Go beyond the usual tourist bus experience on this tour that takes you out of Mexico City to see Teotihuacan pyramids and more.
Tour of Mexico City’s History and Secrets
Discover the real Mexico City! Learn about the most iconic buildings and streets from the point of view of a local expert. We will take you on a journey of 700 years of history, uncovering little-known facts and gossips about one of the largest cities in the world. Get out of the tourist traps and travel like a local.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, entrance fees, public transportation, samples of local products.
Exclusions: Lunch, drinks, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: Approximately 7 hours
- Meeting point: Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral, Calle República de Guatemala 4, Cuauhtémoc, Centro Histórico, 06020 Ciudad de México, D.F. We meet behind the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, on a pedestrian-only street. View on Google Maps.
- Starting time: 9 a.m.
- Ending point: Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes)
Mexico City holds a lot of stories — some 700 years’ worth of them, in fact! This Mexico City tour walks you through the city’s past and present, with some insight into where its future is going.
But first, we have to start — where else? — at the beginning! We tell you the legend behind this big city and you get to understand what culture shock the Spaniards must have experienced when they first arrived in this part of America.
We then jump through time into the conquest years, as we explore city streets and visit one of the most important buildings from the colonial period. We learn how native traditions changed and how the Aztec gods were replaced by a new religion previously unknown to the locals in this land.
From there, we skip from colonial times into modern-day Mexico City and travel like the locals, riding the subway to a community market. Along the way, your guide shares with you some facts about public transit in one of the biggest cities in the world.
Our subway trip leads us to one of the most exotic markets in town. Here you get to try a few samples, and if you find something you love, you’re welcome to order more — we help you navigate all the exciting snacks on display!
We then grab some dessert and coffee or tea over at the Fine Arts Palace (Palacio de Bellas Artes), a gorgeous building that has gone from being a colonial-era convent into a modern-day display of Mexican arts and culture. We finish our tour here — 700 years wrapped up into one epic day!
Dress standard: We recommend dressing comfortably and wearing comfortable walking shoes. Bring a light jacket or sweater and, during the rainy season (May to September), we recommend bringing a raincoat or umbrella. Leave your valuables, such as passports and credit cards, in the hotel and only bring a small amount of spending cash. Keep large cameras discreetly stored in a backpack.
Your trip: For your Urban Adventure, you are in a small tour group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is already confirmed. See you at the meeting point on the day of your tour. Get in touch via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher if you have any concerns or require more information.
Child Policy: Travelers under 12 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.
Ms. Robyn L. from Australia travelled on 14 Jan 2019:
A great introduction to Mexico City, saw so much and got the context of Mexico from its beginnings. Nathan was a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, it felt like being taken around the city by a friend.
Ms. Nidia L. from USA travelled on 27 Oct 2018:
I was surprised to be the only person on this tour. But Julio immediately made me feel right at home. I learned so much about the city and the sites I never would have learned on my own. We spent the entire day together and it was like being with a cool local friend who just happened to be more well-informed than most people. I was having such a great time that I almost forgot to take pictures! I wanted to see a place not on itinerary and Julio dropped me off at the end, going out of his way to do so. He was amazing, and some of the knowledge he passed on I continued to use the rest of the week and in turn passed on to other travelers. I’m glad I booked this for my first full day in Mexico City!
Mr. Wessley M. from Australia travelled on 26 Jul 2018:
Great introduction to the history of Mexico City by our guide Pili, who was fantastic, knowledgable and friendly. Great coffee and snack stop too, all part of the tour. We ended by being pointed in the right direction to the artisan markets and ended our day with some great buys…… another winner by Urban Adventures.
Mr. Kenneth I. from USA travelled on 22 Jun 2018:
Our guide was Evaluz Espejel (Eve), a vivacious young-at-heart who was not only very knowledgeable about the places we visited, but also very passionate about Mexico, Mexico City and travel as a whole. She offered personal insights that may or may not be part of the “script” which made the tour less clinical, less observational and somewhat more participatory given the time constraint. She even sometimes, I felt, included her own little “side trips” (like stopping at a corner of the city, pointing out small detail of architecture or explaining some events currently happening on the street). Our group was small (3 including me), so the tour was quite personal and intimate. I didn’t feel hurried at all, especially that I photograph almost anything that interests me. There was enough time to absorb and understand the “sensory assault” (how else could I call it?) that is Mexico City – visual, auditory, smell, taste, touch, even movement, guided expertly by Eve. Consider this: the tour went through exploring ancient history in Templo Mayor, and the Spanish occupation in the zocalo and Metropolitan Cathedral with a pause for refreshments in a charming outdoor food stand, through strolling on the pedestrian only shopping streets full of people, to walking through a restaurant housed in an architecturally significant building, to viewing modern art in Bellas Artes, through to gawking at shops in Chinatown, to tasting various traditional and not so traditional food at the Mercado de San Juan, walking through the lovely French style Alameda Park, and ending in closely examining the famous “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park” mural at the Diego Rivera Museum. Yup, the tour was certainly stimulating all the senses. As an added health benefit: I walked close to 6 miles (just a little under 10 kilometers), 13,764 steps and climbed an equivalent to 9 floors during the tour. No wonder Eve looks so fit!!
