Quite unjustly, Mexico City still has the image of a smog-ridden, crime-ridden capital. It is mainly used as a transfer hub to get to Riviera Maya and the beaches of Yucatan.
However, Mexico City is one of the most diverse, exciting, and exciting cities in the world. Below I tell you I spend my days in this incredible city.
Table of contents
About Mexico City
Of course, the sheer size of the 22-million-inhabitant metropolis can seem intimidating at first, especially to the newcomer. Most of the sights can be explored quite easily, even by inexperienced travelers.
Mexico City has a well-developed metro network covering a large part of the city with its 12 lines. Alternatively, you can, of course, also get around by taxi. The taxi service UBER had recommended as a safe, reliable, and inexpensive option.
An excellent way to get a first overview is to ride on the Capitalbus. It stops at many exciting points in the city, where you can get on and off at will (be sure to take a hat and sunscreen).
The multitude of sights and attractions makes it impossible to mention them all here. Nevertheless, I would like to say some of my highlights.
A must is, of course, the Centro Historico, the historic old town, which can easily explore on foot. Here you will find the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the enormous central square Zocalo with the cathedral and the National Palace (mural by Diego Riviera), a beautiful pedestrian zone, countless shops, coffee shops, and restaurants, and much more.
You can spend a whole day in the old town alone and soak up the unique atmosphere. A city as huge as Mexico City naturally has more than just this one center.
Coyoacan and south
The romantic district of Coyoacán is particularly worth seeing. This area makes an almost rural impression with small alleys, colorful houses, parks, and beautiful squares; this area makes an almost rustic impression and has a unique flair.
The famous Frida Kahlo Museum had located here, and not far away is the Museo Leon Trotsky. Very authentic and always worth a visit is the Mercado de Coyoacán, a market hall where you can buy all kinds of things and eat well and cheaply.
Since Coyoacán is popular with locals and travelers alike, a visit during the week had recommended, as it can get a bit crowded at the weekend.
Colonia Roma and Condesa District
No less attractive are the Colonia Roma and Condesa. Located southwest of the Centro Historico, these neighboring residential areas are among the hippest in the city. Here, too, there are plenty of cafés, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and well-kept little parks.
You can drift around there all day and keep discovering new things. In the evening, both Roma and Condesa are popular nightlife areas for the capital’s inhabitants. Looking for accommodation in this area is certainly not the worst idea.
Museums in Mexico City
Mexico City also has a wealth of cultural treasures to offer, including some world-class museums.
Of course, the famous Anthropological Museum (Museo Nacional de Antropología) is a fascinating collection on the history of the Mexican indigenous people. Incidentally, with a walk through the Bosque de Chapultepec, a visit to the Castillo de Chapultepec is particularly worthwhile. The Bosque de Chapultepec is the largest park in Latin America and the city’s “green lung.”
One of my personal favorites is the Museo Soumaya, an art museum built by billionaire Carlos Slim in the fashionable Polanco district. His private art collection had exhibited here, which comprises around 66,000 exhibits and has an estimated value of approximately 700 million dollars.
The architecture of the six-story futuristic-looking building is spectacular, both outside and in. The art collection only can be described as majestic. Works by famous artists such as Renoir, Picasso, Dalí, van Gogh or Signac, to name. Still, a few are exhibited here in their original form. By the way, admission to this excellent museum is free.
Mexico City Markets
Of course, a visit to Mexico City would not be complete without visiting some of the city’s many great markets. These exist in every neighborhood, and, again, it’s impossible to know them all.
A lovely market to buy nice souvenirs and original souvenirs is the Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela. The unique feature of the market is that it sells various “trinkets” and attractive, high-quality handicrafts from all parts of the country. And all at more than acceptable prices.
Besides the vast and somewhat confusing market “La Merced” at the Centro Historico, I would like to mention the Mercado Jamaica. It had located at the metro station of the same name is frequently visited by travelers. You can buy food and almost all other daily necessities here. The range of flowers and fruits alone is overwhelming. And the many stalls with delicious Mexican food round off the great experience.
In addition to the large, Mexico City central markets, there are numerous smaller, some of which are only open at weekends. It is best to ask locals or your hotel about such a market nearby. A visit there is almost always worthwhile.
Mexico City highlights
Mexico City also has some highlights to offer in the surrounding area, which could be the subject of a separate travel guide. First and foremost, of course, are the world-famous pyramids of Teotihuacan. This impressive archaeological site can be reached by public transport or by organized tour.
The colonial town of Tepoztlán, 35 km north of Mexico City, is also well worth a visit. In addition to an attractive market, it offers a beautiful mountain hike to a pyramid.
Of course, a successful holiday also includes good food. In this respect, Mexico City need not hide from any other city in the world. There is nothing that not to had been found.
The Mexican cuisine alone is so varied that you are spoilt for choice every day as to where to eat. And you do not have to go only to expensive restaurants to have a great culinary experience.
The countless street stalls also offer excellent food. It would be best if you looked where a lot of locals go. Who, if not they know best where is the amazing food.
Finally, a few words about safety.
Of course, as in many big cities worldwide, there is a specific potential danger in Mexico City. In particular, the stark difference between rich and poor sometimes arouses covetousness.
On the other hand, a lot had invested in the city’s security in recent years.
So, follow the relevant recommendations and leave valuables, documents, etc.
You can reduce the risk to a minimum in the hotel safe. As for the drug wars, which are indeed fierce, it is essential to know that they mainly occur in more remote parts of the country near the US border. Those who do not want to be actively involved will hardly be affected.
So it doesn’t have to be exclusively Cancun and Riviera Maya. You can even spend an entire holiday in Mexico City.
At the very least, however, you should plan a few days for this great city. You will had rewarded with fantastic, varied, and unforgettable experiences.