One of the highest concentrations of museums and galleries in the world, an innovative food scene that rivals those of Copenhagen and Tokyo, and a profusion of high-design shops and buzzy hotels are just a few of the reasons why Mexico City is the place to be these days. This four-day itinerary delivers the best of the city, with plenty of time, of course, to dine at the finest restaurants.
Day 1: Historic Mexico City
Kick off your exploration in the Centro Histórico, where the Spanish built their colonial city on the ruins of the old Aztec capital, which you can still visit. Walk to the famous Zócalo plaza, and visit the National Palace to view Diego Rivera’s raw, breathtaking mural telling the story of Mexico City’s founding. Head to Contramar for tuna tostadas and a refreshing michelada (cerveza over ice with lime juice and salt), followed by a stroll through Chapultepec Park. History buffs can take a deeper dive into precolonial Mexico with a private after-hours tour of the National Anthropology Museum. For dinner, head to the trendy Polanco or Roma Norte neighborhoods, where top picks include Quintonil, Máximo Bistrot and newcomer Meroma.
Day 2: Modern Art and Architecture
Begin the day at the Museum of Modern Art, a small but powerful collection of works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. Then meet your guide for a walking tour of the houses designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning modernist architect Luis Barragán. Lunch at the historic San Ángel Inn before touring Casa Azul, where Kahlo was raised and died, as well as the house cum studio she shared with Rivera for twenty tempestuous years. End the day with dinner at Rosetta, a popular Italian restaurant in the Roma district.
Day 3: Teotihuacán Pyramids and Hot-Air Balloon Adventure
Depart early to watch the sun rise over the Valley of Teotihuacán, the center of the Aztec civilization, from a hot-air balloon. You will pass over the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and toast your landing with sparkling wine before breakfast. Afterward, explore Teotihuacán by foot and climb the pyramids. In the evening, meet for cocktails at the Four Seasons’ Fifty Mils before dining at a top new restaurant like Emília, El Roma Bistrot, Nom, Sartoria or Carmela y Sal.
Day 4: Food and Design Touring
Meet a local chef and sample the wares of the Mercado de Medellín, where you will select ingredients for a workshop at Mexico City’s top cooking school, Casa Jacaranda. Enjoy what you’ve prepared for lunch accompanied by flights of craft mezcal. Then browse the city’s up-and-coming boutiques and galleries, including Kurimanzutto, Esrawe and Onora Casa. Alternatively, drive to Xochimilco, a city of canals constructed by the Aztecs, and board a colorful trajinera to see the beautiful flowers that grow there, as well as monkeys and tropical birds. View the sunset from the boat and make cocktails with an expert mixologist before watching a mariachi performance. Return to Mexico City for a final blowout dinner at the hottest table in town, Enrique Olvera’s Pujol.