Mexico’s capital is generally pleasant throughout the year, but the best time to visit Mexico City is typically in the spring (between March and May), although the fall months (September to November) are also very nice. At these times of year, the weather is most likely to be good—not too hot nor too cold, and fairly dry—and there are also interesting holidays and cultural events going on. Whenever you decide to go, this guide will help you plan your trip to this vibrant, sprawling metropolis known for its fascinating history, rich culture, delicious food, and endless things to do.
Weather in Mexico City
The weather in Mexico varies a great deal from region to region. Because of its elevation (7,380 feet above sea level), the climate in Mexico City tends to be fairly comfortable year-round. However, during the winter months, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night and in the early morning (most buildings don’t have heating or proper insulation, so you really feel it!). Mexico’s rainy season falls during the summer months, so there can be frequent rains. When the rains are very heavy, drainage can be inadequate, and the city streets occasionally get flooded, causing even greater traffic delays than usual.
During Spring and Fall, however, the weather tends to be quite pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings. Whichever season you choose, be sure to pack a hat and sunscreen because, at that elevation, you're more likely to get sunburned even on cool or overcast days.
As one of the biggest cities in the world, Mexico City is always crowded, so it’s difficult to avoid crowds here. You will want to be sure to make hotel reservations well in advance during Mexico’s national holidays, especially during the Day of the Dead season, Christmastime, the two weeks around Easter, and during school holidays (most of July and August). Many of the important civic holidays in Mexico are observed on the closest Monday, making for several long weekends throughout the year (referred to in Spanish as "puentes," literally "bridges"), and hotels may fill up on those dates as well.
Popular Festivals and Events
There are many holidays, festivals and events that take place in Mexico City throughout the year that attract visitors from around the country and the world. These can be busy times to visit, so you should make travel arrangements in advance, but they offer some wonderful opportunities to learn about the culture and experience the spirited manner in which Mexicans celebrate.
Between March and May is arguably the best time of year to visit Mexico City. The weather is pleasant: warm during the day (average highs are in the mid- to high 70s degrees Fahrenheit), and cool in the evening. There may be the occasional rain toward the end of the season, but they are not as frequent as during the summer. Hotel rates are reasonable. An unexpected bonus for many travelers visiting Mexico City in the springtime is that jacaranda trees are in bloom throughout the city, adding bursts of light purple flowers everywhere you go.
Events to check out:
- Vive Latino Music Festival takes place over a couple of days in mid-March in the Foro Sol and features a variety of musical groups of different genres.
- Festival del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México is generally held at the beginning of April and presents many different types of artistic expression, including dance, music, visual arts, opera, theater and more.
- Spring Equinox at the nearby archaeological site of Teotihuacán is a special experience. Hundreds of people dress all in white and climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, where they stretch their arms out to receive the positive energy from the sun.
- Benito Juárez, Mexico’s most beloved president, was born on March 21, but the national holiday celebrating his birthday is the third Monday in March.
- Holy Week and Easter: Many Mexico City residents travel to other parts of the country during this holiday (most schools have a two-week holiday at this time) so there are fewer people on the streets and traffic tends to be more fluid, making it a very pleasant time to visit.
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5) celebrations are low-key, but if you want to see a proper parade and celebration, head to Puebla which is just under two hours drive away.
Although summertime is the rainy season, it’s not necessarily a bad time to visit. Usually there are thunderstorms in the late afternoon, but earlier in the day the weather’s often fine and clear. You may find some good deals during this time of year, including low-cost airfares and discounts on hotels, so this could be an optimal time to visit if you’re on a budget.
Events to check out:
- Mexico City’s Gay Pride Parade (Marcha del Orgullo) usually takes place on the last Saturday of June, starting at the Angel of Independence and making its way along the Paseo de la Reforma eventually ending up in the Zócalo.
- A flower festival, Feria de las Flores de San Ángel, is held over a few days in mid-June in the Mexico City neighborhood of San Ángel. Not only are the streets decorated with abundant blooms, but there are also many artistic displays with flowers as a theme.
- Escenica, a theater and dance festival takes place in August at a variety of venues, all offering free admission.
Rainy season continues through September, but gradually tapers off. With lows in the 50s degrees Fahrenheit and highs in the 70s, the weather is very comfortable during these months, though by November it’s starting to get cooler in the evenings, so pack an extra sweater. If you visit in the fall, you may be able to catch some of the city's best-known events, such as Independence Day and the Day of the Dead. Unfortunately, hotel prices begin to climb at this time of year, just in time for visitors who come to experience Mexico’s wonderful fiestas and fine weather.
Events to check out:
- Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on the night of September 15 and all day on the 16th. This, not Cinco de Mayo, is Mexico’s major patriotic holiday, and celebrations are fun and exuberant. There are special celebrations in the Zócalo including El Grito (the Cry of Independence) and parades.
- Day of the Dead is at the end of October and beginning of November, but celebrations can stretch out over a few weeks: A large parade with skulls and skeletons and floats is not to be missed if you visit this time of year. There are decorations all over the city and a huge “mega-ofrenda” (mega-altar) in the Zócalo.
- The music festival Corona Capital takes place over a couple of days in mid-November at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
- The anniversary of the Mexican Revolution is commemorated with parades and civic ceremonies on November 20. The third Monday in November is the official bank holiday.
The weather in December and January is dry and cool and can be downright chilly, especially during the night and in the morning, when temperatures sometimes get down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). The weather remains cool through February, although daytime temperatures start to warm up, to the high 60s and low 70s degrees Fahrenheit. Visiting Mexico City in the Christmas season is a great idea if you want to see the capital in full festive mode. The holiday season in Mexico runs through January 6 and students head back to school just after the 6th, and things go back to a more regular routine.
- The feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is on December 12. Millions of people make their way to the Basilica of Guadalupe to pay homage and celebrate the beloved patroness of Mexico.
- Christmas Season: There’s a lot going on throughout December, including the Posadas, from the 16 to the 24th, and the city is decorated with colorful lights and poinsettias.
- Kings’ Day (Día de Reyes) is on January 6. Mexican children receive gifts from the three wise men on this date. There are gift drives to give toys to underprivileged children, so if visiting before that date, you may want to pack a few gifts to donate. There’s usually an event to mark the occasion in the Zócalo.