A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Cozumel vs. Mexico City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Cozumel or Mexico City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Cozumel and Mexico City can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cozumel

Cozumel is a lively, vibrant, and active island. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mexico City

Mexico City is a vibrant, dynamic, and colorful city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Cozumel and Mexico City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Cozumel or Mexico City?

You'll generally find more things to do in Mexico City than Cozumel. Mexico City is bigger than Cozumel, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Mexico City is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Cozumel is more popular for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty. Cozumel is more touristy than Mexico City and is known for its beautiful beaches and world class dive sites. Mexico City is well known for its vibrant street food scene, colorful markets, and historic architecture. Also, Mexico City is famous for Zócalo.

How is Cozumel different from Mexico City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mexico City and Cozumel. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a must-visit destination for its historical sights. Also, Cozumel is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its sights and museums.

Travelers visit Mexico City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city is filled with historic buildings, fascinating museums, and interesting landmarks. At the heart of the city is Zócalo, where the country's constitution was signed. Nearby you'll find the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor. Other interesting museums in the city include the National Museum of Anthropology, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the National History Museum.

Cozumel offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Check out the Island Museum, the Coral Reefs Monument, and some of the local Mayan ruins. Also worth a visit is Cozumel's Lighthouse.


Is the Food Better in Cozumel or Mexico City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a must-visit destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Cozumel is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Mexico City has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city food scene is as diverse as the population itself. There are countless ways to experience the amazing street food, but there are also world class chefs working in award winning restaurants. Make sure you try the chilaquiles, tacos al pastor, and chiles en nogada.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Cozumel. You'll find a mix of tourist restaurants and hidden gems that serve up authentic Mexican dishes. Wander off the main streets to find the restaurants that are tucked away from the cruise ship crowds.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Nightlife?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a must-visit destination for nightlife. Also, Cozumel is not as popular, but is still a nice island for nightlife and partying.

Mexico City is a world class party destination. It's a huge city, so of course there's no shortage of diverse nightlife activities. Some of the most popular neighborhoods for nightlife include the downtown, La Condesa, and Colonia Juárez. For upscale clubs head to Polanco and for trendy and eclectic venues check out Roma.

Cozumel offers plenty to do in the evening. The nightlife scene is filled with cocktail lounges, beachfront bars, and wild weekend parties. There is something for everyone, whether you'll looking to sip wine by the ocean or party into the early morning.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Resorts?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Cozumel is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Mexico City is not a resort destination.

Cozumel is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are hotels in the city center, and resorts by the beaches. For diving and snorkeling, stay in Southern Cozumel. Golfing and waterfront properties are popular in Northern Cozumel.

Mexico City is not a resort destination.


Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Cozumel is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Mexico City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

The clear water and abundant marine life make Cozumel a world-class scuba diving and snorkeling destination. Many people visit Cozumel specifically for the world class diving. Palancar Reef is one of the best dive spots in the area, and thanks to conservation efforts it is rebounding and offers a diverse environment.

Mexico City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Beaches?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Cozumel is very popular for the beach. However, Mexico City is not a beach destination.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Cozumel. The island is lined with beautiful beaches and you'll find great snorkeling and tourist-friendly amenities. Some of the best beaches are Playa Punta Morena, Playa El Cielo, and Playa Chen Rio.

Mexico City is not a beach destination.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for its Old Town?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is very good for its historic old town. However, Cozumel does not have a historic old town.

Mexico City is a good destination for visiting its old town. Centro Historico spreads out from Zócalo Plaza, and has many buildings that date back as far as the Aztec period. Many tourists gather here to explore the history and wander down the pedestrian-only Calle Madero.

Cozumel does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a must-visit destination for shopping. Also, Cozumel is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Mexico City. The city has everything from open-air bazaars (tianguis) to modern shopping malls. There are international brands as well as local art galleries, handicrafts, and retail outlets.

Cozumel is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. For the best shopping head to Plaza del Sol, the Royal Village Shopping Center, or Los Cincos Soles. Expect cruise ship crowds and no shortage of tourists.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Families?

Cozumel
Mexico City

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Cozumel or Mexico City.

Cozumel is a very family-friendly destination. The area is filled with water parks, snorkeling opportunities and, of course, fun-filled beaches. There are also wildlife reserves and Mayan ruins that aren't too far away.

Mexico City is a very kid-friendly island. It's a huge city, so there are enough diverse activities to keep everyone entertained. There's even a Six Flags. Popular museums for kids include Papalote Museo del Niño and Museo de Geología. There's also the Acuario Inbursa, and make sure you check out a Lucha Libre show.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Couples?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Cozumel is an excellent place to visit for couples. Also, Mexico City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Cozumel makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Beaches, resorts, and adventure sports make this the perfect couples destination. There are also great restaurants and plenty of interesting places to explore.

