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

Should you visit Mexico City or La Paz?

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

Should I visit Mexico City or La Paz? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Mexico City

Mexico City is a colorful, cultural, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

La Paz

La Paz is a authentic, cultural, and beautiful city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Mexico City and La Paz: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • 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 popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Mexico City or La Paz?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Mexico City than La Paz, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Mexico City is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while La Paz is known for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. La Paz is more touristy than Mexico City and is popular for its beautiful beaches, fascinating cultural setting, and authentic local atmosphere. Mexico City is popular for its vibrant street food scene, colorful markets, and historic architecture. It is also home to Zócalo.

How is Mexico City different from La Paz?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is a world-class destination for its sights and museums. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Mexico City are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around La Paz. Sights and landmarks around town include La Paz Cathedral, the Museo de Antropología e Historia de Baja California Sur, the the Museo de Arte de Baja California Sur, and Teatro Juarez.


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

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is a world-class destination for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Many restaurants in Mexico City have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.

La Paz has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. As the capital of Baja California Sur, you'll find many local restaurants that serve traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine. The recipes include seafood and local produce. You'll find everything from food stalls to high end restaurants around town.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Nightlife?

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is a world-class destination for nightlife and partying. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

People head to Mexico City just to party. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in La Paz. There are many bars and restaurants around the Malecón.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Resorts?

Mexico City
La Paz

La Paz is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Mexico City is not a resort destination.

La Paz has a few great resort options. There are a number of hotels and resorts around town that make for a nice vacation.

Mexico City is not a resort destination.


Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Mexico City
La Paz

La Paz is an excellent place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Mexico City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting La Paz. There are organized diving and snorkeling excursions available around town. It's location by the Sea of Cortez makes diving a world class experience.

Mexico City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Beaches?

Mexico City
La Paz

La Paz 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 La Paz. The beaches in the area are the main draw, and you'll find beaches that are family-friendly, romantic, or full of amenities. Some consider the beaches in the area among the best in Mexico.

Mexico City is not a beach destination.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for its Old Town?

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is a city with good options for its old town. However, La Paz does not have a historic old town.

Many people head to Mexico City to see the 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.

La Paz does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Mexico City or La Paz?

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is a world-class destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Mexico City make it a world-class shopping destination. 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.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in La Paz. Local boutiques, souvenir shops, and art galleries all make for interesting shopping opportunities.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Families?

Mexico City
La Paz

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Mexico City or La Paz.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Mexico City. 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.

La Paz is a very family-friendly place to visit. Older kids will enjoy swimming with whale sharks, whale watching, and experiencing the region's wildlife. There are also many beaches in the area where kids can play.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Couples?

Mexico City
La Paz

With fun activities for couples, both Mexico City and La Paz make for a good place to visit.

Mexico City is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

La Paz is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy walking along the beach promenade known as Malecon. There are also beaches and amazing animal experiences such as whale watching or dolphin viewing.


Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City and La Paz are both excellent destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Mexico City. 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.

Backpackers come from all over to visit La Paz. The city offers an authentic experience and hostels that make it a budget-friendly option for backpackers.

Is Mexico City or La Paz Better for Students?

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is notable for students. However, La Paz is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Mexico City. International students love the art, architecture, food, and culture that this colorful city has to offer.

La Paz is not popular with students.

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

Mexico City
La Paz

Mexico City is notable for its public transit. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Mexico City can get you to some places easily. The city has a complex and comprehensive public transit system that includes a metro, metrobus, and local buses.

La Paz has some public transit options. There's a cheap local bus system around town.


Is Mexico City or La Paz a more walkable city?

Mexico City
La Paz

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

La Paz is a very walkable destination. The city is very walkable.

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 Mexico City Worth Visiting? and Is La Paz Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in La Paz or Mexico City?

How long in Mexico City or La Paz?

It's fun to spend time in either Mexico City or La Paz. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Mexico City due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Mexico City, and 2-4 days is enough time in La Paz.

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

Couples should spend more time in Mexico City than La Paz. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Mexico City 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 La Paz 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 Mexico City or La Paz? Ideal Length of Stay
    Mexico City 3-5 
    La Paz 2-4

One day in Mexico City or La Paz?

Mexico City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the cultural city of La Paz. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people visit for the beaches. 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.

A weekend in Mexico City or La Paz?

Mexico City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the authentic destination of La Paz. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Mexico City or La Paz?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mexico City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The cultural city of La Paz offers museums and nightlife. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Mexico City or La Paz?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the dynamic big city of Mexico City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting La Paz. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people visit for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Mexico, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Mexico, The Best Adventure Tours to Mexico, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, La Paz or Mexico City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mexico City is $193, while the average daily cost in La Paz is $106. 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 Mexico City and La Paz in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mexico City $37
    La Paz $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mexico City $74
    La Paz $94
Compare Hotels in Mexico City and La Paz

Looking for a hotel in Mexico City or La Paz? 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 Mexico City


Hotels in La Paz


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: Mexico City Hotel Prices and La Paz Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mexico City $12
    La Paz $20
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Mexico City

