5 Activities For Spending Less Than $20 in Mexico City
Mexico City is perfect for digital nomads, remote workers, expats, and travelers. With the sense of community and affordability, you will understand why everyone agrees Mexico City is outstanding. A strong community of expats and foreigners within the neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma Norte, Polanco, and Juarez guarantees plenty of opportunities to build connections and explore the city with new friends. Therefore, integrating into this city is simple for remote workers searching for their new ‘home.’
The best part about this busy city is that you can find events every day of the week. There are salsa classes, trivia nights, language exchanges, and more. And the fun doesn’t stop during the work week. On the weekends, you can enjoy a relaxing picnic in Parque Mexico, a group bike ride on the Reforma, or a weekend getaway with friends. Mexico City has it all, and it is almost impossible to see it all in 1 month, so if you can, take your time in this incredible destination. And you are looking for options on a lower budget and a higher chance of making new connections, here are five activities that will cost you less than $20 to experience.
1. Free Walking Tour of Historic City Center
Cost: $3 - $10 USD
Tours Available Everyday at 11AM and 2:30PM
The Free Walking Tour of the Historic City Center is an excellent way to explore the major highlights, history, and popular tourist sites. And it won’t hurt to learn more about the new city you now call ‘home.’ The guided tour will begin at The Zocalo, the common name of the main square in central Mexico City. This popular meeting point is the location for many of Mexico City’s most popular tourist destinations. Here you will find the Catedral Metropolitana, Alameda Central Park, Palacio Postal, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and The House of Blue Tiles. The best part about this experience is your knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide. They play three roles in your journey across Mexico City: your concierge, history teacher, and standup comedian (most of the time). It is always a great idea to stay connected with your tour guide and other tour group members because this tour may quickly lead you to your evening or weekend plans. Although these tours are advertised as free, tipping your guides is highly encouraged. Depending on how much you enjoyed your time, you can tip between $3-$10 per person.
2. Visit San Juan Market
Open Everyday 7AM - 6PM
No Entry Fee
Average Meal: $3 - $10 USD
After your walking tour, you will be starving. There are many culinary options around The Zolcalo, but if you are adventurous, why not try San Juan Market? It is one of the oldest and boldest markets in Mexico City. You will find your typical market items: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and more, but if you are feeling brave, head to the back left corner of the market where you will find all sorts of exotic plates, including, but not limited to wild boar, tiger, alpaca, buffalo, ostrich, iguana, pheasant, or armadillo. If this is too much for you, you can also try a chocolate-covered scorpion or crispy chapulines (crickets). Regular food stalls also serve incredible tacos, enchiladas, ceviche, and other Mexican and international cuisines. Your stomach will be happy that you made the journey to this market. The plates can cost anywhere from $1 - $10.
3. Attend a Salsa or Bachata Class
Check Website for Updated Class Schedule
Class Entry: $5 - $10 USD
If you feel courageous and want to try a dance class, you must try ISM’s salsa and bachata classes. These classes are a perfect mix of foreigners and locals (this is an excellent opportunity to test your Spanish language exchange). Groups are divided by skill level; therefore, you don’t need dance experience before attending these classes. ISM offers classes at various locations, including Marketeatro in Rome Norte, Parque Mexico in Hipódromo, and Busan Restaurant in Colonia Condesa. A full schedule of classes is available on their website to find the location and time most convenient for you. You can pay right at the door, or they will sometimes offer a small discount if you register in advance. The teachers will instruct the class simultaneously in Spanish and English, and trust me; these teachers are very welcoming and patient. The classes will range from $5-$10 per person, depending on the location and style.
4. Visit Tepotzlán
Transportation: Head to Taxqueña Bus Station and there are 5-6 different companies available (ETN, CostaLine, AltaMar): $8 - $20 per person round trip.
Uber: $25 - $35 one way for 4 person rideshare (estimated)
One hour south of the Mexico City center, you will arrive at a beautiful mountainside paradise called Tepotzlán. It is worth the journey, and bring some new friends along with you. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and an area for a mini-hike into the mountains. This location has a laid-back, hippy atmosphere, perfect for a weekend getaway from the city. The central focal point of this town is Avenida 5 De Mayo. It begins at the central market and leads you up the cobblestone streets to the Archaeological Zone of Tepozteco, where you can take a small hike up the mountain to observe the beautiful views. Along Avenida 5 de Mayo, street vendors sell plenty of wild micheladas in signature wooden mugs, colorful souvenirs, and, my favorite, flavored tequila. The main square boasts live music, and this little town turns quiet after 10 PM. This destination is known for personal wellness retreats such as yoga, meditation, and plant medicine. If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of city life, Tepotzlan will be your ideal getaway. The round-trip ticket will cost you less than $30 per person by public bus, or you can split an Uber with your friends for around $25 - $35 ( less than $10 per person) for a one-way trip.
5. Free Sunday Bike Rides on La Reforma
Sundays: 8AM - 2PM
Bike Rentals in Mexico City (Eco-bici is most popular)
Sunday mornings in Mexico City are perfect for a bike ride down Paseo de la Reforma, a large street running through the Mexico City Center. Every Sunday from 8 AM - 2 PM, ‘La Reforma’ is shut down to all automotive vehicles to offer the opportunity for bikers, roller bladers, and walkers to enjoy a stroll down the beautiful strip. You can pass La Reforma in either direction, and there are plenty of stops along the way, such as the breathtaking monuments like the Angel of Independence and Diana the Huntress Fountain. You can stop at a cycling tent if you need to service your bicycle. And there are activities for kids, dance classes, fitness classes, and street performances. You can rent a bike on the street from Mexico City’s bicycle renting services: Ecobike, VBike, and Mobike, for a fee. Or there are limited morning bikes available along The Reforma for free. A full-year subscription to rent these bikes will only cost you around $20, but if you are only looking to rent for one day, it will cost $2-$5 for the 2-hour rental. Also, dog lovers are out and about on this day, so enjoy the puppy view!
With hundreds of restaurants, cafes, and parks, Mexico City has something to do for everyone. Suppose you want to explore beautiful parks, head to Parque Mexico, Parque Espana, or Alameda Central Park. If you enjoy adventure, you can also travel down to Xochimilco for a canal ride with a group of friends. If you want a relaxing evening, you can find various cafes, restaurants, and clubs to enjoy a night out on the town.
And if you are looking to find other digital nomads in Mexico City, feel free to join this Facebook group to connect with other nomads and travelers heading to this beautiful city: https://www.facebook.com/groups/117389225541610/
Check out the Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/J7dh1YorRKo