Just tell me what to do. So you want to go to Mexico City but have no idea where to start. If you don’t want to read about my trip like a recipe with too much information and just want to know important pieces continue. For those who like more details click here. Everyone else, let me give you a sample 5 day itinerary to get you excited.

Day 1: Mexico City

Neighborhoods; Roma & Condesa (hipster, coffee, bars, restaurants), Zona Centro/Downtown (pedestrian street, ruins, plaza), Bosque de Chaultepec

Walk up and down the Paseo de Reforma to hit all of these spots. This road is closed on Sundays for festivals and general exercise. You can rent a bike for free with your passport and explore. Starting in Zona Centro to take in the government buildings and pedestrian streets. Then walk west then on the diagonal south will take you to Bosque de Chapultepec, the large Central Park like park in the city. On the way Roma and Condesa will be further south. You can tour the castle at the top of the hill for a small fee.

Day 2: Pyramids of Teotihuacn and Basilica of Guadalupe

Hire a car or join a tour to the massive ruins about an hour outside the city. Get a guide so you can learn about the ways of the Incans and how prosperous this ancient civilization was. The Basilica of Guadalupe is on the way for the religious. It has more visitors than the Vatican. I guess the colonizers spreading “the word of God” were successful as centuries later most people here and south in the Americas are Christian or Catholic.

Day 3: Coyocan

This is the birth place of Frida Kahlo. Her home has been turned museum. Take an afternoon to walk around this traditional Mexican City and experience the food and drinks there. There is a large church in the main square, on weekends you can see weddings where the groom looks just as fancy as the bride in his mariachi type outfit.

Day 4: Xochimilco

If you are feeling adventurous take an uber one hour south to this canal town. The Incans built these canals to connect to the lake that Mexico City used to have. The canals today have gondolas and drivers well educated in how to steer. It is a family affair and not too many tourist are there. Birthday parties and family reunions take over the large gondolas. Bring cash, your own food and drink, and get ready to negotiate. Musicians have their own boats and will come around to play music for some change. Beers and snacks are sold along the waters edge and for a couple pesos you can find a bathroom just off shore.

Day 5: Mexico City

Take a food tour, take a walking tour, take every tour. It is impossible in a city this size for you to get around to everything and see it all. Airbnb offers experiences that are incredibly local. Ours took us on the subway, to different neighborhoods, showed us some revolutionary monuments and educated us on the Mexican revolution. Otherwise spend your time strolling through the streets and eating, and people watching. Be sure to come on a Sunday to see the chaotic road of Paseo de Reforma closed.

Anything I missed? Tell me what your favorite part of this incredible city is so I can have another reason to return.

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