Budget Travel: Mexico City



Description:

Short on cash? Mexico City, or D.F. (day-efay) as the locals call it, is home to cheap museums, historical churches, architectural wonders, parks and hours of people watching. Whether you're goal is to see every Diego Rivera mural or every Catholic church or every remnant of indigenous culture, Mexico City has a lot to offer. Plus, for those who want to stretch their dollars and perhaps have a more adventurous experience (basically for free!) take advantage of the metro system, which transports millions of people every day. To save money on food, consider stopping at one of the open air mercados (markets) that are prevalent in the city. Stop at the Sonora Mercado for fruits, veggies AND shaman related items like herb mixes to cure every sort of ailment. Fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, are much cheaper here and paired with some fresh bread from a bakery or from the supermarket, can make a delicious breakfast or lunch. For those really money conscious folks (or if it's the second half of your vacation and you have $5 for food for the rest of the trip) a bottle of peanut butter and a jar of jelly go a long way. Consider staying at the Hotel Frimont for a fairly inexpensive but clean room. Mexico City is very large and there are a lot of other hotels out there, plus some hostels so don't be afraid to take a look around and switch once you're there. Happy travels and que vayas bien!Also, at the bottom you will see some 'unscheduled' items that you can use to customize your trip depending on what you're interested in. I also included some different hotel options depending on how far you're really trying to stretch that dollar.Photo courtesy of Romain-Mex/ Creative Commons

Author: mpie


Bosque de Chapultepec

user rating

Location:

Avenida Constituyentes
Avenida Reforma
11850 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 515 0535


Iglesia de San Juan de Dios

Location:

Avenida Hidalgo, 49
Colonia Centro
06010 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5512 8940


Hotel Jena

Location:

Teran, 12 Plaza de la República
Tabacalera
06030 Mexico, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5097 0277
fax: +52 55 5566 0455


El Bajío

Location:

Av. Cuitlahuac 2709
Mexico City, Mexico


Hotel Isabel

user rating

Location:

Isabel la Católica, 63
Centro
06000 Mexico City, Mexico


Hotel Diligencias

expert pick

Location:

Belisario Domínguez, 6
Centro Histórico
06010 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5526 5840
fax: +52 55 12 2328


Estudio de Joaquín Clausell

user rating

Location:

Pino Suárez, 30
Colonia Centro
06010 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 542 0083


Taquería El Farolito

expert pick

Location:

Avenida de las Fuentes 28
Lomas de Tecamachalco
53950 Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico


Hotel Catedral

user rating

Location:

Donceles 95, Col. Centro
Colonia Centro
06020 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 555 518 5232
fax: +52 555 512 4344


Museo Dolores Olmedo

Location:

Avenida México 5843
La Noria, Xochimilco
16030 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 5 555 1016


Museo de la Estampa

user rating

Location:

Avenida Hidalgo 39
Colonia Centro
06040 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 521 2244
fax: +52 55 521 22


Museo Franz Mayer

Location:

Avenida Hidalgo 45
Plaza Santa Veracruz
06060 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 518 2266


Mercado Sonora

Location:

Fray Servando Teresa de Mier # 419
Col. Merced Balbuena, Delegación Venustiano Carranza, C.P. 15800 (Between San Nicolás, Canal and Viga)
06000 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 533 4700


Parque Hundido

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Avenida Insurgentes Sur
Insurgentes Mixcoac
03300 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 5525 9380 (Información Turisticos)


Day 1 - Mexico City


On your first day, take advantage of the central location of Hotel Frimont and explore the nearby area. Mexico City has a lot to offer those interested in history, architecture and religion. Today, explore some of the myths surrounding the Black Christ at Templo de Regina Coelli. If today is Sunday, head over to Pinacoteca del Templo de la Profesa to see some historically important works of art from the colonial times. If it's not Sunday, your hotel is close enough that you can easily work this into another day. If you're a historical literature nut, or just generally interested in history, check out the convent where Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz lived. Finish the afternoon sight seeing with a collision of church plus indigenous temple: the Templo Mayor is an ancient Aztec temple that lies beneath a Spanish Church. If you're hungry before this, consider heading to a supermarket to pick up some sandwich material or check out the street stands for some more options. Try to avoid foods that look like they've been sitting out for a while. After this long day of sight seeing, head to Salon Corona for a 'true' Mexican experience.


1

Templo de Regina Coelli

Location:

Regina y Bolívar
Centro Histórico
06040 Mexico City, Mexico


2

Pinacoteca del Templo de la Profesa

Location:

Madero esquina Isabel la Católica
Colonia Centro
06010 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5512 7862 .


