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Mexico City is a great place to explore on your own, and in general this is the easiest and least expensive way to see what you like. But if your time is limited, you may want to acclimate quickly by taking a tour or two.

The many commercial tours include a 4-hour city tour of such sites as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and Chapultepec Park and Castle; a longer tour to the Shrine of Guadalupe and nearby pyramids at Teotihuacán; and the Sunday tour that begins with the Ballet Folklórico, moves on to the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, and may or may not include lunch and the afternoon bullfights. Almost as popular are 1-day and overnight tours to Puebla, Cuernavaca, Taxco, and Acapulco. There are also several nightclub tours. Book through your hotel concierge or tour desk.

If you want to let your stomach be your guide, consider taking a gastronomic tour. Eat Mexico (www.EatMexico.com) is a new tour company founded by American expat food writer Lesley Tellez and her Chilango counterpart, Jesica López Sol. Eat Mexico's guides are the perfect stewards to Mexico City's unique local cuisine. If you're squeamish about eating tacos al pastor on a street corner, they'll teach you how to spot the best vendors and even how to administer a squeeze of lime. Other tours include a jaunt around authentic markets in El Centro and a taste of Mexican wine, tequila, and mescal.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.