introduction

Visiting Mexico City will leave you wanting to see more. As one of the largest cities in the world, it is also huge in terms of places to visit and things to do .

Its history, rhythm of life and culture are easily compared with the main European cities. The advantage? You can enjoy all its benefits for much less money.

This is a guide to the places you should consider visiting. From the most modern colonies, passing through its baroque neighborhoods to the spectacular vestiges of the ancient Aztec empire.

Soak up the history, culture, food, colors and aromas of this amazing city.

 

II. Basic information for traveling to Mexico City

a) Brief history of Mexico City

The history of Mexico City begins in 1325 when the Mexicas created a settlement on a lake. From this moment one of the main social, economic and political centers of America called Tenochtitlan developed.

The great city of Tenochtitlan flourished until 1519, the year the Spanish arrived. From this year there were great fights that ended in 1521 when Cortés and his army defeated the Mexica. The name of the city changes from Tenochtitlan to New Spain.

The city underwent great changes that sought to erase all traces of the ancient civilization that lived here. In this way New Spain flourished for three hundred years until the country’s independence was signed in 1821.

On November 18, 1824 the name of the city was changed again and it became Mexico City. It also receives the quality of a capital city and becomes the seat of the Mexican federal powers, a function that it maintains to this day.

b) About tips

One of the most common doubts that tourists have in Mexico City is how the issue of tips works. Here are some tips:

Supermarkets . In supermarkets you will see that in each payment box there are two people: the one who collects and the one who keeps your things in the bags. The latter are allowed to do their work but do not receive a fixed salary so they only receive tips. The usual thing is to give them between $ 1 and $ 5 pesos.

Taxi . In Mexico it is not common to tip the taxi but you can do it if it has helped you to get on and off your luggage.

Waiters . Waiters usually have a fairly low salary so they appreciate that you leave a tip. In some restaurants they will ask you if you want to leave a tip and what percentage, in others you can leave it in cash. The usual percentage ranges from 8% to 12% of your account but you can choose another amount.

Other services . Bartenders, bellboys, masseuses, and mariachis usually expect tips ranging from $ 30 to $ 100 pesos.

c) Climate

The location of Mexico City gives it one of the best climates in the country. However, during the hurricane season you may encounter a lot of rain. To enjoy a pleasant climate try to visit the city between October and April.

d) The most important events of the year

February 2. Veneration of the Niñopa.

3 al 7 de febrero. Zona Maco 2016 México D.F. Feria de Arte Contemporáneo México

17 al 29 de febrero. Feria Internacional del Libro del Palacio de Minería.

27 y 28 de febrero. Electric Daisy Carnival.

11 al 28 de marzo. Festival de México en el Centro Histórico.

21 de marzo. Bienvenida a la primavera en Teotihuacán.

23 y 24 de abril. Festival Vive Latino.

Abril – Mayo. Feria Internacional de las Artesanías.

4° domingo de agosto. Maratón de la Ciudad de México.

16 de septiembre. Grito de Independencia en el Zócalo.

3° fin de semana de septiembre. Festival Multicultural de Globos de Cantolla.

2° semana de noviembre. Feria Internacional del Libro Infantil y Juvenil.

e) Transporte público

Mexico City has various transportation options. The most complete is the subway that connects the entire city through underground tunnels at the cheapest cost.

Due to Mexico City traffic, other options are much slower and more expensive.

Mexico City metro map

Metro map of Mexico City.
Photo by: mexicometro.org

For more information on Mexico City present, you can visit the Tourism Secretariat of the Federal District , and CDMXTravel.com/es .

 

III. The neighborhoods of Mexico City

Mexico City is made up of different neighborhoods, each with very particular characteristics. Below we will talk about what you can discover and do in each one. Get ready to walk a lot, learn about history and have interesting moments.

 

IV. Colonia Centro

This is the neighborhood or colony that houses the main economic, political and social centers of Mexico City. You’ll be able to stroll through the Zocalo and Alameda, eat in the countless restaurants available, shop, and see buildings that have endured for hundreds of years.

