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Best Things To Do in Mexico City

Even the most ambitious travelers have difficulty exploring all of Mexico City, so you should carefully plan your days. Popular activities include exploring the famous Metropolitan Cathedral and the Frida Kahlo Museum. Favorite cultural institutions are the National Palace presidential residence and the Palace of Fine Arts. Also, be sure to stroll the Central University City Campus, a UNESCO World Heritage site that's famous for its 20th century architecture.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Mexico City

Located within the famous Chapultepec Forest, the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) holds artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian era, dating from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 1521. The facility houses artifacts, including the famous Piedra del Sol and the iconic Aztec Calendar Stone, as well as the famed 16th-century statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of art, games, beauty, dance, and maize (among others). The museum offers a look at how tradition, culture and life were formed in all regions of Mexico. 
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Located within the famous Chapultepec Forest, the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) holds artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian era, dating from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 1521. The facility houses artifacts, including the famous Piedra del Sol and the iconic Aztec Calendar Stone, as well as the famed 16th-century statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of art, games, beauty, dance, and maize (among others). The museum offers a look at how tradition, culture and life were formed in all regions of Mexico. 
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#2

#2 in Mexico City

Free
Considered the cultural center of Mexico City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is a must-visit. The exterior of the palace showcases art nouveau and art deco-style architecture, while the inside features marble floors and vaulted glass windows. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Considered the cultural center of Mexico City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is a must-visit. The exterior of the palace showcases art nouveau and art deco-style architecture, while the inside features marble floors and vaulted glass windows. 
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#3

#3 in Mexico City

Before Spanish colonization, Templo Mayor served as the religious center for the Aztec people. When Spanish Conquerors arrived in the late 14th century, the temple was among many that weredestroyed and built over. It wasn't until 1978 that the temple dedicated to the Aztec gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc (gods of war and water) was unearthed in the heart of Mexico City. Today, the area remains an active archeological site and the adjoining museum houses more than 7,000 artifacts from the site. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Templo Mayor
Before Spanish colonization, Templo Mayor served as the religious center for the Aztec people. When Spanish Conquerors arrived in the late 14th century, the temple was among many that weredestroyed and built over. It wasn't until 1978 that the temple dedicated to the Aztec gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc (gods of war and water) was unearthed in the heart of Mexico City. Today, the area remains an active archeological site and the adjoining museum houses more than 7,000 artifacts from the site. 
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#4

#4 in Mexico City

One of many UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mexico City region, Teotihuacán (teh-oh-tee-wa-can) contains some of the largest pre-Columbian pyramids in all of Mexico. The site contains many popular constructions, including the Palace of the Plumed Butterfly, which showcases various columns of winged creatures, and the awesome Pyramid of the Sun, which sits at the heart of the small city. The nearby museum, Museo de la Sitio, also holds many artifacts from the period.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Teotihuacan
One of many UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mexico City region, Teotihuacán (teh-oh-tee-wa-can) contains some of the largest pre-Columbian pyramids in all of Mexico. The site contains many popular constructions, including the Palace of the Plumed Butterfly, which showcases various columns of winged creatures, and the awesome Pyramid of the Sun, which sits at the heart of the small city. The nearby museum, Museo de la Sitio, also holds many artifacts from the period.
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#5

#5 in Mexico City

Free
Officially known as Plaza de la Constitución, El Zócalo is the main public square and one of the most recognizable places in Mexico City. It contains a giant Mexican flag at its center and has been the centerpiece of public gatherings since the days of the Aztecs. The site also hosts annual, widely attended religious events during Holy Week and for Corpus Christi. Several historic buildings also border the square, including the city's national cathedral, the National Palace and federal buildings.
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitucion)
Officially known as Plaza de la Constitución, El Zócalo is the main public square and one of the most recognizable places in Mexico City. It contains a giant Mexican flag at its center and has been the centerpiece of public gatherings since the days of the Aztecs. The site also hosts annual, widely attended religious events during Holy Week and for Corpus Christi. Several historic buildings also border the square, including the city's national cathedral, the National Palace and federal buildings.
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#6

#6 in Mexico City

Free
The main park in Mexico City, Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest) was once the temporary home of the Aztec empire after its citizens migrated to modern-day Mexico City in the 13th century. Today, the 1,600-acre Chapultepec is Mexico City's largest and most popular park, and a gathering place for families seeking respite from the busy and crowded city.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Bosque de Chapultepec
The main park in Mexico City, Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest) was once the temporary home of the Aztec empire after its citizens migrated to modern-day Mexico City in the 13th century. Today, the 1,600-acre Chapultepec is Mexico City's largest and most popular park, and a gathering place for families seeking respite from the busy and crowded city.
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#7

