Mexico Mexico City Travel

The 2016 Mexico City travel guide

Paseo de la Reforma

Paseo de la Reforma Source: dronestagr.am

When I  watched the new James Bond movie “Spectre”, there was something about that first scene in the streets of the Centro Historico in Mexico City that made me realize that I needed to  post a full travel guide of my hometown. If you have watched the movie, you’ll know what I am talking about.

Mexico City is the #1 destination in 2016 according to The New York Times on their most recent article 52 Places to Go in 2016Mexico is well known for its sun destinations,  all-inclusive resorts and paradisiac beaches, but today I will show you why you should visit the heart and soul of Mexico (Mexico D.F). You could also spend 3-4 days in Mexico city and go for an all inclusive for the rest of your stay, there are several mexican airlines that offer you packages including Flight+ Hotel, for affordable prices. Visit the following websites to get more information: Interjet, Vivaerobus, Aeromexico and Volaris.

Wether you plan on visiting only the city or you have a flight connection via Mexico’s City International Airport before visiting Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo or any other destination make sure you follow my travel guide to enjoy Mexico at its best.

Visit “El Zocalo” (Main Plaza)

Before heading to your sightseeing tour at Centro Historico, have breakfast at Casa de los Azulejos,  the building is  stunning and they serve authentic mexican breakfast.  Be sure to go upstairs and look down upon the restaurant and take a beautiful picture.

The Zocalo is the ideal spot to begin your sightseeing in Mexico City.  also named Plaza de la Constitucion is Mexico City’s central plaza, located in the downtown region, where you can visit also the Metropolitan Cathedral and Palacio Nacional. Have a snack at the rooftop terrace at Hotel de Mexico, the panoramic view is incredible.  15$US for all you can eat and drink buffet beers and local liquor included.

After lunch break take a look at El Templo Mayor ruins and visit the museum inside. The ruins are located just next to the Cathedral, they are really hard to miss. I’ll recommend to rent the audio guide headphones at the main entrance so you can listen to the presentation in your own language.  Did you know that Tenochtitlan (the former aztec city) was founded in 1325?  I am not here to give you a history class but just to give you an idea on how much this city has evolved thoughout the centuries.

Casa de los azulejos

View of the Cathedral from Hotel de Mexico terrace

Palacio Nacional

Palacio Nacional

Visit Latinamerican Tour  and Palacio de Bellas Artes

Torre Latino as the locals say is one of the highest skycrapers in Mexico city and also has a unique observation roof located in the 44th floor of the tower. The entrance is about 5USD.  The view is breathtaking and it’s totally worth it. You’ll realize why Mexico city is one of the biggest cities in the world. Once you are done with your pictures, visit the boutique and the museum. You’ll learn about the history of the city and how fast it grew throughout the years, pictures from the early 1800’s are part of the tour.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Torre Latino

Torre Latinoamericana

Take the “Turibus the hop on hop off bus so you can discover the city(take the tour on week-ends to avoid traffic). You can do 4 main tours with only one ticket (10$USD).  If you don’t have much time, I will strongly reccomend to take the bus #1 Downtown tour with a total 19 stops. The tour will take you alongside Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico’s most beautiful boulevard and the downtown core, you will also visit places like Monumento a la Revolucion and Monumento a la Independencia.  Schedule 9am to 9pm. Wi-fi available on all vehicles and audio guide is available in 8 languages.

Turibus: Route 1

Turibus: Route 1

Monumento a la Revolucion

Monumento a la Revoluciòn

Monumento a la independencia

Monumento a la Independencia

Chapultepec Park & Castle 

Bosque de Chapultepec is one the biggest and most beautiful parks in the city. Chapultepec is an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle of Mexico. There are lakes, forests and museums, including the national anthropological museum and and RufinoTamayo modern art museum. Plan to spend at least a half a day here. Walk around the park and then rent a kayak, rowboat, or paddle boat and go for a spin with the ducks on the lake.

Situated at the end of  Juventud Heroica Ave,  a long paved path near the main entrance to the park, the Monumento a los Niños Heroes  is one of Mexico City’s most iconic and important monuments.  It honors six young cadets who refused to surrender to American troops during the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847. Take some pictures and then follow the path and continue till the top of the Chapultepec Hill where the castle is located. Chapultepec Castle has exhibits on Mexican history and great views of  boasts views over downtown. Take a moment and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.  (National History Museum) Entrance is about 5$USD

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Monumento a los niños héroes

Monumento a los niños héroes

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Museo de Antropologia e Historia

After your 1/2 a day visit at the Chapultepec Castle, cross the street and head towards Museo de Antropologia e Historia, don’t start the tour right away, have lunch first at the Meridien which is inside the Museo de Antropologia on the ground floor, grab a table outdoors and enjoy their buffet or à la carte menu. I will strongly recommend the “arrachera” or the enchiladas. The quality of the food is really good and  the prices are fair. Take the tour and don’t forget to visit the gift shop. The museum is closed on Mondays.

http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/tu-visita/plan-your-visit.html

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If you really want to get to know the city getting, you’ll have to visit iconic neighbourhoods “colonias” like Colonia Condesa, Colonia Roma,  Colonia Polanco and Colonia Cuahutemoc.

