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How to Spend 1 Day in Mexico City

How to Spend 1 Day in Mexico City

When you have just one day to explore Mexico City, planning ahead is essential. Here’s how to fit must-see attractions such as the Zocalo into your schedule, alongside top tours, shopping streets, museums, and food experiences. See below for the best 24 hours in Mexico City.

Morning: The Zocalo and Nearby

Whether you choose to join a guided tour, explore independently on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or hire a private guide, a sightseeing tour of Mexico City has to begin at the Zocalo. The gigantic central square is the navigational and historic heart of Mexico City, and it’s home to the magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace, famous for its Diego Rivera murals. Also around the square are ancient the Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor and the lavish Gran Hotel. A few blocks away, the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes), set amid the beautiful Alameda Park, and the Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles) are both known for their architecture. Nearby, La Ciudadela artisan market is a great spot to purchase souvenirs, while San Juan Market is the place to feast on street food—time your visit for lunch.

Afternoon: Chapultepec and Frida Kahlo Museum

Follow the grand Paseo de la Reforma, passing the Angel of Independence and the Torre Mayor skyscraper, and escape the city for the tranquil forests and lakes of Chapultepec Park. A tour of the hilltop Chapultepec Castle and the neighboring National Museum of Anthropology provides insight into Mexican history. Nearby, the bohemian district of La Condesa is the ideal spot for a sightseeing break, full of cafes, bars, and boutiques. Alternatively, hop on the metro and head to the Coyoacan neighborhood, where the star attraction is the Frida Kahlo Museum. A pilgrimage to the Blue House where the iconic Mexican artist once lived is a must for art lovers, but be sure to book skip-the-line tickets to avoid the often hour-long lines. 

Night: Plaza de Garibaldi

Plaza de Garibaldi is the place to be after sunset, when mariachi bands take to the streets to entertain passers-by. Grab a seat at one of the bars around the square or stop at a traditional cantina, where you can fill up on local favorites of tacos or quesadillas. For a truly unforgettable evening, take a tour that includes another Mexican cultural tradition, lucha libre (masked wrestling), and experience the electric atmosphere of live match.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Chapultepec Castle & National Museum of Anthropology

Chapultepec Castle & National Museum of Anthropology

star-4
194
This Viator Exclusive—available nowhere else—gets you inside Chapultepec Castle, one of Mexico City’s most popular attractions, before the crowds pour in. In relative tranquility, discover the castle’s 12 halls filled with royal artifacts and learn about Chapultepec’s origins as a retreat for Aztec rulers. An informative guide then takes you to the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses the largest collection of traditional Mexican art in the world.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
From
$40.00

Hop on Hop off Mexico City Bus tour

Hop on Hop off Mexico City Bus tour

star-3.5
84
See Mexico City’s major attractions on this hop-on hop-off bus tour. Travel by an open-top, double-decker bus on this comprehensive sightseeing experience that covers the Zócalo, Revolution Monument, world-class museums, buildings and more. Buses run regularly from morning until night, giving you the flexibility to explore the sprawling metropolis at a pace that suits you.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$11.00
From
$11.00

Shared 2 Hours Mexico City Segway Tour: Downtown Zocalo

Shared 2 Hours Mexico City Segway Tour: Downtown Zocalo

star-5
7
Get to know the heart of Mexico City — Centro Histórico — on this 2-hour Segway tour. To walk the whole area, designated a UNESCO site, would take a long time but this Segway allows you to cover ground quickly and with little effort. Admire the historical buildings and monuments in the Zocalo, Alameda Park and Spanish colonial architecture. Taste snacks, or ‘garnachas,’ along the way, and learn about the city’s history. This Mexico City Segway tour is limited to just six people, ensuring more personalized attention.
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  • 2 hours
From
$116.20
From
$116.20

Mexico City Airport Round Shared Transfer

Mexico City Airport Round Shared Transfer

star-3.5
160
When you land at Mexico City International Airport, bypass the long taxi lines and travel to your hotel in a comfortable vehicle waiting for you. This round-trip shared transfer also includes the trip back to the airport at the end of your stay. It’s a relaxing way to begin and end your vacation in Mexico City. Hotel zones for this transfer include Mexico City, Reforma, Santa Fe, North Zone and the South Zone.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$66.00
From
$66.00