Top 15 Best Things to do in Mexico City – Free, Cheap, & Pricey

Top 15 Best Things to do in Mexico City – Free, Cheap, & Pricey

There’s no question that Mexico City is a huge and bustling metropolis with a little something for everyone. And with so many different neighborhoods, cultures, and activities to explore, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 15 best things to do in Mexico City, broken down by category. 

So whether you’re looking for free activities, cheap attractions, or something more upscale, you’ll be sure to find it here.

5 of the Best Things To Do In Mexico City – Free!

If you’re on a shoestring budget, there are still many free things to do in Mexico City that won’t cost you a single peso. Here are some of our favorites:

Explore The Palacio Nacional

best things to do in mexico city - palacio nacional

There’s no need to splurge on visiting an art gallery: you can marvel at the works of Diego Rivera — an iconic and celebrated Mexican muralist — for free at the Palacio Nacional

The famous Mexican artist spent six years adorning the main stairway of the Palacio Nacional with his magnum opus The History of Mexico: From Conquest to the Future

This captivating masterpiece depicts Mexican history from the pre-Hispanic era all the way through to the 20th century. 

If you have a keen eye, you might even be able to spot a portrait of Frida Kahlo wearing a sickle–and-hammer pendant — a cheeky nod to her political views.

Enjoy A Local Experience At The Coyoacan Market

The Coyoacan market is one of the city’s most vibrant, famous, and oldest shopping destinations. 

Established in 1921, the market has been a place to buy almost everything from traditional sweets, fruits, veggies, and snacks to handmade arts and crafts for the better part of the 20th century. 

Whether you love browsing through rows of colorful products or buying some affordable fabrics, the Coyoacan market is ideal for anyone who yearns for a truly local experience.

However, be wary, the market alleys are tiny and congested, so steer clear if you’re not particularly fond of overcrowded and packed places.

Meander Through The Bosque de Chapultepec – Our #1 Pick for the Best Things to do in Mexico City for Free

best things to do in mexico city - Bosque de Chapultepec

City life can feel a little overwhelming at times. A great way to get some respite is to fit in a trip to Bosque de Chapultepec, one of the world’s oldest and largest urban parks. 

Spanning over 450 acres, it gives visitors the ability to take leisurely strolls around the numerous scenic lakes and greenery present inside the urban park. 

Additionally, the park also offers multiple other free enjoyment options such as hiking trails, botanical gardens, and special festivals.

Visit The Museo Soumaya

best things to do in mexico city - Museo Soumaya

You generally have to pay to enter most of the museums in the city, however, the Museo Soumaya offers free entry to everyone

This lovely gallery features art from both local artists like Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera, as well as from their European counterparts like Claude Monet and JMW Turner.

Plus, the building’s architecture itself can be considered a work of art; it boasts a curved mirror-steel design that leaves onlookers in awe.

Explore The Catedral Metropolitana

Catedral Metropolitana

Built over three centuries, the Catedral Metropolitana is a massive Roman Catholic Church situated in the central square of the city — Zocalo. 

Even if you’re not particularly religious, the history and architecture of the Catedral Metropolitana are fascinating and make it a place worth visiting.  

And if you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch the concheros — traditional Aztec dancers — putting up a show near the entrance.

5 of the Best Things to do in Mexico City – Cheap

There are still plenty of things to do in this city if you’re on a tight budget. 

Here are 5 of our top picks for the best things to do in Mexico City that won’t break your bank:

Visit The Museo Frida Kahlo

Museo Frida Kahlo

Situated in the Coyoacan barrio, Museo Frida Kahlo, also known as “Casa Azul” (the Blue House) is the former home of one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Frida Kahlo. 

It’s filled with her personal belongings, mementos, furnishings, and of course, her artwork, all of which provide valuable insight into both her daily life before and after her life-changing and tragic accident.

It’s recommended to book tickets in advance if you don’t want to risk standing in line. Entry tickets for the Museo Frida Kahlo cost roughly about $14 or 280 pesos for tourists.

Explore Chapultepec Castle

best things to do in mexico city - chapultepec castle

This fairytale castle sits atop a hill in one of Mexico City’s largest parks — the Chapultepec park — and offers a breathtaking view of the city from above. 

It has a rich and long history and has been home to everyone from Aztec emperors to Mexican presidents and is now a museum open to the public. History geeks will also be pleased to know that it also houses the historic Museo De Nacional which contains exhibitions showcasing the country’s colorful history.

Entry into Chapultepec Castle costs roughly 85 pesos ($4USD) for tourists and is completely free for Mexican residents on Sundays.

