Mexico City is a place of contrasts, where the hustle and bustle of daily life coexist with pockets of tranquillity and relaxation. However, amidst the chaos, there are also opportunities for relaxation and peacefulness. In short, while Mexico City can be chaotic, there are also many opportunities to find relaxation and peace amidst the hustle and bustle.
If you’re planning a trip to Mexico City, it’s important to have some insider knowledge to make the most out of your visit. Luckily, we have some great travel tips directly from our local Spotters who know the city inside and out. These local experts have curated a list of the best places to visit, eat and relax and some lesser-known gems that only a local would know about.
With these tips, you’ll be able to experience Mexico City like a local and make the most out of your trip. So, whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just looking for a relaxing holiday, these Mexico City travel tips from our local Spotters will help you plan the perfect trip!
Desierto Norte – Drinks, food and forest
“Desierto Norte is a restaurant located in the middle of the forest Desierto de Los Leones National Park. It is a charming and delicious place in every sense: you eat deliciously, you drink well, you breathe deeply, you rest your mind and even your body.
The spot is beautiful with its giant pine trees, hanging lights, hammocks, happy dogs and happy people of all kinds and ages. A few steps away is the entrance where you can immerse yourself in the forest, run, ride a bike, or walk to the river. It is an ideal place for a nice picnic, but with the advantage that Desierto Norte takes care of everything there”- Cris Guasch
Trajineras – The Mexican Venice
“Xochimilco is famous for its colourful Trajineras that have been ridden by people from all over the country and the world for many years.
Since 1930, there have been touristic trips in trajineras along the more than 184 kilometers of waterways that cross the multiple channels and chinampas of the area.
The chinampas are a cultivation method used since Prehispanic times in the Valley of Mexico; since the city was once a lake, the most immediate way to harvest used to be from artificial islands in the lake itself.
Personally, I find it to be a super-fun activity. I never say no to a plan to go to the trajineras. You can see everything there; from a super innocent family reunion with food and a good talk, to a party of 3 trajineras connected with each other full of highschoolers with lots of music and drink.”- Cris Guasch
Auditorio Staircase – Unconventional mainstream
“The Auditorio Nacional is one of the most iconic concert halls in Mexico City. It was built by the architects Teodoro González de León y Abraham Zabludovsky. It’s a stunning building but I won’t talk about it. I mean I will talk about a specific side, my favorite part of the building: the staircase.
It’s a large full concrete stairway with a panoramic view of Paseo de la Reforma and the beautiful Polanco neighborhood. Downstairs there is Tres figuras áureas, an interesting three-piece contemporary steel sculpture by González de León. This sculpture was based on the idea of a rock carved by the sea. The perspective and proportions give you some things to think about.”- Maria Fernanda Garcia
Momo Spot – A place to feed your soul
“Everybody is looking for something extraordinary, even when we don’t realize it’s just right in front of our noses. Because of our fast way of life (especially in big cities), many times we pass by people, opportunities, experiences that could change our lives radically in a better way, just by letting them come inside us.
At Momo Spot, you will find one of these breathtaking moments that can happen during a normal day. Not able for ordinary people, sure, if you are reading this, you do not fit into this gray category; it’s made for the ones guided by their hearts, that can feel from which angle it is exactly that amazing things come to them.
La Bombilla park by itself has lots to offer; from history lessons at the Alvaro Obregón monument to green areas that encourages you to take a quick nap after a walk day around the area.”- Rafael Murrieta
Lago de Chapultepec – Sunday walk
“Lately, I’ve been exploring new hobbies and mountaineering has caught my attention. Before I started exploring mountains and snow, I thought it would be nice to experience walking long distances. And so, I took on walking from my home to the Chapultepec Lake, for a total distance of 11k!
A place rather popular among city residents and tourists alike, the Chapultepec lake is a prefect place to have a long walk in the morning. My suggestion with this spot is: the sooner, the better. As the day goes by, this artificial lake starts to get super crowded, both with humans and lovely dogs.
Built in 1898, this artificial lake is part of the biggest urban park in Latin America. It is surrounded by restaurants, such as Café del Lago where you can toss bread to the ducks in the lake through a terrace (one of my fondest memories as a little girl) and a running track that takes you through a great part of the Chapultepec forest.”- Andrea Maldonado
Biblioteca Vasconcelos – Beyond your imagination
“The Vasconcelos Library, named in honour of Jose Vasconcelos because of his contribution to education in Mexico, is not just a library. It is a cultural palace where you can find everything from a nice garden to escape from the noisy city to musical instruments like a guitar, piano, and violin.
The library has one of the most complete collections of books in town: whether you want to read some world literature, a science book, or get into the history of Mexico with a storybook, the library has it all and more.
As part of the library’s activities, there is a children’s area with games and books; you can also learn Braille. Why not get up-to-date by reading one of their newspapers and magazines? On their website they frequently advertise various workshops, conferences, films, and concerts offered free of charge.”- Rafael Murrieta
Los Dinamos- An Oasis of Delight
“Los Dinamos National Park, located to the south of Mexico City, is an oasis of water, forests and nature for the delight of both the capital’s residents and visitors. Its more than 2,400 hectares offer the possibility of hiking, running, cycling or having a picnic. It is an ideal place to go out as a couple, family or friends, as it adapts to all budgets and trends.
This spot is perfect for a long walk since its several kilometres of trails allow you to explore the place at your leisure while also riding a bike. Running enthusiasts can also enjoy a wide circuit to train. In addition, you should take into account that you can climb, rappel, camp, fish trout or ride a horse. There are no pretexts: it is a place for lovers of nature and outdoor fun.”-Cris Guasch
Jardín Botánico UNAM – Discover the Mexican flora
“As you probably already know, you can find anything in Ciudad Universitaria. From theatres to museums, Ciudad Universitaria is a great place to spend the weekend. Everything in Ciudad Universitaria is surrounded by vegetation and it would only make sense that it is one of Mexico’s most valuable botanical gardens.
Here, you can see more than 1500 species of plants that can be found in Mexican forests, jungles and deserts. UNAM’s botanical garden is also home to many endangered species and there you can find out how to help stop their extinction. Walking around the botanical garden can be tiring if there is too much sun, so don’t forget to bring a hat and a flask of water.
My favorite thing about the botanical garden is that they have an “adoption center”. There, you can adopt endangered national plants for a very low price. You can visit UNAM’s botanical garden with a guided visit with specialized biologists or you can choose to walk through it alone. Either way, I am sure that you will enjoy your visit – it is truly a sensational and beautiful place.”- Carolina Caballero