33 Unique Things to Do in Mexico City

33 Unique Things to Do in Mexico City

After multiple visits, we've hand-selected a list of unique things to do in Mexico City that distinguish it from other megacities in the world.

We include the best street foods, standout experiences, free activities, local hot spots, striking places and some unusual things to do in the city that you won't find in typical travel guides.

Overview: 33 Unique Things to Do in Mexico City

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We only recommend products or services we have used or that we believe will add value to our readers. Thank you for supporting us!

33 Unique things to do in Mexico City

1. Eat al pastor tacos at a car mechanic shop turned taqueria by night

Don't leave Mexico City without trying its famous al pastor tacos - pit-roasted pork on a tortilla, topped with onion, pineapple, and cilantro.

Interestingly, the concept of "al pastor" traces back to Lebanese immigrants in the 1930s, and today it's one of the most popular street foods you'll find in the city.

One of the city's most iconic taquerias for al-pastor is El Vilsito, a car mechanic shop that turns into a lively open-air taqueria by night. It's one of the best local things to do in Mexico City.

We recommend catching the Netflix documentary, Taco Chronicles, to get a deeper understanding of El Vilsito's culinary legacy before going.

✔️ Top Tip: order your tacos "con todo," meaning "with everything."

2. See Diego Rivera's striking pre-Hispanic museum

Anahuacalli Museum

Anahuacalli Museum is a labor of love born from the creative collaboration between renowned Mexican Artist, Diego Rivera, and visionary American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Rivera's deep-rooted admiration for Mexico's indigenous culture saturates every inch of the museum's design. It's like stepping into a pre-Hispanic temple, with its striking use of volcanic stone and geometric patterns.

Inside, Rivera's trove of Mesoamerican artifacts awaits, offering a profound glimpse into Mexico's rich heritage. It's one of the most unique places to visit in Mexico City.

If you're drawn to the melding of architecture, art, and history, this place is a must-visit.

Get your tickets online.

3. Enjoy a lakeside lunch and see the latest art exhibition at LagoAlgo

Discover the charm of LagoAlgo, the newest cultural hub in Mexico City nestled within Chapultepec Forest. It is one part restaurant (Lago) and one part gallery space (Algo).

Their contemporary art exhibition is one of the best free things to do in Mexico City.

Follow the gallery with a scenic lakeside lunch. We recommend making a reservation for both the restaurant and gallery ahead of time.

✔️ Top Tip: Request an outdoor table or window seat to enjoy the stunning lake view.

⚠️ Note: The gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

4. Go on an architectural tour of a Luis Barragan designed home

Explore the fascinating world of renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragan, known for his innovative use of light and colours that mesmerize the senses.

In Mexico City, you can experience his genius firsthand on an architectural tour of three homes he designed.

Casa Luis Barragan - this place is like stepping into the mind of the architect himself. It's where he lived and worked and it's even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Book early.

Casa Gilardi - this was Barragan's final masterpiece and the family who lives there offers tours. The pool is the highlight. Email casagilardi@gmail.com to book your spot.

Casa Pedregal - located in the south of the city, this house was built with rock from a volcano that erupted in the area. One of the highlights is walking in the back garden over a lava field. Email visitas@casapedregal.com to book your tour.

5. Eat lunch over a volcanic lava bed


Right beside Casa Pedregal is Tetetlan, a cultural space housing a restaurant, cafe, library, gallery and boutique store. It was originally a horse stable next to the home designed by Luis Barragan.

The unique space blends into its natural surroundings, with glass floors showing a lava field underneath.

After your tour at Casa Pedregal, stop in for a smoothie or coffee and browse the boutique shop.

6. Taste artisanal and ancestral Mezcals

Exploring the world of mezcal is a lot of fun. 30 different varieties of agave plants can be used to make mezcal. We were fascinated to learn that tequila is a type of mezcal made from just one agave variety.

Take your taste buds on an adventure as you figure out what your favourite type of agave is. Its distillation method also adds more complexity to its flavour - "artisanal" means it was distilled in copper, whereas "ancestral" means it was distilled in a clay pot.

There are two unique bars that we recommend visiting to taste premium mezcals:

Ticuchi - nestled on a quiet side street in Polanco, this dimly-lit bar offers top-notch mezcal and an eclectic music selection. The highlight? A round skylight that creates an otherworldly atmosphere.

