When visiting Mexico City also with tourist groups we most of the time stayed here for one to three days. This is also why we made the guides to the perfect day and the perfect weekend in Mexico City. In our opinion, this is the perfect time span to get to know Mexico City without getting bored. But we also had a lot of clients that had more time to spare and wanted to spend their days in a meaningful way. So here we put together the best destinations that are within a day's reach of Mexico City and worth visiting.
The most know day-trip destination close to Mexico City obviously is Teotihuacan and its pyramids. If you have a whole day to spare, get here in the morning, take a tour (guided if you want) to see the pyramids and get to know a big part of the prehispanic culture. But our adventure does not end here. This Is the perfect way to spend your morning before it gets hot. Afterward, you should get to the village of San Juan de Teotihuacan which actually is a lovely small village very worth visiting. Here you can walk around the streets, try some local food and visit the market to buy some souvenirs. If you still want to get something else done you can go to one of the many haciendas around. Many of them have mezcal and pulque tastings and also offer souvenirs and local foods.
This is a very nice spot to explore if you do not want to drive too far away but still want to get to know the more local life in Mexico. You can get here by bus from the central Norte for 80 pesos or you can take your own car. It takes around 30min to drive.
2. Xochimilco, Coyoacán, San Ángel
Another tip without even leaving Mexico City at all are these three destinations within Mexico City. In a traditional touristy way many people don’t visit all these places necessarily because they are located a bit outside the center. We still think they are more than worth a visit. You can start your day by visiting Xochimilco and renting one of the trajineras. Here you can enjoy breakfast on the water and see how everyday life starts over there. If you prefer beer and a party you should do this last.
San Angel is one of the furthest away barrios in Mexico City from the City Center.
We recommend going on a Saturday because their artisan market is especially beautiful on this day. But any day you can buy some nice things there, visit the beautiful main park and eat in one of the restaurants around.
Also if you have not visited Coyoacan yet, you definitely should come by here. It is a beautiful place to go to the market, drink some coffee, and of course visit the Casa Azul, where Frida Kahlo lived with her family. If you want to go into the museum buy tickets beforehand online so you don’t have to wait in line. If you like coffee you should also visit the Cafè Jarocho, drink a coffee, and even take freshly ground coffee home with you.
3. Tepoztlán, Cuernavaca
One of our favorite day or even half-day trips from Mexico City is the beautiful village of Tepoztlan in Morelos. Taking the public bus from the Central Bus station Taxqueña it only takes you 40min to get there with a direct bus connection. This village is located in the middle of lush green mountains and has beautiful hiking trails. You can spend a whole day walking around the village, trying some local food and hiking up to the Tepozteco. If you like Wellness of any kind here you can find a lot of Wellness hotels with very nice Spas and Massage services to relax for a bit.
If after being here for a time you still have time and want to visit and see something else you should take a bus or your car to get to the city of Cuernavaca. From Tepoztlan this will take you another 40min but is totally worth it. This beautiful city, of the never-ending spring, has a lot of history. Hernan Cortes had his palace here, so in case you are interested in Mexican history, you should pass by and take a bus tour around the city to get to know all the places. If not the center of Cuernavaca is very beautiful to have a walk, visit the botanic museum just in the center and eat in one of the many good restaurants.
After this long trip, you can easily take a bus back to Mexico City right from the center of Cuernavaca and get back to Mexico City in 90min.
4. Cholula, Puebla, Volcanes
As one of the trips that take you a bit further away Puebla and its surroundings is a great day-trip destination from Mexico City. To get to the center of Puebla it only takes you two hours by bus, in-car even better. Puebla has a very beautiful historic center that is very worth visiting for half a day and even taking a tour in one of the many museums within is worth it.
The recommendation we have apart from just visiting the historic center of Puebla is to visit the pyramid and village of Cholula. This village has a very special pyramid since it is buried and you can visit the inside tunnels of this pyramid walking. It is a very special experience. You can also visit the church that was built on top of the pyramid by the Spanish. If you are really lucky you can also get a great view of the Popocatepetl from here.
If you are taking your own car you can, on your way back to Mexico City, stop at a Gas station in the middle of the two volcanoes and take some really beautiful pictures.
5. Queretaro, Bernal; Tequisquiapan
Queretaro is in our opinion one of the most beautiful cities to visit when in Mexico. For a day trip from Mexico City, it is quite far away since the bus takes you 3 hours to get there, in-car a bit shorter. Our recommendation is to renting a car in Mexico City to make the best out of a day in the State of Queretaro.
Even more beautiful than the city as such are the villages that you can find here. You should drive directly in the morning to Bernal, which is a beautiful village on the foot of a huge monolith that you can hike up. For us, the monolith is what makes this village so special and gives them a different perspective. Also, the village as such is really beautiful to have a walk around and get to know.
After visiting Bernal you need to visit Tequisquiapan which is by var just 30min away. This village is known for its most beautiful colors, the pink church, and the wine that is produced here. A very nice place to visit here is Freixenet, take a tour of the wine fields and have a wine tasting just there. Otherwise, the village is great for a shortstop, getting something to eat and taking some beautiful pictures.
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