A) Historic Center

The first place you should know as soon as you get to Mexico City is the Historic Center. In it you will travel to the past with its buildings that have seen centuries pass. Its streets were known to those who visited the Mexicas in pre-colonial times.

Later, it became one of the most important places. All kinds of people have passed through this point in Mexico City, from indigenous to viceroys. The must-sees in this area are:

1. Socket

The Zocalo is not just a public square, it is the most important public square in Mexico. It is surrounded by the most important buildings in the city and has been so since the time of the Mexicas.

For the Mexica it was part of the ceremonial center of Tenochtitlán. For the Spanish it became the main trade area. Today it continues to be the center of quintessential cultural, social and religious manifestations.

The most important events are held here, from the cry that commemorates our independence each year to the welcome to the most important personalities who visit Mexico. Take the opportunity to rest after your trip, take some pictures of the buildings that surround the Zocalo and eat something.

2. Metropolitan Cathedral

One of the buildings that surround the Zocalo is the Metropolitan Cathedral. It is not just any building, it is the largest cathedral in Latin America and one of the largest Christian temples in the world.

Even if you do not profess the Catholic religion there are several reasons to know the Cathedral. Its construction began in 1521 with the same stones that one day formed the Main Temple of ancient Tenochtitlan.

Its inauguration took place on December 22, 1667 and even today you can see its precious murals and religious treasures. Due to its long history it was in danger of sinking but today it is totally safe so you can appreciate all its splendor.

Admission is free and on some dates you can enjoy concerts of sacred music and choirs.

3. National Palace

Another building that is steps from the Zocalo is the National Palace, seat of the country’s executive power. Its walls and corridors have witnessed the most important political and social events in the history of Mexico.

It was the Palacio de Moctezuma and later the seat of the administration of the Viceroyalty. It was the home of the highest authority of the Mexican territory until Lázaro Cárdenas decided to occupy the Presidential Palace of Los Pinos for this purpose.

Currently you can visit the National Palace from Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and appreciate the Diego Rivera murals on the main staircase. You can also visit the site in Homage to Benito Juárez where you will see articles of his property and great historical value.

4. Museo del Templo Mayor

Can you imagine reaching the center of a city and encountering an archaeological site? This happens in few cities in the world, one of them is Mexico City.

Because New Spain was built right on top of ancient Tenochtitlan, over the years it has been possible to find certain archaeological finds. This led the Museum of the Templo Mayor to open its doors to the public on October 12, 1987.

When you visit it, don’t forget to see the two most important pieces of the Museum: the polychrome relief of the earth goddess, Tlaltecuhtli and the large monolith that represents the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui.

The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. General admission costs 65 pesos from Tuesday to Saturday for the general public and is free for students, children under 13, teachers, pensioners, retirees and seniors. On Sundays Mexicans and foreign residents can freely access the museum.

Templo Mayor in Mexico City

The Greater Temple.

Tzompantli of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City

Tzompantli in the Templo Mayor.

5. Palace of Fine Arts

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is the quintessential Mexican art forum. The first time you visit, it will take your breath away from its magical combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

The idea of ​​the Palace of Fine Arts was born in 1904 as a proposal to celebrate the one hundred years of the Independence of Mexico. However, the Mexican Revolution prevented the work from being completed until President Pascual Ortiz Rubio continued with its construction.

Fine Arts has works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among others.

You can visit the Palace of Fine Arts from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

6. Alameda Central

Alameda Central is the public park par excellence in Mexico City. Created by Viceroy Luis de Velasco and loved by Empress Carlota Amalia of Belgium, it has witnessed Mexican life and customs.

Today you can spend moments of calm and tranquility at any time of the week and if you go on Sundays you can enjoy musical recitals that have become a tradition. It is located a few steps from the Museum of Fine Arts.

7. Garibaldi Square

It is impossible to think of Mexico City without associating it with the mariachi and the night party. The best place to find these two things? Plaza Garibaldi located in Eje Central corner with Calle República de Honduras.

Throughout the day you can find mariachis and crowds of people looking for fun. But without a doubt, the best time is during the night.

Monument to Javier Solís in Plaza Garibaldi

Monument to Javier Solís in Plaza Garibaldi.

