Top Ten Things to do in Central Mexico
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
After exploring Central Mexico for nine days, here is my list of the Top Ten Things to experience/do during your stay. Central Mexico is a foodies paradise; be sure to enjoy the food, life, art, and culture! *This list is based on Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca.
1. Uber it! --
We loved renting a car in the Yucatan, but found that using an Uber was the best option when it came to Mexico City. In the city, traffic is hectic and unconducive to unwinding (the primary reason we vacation/travel), plus Uber is super cheap and reliable!
2. Go bar hopping in Mexico City --
We found the nightlife and bar scene to be at its finest in the heart of the capital, Mexico City. Here bar hopping is more than just hitting bar after bar. In Mexico City, bar hopping is a cultural experience! For more on bars in Mexico City, Check out my post "Bar Hopping in Mexico City," where I share three cool bars and my favorite three speakeasies.
3. Soak the art in--
Visit the art museum in Mexico City, Castillo Chapultepec, and the house of Frida Kahlo!
4. Visit a local market --
We went to a total of 4 mercados (markets) in Mexico City.
* Mercado de Coyoacan: This mercado is smaller compared to the more central ones. We found the best local desserts here, and the people were super friendly! We highly recommend visiting if you plan to go to Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo's House.)
* Mercado Roma: Our favorite! Maybe not a "real old fashioned mercado" as this market is more upscale, trendy, and smaller than the other ones, but you can
find some delicious authentic bites.
Our favorite stalls were:
- La Reina de la Braza
- Butcher sons
-Churerria El Morro &
- The rooftop beer garden.
* Mercado La Merced & Mercado de San Juan: Both these markets were a little too intense for us, so we did a quick stroll and left without eating. People are hustling hard here, and even knowing the language, we felt rushed and uncomfortable with all the screaming. Another thing to point out about both
these markets is that you can't have a delicate stomach to come here, as you'll see all kinds of animals hanging dead at the front of these shops. These markets are enormous, so imagine walking into 50 butcheries at the same time where everyone is calling out the specials to lure you in! On another note, both these mercados are the real deal. Chefs come here to shop for fresh meats and produce, so it's up to you if you stay and eat, but it deserves a visit.
5. Scream your guts out at a lucha libre match --
Mexican wrestling? Sign me up! Some locals go for the sport, others to release stress and vent out all of life's daily frustrations. You'll hear people from the crowd screaming insults and offensive words at these fighters- all part of the fun and culture for them, so don't freak out. I couldn't do it, but I found it hilarious seeing others get into it! If planning a visit, I recommend buying your ticket ahead of time either through ticket master or the morning of at the ticket booth. If it's a famous fight, tickets tend to sell out, so keep this in mind. Also, professional cameras are not allowed, but they let you take photos with your mobile device.
6. Eat the street food --
The best tacos we found we're street ones for .42cents! Stop by a local vendor and order some tacos, Al pastor!!!
7. Fall in love with the colors of Puebla
Puebla is only a 2 hr bus drive from Mexico City; If you get a chance, go! It was our favorite city in central Mexico !! So colorful and full of genuine people. Most travelers visit Puebla as a half-day stop on the way to Oaxaca, but I urge you to stay for a couple of days. There's so much beauty to see and places to visit!
8. Experience fine dining in Oaxaca--
When we travel, we like to balance our trips culinary life with a mixture of street food and fine dining. After Experiencing a handful of fine dining restaurants from the Yucatan to Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca, our favorite fine dining city was Oaxaca! We fell in love with three fantastic places that gave us 5-star treatment through our entire dining process. From the moment we were greeted at the door to the moment we left the room, they never dropped the ball! Note: This top 3 list is not in order of ranking but order of visit. The truth is these three spots were so amazing we couldn't decide which one was our favorite. That hardly ever happens, so try to visit all 3 :)
To read more about theses places, click here!
9. Visit a Tequila / Mezcal distillery --
What's the difference between Tequila and Mezcal? Tequila can only be made from one agave plant (blue agave), while Mezcal can be produced from any wild agave plant. If you're a Tequila or Mezcal lover, I highly recommend visiting a distillery. By visiting, you get to learn the process in which Mezcal is produced, plus you get to try so many different rare batches that are only sold locally! It takes 8 to 35 years for an agave plant to fully mature, so the process of Tequila and Mezcal making can be lengthy, especially if it's an aged one. Most Mezcal is made in Oaxaca, and not all Mezcal/Tequila is Exported. They keep the best batches in Mexico since it's so hard to produce and serve it locally.
10. Hike and Swim in Hierve el Agua -
Visit one of the only two natural petrified waterfalls in the world and swim in its mineral water infinity pools.
These were my personal favorite Top Ten Things I did during my stay in Central Mexico. Have a favorite thing to-do I did not mention? leave a comment below!