My mom, sister (Vivian) and I had such a nice trip to Mexico City for 5 days in March, 2017. We were all a little nervous to visit as solo female travelers, but then we heard people saying that it was a fantastic place to visit and just don’t do anything stupid and you’ll be okay. So we went! We were smart and weren’t out late at night and came to believe that a lot of media coverage was probably a little extreme. We experienced a wonderful kindness from the locals, enjoyed the delicious food and drinks (avocado margarita!), and experienced as much art and culture as we could. We stayed in an Airbnb near the Centro Historico and walked, or Uber’ed, all over town. I think we averaged ~8 miles of walking every day and still saw only a small part of what could now be our new favorite big city.
Traveling from Austin, TX to Mexico City
We flew Southwest from Austin directly to Mexico City. We’d read online that Uber was the best way to get around, but we knew we wouldn’t have cell service, so we used the airport wifi to dial up a car and then waited outside. The driver was so sweet and had candy and water bottles for us. Thanks to Vivian’s Spanish fluency, we got to our Airbnb no problem.
Checking into Our Quiet, yet Vibrant, Airbnb Rental in Mexico City
We stayed right in the center on a street called Bellasario Dominguez. Our affordable Mexico City Airbnb was about $70/night for all 3 of us and owned by a young gal from North Carolina and her husband, a Mexico native. They’d foreseen a trend in tourism and purchased a handful of properties, which they’re now managing as their business while raising 3 kids. They were so friendly and even had us over for happy hour to their home apartment, just a few blocks from their Airbnb property. Our Airbnb was inside of an old girls school and we had to go through multiple doors and into a courtyard to access it. From the Airbnb listing: “This apartment is located on the terrace of an 18th Century building that used to be a Spanish school for girls and was recently restored and turned into apartments by the Mexican government and the government of Andalusia (Spain).”
Lunch, Art and Happy Hour in Mexico City
After we’d checked into the Airbnb and dropped off our luggage, it was about lunchtime and we strolled down to the Centro Histórico to visit the Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles) for a meal. The House of Tiles dates back to the 1500s and the story goes that the count of the Valley of Orizaba was defiant and his father told him that he’d never be able to build a house of tiles, which was a sign of success. Then, when the count became successful, he covered his house in blue and white tiles.
After lunch, we started our own walking tour and headed towards the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square with Aztec roots and now the location of many events. We stopped to check out art along the way and to peruse the street vendor offerings. Yum, warm elotes!
We eventually found our way to our new favorite happy hour spot, which was on top of a book store called Librería Porrúa. The book store had a coffee shop and bar on the top floor with views of the Zocalo.
After happy hour, we headed back to the Airbnb and stopped for a quesadilla on the way. We were pretty tired from traveling and ready to sleep well for another full day.
A Day of Coffee, Museums and Margaritas in Mexico City
As you might have noticed, we like to eat and drink and squeeze in some art, walking and shopping. Our second day in Mexico City was no different and we started it by walking to a bakery near our Airbnb for coffee and fresh pastries. I wish I could tell you the name of it, but I can’t remember and can’t seem to find it on Google Maps.
After Museo Tamayo and Parque Chapultepec, we headed to the gigantic National Anthropology Museum. We were there for a couple of hours and didn’t see all of the exhibits. It was huge!
The rest of our visit was more walking around, checking out the architecture and eating some great meals. We visited the huge La Merced Market and got a little lost among the produce, live animals, decorations, flowers and more. It was an experience!
The architecture and landscaping were fantastic and worth a trip alone. We enjoyed just looking at the different buildings and taking photos.
But, most important of all was spending time together. Mom likes to take pics of our hands…show the different signs of aging and life stages.
Other places we visited that I’d recommend seeing:
Carlos Slim’s freeform, metallic, art museum called Museo Soumaya
Have you been to Mexico City? What were some of your favorite places and/or things to do?