5 Days in Mexico City for Food, Culture & Architecture

5 Days in Mexico City for Food, Culture & Architecture

If you're a food, architecture and design enthusiast and love to immerse yourself in the local culture, this 5 Day Mexico Itinerary is for you.

We've spent weeks uncovering unique spots in the city and are excited to share our guide on what to see in Mexico City in 5 days.

From pretty neighbourhood walks and mouthwatering street foods to hidden bars and striking architectural sights, your 5 days in Mexico City will be a feast for the senses.

Overview: 5 Days in Mexico City

  • Mexico City Itinerary 5 Days โคต
  • Day 1: Explore the bohemian Roma Norte neighbourhood, devour some of the city's best al pastor tacos and drink some of the world's best cocktails.

    Day 2: Walk the fashionable Condesa neighbourhood and discover gems in the upscale Polanco neighbourhood.

    Day 3: Spend time in the colourful Coyoacan neighbourhood, visit the Frida Kahlo Museum and dine at one of the world's best restaurants.

    Day 4: Take an architectural tour that plays with your senses, enjoy a lakeside lunch in Chapultepec Park and go on a street food & cocktail bar crawl.

    Day 5: See a striking pre-Hispanic museum, explore charming San Angel, dine at a Roma hot spot and order bespoke cocktails from a Rubik's cube.

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5 Day Mexico City Itinerary

Day 1

Explore the bohemian Roma Norte neighbourhood, devour some of the city's best al pastor tacos and drink some of the world's best cocktails.


Check into your hotel

With over 350 neighbourhoods in Mexico City, choosing where to stay can feel overwhelming. Choose a neighbourhood that's safe, close to the action, and easy to get around.

Roma and Condesa have it all. They're full of happening restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops within walking distance. Plus, they're centrally located, so it's easy to explore nearby areas.

If you want a relaxed atmosphere, go for Condesa. But if you're into a lively scene, Roma is the place to be.

Skip stays in Centro Historico and Polanco because traffic makes it a pain to get around.

We recommend staying in a beautifully restored mansion. These are our Top 4 picks:

Best in Roma:
  • La Valise - best for location
  • Ignacia Guesthouse - best for the garden space
  • Best in Condesa:
  • Casa Dovela - best for location
  • Casa Comtesse - best value
  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Browse more stays in Roma and Condesa

    Enjoy lunch in the chic courtyard of Blanco Colima

    Soak in the city atmosphere with a late lunch in the courtyard of Blanco Colima. Nestled in a historic mansion, the bistro is a chic space for refreshing bites and a mezcal cocktail.

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: We recommend making a reservation in advance unless you arrive right when they open at 1PM. Be sure to request a table in the courtyard.

    Explore bohemian Roma Norte

    After your leisurely lunch, wander around the vibrant streets of Roma Norte. This bohemian neighbourhood stands out for its diverse food scene, creative culture and eclectic nightlife.

    Don't miss these spots:

    • Esculturas Vivas - for quirky sculptures and vases with carved faces that add character to any space.
    • Revolver Vintage - for cowboy boots, leather jackets and edgy vintage pieces from Mexican brands.
    • Metate - for artisanal Mexican housewares, accessories, and clothing.
    • Chic by Accident - browse the exceptional gallery of antique and contemporary pieces for the home.
    • Gallery OMR - a contemporary art gallery that has discovered some of Mexico's most prominent artists today.


    Drink one of the world's best cocktails

    When you taste Licoreria Limantour's cocktails, it becomes clear why it holds the prestigious #7 spot on the World's 50 Best Bars List. Their cocktails are incredibly complex and the best we've ever had. You can't go wrong with any of their signature cocktails listed at the front of their menu - we've tried them all.

    Reserve your table.

    Devour late night al pastor tacos at El Vilsito

    Hop in an Uber and head south to El Vilsito, known for its iconic al pastor tacos. As night falls, the car mechanic shop transforms into a lively open-air taqueria, dishing out pit-roasted pork tacos loaded with onion, pineapple, and cilantro. The concept of al pastor was introduced by Lebanese immigrants in the 1930s.

    ๐Ÿ˜‹ Must Eat: order a couple al pastor tacos in corn tortillas and finish off with a gringa, a hefty al pastor taco with melted cheese on a flour tortilla. Order them "con todo", meaning "with everything".

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: watch the Netflix documentary, Taco Chronicles, to learn more about El Vilsito before you go.

