If you’re wondering how to best spend 24 hours in Mexico City, then you’ve come to the right place. This vibrant and bustling metropolis (home to a whopping 21 million people) offers activities aplenty from learning about pre-Columbian cultures at the National Museum of Anthropology and strolling around Chapultepec Park to watching professional wrestlers go head to head at a 'Lucha Libre' match. Ready to discover what 24 hours in Mexico City looks like? Keep reading to learn more about this incredible place.
Begin your 24 hours in Mexico City with a bright and early start (lie-ins are a no-go when time is this precious). You can’t get stuck in with an empty stomach, though, so first up is breakfast. And there’s an extensive menu to choose from. You could go for chilaquiles – a classic breakfast dish made with tortilla chips simmered in red or green salsa, topped with shredded chicken or scrambled eggs and finished with crumbled cheese and onions. If, for some reason, that doesn’t tickle your fancy then there’s also tamales – a steamed dough mixture filled with meats or beans and cheese – or tacos filled with the likes of scrambled eggs and chorizo. When you’ve finished feasting, head to the Zocalo: the city’s main square. You can easily spend an hour or so here admiring the stunning architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace, or simply people watching. It’s also a great opportunity to take a photo in front of the famous Mexican flag. The Templo Mayor is close by and also worth a visit to explore the ruins of this archaeological site that was once the centre of the Aztec Empire.
One thing is certain: the food in Mexico City is diverse and delicious. One of the many joys of lunchtime here is the sheer volume of street food vendors and markets offering a dizzying array of dishes at affordable prices. From quesadillas and empanadas to fresh seafood and exotic meats, there’s something to suit every palette. You’ll find almost every food you can think of in the Mercado de San Juan: a particularly popular spot for lunch where you can even try crocodile and iguana (yeah, we’re not sure about that either). Alternatively, head to the Mercado de Coyoacan and pick up some elote – grilled corn – and tlacoyos – stuffed masa cakes.
Hopefully you’re feeling rejuvenated and ready to explore more of the city after a delicious lunch. First up: the National Museum of Anthropology, one of the most impressive museums in Mexico City. Spend a couple of hours here learning about the different pre-Columbian cultures that existed in Mexico, including the Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs. Next up is a dose of fresh air as you stroll around Chapultepec Park, a huge green space in the heart of the city that boasts amazing views across the surrounding landscape. If you have the time and energy, you could also stop by the Chapultepec Castle, a historic building that now houses the National Museum of History.
Your 24 hours in Mexico City is whizzing by. But your day’s not over just yet – it’s dinner time and, as some would argue, that’s the best part of the day. Unsurprisingly, there are countless cuisines to choose from. Eat like a local and order something like chiles en nogada – roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, fruits and spices, and topped with a creamy walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds. As your food goes down, find a spot on a park bench to watch street performers, or go for a leisurely stroll to admire the beautiful architecture lit up at night. And if you happen to be in the mood for a spot of wrestling (watching it not getting involved in the action) don’t miss a Lucha Libre match. It’s a popular Mexican form of professional wrestling that is as much about the entertainment as the sport, so it makes for a fun and lively way to spend an evening. If dancing is more your thing, then head to one of the many bars or clubs in the trendy neighbourhoods of Condesa or Roma to round off your 24 hours in Mexico City in style.