36 Hours In Mexico City, Mexico - Updated 2024

| 4 min read

Mexico City is a fantastic destination, even if you only have 36 hours. It is one of the most populous cities in the world. Many people don’t know, but Mexico City has the second highest number of museums in the world after Paris, and it has one of the oldest urban forest parks in the world that is twice the size of New York’s Central Park. This makes it a very fascinating place to visit. There is plenty to do during your stay. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about Mexico’s history, appreciate the local art and theater and, of course, taste the delicious cuisine. Popular attractions include the historic city center, the National Museum of Anthropology and the Chapultepec park. Keep reading to see our recommended itinerary for 36 hours in Mexico City, Mexico.

Day 1: Afternoon - Visit the Historic Center of Mexico City. Visit Palacio de Bellas Artes (from USD 34.0)

36 hours in mexico city | day 1: afternoon - visit the historic center of mexico city. visit palacio de bellas artes

Start exploring Mexico City in the center of it all. Zócalo is the main plaza in the historic center and is the largest in Latin America, holding up to 100,000 people. You’ll learn all about Mexico’s history by touring the historic buildings both from the Spanish colonization era and after independence. Particular sites of interest include the National Palace, Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Afterwards, head over to the Palacio de Bellas Artes to see modern and historical exhibitions on fine art, painting, theater, sculpture and photography.

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Mexico City: Historical City Center Guided Tour

Duration: 4 hour

1 review

Evening - Dinner at Meson del Cid. Visit the Palace of Fine Arts

Posted by Restaurante Hotel Mesón del Cid on Monday, 15 January 2018

Treat yourself to a delicious dinner at Meson del Cid. The service is impeccable, and the food even more so. You’ll experience a classy and warm atmosphere while enjoying your meal. It is located opposite the cathedral and has great views. Afterwards, you can visit the Palace of Fine Arts again. There is so much to see, you’ll want to go back. In the evening you can also enjoy the city lights and see the beautiful architecture lit up.

Palace of Fine Arts

Address: Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Opening hours: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Website: Pallacio de Bellas Artes

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Afternoon - Tour the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. Visit Chapultepec (from USD 41.0)

36 hours in mexico city | afternoon - tour the great pyramid of tenochtitlan. visit chapultepec

Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec empire that thrived in Latin American until Spanish colonization. The Great Pyramid was built in 1466 under the rule of Montezuma I. During your tour, you’ll learn about the historical significance of the site, and its religious purposes. Afterwards, take a relaxing stroll through Chapultepec, the largest city park in the Western Hemisphere. Twice the size of New York’s Central Park, you’ll find a zoo and multiple museums hidden along the paths.

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Mexico City: Chapultepec Castle and Anthropology Museum Tour

Duration: 5.0 hour

199 reviews

Evening - Dinner then visit the National Museum of Anthropology (from USD 23.0)

Have dinner out at one of the great restaurants in downtown Mexico City. The variety can be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong. Afterwards, head over to the National Museum of Anthropology. Here, you will find artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian history, including many Aztec and Mayan ruins. The exhibits offer a unique and in-depth look into the history of Mexico’s indigenous people. You’ll come away with a newfound appreciation for Mexican art, invention and culture.

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Mexico City National Museum of Anthropology: Admission, Guide

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

597 reviews

Night - Catch a play at UNAM Theater

Sala Nezahualcoyotl
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Erikaa cortes used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The UNAM Theater offers a unique and fun way to experience Mexico City. Located in the southern part of the city, it is a vibrant art space. Apart from its usual plays, it also offers workshops for kids aged 6-14 with themes varying from science to art. Make sure you check out their website to see what’s scheduled, and if you’re in luck, there may even be a festival in town.

UNAM Theater

Website: UNAM Theater

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Day 3: Breakfast then boat ride on Xochimilco Canals. Shopping at the artisanal market before departure. (from USD 42.0)

36 hours in mexico city | day 3: breakfast then boat ride on xochimilco canals. shopping at the artisanal market before departure.

After a quick breakfast, make sure you see the Xochimilco Canals before you leave. Traditional wooden boats navigate narrow waterways, much like in Venice. It’s a leisurely way to see more parts of the city that you otherwise would have missed. Guides can share their own knowledge as you explore the canals in colorfully decorated boats. Afterwards, track down one of the numerous artisanal markets for those last minute souvenirs.

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Xochimilco & Colonial Coyoacan Trip

Duration: 5.0 hour

144 reviews

A quick trip to Mexico City

Mexico City is too interesting of a destination to pass up, even if you only have 36 hours. While this itinerary couldn’t possibly cover everything of interest, you’ll definitely hit the main attractions. You’ll leave with a better understanding of Mexican history, culture and art, and perhaps with a few souvenirs for your friends who couldn’t come with you. You are certain to have an unforgettable experience in Mexico City, even if it’s just a brief visit. Keep this post in mind when you start planning your next trip.

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Night - Drinks at Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal (from USD 20.0)

night - drinks at museo del tequila y el mezcal
Source: www.viator.com

El Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal is an experience unique to Mexico City. It is designed to promote and share the heritage and cultural identity of Mexico. You’ll learn how these spirits are distilled and produced using a variety of agave. The museum also incorporates the history of the Mariachi and Garibaldi Square. Of course, a visit wouldn’t be complete without a taste of some of the top shelf tequila and mezcal the museum has to offer. You may even want to pack one to bring home for your friends.

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Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal Admission Plus Tour and Tasting

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 2: Morning - Breakfast at Los Tres Reyes. Head to Six Flags Mexico (from USD 52.0)

day 2: morning - breakfast at los tres reyes. head to six flags mexico
Source: www.viator.com

Start your morning off right by trying some of the delicious tacos at Los Tres Reyes. They have some of the best barbacoa in town, and all for an affordable price. Then make the trek to the southern side of Mexico City to visit Six Flags Mexico. With over 2.5 million visitors a year, it is the most popular theme park in Latin America. It is divided into multicultural and international themed villages with a variety of rides. This is a great family-friendly option.

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Six Flags Mexico General Admission Ticket

3 reviews
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Katherine is a 24 year old graduate student from the United States. Her latest travels include Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Uganda. Photography and writing are her ideal ways to explore and...Read more

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