Tlecan - sip uncommon agave spirits in an intimate space that feels like a pre-Hispanic temple. The Mexican folk music sets the mood perfectly.

7. Eat a seafood tower at Mi Compa Chava

Seafood tower at Mi Compa Chava

At Mi Compa Chava, traditional music sets the scene in a beachy warehouse space while plates of fresh seafood hit every table. It's a popular spot in Roma Norte for a satisfying lunch and it just placed on Conde Nast's 2023 Hot List.

The big draw here is their seafood tower, piled high with raw and cooked shrimp, scallops, tuna, avocado, red onion and a flavourful morita chilli sauce. It looks small but it's actually huge!

Each table also offers a selection of five hot sauces to spice things up according to your taste.

8. Walk through Frida Kahlo's childhood home

Frida Kahlo Museum

If Frida Kahlo isn't on your radar yet, she should be. She's a Mexican icon renowned for her self-portraits. One of her paintings set a Latin American record, selling for an eye-popping $34.9 million.

Frida's art is a powerful reflection of her progressive political beliefs and her perspective on femininity. To get a feel for her world, visit her childhood home, The Blue House, where she grew up and learned how to paint.

It's a popular spot, so book your tickets online in advance. The best price is on their official site.

✔️ Top Tip: we highly recommend watching the movie "Frida" (2002) before you go. It's a captivating glimpse into her turbulent life and adds a new layer to your visit to Mexico City.

9. Stay in a beautifully restored mansion

For a boutique hotel experience that feels like home, consider staying in a restored mansion. Here are two excellent options. We've stayed in both.

La Valise: Best for location in Roma

This three-suite luxury boutique hotel beautifully combines custom Mexican furnishings and art with modern amenities. The hotel feels private, although you're in the heart of Roma Norte.

Ignacia Guesthouse: best for the garden space

The chic boutique hotel has five stylish rooms overlooking a leafy garden with fruit trees and cacti. Each room has a colour theme: golden, rose, blue, green and black.

Casa Dovela: Best for location in Condesa

A beautifully restored 1940s Californian-style house with three suites combining traditional Mexican design with contemporary elements. This gem is situated on a tranquil street in the heart of Condesa, putting the best of the neighbourhood within easy reach.

Casa Comtesse: Best for price

Set in a Neocolonial-Californian style mansion dating back to 1943, Casa Comtesse has eight charming rooms, a courtyard, breakfast room and cozy bar. While its location may not be as central as Casa Dovela, it offers affordability without skimping on charm.

🛏️ Browse more stays in Roma and Condesa

10. Eat brunch with a creative crowd in Condesa

Condesa is the place to go for a laidback neighbourhood lunch with a stylish creative crowd.

Two chic places for brunch we recommend:

CIENA - sit at an outdoor table of the Art Deco cafe and order one of their tasty sandwiches or farm-to-table dishes. Their baked goods are fresh like popular cafe, Panaderia Rosetta in Roma, but you don't have the crowds and waiting times.

Malcriado - the cafe's laptop-friendly atmosphere spills out onto the sidewalk and attracts a creative crowd for meetings and collaborations. Go for one of their Mediterranean-inspired dishes or breakfast favourites, like chilaquiles, shakshuka or avocado toast. At night, it transitions into a wine bar.

11. Get a coffee at a 1920s textile factory turned creative hub

Laguna creative hub

Just outside of Roma Norte in the outskirts of the Doctores neighbourhood lies Laguna, a former 1920s textile factory that has been transformed into a vibrant creative hub where artists work and mingle.

Located at Calle Dr. Erazo 172, you have to knock or ring the doorbell for access to this hidden gem. Once inside, walk through the industrial space until you reach the courtyard, home to shops, studios, and a cafe.

Grab a coffee from BUNA, we love their Dalia roast so much that we take a bag of it home each time we visit. Also, check out Ballista for its radical "haute couture" furniture curated by Mario Ballesteros. It's a cool thing to do in Mexico City.

