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Templo Mayor, Visit Mexico City

Templo Mayor, © Can Stock / javarman

Visit Mexico City – Zócalo

Most people who visit Mexico City start at the Zócalo.  The Zócalo is the main downtown public square and is also known as the Plaza de la Constitucion.  On the Zocalo you will find the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace.  Neither charges an admission fee.   The central square and catholic church were built over top of native Aztec buildings.  In 1978 the Templo Mayor archaeological site was discovered on the northeast edge of the Zócalo.  The Templo Mayor contains a museum and many discoveries of Aztec civilization.  The Merchant’s Portals is on the west side of the square.  Mexico City Hall is on the south side of the Zócalo.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Zocalo, Visit Mexico City

Metropolitan Cathedral, Zocalo, © Can Stock / lucidwaters

Visit Mexico City Museums

From the Zócalo it’s only a short walk to the Fine Arts Palace where you can see performances by the Ballet Folklorico de México.  Also visit the National Museum of Art, City Theater, Alameda Park & the Monument to Benito Juarez, Plaza Garibaldi and the Diego Rivera Mural Museum.

Fine Arts Museum, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Visit Mexico City

Fine Arts Museum, Palacio de Bellas Artes, © Can Stock / javarman

Visit Mexico City – Chapultepec Park

Drive down Paseo de la Reforma past the Independence Angel on your way to Chapultapec Park.  Chapultapec Park includes the National Museum of Anthropology, the reconstructed Hochob temple, the Spanish built Chapultepec Castle, Chapultepec Lake and a zoo.  The families of Mexico City head to Chapultepec Park for their outings.

Besides the National Museum of Anthropology, other museums in the park include the Museum of Modern Art, the Museo Tamayo with works of Picasso & Warhol, the Natural History Museum, the Papalote Museo del Nino and the Auditoria Nacional for art and culture.

Benito Juarez Monument, Visit Mexico City

Benito Juarez Monument, © Can Stock / lucidwaters

Mexico City – See the Sights

  • Xochimilco Ecological Park and Plant Market in Xochimilco.  Take a boat ride (trajineras) through the floating gardens (chinampas) and listen to a mariachi band.
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe – representing the patron saint of Mexico.  One of the most popular churches in Mexico City.
  • University of Mexico, including the Central Library (UNAM Biblioteca Central) with its gigantic mural covering the building.
  • Tezozómoc park
  • Aztec Stadium – seating for more than 100,000.  Try an Aztec Stadium Tour or watch a game.
  • Plaza Garibaldi – enjoy a mariachi band.  Try a Garibaldi Night tour.
  • Plaza de Toros – the largest bull fight arena in the world.
Aztec Sun Stone, Visit Mexico City

Aztec Sun Stone, © Can Stock / lucidwaters

Visit Mexico City – Hotels

  • Hotel Zocalo Central
  • Hilton Mexico City Reforma
  • Domingo Santo Hotel Boutique
Xochimilco Floating Gardens, Visit Mexico City

Xochimilco Floating Gardens, © Can Stock / lucidwaters

Sights near Mexico City

  • The Pyramids of the Sun and Moon at Teotihuacan.  This gigantic site is only about a half hour north of Mexico City and is 2,000 years old.  Walk along the Avenue of the Dead.
  • Puebla and Cholula Tour
  • Cuernavaca and Taxco Tour
  • Iztaccihuatl Volcano Hiking Tour
Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan

Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan, © Can Stock / dimol

Savor the Tastes of Mexico City

  • Mole – chocolate covered chicken.
  • Tequila – the unofficial national drink.
  • Tlayuda – toasted tortilla, beans, meat and avocado.
  • Oaxacan and Yucatecan dishes.
  • Pujol restaurant
  • Dinner at the Bellini – enjoy the views from the revolving restaurant.
nNational Palace, Zocalo, Visit Mexico City

National Palace, Zocalo, © Can Stock / lucidwaters

Mexico City – More Museums & Art

  • Museo Frida Kahlo – home of painter Diego Rivera at La Casa Azul (the Blue House).
  • Mexico City Arena
  • Soumaya Museum – free admission to more than 60,000 works of mostly European art from the 15th to the 20th century.
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Visit Mexico City

Our Lady of Guadalupe, © Can Stock / Mark52

Mexico City Weather

Mexico City weather is moderated by the high altitude of the city.  The Mexico City weather is warm in summer and mild in winter.  Expect summer highs of about 75 F (24 C) and average lows of 55 F (12 C).  Winter temperatures are only a few degrees lower than in summer.  July through October are the rainiest months, however rainfall can happen for brief periods almost any day.  March and April are likely the best time to visit Mexico City for good weather.

Get to Mexico City

The easiest way to get to Mexico City is by Benito Juarez International Airport.  The Mexico City airport is one of the busiest in Latin America and it’s located in the downtown area.  Mexico City’s Subway System is also the largest in Latin America.  A suburban rail system connects outlying regions.

Peseros

Locals frequently travel in “peseros” which are small buses that pick up passengers at numerous locations.  The peseros travel travel along set routes for a fare proportional to the distance travelled.  This is a common local transportation method in Mexico.  In the Riviera Maya, they call these colectivos.

If you aren’t up for the adventure of a trip in a pesero, try Turbis tour buses.  Turbis is a great way to easily move between the Zocalo and Chapultepec Park, as well as visiting other tourist attractions around the city.

Visit Mexico City – Background

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico.  More than 20 million people live there.  The city sits in a high altitude valley at an elevation of roughly 7,000 feet.  Mexico City is sometimes called México DF in Spanish, which refers to the federal district.  The Aztec city of Tenochtitlan was already at the current day site of Mexico City when Hernan Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1521.   When the conquistadors arrived, Tenochtitlan was on an island in a lake, but today the lake is gone.  The Floating Gardens at Xochimilco are all that remains of the lake and waterways.

Visit Mexico – Plan Your Trip