Updated: Feb 22
Looking for free things to do in Mexico City? There's actually a lot of free things to do in CDMX (museums, walking tours, parks), but one of the best free things to do in CDMX is the Sunday bike ride. From 8:00am to 2:00pm every Sunday, they shut down some of the city's major streets, including Paseo de la Reforma, for this city-wide outing, and it is quite the spectacle. Tons of people join in this wholesome activity, whether on bike, foot, or even skates, and if you have a spare Sunday in Mexico City, I would strongly recommend you get on the festivities too.
Exploring Mexico City by Bike
One of the best ways to see Mexico City is by bicycle, and you can do this any day of the week. They have really great bicycle lanes, beautiful parks to explore, and Ecobici bike stations all over the city where you can rent a bike. Even though Mexico City is huge, you can easily bounce around to some of the more popuar areas by bike, including Roma Norte and Condesa, Chapultepec Park, and the Centro Historico. It is a very efficient way to get around the city, especially if traffic is bad. Not to mention, Mexico City has pretty mild weather year-round, and during jacaranda season, you'll want to be outside as much as possible!
So how do you rent a bicycle for free?
The local government began this program to promote health and wellness to its citizens, and they were quite successful with getting people out and about! You will see people of all ages, families, dogs, and tons of booths set up along the way.
Because the government wants to encourage it, they offer bicycles for free to anyone who wants to participate, including tourists, and all you need is an ID.
As I mentioned already, Ecobicis are also an option if it is more convenient for you, because they have stations located all over the city, but they aren't free. They are very affordable though, and you just need to download an app, register, and pay.
To get to the free bicycles, you'll want to go to Paseo de la Reforma. There are stations all along this main drag called "BiciGratis," which literally means "Free Bike." Reforma is a really long street, so I'd recommend starting near the Angel of Independence, then just walk towards Chapultepec park until you find one. It is possible that they will run out of bikes, so you'll want to arrive early, and you may need to try more than one booth.
As I mentioned before, you'll need an ID (I was able to use my U.S. driver's license) and the attendant will keep it until you return. You'll also want to make sure you arrive before noon, because the streets will reopen at 2pm. If you arrive really early, be aware that you do have a time limit with the bicycles - you can keep it for up to 3 hours. I arrived around 10am and had to wait in a bit of a line and just barely snagged the last bicycle.
CDMX Bicycle Routes
The bicycle route is pretty straightforward, but if you want an actual map you can find it online. Once a month, the route is actually extended quite a bit so be careful not to get yourself too far out of the city!
I rode from the Angel of Independence all the way up towards Alameda Central, near the Palace of Fine Arts. Then I turned around and headed towards Chapultepec Park. Chapultepec Park actually has bike paths all throughout, and it's a huge park, so this would be a fantastic place for a bike ride no matter what day it is!
There's also a bunch of food stands outside of the Museum of Anthropology, so it's a great place to stop off and refuel (make sure you have cash on you!). Inside Section 1 and 2 of Chapultepec Park you can also find quite a bit of food options.
Returning Your Bike
Make sure you take note of where you got your bike! This might sound like a "duh," but remember there are quite a few of the BiciGratis booths along Reforma and they all look the same. I actually went to the wrong one, and had to just try again until I found it.
So if you're gonna give a Mexico City bike ride a go (which you definitely should!), you can find more info at the official website here: BiciGratis
And I walk you through the whole thing and take you with me on my first CDMX Sunday bike ride on my YouTube channel: