3-Day Mexico City Budget Itinerary

3-Day Mexico City Budget Itinerary

In a city the size of Mexico City, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting any time.  If you have a limited amount of time in the Mexican capital, say 3 days, you’re in luck.  I’ve devised a 3-day Mexico City budget itinerary.  This itinerary focuses on the very best of Mexico City’s offerings, including; architecture, food, bars, museums and more.

Mexico contains stunning cities and towns like Guadalajara and Guanajuato, but Mexico City is in a league of its own.  Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or end of your trip, you will want to maximise your time in Mexico City.  Follow this 3-days in Mexico City budget itinerary and you will not waste any of your precious time.

Day 1

Walk around the Historical Centre

It’s your first day in Mexico City, so why not throw yourself in at the deep end.  Spend the morning walking around the historical centre, amongst some of the finest architecture the city has to offer.  Head to the Belles Artes metro stop and you’ll be right in the thick of things.  There are tonnes of beautiful structures dotted around the historical centre for you to discover.  The building which you will see from this metro stop is arguably the finest, Palacio de Belles Artes (Palace of Fine Arts).  The white marble structure of the Palacio de Belles Artes gives it a unique elegance.  You will see plenty of buildings on your walk, including; the National Art Museum, National Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza De La Constitucion and much more.

Metropolitan Cathedral as advised to visit in the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Metropolitan Cathedral, Historical Centre

Enjoy a Torta Lunch

Street food and Mexico City go hand in hand.  There’s so much delicious food to eat throughout the city.  You will be longing for more days solely to sample everything on offer.  However, when time isn’t on your hands, you have to make your choices wisely.  I would recommend a torta lunch from one of the many stands around the city.  After a morning full of walking, what could be more inviting than a freshly toasted torta?  I’d recommend Torta de Milanesa consisting of; warm toasted bread, filled with crispy Milanesa (breaded pork), crunchy salad, creamy avocado, fiery pickled jalapenos and the obligatory spread of mayonnaise.  Sounds good eh?

Milanese torta from stand in Roma, Mexico City, as recommended on the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Milanese Torta

Explore Roma & Condesa

Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people.  That many people packed into one city can take it out of you.  It’s good to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the centre.  I recommend an afternoon exploring the laid back, upmarket suburbs of Roma and La Condesa.  The shaded tree lined streets of these neighbourhoods are much appreciated during sun-filled days.

Wander around the beautiful streets for a few hours.  There’s no shortage of independent stores, cafes, restaurants and bars in Roma and La Condesa.  Exactly what you would expect from a couple of suburbs which pride themselves on a quirky and arty nature.  The colourful houses lining the streets are a pleasure to gaze upon and the green, well-kept parks are the perfect spots to relax.

Condesa in Mexico City, as recommended to explore on the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

The shaded Streets of Condesa, Mexico City

Mercado Roma for Dinner

Mexico City is famous for its street food, but this small, but busy market in Roma offers something a bit different.  Would you expect anything else from a hipster neighbourhood?  Check out Mercado Roma for some dinner.  You will be spoilt for choice by all the little stalls throughout the market.  Don’t worry you can still get your traditional Mexican favourites if that’s what you’re after.  However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, you can get modern twists on the classics and international favourites.  Whatever you go for, make sure you finish off with some churros from El Moro!

Mercado Roma, as recommended to visit on this 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Mercado Roma

Drinks in Roma

No afternoon of exploring and chowing down in Roma would be complete without a few drinks in one of the many bars throughout this suburb.  I recommend one of the many hipster dive bars.  These bars may not be aesthetically pleasing, but here you’ll find the best value drinks and the coolest vibe.

Day 2

Get a Snap of El Angel de la Independencia

Start off your day (after some breakfast) by getting a snap of the famous El Angel de la Independencia (commonly shortened to El Angel).  This victory column – located in downtown Mexico City on Paseo de la Reforma – shoots above the surrounding buildings.  On a sunny clear day, the column is a brilliant photography point, with the blue sky and modern skyscrapers in the background.  El Angel was built in 1910 to commemorate 100 years since the beginning of Mexico’s war of independence.

