Free Walking Tour of Mexico City: Estación Mexico

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City: Estación Mexico

Share

I am often sceptical about walking tours, preferring to wander around a city by myself at my own pace.  However, when I was invited by Estación Mexico to join their free walking tour of Mexico City, how could I turn them down?!

Find accommodation in Mexico City on Booking.com or Hostelworld.com

The Mexico City free walking tour meets at every day at 11am in front of the Cathedral, and the guides are easy to spot wearing bright pink t-shirts & holding a pink umbrella.  They run separate walking tours in Spanish and English – all the guides are Mexican but speak really good English.  Now is the time to ask your guides everything you want to know about Mexico City, and Mexican history, to get a really great introduction to Mexico City!

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City - Our Guide Ari
Free Walking Tour of Mexico City – Our Guide Ari

There was quite a big group gathered for the Mexico City walking tour, so after the obligatory photo for Facebook we split into 3 groups – one Spanish, & two English guided tours.  Our guide was Ari, and she was full of information about the city and Mexico in general.  The tour obviously covered the key sites in the Centro Historico (Historic Centre), like the cathedral, Palacio de Bellas Artes and Palacio Nacional, but also more unusual sites like the first cinema in Mexico, and some beautiful hidden treasures that even Mexicans don’t know about!

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City - Finding Hidden Gems in the City
Free Walking Tour of Mexico City – Finding Hidden Gems in the City

The walking tour lasted around 2 and a half hours, and the time passed quickly.  There is so much varied history in Mexico City, and we were given a good introduction as a starting point, although visiting the museums in the city will you give you a more complete view.  It’s hard to imagine the city as it was for the Mexica people who founded it, proud pyramids surrounded by water – the capital of the Aztec empire.  Nowadays there are remnants of the pre-colonial past everywhere, from the Templo Mayor behind the cathedral, to newly opened ‘windows’ looking below the city.  There is even an archaeological site at an underground metro station if you keep your eyes peeled!

One thing that really surprised me was the fact that the city is sinking.  I had no idea, but Ari explained that Mexico City is built over a series of lakes, and some areas are noticeably sinking into the mud below the surface.  Check out the Sears building opposite Bellas Artes for example to see the widening split between the buildings!

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City - Finding Hidden Gems in the City
Free Walking Tour of Mexico City – Finding Hidden Gems in the City

I really enjoyed the tour, it wasn’t too long so I didn’t get bored following someone around, and I was pleased to visit more unusual places that I wouldn’t have found by myself.  If you are short on time too, the Mexico City walking tour is the perfect way to get a snapshot of the city and see the key sites in just a couple of hours.  Many people seem to spend a short time in the city, or even just a few hours here on a layover, and although I recommend at least 4 or 5 days here these guided tours of Mexico City are perfect if you don’t have much time!

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City - See the City from a New Angle
Free Walking Tour of Mexico City – See the City from a New Angle

You can get more information about the free walking tour of Mexico City on Estación Mexico’s website, and sign up to reserve your place.  Estación Mexico also offer a free walking tour of Coyoacán, and other paid tours such as a tour to the Chapultepec Castle, day trips from Mexico City to the Teotihuacan Pyramids and the infamous Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling, so take a look & see what you fancy!

Thank you to the Mexico City Tourism Trust for arranging my tour as part of my visit to Mexico City.

Find other things to do in Mexico City

Like this post?  Pin it to read later:

Free Walking Tour of Mexico City You may also like:

Mexican Wrestling: Lucha Libre in Mexico City

Visiting a Cat Cafe in Mexico City

How I Afford to Travel Full Time

Have you visited Tales of Backpacker on Facebook yet?  Check us out and start your adventure!

Last updated: July 10, 2017

Share

21 thoughts on “Free Walking Tour of Mexico City: Estación Mexico

    1. I’m going on my first walking tour tomorrow and I can’t wait! Doing Coyoacán tomorrow and Teotihuacan the next day. Do you have any tips on tipping guides?

