If you haven’t heard, Mexico City is having a bit of a moment right now. A REALLY big moment actually. And with a flourishing culinary scene, lavish night life, vibrant culture and incredible architecture it’s easy to understand why.
Now, mapping out a long weekend trip to the BIGGEST city in the Western hemisphere is ambitious as all hell, I know, but it’s possible. Especially when you have a partner Babe in crime who’s always down to pack a suitcase and grab her passport for a weekend adventure.
If you’ve heard about this latest hot spot or are still totally clueless as to why anyone would travel there, we’re dishing out why you need to put this alluringly chaotic city at the top of your hit list this year.
The main draw for New Orleanians is that Mexico City is SO cheap and SO easy to get to. $200-$250 will get you a roundtrip ticket right from NOLA, and that in itself is a reason to go.
#BabesTip: When you get there, opt for staying in the Condesa or Polanco areas for the best vibes, food, and night life with close access to other posh areas of town.
What to Do
Outside of the insane amount of eating and partying you’ll be doing, here are a few highlights we recommend for first time Mexico City visitors who have three or four days to explore.
Fiesta on the Xochimilco
Each weekend Xochimilco, a tiny canal-filled town South of Mexico City, transforms into a river fiesta packed with party boats, vendors, mariachi players and muy borracho locals. After hiring your boat, your oarsman will paddle your float along the buzzing canals and pass vendors selling food and booze from floating shops. The boats are a spectacle in themselves and it turns into the truest form of an all-out Mexican fiesta like you’ll never forget!
Visit Frida Kahlo’s House and Museum
Take an Uber ride to the outskirts of Mexico City to Coyocan and visit the iconic blue house of O.G. nasty woman and Mexico’s most badass artist, Frida Kahlo. Tour the house the legendary painter shared with other prolific artist Diego Rivera and get lost in the gorgeous gardens, architecture and Kahlo’s haunting paintings on display.
Tequila and Mezcal Tastings
$10 gets you a connoisseur-level tour inside the making of tequila and mezcal and ends with a grand tasting of a generous number of top shelf sips. I promise you won’t leave sober. But you will leave with a few new friends.
Explore the Mercados
Exploring the numerous markets around Mexico City can be the best way to dive into the culture and traditional cuisine head first.
Mercado de Roma is a public market in the format of a gourmet food hall located on Querétaro street in the Colonia Roma Norte neighborhood. The market stalls offer a variety of cuisines, cocktails, sweets, cafes and even a biergarten! It’s a local hot spot with a buzzy upscale vibe perfect for catching a mid-day snack and cocktail.
Mercado de Coyoacán is another amazing market in the same neighborhood as Frida Kahlo’s house. Here you’ll find a more traditional Mexican food selection with fresh produce and stalls upon stalls of trinkets and hand-made pottery. With sensory overload at every turn, it’s easy to get lost in this dreamy maze of a market.
Where to Party
Leonor is an underground club hidden in the heart of Mexico City and known for throwing some seriously epic dance parties that go well into the morning hours.
Jules basement is a speakeasy bar that’s hidden inside an inconspicuous taco joint. Walk through a retro-style industrial freezer and find the coolest basement lounge with amazing drinks and live music.
Area Bar is one of Mexico City’s most popular bars, frequented by the members of high-society. Located on the top floor of the luxurious Hotel Habita, this rooftop bar offers spectacular views of the trendy neighborhood Polanco.
Where to Eat
You could spend a year in Mexico’s capital city and not taste everything there is to taste. If a weekend jaunt is all you’ve got, here’s a few highlights that will give you a great first bite of Mexico City.
This little Condesa gem is packed with day drinking locals on the weekends. No one speaks English, but you can figure out what to order just by pointing at what the locals have. This is a full-proof method that has never steered me wrong and I’m 100% sure I’ll dream about these tacos for as long as I live. #TacosAreForever
All of the seafood is fresh and exceptional, but the whole fish smothered in two different salsas is the standout item here. Go during the daytime to really appreciate the beautiful food and snap that perfect ‘gram.
Be sure to stop for breakfast at El Mayor for the can’t-beat views and mimosas before exploring the city center.
If you can snag a reservation, Azul Historico boasts a stunning open air courtyard filled with trees and hanging tea lights. Be sure to get your mole fix here too, as they’re known for serving some of the richest Oaxacan-style mole around.
La Churreria El Moro
Get your dessert fix at one of Mexico City’s oldest Churrerias that opened in 1935. Classic hand made churros and rich hot chocolate is the perfect sweet ending to an adventure-filled day.
Whether you’re looking for your next long weekend escape, or a fully immersed vacation, it’s time to put Mexico City at the top of your list, for the eating and partying at the very least. (Totally worth the 5 lbs. gained).
Just be sure to brush up on your basic Spanglish and use Uber WHEREVER you go. As beautiful as the city is, some areas are still a mecca for violent crime. So be safe, smart and use your Babes guide before tackling a city as big and bustling as Mexico City!