    Day 2

    Explore the fashionable Condesa neighbourhood and discover gems in the upscale Polanco neighbourhood.


    Explore fashionable Condesa

    Condesa is a fashionable neighbourhood with a relaxed neighbourhood feel. It's quieter than its neighbour Roma but has a lot of unique spots.

    ๐ŸŒฟ Walk the Amsterdam Ring, aka "Art Deco" Ring

    Take a walk along Avenida Amsterdam, where you'll find a leafy path encircling Parque Mexico that offers nice views of Art Deco buildings, sidewalk cafes, and quirky boutiques.

    ๐Ÿ‘ข Shop artisan boutiques

    The shopping in Condesa is excellent. During your walk around the neighbourhood, don't miss the clothing boutiques, Aurelia Concept Store, Cardon and Columpio, which have an amazing curation of Mexican and Latin American brands.

    For affordable art by emerging local artists, browse MOONI's art wall.

    Eat lunch at Contramar

    Contramar might just be the hottest restaurant in Mexico City. It's recommended in practically every guidebook, and after giving it a try ourselves, we can see why. The food, atmosphere, people-watching and service are all exceptional.

    Contramar offers high-quality seafood dishes, like aguachiles, ceviches, fish tostadas and tacos.

    โœ”๏ธ Top tip: Reservations at Contramar are very hard to come by and we wonder if it's because they save most of them for walk-ins. We've eaten there 3 times and were able to walk in. Just be prepared to wait a bit to get a table, since it's usually packed. We recommend going on a weekday and arriving before 2pm.

    ๐Ÿ˜‹ Must eat: tuna tostada

    ๐Ÿน Must drink: Carajillo (the Mexican version of the espresso martini)

    Museo Soumaya

    Discover Polanco's special spots

    Polanco is an upscale neighbourhood with high-end apartments, shopping and dining. We find that most affluent neighbourhoods are boring, however, this isn't the case with Polanco. It has some of the best street food, architectural sights and artisan boutiques in the city.

    ๐Ÿ‘€ See the impressive Museo Soumaya building

    Don't miss seeing the outside of Museo Soumaya, an impressive futuristic building made of thousands of hexagonal aluminum tiles.

    ๐Ÿบ Shop unique boutiques

    Afterwards, pop into these boutiques that sell homeware and clothing made by Mexican and Latin American artisans and designers: IKAL, LAGO and Onora.


    Your evening keeps you in the Polanco neighbourhood for some exceptional street food and mezcal tasting.

    Eat El Turix's famous cochinita pibil tacos

    For dinner, devour El Turix's famous cochinita pibil tacos - they're an absolute must. This hole-in-the-wall taqueria serves up juicy Yucatan-style slow-roasted pork that's slapped on a tortilla and topped with tangy pickled onions.

    Try their panucho version as well, which comes on a crispy fried tortilla topped with beans. I'm drooling just thinking about it!

    Taste artisanal mezcals at Ticuchi

    For a nightcap, head to Ticuchi, one of our favourite hangouts in the city. Nestled on a quiet side street in Polanco, the dimly lit bar has a round skylight that makes it feel like you're drinking in a lounge in the space station.

    30 varieties of agave plants can be used to make mezcal, so sampling different types and finding your favourite agave is a fun journey.

    Day 3

    Explore the colourful Coyoacan neighbourhood, visit the Frida Kahlo Museum and dine at one of the world's best restaurants.


    Explore the charming Coyoacan neighbourhood

    Your third day brings you to the charming neighbourhood of Coyoacan, known for its artistic heritage and iconic landmarks like the Blue House, which was Frida Kahlo's childhood home. Its atmosphere is lovely with its tree-lined cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

    ๐ŸŽจ Tour Frida Kahlo's childhood home

    If you've never heard of Frida Kahlo, she's an icon of Mexican art and culture. Famous for her self-portraits, one of her paintings recently went for a staggering $34.9 million, setting a Latin American record.

    Frida Kahlo's art is a powerful reflection of her progressive political views and female sensuality.

    At the Frida Kahlo Museum (The Blue House), you'll step into the very spaces where Frida grew up and learned to paint. It's a popular spot, so don't forget to book your tickets online in advance.

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: we highly recommend watching the movie "Frida" (2002) before visiting. It offers a fascinating glimpse into her tumultuous life and provides a unique perspective of Mexico City.