Mexico City is a nice destination for couples. The city is filled with parks where you can enjoy a picnic, museums that are fascinating to walk through, and cultural activities that are one-of-a-kind. You can ride on a gondola in Xochimilco or spend the day exploring the amazing food scene.


Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cozumel
Mexico City

For backpackers, both Cozumel and Mexico City are great places to visit.

Cozumel is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are a few hostels in town and it's a safe and easy place to explore independently.

Mexico City is a great island to visit for backpackers. It's a big city with a wonderful atmosphere and many hostels. Backpackers who want to experience the culture, food, and personality of Mexico will love a visit here.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Students?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a great city for its student-friendly activities. However, Cozumel is not popular with students.

Mexico City is very popular with students. International students love the art, architecture, food, and culture that this colorful city has to offer.

Cozumel is not popular with students.

Is Cozumel or Mexico City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Mexico City is a great city for times when you don't have a car. However, Cozumel is not known for its public transit.

Public transit in Mexico City is fairly effecient and thorough. The city has a complex and comprehensive public transit system that includes a metro, metrobus, and local buses.

Public transit is generally limited in Cozumel. Local buses don't efficiently travel to the beaches or the hotel areas, so most tourists don't use them.


Is Cozumel or Mexico City a more walkable city?

Cozumel
Mexico City

Cozumel is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Mexico City is lacking in options for its walkability.

Cozumel is a very walkable destination. It's easy to walk around the downtown as it's compact and fun to explore on foot.

Mexico City is generally not very walkable. While you can walk within many neighborhoods, such as the historic city center, it's impossible to walk between neighborhoods and in many parts of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Cozumel Worth Visiting? and Is Mexico City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mexico City or Cozumel?

How long in Cozumel or Mexico City?

In either Cozumel or Mexico City, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Cozumel than Mexico City because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Cozumel, and 3-5 days is enough time in Mexico City.

Families should spend more time in Cozumel than Mexico City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cozumel, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cozumel than Mexico City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cozumel that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Mexico City than Cozumel if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Mexico City.


  • How many days in Cozumel or Mexico City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cozumel 3-7 
    Mexico City 3-5

One day in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the scenic island of Cozumel. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Because Mexico City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the colorful destination of Cozumel. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This island offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Because Mexico City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.


Five days in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the colorful island of Cozumel. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Mexico City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Mexico City has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Cozumel or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Cozumel. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this island.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mexico City. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Mexico City. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


Which place is cheaper, Mexico City or Cozumel?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cozumel is $115, while the average daily cost in Mexico City is $208. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cozumel and Mexico City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cozumel $68
    Mexico City $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cozumel $136
    Mexico City $80
Compare Hotels in Cozumel and Mexico City

Looking for a hotel in Cozumel or Mexico City? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cozumel


Hotels in Mexico City


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cozumel Hotel Prices and Mexico City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cozumel $23
    Mexico City $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cozumel

Also for Cozumel, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Wild Jade Cavern Private ATV Tour With Transfer: $86
  • Private Transfer from Cozumel hotels to Cozumel Cruise Port: $44
  • Private Transfer from Cozumel Airport: $110
  • Private Transfer between Cozumel Airport or Ferry, and Hotels: $40
  • Private One Way Transfer in Cozumel Airport To/From Cozumel: $30
  • Mexico Cozumel Airport (CZM) to Cozumel Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Mexico Cozumel Airport (CZM) to Cozumel -Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Mexico Cozumel Airport (CZM) Cozumel - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $88
  • Cuban Cigar Master Class & Beach Break® with transfer: $153
  • Shared Transfer from Airport to Hotel: $30
  • Cozumel to Mexico Cozumel Airport (CZM)Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Cozumel Private Airport Transfer: $150

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Mexico City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Mexico City:


  • Metro
    $1.17
  • Uber Ride
    $4.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

Also for Mexico City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Mexico City → San Miguel de Allende - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $291
  • Mexico City to Guanajuato - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $272
  • Mexico City International Airport to Mexico City - Private Round-trip Transfer: $256
  • Transfer from Mexico City Airport to Puebla: $245
  • Mexico City to Guanajuato - Private transfer, 2 Sightseeing hours, local driver: $240
  • Mexico City Private Transfer to or from Airport: $199
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Mexico City Airport (MEX) - Mexico City: $187
  • RoundTrip Transfer Private Minivan Mexico City Airport (MEX) -Tlalnepantla: $167
  • Mexico City - Intl Airport Felipe Angeles (NLU) Private Round trip transfer: $165
  • Mexico City to Puebla - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $154
  • One-way transfer + City Tour: $147
  • Mexico City Airport MEX Tecozautla Thermal Round-Trip Transfer: $143

Is it cheaper to fly into Cozumel or Mexico City?