3

Museo de Sitio del Claustro de Sor Juana

Location:

Izazaga, 92
Colonia Centro
06010 Mexico City, Mexico


4

Templo Mayor

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Seminario y Moneda
06060 Mexico City, Mexico


5

Salon Corona

expert pick

Location:

Bolívar 24
Colonia Centro
Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 55 55 12 9007


6

Llorona (La)

Location:

Mesones, 87
(Centro Histórico)
06000 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 5709 8420


7

Hotel Frimont

Location:

Jesús Terán, 35
Colonia Tabacalera
06030 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 705 4410
fax: +52 5 705 4169


Day 2 - Mexico City


After eating some of your market goods for breakfast or exploring what the hotel has to offer, head over to the Zocalo, or the main plaza for unlimited free people watching. There's usually something going on here, regardless of day or time but if you want to be sure to see something, the daily flag changing ceremony occurs at 6 am and 6 pm. If you're still hungry, head over to Gruta Ehden for some delicious Lebanese food. In the afternoon, head over to the neighborhood of Coyoacan to learn more about the lives of famous Mexican painter and free spirit Frida Kahlo, and her womanizing husband, Diego Rivera. Stop at his house to check out works by Diego, other artists and an impressive collection of items from the colonial period. Stroll over to Kahlo's house to learn more about her interesting life and see some of her personal items. Grab dinner at Los Almendros to taste some delicious Yucatan cooking in generously sized portions.


1

Zócalo / Plaza de la Constitución

user rating

Location:

16 de Septiembre y 5 de Mayo
Centro Histórico
06060 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 5525 9380 (Información Turisticos)


2

Gruta Ehden

Location:

Pino 69
Colonia Florida
01030 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 5 661 1994 / 52 5 661 3863


3

Casa de Diego Rivera (La)

Location:

Avenida México, 5843
Colonia La Noria
16030 Mexico City, Mexico


4

Museo Frida Kahlo

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Londres 247, between Calles Allende and Abasolo
Colonia del Carmen
04400 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 54 5999
fax: +52 56 58 5778


5

Los Almendros

user rating

Location:

Insurgentes Sur 1759
Colonia Guadalupe Inn
01020 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 5661 8755 / 5661 2658


Day 3 - Mexico City


More free or almost free fun! Take advantage of all of the museums by Hotel Frimont and wander through Alameda Central on your way to the National Museum of Architecture. If you're an architect junkie or a history nut, you'll appreciate learning about the history of the city from an architectural perspective. If you enjoyed your meal the first day at Salon Corona, it's just a block away for another quick bite to eat. Wander back through the park and stop in at the Museum of Alameda, where you can see Diego Rivera's most famous mural! If you're making a list of must see murals, here's one to check off! Be on the lookout for his murals in various places, he was quite prolific and some of his murals are in unassuming places. If you have a hankering for some commotion, check out the National Lottery. It's free to go in and at 8 you can watch the drawing take place and see who is the lucky winner! It's fun to watch and on the Paseo de Reforma, so there are beautiful buildings as well and you get a taste of local flavor. Afterward, go get your dance on at a free disco, La Fabula. If you go with a group, it's sure to be much more fun and you can party until 10 am!


3

Museo Nacional de Arquitectura

Location:

Cuarto piso del Palacio de Bellas Artes
Colonia Centro
06050 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 521 9251


4

Museo de la Alameda

Location:

Balderas y Colón
Plaza de la Solidaridad
06040 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 512 0754
fax: +52 5 510 2329


5

Lotería Nacional

Location:

Juárez esquina Reforma
Centro
06060 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5269 0085


6

Fábula (La)

Location:

López, 9
Centro Histórico
06000 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 5 525 8645


Day 4 - Mexico City


If you're looking to learn a lot about Mexico and not spend that much, museums are really the best way to go. Most museums are fairly cheap and, if you're a student, bring your student I.D. card with you for a discount! One of the crowning glories of Mexico City is the Bosque de Chapultepec, a large portion of greenery in this sprawling urban environment. Get your dose of education from the Museo Nacional de Historia and swing by the Museo de Arte Moderno to see paintings by Kahlo, Diego and other famous Mexican painters. You can grab a bite to eat at the cafe or head over to El Tandoor for some delicious Indian food to recharge your batteries for an afternoon of museum exploring. Or, grab your homemade sandwiches or miscellaneous lunch items, find a quiet place in the park and enjoy the greenery. After lunch, check out the Anthropology Museum for a more comprehensive overview of Mexico's ancient indigenous past. There's also a beautiful falling water fountain inside. If afterward you want to go see some 'artifacts' that are alive, head to the zoo! The best part: it's free! If you haven't reached your museum quotient for the day, stop by the Museo de Historia Natural to revisit those high school science classes. Finish off with either tacos from Tablitaco or try Bistrot Mosaico if you're in the mood for some Parisian cuisine for Mexican prices. If you're not too tired, head to Tenampa to hear some excellent mariachi (some say the best in Mexico City!), enjoy some tequila and give those overworked feet a rest.


