This article was originally published by AFAR Magazine
Let’s Travel To Mexico City!
Despite being one of the oldest cities in the Americas, Mexico City has a reputation for being something of a trendsetter. Today the city (also known as CDMX) is renowned as an international capital of art and food with some of the most acclaimed restaurants and galleries in the world. And thanks to the new United Quest Card, you can earn miles and get statement credits that help you make the most of an action-packed trip to this vibrant metropolis. In this five-day itinerary, you’ll visit top museums, dine at award-winning restaurants, and get a taste of local can’t-miss shopping, archaeological sites, and entertainment.
A must-do for food lovers, Quintonil is consistently ranked among the top restaurants globally. For a superlative experience, opt into the tasting menu and enjoy specialties like crab tostadas and mole.
Take a taxi from the airport to your home base for this trip, Polanco, one of Mexico City’s most popular and fashionable neighborhoods. Fuel up for an afternoon of shopping at Maria Isabel, known for its fried quesadillas and creamy flan. Shop for Mexican antiques, handcrafted fragrances, and clothing from up-and-coming designers at stylish stores like Rodrigo Rivero-Lake, Xinú, and Lago DF.
Art house: Museo Soumaya
Admire Frank Gehry’s monumental architecture at one of Mexico City’s most impressive art museums. Its vast collection spans more than 30 centuries and includes nearly 70,000 works.
Stay at this sleek, boutique hotel in the heart of Polanco. Home to chef Martha Oritz’s acclaimed restaurant Dulce Patria, this property’s food far exceeds your typical room service.
Home to some of Mexico City’s best restaurants, shops, art galleries, and boutique hotels, Roma Norte has become one of the city’s most beloved and bohemian neighborhoods—ideal for whiling away a cultured afternoon. Grab guava pastry from Panaderia Rosetta or coffee at Blend Station (there’s a new location in Condesa too). Stroll the tree-lined boulevards and do some shopping at Cafebrería El Péndulo Roma, an Instagram-worthy bookstore that also stocks vinyl and charming souvenirs. Sit down to an outdoor lunch at Contramar, a seafood institution where the grilled fish and aguachile are so fresh you’ll swear you’re dining in Baja.
After lunch, walk over to Condesa, another happening neighborhood with its share of blue chip and up-and-coming art galleries, including Le Laboratoire, House of Gaga, and Kurimanzutto, located in a former lumberyard and industrial bakery redesigned by the celebrated architect Alberto Kalach.
Fine dining: Quintonil
Named after the Mexican green herb that features in some of its dishes, Quintonil offers a taste of the country’s culinary heritage and future in a single sitting. Chef Jorge Vallejo and his team source much of the restaurant’s produce from their own off-site garden.
Head to the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Mexico’s most visited museum, its collection boasts more than seven million archaeological pieces. Afterward, stroll through the nearby Bosque de Chapultepec, a massive, picturesque park that’s often compared to New York’s Central Park (except with pre-Columbian ruins).
Spend the morning at Museo Frida Kahlo (Casa Azul), the place where Mexico’s most celebrated modern artist lived and died. Today it’s full of art, photographs, and personal belongings of hers and her husband, the painter Diego Rivera. When you’re finished, wander around the bookstores and markets in Coyoacan (Land of Coyotes), a charming residential neighborhood that has become known for its art scene and traditional, colonial-era homes.
Some of the best food you’ll eat in Mexico City is sure to come from street vendors. The Mexico City Street Food Essentials Tour with Club Tengo Hambre explores traditional markets for nearly four hours and shows guests the top local spots for tacos, tostadas, and other popular treats.
The morning before your flight, stop by Palacio de Belles Artes, where massive murals by master painters such as Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, and David Alfaro Siqueiros fill the top floors.