Travel

Skip Cancun And Visit Mexico City Instead

Move your break from the sand to the city. ✨💫🌟
03/09/2017 01:00pm ET

Let’s be honest: If you’ve endured one wild beach party, you needn’t do it again.

Cancun, Mexico has perfect blue water well worth visiting, but at this time of year, the pre-planned resort region is often overrun with hard-partying types who couldn’t care less about culture. You’ll find authentic shops and restaurants if you venture downtown, but some locals complain the bulk of Cancun “doesn’t even feel like Mexico anymore,” thanks to the spring break onslaught.

Mexico City, on the other hand, is the heaping plate of historic Mexico you’re likely craving without even knowing it. With colonial history, rich food, stunning museums and quaint neighborhoods surrounding a buzzy city center, this modern metropolis provides a well-rounded spring break.

Torresigner via Getty Images
Palacio de Bellas Artes hosts ballet performances and concerts.
John Coletti via Getty Images
The Zocalo is the city's main plaza.
Alija via Getty Images
The Angel of Independence looks over Paseo de la Reforma.
Giulia Fiori Photography via Getty Images
Chapultepec Park is a picture-perfect hangout spot.
Jesse Kraft / EyeEm via Getty Images
The ruins of Teotihuacan are about an hour's drive away.

Mexico City is having a moment. The New York Times named it the number-one place to go in 2016, and travel guides praise the city’s juxtaposition of historic roots with modern flair.

Start your trip off with a visit to the Zocalo, one of the world’s biggest city squares. Formally known as Plaza de la Constitucion, this massive gathering place hosts the ornate Metropolitan Cathedral and some stellar sunsets.

😍Me amo CDMX #mexicocity #remoteyear #drinkswithaview

A post shared by Jennifer Jones (@jenntheginger) on

Museums abound in Mexico City, from the giant National Museum of Anthropology to a small showroom with a single Diego Rivera mural. The Frida Kahlo Museum occupies the house where the artist lived and died.

Vista desde el exterior de la recámara de día de #fridakahlo. #museo

A post shared by Museo Frida Kahlo (@museofridakahlo) on

New restaurants are appearing by the handful in Mexico City. One of the hottest tickets is Lardo, a shared-plate spot in the upscale Condensa neighborhood.

Cheers! Foto de @unrelatedtoreality #pizza #wine

A post shared by Lardo Mexico (@lardomexico) on

Take a load off in Chapultepec Park, the local version of Central Park. Sometimes referred to as a forest, this oasis features a lake, zoo and castle housing a National History Museum.

Buenos Dias, 🇲🇽 #cdmx #vivamexico

A post shared by robcleezy (@robcleezy) on

One of Mexico City’s biggest draws is its collection of unique neighborhoods, or colonias. Polanco is arguably the fanciest of them all, with incredible restaurants, hotels and walks.

☁️9️⃣ #CDMX

A post shared by N L D (@nancelynnn) on

For a mega-dose of history, take a tour van about an hour up the road to Teotihuacan, a UNESCO site with pyramids built between the first and seventh centuries A.D.

The best time to visit Mexico City is right about now, between March and May. The weather is great ― temperatures are usually in the 70s ― though you may deal with a few crowds.

Stay in a hotel, hostel or Airbnb-style room: lodging options are as endless as the botanas.

Enjoy!

21 Foods We Get From Mexico
Suggest a correction