There’s so much more to Mexico than just sombreros and beaches. In this post, I’ve rounded up the top activities during your 36 hours in Mexico City.
Plan your 36 hours in Mexico City
👩🏻 Best guided tours in Mexico City
- Best Private Walking City Tour of the Historic Center (⭐ 5/5)
- Xochimilco, Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour (⭐ 4.5/5)
- Teotihuacan Private Tour from Mexico City (⭐ 5/5)
🏼 Where to stay in Mexico City
- Roma: ONTO Tonalá Mexico City (⭐8.9)
- Condesa: Hotel Villa Condesa (⭐8.9)
- Historic centre: Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico (⭐9.3)
Mexico City was our first stop in Mexico; and honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would it be dangerous? And what did the city have to offer?
Well, a whole lot, it seems.
It turns out that despite its layered history of violence and corruption, Mexico City (AKA CDMX) is sprawling with world-class museums, colorful neighborhoods, and bustling markets.
Got more time? Check out my 4 days in Mexico City itinerary.
Is Mexico City safe?
Tourists are generally safe in Mexico City and most of Mexico.
Yes, there are dangers here like many other places in the world, but if you listen to your intuition, stay alert, and avoid unsafe places and walking alone at night, it’s safe to visit the Mexican capital.
Areas to avoid in Mexico City
Unsafe places in Mexico City include Tepito, Iztapalapa, Neza, Ecatepec, and Doctores. Bear in mind, though, that these are places you wouldn’t visit anyway. There’s nothing to do here for tourists.
Read next: Is Mexico City worth visiting? Pros and cons
How to spend 36 hours in Mexico City
Day 1 in Mexico City
Walking tour of Mexico City
A walking tour is a great way to see the best of the city in a short time.
You’ll spend 3 hours with a private guide who’ll take you to the highlights. Make sure to ask them about insider tips like great restaurants or info about the places you visit.
Next, head to to Chapultepec Park.
Chapultepec has water activities, a modern art museum, and a zoo, but the must-see attractions are the Museum of Anthropology and Chapultepec Castle (Mexico City’s version of Versailles).
The Museum of Anthropology
Located inside Chapultepec Park, you’ll find the Museum of Anthropology, Mexico’s most visited museum.
The museum is huge, with 23 halls and over 3,000 years of history!
The highlights include the Aztec calendar, Coatlicue statue, Moctezuma’s headdress, and the massive Olmec heads from an ancient civilization. They have one-hour English tours.
Book here – Museum of Anthropology: a look at Mexico’s past
Museum of National History
If you venture to Chapultepec Castle – still inside the park – you’ll get to the National Museum of History.
The museum offers an overview of Mexico’s history from the conquest and formation of New Spain up to the early 20th century.
Frida Kahlo Museum
Next, go to the Frida Kahlo Museum, also called the ‘Blue House’. You’ll find it in the historic Coyoacan area of Mexico City.
The museum is located in Frida Kahlo’s birth house, which she also shared with Diego Rivera. It displays her artwork and personal items.
Although the museum is small, I recommend doing the 1.5-hour audio tour is highly recommended because it shows you pictures and has activities, too.
Book tickets – Tour to the Frida Kahlo Museum
Before you call it a day, swing by Xochimilco (pronounced: So-chi-mil-co) and spend the afternoon floating through the canals on brightly painted boats called trajineras.
A fair price is 500-600 pesos (about $25-30 USD) per boat per hour, but prepare to bargain for it.
You can also join a tour with tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum.
Book here – Xochimilco, Coyoacán and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour
Think Mexican wrestling, colorful masks, and “high-flying” maneuvers.
There are Lucha Libre fights on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at Arena Mexico, and the atmosphere is crazy.
Book a tour – Lucha Libre and Mezcal Tasting in Mexico City
36 hours Mexico City
Day 2 in Mexico City
On your second day in Mexico City, I highly recommend going to Teotihuacán, which is home to a complex of majestic temples.
Known for its two massive pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, the site is more than 2,000 years old and shrouded in mystery.
Teotihuacán is just an hour from Mexico City and 100 % worth the trip!
Book here – Teotihuacan Private Tour from Mexico City
Where to stay in Mexico City
Roma and Condesa are the most popular neighborhoods in Mexico City. Both areas are in the heart of the city and it’s easy to get to the most important landmarks. Plus these areas are walkable and very safe.
Surrounded by stylish bars and restaurants, this popular hotel (with elegant rooms!) is located in the chic and bohemian Condesa neighborhood. There’s a rooftop terrace and you’ll get tequila on arrival. Click here to see the latest prices.
Capital Suites Luxury Residences & Offices
Gosh, this place, you guys! It’s super spacious, and modern, the staff is so helpful and it’s cheap! It’s located in Roma, close to nice restaurants and sights. Click here to see the latest prices.
FAQ – 36 hours in Mexico City
How to spend 36 hours in Mexico City?
To spend 36 hours in Mexico City, start with a morning visit to the historic Zócalo square. Next, explore the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán.
For lunch, try local tacos. In the afternoon, visit the Chapultepec Park and Castle. In the evening, experience vibrant nightlife in Condesa.
On day two, start with a trip to the Teotihuacán Pyramids. Then, stroll through the colorful markets, like La Ciudadela. End your trip with a relaxing evening at a traditional cantina.
How much time should I spend in Mexico City?
Spend at least three to four days in Mexico City to experience its rich culture, history, and cuisine.
This time allows you to visit key attractions like the Frida Kahlo Museum, Zócalo, and Teotihuacán Pyramids, while also enjoying the local food and markets.
If you can extend your stay, a week would be ideal to explore more neighborhoods and perhaps take a day trip to nearby sites.
How to spend 24 hours in Mexico City?
Here’s how to make the most of your 24 hours in Mexico City:
- Morning: Start at Zócalo, and explore the historic center.
- Late Morning: Visit Palacio de Bellas Artes.
- Lunch: Enjoy street tacos in La Condesa.
- Afternoon: Head to the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán.
- Evening: Relax at a rooftop bar in Roma, savoring city views.
- Night: Take a stroll along Paseo de la Reforma.
- Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes and carry a map.
What to do in Mexico City for 48 hours?
This is how to spend 48 hours in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico:
- Day 1 Morning: Explore Zócalo and the historic center.
- Day 1 Afternoon: Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán.
- Day 1 Evening: Enjoy dinner and nightlife in La Condesa.
- Day 2 Morning: Tour the Teotihuacán Pyramids.
- Day 2 Afternoon: Stroll through Chapultepec Park and visit the castle.
- Day 2 Evening: Experience local cuisine and culture in Polanco.
Read more posts about Mexico City
- Where to stay in Mexico City for first-timers visitors
- 19 best day trips from Mexico City you would love
- Is Mexico City worth visiting in 2024? Pros and cons
- How to plan an awesome day trip to Teotihuacán Pyramids
- 5 best Teotihuacan tours from Mexico City you should take
- 4 days in Mexico City you’ll love (ultimate itinerary)