Things To Do in or Near Mexico City on an Extended Stay
Here are our suggestions for things to do in or around Mexico City if you’re there for longer than a weekend.
We had the luxury of living in Mexico City for three weeks, which theoretically opened up a lot of options for us, but a serious bout of food poisoning ruined our plans. Nonetheless, we have research under our belts and we’d like to share. Read on.
Learn or practice Spanish
After Mexico, we were headed to Guatemala in Central America so brushing up on our conversational Spanish was critical. Antigua, the old Capital city of Guatemala, is a known destination for learning the language because of its abundance of schools (and affordable prices), but we’d only be passing through and we didn’t want to wait that long so we looked into schools in Mexico City. These are the best we found:
Estudio Hispanico - International school near San Angel offers weekly intensives with the option to stay with a host family for the full immersive experience.
Lengua & Cultura - Language school located in Roma Sur with 25+ language teachers and tudors. They offer one month immersion courses, one or two week intensives, and private lessons.
Spanish Spoken Lessons - Jordán, an independant teacher, who takes a more flexible and conversational approach. He can do face-to-face lessons in the Condesa-Roma area or over Skype.
Explore nearby landmarks
Teotihuacan - Ancient city that was once the 6th largest in the world and has one of the largest pyramids in the world. (1 hour from Mexico City)
Xochimilco - Float down lush canals in colorful gondola-like boats called “trajineras” while enjoying drinks (BYO), food from one of the many street vendors, and mariachi music. These canals are all that’s left of the lake that Mexico City was founded on and it’s become touristy but you will experience history and support the local economy.
If you’re heading down to Xochimilco, Museo Dolores Olmedo would be a perfect place to stop on the way. (1.5 hours from Mexico City)
Visit other Mexican destinations
Big city living is fun, but pollution and crowds can dampen a spirit. Plus, there’s plenty more of the country to explore. Go on a getaway and get rejuvenated. Some suggestions:
San Miguel de Allende - Ranked 2017’s ‘Top Urban Destination’ by Travel & Leisure, this colonial city in Mexico’s central highlands is supposed to be like Disneyland for art lovers. Baroque Spanish architecture, cobblestone streets, colorful facades, contemporary art galleries, textiles, manicured central plaza and a pink Gothic church. We wish we could have visited. (3.5 hour drive from Mexico City)
Valle de Bravo - This is the most popular weekend getaway for Mexico City’s upper class. It’s a small colonial city on a lake that has big city draws like nice restaurants and shopping plus water sports. (2 hour drive from Mexico City)
Tequila - Birthplace of tequila with top producers located here, this is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Cities). It’s nickname is "the land of blue gold” because of the agave fields. Jump on the “Tequila Trail” to tour and taste at Cuervo, Sauza, Herradura, Cazadores and some smaller distilleries. Once your hungover has subsided, visit Guachimontones, a super sweet ancient grass-covered circular pyramid from 300 BCE. (7 hour drive from Mexico City)
Xilitla - Another Pueblo Mágico, this is a jungle town that inspired English artist, Edward James, to create Las Pozas (the Pools), a surrealist concrete sculpture garden. Salvador Dalí described James as "crazier than all the Surrealists together” if thats any indication of what this place is like. - (7.5 hour drive from Mexico City)