The sprawling metropolis of Mexico City, or D.F. to the locals, has one of the highest populations in the world. The city is crowded and energetic and although there are many fantastic sights, most of them are spread out in far-flung corners of the city. This can make D.F. a slightly overwhelming experience for the first time visitor. Therefore a good local tour guide can be a valuable asset to have.
The following list is a good place to start. We have sifted through over 200 different tours on offer in the city and come up with our list of the best five. Each one offers a slightly different experience, but always one that is uniquely Mexican. We based our selection on, among other things, price, authenticity of experience and past traveller reviews.
FROM: $54/per person
A great starter tour to get your bearings, the City Tour takes you through the UNESCO World Heritage listed area of the city that includes the Cathedral and ancient Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan. The tour then moves on towards the Museum of Anthropology (an absolute must in Mexico City), by way of some of the famous murals of Diego Rivera. The tour lasts five hours and transportation, included in the price, is by minivan.
From $39/ per person
This Mexico City tour takes you to five of the city’s finest street markets. Among the highlights will be visits to an off-the-beaten-track food market unknown to most tourists, a truly unique witchcraft market selling everything from superhero costumes and festive piñata to magic potions and voodoo dolls, and the city’s largest flower market where vendors will match the colour of your eyes to their most exotic flowers. Here you’ll also get to sample a variety of esoteric food and drink, including a cup of pineapple tepache, tamales, Mexican barbecue, fruit cocktail, and exotic mixed juices. You’ll end the tour by heading to a local patio to relax and soak up the memories.
From $65/ per person
This 3-hour guided walking tour takes a select number of guests into the epicentre of Mexico City’s vibrant food scene, the hipster-fuelled district of Colonia Roma. During the tour you’ll visit six diverse food tasting locations, ranging from Mexican fusion foodie hotspots to traditional eateries to specialty stores – not to mention Mexican craft beer and cocktail samples. Along the way you’ll get to meet friendly local owners and staff and hear fascinating stories about Mexico’s rich food culture. Between stop-offs, you’ll also get to strolls around this ultra-fashionable neighbourhood, dipping into art galleries and enjoying its vibrant plazas and other architectural masterpieces. The ticket price includes all food and drink tastings, plus gratuities.
From $202/ per person
A visit to Mexico means you can’t miss a trip to the Teotihuacan Pyramids. There aren’t quite enough words to describe the breathtaking beauty of what was once Mesoamerica’s greatest city, and now one of the region’s most popular attractions. Exploring Teotihuacan from the ground is incredible, but there’s nothing quite like observing the pyramids of the sun and moon from 2000 feet above the ground. Take to the sky for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a hot-air balloon and admire more than just the ancient ruins. Bask in the views of the beautiful green valley, volcanoes and mountains during your flight.
From $58/ per person
This tour combines some of the greatest cultural aspects of Mexico into one day. Start out by dining in one of Mexico City’s famous cantinas before heading to the arena to watch people in colourful masks throw one another around a ring, in the fantastic lucha libre. After that, head to Garibaldi Square where mariachi bands congregate to play their music, before heading back to the main square, El Zocalo, for a nightcap in a pub.