    ๐Ÿฅ— Enjoy lunch overlooking Parque Centenario

    After touring The Blue House, walk 12 minutes to Los Danzantes, a restaurant overlooking Parque Centenario. Since 1995, the lively dining spot has been serving Mexican dishes that combine ancient techniques with contemporary flavours.

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: reserve your table so you can sit outside.

    ๐Ÿ˜ Walk the pretty stretch down Ave Francisco Sosa

    After lunch, take a leisurely walk down the pretty cobblestone street to San Antonio de Padua Chapel. Along the way, you'll see colourful buildings, cute boutiques and lots of flowers and foliage. The walk starting from Los Danzantes takes 25 minutes without stops.

    Stop in at Puro Gusto, a sweet shop selling vintage candies and chocolates, and don't miss Proyecto Rufina, an artisan boutique with one of the best curations of handmade products we've seen. The prices were also very fair. They carry stylish housewares and clothing - I bought a chic cardigan and pants that are perfect for the plane.

    ๐Ÿค  Or, leave it in the hands of a local guide: Coyoacan Walking Tour with Frida Kahlo Museum.



    Eat Mexican cuisine at one of the world's best restaurants

    With Mexico's traditional cuisine recognized on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, it's no wonder that its capital city has such a stellar dining scene.

    Treat yourself to dinner at not only one of the best restaurants in Mexico City but in the world. Both Pujol and Quintonil rank in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, with Pujol at #13 and Quintonil at #9. They both offer a culinary adventure in Mexican cuisine.

    Pujol offers a tasting menu in the dining room and taco omakase at the bar. We tried both and felt the tasting menu in the dining room was superior.

    Quintonil has both a tasting menu and a-la-carte options. Every dish and pairing we had was a standout.

    We enjoyed our dishes at Quintonil more than Pujol, however the ambience is unmatched at Pujol. You can't go wrong with either!

    Reserve Pujol or Quintonil.

    Day 4

    Take an architectural tour that plays with your senses, enjoy a lakeside lunch in Chapultepec Park and go on a street food & cocktail bar crawl


    Take an architectural tour of one of Luis Barragan's homes

    Luis Barragan is a renowned Mexican architect who has heavily influenced architecture through his innovative use of light and colours. Discover how he plays with your senses on an architectural tour of one of these two homes:

    Casa Luis Barragan offers an in-depth tour of the architect's creative genius. This particular home is where the architect lived and worked, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tickets are in high demand, so book early.

    Alternatively, visit Casa Gilardi, the last home Barragan designed. The family who owns it offers tours of their house. It's where you will see the iconic pool seen in many photographs. Email casagilardi@gmail.com for tickets.

    Enjoy a lakeside lunch and see the latest exhibition at LagoAlgo

    Experience the allure of LagoAlgo, Mexico City's new cultural space in Chapultepec Forest, featuring both a restaurant (Lago) and gallery space (Algo).

    Enjoy a lakeside lunch and explore the latest contemporary art exhibition afterwards for free. We recommend booking both your restaurant and gallery reservation in advance.

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: For the best view, request an outdoor or window seat overlooking the lake.

    โš ๏ธ The art exhibition space is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


    Go on a street food & cocktail bar crawl

    We're excited to share our ultimate street food and bar crawl that takes you through parts of Condesa, Roma Norte and Juarez. Included are tucked-away speakeasies and some of the best street food bites you'll ever eat.

    Each place is within walking distance. The whole walk takes just over an hour, not including stops.

    1. Eat one of El Pescadito's famous deep-fried fish tacos ๐Ÿค. Open until 8pm.

    2. Drink a mezcal cocktail at Tlecan ๐Ÿฅƒ - a bar that feels like you're drinking in a pre-hispanic temple.

    3. Try an Asian-inspired taco from Carinito Tacos ๐ŸŒฎ - they have four styles of pork belly tacos. We recommend the Cantonese. Open until 10pm.

    4. Devour a cheeseburger from Hamburguesas a la Parrilla ๐Ÿ” - burgers may seem like a weird choice for Mexico, but it's actually a popular street food with locals. Once you try it, you'll know why. Order a cheeseburger "con todo sin lechuga". Open until 12am-2am.

    5. Drink a herbal cocktail at Bar Las Brujas ๐ŸŒ• - known for its witchcraft/shamanism themes and unique concoctions named after Latin American women activists.

    6. Sip molecular cocktails at Handshake ๐Ÿธ - named the world's 3rd best bar. This spot you will definitely need a reservation for.

