K8CanRelate's Guide on How to Spend a Layover in Mexico City

K8CANRELATE's Guide on How to Spend a Layover in.png

When planning for our honeymoon in Mexico, we purposefully chose our flights to include long layovers for us to explore Mexico City. I hope you find this guide helpful when planning your time in Mexico City. If you’re familiar with traveling in Mexico City, please drop your favorite places in the comments as I already want to go back!


GETTING THERE

Flying from LAX into Mexico City via Volaris was a breeze, not to mention very affordable. Danny decided to rent a car from Enterprise to get from the airport to our hotel, which was more centrally located than the airport. The car rental itself was easy, a van transported us from the airport to their office and soon enough, we had our vehicle. Honestly, if you aren’t super confident in your driving, I wouldn’t recommend this. It wasn’t a big deal but I was holding my breath (and death gripping the door handle) the entire time. The roads were pretty crazy, and we had not prepared at all prior to the decision by doing research online. If we did it over, we would have just used Uber the entire time. We did end up using Uber on the last leg of our trip in Mexico City, and it was the same experience that we have in the US. If you aren’t staying overnight in Mexico City, you can store your bags in the luggage lockers outside baggage claim at the airport so you don’t have to drag them around all day. The main part of the city is about 20 minutes away without traffic (but traffic gets cRaZy so check Google Maps), so it’s an easy drive to get there.

This view though!

This view though!

WHERE TO STAY

This might come as a shock to you, but we actually stayed in a h o t e l the first night of our honeymoon. I know, honestly so out of character. We cashed in some airline points and got a junior suite at the Hilton Reforma. It was SO lovely and the best part? The views overlooking the city. That sunrise will be etched into my memory for years to come.

We also stayed in this super cute (and affordable) Airbnb on our last night of the trip. There is a security guard on duty at all times, which is a nice perk if you are a weary travel or traveling solo!

The Centro Historico District is where our hotel and our Airbnb were located and where many museums and other attractions are, so it’s the perfect place to hang out if you don’t have much time. It was a really fun area to wander around.

This waffle sandwich at Vegamo was as delicious as it looks

This waffle sandwich at Vegamo was as delicious as it looks

WHERE TO EAT

We had less than 24 hours to spend in Mexico City for the first leg of our trip, and we took to the streets almost immediately. From our hotel, we walked to Vegamo for dinner. Danny ordered the Chewbacca waffle sandwich with horchata to drink and I got the protein bowl with a golden mylk latte. That golden milk latte was pure magic, and so was Danny’s meal. The protein bowl was very filling, Danny ended up finishing it for me. We loved the ambiance, food and location of this place so much that we actually went back for brunch the next day. I got the chilaquiles with mole and Danny got the omelette. Does anyone else get pissed off when their partner always orders the better thing? That omelette was pure magic, ya’ll. If you are ever in Mexico City, we definitely recommend this place.

If you are a vegan traveling to Mexico City, check out these recommendations from Happy Cow. We perused this list a few times, and can’t wait to go back and try more!

Part of the courtyard at the National Palace

Part of the courtyard at the National Palace

WHAT TO DO

I was in Mexico City on a mission: to find Frida and Diego. I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo’s work and a fan of her as a person. I also love Rivera’s mural work, and wanted to see at least something by them. With this in mind, we took to Avenida Juárez which runs straight through the historic heart of Mexico City. We wandered through Parque Alameda (which had many vendors set up at night, and in daylight is a great place to people watch and look at various sculptures and statues) Oh, and the park also has free wi-fi. As we strolled on, we awed at the beauty of Palacio de Bellas Artes but didn’t go inside, peaked our heads into a few cathedrals on our way. The courtyard area of Museo Nacional de las Culturas is breathtaking, and reminded me so much of my time in Spain.

One of Diego Rivera’s murals in the National Palace depicting Frida

One of Diego Rivera’s murals in the National Palace depicting Frida

Zócalo is the true heart of Mexico City, and where you will find the Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor Museum and many other historical buildings. We had time to briefly visit all of these. When you enter the queue for the Palacio Nacional, expect that they will ask for your passport or some kind of identification. Entry is free, and this is where you can find many of Diego Rivera’s murals. I could have spend hours just sitting and looking over the detail in his work. I won’t make this an art history exposé, but everything about the National Palace is exquisite. If you have any time at all in Mexico City, this would be my top recommendation.

After our stay at the resort near Puerto Escondido, which you can read more about here, we flew back into Mexico City. Our flight back home the next morning was super early, and we just kind of felt like having a lazy night in. Our Airbnb might have had something to do with that, because it was cozy as hell! Something that we will do every so often is order delivery or take-out and eat it all in bed while watching a movie. We wanted to end our honeymoon as the indulgent royalty that we are, so we ordered delivery from a vegan taco place. Honestly, it was kind of a shit show. The way that things were packaged for delivery was super strange, and the tacos weren’t super great. We thought we were ordering chips and vegan queso but in reality we got the queso and straight up tortillas (LOL). Not a big deal, as it was definitely something to remember.


We wish we would have had more time to spend exploring Mexico City, but we are grateful to have experienced what we did. Have you been to Mexico City? Where did you eat, what did you see, what should we experience when we go back?