#7 in Mexico City

Free
Mexico's national cathedral – the vaulting, austere, ornate church on the Zócalo's north end – was once the site of an ancient Aztec precinct, so it has housed the city's spiritual core for centuries. The cathedral was built between 1573 and 1813 after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán and is considered one of Mexico City's many must-see attractions. Highlights of the cathedral include five naves, 14 chapels, underground catacombs and a painting by famed Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Catedral Metropolitana
Mexico's national cathedral – the vaulting, austere, ornate church on the Zócalo's north end – was once the site of an ancient Aztec precinct, so it has housed the city's spiritual core for centuries. The cathedral was built between 1573 and 1813 after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán and is considered one of Mexico City's many must-see attractions. Highlights of the cathedral include five naves, 14 chapels, underground catacombs and a painting by famed Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
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#8

#8 in Mexico City

Luis Barragán was a prominent Mexican architect renowned for his modernist style, and his former home – now converted to a museum – is one of the finest examples of his work. The museum is an off-the-beaten-path attraction that travelers say will please all, even those not schooled in architectural history. The house is known for its vivid colors, brilliant use of natural light and its impressive garden with a maze of corridors and trees. In 2004, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo Casa Luis Barragan
Luis Barragán was a prominent Mexican architect renowned for his modernist style, and his former home – now converted to a museum – is one of the finest examples of his work. The museum is an off-the-beaten-path attraction that travelers say will please all, even those not schooled in architectural history. The house is known for its vivid colors, brilliant use of natural light and its impressive garden with a maze of corridors and trees. In 2004, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
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#9

#9 in Mexico City

Free
The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Central University City Campus of the National University of Mexico) includes 40 academic institutions, the Mexican Olympic stadium, a Mexican cultural center, a nature preserve and the city's Central Library. The entire campus is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Central University City Campus of the National University of Mexico) includes 40 academic institutions, the Mexican Olympic stadium, a Mexican cultural center, a nature preserve and the city's Central Library. The entire campus is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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#10

#10 in Mexico City

Free
The National Palace holds the federal executive branch of the Mexican government and sits along Mexico City's main public square, as El Zócalo. The palace itself is a massive, ornate building that contains several gardens, murals and fountains. Its highlights are the Diego Rivera murals painted in panoramic style across the palace's walls. These murals depict the stages of Mexican history, from pre-Columbian days to the current age.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Palacio Nacional
The National Palace holds the federal executive branch of the Mexican government and sits along Mexico City's main public square, as El Zócalo. The palace itself is a massive, ornate building that contains several gardens, murals and fountains. Its highlights are the Diego Rivera murals painted in panoramic style across the palace's walls. These murals depict the stages of Mexican history, from pre-Columbian days to the current age.
... more

#11

#11 in Mexico City

Free
Flanking the Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico City, El Ángel de la Independencia is column monument topped by a bronze depiction of the Greek goddess Victory, one of the most beloved symbols of the city.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
El Angel de la Independencia
Flanking the Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico City, El Ángel de la Independencia is column monument topped by a bronze depiction of the Greek goddess Victory, one of the most beloved symbols of the city.
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#12

#12 in Mexico City

One of the best-known museums in Mexico City exhibits the life and work of its most famous artist: Frida Kahlo. The museum, located in the Coyoacan suburb, is also known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House), and was Kahlo's former residence. It hosts some impressive examples of her works, but travelers say that the best part of visiting the house is seeing where the painter lived and painted.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo Frida Kahlo
One of the best-known museums in Mexico City exhibits the life and work of its most famous artist: Frida Kahlo. The museum, located in the Coyoacan suburb, is also known as La Casa Azul (The Blue House), and was Kahlo's former residence. It hosts some impressive examples of her works, but travelers say that the best part of visiting the house is seeing where the painter lived and painted.
... more

#13

#13 in Mexico City

The southern borough of Xochimilco is a bit of a trek for some tourists, but most say what's waiting for you is worth the journey. Travelers visit this largely agricultural town for its long stretches of picturesque canals, located in the historic center. You can board the colorful open-air boats, called trajineras, to take a trip down the waterways to a wildlife preserve and some floating gardens. The experience also comes with a show: Music boats with mariachi bands float down the canal beside you. Many of them even sell tacos, corn and tortillas, so bring a little extra cash for some refreshments. Along the water's edge, you'll find restaurants and souvenir stores.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Xochimilco
The southern borough of Xochimilco is a bit of a trek for some tourists, but most say what's waiting for you is worth the journey. Travelers visit this largely agricultural town for its long stretches of picturesque canals, located in the historic center. You can board the colorful open-air boats, called trajineras, to take a trip down the waterways to a wildlife preserve and some floating gardens. The experience also comes with a show: Music boats with mariachi bands float down the canal beside you. Many of them even sell tacos, corn and tortillas, so bring a little extra cash for some refreshments. Along the water's edge, you'll find restaurants and souvenir stores.
... more
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