For other options of what to do in the Historic Center, you can follow the itinerary of our colleague Mariel here . If you prefer something more organized, you can use the Capital Bus of the Turibus tourist bus company , which gives you the opportunity to get on and off all day with the same ticket.

B) Hotel El Ejecutivo

Do you want a hotel that is right in the center of Mexico City and that has a fair price? Hotel El Ejecutivo is the option. It is a few meters from the Palace of Fine Arts and has all the amenities you may need.

It has the buffet option from 7 to 11 in the morning so you will not have to worry about finding where to have breakfast. Children under 12 years old do not pay accommodation.

The Hotel is located on Calle Viena # 8, one of the main roads so transportation will not be a problem.

C) Cantina Tío Pepe

La Cantina Tío Pepe was founded in 1878 and is one of the oldest in Mexico City. Located in Chinatown, it’s easy to get by without seeing it when you’re not looking for it. You can identify her by the sign on her door.

As soon as you enter and you will feel immersed in a timeless and ageless environment. It retains many of the characteristics of a cantina of yesteryear. You will even see signs that prohibit children and women from entering.

But don’t worry, anyone’s access is allowed today. The quantity of drinks is enormous although they do not serve snacks. Luckily, it is common for vendors to enter who offer all kinds of snacks.

La Cantina Tío Pepe is open from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 22:30.

D) La Cantina La India

A jukebox with a varied selection of music that goes from the classic rancheras, the eighties ballads and ends with current pop and band options is just one of the things you will find in the La India Canteen.

This canteen gives you everything you may need: food with excellent flavor and a wide variety of drinks. Make sure to order one of their delicious cod cakes to avoid alcohol getting you drunk earlier.

La Cantina La India is the ideal place to start, follow and finish the party, since it opens from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

E) Tacos Los Cocuyos

If you have decided to start the party in La India but want to continue somewhere else, go to Los Cocuyos Tacos first to eat something.

Here you will find the classic Campeche, tripe or cheek tacos that accompanied by their sauce, lemon and onion will help you minimize the effect of the drinks.

F) Cantina Portales de Tlaquepaque

After a few tacos from Los Cocuyos you will be ready to continue with the party and you will not need to walk much as the Cantina Portales de Tlaquepaque is right next to it.

In this cantina there are two sections, the file area and the traditional area. If you want to dance but don’t have a partner, in the file area you can dance with the girls. Although there is a misconception about them, you will discover that they are only dedicated to dancing. Each dance piece must be paid for together with the entrance cover.

In the traditional area you can sit at one of the tables or at the bar and drink more calmly. If you want a drink that is not on the menu, ask the waitresses as the offer is not always in sight. They will also tell you what the promotions of the day are, both in food and drinks.

This canteen is open from Monday to Sunday between 11am and 2am.

G) La Faena Cantina

La Faena is located at Calle Venustiano Carranza number 49. You could pass without seeing it because its facade is quite discreet. Once you enter you will feel trapped by their personality.

Its atmosphere and name refer to the feast of bravery so you can enjoy the small exhibition of bullfighter costumes.

The variety of drinks and food is more limited than in other canteens but its atmosphere is younger. In addition, you will see that as the day progresses and the afternoon falls, the atmosphere gets better.

You can visit La Faena from Monday to Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

H) Tenampa Hall

Do you want to know another place with as much tradition and history as the Cantina Tío Pepe and you are close to Garibaldi? Then look for number 12 and you will find the Tenampa Hall with a story that started in 1925.

Any mariachi will tell you where it is. There you can eat and drink accompanied by mariachi. You will see all kinds of people, tourists trying tequila for the first time and local people living with friends, even others who will heal their heartbreak singing accompanied by mariachi and tequila.

Tenampa Lounge is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

I)  Corona Lounge Restaurant

Bolívar # 24 has been the location of the Salón Corona Restaurant since 1775. The story goes that the original owner, José de la Borda, was a prominent miner who was jealous every time his wife went out for a walk.

To end this jealousy, he built the Corona Hall that covered the entire block and where his wife could walk without problems. Centuries have passed since then and the only thing that has not changed is the excellent service in food and drinks.

