Five Hidden Gems in Mexico City

Five Hidden Gems in Mexico City

Colourful, cosmopolitan and full of character, it’s impossible not to be charmed by Mexico City. It can also feel near-impossible to avoid the crowds, so to help you head off the beaten path, here’s our round-up of five hidden gems in Mexico City. From bustling markets to picturesque parks and memorable museums, these are the pitstops you won’t always find on the most popular itineraries. Whether on a layover or longer trip, these slightly-more-secret spots offer a fresh perspective on the much-loved Mexican capital.


  1. Best for a Breather: Audiorama
  2. Best for a Snack: Mercado Medellín
  3. Best for a Leg-Stretcher: Pico del Aguila
  4. Best for a Spot of Culture: Luis Barragán House and Studio
  5. Best for a Scenic Stroll: San Ángel



Best for a Breather: Audiorama

As the second-largest city park in Latin America, the 686-hectare Bosque de Chapultepec is a gorgeously green spot for a saunter. Locals and tourists alike flock here to paddle boats on the lake, burn off some steam on the playground or picnic in the shade. All this means the park is probably too popular to be considered among our hidden gems in Mexico City. But our favourite corner of Chapultepec is one you could easily overlook. Set in a shaded grove, Audiorama is a serene space where a chilled-out soundtrack plays from speakers hidden in trees and books are available to borrow. As the soothing tones of classical or jazz music fill the air, settle down to read, relax or even rest your eyes for an hour. The perfect place for a peaceful pause before diving back into the sizzle of the city.



Best for a Snack: Mercado Medellín

A small yet stuffed market in the Roma Sur neighbourhood, Mercado Medellín is one of our top hidden gems in Mexico City when we’re feeling hungry. Much-loved by locals, it’s also one of the only spots in the city where you can buy produce from the rest of Latin America, including rare, imported ingredients. Like any good market, there’s plenty to sample on the spot too. We recommend visiting the Cuban heladería or ice cream stall for a cone of creamy, fruity goodness or stopping by first-thing for a cup of Colombian coffee to kick-start a day of sightseeing.

MexicoImage by Alix Pardo



Best for a Leg-Stretcher: Pico del Aguila

A city break can push your pedometer to its limit, with long days of pavement pounding giving your daily step count a big boost. If you’ve got the energy for a little extra exploring, head to Ajusco National Park for the hike to Pico del Aguila. The national park is a 90-minute bus ride from Mexico City. Yet its picturesque pine and oak forests and mountain pastures feel a world away from the metropolis. Reaching the peak of Pico del Aguila is a challenging but rewarding 2.8-mile round hike, complete with captivating views of rugged mountains, rolling valleys and the distant cityscape. Confident hikers should complete the trip in three hours. And you’ll be pleased to note there’s a restaurant at the trail head – great for a post-hike debrief over lunch.



Best for a Spot of Culture: Luis Barragán House and Studio

An internationally-acclaimed example of contemporary architecture, Luis Barragán House and Studio is one of the most memorable hidden gems in Mexico City. It’s also on the UNESCO World Heritage list – the only individual property in Latin America to have received the honour. Built in 1948, this museum encompasses the home and studio of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. The house is a tribute to Barragán’s signature style, which blended modern elements and traditional Mexican influences. As UNESCO explains, ‘it is a house which appeals to all the senses and re-evaluates the ways in which architecture can be perceived and enjoyed by its inhabitants.’ Whether you’re an architecture connoisseur, art lover or simply someone who loves peeking into other people’s homes, this perfectly-preserved building is an unmissable celebration of colour, light, form and texture.

MexicoImage by Alix Pardo


Best for a Scenic Stroll: San Ángel

The picturesque neighbourhood of San Ángel is one of our favourite places to wander, home to art galleries, artisan markets and historic churches. Start at the Plaza San Jacinto in the heart of San Ángel; a restaurant-ringed square that’s primed for people-watching. Continue to Museo Casa del Risco, with its collection of colonial Mexican artwork, then onto the small museum housed in the former studio of megastar Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Admire the hand-painted dome of the 16th-century El Carmen Church, before lingering for a languid break among the manicured gardens of La Bombilla Park. San Ángel is a scenic, slightly-off-the-beaten-track spot that offers a soothing respite from the frenetic city centre streets. And there are plenty of excellent eateries to enjoy if you want to extend your visit through to dinnertime.

Header image by Cécile Rosenstrauch