El Angel de la Independencia soaring above its surroundings in Mexico City. As recommended to visit on the 3-days in Mexico City budget itinerary

El Angel de la Independencia, Mexico City

Explore Chapultepec Castle

A castle in Mexico City?  That isn’t a typo.  Construction of the castle began in 1785, by the commander and chief of ‘New Spain’ (I wonder how long it took them to think of that name).  In a streak of bad luck, after one architect departed for Havana and another died suddenly, the Spanish Crown attempted to auction off the castle.  Eventually, the castle was bought by the municipal government of Mexico City in 1806.  Over the years the castle has served many roles including; a military academy, imperial residence, presidential home and observatory.  Today the castle is a National Museum of History.

Entry to the castle is 70 MXN (3.90 USD).  Stroll around the castle and view the exhibitions.  Each room dedicates an exhibition to a different period in Mexican history.  If Mexican history isn’t your strong point, here’s a chance to fill your brain.  Be aware, the majority of information boards are in Spanish.  If like me, you’re Spanish is pretty much non-existent, you might not take in much information, but it’s still a stunning castle to wander around.  The far-ranging views from the castle over Mexico City are incredible, especially on a clear day.

Chapultepec Castle as recommended to visit on the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Chapultepec Castle

Make sure you do not go on a Monday, it’s shut!! If so, swap some days round

Enjoy a Taco Lunch

Head to one of the many tacos stands spread through downtown Mexico City.  You’ll need the fuel for what’s up next, believe me.  Luckily, you can head right out of Chapultepec Castle and right into Chapultepec Park which contains plenty of food stands.  Get yourself to the most enticing stand and tuck into some tacos with a filling of your choice.

Taco lunch in mexico city, as part of the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Taco Lunch

Museo Nacional de Antropologia

I’ve been to a few museums in my time, but the Museo Nacional De Antropologia in Mexico City is by far the largest and most extensive.  You could easily spend a full day here looking through all the exhibitions and that is no exaggeration.  The story goes that this museum contains on of the finest archaeological collections in the world.  The 12 ground-floor rooms of the museum contain exhibitions from pre-Hispanic cultures, displaying from region to region.  The 9 rooms on the upper floor of the museum contain displays focusing on current indigenous people.

A lot of the signs in the museum contain English translations, but not all.  There is an English audio-guide available for 75 MXN (4.15 USD) (please note, you will need to leave ID for the audio-guide).  Entry to the museum will cost 70 MXN (3.90 USD),  which is well worth it for the sheer size of the museum and number of exhibitions on display alone.

Please note Museo Nacional de Antropologia is also shut on Mondays!!

Museo Nacional de Antropologia as recommended to visit in the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Display at Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Food at La Casa de Tono

After working up an appetite taking in tonnes of information, give your brain and feet a rest and head to La Casa de Tono for a hearty meal.  La Casa de Tono is famous for its Pozole, so if you like generous portions of meat and bean soup, you’re in luck!  The Grande portion (which is more than enough) will set you back 50 MXN (2.75 USD).  A bargain if you ask me.  Trust me, you won’t be overcome with hunger anytime soon after demolishing this Grande Pozole.

Pazole at La Casa de Tono, as recommended to try on the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Pozole at La Casa de Tono

Day 3

Explore Teotihuacan Pyramids

Take a day-trip out of the city and explore the ancient city of Teotihuacan.  You will see many tour agencies offering tours to Teotihuacan from Mexico City.  Ignore the tours and take public transport instead, it’s as easy as tieing your shoelace.  From wherever you are in the city, jump on the metro to the Autobus del Norte stop on line 5.  Take the bus to Pyramides by purchasing a ticket from the Autobuses Teotihuacan stand.  A return ticket will cost you 100 MXN (5.50 USD) (price May ’17).

Once you’re at Teotihuacan and you’ve paid the 70 MXN (3.90 USD) entrance fee, spend the morning exploring the ancient city.  The 3 pyramid complexes you can explore are; the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon.

Visit Teotihuacan in the morning.  You’ll be climbing lots of steps when you’re scaling the pyramids.  Climbing steps + the midday Mexican sun = a very sweaty person.