      1. Great! I hope you enjoy it – I’m sure you will 🙂 i definitely recommend tipping your guide, but as for the amount it’s difficult to say. Perhaps $100 pesos (about $5 USD)?

  1. I love exploring new places on foot, whether it’s by myself or with a walking tour. I find it’s the best way to interact with the locals and to really get to know a place in an authentic manner. I’ve recently done quite a few free walking tours around the world and think it’s a great way to learn something new about a destination that you won’t find in a guidebook.

  2. Generally I don’t opt for walking tour too, as I like too explore a place at my own pace. But if the tour takes you to unusual places and is as interesting as this I’m all for it. This is indeed a good way to know more about a place and make new friends. It is so sad to know that Mexico city is sinking, I had no idea!

  3. My son spent time in Mexico City earlier this year and thought the architecture was remarkable. I would love to see the old cathedrals. A walking tour sounds like a great way to see and learn about the city.

  4. This looks like a good walking tour and it’s free! I had no idea that Mexico City was sinking. Tour guides often know the “ins and outs” of areas that others do not. Walking tours are great for people traveling alone, as it offers new people to meet along the way. Looks like you had a fun day.

  5. I’m also not a fan of walking tours, I usually think it’s better to adventure on my own, but after reading this it made me think twice. There is so much more knowledge you gain about a place when you take a tour. I’ve been to Mexico but not to Mexico City, I would love to return, better visit before the city sinks 😉

  6. I quite liked that idea of a Free Walking Tour. Some thing I guess I would have enjoyed. The idea of walking with strangers and a single soul who definitely must be feeling like a leader, doing most of the talk, could be fun. History of any place for that matter could really fascinate and pull you into the details and the more you hear, the more you want to. However my attention span is very short especially if I’m carrying my camera.

    I’d however listen and keep my ears open even if I’m busy taking photos. But, I usually avoid that as it would be rude to not pay attention to the guide who’s there, explaining the historic importance of the site.

    The city, through your pictures look beautiful but that thought of it being sinking scares me a bit.

    – Pixellicious

  7. I haven’t been outside the airport in Mexico City, although I’d dearly like to! A walking tour is always such a good way to get to grips with a place. Can’t complain when it’s free, either. And Mexico is not a country that I’d expect to have a sinking city! How strange!

  8. That’s really nice. I Love walking tours too. We joined one in Edinburgh, nothing better than ambling the streets like locals and discovering hidden gems. Would love to visit Mexico someday… It seems you had a lot of fun

  9. I had no idea Mexico City was sinking either!!?!? That’s crazy! And I’m just like you, I usually prefer to explore a city by myself but I always wonder what I’m missing out on so maybe next time I’ll go or the freebie tour 😉

  10. I love free walking tours! I did it once in Barcelona and learn much more about the city than I would have by myself. I need to be more proactive about finding them. And like you said, who can turn down a free walking tour! Great article.

  11. I had a long layover in Mexico City so I just wandered around for a few hours. A walking tour would have been wonderful as I didn’t feel to safe straying from the cathedral area on my own. I guess I didn’t plan very well. Next time I will consider joining a walking tour.

  12. I have also done a few Free Walking Tours lately and I really like them. It’s not something I would have ever thought of but when I visited Brussels I literally had half a day there and no time to properly orientate myself. So I took the tour and it was great. I think they are a brilliant way of finding your way around quickly and then if you have more time you can always go back to the places you want to spend more time. It’s also good for meeting people if you are traveling solo. Great post!

  13. Sounds like a great walking tour! I also enjoy wandering on my own and getting lost, discovering parts of the city off the beaten path. That said though I’ve realized the benefit in joining walking tours, mainly for the history and facts which come with having a knowledgeable guide show you around. Really changes your perspective having that info along the way. I had no idea Mexico City was sinking either!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: