Limited time in Mexico City? The must sees.
Mexico City is Huge!!! You could be there for months and still not explore it all. From the travellers that I meet, most seem to just spend a few days there before setting off, so I’ve got together my must sees if you have limited time in Mexico City.
Also, you should take a ride on the metro at some stage. Watch the vendors walking through the carriages playing loud music selling cd’s or singing, and selling everything else you can think of from scissors, food, books, locks, toys, card holders, hats, everything!! I haven’t had any issues, but just be wary of pick-pocketers.
I hope you enjoy this amazing city.
Where to stay: Hotels in Mexico City
The heart of the city and a place you won’t miss. This giant plaza is one of the biggest in the world and home to all the major celebrations, protests, concerts, culture events and many exhibitions in Mexico City.
Take a walk inside the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral (pictured above) on the Zocalo’s north. A totally amazing cathedral with two big organs in the centre. Walking inside you will feel like you’re drunk with the sinking ground giving the cathedral quite a lean. They even have a pendulum from the roof to measure its movement.
Museo del Templo Mayor is the ruins beside the Cathedral They had an idea it was somewhere, but didn’t know exactly where it was until an electrical company in 1978 was digging and hit a piece of a 3m large stone disk. They then knocked down 9 buildings to fully excavate the temple and build the museum as it is known today.
Where do you start!! I did a free walking tour with Estación Mexico. It goes for about 3 hours starting at the Cathedral in the Zocalo at 11.00am every day. We then visited Plaza Santo Domingo, Teatro Fru Fru, Bellas Artes, Palacio Postal (Amazing), Latin American tower, China town and finished on the main walking Avenue Madero right near the Zocalo. It’s a great introduction to the city with all the history and information. And gives you your bearings to further explore.
Bosque de Chapultepec – Chapultepec Forrest/Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the crazy city. Once you step inside this enormous park (1695 acres) you will feel like you have stepped into another world. Stroll along the maze of paths leading you in every direction. It’s easy to get lost.
What to do in Bosque de Chapultepec
National Museum of Anthropology
Considered to be one of the greatest archaeological museums in the world. If you are a history buff, you could spend days inside here. It’s a big place!! I’m not much of a museum guy, but this really interesting. It has sections for all parts of the pre-Hispanic eras and the different states of Mexico. And its most important piece for mine, the Aztec calendar stone.
Chapultepec Castle and National History Museum
The home of past presidents, has now been turned into the National History Museum. In tip top condition, you can walk though and see all the rooms with furniture and personal belongings in place from past presidents and also the military school. It has great panoramic views of Mexico City.
There is also a Zoo inside the park if you’re interested. I didn’t go in for a look, but you might like to.
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Mexico City, Coyoacán is like a small village within the city 10km south of downtown. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. The main centre of Plaza Jardin Hidalgo with the big church Parroquia San Juan Bautista in front is where it’s all happening. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops around the plaza, a big garden with lots of benches, lots of street entertainment with live music, clowns and street performers. Strolling around the streets you will find old colonial houses and many markets with arts and crafts.
About 6 blocks north of plaza is the house and museum of the world famous artist Frida Kahlo (website is in Spanish).
Condesa – Roma
These two neighbourhoods are the trendy part of town and very close to Bosque de Chapultepec. Here you’ll find plenty of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Buy yourself an ice-cream and wander around the streets and many parks.
Condesa and Roma is an area you will want to go for a night out with lots of bars and clubs. The Culture trip has a list of The 7 best bars in Condesa.
I am yet to visit Xoxhimilco (next time), but you can take colourful boats down the canals there. I have heard it’s all a bit touristy, but I’m still keen to go check it out.
UNESCO world heritage site of the Teotihuacan Pyramids isn’t actually in Mexico City but is a great day trip. Visit the city of the gods and walk down the Avenue of the dead. You can climb up the pyramids but if the weathers hot, take some water with you, it’s quite the hike up!
I visited the Pyramids by car, but there are many tour companies going there from downtown. Although I have heard that with some stops along the way, you don’t get much time at the Pyramids. If you’re confident on the public transport, you can take the metro, then a bus.
You can’t visit Mexico City and not have a night at the Luchas Libres (wrestling) at Arena Mexico. It’s very funny, very fake and a very entertaining night. Watch the Mexicans roll up in their masks, shouting and singing to the wrestlers. And get ready for some amazing ariel manoeuvres. We arrived and bought our ticket on the night with no problems. For the most popular wrestlers you may need to book online at ticketmaster.
This is just a quick snapshot of a few of the amazing things to experience in Mexico City. The longer you can spend here the better.
As always, Happy Travels!!