Salón Corona is open from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

J)  Café Tacuba Restaurant

If what you want is a restaurant with options for all tastes, Café Tacuba is the ideal one. Its menu has all kinds of options: tamales of different specialty, meats, poultry, complete menus, etc.

It is located in Tacuba # 28 and has received all kinds of personalities since 1912. Its style decorated with stone and earth tones will take you to the classic lounges of the last century. Café Tacuba opens from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Tacuba coffee

Tacuba coffee.
Photo by: Café de Tacuba

V. Polanco and Chapultepec

This is the largest residential area in Mexico City. Take the opportunity to relax in Chapultepec Park, stroll along Presidente Masaryk Avenue (the most expensive in the city), visit museums and enjoy the best nightlife in the city.

A) Chapultepec

When we say that Mexico City has it all, we are not exaggerating. In many other greats in the world it is difficult to relax and forget about chaotic life without leaving them. Here you not only have cultural and social options, you also have a huge green area where there is a castle, a zoo and museums. I’m talking about Chapultepec

1. Chapultepec Forest

What kind of outdoor activities do you like? Surely you will find some in the Chapultepec Forest located on the hill of the same name. This forest has a great variety of flora thanks to the gardens that surround it and its centuries-old ahuehuetes.

Over the years, the Chapultepec Forest has been divided into three sections. In the first section you find a lake where you can rent boats, a large zoo and museums of great importance worldwide such as the National Museum of Anthropology.

In the second section you will find the Los Pinos Presidential House, the two lakes, restaurants and local fauna that you can feed. The third section is mostly made up of green areas only.

In this Forest you can go for a walk, practice photography or run and fill your lungs with fresh air.

2. Chapultepec Castle

The Chapultepec Castle is right on the top of the Cerro de Chapultepec and from that place it has been a silent witness to national history.

Its construction began at the end of the 18th century and since then it has been resistance with the enemy in wars, home of presidents and of Maximilian of Habsburg himself and Military College.

Today it is a museum that preserves vestiges of some of its former owners and you can visit them from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Take advantage and see some of the best views of the city with free admission.

3. Chapultepec Zoo

Did you think that the habit of having zoos is new? Not at all! The Chapultepec Zoo dates back to the era of the Mexican emperors when Moctezuma Xocoyotzin had a zoo with exotic animals.

This emperor had animals brought from all over Mesoamerica and when the conquerors arrived they were surprised to see so much wealth. Centuries later, Alfonso L. Herrera, a renowned biologist had the idea to create a similar zoo.

Therefore, in 1924, the Chapultepec Zoo opened its doors with animals from all over the world. Over the years it has given shelter to more species. Today you can see animals from all climates in the world classified into seven climates: desert, grassland, coast, tundra, avian, temperate forest and tropical forest.

You can visit this great zoo from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. with free admission.

B) Camino Real de Polanco

Camino Real de Polanco is an exceptional hotel for solitary travelers, couples or family. It is located a few meters from Chapultepec, in Mariano Escobedo # 700 and is one of the best valued in the area.

The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, business center, babysitters available for an additional charge and more than 700 rooms. It is the ideal hotel for those looking for a comfortable and very modern place.

Camino Real Hotel in Polanco

Camino Real de Polanco.

C) Dulce Patria Restaurant

Located in Anatole France # 100, the Dulce Patria restaurant gives you the best of Mexican fusion food. It is a very modern style restaurant that combines the traditional Mexican flavors in a new and refreshing way.

We recommend you make reservations to avoid waiting, it has a smoking area and a truly exceptional wine list.

staircase in Dulce Patria restaurant

Dulce Patria’s staircase.
Photo by: Dulce Patria Restaurant

D) Los Almendros Insurgentes Restaurant

Any time is good to try traditional Yucatecan food, even if you are in Mexico City. But as we know that not just any place is worth, we recommend Los Almendros Insurgentes Restaurant.

Enjoy the delicious cochinita pibil, panuchos, lime soup and poc-chuc with the original recipes. On Saturdays and Sundays you can take advantage of the buffet food service.