Prices for flights to both Mexico City and Cozumel change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cozumel $23
    Mexico City $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cozumel

For Cozumel, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Mexican Cooking Class Guacamole Pico De Gallo and Margaritas Ready for Fiesta: $29
  • Authentic Mayan Cooking Class in Cozumel: $61
  • Private Mexican Trompitos Cooking Class in Cozumel: $78
  • Cozumel Food Tour: $90
  • Cozumel Food Tour: $110
  • Cozumel Cooking Class: $115

Typical Food Prices in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $13
  • Coffee and Snacks
    $4.56
  • Dinner for 2
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Traveling Spoon Mexican Tacos and Tortillas Private Online Cooking Class: $40
  • Tamales 101: Multi-variety tamal cooking class and feast: $49
  • Muchos moles: Multi-variety mole cooking class and feast: $49
  • Veracruz and Boca del Rio Food Tour with Mangroves Boat Trip: $50
  • Virtual Mexican Cooking Class (private and personalized): $50
  • Local Markets & Food Tour in Mexico City: $50
  • Tortilla Crawl: Food Tour in Mexico City: $55
  • Private Half-Day Traditional Markets Street Food Tour in Mexico City: $57
  • Uruapan Food Tour: $60
  • 3 Hours Food Tour Best Vegan Tacos in Mexico City: $66
  • La Roma Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $73
  • Market tour, cooking class & three-course Mexican feast: $74

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cozumel $43
    Mexico City $15

Tours and Activities in Cozumel

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cozumel.

  • Cheapest Private Shuttle Cruise Terminals 2 any point in Cozumel: $269
  • Island Tour With Private Driver : $54
  • Private Cozumel Jeep Tour & Jade Caverns Cenote: All-Inclusive: $85
  • Romantic tour in Cozumel: $114
  • 1 Hour and Half Private Tropical Fitness Experience in Cozumel: $6.00
  • 15-minute Private Parasailing Experience in Cozumel: $69
  • 2 Hour Diving Experience in San Miguel de Cozumel: $88
  • 2 Hours ATV Jungle, Caverns and Mayan Ruins Tour: $85
  • 3 Hour Mermaid Experience with Buffet Lunch and Drinks: $45
  • 4 Hours Experience in La Chula Catamarán : $62
  • 4-Hour Jeep and ATV Tour with Snorkel in Cozumel with Lunch: $99
  • 4-Hour Private Tour in Cozumel with Pickup: $70

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • City Tour/español-ingles: $68
  • Frida Kahlo Tour with Admission Tickets: $76
  • Mexico City Tour and Visit Chapultepec Castle. Private service: $119
  • Mixology, Food, Wine and Beer Experience in Xochimilco: $99
  • Monarch Butterfly Tour from Mexico City: $220
  • Private City Tour Downtown Mexico City: $35
  • Private Tour Teotihuacan Essentials: $129
  • Private Walking Tour Historic Center of Mexico City: $128
  • Romantic Walking tour in Mexico City: $135
  • Romantic tour in San Andrés Mixquic: $135
  • Teotihuacan Early Access tour with Tequila Tasting: $50
  • Teotihuacan Private Tour: $135

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cozumel $11
    Mexico City $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Cozumel

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Cozumel:

  • Chocolate Seaside Workshop & Wine Tasting: $49
  • Cozumel 5-Hour Private Bar Crawl Tour: $110

Sample the Local Flavors in Mexico City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mexico City:

  • CDMX Pub Crawl: Mexico City Bar Crawl: $11
  • Mexico City Pub Crawl: $30
  • Mexico City Bar Crawl: $39
  • Best Bar Crawl at Downtown: $49
  • Private Mexican Wine Tasting & Food Tasting: $78
  • Nightly Historic Center From Above© Rooftop Bar Crawl +Taco Snack: $129
  • 2 Hours Private Mexican Wine Tasting in Polanco: $155
  • Private Tacos & Wine Tour in Polanco : $159
  • Third Largest Monolith in the World:Bernal with wine tasting: $235
  • Cavas Freixenet Wine Tour from Mexico City: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cozumel and Mexico City, we can see that Mexico City is more expensive. And not only is Cozumel much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cozumel would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cozumel and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Mexico City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Mexico City than you might in Cozumel.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cozumel Expensive? and Is Mexico City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cozumel or Mexico City?

Mexico City has a larger population, and is about 150 times larger than the population of Cozumel. When comparing the sizes of Cozumel and Mexico City, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.