Mexico City

Surrounded by volcanic peaks and sitting at 2200 metres, Mexico City is recognised as one of the great cities of the world. With a population approaching 10 million people it is also one of the largest. Almost 700 years ago the Aztecs founded Mexico City. It was destroyed by the Spanish in the early 1500s and was subsequently rebuilt around the Zocalo or Main Square. The city has emerged from the ashes, fans out from the Zocalo and represents everything that Mexico is today. This city is extremely important culturally; a huge percentage of Mexico’s most-famous museums and historic buildings can be found here. The nightlife, like everything else in Mexico City, is huge and varied, and any culinary speciality you wish to try can be found somewhere in the city. Shopping comes in all guises; from gigantic American-style shopping malls, to street-side markets selling wares from all regions of Mexico. Mexico City is where all of Mexico meets to converge into one huge vibrant and eternally fascinating city. It contains everything Mexico has to offer, and then some more.
 
 

 

Mexico City Location

City Sights and Museums

Also known as the Plaza de Constitucion, the Zocalo is the main square in Mexico City and is one of the largest city squares in the world. Many of the cities tourist sights are concentrated in the historic centre including the National Palace, Metropolitan Cathederal, Templo Mayor, Palace of Fine Arts and Alameda Park. The Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest church in all of Latin America, houses many art treasures of the colonial period and the National Palace houses Diego Rivera murals in the inner hallways of the building. West of the historic centre is the Plaza de la Republica which is home to the Revolution Monument and National Museum. The largest park in Mexico City, Chapultepec Park is home to Chapultepec Castle, the Modern Art Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology, one of the finest archaeological museums in the world and where you can see burial tombs and a reconstructed Mayan temple. The neighborhoods of Zona Rosa, Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan and San Angel are great to explore with lovely parks, plazas, shops, markets, cafes and other tourists attractions.  

 

 

 

Mexico City Central Alameda Park Palace Fine Art
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Music,Theatre and Entertainment

At the Palace of Fine Arts and the Hidalgo Theater you can experience one of Mexico's traditional ballet performances complete with fabulous costumes. Plaza Garibaldi is one of the best places in Mexico City to experience live mariachi music. It is located a few blocks north of the Palace of Fine Arts and the square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants where you can sit back, enjoy a drink and soak up the sounds. The mariachis are usually dressed in Charro costume and playing trumpets, violins, guitars and the guitarron or bass guitar. Coyoacan is another interesting area to visit. It is the historic colonial arts district which was home to Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky and Diego Rivera. 

 

 

Generic Mariachi Band Guitar
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Sights

Must see sights located out of town abound. Drift in flat-bottomed boats through floating gardens at Xochimilco. These waterways were once the canal system that fed the Aztec capital but these days you'll see food and handicraft vendors and mariachi bands floating by. Visit the National University, renowned for its outdoor gallery of mural art and sculptures. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most-visited relgious site in Latin America. It was built in the 16th century and the basilica is a wonderful example of Spanish Baroque art. Teotihuac√°n archaeological site with ancient Aztec pyramids is locted 50km from the city. Cholula is 8km from the city and another significant archaeological site. The Great Pyramid of Tepanapa is capped by a blue and white Spanish church, a classic symbol of the conquest. The city of Puebla, founded in 1531 has a cathedral, Parian Market, Rosary Chapel and a tile a talaver factory. Visit Cuernavaca, known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’, for its joyous atmosphere and enjoyable climate. Taxco, known as the ‘Silver City’, is one of the prettiest towns in Mexico. The city tumbles across a hillside with winding cobblestone streets, tile-roofed buildings, cosy squares, and a strong Old World ambience that has survived for hundreds of years. Visit one of Mexico’s grandest churches, Santa Prisca, the marketplace and the famous silversmith shops. Around an hour and a half from Mexico City, near Pachuca, are the Basaltic Prisms of Santa Maria Regla. They are 30 to 50m high columns, with 5 or 6 sides, of basalt rock created by the slow cooling of volcanic lava.

 

Teotihuacan Woman
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Dining and Nightlife

Mexico City offers restaurants specialising in the regional cuisines from all over the country plus every international option under the sun. The main restaurant and bar areas are in Condesa, Roma, Centro, Zona Rosa and the trendy posh neighbourhood of Polanco, which is where you'll find some of the city's best restaurants and most exclusive clubs. La Merced (the central market) has several restaurants and food stalls serving up delicious Mexican food super cheap. Huaraches, like giant tortillas with various fillings and toppings are popular here. Another great market for food is Mercado San Juan Arvos de Belem. A typical Mexican place for a drink is the cantina, where bar food is often free, served with your drinks. These are smokey and noisy with Mexican music the choice. Dancing is popular particularly to salsa, meringue, rumba, mambo and other Caribbean/Latin music. Overall it's a great city to enjoy some late-night dining and dancing however be sure to be well-rested, as a typical night begins at around 10pm.

 

Mexico City Taco Street Food Stall
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The Infinity Experience

Quirky Guinness World Records
Records for the most people kissing simultaneously, the most people dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller at the same time, and the world's biggest enchilada have all been set in Mexico City.