One of the largest cities in the world, with with the most museums of any city, Mexico City can seem overwhelming. With 16 boroughs and 300 neighborhoods - and notoriously bad traffic - where's a traveler to start to get the most out of a visit to Mexico's capital?
From a historic center teeming with Aztec ruins, to upscale new neighborhoods sprouting the city's top eateries - and all of the street food and craft markets in between - we've rounded up the 10 best ways to divide and conquer Mexico City.
Work your way through Mexico City's history at the National Museum of Anthropology — Photo courtesy of Mexico City
1. Start at the source
Mexico City has the most museums in the world, and they're all good. Which ones do you prioritize?
Start at the source. Discover Mexico City's past at the superb National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park.
See the world's largest collections of artifacts from pre-Hispanic Maya civilizations up to the Spanish conquest. This 13,000-year-long retrospective will put the modern city into sharp perspective.
Climb the pyramids of the sun and moon at the "City of the Gods," Teotihuacan — Photo courtesy of Mexico City
2. Trek to the pyramids
After learning about the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan at the museum, make your way to these iconic monuments.
Built between the 1st and 7th centuries, they formed one of Mesoamerica's most important commercial and cultural centers. About an hour from downtown, this "City of the Gods" is an easy day trip.
If you're an immersive learner, take a guided tour to the pyramids. You'll get to learn deeper history as well as climb up all 243 steps of the Pyramid of the Sun, the highest point in the valley.
3. Shop the markets
Mexico City is a city of markets, so it's not hard to stumble upon one in almost any neighborhood you visit.
San Angel's Saturday artisan market, El Bazaar Sábado, is centered around the colonial-style San Jacinto Plaza de San Angel, with vendors selling everything from hammocks to handmade jewelry and tapestries.
For something less traditional and more trendy, the hip Condesa neighborhood's Doméstico showcases younger designers selling their clothing lines and locally-designed jewelry at the pop-up bazaar.
Get your craft cocktail fix at speakeasy Jules Basement — Photo courtesy of Mexico City
4. Indulge in the craft cocktail scene
Mexico City is joining the ranks of the mixology scene's heavy hitters, with the award-winning Licoreria Limantour bar in Roma named one of the World's 50 Best Bars of 2015.
The city is also taking its craft cocktail scene underground with speakeasies like the reservation-only Jules Basement, hidden beneath a traditional taco restaurant.
5. Sample dishes by the city's best chefs
Host your own moveable feast through Mexico City, hopping from neighborhood to neighborhood sampling the cuisine that put this city on the foodie map.
6. Spend Sunday with Mexico City society
While Americans do brunch, Mexicans don't even think about eating until after 1 p.m. on Sundays.
At that point, Mexico City's society set heads for a lavish Sunday spread at the San Angel Inn, housed in a 17th-century converted monastery. The Inn is known for its traditional cuisine served in a garden courtyard. Don't miss the stunning margarita service, presented in a silver ice bucket.
Spend the day on the canals in one of these trajineras — Photo courtesy of Mexico City
7. Hit the canals in a colorful boat
Mexico City was built over canals, but they're almost all concealed by centuries of urban development.
One of the few places you can still see the city in its original form is Xochimilco. The neighborhood is home to a traditional market with food stands selling hard-to-find local dishes with ingredients like huitlacoche, the "Mexican truffle."
The area's floating gardens also show off a rare traditional urban transit option: locals and tourists alike can spend a day on the water on the colorful trajineras, or gondola-style barges. Here you can enjoy Mexican fare, micheladas and mariachis, who will hop on board and play a song or two.
8. Sip mezcal while being serenaded by mariachis
Downtown, Plaza Garibaldi is known as the home of mariachis, where these mustachioed men play music in full garb from morning to night. You'll find up to a thousand mariachis playing music in the square at a time, popping into the nearby bars and restaurants for brief musical interludes.
Enjoy the experience while taking part in another Mexican favorite - mezcal -picking your poison from a menu longer than most wine lists.
9. See Mexico City's three sides
Standing in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, or the Square of the Three Cultures, travelers can see three sides of Mexico City.
The view begins with pre-Columbian ruins, one-time Aztec temples that were partly destroyed by the Spanish. Their bones were used to build the second phase, the Catholic Church of Santiago de Tlatelolco just next door. The third part of the city's history is reflected here in the skyline, dotted by housing complexes and high-rises.
The Hippodrome Hotel is set in a 1930s Art Deco building in the Condesa neighborhood — Photo courtesy of Hippodrome Hotel
10. Stay in one of the city's coolest neighborhoods
If you want to see the city like a local, you've got to stay like one. Check out the 16-room Hippodrome Hotel, located in a 1931 Mexican Art Deco building in the chic Condesa neighborhood.
Surrounded by walkable cafes and up-and-coming trendy shops, you'll feel like you're reliving Mexico City's glamorous past.