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


  • Metro
    $1.08
  • Uber Ride
    $3.79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

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

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Mexico City - Mexico Airport (MEX): $18
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Mexico Airport (MEX)- Mexico City: $22
  • Private Transfer Minivan from Mexico City - Mexico Airport (MEX): $22
  • Aguascalientes to Aguascalientes Airport (AGU) Departure Transfer: $24
  • Shared Transfer in from Mexico Airport (MEX) - Mexico city: $27
  • Transfer to and from Mexico City Airport: $30
  • Private Transfer: Benito Juarez Airport (MEX) to Mexico City: $35
  • Transfer & assistance one-way from/to Mexico City Airport/hotel : $36
  • Mexico City Private Airport Transfer : $36
  • Private Transfer From Mexico City Airport to Downtown: $37
  • Mexico Airport (MEX) Cuernavaca Thermal Resorts Arrival Transfer: $38
  • Private One way Transfer from Mexico Airport to Mexico City: $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Paz

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Paz:

  • Private Transfer from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas: $240
  • Los Cabos Airport Private Transfers: $108
  • Roundtrip Transfer to La Paz International Airport: $67
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $52
  • La Paz Int. Airport (LAP): Private Transfer to La Paz hotels: $174
  • La Paz Airport: Private Roundtrip Transfer to La Ventan: $241
  • La Paz Airport to Costa Baja Private Roundtrip Transfer: $83

Is it cheaper to fly into Mexico City or La Paz?

Prices for flights to both La Paz and Mexico City 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
    Mexico City $25
    La Paz $35
Typical Food Prices in Mexico City

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $12
  • Coffee and Snacks
    $4.22
  • Dinner for 2
    $25

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:

  • Local Markets & Food Tour in Mexico City: $50
  • Virtual Mexican Cooking Class (private and personalized): $50
  • Private Half-Day Traditional Markets Street Food Tour in Mexico City: $57
  • 3 Hours Food Tour Best Vegan Tacos in Mexico City: $60
  • Muchos moles: Multi-variety mole cooking class and feast: $65
  • Mexico City Vegan & Veggie Market Explorer plus Cooking Lesson: $73
  • Street Food Tour with Friends: $75
  • La Roma Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • MEXICO CITY FOOD TOUR: flavors on two wheels: $78
  • Mexico City Origins: Archeology, History, Art & Food Tour: $79
  • Flamenco Live Show and Dinner in Mexico City: $83
  • Flamenco Tablao Live Show & dinner: $83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Paz

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in La Paz.

  • 4 Hours of Guided La Paz Street Food Tour: $75
  • Sunset Horseback Riding and Dinner: $230

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mexico City $14
    La Paz $11

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

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

  • MUCHO Museum of Chocolate Entrance Ticket: $4.33
  • Franz Mayer Museum Regular Admission Ticket: $5.42
  • Bike tour in the Chapultepec Forest and Roma Condesa : $5.50
  • Chimalistac District Quest Experience in Mexico City: $5.66
  • Double Decker Bus Night Tour: $6.50
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour-Moctezuma and the Zocalo:The Aztec Empire : $6.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Mexico for Beginners: $6.99
  • Memory and Tolerance Museum Entry Ticket: $7.58
  • La Roma's Famous Sights and Local Lore: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Mexico City (Coyoacan) City Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.99
  • Mexico City (Historic Centre) City Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.99
  • Mexico City (Coyoacan) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $9.14

Tours and Activities in La Paz

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for La Paz are as follows:

  • 1 Day Espiritu Santo Island Wonders, Sea Lions and Paddleboard Adventure : $249
  • Adventure to Espiritu Santo Island: Snorkel with Sea Lions and Beach: $122
  • Balandra & San Rafaelito: Sightseeing & Snorkelling: $135
  • Balandra Adventure: Hike, Kayak, and Snorkel: $119
  • Balandra Snorkel & Sea Lion Adventure: $135
  • Cabo San Lucas: Balandra Beach and City Tour: $119
  • Cabo to La Paz City, Todo Santos & Balandra Beach Tour: $125
  • Can-Am X3 Turbo Adventure: Cabo Desert Trails & Beach Ride: $271
  • City Tour & Beaches from La Paz: $91
  • Cruise Date Delight! Swim with Sea Lions! Apr-02: $173
  • Espíritu Santo Island snorkel and sightseeing tour on Small Group: $155
  • Espiritu Santo Island Day Tour: $170

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mexico City $19
    La Paz $11

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: $23
  • Best Bar Crawl at Downtown: $49
  • Nightly Historic Center From Above© Rooftop Bar Crawl +Taco Snack: $129
  • 2 Hours Private Mexican Wine Tasting in Polanco: $155
  • Polanco: Private Wine Tasting in with Cheese: $158
  • Polanco: Private Tacos and Wine Tour: $193
  • 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 Mexico City and La Paz, we can see that Mexico City is more expensive. And not only is La Paz much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Paz would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Paz 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 La Paz.

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


Which is Bigger, Mexico City or La Paz?

Mexico City has a larger population, and is about 70 times larger than the population of La Paz. When comparing the sizes of Mexico City and La Paz, 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.