There’s really no wrong time of year to visit Mexico City.
Its always-temperate weather, extensive and affordable hotel and dining scene, and breadth of culture make it ideal for nearly every kind of traveler.
As one of the world’s largest cities, it can feel overwhelming, but it’s a city of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character. The different areas play host to various celebrations throughout the year, and there’s always something going on.
Fall is when the biggest festivals take place, summer is the quietest and in winter, you’ll see restaurants and stores close around the holidays – here’s everything you need to know about when to visit Mexico City.
March to May is the best time for sunseekers
This is the start of the city’s most idyllic weather, with highs around 26°C (mid to high 70ºFs). Be sure to secure travel plans early, as this is one of the most popular times of year to visit. The annual blossoming of the city’s purple jacaranda trees takes place between late February and March, signaling the onset of spring. Jacaranda peepers should start by strolling down the Paseo de Reforma, where both sides of the wide avenue burst into full color, and rock music fans should nab tickets to the annual Vive Latino festival in March.
The holy week in April, or Semana Santa, goes from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. Mexico City is not a particularly religious place, but because Mexican schools have a two-week vacation – the week of Semana Santa and the following – many Mexican families head to the beach, leaving the city quiet and light on traffic. If you plan to travel into or out of the country around this time, make your flight or bus reservations early.
Though not much is made of Cinco de Mayo – the celebration of the defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla – in Mexico City, May is still a lovely time to visit, as the weather is at its warmest. The Feria de las Culturas Amigas happens at the end of the month and brings a festive atmosphere to the city’s streets as the food and culture of various countries are celebrated with artistic and musical events.
June to August and December to February are the best times for budget breaks
The summer months are Mexico’s rainy season. The weather still hits highs around 26°C (79°F) during the day but downpours appear nearly every afternoon. Because it’s a slower season, some hotels offer discounted rates. Visitors during these months can breathe easy as the rain clears up some of Mexico’s notoriously bad air pollution.
Explore some of the city’s amazing outdoor markets, and be sure to try some of the seasonal local fruits and vegetables (mangoes are particularly good in July!). Clear skies following daily rainfalls make August a perfect time for cyclists, who can test their lungs with the city’s high elevation, particularly on Sundays when the capital’s main avenue, Reforma, is closed to cars.
Starting in December, the coolest and driest months of the year can also be a great time to find deals. Las posadas (Christmas parties) are a national pastime where people gather to break open piñatas, sing traditional songs, light candles and drink sweet ponche (a warm fruit punch). Many of the city’s restaurants and other establishments opt to give their employees a winter break from Christmas through New Year’s; both holidays are typically enjoyed with family.
As a result, it’s a quieter, lower-traffic month and an excellent time to visit the city if you’re not concerned with hitting all the hot spots. Make sure to call ahead if there are particular restaurants you’re interested in visiting. Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe is on the 12th of December and Catholics from across Mexico and the wider world make a pilgrimage to the Basilica de Guadalupe to pray and honor the patron saint of Mexico.
January is one of the coldest months of the year but still reaches highs of 20–22ºC (68–71ºF) during the day. However, once the sun goes down, you’ll definitely need a jacket (note that most buildings in Mexico City do not have central heating). Bakeries sell Rosca de Reyes, a circular cake made for Día de los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day on January 6th), in varying sizes, some plain and some cream-filled. They’re made for sharing and are a welcome dessert addition to any dinner celebration you may find yourself invited to.
February brings of the best people-watching opportunities of the year when local hipsters square off against international art collectors for the city’s two main art fairs – Zona Maco and the Material Art Fair.
September to November is the best time to experience Mexican culture
Although the weather starts to chill around November, fall visits offer the opportunity to experience some of the city’s most popular events and cultural activities, like the Day of the Dead. While the weather might be chillier than in summer, it’s not enough to stay away. This time of year really might be the perfect time to visit.
September’s mild but still rainy weather means it’s best to get your walking done in the morning before a downpour. If you visit mid-month, you’ll catch a glimpse of true patriotism – pack your red, white and green face paint and practice your “Viva Mexico!” for Mexican Independence Day on the 16th.
Although Día de los Muertos takes place at the beginning of November, the season of celebration begins in October, with bakeries and sweet shops selling their takes on calaveras (sugar skulls) and pan de muerto, or bread of the dead, a sweet bread topped with a crossbones design. Ofrendas, altars to the dead, can be seen dotting street corners and storefronts. The high-speed glamor of Formula 1 rolls into town at the end of the month as an international audience watches some of the best drivers in the world battle for the top spot at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
November is one of the most festive times of the year, as the capital is overtaken by Day of the Dead celebrations. Teenagers and businesspeople alike sport skeletal facepaint, ofrendas feature elaborate offerings of food and spirits, and the city is bursting with bright orange marigolds. Halloween is a foreign holiday that Mexicans have recently begun to adopt, but it’s only celebrated by young children.