A 48-Hour Rendezvous with Mexico City

Advisor - Ashtin Robison
Curated By

Ashtin Robison

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  • Mexico City

  • Mexico

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Family Travel

  • Solo Travel

  • Digital Nomad Travel

  • Foodie

  • Laidback

  • Local Culture

rainy day in a city, a tall building reflects in the puddle in an open plaza
Curator’s statement

I wrote this guide as I was daydreaming in a café halfway around the world about a quick rendezvous to one of my favorite destinations - Mexico City (affectionately, CDMX). Let's be clear: this is a 48 hour guide to CDMX, but CDMX deserves as much time as you can give it. Sixteen neighborhoods coalesce to form a sprawling urban oasis that oozes cool with its food and art scene. This itinerary is a first person journey that you are invited on. A special welcome if this is your first time to CDMX. I promise it will not be your last.

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Where to stay

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Círculo Mexicano

At this boutique gem in downtown CDMX, nothing is overlooked: the design, architecture and gastronomy epitomize fantastic taste.

Fora Perks
  • $25 food and beverage credit per room, per day.

  • Complimentary welcome drink per guest, per stay.

  • Upgrade at check-in whenever possible, guaranteed 2pm late check-out.

Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mexico City

A stylish boutique option in the fashionable Polanco neighborhood, the rooms are dark and warm.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel CondesaDF

As hip and colorful as its namesake neighborhood, this 40-room sleep attracts a cool crowd to its wood-clad rooms and alfresco cocktail bar overlooking Parque España.

Fora Perks
  • Hotel / resort credit.

  • VIP welcome & amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Ashtin Robison

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Day 1: Street Food, Museums, and Lucha Libre

quite cobblestone street shaded by trees with with sun peaking through

It's Saturday morning. Today starts at Panaderia Rosetta in the Juarez neighborhood. I sit on their sidewalk seating and eat pastries and drink espresso for a slow wake-up.

Mexico is one of the world's best food destinations, and after many trips to CDMX, it's time I learn how to cook some authentic Mexican Food. Aura Cocina Mexicana has a salsa masterclass and a Mexican street tacos class, but I opt for the 4 course lunch course, where I learn how to make sopes, two salsas, mextlapiques, white mole, torillas and corn bread.

My class doubles as an early lunch and ends just in time for me to catch an Uber to Coyoacán to make my entry time at Museo Frida Kahlo and Casa Azul. For the next two hours I wander through Frida's childhood home, which is also the home she shared with Diego Rivera later in her life.

I opt for a quick bite as I walk - tacos al pastor and elote from a street vendor hits the spot. Lucha Libre starts at 8:30, so I hurry over to Arena Mexico in Colonia Doctores in the Cuauhtémoc borough. The show hasn't even started yet and the energy in the arena is electric. Before I find my seat, I most definitely buy a luchador mask in the lobby to wear during the fights. The crowd is rowdy, the beer is cold, and by the time I leave my voice is raspy from shouting.

Before I head back to my hotel, I make one last stop at Churreria El Moro. The line wraps around the block, but the churros are legendary and definitely worth the wait. It doesn't matter what time I get there or how long the line is - the city's best churros are served 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Day 2: Bike Ride, Cocktails and Mexican Ballet

aerial view of a grand historic building with a gold dome

It's Sunday morning. I sit at the bar at Café Nin, a perfectly chic breakfast and coffee spot in the heart of Juarez. I join CDMX's locals and rent one of the city's free bikes to ride down Paseo de la Reforma, which is closed to car traffic on Sunday through 2pm. I ride my bike all the way to Bosque de Chapultepec and wander around the huge Sunday market.

By this point, it's early afternoon and if it's September (my favorite time to visit), it's raining. I take cover at Museo Nacional de Anthropologia and brush up on Central American history and culture. If you have never been there, it's a must-see.

A few hours later, after the rain has subsided, it's time for a cocktail. I find a seat at the bar at Licoreria Limantour, named one of the best bars in the world. I order something with mezcal or perhaps even the bartender's choice of cocktail. If I'm feeling adventurous, maybe instead I head over to Luciferina in Juarez and order the Aragog, which is made with a drop of tarantula venom and partially numbs my mouth at first sip.

If I feel like splurging and can get a table, dinner is at Pujol. If not, more street food will be more than fine. I'll catch the evening performance of folkloric Mexican Ballet at The Palacio de Bellas Artes, or maybe I'll find smaller club or bar with local music. Either way, a live show is the perfect way to end my 48 hours in CDMX. That's all for now, but that's OK - I'll be back soon.

Need to Know

This guide doesn't even begin to scratch the surface what's possible in CDMX, especially when you consider day trips from CDMX - Teotihuacan, Xochimilco, and Puebla come to mind. Many flight itineraries to central and south America have long stopover in CDMX. You could also pick and choose a few activities to do if you don't have an overnight stay in CDMX but are just passing through on a long layover.

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Melissa Franco's guide to Mexico: The Heart of Mexico: 5-Day Itinerary to Mexico City & Oaxaca.

Advisor - Ashtin Robison

Travel Advisor

Ashtin Robison

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico City.