A Nomad’s Guide to Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the most diverse, cultured places I have had the pleasure to experience. It is not only an incredible city to visit, but it's the perfect place for digital nomads to settle in for a bit and enjoy everything CDMX has to offer.
I have to be honest with you - Mexico City was never on my bucket list of places to visit. If fact, we had a love-hate relationship throughout most of the month. I would explore the giant parks and get my fill of chilaquiles.... then I would be crawling to the toilet. Montezuma's revenge is a real freaking thing!
Although my gut is still recovering from my trip, I have to admit that I fell madly in love with the city. In fact, I am considering moving there at some point.
I fell in love with the variety of people, the endless amounts of greenery and parks, and the mix of old-world and new-world architecture. I enjoyed working from cafes, exploring the city on a bicycle, and tasting all the wonderful spices of Mexico City.
Plus, Rappi! I would move back just to enjoy more lazy days of Rappi-ordering all my groceries, meals, etc. (It is kind of like Uber Eats, but even better!)
In all seriousness, I would highly recommend a visit to Mexico City. I know that we can sometimes have a negative view of safety within Mexico, but don't let that stop you from the magic of this place! Just like any other major city, it is all about being smart about what part of town you are in, not walking alone at night, etc. I never felt fear for my personal safety the entire month I lived there. Instead, I felt warmth from the locals and deep love in my own heart.
If you are lucky enough to visit, here is my nomad guide of Mexico City:
Things to Do & See Within the City
The thing I loved most about Mexico City was the amount of outdoor activities. Pretty much any direction you walk in, you'll find parks of all shapes and sizes. They create the perfect place to grab a book and snuggle in under a tree.
Explore the Historic District - If you are interested in gorgeous architecture, do not miss some of these sites in the historic district, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site:
- Palacio de las Bellas Artes (Pictured above): This stunning building is iconic of Mexico City. The best viewing point? Head into the Sears across the street, take the elevator to the 7th floor and grab a coffee at the Sear's cafe for stunning views.
- Palacio de Correos de Mexico: You won't believe this is an ordinary post office. The Italian design of the building is full of details, giant stairwells, and gold touches.
- Palacio Nacional: This is a colonial style building that houses the offices of the president of Mexico and the Federal Treasury. It is also known for incredible artwork.
Wander around Chapultepec - Bosque de Chapultepec is an enormous park in the middle of the city. In fact, it is the one of the biggest city parks in the entire Western Hemisphere, measuring at 1,695 acres. You can simply wander the grounds or enjoy one of their many attractions, including a free zoo and amusement park. My favorite bits of the park:
- Chapultepec Castle: Yup, there's a castle in the middle of the park. You can enjoy it from afar or go explore the castle for yourself.
- Check out one of the seven museums: There's the art museum, history museum, garden museum, and many more. Escape the heat for a moment and catch up on some history.
- Audiorama: This hidden gem is one of my favorite places to visit in the whole city. It is still a bit of a secret and hardly visited. This is a secret reading garden located at the base of the castle with speakers that play soft Jazz music throughout the day. Don't have a book? Don't worry - they have a bunch there you can borrow.
- Ride in a Swan: Perhaps not as thrilling, but I had the best time wandering around the lake in a paddle boat in the shape of a swan.
Experience a Temazcal - A temazcal is a traditional Meso-American sweat lodge that is used for rituals and bathing practices. You can find these sweat lodges at many of the traditional spas or seek out a Shaman-operated facility.
Watch Lucha Libre - I didn't think I was going to be into this famous wrestling event at Arena Mexico, but I loved it. The wrestling is all rehearsed, so no one is actually getting hurt. Instead, it is a hilariously entertaining show full of ridiculous characters and incredible moves.... I was actually really into it!
Explore the Markets - Mexico City has dozens of giant markets! Whether you are interested in imported foods, local artisan work, or witchcraft, you can find pretty much any kind of market you're looking for in Mexico City. And they're enormous!
Venture Just Outside the City
If you can head just outside the city (1-2 hours), you can explore Mayan ruins and more outdoor fun.
