15 Tips for Mexico City as an Alternative Travel Destination

viveros de coyoacan
The Viveros de Coyoacan Park.  Photo: Thelmadatter on Wikimedia Commons

Mexico City may already be the grand dame of Alt-Travel destinations. Here are 15 ways you can travel and stay, better, every time you visit Mexico City.


Mexico City travel has boomed over the last several years. Other than the 2020 pandemic which flattened tourism numbers around the world, Mexico City has grown every year since 2010.

But that doesn’t mean it’s loaded with yahoos and Mickey Mouse hats. There are some sites that get very crowded. Many others will welcome you with hardly a nod to the fact that you’re from somewhere else.

There’s dozens of reasons not to turn Mexico City into one of the world’s mass-tourism destinations. It’s already an environmentally sensitive area. It’s also a City loaded with sensitive artifacts, treasures, and Patrimonial sites that can’t bear crushes or crowds.

The City also knows that it takes a special kind of people to want to visit a place as ginormous, complicated, confusing, and confounding. There’s a lot to learn, and these pages are dedicated to helping you do more of it.


  1. Do Some Research Before You Get Here
    That’s probably how you got to this page in the first place. (Kudos to you!)
  2. Eat at the Market
    Mexico’s public markets and street tianguis are a model for supporting small business. They’re also serving healthier, fresher, and more natural foods, every day! And many of them have been doing so for generation. Of course, you’re supporting farmers when you eat there. You’re supporting your own health too. Speaking of which…
  3. Support Smaller Businesses
    No one’s ever heard of a mom-n-pop airline, but you make compromises all the time. Skip some of the branded merchandise and food that you’re familiar with for the better food options. And while you can’t get “souvenirs” in much of the western world anymore, you can get hand-made and traditional keepsakes all over Mexico.
  4. Take the Metro and other Public Transport Options
    App-based have their place. Obviously, they’ve revolutionized many kinds of short-trips. But to get all the way across town, they’re NOT the best option.
  5. Don’t Accept Plastic Bags
  6. Visit a Few Places Outside Your Comfort Zone
  7. Come Back to this Site.
    In fact, it’s already about “all of the above.”


Los Dinamos National Park

One of Mexico City's most spectacular skylines, it's a National Park and a tremendous spectacle.

Multifamiliar Presidente Alemán

Giant housing for the giant see, it's still one of the most successful public housing complexes ever.

Inmaculada Concepción Ixnahualtongo, Merced Balbuena

Just a few steps outside the south exits of the Mercado de Sonora...

Mercado Juárez

A neighborhood market on the cusp of several neighborhoods.

Mercado Unidad Kennedy

One of Pani's massive housing developments from the 1960s revolves around a terrific colorful market.