Exciting Solo Adventures in CDMX: A Mexico City Travel Guide

I’ve been wanting to visit Mexico City and finally was able to go in January. I’m obsessed. It’s become one of my favorite cities and there’s so much to do. I extended my trip because 3 days wasn’t enough. I’m no stranger to solo travel. I took my first international solo trip to Dubai in 2016.

Admittedly I didn’t plan much of anything prior to going. This was very much an impromptu trip. Hopefully this itinerary gives you some ideas about how to plan your trip to Mexico City. It helps that I stayed in Condesa which is a vibrant, walkable neighborhood. Also, Condesa is close to other must-see neighborhoods such as Roma Norte that has many hip restaurants. CDMX is such a beautiful city with so much to do.

Why a Solo Trip to Mexico City?

I was needing a destination that was a short flight from SFO that would offer culture and a change in scenery. Mexico City was the best destination for me given the type of travel experience I was looking for.

THINGS TO KNOW

Know some Spanish before you go. I thought I could get around with the Spanish I remembered. I found there was no guarantee to have someone who speaks English. Knowing the basics would make your life easier.

A lot of the popular restaurants and museum activities can be booked months in advance so be sure to plan ahead! I managed to be booked and busy but trying to finesse a seating for one is very different than with a group.

Walking in some areas can be faster to get around than by car. When in areas like Juarez, La Condesa and Roma Norte traffic is backed up OFTEN.

Ubers are affordable but I took the train to experience public transit. It was easy to navigate and were extensive. Some people cautioned against pickpockets but I didn’t run into this issue. As you would in any other city, be aware of your surroundings. 

Where I Stayed During My Solo Trip to Mexico City

Mondrian Condesa | Aguascalientes 156, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

  • Located in the beautiful Condesa neighborhood with a beautiful rooftop bar. The service was excellent and the location was impressive. The room comes with. a Marshall bluetooth speaker. I love getting ready with music so this was an important feature.

Airbnbs were plentiful. They were very affordable in great neighborhoods. I personally prefer to stay in hotels especially when traveling solo.

WHERE TO EAT(Highlights)

Marsala y Maiz This spot initially recommended to me once I arrived from a friend I met at brunch at Lardo. Then one of my friends from Oakland sent me the recommendation via IG. I’m so glad I went. The flavors were incredible. There were other restaurants commonly recommended (Pujol, Contramar) but I have a hard time believing this meal isn’t on par with those establishments. I made my reservation through WhatsApp because they were booked online so far out. This is a nice restaurant when you’re looking for a splurge. Ten ten tens, across the board.

Churreria El Moro – Here you can enjoy freshly fried churros paired with rich chocolate or dulce de leche dipping sauces.

Taqueria Orinoco – There are multiple locations throughout the city. I’d recommend going at a random time. There is often a line but some times there’s a shorter wait than others. They have speciality tacos here and they’re worth the wait. I had better luck when I went in the early afternoon before my fight home. After a night at a speakeasy I gave up after waiting 20 minutes and the line didn’t move.

Lalo! – Great for breakfast. As someone who doesn’t eat eggs, there were so many delicious options. The service here was excellent. They have indoor and outdoor seating.

Lardo – I went here for lunch. I enjoyed the mussels and champange. For dessert, I had the best carrot cake topped with ice cream I have had the pleasure of eating.

Panaderia Rosetta (brunch, pastries) – The internet was right: you have to try the guava roll here.

I went to other restaurants but they’re not listed because they weren’t impressive.

Overall, the cafe culture in CDMX is TOP TIER. There seems to be one on every corner or so within certain parts of the city. Try to book in advance if you can. But because I was traveling alone, I’ve found places are more able/willing to accommodate a last minute reservation for a party of 1 rather than a larger group.

