City guide: Mexico City
Jade Moyano is the founder of Travel Dose, a travel editor and writer who is always on the move. For Jade, traveling is synonymous with surprises and word of mouth recommendations. We follow her to Mexico City, one of her favourite places in the world.
What do you love about Mexico City?
I've been to Mexico City a few times and every time, I just want to stay. I love the people - they're so creative and interesting! The level of courtesy among each other is beautiful. Mexicans are some of the most loving people and are always eager to help. The amazing range of architectural styles, the colonial details of the homes... It makes me nostalgic and I don't even know why!
I love the Distrito Federal (DF) but I also love being able to rent a car and drive out to the other nearby towns. There was once we drove out to this little town called Patzcuaro, it's the most magical place. Tepoztlán is also incredible! I highly recommend taking time to see other parts of the country.
How is Mexico City oriented?
Mexico City has about 350 colonias, or neighbourhoods. It's massive and I find that the easiest way to get around is to orientate yourself via the colonias. I normally take a taxi to whichever neighbourhood I'm going to, then I either walk around or rent a bike. Since the buses tend to be quite crowded, public transportation still leaves much to be desired. But they do have city bikes and great bike lanes. Just watch out for the crazy drivers!
What are your 3 favourite neighbourhoods in Mexico City?
Condesa, Roma and Coyoacán are artsy, bohemian, and tree-lined. I do recommend going downtown though. It's pretty chaotic but I love that chaos and when I travel I really make sure to experience the city the way locals do.
What do you like about these neighbourhoods?
It's bohemian, clean, and almost zen to me. I love all the greenery, sunny parks, and the 1920s architecture, it's definitely nice to stay in Condesa because you get the peace you want after running around all day.
When I think of Condesa I think of food. It's a bit of a restaurant hub. Also do walk around Avenida Michoacan and you'll see why this place is so charming.
You should definitely eat at El Parnita, which is closer to Roma. I had my best meal there and it has super simple, traditional Mexican grandma style food.
Roma's hip - it's where the cool kids are at. It has a little more energy than Condesa, although it's literally next door.
In Roma, we usually hang out at Puebla 109. And there's definitely dancing, drinking and gallery hopping involved while we're in this neighbourhood.
Coyoacán has this vibe - it's eclectic. It feels like you are at the center of what's buzzing and what's new in Mexico, it's amazing to see all the art and feel the spirit of this generation of creative Mexicans, they're my favorite.
Pictured above: El Parnita (credit: Distrito Global)
What are some fun things that you think are must-dos in Mexico City for travelers who don't want to do the usual touristy things?
I would say don't be afraid to try all the food. The street food is really good in Mexico City! And drink mezcal.
Go out and mingle, sit outside at a bar in the afternoon, and definitely go dancing. Also, allow yourself to get a little lost, don't plan everything by the book. I found some of my favorite markets and galleries by walking around aimlessly.
Pictured above: Kurimanzutto Gallery (credit: Contemporary Art Daily)
What about the nightlife in Mexico City? How do Mexicans party and where do they go?
Mexicans probably invented the party (after the Brazilians), at least that's how it feels like when you're there. Some of my favorite DJ's and clubs are in DF. Be sure to check out M.N.Roy and Mono - epic spots for dancing.
Pictured above: M.N. Roy (credit: Ramiro Chaves)
Do you have some favourite shopping places to recommend in Mexico City?
I always make sure to check out the markets. The tianguis, like the Mexicans would say, are a staple. On Sundays make sure to check out La Lagunilla tianguis next to the Barrio Bravo. It's a colorful market which sells everything from antique sofas to vintage rugs, costumes, books, records, and some amazing traditional Mexican crafts.
While markets tend to be full of tourists I still do believe that it's a must in every city. There's no better way to see how people go about their businesses and how they communicate with each other. Just be smart and avoid the tourist traps. Other than that, walk around Roma and you will stumble upon design/art oriented shops with some of the most well-made stuff.
Stylish vacation rentals in Mexico City
This penthouse apartment in Mexico City offers a magnificent view of the Chapultepec Park and the Castillo de Chapultepec.
Check out more beautiful vacation rental properties in Mexico City on Roomorama.