A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico San Cristobal de Las Casas vs. Mexico City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

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

Should I visit San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City? 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.

San Cristobal de Las Casas

San Cristobal de Las Casas is a charming, colorful, and cultural town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Mexico City

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

San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

You'll generally find more things to do in Mexico City than San Cristobal de Las Casas. Mexico City is bigger than San Cristobal de Las Casas, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Mexico City is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, and big city activities, while San Cristobal de Las Casas is more popular for its historical sights, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. San Cristobal de Las Casas is more touristy than Mexico City and is known for its historical buildings, local markets, and traditional churches. 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas different from Mexico City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is very popular for its museums and history. Also, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

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.

Many visitors head to San Cristobal de Las Casas specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The town is filled with historical churches such as the main Cathedral of San Cristobal. While this is the most notable church, there are also smaller churches worth visiting like the Templo Santo Domingo, Iglesia de Guadalupe, and Iglesia de San Cristobal. For museums, make sure you check out the Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya, Na Bolom, and Museo de Ambar.


Is the Food Better in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is very popular for its restaurants. Also, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

For foodies, Mexico City is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. 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.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit San Cristobal de Las Casas. The cuisine is a mix of Spanish-influenced cured meats such as ham and sausage, as well as indigenous flavors like tamales and burritos. There's also a lot of great pizza around town as well as several Asian restaurants.

Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Nightlife?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is very popular for nightlife. Also, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Mexico City is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. 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.

San Cristobal de Las Casas is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. There's an active nightlife scene that includes everything from late night clubs to salsa lessons. Most tourists who want to party head to the pedestrian streets around the plaza. There are countless bars where you'll likely find a crowd late into the night. Some clubs have a cover charge on weekends but, in general, drinks are cheap and getting around is easy.

Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for its Old Town?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

San Cristobal de Las Casas is an excellent place to visit for its historic old town charm. Also, Mexico City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting San Cristobal de Las Casas. The town is filled with narrow pedestrian streets, colorful markets, and historic churches.

Many visitors go to Mexico City to see the historical 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.


Is the Shopping Better in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Shoppers can find a variety of first-rate stores in both San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The nearby villages are famous for their weaving, leather, pottery, and embroidery, so many visitors pick up souvenirs at the colorful markets around town. This is one of the best towns in Mexico to purchase local items, and you should definitely set aside time to explore and shop.

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.

Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Families?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Mexico City is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in San Cristobal de Las Casas. While kids may not appreciate the town's beauty and culture, they will have fun exploring the night market or taking a chocolate-making class. There are pedestrian streets where everyone can explore without fear of traffic and pizza restaurants that appeal to the kids as well.

Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Couples?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

San Cristobal de Las Casas is an excellent place to visit for couples. Also, Mexico City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

San Cristobal de Las Casas makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy culture, markets, traditional cuisines, and new experiences will love their time here. It's a fun place to simply wander. You can explore the markets and then eat at a local restaurant before making your way back to your boutique hotel.

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City are both high quality destinations for backpackers.

San Cristobal de Las Casas is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are a number of hostels in town as well as budget-friendly hotels. Backpackers love the laid back nature of this town as well as the many markets and nature-oriented activities.

Mexico City is a great town 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Students?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not popular with students.

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

San Cristobal de Las Casas is not popular with students.

Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

Mexico City is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, San Cristobal de Las Casas is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

You'll find some public transit in San Cristobal de Las Casas, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. Urbano buses are minibuses that connect the town to the outlying residential areas. There are also colectivos that travel to nearby villages.


Is San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City a more walkable city?

San Cristobal de Las Casas
Mexico City

San Cristobal de Las Casas is very popular for its ease of walking around. However, Mexico City is lacking in options for its walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Walking is the best way to experience the town. Most of the sights can be reached on foot and there are pedestrian-only streets that let you avoid the traffic.

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas Worth Visiting? and Is Mexico City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mexico City or San Cristobal de Las Casas?

How long in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

In either San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Mexico City than San Cristobal de Las Casas because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for San Cristobal de Las Casas, and 3-5 days is enough time in Mexico City.

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

Couples should spend more time in San Cristobal de Las Casas than Mexico City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Cristobal de Las Casas 2-3 
    Mexico City 3-5

One day in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

San Cristobal de Las Casas is a small town with plenty to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Most people visit for the shopping. 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.

Each neighborhood in Mexico City has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

San Cristobal de Las Casas might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This town 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.

Each neighborhood in Mexico City has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

Because San Cristobal de Las Casas is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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.

