7 Day Mexico Itinerary - Mexico City and Oaxaca

7 Day Mexico Itinerary - Mexico City and Oaxaca

This 7 day Mexico itinerary is tailored for those looking to discover the best of Mexico's food, culture and design. You'll visit Mexico City and Oaxaca, two vibrant cultural hubs that are packed with unique experiences.

This itinerary isn't for you if you're looking for a beach vacation or to spend time at a resort.

From sampling exceptional street food and seeing architectural gems in Mexico City to exploring authentic markets and mezcalerias in Oaxaca, your 7 Days in Mexico will be filled with exciting activities.

Overview: 7 Day Mexico Itinerary

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Best time to visit Mexico City and Oaxaca

Mexico City

Mexico City and Oaxaca City can be visited year round, but to avoid rainfall we recommend skipping its wet season from May - October.

The best month to visit is February - it has a ton of sunshine, the weather isn't too hot in Oaxaca, and Mexico City's atmosphere buzzes with galleries setting up for Art Week.

7 Day Mexico City and Oaxaca Itinerary

Days 1-4: Mexico City

As the 5th largest city in the world, Mexico City offers a unique travel experience with its dynamic culture that integrates its deep indigenous roots with contemporary living. If you like trying new cuisine, seeing inspiring art and design and immersing yourself in the local culture, you'll love Mexico City.

Where to stay in Mexico City

With over 350 neighbourhoods, finding the right place to stay in Mexico City can feel overwhelming. The key is to pick a neighbourhood that's safe, close to all the action and easy to get around from.

Roma and Condesa tick off all the boxes. They're packed with hip restaurants, bars, galleries and shops, all within walking distance. Plus, their central locations make it simple to explore nearby areas.

If you prefer a relaxed neighbourhood feel, Condesa is a great choice. But if you're after a lively atmosphere, Roma is best the place to be.

We don't recommend staying in Centro because getting in and out to explore other neighbourhoods is a headache with the traffic.

Top Tip: Use Uber for hassle-free travel between neighbourhoods - it's convenient and budget friendly. An 11-minute Uber ride from Polanco to Roma cost us $2.75 USD.

Our top boutique hotel picks for design

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

    What to do in Mexico City

    See our comprehensive 4 day Mexico City itinerary covering the best places to eat, drink and shop, what neighbourhoods to explore and unique activities you don't want to miss.

    Here are the highlights:

    • Day 1: Uncover quirky eateries and artisan boutiques in Roma Norte, Mexico City's coolest neighbourhood.
    • Day 2: Explore the upscale Polanco neighbourhood, spend time at a striking cultural hub in Chapultepec Park and indulge on exceptional street food.
    • Day 3: Discover the architecturally inspiring San Miguel Chapultepec neighbourhood and up-and-coming Juarez neighbourhood.
    • Day 4: Visit the iconic Frida Kahlo Museum and wander around the charming streets of San Angel.

    Read the full 4 day Mexico City itinerary here

    Drinking micheladas

    If you could only pick just one...

    Here is a fun guide you can quickly reference for your trip to Mexico City:

    ๐ŸŒฎ For mouthwatering street food: al pastor tacos from El Vilsito

    ๐Ÿณ For breakfast: chilaquiles from a street vendor

    ๐Ÿฅ— For a leisurely lunch: in the courtyard of Blanco Colima

    ๐Ÿฆช For exceptional seafood: Contramar - order the tuna tostada

    ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ For fine dining: tasting menu at Pujol

    ๐Ÿ” For a late night bite: Hamburguesas a la Parrilla

    ๐Ÿธ For molecular cocktails: Handshake

    ๐ŸŒฏ Food tour: with Sabores Mexico Food Tours

    ๐Ÿ“ Architectural tour: Casa Luis Barragan

    ๐ŸŽจ Art gallery: LagoAlgo in Chapultepec Park

    ๐Ÿ—ฟ Artisan shop for the home: Cara de Planta Esculturas Vivas

    ๐ŸŒผ Specialty boutique: Xinu Perfumes

    ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Market: El Bazaar Sรกbado (Saturday Market in San Angel)

    ๐Ÿ” Neighbourhood to explore: Roma Norte

    ๐ŸŸฆ Museum: Frida Kahlo House (La Casa Azul)

    Days 5-7: Oaxaca City

    Views of Santo Domingo Church in Oaxaca

    Next on the itinerary is Oaxaca City, which may feel tiny compared to Mexico City, but it's packed with rich cultural experiences.

    From its vibrant markets and ancestral culinary traditions to its elaborate festivals and thriving artisan culture, the city offers a captivating glimpse into Mexico's heritage. And let's not forget about its renowned mezcal and nightlife scene, offering a whole other dimension to explore.

    Getting from Mexico City to Oaxaca

    The most convenient way to get from Mexico City to Oaxaca is by flying. It's a quick 1 hour direct flight. We flew with Aeromexico.

    The cheapest way to get to Oaxaca from Mexico City is by taking the bus, but it takes around 6.5 hours. Compare bus rates with Busbud.

    Since you have 3 days in Oaxaca, we recommend flying rather than taking the bus to save time.