Visit The Museo Nacional de Antropología – Our #1 Pick for the Best Things to do in Mexico City on a Budget

best things to do in mexico city - museo nacional de antropologia

Located within the iconic Bosque de Chapultepec, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia is a world-renowned museum and one of the largest and most visited in Mexico. 

It’s filled with various exhibits on Mexican history, culture, and art, dating all the way back from the pre-Hispanic era to modern times, making it a must-see for any visitor to the city. 

It also houses famous Aztec artifacts such as the Piedra del Sol (Aztec Calendar Stone) and a statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of beauty, dance, art, and games.

Entry into the Museo Nacional de Antropologia costs 85 pesos (approximately $4 USD).

Experience Lucha Libre In Mexico City

Take a break from sightseeing and experience one of the city’s most favorite and unique sporting events — professional yet comical wrestling matches known as Lucha Libre.

Attending one has been the most fun we’ve ever had. Get seats up front to become a part of the show and watch in awe as the masked wrestlers dressed up as villains and superheroes fly through the air, slam each other to the mat, and put on a performance you’ll never forget.

The two main venues where you can experience Lucha libre in Mexico City include the Arena Coliseo and the Arena Mexico. Ticket prices for Lucha libre in Mexico city typically start from $15 and can vary depending upon the venue, the seat row, and the day (Friday night events are often the most expensive). 

Just don’t forget to get your hands on a traditional Mexican wrestling mask as a take-home souvenir on your way back!

Discover Teotihuacán

best things to do in mexico city - 

Teotihuacan, also known as the City of the Gods, is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico. 

It’s home to some of the largest Aztec stone temples and pyramids in the country and is a great place to learn more about pre-Hispanic history and culture.

Entry to this archaeological site costs 80 pesos ($4usd) and the ticket also includes free entry to the onsite Teotihuacán Culture Museum, as well as the Museum of Teotihuacan Murals (Beatriz de la Fuente).

5 of the Best Things to do in Mexico City – Pricey

If you’re lucky enough to have a bigger budget and a little more money to spend on your vacation, here are our top 5 picks for the best things to do in Mexico City that are a bit more upscale:

Experience A Boat Ride At The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

The floating gardens of Xochimilco are another one of the city’s UNESCO world heritage sites and are a must-see for any visitor to the city. It is a network of canals and artificial islands that was once used for agriculture but is now a popular tourist destination.

Visitors can take a boat ride through the canals, listen to live music, and eat traditional Mexican food while floating past the colorful flowers and gardens that line the banks.

Tours to the floating gardens of Xochimilco can vary anywhere from 30 USD to over 100 USD, depending on the tour provider.

Take A Hot Air Balloon Tour of Teotihuacán

We know we listed Teotihuacán as one of our best cheap things to do in Mexico City. But, if you’ve got a few extra bucks, why not splurge to see it from a bird’s eye view with a hot air balloon tour?

You’ll get to float above the ancient pyramids and temples as the sun rises, making for some spectacular photo opportunities.

Hot air balloon tours generally cost north of $120 USD per person and can easily go up to and above $300 USD.

Explore Mexican Cuisine At Pujol

If you’re looking to splurge on a meal while in Mexico City, Pujol is definitely the place to do it. 

Located in the well-heeled Polanco neighborhood, Pujol is one of Mexico City’s most famous and celebrated restaurants. It’s headed up by world-renowned chef, Enrique Olvera, and focuses on modern Mexican cuisine.

Prices for a meal start around $100 USD per person but can quickly go up depending on how many courses you order and what you drink.

Enjoy Drinks At A Pre-Hispanic Bar

For a truly unique drinking experience, head to one of Mexico City’s pre-Hispanic-themed bars.

At these bars, you’ll find traditional Mexican drinks made with ingredients and recipes that date back centuries. Some of the most popular traditional drinks include pulque (fermented agave sap), mezcal (distilled agave), and tejuino (fermented corn drink).

You can find pre-Hispanic bars all around Mexico City, but we recommend checking out La Clandestina in the Condesa neighborhood. Prices for drinks at exclusive bars like La Clandestina are on the higher end, starting at around $8 USD per drink.

Pamper Yourself At A Traditional Temazcal

A temazcal is a traditional Mexican sweat lodge that has been used for centuries for healing and cleansing purposes.

Nowadays, though, they’ve become a popular tourist activity and are a great way to relax and pamper yourself while on vacation.

You can find temazcales all around Mexico City, but we recommend going to one that is part of a spa or resort so you can take advantage of other amenities like massages, pools, and saunas.

Prices for a temazcal experience can range anywhere from $50 USD to $200 USD or more, depending on the spa or resort you choose.

These Are Our Thoughts On The Best Things To Do In Mexico City

Do you have some other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below with your thoughts on what you’ve found to be the best things to do in Mexico City.

Happy travels!

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