Each neighborhood in Mexico City has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. This is a popular place to visit for five days.Five days is often enough time to do most activities. This city offers something for everyone.

A week in San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

Since San Cristobal de Las Casas is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people visit for the shopping. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the city of Mexico City. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Mexico City, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Playa del Carmen, The Best 2-Week Tours from Cancun, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, Mexico City or San Cristobal de Las Casas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Cristobal de Las Casas is $100, while the average daily cost in Mexico City is $213. 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $46
    Mexico City $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $92
    Mexico City $82
Compare Hotels in San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City

Looking for a hotel in San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas


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: San Cristobal de Las Casas Hotel Prices and Mexico City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $32
    Mexico City $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Cristobal de Las Casas

Also for San Cristobal de Las Casas, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas to TGZ Airport: $52

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Mexico City

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


  • Metro
    $1.20
  • Uber Ride
    $4.19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

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

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Mexico APT-HTL (MEX) : $36
  • Transfer to and from Mexico City Airport: $30
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Mexico City - Mexico Airport (MEX): $43
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Tlalnepantla - Mexico City Airport (MEX): $83
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Mexico Airport (MEX)- Mexico City: $93
  • Transfer from Mexico City Airport to Puebla: $245
  • Transfer Mexico city Airport - Mexico city Downtown hotels: $18
  • Transfer Mexico City Airport to Downtown and Zona Rosa Hotels: $80
  • Transfer Mexico City - Taxco - Acapulco (2 days): $83
  • Transfer Airport - hotel in Mexico City: $80
  • Toluca to Toluca Int Airport (TLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $65
  • Toluca hotels to Toluca Airport TLC Departure Private Transfer: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

Prices for flights to both Mexico City and San Cristobal de Las Casas 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
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $23
    Mexico City $27

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
    $4.67
  • 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:

  • 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
  • Uruapan Food Tour: $61
  • Muchos moles: Multi-variety mole cooking class and feast: $72
  • Mexico City Vegan & Veggie Market Explorer plus Cooking Lesson: $73
  • MEXICO CITY FOOD TOUR: flavors on two wheels: $78
  • La Roma Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • Food Tour with Ride an Electric Bike in Mexico: $80
  • Flamenco Live Show and Dinner in Mexico City: $83
  • Flamenco Tablao Live Show & dinner: $83

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $14
    Mexico City $15

Tours and Activities in San Cristobal de Las Casas

For San Cristobal de Las Casas, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Adventure on Motorcycle to a Hidden Waterfall! : $123
  • Agua Azul, Misol Hà Waterfalls and Palenque Ruins Tour: $49
  • Bike Tour Chiapas Indigenous Peoples: $62
  • Canyoning El Chorreadero Cave- Adventure Chiapas: $101
  • Chamula and Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour: $31
  • From San Cristóbal Tour to Agua Azul, Misol Ha and Palenque with Guide 1 day: $65
  • Full Day Tour in Lagos de Montebello and El Chiflón: $82
  • Full Day Tour of Montebello Lakes and El Chiflon Waterfall: $45
  • Full Day Tour to Palenque Archaeological Zone with Waterfalls: $113
  • Full-Day Sumidero Canyon Tour with Boat Cruise from San Cristóbal de las Casas: $84
  • Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Waterfalls Tour: $28
  • Montebello Lakes and Waterfalls Tour from San Cristobal: $52

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

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

  • 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 Tour GROUPS and FAMILIES through Museo Soumaya: $246
  • Private Tour Teotihuacan Essentials: $129
  • Romantic Walking tour in Mexico City: $150
  • Romantic tour in San Andrés Mixquic: $150
  • Teotihuacan Half-Day Tour with Tequila tasting: $42
  • VIP - FULL DAY - Mexico City Private Tour : $209
  • 2 Day tour Teotihuacan pyramids +City tour & Xochimilco : $132
  • 2 Days Private Tour with Hiking in Malinche from Puebla: $213
  • 2-Hour Private Tour of Teotihuacan City of the Gods: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $30
    Mexico City $21

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: $29
  • Mexico City Pub Crawl: $31
  • Mexico City Bar Crawl: $40
  • 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
  • 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas and Mexico City, we can see that Mexico City is more expensive. And not only is San Cristobal de Las Casas much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Cristobal de Las Casas would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas.

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


Which is Bigger, San Cristobal de Las Casas or Mexico City?

Mexico City has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of San Cristobal de Las Casas. When comparing the sizes of San Cristobal de Las Casas 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.