ultimate juxtaposition of Mexico City’s steeped-in-history draws colliding with its innovative and hip future. Yes, Mexico City is having a moment now. But it is without doubt that we believe Mexico City will be a travel destination heavyweight in the coming years. We are sure some day our path will lead us to a return visit to this amazing city for even more adventures (and of course fabulous eating). But as we close out our current Mexico City series, we hope our travel musings help you plan your own trip to CDMX.
WHEN TO GO:
While you could go to Mexico City year round, the spring (March-May) is considered ideal. We chose to go in April and had great weather throughout and got to enjoy the beautiful flowers of the jacaranda trees. As you can see in the below link, the weather is pleasant much of the year given its high elevation (>7000 feet above sea level). https://travel.usnews.com/Mexico_City_Mexico/When_To_Visit/
WHERE TO STAY:
We chose to stay at an AirBnB in Mexico City as they are extremely well-priced and place you right in the middle of the action.
For the first-timer to Mexico City, we recommend staying in Condesa, Polanco, or Roma Norte/Roma Sur. There are many more great areas you can chose to stay in, but the neighborhood-y feel of Condesa and Roma as well as the innumerable hotel options and proximity to attractions of Polanco made them our top 3 choices. In the end we chose an AirBnB in Condesa.