    7. Eat late-night gourmet steak tacos at El Califa ๐Ÿฅฉ - we recommend the sirloin taco. Open until 4am.

    If one of the bars is full, switch it out with one of these other awesome bars in the area: Sombra Speakeasy (for a cool vibe), Cafe de Nadie (for the music), Artemesia (for absinthe cocktails), Cafe Tacobar (for a quirky atmosphere), 686 Bar (for a vintage chic feel).

    Check out our full list of amazing bars in Mexico City.

    ๐ŸŒฎ Or, leave your street food crawl in the hands of a local guide on a food tour. Both Viator and GetYourGuide offer highly-rated food tours.

    Day 5

    See a striking pre-hispanic museum, explore the charming San Angel neighbourhood, dine at one of Roma's hot spots and order bespoke cocktails through a Rubik's cube.


    See the architecturally impressive Anahuacalli Museum

    The pre-Hispanic museum was a passion project of renowned Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, who worked in collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright, an iconic American architect.

    Rivera had a deep appreciation for indigenous Mexican culture, which you can feel at the museum. It was designed to evoke the atmosphere of a pre-Hispanic temple, with its use of volcanic stone and geometric shapes. Inside, you'll find Rivera's massive collection of Mesoamerican artifacts.

    If you love architecture, art and history, you won't want to miss this spot. Buy your tickets online.

    Enjoy a peaceful lunch at San Angel Inn

    After your tour, take an Uber to the charming San Angel neighbourhood for lunch at San Angel Inn, a picturesque 17th-century hacienda and former monastery that has been meticulously restored into a restaurant.

    The serene garden space and courtyard of the restaurant offer a romantic atmosphere with its lush greenery, flowers and fountains. Make your reservation far in advance, especially for seating in the garden.

    Walk around the San Angel neighbourhood

    After lunch, walk the pretty cobblestone streets of the San Angel neighbourhood. Try to plan your day in San Angel on a Saturday, so you can browse the Saturday Market. It's one of the best bazaars in the city for traditional handicrafts, art, jewelry, and housewares.

    Even if you're not there on a Saturday, there are cute stores along the perimeter of where the market is located. Don't miss Mezcal El Bueno to buy artisanal mezcal and Mercado del Carmen, an open-air food hall with boutique shops.


    Dine at Meroma, one of Roma's hot spots

    Mexico City has a vibrant dining scene, with innovative and sustainably driven restaurants taking a creative approach to their cuisine. One of these restaurants is Meroma, a buzzy restaurant tucked away on the second floor, serving contemporary dishes with seasonal, local ingredients.

    ๐Ÿ˜‹ Must try: Merguez orecchiette and fish collar.

    Make your reservation in advance. 

    Order a drink through a Rubik's cube at Bijou Drinkery Room

    Tucked away in a gastronomy school is Bijou Drinkery Room, a speakeasy that feels like you've been invited to an exclusive party. Technically, bars aren't allowed in schools, but there is an exception since it's a culinary school.

    A mixologist in Mexico City recommended this hidden spot and it's now one of our favourite bars in the city.

    Bijou Drinkery Room offers a fun experience with its personalized cocktails. You become the master of your drink by selecting descriptor words on a Rubik's cube, like creamy, vegetables, berries, bubbles, umami, picante, or dulce.

    We recommend creating as strange of a combination as you can and sitting at the bar to see it being made. We chose rum, creamy, vegetables and sweet, and it led to a delicious combination with asparagus ice cream, cucumber soda, celery bitters, and cucumber syrup.

    Book your table.

    Enjoy your 5 days in Mexico City!

    Get started on booking your trip to Mexico City

    • 🌃 Book your accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
    • 🌮 Browse tours with local guides: through GetYourGuide or Viator
    • โœˆ๏ธ Compare flights: with Skyscanner
    • ๐Ÿ“†. Track flight prices: with Hopper

    Don't forget about travel insurance

    ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ For affordable travel insurance: go with SafetyWing - it's budget-friendly and you can even buy it while abroad, but note the max medical coverage is $250,000 USD.

    ๐Ÿฅ For comprehensive travel insurance: go with World Nomads - it's more expensive, but the max emergency medical coverage is $5-10 million, depending on the plan.

    Don't miss our Mexico City neighbourhood guides:

    Don't miss our other Mexico City itineraries:

    Check out our full list of 33 unique things to do in Mexico City

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