12. Walk the colourful stretch down Ave Francisco Sosa in Coyoacan

Walking down Ave Francisco Sosa in Coyoacan

The artistic and historic Coyoacan neighbourhood is one of the city's most beautiful, with its tree-lined cobblestone streets, flowers, colourful buildings and sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

We recommend taking a serene stroll down Ave Francisco Sosa. First, start your walk with lunch at Los Danzantes overlooking Parque Centenario and then head towards San Antonio de Padua Chapel. The walk takes 25 minutes without stops.

Along the way, don't miss Puro Gusto for vintage sweets and Proyecto Rufina for chic and well-priced handmade pieces by artisans.

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

13. Choose your botanical scent Xinu Perfumes

Xinu Perfumes

Buzz in and take the stairs up to the ethnobotanical perfume store to find a stunning lab-like table featuring six unisex perfumes.

Crafted from high-quality raw ingredients sourced from Latin American flowers and plants, these artisanal scents are both sultry and sophisticated.

After sampling, I chose Monstera (No. 4) and Ari settled on Aguamadera (No. 1).

14. Have a romantic lunch in a former monastery

San Angel Inn restaurant

Have a peaceful lunch at San Angel Inn, a charming 17th-century hacienda and former monastery that is now a beautiful restaurant.

Enjoy the dreamy setting of the garden space and courtyard, adorned with lush greenery, blooming flowers, and serene fountains. It's a romantic thing to do in Mexico City.

Book your reservation well in advance, especially to get garden seating - it's high in demand.

15. Sample street food on Lago Victoria in Polanco

Street vendors along Lago Victoria

We stumbled upon a quiet street east of Hospital Español in Polanco, lined with local street vendors - a hidden gem where hospital workers grab lunch.

Here, we discovered our favourite chilaquiles, a breakfast specialty with corn tortilla chips simmered in salsa or mole sauce and topped with crumbled cheese.

Check off some of these authentic street foods:

  • Tamales: steamed pockets of masa filled with savoury ingredients.
  • Gorditas: thick corn tortillas stuffed with fillings.
  • Flautas: crispy rolled tortillas filled with meat or veggies.
  • Torta: a sandwich filled with meat, sauce and fresh veggies.
  • Mole: a rich sauce made with a mix of ingredients, like dried chiles, corn, spices, herbs, tomatoes, nuts, raisins, seeds, fruits and chocolate.
  • Quesadillas: corn tortillas folded with various toppings like chicken or squash blossom, and optionally with melted Mexican cheese.
  • Churros: fried dough treats dusted with cinnamon sugar for a sweet finish.
🌶️ Overwhelmed by the street food options? Consider booking an authentic street food tour with a local guide.

16. Drink some of the world's best cocktails

As of 2023, Mexico City has four bars listed on the distinguished World's 50 Best Bars list: Handshake (#3), Licoreria Limantour (#7), Hanky Panky (#22) and Baltra Bar (#45).

Out of the four bars, we recommend visiting Handshake and Licoreria Limantour.

For the atmosphere, Handshake is the place to go with its dark and glamorous Art Deco interior and fantastic molecular cocktails. It's an exciting thing to do in Mexico City.

For complex cocktails that will blow you away, Licoreria Limantour is the spot. They are the best we've ever tasted. You can't go wrong with any of the signature cocktails listed at the front of the menu.

17. Get a late night torta from Tortas Al Fuego

Tortas Al Fuego

We stumbled upon Tortas Al Fuego thanks to a local's recommendation at a music festival near Mexico City. When we asked for his top pick for a final meal in the city, he didn't hesitate to mention this spot.

Open 24 hours, Tortas Al Fuego offers a variety of tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and al pastor tacos. We were amazed by the prices, especially considering its location in Condesa. It's a budget-friendly thing to do in Mexico City.

There is a separate cart outside where you can customize your torta to your liking - it's the ideal way to end your night!

✔️ Top Tip: Next to the taqueria, you'll find an OXXO convenience store, perfect for grabbing water or electrolytes to take back to your hotel.

18. Discover Mexico City's contemporary art scene

Mexico City's contemporary art scene is booming. With its thriving creative community of artists, curators and galleries, it's one of the best places to discover Mexican and Latin American artists.

See our list of 19 Mexico City art galleries you should visit.

✔️ Top Tip: If seeing contemporary art is at the top of your list, avoid travelling to Mexico City in January since many galleries are closed and setting up for Art Week in February.

