Quickly becoming one of the world’s trendiest destinations, Mexico City is a bounty of historical character with a booming gastronomical scene and eclectic atmosphere. Sprawling with culture at every turn, the city takes you back in time; gawp at Aztec ruins, enter colonial buildings and dine at restaurants and bars in some of the country’s hippest neighbourhoods.
The city’s historic downtown is Mexico’s beating heart, with most of the tourist attractions being concentrated here. The Plaza de la Constitution, popularly known as El Zocalo, the archaeological site of Templo Mayor and a handful of colonial museums lie in this section of the city. The park of Chapultepec is another highlight for tourists and locals alike; the Chapultepec castle, the museum of modern art and the museum of Anthropology will assist with travellers’ education of Mexico’s rich history and culture that continues to flow through the city today. A canal tour of the ancient Aztec waterways of Xochimilco will be a fascinating experience as you uncover the layers of Mexico’s cultural and historical past.
Whilst Mexico City’s main tourist hotspots lie in the Centro Historico, trips to the nearby neighbourhoods are very much recommended. Zona Rosa is an ideal location for a night on the town, or Condesa for a more bohemian atmosphere.
Coyoacan and San Angel are great for cosy cafes, cultural plazas and quaint bookstores as well as typical Mexican markets. Restaurants are abounding in these neighbourhoods, and perhaps less full of tourists than the ones in downtown Mexico City, making for a more romantic experience. In Coyoacan, visit famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s house, named ‘La Casa Azul’ and is still left exactly as it was when she died. For some unique evening entertainment, attend a Mexican Lucha Libre Show (wrestling) characterised by colourful masks, or visit the Zinco Jazz Club – one of the best jazz night clubs in the city!
On the south side of the city, the University of Mexico stands tall as a distinctive architectural marvel. Decorated with stunning murals painted by famous Mexican artists, the building is picture-perfect and incredibly interesting. As a fairly ornate landmark for the city, plenty of cultural events take place here, from concerts to dance to theatrical performance.
When to go: The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May when the jacaranda trees are blooming and the weather is temperate. It is important to remember that most museums and archaeological sites in the country are closed on Mondays. The Day of the Dead festival occurs at the beginning of November, and it’s worth noting that there may be changes to museum and restaurant opening times.
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