    โš ๏ธ Note: navigating Mexico City's airport can be challenging with its poor signage and unclear gate announcements. We've come close to missing our flight twice because of these issues. Don't be nervous to ask anyone for help or to double check information - it saved us from missing our flight! We didn't realize we were in the Monterrey boarding lineup because the flight wasn't listed at the gate.

    โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: Sit on the lefthand side of the plane going from Mexico City to Oaxaca so you can see Popocatepetl, one of the country's most active volcanoes. We saw a plume of ash spewing from it!

    Getting to Oaxaca City from the Oaxaca Airport

    Centro District in Oaxaca City

    At Oaxaca's airport, you won't find regular taxis waiting to pick you up. Instead, there are designated private and shared shuttles that are white. Head to the kiosk inside the arrivals area to buy your transfer ticket. Once you grab your bags, move quickly to line up since the line gets long.

    Private shuttle rides cost 445 pesos, while a seat in a shared van is 120 pesos. Both options will drop you off at your hotel. We were in the back of the line, so they only had shared vans available by the time we bought our transfer ticket.

    Or, for a hassle-free transfer, you could book a private shuttle through Viator, but it's double the price around $51 USD.

    Where to stay in Oaxaca City

    Oaxaca is an energetic city, so while street noise is expected, there are ways to minimize it. Opt for a hotel located on a side street or a room that doesn't face the street.

    We recommend staying in the Centro District, where you'll be conveniently close to the best spots, all within walking distance.

    Our top hotel pick for design and value: Hotel Materia

    This charming boutique hotel, nestled in a terracotta pink building, offers a cozy retreat. Inspired by the ceremonial act of smoke, the thoughtful design elements add a unique touch to the ambience. We stayed in the Humo room, located up a small flight of stairs with its own private terrace.

    ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Browse more hotels in Oaxaca

    What to do in Oaxaca City

    See our comprehensive 3 Day Oaxaca City itinerary covering the best places to eat, drink and shop, what markets to explore and fun activities you don't want to miss.

    Here are the highlights:

    • Day 1: Explore Oaxaca's markets, devour street food and shop artisan boutiques in the Centro District.
    • Day 2: Dive deeper into Oaxacan cuisine on a food tour, discover the world of mezcal and eat ancestral dishes at one of the city's best restaurants.
    • Day 3: Walk, shop and eat your way to the Xochimilco art district, dress up and dine out at an impressive restaurant and have a nightcap at a tucked-away cocktail bar.

    Read the full 3 day Oaxaca itinerary here.

    Levadura de Olla

    If you could only pick just one...

    Quickly reference this fun guide for your trip to Oaxaca City:

    ๐ŸŒฎ The one street food to eat: a tlayluda from Las Tlayudas de Mina y Bustamante

    ๐Ÿฅฉ Food market to visit: Pasillo de Humo (aka Smoke Alley) - order the tasajo, cecina and chorizo

    ๐Ÿฅ— For a leisurely lunch: the rooftop terrace of Ama Terazza

    ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ Restaurant for authentic Oaxacan cuisine: Levadura de Olla

    โœจ Restaurant for dressing up: Casa Oaxaca on the outdoor upper terrace

    ๐Ÿท For a late-night bite: Suckling pig tacos from Lechoncito de Oro

    ๐Ÿบ For affordable rooftop drinks: Terraza Istmo

    ๐ŸŒ‡ For sunset drinks: Otro Oaxaca (if capacity allows, non-hotel guests can get a drink on the intimate rooftop after 6pm)

    ๐Ÿฅƒ For trying new mezcals: In Situ Mezcaleria

    ๐Ÿธ For a nightcap: La Cueva Oaxaca

    ๐ŸŽจ Artisan clothing shop: Origen Textile

    ๐Ÿบ Artisan homeware boutique: Cooperativa 1050ยบ

    ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Street market for shopping: Pzla del Carmen Alto (a tiny walking street with artisan vendors)

    ๐ŸŽ‰ Pedestrian street to walk at night: C. Macedonio Alcala Street

    Our 5 Top Mexico Tips

    Sampling mezcal at In Situ Bodega
    1. Don't shy away from street food - it offers some of the tastiest and most budget-friendly options. Follow the locals to find the best spots.

    2. Join a food tour with a local guide so you can try many different things. Browse tours in Oaxaca City and Mexico City.

    1. Learning a bit of Spanish can make a big difference - since most street food vendors don't speak English, knowing some basic phrases will make ordering easier. Even just "hola" (hello) and "gracias" (thank you) along with gestures go a long way!

    1. Explore different varieties of mezcal, not just tequila - did you know that tequila is just one type of mezcal? It's made from one agave variety called blue agave. With 30 agave varieties used to make Mezcal, there are so many flavours to discover. It's fascinating to see what type of agave is your favourite. Mine is Jabali and Ari's is Tepeztate.

    1. Always have cash on you - street food vendors take cash only and you can save 5% at some smaller boutiques by paying with cash.

    Enjoy your 7 days in Mexico!

    Get started on booking your trip to Mexico

    • 🌃 Book your accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
    • ๐ŸŒฎ Book your street food tour: in Oaxaca and Mexico City
    • 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 other Mexico City and Oaxaca itineraries:

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