The Top 7 Cities to Visit in Mexico and Things to See and Do

Delicious food, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture are just a few things that draw travelers to Mexico. If you’re looking to make plans for your next travel adventure, look no further! We’re here to give you all the details on the top 7 cities to visit in Mexico including where to stay to what to do.

5 Cities you must visit in Mexico — THE TIPSY GYPSIES

Cities to Visit in Mexico

An entire book could probably be written on cities to visit in Mexico. I mean the food is delicious, the people are kind, and the culture is fascinating. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve managed to narrow down the list to some of the best cities for enjoying all that Mexico has to offer.

And before you go, don’t forget to check out this list of useful tips for long flights.

Mexico City

Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, is nearly 500 years old and full of life. There’s no shortage of things to do and see. It can be compared to Paris or New York due to its thrill, history, and size. And, let’s not forget to mention the amazing food!

Where to Stay

  • Polanco: This buzzing, upscale neighborhood is where the life is. There are fancy restaurants, bars, shopping, and museums. Check out this colorful, trendy hotel.
  • Coyoacán: While it used to be a small village, Coyoacán is now a cultural, quiet neighborhood with cafes, bookstores, and markets.
  • Centro Historico: The historic center is budget-friendly and a hub for sightseeing. It’s also a great spot for a happening nightlife.

Things to Do and See

  • Visit museums: History buffs are in luck! There are over 150 museums in Mexico City with The National Museum of Anthropology being the largest and most visited.
  • Xochimilco: This UNESCO World Heritage site allows visitors to ride colorful boats through the canals.
  • Roma Norte-Condesa: This stylish neighborhood is easy to spend a day in. There are tasty restaurants, sidewalk cafes, trendy boutiques, and more.

Puerto Vallarta

This picturesque, charming beach town is easily one our of favorite cities to visit in Mexico. Whether you’re looking to relax or adventure, there’s something for everyone.

Where to Stay

  • Downtown: This walkable area features vibrant buildings, beautiful beaches, diverse restaurants, and more.
  • Old Town: If you’re looking for a fun time, Old Town offers vibey dining, bars, and nightlife.
  • Conchas Chinas: This area offers a fancier, calmer feel. While there is some stuff to do, it’s also located close to Old Town for activities.
  • Hotel Zone: This area offers lots of attractions including hotels, restaurants, and shopping.

Things to Do and See

  • Adventure Cruise: Hop on a boat to explore Yelapa and Majahuitas. Spend the day snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing. We did this full-day excursion and it was a blast!
  •  El Malecon: Overlooking the Bay of Banderas, you can easily spend hours on this boardwalk. There are so many things to see and eat. It’s also a great place to sip on a cocktail while watching the sunset.
  • Beach bars: You can’t visit a beach town without checking out some of the many bars by the water while enjoying a drink and listening to music.

Be sure to check out our complete guide of things to do and see in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2023 | United Church of GodChris and Reg on the Beach in Puerto Vallarta


Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida is known for its colorful Spanish architecture. But, that’s not all there is to see in Meridia. It’s one of the liveliest cities to visit in Mexico with so many things to see and do.

Where to Stay

  • Zocalo: Also called the Plaza Grande, Zocalo is centrally located. It’s where tours take off from, but keep in mind that the convenient location comes with a higher price. You can find plenty of hostels and hotels in Zocalo.
  • Centro: This area surrounds Zocalo and is great for a Merida home base. There’s plenty of accommodation and things to do including visiting museums and cathedrals.

Pro tip: Merida is a touristy city so anywhere you stay is convenient for travelers. There are also a lot of AirBnB options in Merida.

Things to Do and See

  • Plaza Grande: This is the heart of Merida and there are plenty of things to see. Visit Merida’s Cathedral, dine in upscale restaurants, and watch a dance show. And, be sure to take a picture with the large, colorful Merida sign.
  • The Bici Ruta: If you’re in Merida for the weekend, this is when the Bici Ruta or Bike Route takes place. One side of the road closes down and you can watch cyclists, rollerbladers, and skateboarders as you settle in at a sidewalk cafe.
  • Go shopping: What’s a vacation without some shopping? The Parque is a restful, park area filled with boutiques, chocolate stores, and restaurants. You may even catch a live performance!


It’s no wonder Cancun has been one of the top cities to visit in Mexico for years. It’s a traveler’s dream with its stunning turquoise waters, white sand, and fresh seafood. It’s also extremely tourist-friendly, safe, and lots of fun.

Where to Stay

  • All-inclusive resort: A lot of people choose this option for their trip to Cancun. This is the way to go if you’re just looking to relish in your vacation and simply relax and pamper yourself. Cancun has plenty of resorts to choose from like this charming beachfront resort.
  • Hotel Zone: Hotel Zone, or ‘Tourist Zone,’ is a long narrow island where travelers spend most of their time in Cancun. There are several hotels, resorts, and villas. It’s the perfect spot to be if you want to bask in the sunshine on the beach, enjoy waterfront restaurants, and shop. There are even a few golf courses.