Outfit on LTK: here

WHERE TO DRINK IN MEXICO CITY

Baltra Bar (highly recommend): This bar was a short walked from my hotel. They have a rotating menu and a menu of the classics. The drinks were well-balanced, the atmosphere was vibey. I’m so happy to have had the pleasure of being the +1 of the friend I made during lunch that invited me to tag along. I went on a Sunday night and it was pretty busy.

drinks at baltra bar in mexico city

Licoreria Limantour – Considered one of the top bars in the world. These cocktails were so imaginative. The menu changes every few months and it loved the Mexican takes on classic cocktails.

Handshake Bar (highly recommend) – An absolute must visit. I don’t want to ruin any surprises but this bar is an experience. The drinks were phenomenal and so was the service. You get a menu with three different courses to choose from. The menu was so diverse and the aesthetics here were gorgeous. They have light food as well but I only enjoyed the drinks. It was here I had the best pina colada I’ve ever had. Each drink was so well-crafted and the environment here is so fun. This speakeasy has bar, table and lounge seating to accommodate small parties and large groups alike.

In these bars I met some amazing travelers I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Coincidentally, several were from California and DC. We bonded over that because what are the odds I’d meet people from home. Not only did I enjoy the drinks I had a great time with the bartenders and meeting other people visiting Mexico City.

What I Did During My Solo Trip to Mexico City

DAY 1

Early morning arrival in CDMX, hotel check-in at Mondrian Condesa. Walked around Parque Espana

📍Brunch at Lardo Restaurant

📍Explored and took pictures at Chapultepec Castle

📍Drinks at Baltra Bar

📍Tacos, Empanadas nearby

DAY 2

📍Brunch at Panaderia Rosetta

📍Explored and window shopping through Roma Norte,

📍Drinks at a rooftop bar

📍Dinner at Caracol de Mar

Day 3

📍Frida Kahlo Museum | Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán

📍Coyoacán Market

📍 Ate at Churreria El Moro

DAY 4

📍Breakfast at Lalo! | Zacatecas 173, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

📍Shopping at Reforma 222

📍Masala y Maiz | Calle Marsella 72, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Juárez, CDMX, Mexico 🏆

DAY 5

📍 Drinks at Licoceria Limantour, Handshake 🏆

DAY 5

📍Churro masterclass (booked through Airbnb)

📍Juice and brunch at Frutos Prohibidos

📍Ate at Taquería Orinoco @taqueriaorinoco | multiple locations 🏆

Left CDMX for my afternoon flight to return to SFO.

WHERE TO SHOP

  • Polanco

NEIGHBORHOODS

  • Condesa
  • Coyoacán – comes with bohemian charm and rich history. Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul was a highlight. The nearby Coyoacán market is a must see and offers an authentic Mexican experience.
  • Chapultepac (museums, galleries)
  • Polanco
  • Roma Norte
  • Centro

SAFETY AS A SOLO TRAVELER

Overall, I felt safe while traveling alone in Mexico City. Even as I took public transit, I didn’t have any moments during my stay where I felt unsafe. I do however think it’s worth nothing that I was stared at multiple times particularly by men. It was more uncomfortable than unsafe but worth noting. As a rule of thumb, I always enroll my trip in the U.S. State Department Step program to be made aware of any safety concerns.

ACTIVITIES

Churros masterclass (Airbnb Experience)

Museo Frida Kahlo

Chapultepec Castle

What I Would Have Done if I had More Time on My Solo Trip to Mexico City

This was what I coined my “eat, pray, love” trip so this was intended to be a trip where I planned to eat and drink. And I did that, WELL. Next time I return, I would do the following activities:

Activities: Lucha Libre, Museum of Natural History, Hot springs, Hot air balloonflight over Teotihuacan Pyramids, Las Grutas Tolantongo, Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Xochimilco Boat Tour  

Eat at Blaxicocina, La Gruta, Pujol, Contramar

Drinks at Hanky Panky, Toledo Rooftop Bar

In summary, even after spending five days in Mexico City, I felt like I had only scratched the surface. The city’s diverse neighborhoods, rich history, and welcoming culture left me wanting more. If you have any recommendations for my next visit, whether it’s hidden gems, local eateries, or cultural hotspots, I’d love to hear them!

Share your Mexico City adventures and recommendations in the comments below.

Cheers!

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