5 places to see in downtown Cancun


5 places to see in downtown Cancun

Cancun is divided into two sections: the hotel zone and the downtown area where the locals live. Many tourists only see the hotel zone during their stay, but the more adventurous know that the downtown area has many great attractions, and most expats end up spending a lot more time at one of these five must-see spots in downtown Cancun.


Parque de las Palapas

The city’s main park is a large plaza that features food vendors, a market, a playground, and a large stage. On weekends, it becomes an entertainment and party spot for Cancun families.


La Habichuela

La Habichuela restaurant has been a fixture for over 30 years and is popular with both tourists and locals. It's perfect for special occasions, but you don’t need to wait for a celebration to go there. Both the food (mainly Mexican, but with some international dishes as well) and the service are excellent, and the decor is a delight. You can eat either indoors or out.

Mercado 28 flea market

Cancun’s largest market is a lively, colorful maze of souvenir, jewelry, and restaurant stands that covers an entire city block. Everything here is done the Mexican way, so be prepared to bargain with the vendors. For a sit-down seafood meal, head to El Cejas.


The Irish Pub

This Irish pub on Avenida de Nichupte, as its name suggests, may not be Cancun’s most “authentic” bar, but it has established itself as a fixture of the downtown party scene. It’s a favorite spot for those who love beer, pool, and fish and chips with a European flair. It serves over 50 different beers from around the world.


Malecon Tajamar

This waterside district is one of the city’s most modern, well-designed areas. You can wander along the Nichupte lagoon while admiring the skyline and the silhouette of the buildings in the hotel zone. It’s across the street from the Malecon Americas shopping mall, one of the most popular weekend spots for locals. This open-air shopping center has a modern, charming feel that offers a pleasant counterpoint to a stroll along the lagoon.