My trip to Mexico City was the result of two things. One, I was determined to go somewhere for Spring Break. Two, I had limited funds for a trip. After searching through Expedia, Google Flights, and a few other sites, Mexico emerged as one of the cheapest international options and Expedia had a great bundle package for Mexico City.
In March 2018 I headed to Mexico City with two of my friends. The total cost of flight, hotel, and roundtrip airport transportation $1548.08USD, or $516.03 per person for a whopping 8 days and 7 nights. That works out to about $73.71 per person, per night.
T: Travel Lodging
Hotel Sevilla Palace
The accommodations for this hotel were pretty standard as far as the rooms were concerned. I don’t have anything complaints. The biggest highlights of the Hotel Sevilla Palace were the super friendly staff, and the outdoor rooftop pool and hot tub. The staff helped my friends and I plan our excursions around the city, advising us on what tours were really worth our money and what to skip. Then, after long days of walking around Mexico City, the outdoor rooftop pool and the hot tub where great places to relax and unwind with a nice cold beer.
Photo Credit: Photo is from the Hotel Sevilla Palace website.
Another great feature of this hotel was its location. The Hotel Sevilla Palace was within walking distance of the Plaza Reforma 222 (10 minutes), Diego Rivera Mural Museum (15 minutes), and Palacio de Bellas Artes (20 minutes). The Plaza Reforma 222 is a shopping mall with stores like Aeropostale, Guess, Zara, and the Body Shop. It’s also a stop on the Mexico City Tour hop on hop off buses. You can purchase your wristbands for the tour there, or online, for $160-180MXN. So for less than $10USD you can spend the day sightseeing in Mexico City.
Mexico City is very walkable so even if you don’t stay at the Hotel Sevilla Palace, if you stay in the same area as this hotel, you’ll have lots of options for things to do and places to eat within walking distance.
I have two recommendations for food in Mexico City. If you have the chance to go to Xochimilco this can be a lunch and activity spot. Xochimilco is where you can float on trajineras – colorful open–air boats – on a canal in the midst of the city. You can take a ride up and down the canal, buy souvenirs, and get food to eat. Since I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for my trajinera ride (and because we bargained down from that original price and there’s no guarantee you’ll get the same price) I’m quoting a price from US News. “You can rent a trajinera for 500 pesos (about $26) per hour or hop on a collective trajinera for 60 pesos (about $3) round trip up and down the river.”
Pay attention to the prices different vendors are charging for the same things and be ready to negotiate those prices otherwise, you’ll overpay. Vendors here start high, expecting to negotiate the price down several pesos. In addition to negotiating the price of the trajinera ride, I also negotiated the price on this stunning fabric that I use as a tablecloth.
The colors are so rich and vibrant, and the fabric fits really well with the rest of my decor. It’s a regular reminder of my travels and I get to keep a piece of Mexico in my home at all times. I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but I do remember negotiating down at least 30 pesos. But enough about the souvenirs. This is about food, namely Elote.
Elote (en Vaso), or corn in a cup, is a fairly straightforward dish. It’s corn, cheese, mayo, and pepper. It was delicious! I love corn (preferably not on the cob cause that’s a lot of work). I love cheese. I really like mayo. And, I like a little spice in my life. I loved elote because it was a perfect combination of so many things that I love and like. It tasted like a simple cup of joy, proving that you don’t have to be super complex or complicated to be amazing. I’m sure you can get elote in other parts of Mexico City too so if you don’t make it to Xochimilco don’t stress about it. If you do head to Xochimilco, I would recommend taking an Uber/taxi over doing a tour. More on this below.
If you’re looking for more upscale restaurant dining, to compliment your tastings of the local street food, try Botellón. I had the paella valenciana, which I really liked. I love seafood and this seafood rice was well seasoned and it had a good amount of actual seafood. As you can see from the pictures, this isn’t one of those seafood dishes where you have to hunt for the 2 pieces of shrimp or wonder if there’s even any seafood in your meal. If you aren’t a seafood lover, or you just want to try something else, Botellón has many other delicious options. Also, the area the restaurant is located has other bars and clubs nearby, if you’d like to give those a try after you eat.
One of my big highlights from Mexico City was actually getting out of the city to take a tour of the Teotihuacan sun and moon pyramids. These monumental pyramids were breathtaking and awe-inspiring. I rank them a close second and third, behind the Great Wall of China, as the most impressive things I’ve seen and climbed in my life.
The moon pyramid is 140 feet (43 meters) tall. The sun pyramid, the larger of the two, is 216 feet (66 meters) tall. The tour featured the history of the pyramids and included time to climb one or both pyramids if you so chose. I managed to climb both or rather, I struggled and crawled and occasionally stood upright to climb the pyramids properly when there was rope railing to hold on to. These climbs aren’t for the faint of heart as the climb is steep and the steps are very uneven. I myself wanted to chicken out but I saw little children climbing up the pyramids (with their parents) and refused to be bested by toddlers. The view from the top is stunning and it’s a great place to reflect on all the obstacles you’ve overcome in life. Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back when you get up, and back down, the pyramids.
The Monopolis tour to the pyramids also included a trip to the Basilica de Guadalupe, total cost $690MXN, or $37USD. It’s a full day tour packed with history, sites, and lots of walking at each location. It’s a great way to see the outskirts of Mexico City for a reasonable price.
Monopolis charged the same $690MXN for a tour to Xochimilco however, an Uber to and from Xochimilco is far cheaper than one to and from the Teotihuacan pyramids. Xochimilco is also much smaller than the pyramids and less impressive. Paying $690MXN for the transportation to and from the pyramids, the additional trip to the basilica, and the tour guides who explain the history of these sites, was totally worth it. I couldn’t say the same thing for a tour to Xochimilco (at the same price).
I truly enjoyed my time in Mexico City!!! …minus the hailstorm I got caught in on my last day. If you enjoyed what you read, leave a like or a comment and go check out my other TEAtimes. Thanks for reading.
P.S. I’d also like to mention that if you have forgotten to get souvenirs and gifts throughout your time in Mexico City, the Mexico City airport has beautiful bottles of tequila that make for great last-minute gifts. I got one of these bottles for a family member who doesn’t drink much, but I knew she’d appreciate the bottle. If you need to get a drink for someone who actually likes to drink alcohol, there’s a wide selection to choose from. You can get up to 2 bottles of alcohol. Enjoy your time in Mexico City.