1

Museo Nacional de Historia

Location:

Primera sección del Bosque de Chapultepec
Colonia Chapultepec Polanco
11580 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 40 40 52 17


2

Museo de Arte Moderno

Location:

Gran Avenida
Bosque de Chapultepec
11560 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 553 6233
fax: +52 5 553 6211


3

El Tandoor

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Copérnico No. 156
Col. Nueva Anzures
11590 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 5203 0045


4

Anthropology Museum (Museo de Antropologia)

user rating

Location:

Paseo de la Reforma y Calzada Ghandi
Colonia Polanco Chapultepec
11560 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 5286 5195


5

Parque Zoológico de Chapultepec

user rating

Location:

Paseo de la Reforma
Primera Sección del Bosque de Chapultepec
11000 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5553 6263
fax: +52 55 5553 6229


6

Museo de Historia Natural

Location:

Segunda sección del Bosque de Chapultepec
Colonia Chapultepec Polanco
11800 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 5 515 6304
fax: +52 5 843 5204


7

Tablitaco

Location:

Avenida Nuevo León 81
Colonia Hipódromo Condesa
06100 Mexico City, Mexico


8

Bistrot Mosaico

Location:

10 Avenida Michoacan
06140 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 55 5584 2932


9

Tenampa

user rating

Location:

Plaza Garibaldi 12
Centro
06000 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 5 526 6176


Day 5 - San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico City


If you need a rest day, feel free to explore the different areas of the city today. Otherwise, full steam ahead to Teotihuacan! Mexico City actually used to be the site of the Ancient Aztec Empire, hence remnants all over the city such as the Templo Mayor peeking up from under a Catholic church. Make your way to the Terminal del Norte bus terminal and catch a bus out to Teotihuacan to see some of the glorious structures of this ancient civilization. See in person what you've learned about from your museum visits! Be sure to bring a back pack with water, hats, sunscreen and some lunch. It can get extremely hot and if you're adventurous, you can climb to the top of some of the pyramids! Stop by the Catedral Metropolitana in the afternoon for a look at one of the most impressive churches in Mexico City (and Mexico City is full of churches so that's saying a lot). Stop by the Plaza San Angel on Saturdays for a slightly pricey craft fair, or any other day just to enjoy the beautiful architecture. Head to Casa Merlos for traditional cooking from the Puebla region of Mexico. If you haven't tried it, be sure to try the mole sauce- made from chocolate! Some love it (yours truly) and some don't but mole poblano is from Puebla and this is the best you're going to have outside the region. They also have a variety of other dishes if you're not into mole. After another action packed day, rest your weary soles or head back to Tenampa for more mariachi if you didn't get enough last night.


1

Teotihuacan Pyramids (Pirámides de Teotihuacan)

Location:

Carretera México Teotihuacan Km. 46
Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan
03010 San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +55 52 50 0123 (Información Turística)


2

Catedral Metropolitana

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Donceles 95
The zócalo, on Cinco de Mayo, Centro Histórico
06020 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5512 9467 / +52 55 5512 7096


3

Plaza San Angel

expert pick

Location:

Avenida Paseo del Pedregal
Colonia Jardines del Pedregal
01900 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 55 5568 1360


4

Casa Merlos

expert pick

Location:

Victoriano Zepeda 80
Observatorio
11860 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 55 5277 4360


Day 6 - Mexico City


After a leisurely wake up, head over to Palacio de Bellas Artes to enjoy a morning of 'beautiful arts.' It's another architecturally gorgeous building and worth a meander around. Before heading off to another part of Mexico or home, stop at renowned Cafe Tacuba for a traditional parting meal!


2

Palacio de Bellas Artes

user rating

Location:

Avenida Juárez y Eje Lázaro Cárdenas
Centro Histórico
06050 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 5512 2593
fax: 5510 1388


3

Café Tacuba

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Calle Tacuba 28
Centro Histórico
06060 Mexico City, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 5518 4950


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