19. Eat Yucatan-style tacos from a hole-in-the-wall taqueria

It may come as a surprise that the renowned hole-in-the-wall taqueria, El Turix, is located in the upscale Polanco district.

Get your hands on their irresistible cochinita pibil tacos, served with Yucatan-style slow-roasted pork and tangy pickled onions. It's a taco you keep coming back for.

✔️ Top Tip: Also order their panucho version that comes on a crispy fried tortilla with a bean spread.

See more awesome things to do in Polanco.

20. Shop unique artisan boutiques

Mexico City is filled with creatives, so it's natural you'll find an abundance of artisan shops selling stylish housewares and clothing.

These are our must-visit boutiques selling items from artisans and emerging Mexican/Latin American designers:

In Condesa: Aurelia Concept Store, Cardon and Columpio.

In Roma Norte: Esculturas Vivas

In Polanco: LAGO, IKAL and Onora.

In Juarez: Marsella 68 and CIHUAH

21. Walk around Amsterdam Ring to see Condesa's Art Deco buildings

Walking the Avenida Amsterdam loop

Stroll along Avenida Amsterdam, a serene pathway nestled within a quiet street encircling Parque Mexico.

This shaded walk is one of the best ways to see Condesa's Art Deco buildings dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. It's an awesome free thing to do in Mexico City.

✔️ Top Tip: Start with a coffee and pastry overlooking the park at Maque before walking the loop. It's a relaxing thing to do in Mexico City.

See our full list of fun things to do in Condesa.

22. Go on a culinary journey at one of the world's best restaurants


Treat yourself to a culinary adventure in Mexican cuisine at one of the world's best restaurants. Two restaurants in Mexico City rank on the prestigious World's 50 Best Restaurant list: Pujol at #13 and Quintonil at #9.

Pujol offers a tasting menu in their dining room and taco omakase at the bar. Quintonil offers both tasting and a la carte options.

We found the dishes at Quintonil more enjoyable, but Pujol's ambiance was unmatched. You can't go wrong with either choice.

23. Order bespoke cocktails through a Rubik's cube

Bijou Drinkery Room

Bijou Drinkery Room is a hidden gem tucked behind a restaurant within a gastronomy university. Despite the typical prohibition of bars within schools, there's a unique exception here due to its culinary focus.

When you arrive, you're guided up the elevator and led through the restaurant to a discreet door at the back, decorated with a jewel. Your host shares some details about the bar before letting you into the intimate speakeasy - it feels like an exclusive soirée.

You're handed a Rubik's cube with a range of descriptor words to choose from, like creamy, vegetables, berries, bubbles, umami, picante, or dulce. Go for a quirky combination and prepare to be amazed - our cocktail was outstanding!

Request a seat at the bar so you can watch the bartender craft your cocktail. It's one of the best hidden things to do in Mexico City.

See our full list of amazing cocktail bars in Mexico City.

24. Devour late-night cheeseburgers at Hamburguesas a la Parrilla

Hamburguesasa a la Parilla

While burgers might seem out of place in Mexico, they're actually a beloved street food among locals. Once you taste one, you'll understand why. It's surprisingly one of the best non-touristy things to do in Mexico City.

Hamburguesasa a la Parilla is a tasty alternative to late-night tacos. The food stall on the corner of Colima and Morelia dishes out juicy cheeseburgers at unbeatable prices.

It's become our favourite spot for a late-night snack. Order "con todo, sin lechuga" (with all except lettuce).

25. Discover Mexican/Latin American folk music at a record store

Los Moonlights record

We were excited to pick up some classic Mexican/Latin American vinyl records to set the mood for our taco nights. Our top find? A Latin-funk album by Los Moonlights, a Tijuana group from the 70s.

Check out these two record shops in Roma: Revancha D.F. and Georgetown Records. Ask the shop attendant to show you where their Cumbia and Guaracha style albums are. You can ask them to play any you're interested in.

See more unique things to do in Roma Norte.

26. Switch up Mexican cuisine for authentic Neapolitan-style pizza

Pizza Felix

If you're craving some international classics, Pizza Felix is your go-to spot for the best Neapolitan-style pizza in the city.

