Mexico City is one of the most populous cities in the world and, in many ways, it’s Mexico’s cultural heart.
The city is conveniently located near many of the country’s most popular and historic archaeological sites, which makes day-trips a great way to see the surrounding countryside and learn about its history without venturing too far from your home-base.
The city is known for its cuisine, architecture, sports, and the many colorful and creative artists who call it home.
Though the city is relatively safe, due to its sprawling nature, it’s best experienced with a local guide.
Below are 15 of the best Mexico tours.
1. Full-Day Tour to Casa Azul, Xochimilco, and Coyoacán
The vibrant waterways of Xochimilco are great places to relax and explore via beautiful traditional boats called trajineras. If you add a cool drink and some amazing finger-food from the floating restaurants all around, the experience can be downright decadent.
The tour includes a stop in Coyoacán, a trendy neighborhood famous for the contemporary artists who live there and the wonderful art that’s found everywhere.
In addition, you’ll visit world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul – or blue house – and get some fascinating insights into the life of her and her famous husband Diego Rivera.
Last but not least, you’ll visit the campus of Central University, known for its murals and Olympic Stadium.
2. Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco Day Tour
If visiting three of the most historically important sites in one tour from Mexico City sounds like a great way to spend a day, consider this tour to Teotihuacan, the Shrine of Guadalupe and Tlatelolco.
Teotihuacan is one of the country’s most iconic sites and includes the Moon and Sun pyramids and the ancient temple of the god Quetzalcoatl.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is also an icon, especially with the country’s Catholic believers, who revere this shrine built to honor the Virgin Mary.
The tour takes a full day; meals and drinks aren’t included so bring a few pesos.
3. Puebla and Cholula Day-Tour with Lunch from Mexico City
Mexico has a rich and diverse history which dates back to the native Aztecs and the Spanish missionaries who sought to convert them to Christianity.
On this 10-hour tour, you’ll get a well-rounded view of the country’s culture and history, which even includes Arabic influences.
The tour also includes stops at the Cholula Archaeological Area, home to one of the largest pyramids in the Americas.
Another of the tour’s highlights is the Talavera ceramic plant, which boasts the distinctly Mexican pottery, tile, and ornaments that are popular the world over.
4. Lucha Libre Wrestling Show in Mexico City
Though professional wrestling is popular in America, its popularity in Mexico reaches epic proportions.
It’s full of dramatic, masked characters beating each other senseless as thousands of rowdy spectators cheer them on.
This tour begins with pickup at a pre-determined meeting point. From there, you’ll be driven to the area, which may feel smaller and more intimate than you’re expecting.
A shot of tequila before the match is included, and cold cervezas are available, so bring a few extra dollars.
The tour lasts between two and three hours and will show you a side of Mexico that few get to see.
5. Full-Day Volcano Hiking Tour
Izta-Popo National Park is a great place to visit as a day trip from Mexico City.
This full-day hiking tour includes pickup from meeting points in the city. From there, you’ll proceed to Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, where you’ll start your hike from the base of the dormant volcano.
The majestic volcano peaks at more than 10,000 feet and was first explored by conquistadors in the 16th century.
Group size is limited and the guide will tailor it to the fitness level of the guests, so you can go at a speed that’s good for you.
6. Cuernavaca and Taxco from Mexico City
Known as the City of Eternal Springs, Cuernavaca is in the neighboring state of Morelos and is known for its moderate climate, scenic streets, and flowered gardens.
It’s also home to one of the country’s great monasteries that dates back to the 1700s.
Contrasting Cuernavaca, Taxco is surrounded by scenic mountains loaded with silver and dotted with artisanal mines from eras past.
These two distinct cities will be a pleasant change from the urban hustle and bustle of Mexico City. They are full of their own history and beauty, and, since they’re not too far away, they can be visited in a day.
7. Chapultepec Castle and Anthropology Museum Tour
It’s not too well known that in ages past, the rulers of Mexico shared direct lineage with some of Europe’s royal families.
This tour that begins in Mexico City will take you to the stunning Chapultepec Castle, which was the home of the Mexican Emperor and is conveniently located near a revered Aztec ruin.
In addition, the Anthropology Museum is one of the most amazing stores of Central and South American history that you’ll find anywhere; much of the displays include artifacts dating back to the eras of the Incas, Toltecs, and Aztecs.
Everything is included except food, drinks, souvenirs, and gratuities.
