This blog post was updated on October 18, 2018.
Traveling to Mexico is already a much more affordable option than heading over to Europe.
However, like any country and its capital, costs can add up. In Mexico City, one of the world’s largest urban areas, the deals and deceptions are endless.
Whether you just cleaned your pockets for Mexican Independence Day or you have recently stumbled upon cheap flights to Mexico City, you are probably looking to save, while still seeing it all.
Mexico City offers a number of free attractions you won’t need one peso to experience and enjoy.
Explore Mexico City’s Markets: Being one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City features countless markets to explore. Even if you aren’t looking to buy, the markets of Mexico City lend a fascinating cultural lesson on how the city shops, buys, eats, and prepares food. Some of the markets in Mexico City are not what you might think, like Mercado de Sonora. The market focuses on alternative medicine and religion, giving it connotations with witchcraft and sorcery. If you don’t want voodoo dolls staring you in the face and potions to peruse, you can explore more traditional markets in the city like Mercado De Xochimilco, home to everything but in the kitchen sink.
Bask in the Zócalo: Also known as the Plaza de la Constitución, the Zócalo of Mexico City rests at its heart. One of the largest city squares in the world, admiring this expansive space comes with no admission. At the center, a giant Mexican flag whips in the air when it’s windy. The Catedral Metropolitana, government offices and the Palacio Nacional circle the plaza. You can go inside the Palacio Nacional free of charge and see the impressive murals by Diego Rivera.
Marvel at the Murals: Mexico City is littered with murals, and not just those in the Palacio Nacional. You can find colorful, detailed and gripping murals all around the city. The Secretary of Public Education holds over 200 Rivera murals along with murals from other artists. The Supreme Court Building in Mexico City boasts murals by Jose Clemente Orozco and Hector Cruz García. Other murals in Mexico City can be found in unsuspecting locations such as in metro stations or along the sides of buildings. Always keep your eyes peeled in this city.
Linger in one of Mexico City’s Parks: Most of the parks in Mexico City are public, making them free to roam. In a city heavily polluted and known for its grit and grime, the parks of Mexico City provide nice respites from the stereotypes. Linger in one of the city’s many parks such as Parque Mexico and Alameda Central. Parque Mexico is known for being well-maintained, decked out with trees and benches with their own personal roofs. Alameda Central on the other hand presents some history as you stroll its broad pathways. It was created in the 1500s and by the late 19th century, the space was a covered not just in trees, but also the city’s elite.
Take a walk on the wild side at the Chapultepec Zoo: The Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City comes with no admission price tag. After paying nothing, you can see rare bears, the Mexican gray wolf and the hairless xoloitzcuintle among the zoos hundreds of species. Such a long title represents the only surviving dog breed from pre-Hispanic days. The zoo is not just a nice attraction in the city without a charge, but it also provides visitors insight into many native species to Mexico.