Although it serves authentic pizzas, everything about the restaurant itself is so Mexico City. It might be the edgiest pizza parlour we've ever been to with its industrial interior, alternative playlist and bar that's set up for late night drinks.

27. Discover Mexico City's electronic music scene


Mexico City has a proper electronic music scene, with events popping up everywhere in the city.

We enjoyed dancing with friendly locals to the latest Mexican-inspired house music at Departmento, a two-story venue with a nightclub and rooftop lounge in Roma.

Also check out Sunday Sunday, who organizes Sunday parties with an awesome curation of artists.

Check out Resident Advisor for a list of electronic music events going on in the city.

28. Shop a wall collage of art at Mooni

MOONI art gallery

Explore the vibrant art wall at MOONI, showcasing works by emerging artists available for purchase. We ended up buying a piece by Nicole Matta Santos.

29. Experience Mexico City's Art Week

Every February, Mexico City hosts one of the biggest contemporary art events in the world. During this time, numerous art galleries and fairs present their finest collections to collectors and showcase captivating exhibitions for art enthusiasts to explore.

The highlight of Art Week is ZONAMACO, Latin America's largest art fair, founded in 2002. Check here for dates and buy your tickets in advance, especially if you're going on a weekend.

Another two fairs you don't want to miss during this time are Feria Material Fair, a smaller more relaxed version of ZONAMACO, and Salon Acme, hosted in an unusual historic building full of character.

30. Go on our curated street food & bar crawl

Go on our ultimate street food and bar crawl through the hippest parts of Mexico City: Condesa, Roma Norte, and Juarez. Hidden speakeasies and mouthwatering street eats await!

1. Grab a famous deep-fried fish taco from El Pescadito 🍤 - open until 8pm

2. Sip an artisanal mezcal cocktail at the prehispanic-inspired bar, Tlecan 🥃.

3. Try an Asian-inspired pork belly taco from Carinito Tacos 🌮 - open until 10pm

4. Devour a juicy cheeseburger from Hamburguesas a la Parrilla 🍔 - open until 12am-2am

5. Drink a herbal cocktail at Bar Las Brujas 🌕

6. Try molecular cocktails at Handshake 🍸 - reservations are highly recommended

7. Finish with gourmet steak tacos at El Califa - the sirloin taco is our fave 🥩 - open until 4am

Each stop is within walking distance and the whole walk takes just over an hour without stops.

🌮 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.

31. Shop the Saturday Market in San Angel

El Bazaar Sabado in San Angel

There are many markets in Mexico City, but our favourite is El Bazaar Sabado in San Angel. Every Saturday, Plaza San Jacinto and Plaza Tenanitla come alive with hundreds of stalls lining the cobblestone streets.

It has a great selection of traditional handicrafts, jewelry and housewares at fair prices. It's where we bought our hand-woven rug for our bedroom.

32. Try Asian-inspired tacos at Carinito

For a taco with a twist, check out Carinito's Asian-inspired tacos. Their pork belly tacos come in four mouthwatering styles: Cantonese, Thai, Criollo, and Issan.

Give them all a try to find your favourite - we couldn't get enough of the Cantonese!

🌮 Browse highly-rated food tours with a local guide through Viator. We like how most tours have free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

33. Decipher clues in an escape room to gain access to a speakeasy

Sod speakeasy

Mexico City has an abundance of bars, so to stand out, some have come up with some unique concepts.

Sod takes the speakeasy experience up a notch with an actual escape room entrance. You are taken into a room where you must decipher clues to unlock the entrance to the bar.

They update the escape room, so no, you can't just look it up online. This is one of the more unusual things to do in Mexico City, but it makes gaining access to the speakeasy a lot of fun.

Inside, enjoy cocktails designed by renowned mixologist Claudia Cabrera in a Middle Eastern-themed setting.

We hope you enjoyed these 33 unique things to do 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
  • ✈️ Compare flights: with Skyscanner
  • 📆. Track flight prices: with Hopper

Don't forget about travel insurance

👩‍⚕️ 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.

🏥 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.

Plan your trip with the help of our itineraries:

Combine Mexico City with a trip to Oaxaca

Save these 33 unique things to do in Mexico City for later:

Close You've successfully subscribed to Groovy Mashed Potatoes - Travel Blog.
Close Great! You've successfully signed up.
Close Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Close Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.