The restaurant is located at Insurgentes sur # 1759.

E)  Pujol

It is located at Francisco Petrarca # 254 in the heart of Polanco. It is a modern and experimental restaurant with a constantly changing menu but always with the freshest local products.

It is a restaurant for those who enjoy eating new and very sophisticated dishes. They are open from 12:00 to 23:00.

 

SAW. Countess and Rome

These two are the most bohemian neighborhoods in Mexico City. Galleries, shops of unmatched articles and Art Deco buildings will take you to a young and relaxed atmosphere.

A) Mexico Park

Parque México is one of the most beautiful parks in Mexico City. Here nature and Art Deco come together to create a unique place in the entire city. It was born in 1926 as part of the design of the Colonia Hipódromo carried out by the Architect José Luis Cuevas.

Each element was carefully thought out and created. Throughout the year you can find different cultural events on weekends or in the afternoons.

B) Object Museum MODE

Bruno Newman founded MODO Museo del Objeto with various objects that he collected throughout his life. The purpose was to give a space to all those products that were aesthetically interesting.

The collection includes packaging, displays, advertisements, packaging, typefaces and any pieces that can be related to graphic arts. MODO is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entry cost is $ 25 pesos for residents of Colonia Roma who present their IFE, teachers, students and people with INAPAM credentials. For the general public the entry cost is $ 50 pesos. Children 12 and under are free.

The Objects Museum is located in Colima # 145 in the heart of Colonia Roma.

C) Hotel Escandon

Located in Avenida José Martí # 178 it is a hotel of true luxury and sophistication. It has 77 rooms in total and you can choose between Premier, double matrimonial, master double, Jacuzzi suite and Jacuzzi double suite.

The location is perfect to know the area and if you want to get rid of the car for a few days you can take advantage of the bicycles that the hotel has for the use of its guests.

Escandon Hotel in Mexico City

Escandon Hotel.

D) Countess DF

Is the Hotel Escandon not exactly to your liking? In that case you should see Condesa DF located at Avenida Veracruz # 102. Its characteristics have made it one of the favorites in the area.

In addition to its 40 rooms, you can spend good times in its disco and bar. If you travel with your pet, this hotel is perfect because it will admit it without any problem.

Hotel Condesa DF in Colonia La Condesa

Hotel Condesa DF.

VII. Coyoacán – San Ángel

Eight kilometers from the center of Mexico City you find Coyoacán. Its history is linked to that of ancient New Spain and characters as notable as Frida Kahlo. Stroll through its streets and appreciate its restored buildings.

Since Mexico City was New Spain, San Ángel was a point of distraction. Today you can visit its Saturday Bazaar, visit its museums, take courses in its cultural centers and enjoy the architecture of its 16th century churches.

A) Blue House of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Talking about modern art and culture in Mexico forces us to remember Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. She painter who through art found freedom and a way to deal with her pain. He, one of the best muralists in Mexico and the man who changed Frida’s life.

The story of these two characters is studied by many today, perhaps more Frida’s life. If you are interested in seeing how they lived, visit the Blue House. Here they lived together, received friends like Trotsky, and much of Frida’s work was created.

You will be able to see objects that she used perfectly preserved. In the museum that is inside the house located at # 247 Calle Londres you will be able to appreciate some of Frida’s paintings.

The Blue House receives this name for the color with which its walls are painted. You can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 5:45. The entrance costs $ 80 pesos for the general public and $ 35 pesos for students with credentials.

B) University City

Ciudad Universitaria is the place where the main campus of UNAM is located, one of the best universities in the world. On July 2, 2007 it was declared a World Heritage Site although its history dates back to June 5, 1950 when the first stone of the building was laid.

Among the classrooms of Ciudad Universitaria, great advances have been made in terms of knowledge, student movements such as that of 1968 have been created and social progress has been made.

Due to its size, it is compared to a city within Mexico City. To facilitate transportation within it, 12 bus lines called “Pumabus” have been created.

You can get from anywhere in the city using the metro.

