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Travel Guide: Mexico City, Mexico

Upon my first visit I couldn´t see myself leaving and every time I returned there was something new to explore. Mexico City remains a safe-haven from the drug wars seen on the news, and offers all visitors all kinds of attractions. Wander around the buzzing streets and while the city is famous for its heavy traffic, it also features one of the most efficient metro systems in the Americas. From the footprints left by its pre-Hispanic inhabitants to the proofs found from the times of the colonies, there is just so much to explore.

Turn back the pages of history, as you dig into the unexplored when it comes to the old civilization! Mexico City will present you with countless attractions to distract you from the “organized-chaos” that is the city; from museums to renowned theater plays, excursions, and entertainment options to spend a lifetime. That being said the food topic deserves a whole guide to itself.

Many travelers fantasize about visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids before arriving, but once they arrive in Mexico City, they quickly realize this is only one of the many must-do’s when in town, where you immediately want to submerge into the cultural wonders. When in Mexico, do as Mexicans and what better way to start the night than with mariachis as they give their best at Plaza Garibaldi. Stroll around the plaza and visit the Museum of Tequila y Mezcal where the two most popular distilled drinks are explained.

Right in the heart of the city is Plaza de La Constitucion, also known as El Zocalo, and where the first independence plans came together. Nearby the plaza lies the ceremonial center of Aztec Tenochtitlan accessible through Templo Mayor and where ongoing excavation continues to uncover major historical pieces that only add more value to the destination. The iconic Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven is actually built atop the sacred precinct. Just a few steps away, you can learn about the origins of the Mexican history as you read along the walls of the Palacio Nacional (National Palace), going back as far as the era of the Quetzalcoatl. Here lies the Presidential Offices and the Federal Treasury.

Take your time getting to know Mexico City, where a quiet stroll can bring you to the fascinating surroundings of the Paseo de la Reforma, the nearby Angel de Independencia or more modern structures such as the tallest building Arcos Bosques El Pantalon , the Jumex Museum or the Centro Bursatil (Stock Exchange Center).

On your way you will unquestionably stumble upon the city’s rich cultural history as it is told in its attractions. The most prominent encompass so much to tell –you will spend days inside them; such is the case of the National Anthropology Museum or the Chapultepec Castle. However, the protagonist of many postcards is no doubt the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), where the country’s world-famous artists have left their mark along with outstanding temporary art exhibitions, seasonal opera and symphony performance, most notably the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico (Folkloric Ballet of Mexico). Next in line and highly popular is Frida Kahlo’s Museum, which was actually her own house and where traces of her art can be found. Another interesting museum in your itinerary is Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky, where Ramon Mercader lived, a famous Stalin agent.

Does the name Pancho Villa sound familiar? During 2010 the country celebrated its centennial anniversary of the Revolution giving a make-over to the Plaza de la Revolucion and the iconic Monumento de la Revolucion, where Pancho Villa and other heroes rest today. If you want a healthy dose of visual stimulation, then you must visit the Museo Nacional de la Revolucion, the Paseo Cimentacion art-gallery, a 65-high observation deck with panoramic views of the city and the geyser like fountains kids enjoy.

While most of the mentioned attractions may interest the young ones, worry not as they have many more sites to explore on their own, such as the Zoologico de Chapultepec, one of the most complete and highly visited zoos in the world. Theme parks are not forgotten since Six Flags has a strong presence in the city. Country-style fun can also be found at Granja Las Americas and for the stargazers a visit to Universum is highly recommended. A whole mall is dedicated to children at Papalote Museo del Niño, which houses dozens of exhibitions for all ages –where children can learn about eating, shopping and sustainable practices. Not to mention the IMAX Theater found within.

While there are many day trips you can take from Mexico City, there is a mandatory one that features a complex of awesome pyramids, the previously mentioned Teotihuacan, only 50km to the northeast of the city. Make your way thru Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), and Piramide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon) as both dominate what once was a metropolis of 20 sq km –today only 2 sq km. A natural reserve awaits the adventurous at La Marquesa, ideal for hikers, nature paramours and horseback riding fans. Nearby you can also explore the Desierto de Leones National Park. You get extra points and even more fun if get to visit Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. Picturesque towns lie outside Mexico City if you’ve got time and want explore further, be sure to visit Puebla or Taxco, both are rapidly becoming a tourist destination of their own.

As mentioned before, the food topic deserves a guide of its own, as Mexico is famous for the diversity of its culinary library. Mexico City itself was crowned in 2016 as the world’s next great dining destination. Meaning, if you like food, you will absolutely adore Mexico City. Countless guides can be found that will aid your hunger, whether it is discovering the best restaurants or perhaps going further into the famous Vitamin T (for Tacos), since there are as many Taquerias (taco stands) as there are bus stops, or even more. When it comes to reading the menu and local food, there are culinary terms that you should pay attention to are: “quesadillas”, “tostadas”, “huaraches”, “birria”, “sopes”, “flautas”, “camote”, “elotes and esquites”, “churros”, “tamales”, “chilalquiles”, “raspados” and “chicharrones”. Don’t be afraid to try the street food vendors, statistics indicate at least 75% of the population eats on the street at least once a week.

Having so much to offer there are many websites you can consult to plan your trip to Mexico City. Among the best ones is http://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city, which offers updated information on recommended activities as well as guides on trips, attractions and tours.

Next, we leave you this useful guide that we hope will help you on your next trip to Mexico City  Mexico – City_Travel_Guide