Colonia Roma/ Colonia Condesa

This 2 neighbourhoods are considered one of the best’s shopping, dining and nightlife experiences in the city. La Condesa  is situated southwest from historic downtown Mexico City. La “Condechi” as locals would name it sometimes is artsy, bohemian and a bit more upscale than “La Roma”,  you’ll find here more designer shops, high-end  brands and boutiques, and also some of the trendiest hotels.  Walk around  “Avenida Michoacan” , head to Parque México and grab a coffee at “El Ocho café”, ask for Rodrigo he will take care of you.  On the other hand, “La Roma” it’s really bohemian and it has become chic over the past couple of years. Have a long walk on the beautiful steets of this neighbourhood and admire the beauty of the architecture, sit in a bench and read a book.

El Ocho Café

El Ocho Café

Have lunch at “Mercado Roma”

Roma Market is beautiful and very nicely decorated, with an Industrial touch, this upscale market opened about 2 years ago is located in “La Colonia Roma” .  Mercado Roma is considered the next new culinary stop in the city, where you can grab lunch  and also find some local gourmet artisanal products. Once you go around the place, grab a local beer or a glass of wine and try the trendy food stalls. The place also allows visitors to share the table with other people, so be ready to socialize and practice your spanish. If you are craving for some refine mexican cuisine, try some tortas or fish tacos, even some mole with chicken.  Prices are reasonable due to the quality of the food.

http://mercadoroma.com/

IMG_5186[1]Mercado Roma

Colonia Polanco

Visit Museo Soumaya, this beautiful avant garde museum designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romerowhich. Museo Soumaya is located in “Nuevo Polanco” , the building has 6 floors and holds over 60, 000 peices of art. The museum welcomes over 5 million visitors every year.

When you are done with your visit, have lunch or grab a drink in the afternoon  at Plaza Carso which is the mall next to Museo Soumaya, there are some great restaurants with rooftop terraces and incredible views. In the afternoon, walk down Presidente Masaryk’s avenue, the city’s most fashionable shopping street, luxury brands, boutiques and restaurants are all located  around this area, grab diner at “Bar Tomate”, which is located on the roof of Louis Vouitton’s building. The food is amazing,  the decor is breathtaking and the ambiance is even better.

Museo Sumaya

Museo Sumaya

Bar Tomate Source: Grupo Tragaluz

Source: Grupo Tragaluz

Attend a Liga MX  soccer game

To understand a bit more the culture and the city’s passion, buy some tickets for a soccer game. I know that not a lot of North Americans like soccer but if you experience a game in person, you’ll love it.

100 000 people chanting and cheering for their home team, it is pretty special. You’ll have  3 different teams and 3 different stadiums to choose from (America, Cruz Azul and Pumas.) Check it out.

Estadio Azteca Source vavel.com photo by Ernesto Pérez M.

Estadio Azteca Source: vavel.com photo by Ernesto Pérez M.

Visit Xochimilco

Enjoy the peaceful waters of the Xochimilco canals, also known as the Venice of Mexico. Take a relaxing, scenic ride on these ancient waters on a traditional mexican gondola (“trajinera”). Rent a boat for at least an hour, so you’ll get the time to discover and enjoy what Xochimilco has to offer, from musicians to boat food stalls, You can decide to bring your own food and beverages and only rent the boat, I will strongly recommend to have lunch on the boat while having some mariachis performing some songs for you.  The access to the canals is free and boat rides are about 15-20 USD per hour.  It is quite cheap if you are travelling in a group, or just find another group of tourists and join them, so you can split the cost. Remember always to negotiate on prices when traveling in Mexico.

Xochimilco Xochimilco

Visit Teotihuacan (Pyramids)

And last but not least, visit Teotihucuan which is  located in the State of Mexico,  about 30 miles (48km) northeast of modern Mexico city, which is about 1h ride, depending on traffic. I will recommend you to take the hop in hop off tour really early in the day. Taking the tour is really affordable and convenient. Bring some sunscreen,  your running shoes and shorts for the visit, I know that it’s Mexico and you want to wear your sandals and all that, but trust me on this one, you’ll thank me at the end of your day.

Start by appreciating the avenue of the dead and climb up the first pyramid “Piramide del sol”, biggest pyramid of all,  It is kind of a challenge to climb up this beauty, so take your time and follow the steps to the top. Enjoy the breathtaking view at the top  and take a break if you need it. Head to “piramide de la luna” which is half the size of “piramide del sol”, after this work out you’ll feel good about yourself, visiting and working out at the same time. Visit the museum and have lunch before heading back to the city.

TeotihuacanTeotihuacanTeotihuacan

Where to stay

Mexico is one of the biggest cities in the world and you don’t want to be caught up far from the action, this is why I will recommend you to stay in the downtown core area, so you can come and go as you prefer, avoiding hours of trafic. Here are some suggestions for you:

Las Alcobas Mexico DF, la Condesa DF Hotel , Camino Real, St-Regis Mexico City, Four Seasons Mexico City, Hotel de Mexico, Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Historico.

La Condesa Hotel DF

Source: La Condesa Hotel DF

Nightlife

Discover Limantour, the best cocktails in the city are served here. The trendy “Licoreria” has a great atmosphere and uses the best ingredients available, this bar was ranked number 20th (best 50 bars in the world in 2015). So don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a nice cocktail at one of the top bars in the world.  Take a mezcal or a tequila based cocktail, so you can get the real local experience.

Fotografía de Arquitectura

Limantour Source: Fotografía de Arquitectura by Luis Gallardo

Other Gastronomic spots:

Pujol, Quintonil, el Lago, Dulce Patria, Romita Comedor.

Currency : Peso        .0549 USD

Language: Spanish

Temperature:  

The warm season lasts from March  to June  with an average daily high temperature above 26°C.

The cold season lasts from November  to February  with an average daily high temperature below 22°C. , with an average low of 6°C.

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