How To Get There: Getting to Mexico City International Airport (MEX) is fairly easy. The airport is a major hub for the entire country and many connections go through there to get to other parts of Mexico, and Latin and South America. While Austin has direct flights, they were quite expensive and for only two hours on a plane, getting a cheaper flight with a connection made little sense. We opted to drive the short drive to San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and fly out of there. Parking at SAT was relatively cheap and under $50 for the entire long weekend. Definitely worth the money saved for the flight. Flying direct on Intejet Airlines was simple and easy. I liken it to the Southwest Airlines of Mexico. It was under two hours so saving money was definitely the deciding factor. One thing to note about Interjet is they do not have an agreement with TSA PreCheck so allow yourself extra time if you’re used to zooming through security.
Where to Stay: CDMX is all about the right neighborhood If you’re interested in the newer/hip places with boutique hotels I would recommend Condesa or Roma neighborhoods. However, if you’re more interested in familiar places like W Hotel, or InterContinental, Polanco is your best bet. I highly recommend Hippodrome Hotel in Condesa. Condesa DF is also nearby and has a great rooftop bar. Regardless of if you stay here, you should definitely watch the sunset on this rooftop bar. Mexico City also has lots of options on Hotel Tonight and AirBNB so finding the perfect place really just depends on where you want to be.
What to Do: There is no shortage of things to do in CDMX. Between the shopping and art alone, you can’t go wrong. A major art must is seeing Diego Riveria’s mural The History of Mexico which is located in the city center at the National Palace. If you look hard enough Riveria painted himself among the beautiful and stunning mural, hidden amongst its history. La Merced Market is a traditional Mexican market located nearby the National Palace that is worth hitting up.
Where to Shop: Shopping in Roma and Condesa were incredible. Below were my favorites.
180 Degrees. Walking distance for the Hippodrome Hotel, 180 Degrees had a hipster vintage vibe with Mexican clothing and jewelry designers as well as a great vintage section. Right across the street is Panderia Rosetta, a pastry shop known for its guava pastries, but you really can’t go wrong with whatever you order. There is a small counter for dining in and if you’re lucky enough to snag one, stay for lunch and order one of their decadent sandwiches.
Roma Quince is a concept store in Roma. It’s a Roma-style mansion that has different shops in every room. There is a restaurant in the courtyard as well in case you need to stop for a snack. Most of the goods were fairly expensive, but there were unique pieces of jewelry and home goods that were amazing. The store itself is an Instagram dream so at the very least you get something to share on your grid.
El Bazaar Sabado was my favorite place to shop. It’s only opened on Saturdays from 10am – 5pm but it’s worth the trip. Located in the San Angel neighborhood, it was about a 20 minute uber ride but worth it. We spent a few hours there going through all the stalls. Things ranged from tortilla warmers and souvenirs to handcrafted mezcal copitas. This is where you’ll buy all your gifts for friends and family.
Goodbye Folk, also located in Roma, was another great find. Full of amazing vintage pieces and original leather jackets and shoes, I spent hours in here sifting through all the gold. I ended up purchasing a beautiful leather jacket that would have cost me double in the States. It was handcrafted and made in Mexico and fits like dream. If you’re looking for leather, or love vintage this is a must add to your shopping list.
What to Eat & Drink: Mexico City is known for its cuisine. From its Michelin-starred restaurants, to market street tacos, there is no shortage of good eats in CDMX. Be sure to order Mexican wine whenever you can because it’s hard to find it outside of the country. You can find a few wines from Baja in the States but not many. Which is quite unfortunate because some of my favorite wines come from Mexico.
Pujol: A Michelin-starred and member of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Pujol is the high-end experience you can’t beat. Chef/owner Enrique Olvera captures the essences in Mexican cuisine on his tasting menus. At our experience we were offered one of two tasting menus, corn or seafood. I opted for the corn menu knowing Mexico’s cooking tradition of nixtimaltion. Pujol also offers an omakase taco experience at their omakase bar. Reservations are highly recommended as this restaurant is typically booked months in advance.
Loup Bar: Loup Bar was easily my favorite meal in CDMX. It’s a tiny, all natural wine bar with simple but delicious food. Order a Mexican Bichi and get the kale and burrata and you will leave happier than when you arrived.
La Lavanderia Nocturna: When in Mexico City, you must drink mezcal. This tiny mezcal bar had all the late night vibes we were chasing. With a few staff members that speak English it was easy to have them help me pick out the perfect mezcal to sip on. Their small menu of tlayudas and tacos were also perfectly paired with the smoky spirit.
Entremar: On many CDMX food lists you’ll find Contramar a delicious seafood restaurant that like Pujol, requires months in advance reservations. What many don’t know is it has a sister restaurant with the exact same menu in the Polanco neighborhood that is easier to get a reservation at. That is until the secret is out.
Lardo: Lardo is perfect brunch or lunch spot in Condesa. It’s simple and fresh menu with open air-style make it perfect to sit and drink a Mexican rosé all day. Known for its pastries and housemade breads, don’t forget to ask your server to see the daily selections. I recommend any of the pastries with cajeta.
When to Go: Mexico City remains fairly consistent in temperature year round and feels like spring. We went in February where highs got into the 70’s during the day, and 50’s at night. It was a little chilly so dressing in layers is key!
Tips: If you buy Duty Free liquor at the airport like I did, even if just a bottle a two, make sure you declare it. I was told by a customs agent that people who don’t risk have their Global Entry status revoked.
Air quality in Mexico City is not great so I brought some over the counter allergy meds to help get through the day and was very happy I did. The elevation combined with the air quality definitely affected me.
Ubers are extremely cheap! Even uber blacks! I was averaging around $2USD for ubers the entire time I was there. It’s very easy to get around.