Itineraries: 5 Days in Mexico City

Five days is a pretty good amount of time to explore Mexico City. Though, to be clear, those five days don’t include your day of arrival or departure. If you’re arriving, then have three days in the city, and leave on the fifth day, check out my three day itinerary. Actually, you should check out my three day itinerary for Mexico City anyway, since it outlines your first three days, while this itinerary just tacks two more days to that original trip.

Just as a rundown, here’s what the three day Mexico City itinerary included:

Day One: Centro and Reforma. Centro is the historical center of Mexico City while Reforma is its stylish economic center.

Day Two: Choose between the pre-Colombian pyramids of Teotihuacan, the artisans and street food of Coyoacan, the leafy grandeur of Chapultapec or the canals of Xochimilco.

Day Three: Wander around the trendy neighbourhoods of La Roma and Condesa and catch up on whatever you didn’t get to do earlier in your trip—or just relax.

Those’re days one to three in broad strokes but, really, you should read the three day itinerary for Mexico City.

Okay, you’ve read it? You’re all caught up? Great. So, on to…

Day Four – Choose something you didn’t do on day two

This one’s easy. If you went to Chapultepec on Day Two, maybe go to Coyoacan on Day Four. Or maybe you spent Day Two on the canals of Xochimilco and now you want to explore the pyramids of Teotihuacan. Entirely up to you and your interests. If you haven’t read the description of these activities as part of the three day itinerary, well, you really should. Remember that the tour of Teotihuacan should be booked in advance.

5 Days in Mexico City
Day Five – Los Luchas, more markets, Plaza Garibaldi

Honestly, you likely won’t be able to do all of these in a single day. I’d say to plan to visit markets during the day and then do either Los Luchas or Plaza Garibaldi in the evening.

Now, obviously this will depend on whether you’re into markets in the first place. If not, then you may simply want to use this day to catch up on rest, check out one of the dozens of museums in the city (fun fact: only London has more museums than Mexico City) or try another of the Day Two activities you haven’t yet tried. If you do enjoy local markets, however, I recommend Mercado Sonora, which is absolutely fascinating, given that it is well known as a market for ingredients and items used in the practice of santeria, a religious practice often compared to voodoo (though it’s its own thing). It’s the kind of place where you can find candles that, when burned, will bring you good fortune or curse your ex. But it’s also a functional local market and a great spot to see local daily life.

Los Luchas is an evening activity and, if you’ve never heard the term before, well, it means “the fights” and refers to Mexican professional wrestling. You know, those guys with the colourful masks? Yes, those are luchadores. This is pure spectacle and it is both impressive and a hell of a lot of fun. The crowd get into the action, hurling insults at the heels (the bad guys) and cheering for their favourites.

If you’re looking for something a bit more cultured than witchcraft and wrestlers, then head to Plaza Garibaldi, where dozens of mariachis wait to be hired to perform for a group or couple. Walk around a while then choose a restaurant or bar to enjoy live music, food and a drink. Be sure to have a few small bills on hand to tip musicians with. Garibaldi is also the site of the Mezcal Museum where you can sample some top examples of this iconic beverage and, just facing the museum is a place called Guadalajara de Noche where you can see performers expertly impersonate famous Mexican musicians. It’s like a tiny slice of Mexican Vegas, with Juan Gabriel instead of Elvis. It’s a fun time and especially great for couples or small groups.

5 Days in Mexico City

And that should keep you busy in Mexico City for five days, with a good mix of shopping, food, culture, history, and plenty of time to just relax. Obviously, given its sheer size and variety, it’s possible to spend far longer in Mexico City, but this five day itinerary should give you a solid taste of this wonderful metropolis.