C) Coyoacán Nursery

Vivero Coyoacán or Viveros de Coyoacán, as it is also called, is a park managed by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. It is made up of 39 hectares where trees of various species are produced in an attempt to reforest Mexico City and combat the effects of pollution.

You can visit it from Monday to Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., period in which you can walk and rest away from the stress of daily life.

D) Central Library

The Central Library belongs to UNAM and is one of the largest bibliographic collections in the country. Currently he also edits and publishes some of his own books. Its walls were decorated with six murals between 1969 and 1979 that can still be visited today.

Their service hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

E) University Olympic Stadium

The last of the attractions that you should not miss in Ciudad Universitaria is the Olympic University Stadium. It has the capacity to receive 68, 954 spectators and has murals by Diego Rivera.

From its creation until today it has been the home of the “Pumas”, the official sports team of UNAM.

F) Azteca Stadium

Political, social, sporting and cultural events are held at the Azteca Stadium. It is the largest stadium in Mexico, both in size and importance. Its construction began in 1962 and ended four years later.

The Azteca Stadium has witnessed such important events as the visit of SS Juan Pablo II, concerts by Michael Jackson or Elton John, the famous Maradona goal known as La Mano de Dios.

Tours are available from Monday to Sunday at a cost of $ 90.00 pesos for which you must show up at Gate 1 of the stadium and buy your ticket.

G) San Angel Inn Restaurant

After getting to know and visiting the University City, the Blue House and the Azteca Stadium, you will want to stop for a moment and eat something delicious. One of the options is the San Angel Inn Restaurant located in Diego Rivera # 50.

The building that was once a hacienda dating back to the 17th century has it all: excellent location, good prices, delicious flavors and dishes for all tastes.

Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. making it ideal for breakfast or early lunch.

H) Corazón de Maguey Restaurant

In Jardín del Centenario # 9A you will find the Corazón de Maguey restaurant, also known as the Mezcal Cathedral in Mexico.

It is the right place for lunch and dinner where you want to try the best typical dishes accompanied by a good artisanal mezcal.

Their office hours start at 12 a.m. and end until 1 a.m., Monday through Friday. On weekends there is also a breakfast service.

I) Café Avellaneda

The perfect place to have breakfast and try the best of local pastries at very affordable prices ($ 50 – $ 80) is Café Avellaneda. It is located in Higuera # 40-A and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Café Avellaneda in Coyoacán.

Café Avellaneda in Coyoacán.

J) Hotel Cuore

Do you come as a couple and want to try their kinky side? Be sure to visit the Hotel Cuore in Calzada de Tlalpan # 3325. It is a passing hotel or the so-called love hotels designed for couples who want to get out of the routine a bit.

The cost ranges from $ 300 to $ 800 pesos for about 4 to 6 hours, the rooms have a very suggestive decoration and without a doubt they will have a lot of fun.

H) Hotel Finisterre

Since they walk through Calzada de Tlalpan they can also visit number 2043 and find the Hotel Finisterre. This is a family friendly and super comfortable five star hotel.

It has a restaurant, cafeteria, lobby, lounges, travel agency and business center so you can do everything without leaving it.

Due to its location, it is easy to find public transport and taxis that take you anywhere in Mexico City.

 

VIII. Xochimilco

This neighborhood is known throughout the world for its hanging gardens that have existed since the time of the Aztecs. Here you can stroll in chinampas accompanied by mariachi music and the most traditional food in Mexico. Come to admire and buy the flowers that are grown.

A) The chinampas

Mexico City was founded on a lake. This forced the Mexicas to look for alternatives to subsist and one of the options was the chinampas.

These are nothing but artificially created farmland. They are shallow but allow crops and flowers to be planted.

Today you can still appreciate them when visiting Xochimilco. It is a unique and very fun experience.

An illustration of the chinampas in Xochimilco

An illustration of the chinampas in Xochimilco.

B) Xochimilco Archaeological Museum

After taking a walk through the chinampas, go to the Xochimilco Archaeological Museum located in a porfiriato building. There you will find an exhibition with more than 6000 original pieces that will allow you to better understand the lifestyle and development of Xochimilco since the Mexica era.

