El D.F., La Cuidad, El Distrito, La Capital, y Mas Importante Donde Naci.
Fun Fact: I was actually born in Mexico City and most of my mom’s family currently still resides there. As a child my summers were spent in Mexico. My mom started sending me to Mexico as a child by myself at the age of 11. I would spend most of my nights crying because I was homesick and did not like the food (typical picky child). I did not appreciate her efforts to send me to Mexico, however, looking back on it now as an adult it was one of the greatest cultural blessings she could have gave me. I strengthened my Mexican roots, connected with my family, practiced my native language, and explored the culture. I had been longing to go back as an adult and do the tourist things, too bad no one was willing to pay for my flight like they did when I was a child. My husband and I decided that this year (2019), we would travel to Mexico City for his birthday trip in February.
Flight: With the help of the Hopper App, we tracked flights. I saw them for as low as $100 roundtrip but we waited a bit to buy them until we were sure we were going. We ended up paying about $125 roundtrip with Interjet. If you could get a good deal and fly with Interjet I would highly recommend that airline, you get complimentary beer and chips. Oh, and the seats are spacious and comfy.
International Travel: Due to the fact we live in Southern California, we chose to fly out of Tijuana. If you are close enough to do this, I highly recommend it. Since you are flying from Tijuana to Mexico City you are flying domestic which means you can get cheaper flights. We used the CBX (Cross Border Tunnel), it is highly efficient and smooth. TIP: I recommend you buy your tickets in advanced through the website, and yes you do 100% need your passport.
Currency: Mexico uses the Peso, and the exchange rate fluctuates constantly. Not only that, but different businesses can choose the rate they convert the dollar to the peso. My biggest piece of advice is to convert your dollars to pesos. You can do this in a multitude of ways. Our favorite method is pulling out from the ATM in Mexico with your ATM card, you get the best conversion rate and you only pay a flat fee to your bank for using a foreign bank. If you have time, another method is to do it is through your bank at home, you just pay the service fee. Personally I do not like doing this method because that means you are carrying around a lot of money (depending how much you pull out). Finally, if you do not prefer to carry around physical cash you can use your credit card, try choosing a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, like my personal favorite; The Capital One Venture Card.
AirBNB Experiences: It was our first time using AirBnB experiences and I can honestly say wow, wish I would have used them before. We did two activities through AirBnB experiences and had the most amazing time. I will definitely continue to use them. I will link the two experiences we booked at the bottom , because I did a good amount of time researching, reading reviews to make sure we chose the best.
Getting Around in Mexico City: UBER!!!!! I was highly surprised at how smooth Uber worked in Mexico City. Most cell phone plans allow you to have international data at no extra cost. If you are not sure, call your cell phone provider or make sure someone you are traveling with has data abroad. Uber is extremely cheap and they are everywhere in Mexico City, we never once had trouble calling one. Tip: Most Ubers in Mexico do not display an Uber logo on their car, look for license plate numbers!
So now that the logistics are over here is our long weekend trip to Mexico City.
We flew from Tijuana to Mexico City on a direct flight. Mexico is ahead of California by 3 hours. Once we arrived in Mexico City, we Ubered to our hotel, Hotel NH Collection which was conveniently located in the Reforma neighborhood. Choosing which neighborhood in Mexico City was extremely difficult. We went with a practical approach and chose a hotel close to many of the tourist attractions and had opportunities to walk.
Although we landed around the evening, we wasted no time, we had already planned our first night in CDMX. Through AirBnB experiences, we booked a Tacos+Beer+Lucha Libre night. The hosts were hilarious and truly loved lucha libre, they encouraged us to yell the obscenities and get into the spirit. After the match we went to a well known taqueria called El Califa.
This day called for an early wakeup call, 3:30 am to be exact. I booked a birthday surprise for my husband. It was a beautiful hot air ballon ride over the pyramids of Teotihuacan. After deliberate research, I found the best deal with SkyBalloons MX. Our driver picked us up and gave us one hours drive worth of fascinating history. It was our first time on a hot air balloon and we had an amazing experience, with the most serene views, totally worth the lack of sleep. From there our driver became our friend and told us he would drive us till 4pm when we had to be back for the next pick up. Included in the hot air balloon adventure, is a buffet brunch and access to the pyramids of Teotihuacan.
