Things To Do In Mexico City
Climbing from the vestiges of the ancient Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, Mexico City offers an interesting blend of contemporary city life and historic temples. Mexico City has been influenced by a rich mixture of traditions and cultures. These range from the country’s own early civilizations such as; the Mayans, Toltec’s, and Aztecs, to Spanish and modern American ways of life. Over 90% of today’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, which the Spanish introduced in the 1500’s.
Spanish is the country’s official language. The Mexicans passion for baseball shows the influence of its neighbor United States. The soccer field of Estadio Azteca stands next to the large cement factory and cramped houses of Mexico City and reveals the Mexicans’ love of this sport. The city has twice hosted the World Cup Finals (1970 and 1986).
When To Go:
The best time to tour Mexico City is in the middle of March and May, despite the fact that the lanes are really packed at this time of year. Your reward is a delightful climate, considering the city's winters could be truly crisp and the summers might be truly blustery. You ought to additionally prepare yourself for the elevation; the thin air can make it intense to inhale at times. Around these months, the normal highs are in the mid to high 70s, and there's next to no downpour. This is one of the busiest times to visit be that as it may, so make your travel plans and secure your hotel bookings a month early.
Avoid the winter months because until the end of October, Mexico City gets pounded by its stormy season. Bring more sweaters as the climate begins to chill up to the last weeks of November.
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These are the top things to do and attractions to explore when in Mexico City.
National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
The National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) is a huge museum with an impressive center square (giant waterfall). You will be guided through all the peoples of Mexico with informative introductions in English, for the rest, most signs are in Spanish. More than just being a beautiful building, the entrance fee is affordable and the staffs are well trained and courteous. The exhibits are very particular and the way they are presented is super modern, i.e. it uses lots of space around the object and comes with a very clear explanation. A few temples and tombs are recreated in a nice and careful manner so that an even better idea of how it should have ever been is very possible right inside this large museum.
There are also a few short but very clear videos. There is much to see and you have a choice of which rooms you must focus on seeing first. There is no need for a guide as every piece is well captioned.
Visitors are directed to a chronological journey of Mexican history, from the Maya to the present day, through the story, priceless artifacts presented with care and a wealth of explanations, customs and traditions of old and new. There are archaeological finds, various reproductions of everyday life of ancient peoples and indigenous tribes of the current works of art, everyday objects, sculptures, icons, and even a garden with flowers and plants which is very typical in Mexico. In this museum you will find the Sun Maya, an ancient calendar. A day is not enough to see and absorb everything in one visit, so keep coming back. But while you are there, explore and do not rush to get out, because each section offers different things. The cultural and historic soul of Mexico is contained in this Museum. It's all absolutely fantastic, interesting, and magical.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Located within a short walk away from the historic city center (Zocalo), the Palacio de Bellas Artes is what your eyes will first see at the beginning of one of the busiest squares (Alameda Park). It has an excellent parking and rooms of various sizes for artistic representations of various types (theater, dance, opera or chamber) and caters to the different needs of the public (in terms of quantity). It also has open terraces that are often organized for cocktail receptions or business parties, or campaign venues for Government officials.
If you take the guided tour you can gain entrance and see the extraordinary murals of Siquieros, Riviera and other famous Mexican artists. Built by an Italian architect, the spectacular building housed among other things, an exhibition of Botero.
The building and its art deco style is majestic, it is overlooking the entire square and its history is very interesting. It is certainly one of the attractions that you must visit when you are in Mexico City. Also go to Sanborns which is opposite. Go up to the top floor and at the terrace of the café you will have the best top view of the domed glass mosaic and photograph of the remarkable Palacio.
Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Sun is definitely worth seeing and not hard to locate as its situated about half an hour away from the city of Mexico. If you are climbing the temple, bring hat, sunscreen, water, patience and try to be in shape to climb the pyramid because it is not easy (it's actually much harder to get off), however, the view is worth the climb and from the top of the pyramid you will be in awe of the scenic landscape of Mexico City. The Pyramid of the Sun is stunning and it is advisable to arrive early to have enough time and energy to also climb the other pyramids inside the complex.
This pyramid is inside the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, which also contains the Pyramid of the Moon. There is another pyramid located within its premises called the Feathered Serpent, it is also very interesting. The entire complex crosses the whole street called the Avenue of the Dead. Also in the vicinity are many family restaurants that are worth venturing to eat good typical Mexican dishes. The structures are definitely a must see because going to Mexico City and not visiting the pyramids is a sin.
The Chapultepec Castle now houses the National History Museum and offers a great opportunity to see objects and furniture that belonged to people like Maximilian and Carlota or President Benito Juárez. It is a very nice castle divided into 2 parts. One is the history museum which shows much of the history of Mexico from the arrival of the Spaniards and the second is the tour of the castle where Maximilian once lived. It is perfectly well maintained and cared for. Furthermore, it has a spectacular view of the city for its location on top of a small mountain in the forest of Chapultepec.
This construction gives everyone an idea of the old European architecture and the important historical events that occurred in Mexico City in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s. This place stands out for its location and architecture besides everything is at a glance and it is interesting to learn that even if Mexico has changed rapidly and geared towards modernization, it keeps and preserve its wonderful historical heritage.
This castle is framed within the history of occupation and usurpation of the property of Mexico, particularly on the French side. Its construction was due to the French concept of having a residence for the monarchs out of town. Inside everything is lavish and ostentatious given the French taste for refinement, elegance, wealth, and expensive things. See the rooms with various themes, the headquarters, armory, and the astronomical observatory. It is now well preserved and worth a visit.