8. Half-Day Markets and Street Food Tour
Visiting local markets is one of the best ways to get familiarized with the locals, their food, culture, and what makes them tick.
Because of the tens of millions of people that call Mexico City home, it’s full of local markets tucked into nearly every corner. For visitors, they can be amazingly fun and exotic places to visit.
On this half-day market tour, you’ll get some historical insight into some of the city’s famous and long-dead residents, like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
For most of the tour, you’ll travel via public transportation, and will get to sample some street food and pick up some souvenirs as well.
9. Private 3-Hour Walking Tour of Downtown Mexico City
Mexico City is a sprawling, diverse city; for visitors not familiar with its layout, it can be a bit on the overwhelming side too.
If you’d like a private tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, there’s no better way to do it than with a local guide.
The tour includes stops at many of the downtown area’s most historic and culturally important sites, like the Zona Rosa and Condesa Districts.
There will be time to browse a few shops and markets, and maybe even stop for a quick bite to eat as well, though food and drink aren’t included in the cost.
10. Half-Day Tour of Azteca Stadium
Like much of Europe and South America, Mexico is gaga over football – or soccer, as we call it in the States.
This half-day tour includes an insider’s look into Azteca Stadium, an iconic symbol of the country’s football mania.
The stadium is located in Santa Ursula, an easily reached suburb of Mexico City.
You’ll marvel at the stadium, which can hold more than 100,000 people. You’ll probably find its history and cultural significance interesting too – it has hosted some football legends like Pele.
This tour is a big hit, so plan ahead and book in advance if you can.
11. Mexico City’s Historic Centre Food Tasting Walking Tour
If you’re determined to experience the tastes of Mexico but don’t have a lot of time to devote to the endeavor, then this four-hour historic food tour is a must.
Mexico is one of the world’s great cuisines, and though there are no shortages of Mexican restaurants the world over, it’s really best experienced on the local level with an experienced guide.
This tour includes trips to cantinas, markets, and delightful little holes-in-the-wall that serve up some of the best grub you’ll find anywhere.
In addition to food and drink, you’ll also pass by lots of historic areas; your guide will tell you more about Mexican history and culture than you ever thought you’d know.
12. Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Tour
The magnificent Monarch butterflies make a southward migration every year that covers thousands of miles.
This nature-lovers tour will take you to one of the species’ winter sanctuaries, where you’ll get to stroll through the forest and appreciate the natural soundings and butterflies.
If you’re lucky enough to go when the butterflies are particularly plentiful, their density will make the forest practically come alive; the masses often resemble waterfalls and gently swaying bridal veils.
This tour lasts 15 hours, is all-inclusive, and includes stops at other regional hotspots like Lake Valle de Bravo, one of the area’s most popular recreation areas.
13. Hot-Air Balloon Flight over the Teotihuacan Pyramids
Mexico’s amazing ancient archaeological sites are incredible no matter how you see them, but viewing the Teotihuacan Pyramids by hot-air balloon is something extra special.
After a brief safety meeting, your guide will start the balloon’s ascent and you’ll drift over the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, which are some of the most well-preserved and studied pre-Columbian sites anywhere in the Americas.
Everything is included, even transportation to and from your Mexico City hotel, so don’t let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass you by.
If you’ve got a fear of heights or are claustrophobic, this isn’t for you.
14. 4-Hour Private Evening Taco Tour
Mexico has more different kinds of tacos than seems humanly possible. If you’re an avid taco lover, there’s no better way to get your fix than this four-hour taco tour.
Your street savvy guide will take you to some amazing taco stands, some of which aren’t much bigger than a closet. You’ll get the opportunity to try some local drinks like mescal too.
Transportation to and from your hotel is included. You’ll visit a few of the city’s distinct neighborhood taquerias and cantinas, and though you may not be able to converse with the locals, you’ll definitely feel like one of them while you’re wolfing down your grub.
15. Day of the Dead Celebration and Tour
The town of San Andres is the place where many of Mexico City’s residents go to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
The town is about an hour from Mexico City and swells to massive proportions as visitors flock here on the national holiday in which people pay homage to their dead friends and relatives.
This festival has been going on for ages; it includes beautiful decorations of candles, flowers, and the famous artwork that includes colorful pictures of skulls and skeletons.
It’s one of those culturally unique things to do on your trip to Mexico that shouldn’t be passed up.