mexico city skyline

Spend an unforgettable weekend soaking up the sights in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)

Mexico City

The CDMX Factor: Long Weekend Guide to Mexico City

Long gone are the days when Mexico City seemed intimidating to visitors. The sprawling Mexican capital may be huge, but its vibrant center is full of history, the streets of its hip neighborhoods are lined with cafés and bars and its culinary scene is reason enough alone to pay the city multiple visits.

Add to this some of the best museums in the world and nature a stone’s throw away — yes, really — and you’ll see why it’s impossible to ever get bored in CDMX. Plan a long weekend here and read on for a guide to spending an unforgettable three days in Mexico City.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Friday: Meet the Icons

Pay a visit to Zocalo Square. (Photo: Getty Images)

Get ready to spend the morning wandering the streets. If this is your first visit, the Centro Histórico should be at the top of your list. Get a ride-share to your brunch destination: Café de Tacuba. Originally a 17th-century convent, this grand café (with massive oil paintings adorning the walls) is known for its brunch menu — opt for the chicken tamales and café con leche. From here, head to the stately Palacio de Bellas Artes and snap a few pics of this white marble building that houses Mexico City’s opera house. Walk down the pedestrian Calle Madero and make sure you get a good look at the colonial-era buildings on both sides of the street on your way to the Zócalo — the town square.

Once there, you’ll be able to admire the slowly sinking cathedral, the Diego Rivera murals at the Palacio Nacional and the Templo Mayor ruins, a glimpse into Mexico’s multilayered past.

After the Zócalo, head straight to Azul Histórico for a delicious meal of fried, roast-duck-filled dumplings in mole paired with a frozen lime margarita. More in the mood for tacos? Limosneros offers a tasting menu of six different kinds — the last being a dessert taco. (Book in advance at either of these places)

To wrap up the night, make your way to the trendy Roma neighborhood for live jazz and delicious cocktails at Casa Franca. DJ music more your scene? Decked out like a retro apartment, Departamento is a local favorite that recently opened its rooftop bar to the public.

Saturday: Immerse Yourself in the Trendy Areas

Read up on the city’s historic architecture, like the Castle of Chapultepec. (Photo: Getty Images)

Located on the border of the buzzy Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, Lardo restaurant is a good place to start your day. The menu at this rustic-chic hot spot comprises elegantly crafted sandwiches and breakfast dishes, from a croque-monsieur to fried or poached eggs with Mexican herbs like hoja santa and epazote. Indulge and wash it down with a mimosa.

From Lardo, you could choose to walk west toward the vast Bosque de Chapultepec park to visit the world-renowned Museo Nacional de Antropología for anthropological exhibits, the Museo de Arte Moderno for modern art and the European-looking Chapultepec Castle housing the Museo Nacional de Historia for some history.

Alternatively, you could head east toward Colonia Roma: Walk toward the beautiful Fuente de Cibeles fountain and then to Plaza Río de Janeiro, which is actually a park, while you take in the vibe and the architecture of the beloved neighborhood.

Nearby, MODO Museo del Objeto is — as its name suggests — a museum of objects. Through its frequently changing exhibitions, MODO offers a peek into everyday Mexican life and the trends that have shaped Mexican pop culture.

But if you feel like skipping the museums and experiencing the capital like a local, you can get great views of the city, drinks and a bite — and satiate your need for a party vibe — at Supra Roma Rooftop.

Come dinnertime, Pujol is an absolute must. Located in the upscale Polanco neighborhood, chef Enrique Olvera’s restaurant offers diners a multicourse tasting menu featuring his own take on Mexican staples, like mole.

Alternatively, stroll down Presidente Masaryk Avenue — Mexico City’s equivalent of the Champs-Élysées — to the stylish Guzina Oaxaca for a taste of Oaxacan food, one of the most revered cuisines in the country.

Sunday: Indulge in Top Culinary Experiences

A dinner plate with roasted duck
Mexico City is home to world-class dining. (Photo: Getty Images)

Grab a quick coffee and head out into nature for the day on a culinary experience that will see you foraging for mushrooms and herbs that will be used to prepare your meal.

Cubo is located in the Jilotzingo forest, about 50 minutes west of the city, and the experience allows you to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air, as well as learn more about where your food comes from.

The day begins and ends with food. The experience is run by Roberto Lingard, Cubo’s founder, often aided by a guest chef from a renowned restaurant. These culinary experiences are offered seasonally on Saturdays and Sundays and are booked through Cubo’s social media.

If you’re more of a city person — or if Cubo doesn’t have experiences planned for the weekend you’re visiting — you can’t go wrong with brunch at the Diana Restaurant located in the St. Regis Mexico City.

From seafood and pasta stations to a variety of Mexican snacks and multitiered tables full of desserts, this is where foodies in the know spend their Sundays. Enhance the experience with bottomless mimosas before heading to the airport.