Sunday, June 16, 2024

When is the best time to visit Mexico City?

When is the best time to visit Mexico City? The correct answer is any time.

Every season is a good season in Mexico City: the summers are never too hot, and the winters are never too cold. The city is stunning to behold at any moment, and there’s always something to see and do. Nevertheless, there are several pockets of the year where the weather will make you blow a chef’s kiss and hordes of taco-hungry tourists can be avoided. 

Angel of independence in Mexico City
A stroll down Reforma Avenue is a pleasure at almost any time of year. (Shutterstock)

Whether you prefer a warm saunter in the sun through the Historic Center, a lush drizzle in Condesa or a chilly stroll along Avenida Masaryk in Polanco, Mexico City offers a range of atmospheric options that cater to anyone’s taste.

Join us as we explore the seasons of Mexico City, identify optimal time ranges, break down the vibe you can expect each month and suggest corresponding events and activities in the city.

When should I visit?

With mild winters and rainy summers, Mexico City boasts a subtropical highland climate, characterized by temperate weather and average temperatures ranging from 14°C in winter to 20°C in summer. Unlike many destinations, extreme weather is a rarity here, with mild winters, warm springs and rainy summers ensuring a comfortable experience for visitors throughout the year.

Most people agree that the best time frame to visit the city is from March to May. This period features beautiful weather, with highs around 34°C (mid to high 93ºFs), dry conditions and moderate temperatures. Though this season can sometimes draw more crowds, the stunning climate makes it worth the visit.

June to August and December to February are the most optimal times for budget breaks. Many of the best hotels in Mexico City offer rates as low as US $90 a night in these months.

Decorations for Independence Day
The Mexican capital is always a riot of color, but Independence Day, celebrated in October, is a special highlight. (Shutterstock)

From June to early September, Mexico City experiences its rainy season, with an average of 20 rainy days per month. Despite the rain, the city’s lush, poetic beauty shines through, with reduced air pollution, less tourist crowding and ample indoor activities available for travelers. 

December to April marks the dry season in Mexico City. Smog levels may increase during this time, so travelers with respiratory issues should take precautions, but overall, the weather remains pleasant for exploration.

The summer months, Dia de los Muertos, and Christmas tend to draw the largest crowds to Mexico City. September to November sees the highest tourist traffic, while December to February and June to August are relatively less crowded.

The month-by-month breakdown

Winter

January sets the stage with its dry, mild weather, offering temperatures mostly above 15 degrees Celcius (60 F) during the day. However, nights can get chilly, so it’s wise to layer up: keep in mind that most homes in Mexico City have no central heating. This month kicks off with the lively celebrations of Three Kings’ Day on January 6, marked by vibrant parades and festivities.

Jacaranda trees in Mexico City
February is jacaranda season when Mexico City turns purple with blossom. (Cody Copeland)

As February unfolds, the city begins to transform with the annual blossoming of its iconic purple jacaranda trees. This month also hosts two major art fairs, Zona Maco and Material, drawing art enthusiasts from around the world. Additionally, the fifth day of the month is Constitution Day, celebrated with parades and events throughout the city.

Spring

March brings warmer temperatures and a buzz of cultural activity. Music festivals like Vive Latino and the Festival de México take center stage, offering a diverse array of performances. Notably, the end of March sees the spring equinox celebrated at the majestic pyramids of Teotihuacán, attracting crowds to absorb the energy of this magical event. March is also where you’ll start to see the Jacaranda trees bloom, adding a dimension of purple leafiness to the city.

April heralds beautiful weather and really feels like the arrival of spring. With Holy Week celebrations in full swing, the city comes alive with processions and church-related events. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the exquisite floral displays at the Festival De Flores y Jardines, held at the Botanical Garden at Chapultepec and in neighboring Polanco.

May marks the hottest month of the year in Mexico City. While Cinco de Mayo isn’t a significant event here, the Corredor Cultural Roma Condesa offers curated tours and festivities, showcasing the design, gastronomy, and art of these chic neighborhoods.

Youth getting ready for a Holy Week procession dressed as Roman soldier
A trip to Mexico City during Holy Week provides the opportunity to see the famous passion plays, which reenact the story of Easter. (Graciela Lopez Herrera/Cuartoscuro)

Summer

June ushers in warmer temperatures, accompanied by mild evenings. However, it also means the start of the rainy season, bringing occasional showers. Despite the rain, the city celebrates diversity and inclusion with its vibrant Pride parade, one of the largest in Latin America.

July may be the wettest month, but it doesn’t dampen the spirit of Mexico City. While light showers may grace the mornings and early evenings, the city hosts the Feria de Las Flores in San Angel, a delightful flower festival featuring displays, tours and celebrations.

August brings relief from the smog with occasional showers that cool off the city. Despite the rain, there’s no shortage of indoor activities to enjoy, including the popular Festival Raices Cubanas, a music festival showcasing international artists.

Autumn

September offers pleasant weather as temperatures begin to cool off. The month culminates in Independence Day on the 16, celebrated with military parades, fireworks and the iconic Grito de Dolores, which the President reenacts from the balcony of the National Palace every year.

November brings several major celebrations, but the most famous of all is Day of the Dead. (Cuartoscuro)

October is a festive and bustling time in Mexico City, with celebrations for Día de la Raza and the commencement of Dia de Los Muertos festivities at the end of the month. The month also features the colorful alebrije parade, setting the stage for the upcoming Day of the Dead celebrations.

Winter (again)

November sees the city adorned in festive decorations as Day of the Dead and Revolution Day festivities unfold. Music enthusiasts can enjoy the Corona Capital music festival, while Formula 1 racing adds excitement. While most other publications may contend that the best time to visit is between March and May, I’ll go out on a limb here and say I prefer November for the festivities. 

December wraps up the year with a festive ambiance and chilly temperatures. Many families often travel out of town for the holidays, and you’ll see restaurants and stores close around the holidays. Visitors can still enjoy Christmas posadas from Dec. 15 to 24, as well as the enchanting holiday lights hung throughout the city. The Zócalo even features an ice skating rink, adding to the seasonal charm. 

Mexico City is a year-round destination that offers something for everyone, no matter the time of choice. Whether you’re seeking a budget-friendly escape during the summer rainy season or a chance to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and traditions, Mexico City welcomes travelers with open arms. Its mild climate, world-class culinary scene and endless array of attractions make it a truly captivating destination — one that beckons to be explored time and time again.

Monica Belot is a writer, researcher, strategist and adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she teaches in the Strategic Design & Management Program. Splitting her time between NYC and Mexico City, where she resides with her naughty silver labrador puppy Atlas, Monica writes about topics spanning everything from the human experience to travel and design research. Follow her varied scribbles on Medium at https://medium.com/@monicabelot.

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