The pyramids were breathtaking and you were able to climb to the top for the best views. Bring a hat, water and sunglasses because it gets hot out there! From the pyramids our driver took us to an extra outing, he took us to an authentic Pulque tasting. Pulque is know as the drink of the gods. It is advertised everywhere you go in Mexico City, but finding the true and authentic pulque is more difficult. Our personal driver dropped us off back at our hotel to recoup for our next adventure.
The rest of the day called for another Air BnB experience, a futbol game at Estadio Azteca. Our guide Alexis, was phenomenal, he picked us up and took us to the game with other travelers. If you have time, I highly recommend doing a game in Mexico, whether it is at the famous Estadio Azteca, or a nearby stadium. One of the best parts of watching a game in Mexico, is that you do not have to get up to get drinks or food, everything is catered to you.
Even though we had been running on very little sleep, we did not end the day after the game. We took advantage of every minute in Mexico City and continued to explore. We walked around the lively Plaza Garibali at night, and walked near the Historic Center of Mexico City. We decided to end the night with a treat and visited the famous El Moro for some churros and chocolate. The line looked long but it moved quick and was well worth the wait.
Day 3 (Sunday)
Day 3 was also another jam-packed day. If I would have had more leisure time or would have stayed closer to our hotel, I would have definitely taken advantage of a carless Paseo de Reforma which happens every Sunday from 8am to 2pm. Do it like the locals do and ride bikes, skates of jog through the Reforma without worrying about cars.
We started our day by exploring the Castillo de Chapultepec. Aside from the beautiful architecture and scenic views, there is a lot of history displayed throughout the whole castle.
From the Castillo, we took an Uber to our next destination, el Museo Frida Khalo. I 100% recommend you purchase your tickets in advanced online, select the best time for you and you will skip the line. Purchase a photo pass at the door to be able to take pictures at the museum, otherwise you will be told to put your electronics away.
From the museum, we walked to el Mercado de Coyoacan and had delicious tostadas for lunch.
The next stop was my most favorite of our trip, Xochimilco! I had seen so much buzz about Xochimilco, that I knew it was something that should not be missed. Tip; you can bring your own alcohol and snacks onto the trajineras (boats). The price is set per trajinera not by the amount of people on them. You can also buy alcohol and micheladas all throughout your journey from vendors on their own little row boats. After a long day, we decided to head back to the area near out hotel to watch the NBA All Star game over some drinks. We finished the night with dinner at La Casa de Tono, which had many delicioius, authentic Mexican options.
Day 4 (Monday):
Although we did not have the full day in Mexico, our flight did not leave until 5pm, so that meant an early morning to squeeze in some last minute sights. From our hotel we walked to the Angel of Independence to get a day view of the magnificent monument. From there, we called an Uber to the Museo Soumaya, we did not go in due to time constraints, but lets be real, I came for a picture of the building which looks like a tiled whale’s tail. Our next stop was one I found through Instagram & was well worth visiting. We visited La Biblioteca Vasconcelos, which is definitely the most breathtaking library with an intense layout.
Our next stop was a view of El Palacio de Bellas Artes. To get the best view, go to the Sears across the street and take the elevator to the 8th floor. You will find a cute cafe with open air seating which allows you to get the best view of this magnificent building.
We couldn’t leave without trying the cuisine at Contramar. Right when we got there it was packed and buzzing, a reservation is strongly required. We got lucky and were seated without one.
Finally, we called an Uber to take us to out hotel to gather our belongings then head to the airport. There is so much to see and do in Mexico City. I discovered more things after visiting, so I know I will be back. This is a great place for families to visit as well, there is a lot for children to see and do! Teach them about history at young ages and captivate their interest in culture!
Hot Air Balloon Rides