The pyramids should take around 2 hours to explore. Take a packed lunch with you to Teotihuacan.  Climbing those pyramids is hungry work and the food stalls around the complex do not offer much in terms of quality and price.

Check out more detailed information on visiting Teotihuacan from Mexico City.

Teotihuacan pyramids, as recommended to do on the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Teotihuacan Pyramid Complex

Taqueria Alvaro Obregon for Dinner

If you love meat, Pastor will be something you come to love during your time in Mexico.  Taqueria Alvaro Obregon was somewhere we accidentally stumbled upon and their Pastor is some of the best I’ve tried during all my time in Mexico.  For something a bit different from the usual Tacos Al Pastor, I would recommend going for Gringa Pastor or Envueltos Pastor, both costing 56 MXN each (3.10 USD).

Taqueria Alvaro Obregon as recommended to eat during the 3-day mexico city budget itinerary

Taqueria Alvaro Obregon. Envueltos Pastor (Bottom) & Gringa Pastor (Top)

Relax, You’ve Earned It

During this ‘3-day Mexico City budget itinerary’ you’ve explored Mexico City high and wide, eaten some true Mexican delights and drank to your heart’s content.  Mexico City is the bustling hub of Mexico and you’ve experienced the very best of its offerings.  A truly unique city that captures the heart of its guests.  Grab a few beers from the shop, put your feet up and take in the events of the last few days.  You’ve earned this rest.

3-Day Mexico City Budget Itinerary Cost Breakdown

Day 1

  • Metro Hostal Dorm Bed – 210 MXN
  • Torta Lunch – 35 MXN
  • Mercado Roma Dinner – 100 MXN
  • Drinks in Roma (4 x Beers) – 140 MXN
  • Metro (5 MXN per journey, average daily use) – 20 MXN

Day 2

  • Metro Hostal Dorm Bed – 210 MXN
  • Chapultepec Castle – 70 MXN
  • Taco Lunch – 60 MXN
  • Museo Nacional de Antropolgicia – 70 MXN
  • La Casa de Tono Grande Pozole – 50 MXN
  • Metro (5 MXN per journey, average daily use) – 20 MXN

Day 3

  • Metro Hostal Dorm Bed – 210 MXN
  • Packed lunch for Teotihuacan – 50 MXN
  • Teotihuacan – 170 MXN
  • Taqueria Alvero Obregon – 56 MXN
  • Metro (5 MXN per journey, average daily use) – 20 MXN

3-day Mexico City budget itinerary total spend = 1491 MXN (82 USD)

**Please note – The above ‘3-Day Mexico City Budget Itinerary Cost Breakdown’ is a guide for the minimum you are likely to spend.  This does not include extras, including; activities, drinks, food etc.**

Where to Stay in Mexico City

I would recommend setting your base up in the suburbs or La Condesa or Roma.  The public transport from these locations is super-handy and there are tonnes to eat, drink and do in these areas.  If you’re happy to be surrounded by plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and bars, then Roma and La Condesa are the suburbs for you.

  • Metro Hostal – A new and modern hostel located in the heart of the Roma suburb.  An excellent location, close to restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.  Also located a 10-minute walk from a metro station.  Breakfast is included, so this is great to keep the costs down.  A bed in an 8-bed dorm will cost 210 MXN (11.60 USD).
  • Hostel Home – A laid back hostel in Roma.  Once again, an excellent location, being based in the heart of the Roma suburb.  Plenty of the usual amenities around.  The hostel strives for a friendly inclusive atmosphere.  Breakfast is included.  A bed in an 8-bed dorm will set you back 250 MXN (13.85 USD).
  • Stayinn Barefoot Condesa – Although a little pricier than the above 2 options, this hostel is a perfectly good option.  Located in the Condesa neighbourhood, Stayinn Barefoot Condesa is also in a great location.  The nearest metro station is a 10-minute walk away.  Breakfast is included.  What more could you ask for?  A bed in a 6-bed dorm will cost you 340 MXN (18.85 USD).

For more information and destinations in Mexico Click Here.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.

Where’s your favourite capital city? Have you been to Mexico City? Would you follow this 3-day Mexico City budget itinerary or not?

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