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  • Writer's pictureAlan Travers

The Top 8 Free Things To Do In Mexico City!

Mexico City is a giant metropolis with endless amounts of things for you to see, do and enjoy, you could literally spend weeks, months and probably even years trying to see and do it all here!

I have been living in Mexico City for roughly a year now, and I haven't even begun to scratch the surface yet! It can sometimes be overwhelming, I mean with so much to see, do and write about, it can be hard to pick only a handful of places when there is literally a pool of thousands to choose from.

So with that said, I have decided to tell you about some of the most amazing places, sites, museums, parks and other attractions, all of which are free for you to check out.

If you feel like spending a small fortune here, you can absolutely do that, there is no doubt about it! But who doesn't love free things? In fact, I would argue some of the better things to see, do and enjoy here in Mexico City are free!

This list is not ranked in any way, it was hard for me even choosing so few places amongst the thousands of free things to do, so without further ado, here is my list of the best free things to do in Mexico City.

Climb the Ángel de la Independencia

Many tourists may not know that it is actually possible for you to climb this beautiful monument and, this could also very easily be one of the most memorable free things you can do in Mexico City.

It is one of the most visited monuments in all of Mexico City, the beautiful structure makes for some beautiful pictures to say the least, but the real magic happens when you climb to the top of the statue.

After the long and somewhat tedious climb, you will be presented with some of the best views of the city, making the climb just before sunset will provide you with some of the most picturesque views one will ever see of Mexico City.

It is impossible just to arrive and climb the monument as you can only do so by appointment, you need to visit Cuauhtemoc City Hall (near the metro Buenavista) in order to request permission.

Very recently the monument has been covered in vandalism, this is due to the many ongoing protests that the city is suffering from, I do believe at this moment in time that the city hall will not grant permission for anyone to climb the monument.

If you would like to contact a representative from the city hall to see if it is now possible to climb the monument, you can do so here, (you will need to write your request in Spanish).

Spend the Day at Chapultepec Park

Okay, this might seem like an obvious choice to put on the list, but this park is by far one of the best parks in not only Mexico City but probably the entire country!

There are tons of things for you to see and do all for free within this giant park, if you visit on Sunday you can visit Chapultepec castle (one of the country's most treasured sites), there is also the bustling markets, excellent museums, famous street foods and of course the Chapultepec zoo (which I have listed separately, because it's entirely worth mentioning in its own right).

If you are an adrenaline seeker or just a person who loves amusement parks that doesn't mind spending a few dollars, then you can visit the fantastic amusement park which is located within the park.

But, I highly recommend just visiting the park on an uneventful weekend to relax and chill-out for a few hours, explore its museums, markets, waters, try some traditional food and spend the day basking in the hot Mexican sun, it's a great almost free day out!

Walk & Ramble Around Chapultepec Zoo

Like I previously mentioned, although the zoo is in Chapultepec park, it is entirely worth mentioning in its own right! You have to visit and check out the huge Panda bears, they are an incredible species.

That's right, the zoo is completely free for you to visit and enjoy, there are hundreds of different species for you to admire and photograph, you will find everything like Mexican wolfs, jaguars, axolotl, giant panda bears, giraffes, desert bighorn sheep and many other exotic animals.

I highly recommend visiting on a weekend as this is when most of the animals will be out on show, you can expect to find different animals to be out at different times, you can expect to see a lot of empty exhibits, but you can't really complain as it is free of charge.

It's a great day out that will cost you nothing, you could very easily spend two to three hours rambling around the zoo checking out the different exhibits.

Visit Museo Soumaya

One of the many museums in Mexico City! I mean Mexico City really does have it all, I read somewhere recently that this city has the most museums in the world, I'm not sure if that's still the case, but what an incredible obscure fact that is.

Museo Soumaya is not for profit museum that was developed under funding from Carlos Slim, one of the worlds richest men. Most of the artworks in the museum are also from Carlos slims personal collection.

While many of the museums in Mexico City are only free for Mexican nationals on Sundays, Museo Soumaya is entirely free to visit for anyone and everyone interested in attending, the operational costs of the museum are completely covered by Carlos Slim.

There is a whopping total of more than 66,0000 pieces of art history here in this building, you can find everything from Mesoamerica art history to post-revolution murals by Diego Riviera, though the majority of the pieces are from 15th to 20th century Europe.

You could quite literally spend weeks trying read about and witness everything within its walls, but 2 to 3 hours of your time should do just fine for you to see the most significant and memorable works of art.

Take in the Views at Torre Latinoamericana

Arguably the best views in the city! Although not the views depicted in this photograph, if you can see the tall building located in the centre of the photo with that giant brightly shining clock, that is Torre Latinoamericana.

While it isn't exactly free, you can visit and take in the spectacular views for free if you play it smart! If you plan to visit the observation deck, you can expect to spend somewhere around $70 pesos per person visiting.

However, if you visit the bar, you can get the same amazing views for absolutely nothing! And no, you are not obliged to buy a drink at the bar, but I would recommend you do so out of courtesy.

Once again, the best time for you to arrive and take in the spectacular views would be some time just before the sun comes down over the bustling city.

Explore Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven is the full name to this giant architectural feat.

This is another one of Mexico City's most iconic and treasured buildings, the Cathedral took over three centuries to finish its completion which was worked on between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Like a lot of the buildings in Mexico City and the country, this Cathedral has enormous historical significance, and it's highly worth visiting.

Inside of the magnificent walls, you can find five centuries worth of Mexican art, there is everything from religious artefacts, Mesoamerica art to post colonisation art all the way through to pre and post Revolution art.

To take a tour of one of Mexico's most iconic and treasured buildings is absolutely free of charge.

Check out the City's Famous Murals

Murals can be found everywhere in Mexico City, in fact, the place is famous for it, Murielism has been a big deal here for almost a century since it became highly popular post-revolution.

The post-Mexican Revolution government were the main driving factor behind the muralist movement in Mexico as they used murals for political and propaganda reasons, they often would commission paintings with political messages with the hopes of reunifying the country through the power of self-expression and art.

Some of the most famous works to be found around the city were created by artists like Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Many of the paintings from these artists depict vivid scenes of Mexican life as they believed that Mexican art should reflect Mexican culture and life.

All of these works of art have huge historical significance, they are definitely worth checking out, especially if you are in Mexico City because most of these works of art are free to see.

Explore La Ciudadela Mercado

There are hundreds of sprawling markets across the entire city, but La Ciudadela Mercado is among the best of them!

Mercado Ciudadela is located four blocks south of the Alameda Park on Balderas Avenue just south of Paseo de la Reforma, here you will find a semi-covered market with more than 200 stalls, that caters mostly to the tourist crowd in Mexico City.

There are a plethora of fascinating, obscure and unique items for you to shop around, most of the works are folk-art and hand-crafted items from ceramics, textiles and metalworks.

You really don't have to spend a penny if you don't want too, one of the best things about the place is just to wander around and explore the market.

This is probably the best place for you to pick up that Mexican souvenir or present for that special loved one back home and if not then make sure to at least try the food! Mexico City street food is famous for good reason!

If you do end up seeing something that you do like, make sure to do a little bargaining, most of the prices are up for negotiation, but try not to be too cheap! Remember that most of the people here make considerably less than you do.


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