Ms. Frances M. from Australia travelled on 09 Jun 2018:
Pili was great. She allowed us lots of flexibility and we got to see some really interesting parts of the city. Coffee was excellent. She pointed out some other places we should return to as well.
Mr. Vincent Y. from USA travelled on 02 Jun 2018:
Guides were knowlegible and friendly
Mr. Maurie D. from USA travelled on 13 May 2018:
Eva was fantastic. Very informative and helpful.
Mr. Julian D. from USA travelled on 13 Mar 2018:
Our guide was amazing and his tour was filled with so many wonderful pieces of information about Mexico City. I loved especially the market!
Ms. Jennifer Z. from Australia travelled on 19 Jan 2018:
This is my review I put on Trip Advisor
We were so lucky – we had our guide to ourselves! My husband and I did this walking tour with ‘Pili’ our guide who gave us so much insight into Mexico City – about the people, the history, and just everyday life. Everyday life is something you don’t get to experience much as a tourist on limited time, and it is what makes a city. Visiting historical attractions and learning about the history, visiting local markets seeing the handicrafts that young Mexicans like to buy, eating insects, drinking coffee and eating tacos where the locals like to eat and drink – this tour had it all. Thank you Pili for your insight and great company, thank you Urban Adventures for making sure you’re guides are the best. We have done many Urban Adventures walking tours and you never cease to disappoint us.
Mrs. Terry H. from USA travelled on 05 Jul 2017:
Absolutely wonderful day!
Mr. Glen B. from Australia travelled on 19 Jun 2017:
Pilar is an amazingly great guide. So knowledgeable, energetic and engaging personality. We had a great day eating, catching local transport, shopping and laughing. So glad I did this adventure. Do it !!
Mr. Rodney F. from USA travelled on 05 May 2017:
Because we missed our first day for this tour, Urban was kind enough to let us rebook for another day. Our guide really knows his stuff and we had a great time.
Ms. Rachelle H. from United Kingdom travelled on 03 May 2017:
Whilst I’ve been on a few Intrepid trips, this is the first time I have done an Urban Adventure day and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I found myself in Mexico City for work with a spare day and thanks to Rodrigo got to see far more of the city than I ever hoped. His enthusiasm and knowledge were boundless, and I particularly enjoyed his explanation of Diego Rivera’s mural – an unexpected treat.
Mr. steve g. from USA travelled on 02 May 2017:
Fantastic tour! we got to get on the roof of a cathedral and take incredible video of the bells ringing, toured the ruines and a whole lot more! The day was fantastic
Mr. William W. from Australia travelled on 02 Apr 2017:
Adriana was a gem. She was very knowledgeable, caring and ever ready to please. We are both much more aware of the history of Mexico thanks to Adrianas excellent English and communication skills. Anyone who is interested in the history of Mexico should book a tour with her.
Mr. Adrian H. from Australia travelled on 21 Jan 2017:
Rodrigo was charming polite but most importantly informative. He was extremely knowledgeable on all issues of interest especially the socioeconomic aspects that are difficult to ascertain for tourists. His insight and explanations were honest and extensive. His candour and good humour were refreshing and helpful for a fuller understanding. Furthermore Rodrigo went out of his way to help with other issues outside of his remit which were greatly appreciated. Rodrigo gladly shared his knowledge and his time without expectation. Many thanks Rodrigo from Adrian and Susie- a splendid young man and an asset to your team.
Mrs. Hilary P. from New Zealand travelled on 08 Jan 2017:
Rodrigo a great guide. Fascinating tour. Highly recommended
Ms. Sharon M. from New Zealand travelled on 14 Dec 2016:
Rodrigo was an outstanding guide and we had a great day. He has the perfect personality for the job and we learnt so much. We have been able to follow up on recommendations given and enjoy great Mexican cuisine. We look forward to further tours with him. Really love the Urban Adventure concept.
Mr. ROBERT M. from USA travelled on 28 Nov 2016:
Excellent guide all the way. Very impressive. Will do again with Urban Adaventure.
Mr. cyril c. from Canada travelled on 28 Nov 2016:
I had a great time learning about the culture. Our guide Rodrigo and Adriana were very attentive and there was no such boring moments , I think they went above to my expectations .I would strongly recommend this tour to my friends. It was a great experience !
Ms. Elizabeth S. from Canada travelled on 21 Oct 2016:
Our guide Rodrigo Salas did an incredible job showing us Mexico City. He was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful – always willing to answer any and all questions. Overall, I had a wonderful time and had a really positive experience.
Ms. Alexandra J. from USA travelled on 15 Sep 2016:
Our guide, Cesar, was excellent! He was able to answer all of our questions and give a local insight.
Ms. Jiali X. from China travelled on 14 Aug 2016:
The Hidden Mexico City tour was amazing and exceed our expectation. Rodrigo is a perfect guide, he knows the community and takes care of us during the whole day, we enjoyed a special and wonderful trip in Mexico City. Hope had chance to participate the tour with Rodrigo again in the future.