The Museum has guided tours, temporary and permanent exhibitions and children’s workshops. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

C) Convent and Parish of San Bernardino de Siena

Xochimilco flourished during the Mexica era and when the Spanish met it they saw that it was a good social gathering point. For this reason they built a Franciscan church and convent although the exact date is unknown.

The church that we can see today in the center of Xochimilco is a newer construction that was built in 1535.

You can freely enter the church and visit it. The only thing you should take into account is that you should not photograph with a flash.

D) Xochimilco Market

Do you fancy visiting a traditional Mexican market? Go to the Xochimilco Market and admire the large number of plants, fruits and vegetables that you will find there.

Take the opportunity to eat and rest a moment of your trip. You will find several stalls that offer food prepared for all tastes. Prices are quite cheap and the seasoning spectacular.

E) Flower Market

In the Xochimilco Market you will find some flowers that you can buy but if your goal is to bring a large quantity and variety, you should visit the Flower Market.

Here you will see all kinds and colors of flowers. Some very well known and others that you didn’t even know existed. All are cultivated by the locals in the chinampas following the traditional method.

The advantage is that the prices are very cheap since you will find flowers from $ 15 pesos. Don’t forget to bring pots and some soil to ensure your flowers grow and last for many years.

If your trip prevents you from taking flowers at least you can marvel and take photos of exceptional specimens.

IX. Pink Zone

The most exclusive neighborhood in Mexico City where you will find all kinds of hotels , shops, restaurants, clubs and bars. It is not the cheapest place but you will have a lot to see and do.

A) Angel Square

Are you looking for a place to appreciate and buy antiques and art? Visit the Plaza del Ángel located at Calle Lourdes # 161 in Colonia Juárez. It is a small shopping center where you can buy all kinds of art.

Most of its stores close before 4 in the afternoon, so we recommend you walk through this shopping center early.

B) Independence Monument

The Monument to Independence is one of the must-sees when visiting Mexico City. It is located in Paseo de la Reforma and Eje 2 PTE. It is also called the “Angel of Independence” and was built to commemorate 100 years of Mexico’s independence struggle.

It is a column that ends with the image of the Winged Victory that holds a laurel wreath that represents the freedom achieved in the independence struggle and a chain of three links that represent the three centuries of Spanish conquest.

It is one of the unmistakable symbols of Mexico City and you should not miss it.

C) Fountain of Diana the Huntress

Another of the symbols of Mexico City is the Fuente de la Diana Cazadora, a sculpture located in the Paseo de la Reforma and that was inaugurated in October 1942.

This fountain was created during a beautification stage of Mexico City and has become one of the most beautiful and well-known postcards in the entire world. Do not miss the opportunity to see it at night and appreciate its light play.

Diana the Huntress Fountain.

Diana the Huntress Fountain in the Zona Rosa.

D) Insurgentes roundabout

At the intersection of Avenida Insurgentes and Avenida Chapultepec. you find the Glorieta de los Insurgentes.

It is the meeting point for shopping centers, public transport stops, the metro station and a place to rest for a moment while you decide in which direction to continue.

E) Major Tower

In Paseo de la Reforma # 505 you find the largest skyscraper in Mexico City: the Torre Mayor.

Formed by 59 levels and adding a total of 225 meters high above the level of the bench is one of the points that you must visit. It has a commercial area where you can buy souvenirs and 29 elevators that will allow you to see the city from one of the best possible views.

F) House of France

After so much safe walking you will feel a little hungry. Our first suggestion is the Casa de Francia Restaurant located in Calle Havre # 15 with service from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

This is a perfect choice for diners with a refined palate looking for the best French food with a touch of Mexico. The menu has options for all tastes and there are occasional events that bring you closer to the gastronomic world in special ways.

Cordon Bleu Casa de Francia Restaurant

France House.
Photo by: House of France

G) El Péndulo restaurant-bookstore

If you want a more varied menu that includes international food, El Péndulo is your option. It is located at Avenida Nuevo León # 115 and gives you the opportunity to combine reading with exquisite food.