Things to Do and See

  • Swim with whale sharks: Now this is one to add to the bucket list! Swim with whale sharks off the coast of Cancun and catch a glimpse of other sea animals including mantas, dolphins, and sea turtles.
  • Take a day trip to Tulum: While this isn’t right in Cancun, it’s well worth a visit! Tulum is located about an hour and a half south of Cancun and is a special getaway from the city. You’ll find sparkling cenotes, Mayan ruins, and beautiful beaches in Tulum.
  • Enjoy the nightlife: Cancun has also been called the Las Vegas of Mexico. If you’re into a happening nightlife, you’re in luck! Hang out in the Hotel Zone where you’ll find clubs and bars.
Cancun - Get to Know Mexico's Most Famous ResortCancun, Mexico

Playa Del Carman

Once a small fishing town, Playa Del Carman is now a top-notch vacation spot. The beach features remarkable clear waters and sea life and there are activities for days for every kind of traveler.

Where to Stay

  • Downtown: This is the place to be in Playa Del Carman and where you can find most hotels. There’s a happening nightlife, plenty of shopping, and prime dining.
  • North Playa Del Carman: It’s a 30-minute walk from downtown but it’s quiet and has a spectacular beach. North Playa Del Carman features luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and several small neighborhoods.
  • South Riviera Maya: For adventure close by, stay in South Riviera Maya. There are cenotes, jungles, and a beach to explore. As for accommodations, you can find resorts and family-friendly hotels.

Things to Do and See

  • Dune Buggy Tour: Get off the beaten track with this adventurous dune buggy tour. Drive along immaculate trails before taking a swim in crystal clear waters.
  • Hang out on the beach: Swim, have a drink at a beachside bar, and do water activities like snorkeling and parasailing above the ocean.
  • Eat seafood and tacos: Playa Del Carman is known for its tasty eats. Catch is a favorite waterfront seafood restaurant. Vagabunda serves up delicious tacos and plays live music.
  • Playa del Carmen – Travel guide at Wikivoyage


For an authentic Mexico experience, Oaxaca is the place to go. It’s easy to fill your time wandering the historical city center, browsing local markets, and relishing in the delicious local cuisine.

Where to Stay

  • Centro: This is the heart of the city with plenty of hotel options from affordable to luxury. It’s easy to get around the center and find plenty of things to see and do.
  • Santo Domingo: This unique neighborhood is close to nightlife and restaurants. Santa Domingo offers a variety of laid-back hostels and luxury hotels.
  • El Llano: For some solitariness, book your stay in El Llana. It’s located by Parque El Llana, a peaceful square and a walk away from Oaxaca’s main attractions.

Things to Do and See

  • Wander the main square: It’s a simple tourist activity with so much excitement. The main square features local restaurants, balloon sellers, and benches for people watching.
  • Take a Mezcal tour: Spend an afternoon visiting Mezcal distilleries. You can do this on your own or set a guided tour up. There’s plenty of options for this that you can find around the city or ask your accommodation about
  • Visit museums: Oaxaca is a cultural hotspot so be sure to check this out by visiting some museums. It’s easy to spot several on your walk around the city.
Things to do in Oaxaca, Mexico - What to do in Oaxaca, MexicoOaxaca, Mexico


Last but not certainly least on our list of cities to visit in Mexico is Guadalajara. Mexico travelers don’t always put this one on their stop-off list, but they should! From a diverse culture to some of the best cuisine, there are so many awesome things to see and do.

Where to Stay

  • City Center: This downtown district has a lot to offer. You can find a variety of hotels, it’s connected by a rail system, there’s an exuberant nightlife, and so much more.
  • Zona Expo: Located southeast of downtown, or the city center, is Zona Expo. This district is a noteworthy option for many travelers. There are tons of delicious restaurants and the atmosphere is peaceful. It’s also ideal for business trips with many conference centers close by.
  • Tlaquepaque: For a quiet stay in Guadalajara, check out Tlaquepaque. It offers charming streets, museums, and several hotels. This area conveniently connects to the city center by buses.

Things to Do and See

  • Explore history: Get to know Guadalajara and its history by taking a stroll through Centro Historico. There are buzzing markets, impressive cathedrals, and various museums.
  • Listen to mariachi bands: In 2011, mariachi made UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list and is still played around the city. You can even hire a band to serenade you at Plaza de Los Mariachis in the evenings.
  • Drink Tequila in Tequila: Yes, Tequila came from a city in Mexico named Tequila. Take a train or bus to this small town located about 40 miles from Guadalajara for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Do you have a place to add to our list of awesome cities to visit in Mexico? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more: Check out this guide to the best cities in western Europe.

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