Visit Teotihuacan - Teotihuacan is a pre-colonial city outside Mexico City and is known for housing the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. While exploring the pyramids on foot was a lot of fun, I would encourage you to view them from the sky via hot air balloons!
Floating Gardens of Xochimilco - This is probably one of the best day-drinking adventures I have ever enjoyed. Xochimilco is a canal that is full of party boats. As you float down the river, you get to enjoy Mariachi bands, floating markets, and a unique way to experience the local culture.
Las Estacas Parque Natural - If you're staying in Mexico City for a good amount of time, it may be worth the drive out to this Natural Park, which is about two to three hours outside of the city. You can float down the lazy river, enjoy spa treatments, snorkel, practice yoga, and much more. It was a nice little escape from city life.
Where to eat?
You're in Mexico... so you best be enjoying some delicious tacos and my favorite - Chilaquiles!
Ojo de Agua - This was my favorite place for healthy food, juices, and acai bowls (and you can order it on Rappi)! The location is on the edge of Parque de Mexico, so you have some gorgeous views. It is really hipster, which I adore. The staff was always nice and nearly everyone I traveled with adored this place. (Good vegan options!)
El Tizoncito - We ate here many, many times. They have cheap, delicious tacos and were always perfect after a late night out with friends. I was excited that they have an option of vegetarian tacos, which is not always easy to find in the city. Great for cheap tacos!
Freims - This was where I enjoyed my very first meal in Mexico City and it did not disappoint. Of course, I got the chilaquiles, which were absolutely amazing! We ate in their adorable courtyard and the service was great.
El Auténtico Pato Manila - I never made it over to this restaurant, but my friends raved about it! They are well known for their duck street tacos and are priced really well.
Where to enjoy a night out?
Tequila? Mezcal? Let's go!
Wallace Whiskey Bar - Located on one of the main streets in Condesa, Wallace Whiskey was a favorite spot among many Remote Year friends. The building is an old two-story house with various rooms, a fun mix of 90's music, and cool vibes.
Salon Malafama - We were pumped to see a giant pool hall so close to home. This became a big hangout spot among the group as we attempted games of billiards, interesting Mezcal cocktails, and bar food.
Cicatriz Cafe - I adored this wine bar! The American-owners are really passionate about Mezcal and wine and are happy to chat with you and share their knowledge. If you go, order the broccoli appetizer! It is amazing 🙂
Nomad Life - Work & Stay Fit
Fitness and yoga - I was pleasantly surprised to see the city was loaded with yoga studios, of all varieties - Bikhram, Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc. I enjoyed a few classes at Mukta Yoga, which I really enjoyed, as well as an interesting Kundalini class at RaMa yoga. There are also plenty of gyms throughout the city. I simply chose a cheap 24 hour gym that was near my home. Plus, there are SO many parks! It is the perfect city for runners.
Where to work - Mexico City is full of digital nomads and entreprenuers, so the city boasts plenty of options for your workspace. If you enjoy the structure of a co-working space, take a look at Publico. I only visited this co-working space a view times, but I loved the option of working from the roof on a nice day. There are also plenty of WeWork options within the city. My favorite place to work? Cafes! There are many to choose from! Here are some of my favorites:
- Blend Station - This was the #1 coffee shop with my group. Plus, there is a giant tree in the center of it. Try out their cold brew!
- Tomás Casa Editora de Té - If you adore tea, make sure to stop here. They have dozens of options and great prices!
- Brown Caffeine lab - They seemed really knowledgeable in their brewing methods. Plus, I got to enjoy the smells of them roasting their own beans while I worked.
- El Pendulo - This is a book store and cafe combo. They have multiple locations throughout the city, including one in the big park.
- Cafe Toscano (pictured) - One of my favorite morning work sessions was at this adorable cafe in Polanco. They have a great tea list and their food was phenomenal!
I cannot wait to go back to Mexico City and explore even more of what it has to offer. Sure, I would pack some good meds in case your stomach revolts against Mexico as much as mine did, but it is 100% worth it! My list hardly scratches the surface of all the amazing things Mexico City has to offer. Go check it out for yourself!
Have you ever been to Mexico City? What were you favorite spots? Comment below!
Keep exploring, friends <3