Mexico city is one of the largest cities in the world in size and population. When you fly over Mexico city at night you’ll realize that soon when you see an impressive blanket of lights covering the hills. Mexico city has a lot to offer: art, culture, food, parks and what not. In this post you’ll find highlights and tips based on my visit in June 2017.
For transportation within Mexico city I’ve have mainly used Uber and the metro system. Transport by metro is very inexpensive and fast. You just show up at the metro station and purchase single or return tickets there. Likewise autobuses are very cheap, but for those you need to buy a rechargeable chip card for 10 pesos.
Uber is in use in Mexico city and is usually cheaper than regular taxis throughout the city (also works at the airport). Moving out of Mexico city using autobuses are quite convenient, but also the rides sharing app “Blabla car” is being used often.
Below are the places I’ve visited in and around Mexico city which in my opinion are worthwhile checking out:
- Coyoacán – Frida Kahlo Museum
- Centro Histórico – neighborhood
- Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacán – Ruins
- Condesa – neighborhood
- Chapultepec – Parque and castle
Coyoacán – Frida Kahlo Museum
The borough of Coyoacán is located in the center of Mexico city. In this tranquille area you’ll find the Frida Kahlo Museo in Casa Azul. This is the house where Frida was born and died. Frida Kahlo was a famous Mexican painter who lived a moving live which is well displayed in the museum. Beside her impressive creations there are also parts of the original decor, clothes, photos and more. It is quite crowded in the museum, so it’s a good idea to go early in the morning.
Centro Histórico is, surprisingly(!), located in the center of Mexico city. It is a nice area to just walk around and observe what is going on. Which is a lot. The main plaza in Centro Historico is called ” Zócalo” which is surrounded by interesting sights and buildings. Zócalo usually has an extensive market in the center and there are public performances around of dance groups and musicians.
The tower “Lationoamericana” has a nice view over the city and the close by “Palicio de Bellas Artes”. With an entrance ticket you can enter multiple times a day, meaning that you can visit get during day- and nighttime. Visiting at nighttime is especially interesting. Part of the tower is a museum that shows the history and construction of the tower.
Located in the center of Zocalo you’ll find the ruins of Aztecs “Temple Mayor” next to the National Palace. Many parts of the ruins have been restored and each of these has an explanation of the expected meaning or use of the particular ruin. The explanations are in Spanish and English. After walking trough the ruins you can visit the associated museum which consist of a temporary and a fixed gallery related to the Aztec history. The entrance to this museum is included in the entrance ticket for the ruins.
Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacán – Ruins
About an hour northeast from Mexico city you’ll find the ruins of Teotihuacán. Many tour operators from Mexico city offer day tours to these ruins and include other stops like a visit to Mezcal production site. The ruins themselves are beautifully restored and you can stand on top of most of them to have a good view of the area. At the entrance of the ruins you’ll find a lot of stands with handicrafts and souvenirs, you will probably not miss them!
Condesa – neighborhood
Condesa is a neighborhood a bit west from the historic center. The streets are cosy with many trees and other vegatation alongside the sidewalks. This makes it a pleasure to stroll around and enjoy the restaurants and parks. There are a couple nice parks to visit in Condesa itself and bigger parks like Chapultepec and Parque Mexico are walking distance. The neighbourhood has many nice bars, clubs and restaurants in a beautiful environment. A good place to spend the weekend.
Chapultepec – Park and Castle
The Chapultepec park is also found west of the historic center and is walking distance from the Condesa neighborhood. The park is big, so although there are many visitors it seems to be possible to find a quiet place if you like. If you want more liveliness there are many options, the park has (among others): a zoo, botanical garden, a stage for life performances and of course the impressive “Castillo Chapultepec” located on top of a hill. The Castle is in use as a museum which is focused on the origin of the castle and the important political events that took place whilst the castle was in use. Some of these events are beautiful murals. Apart from the museum the castle itself is also wonderful and as it is based on the top of the hill you have a nice view over a part of Mexico city too.
In the north of the Chapultepec is Museo Nacional de Antropología. This museum is enormous and you can spend as much time as you like here. I walked through this museum myself, but if I would go again I would request a guide as there are so many items to look at. A guide would be able to prioritise / highlight the most important parts based on your interests.
With so many things to do and see a day (or multiple) go by fast in the Chapultepec park.
- Website Castillo Chapultepec: http://castillodechapultepec.inah.gob.mx/
- Website Museo Nacional de Antropología: http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/