4 Tips for a Memorable Time in Mexico City

Growing up in New York City, I often found myself observing tourists as they explored the streets that I roamed daily. Their curious eyes made me yearn for adventure. I knew I wanted to experience the same sense of wonder they felt as they strolled down unfamiliar streets for the very first time.

Last September, I embarked on my first solo trip, and crossed Mexico City off my list. I wanted to share a few personal insights and tips that made my trip memorable:

1. Embrace the Language
One of the best ways to enhance your experience when visiting Mexico City is to immerse yourself in the language. Learning a few basic phrases in Spanish can go a long way. Whether it is to understand your surroundings or to make it easier to communicate with locals, speaking in Spanish will elevate your visit. You don’t have to be fluent, of course, but it’s wise to remember that not everyone you meet will know English.

2. Don’t Over Plan
Planning your trip itinerary in advance will definitely be helpful in ensuring you make the most of your time. Depending on how long you stay, I recommend choosing 2-3 experiences or locations you really want to see. For instance, visiting Museo Frida Kahlo was on the top of my list. However, it is also important to remain flexible about what you want to do. You may stumble upon a local cafe or spend hours walking through an artisan festival, so embracing spontaneity will add an element of adventure.

3. Explore the City’s Hidden Gems
Mexico City boasts an abundance of iconic sites such as the Anthropology Museum, Palacio de Bella Artes and the historic Zócalo district. But, in order to truly experience the city’s essence, make an effort to explore its lesser-known treasures. Wandering the colorful streets of the Coyoacán neighborhood or supporting a locally owned tour guide is a great way to delve into the rich culture and explore something new. For a fun night out, I recommend going to a Lucha Libre wrestling show. I booked a full experience on Airbnb, which included pre-show rooftop drinks, a meet-and-greet with a professional wrestler, transportation, and the show tickets.

4. Eat Like a Local
The food scene in Mexico City is an immersive and flavorful experience on its own. There are many well known restaurants that are worth the visit, such as Lardo for brunch, Pujol for dinner, and Churrería El Moro for a sweet treat. However, if you see a group of locals swarming a street cart or a local restaurant with every seat filled, I recommend stopping by and trying out what they are having. Eating at smaller establishments offers an authentic taste of Mexican cuisine. Not only can you get a variety of different flavors and try new foods, but you are directly supporting the people serving you. Tacos Los Caramelos is one stand I visited multiple times that serves up delicious street tacos and tortas.

Conclusion: A year later, I still reminisce about my time in Mexico City. The warm people, beautiful sights, and vibrant culture are all elements of this city’s individuality. Solo travel provided me with the chance to uncover new versions of myself and created memories that will stay with me forever. I hope these tips help prepare you for an unforgettable adventure in the enchanting capital of Mexico.