This venue is well known for its well-stocked bookstore with the best of modern and classical literature. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

H) Hotel Misión Express Zona Rosa

To sleep in the Zona Rosa we recommend the Hotel Misión Express . It is an excellent option for those who want to stay near the center of Mexico City.

From here you can reach in a few minutes any of the most interesting points of the city, whether you want business, fun or culture.

I) Hotel Geneve Mexico City

Hotel Geneve is a hotel with a great history since its 108 years of life have allowed it to see the evolution of Mexican life and culture. Like most of the buildings created during the Porfiriato, the Geneve Hotel stands out for its architectural beauty.

The service is just as good and exclusive. It is kept up to date with what is happening in the tourism sector to always give the best to its clients. Each of its rooms follows the line of elegant personality of its facade.

You find the Geneve Hotel at Calle Londres # 130.

Hotel Geneve in Mexico City

Hotel Geneve Mexico City.

X. Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan in the most important archaeological zone in Mexico and one of the most important in the world. Here you will learn and marvel at the advanced Teotihuacan society that once inhabited these lands.

Although it is not located within Mexico City but in the State of Mexico, getting there is very easy.

A) Teotihuacanos Murals Museum

The Teotihuacanos Murals Museum was inaugurated in July 2001. It is located just in front of the central area of ​​Teotihuacan and very close to the closest town, San Martín de las Pirámides.

You can enter through one of the three doors: the one near the Pyramid of the Moon, through the door of the Quetzal Mariposa sets and through the door that adjoins the Patio de los Jaguares.

B) Teotihuacán Archaeological Zone

Teotihuacan, also called the City of the Gods, is the most surprising archaeological site in Mexico. In importance it is compared to the Pyramids of Egypt and Macchu Picchu.

Several centuries ago it was the most important religious, architectural, commercial and cultural center in America.

Visit Teotihuacán and discover that this culture was much more advanced than the first Spaniards believed. The entrance fee is $ 65 pesos but if you go on a guided tour your travel agency may charge some extra fees.

The archaeological zone is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the museums from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

XI. conclusion

Some areas of Mexico City that we have mentioned you can see in a few hours, such as the Zona Rosa. Others will take you at least half a day like Coyoacán-San Ángel and others will require almost the whole day like Teotihuacán and Xochimilco. You can also check our itinerary for those who will spend 3, 5 and 7 days in the capital, and our image gallery of various parts of Mexico City

A) Approximate amount spent

Most of the places that we have recommended are very cheap and others are totally free. The really expensive can be accommodation and food depending on your tastes and preferences.

If you choose to move around the city using public transport and you will only be a couple of days with $ 5,000 Mexican pesos it could be more than enough.

B) Estimated time required

Knowing all the sites that we have recommended can be done in three days or a weekend. On the day of your arrival, you can take advantage of the Colonia Centro and La Condesa. For the second day you could leave Xochimilco for the late morning, continue in the Zona Rosa and end the night in Coyoacán.

The last day you could spend it in Teotihuacan and finish knowing Coyoacán.

C) Where to go next

Since you are already in the heart of the country, why not take advantage of visiting some of the surrounding cities for a different experience? After seeing a city as cosmopolitan as Mexico City, we assure you you will not settle for anything. Depending on what you are looking to do you can visit one of these wonderful destinations:

Puebla . The so-called City of Angels awaits you with its streets full of history, Spanish-style architecture and delicious cuisine. Do not miss the opportunity to try the mole poblano, the mole of hips and the chiles en nogada.

Toluca. In Toluca you can live the experience of participating in one of its traditional festivals, full of music and dance. Also take advantage of eating one of the several types of Mexican chorizo ​​originating in Toluca. You will not regret!

Tepotzotlán. Get to know the magical town of Tepotzotlán to get out of the routine. Visit its municipal market and you cannot miss visiting the Arcos del Sitio; which were used to transport water during the colonial period.

Cuernavaca . The City of Eternal Spring has wonderful landscapes, colonial buildings and the culture of the Mexicas, the Tlahuica and the Olmecs. Cuernavaca is also known for its culture of crafts and parties, especially in the spring. And if you are hungry, try the armored taco, the pipián and the other traditional dishes.

tourist guide for Mexico City

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