Murales de Diego Rivera en la Secretaria de Educacion Publica
The famous artist Diego Rivera is one of the greatest representatives of the Mexican muralists, the frescoes of the SEP were among the first works that propelled him to national and international level, and the Murales de Diego Rivera en la Secretaria de Educacion Publica are highly representative of the culture of Mexico. Created between 1923 and 1928, the Diego Rivera mural paintings cover the walls of the three levels of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP), divided into two courtyards, the "work" and of the "party". It highlights more than 100 works alluding to the culture and history of Mexico mural. It is a must for all those interested in art and architecture.
This is a great place to admire the murals and it most of all it's free. The building itself is beautiful, with its courtyards, flowered jacarandas (March), and its colonnades. The wall forms a long chain of tables, representing different scenes of the life and important milestones of Mexico. Do not miss the ones with the artist himself and the one with Frida Kahlo. Also admirable and worth visiting is the first courtyard where most religious engravings are displayed.
Basilica Lady of Guadalupe and Teotihuacan
The Basilica Lady of Guadalupe and Teotihuacan is impressive, modern, and architecturally daring, especially when viewed from the inside. You will be struck by the presence of the light that fills the space, it is a must see for the guests and all the Mexicans who come here.
Explore inside and get to know the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe (for those interested) that is revered by all Mexicans and officially canonized as patroness of Mexico lead by Pope John Paul II. The old basilica overlooks a vast esplanade. The recent basilica is surprisingly modern with a gigantic musical organ. It is a sacred place where a huge number of crowds express their divine faith and exceptional devotion.
Museo Memoria y Tolerancia
The Museo Memoria y Tolerancia presents a major exhibition on the horrors of Nazism and the Holocaust. It is not recommended for sensitive people because the facts shown are quite graphic and moving. It also presents recent historical facts of human intolerance and prejudice among humans through films and other resources.
It is a really awesome museum, both in its architecture and in the order of their rooms and presentations. It is modern and interactive, but best of all it invites every guest to ponder and reflect about freedom.
It is divided into two; the 1st section is called History, where a timeline is presented of the several genocides that happened around the world. There are several floors where you will learn about the story of Holocaust WW2. There is a real wagon train which is truly the most shocking part of the journey. There are replicas of the ghetto screens and a video showing the testimonies of the survivors.
The second section is called Tolerance where you are invited to see how the most inhuman acts can be generated from poorly influenced marketing, politics, social movements, and makes you think more about the human essence. The sculpture in the stairwell is really impressive. Look no further, this is an excellent choice to go with family or alone, so grab your camera, comfortable shoes and a little reflective mind and you're ready to learn and gain insight about the past.
Museo de Arte Popular
The Museo de Arte Popular is a good way to get acquainted with the diversity of Mexican crafts and culture. Everything is beautifully showcased with lovely and large display cases. The museum is housed in an old colonial building. It contains the most comprehensive collection of original manual arts in Mexico. The environments are very impressive and effective, in a building with reminiscences of liberty.
Fittings and scenic solutions are absolutely modern and offer a vision of the smallest details. It is a place to study and investigate a unique culture. All the major craft specialties are presented in a beautiful bright space on all three floors. It is a fitting tribute to all the Mexican artists and handicrafts. The souvenir store is definitely worth a visit - the items are high quality, but also comes with a high price.
Frida Kahlo Museum
The late Frida Kahlo was one of the most iconic artists of the twentieth century. This house was the main residence of Frida, the place where she lived her artistic passion, love experiences, and also up to her last days on earth. The Blue House or the Frida Kahlo Museum is maintained as it was inhabited by Frida. It is very attractive and exciting. Frida Kahlo is a hero of modern art in Mexico, and you will immediately notice this as soon as you arrive at the Azul House, there is an endless row of visitors from the entrance up to several meters. The house is well maintained and offers the opportunity to peek into the troubled life of Frida.
A nice walk in this "appendix" of Mexico City is a must. The place of the coyotes or the Coyoacan (this means the name or, rather, derives its name from the word coyote) is really interesting and a bit folklore in origin. From the fountain with the coyote that stands in the middle of the square in front of the Church, on the streets and the houses painted in bright colors, everything contributes to the interest of the visitor. Even the church and its cloister are interesting to see to complete your visit.
Mexico City is a lively metropolis with many aspects that are worth seeing and Coyoacan is one of these. It 'a real Mexican village, with its church, central square, and covered market (one of the most frequented by the inhabitants of Mexico City). There is also a small but busy pedestrian area and if you can find it because it is under lock and key, but just ask around from any locals - one of the most amazing murals throughout the city.
Palacio de Correos de Mexico (Postal Palace)
The Palacio de Correos de Mexico (Postal Palace) is without doubt an architectural masterpiece. Originally, the place where now stands the Palazzo Postale was the site of a former hospital. In the same building there is a mix of styles between the Venetian Gothic and art nouveau. Its creation is due entirely to the Italian architect Adamo Boari, who was also responsible for the construction of the Palace of Fine Arts. The façade has a Renaissance model system.
The main door, which is located on the corner is surmounted by a canopy of wrought iron backed by two large chains that give entrance to the appearance of a drawbridge.
Inside there are rich decorations made of iron and bronze, processed and merged into Fonderie del Pignone in Florence. Scale and tables are made of Carrara marble, showing a little corner of Italy on the other side of the ocean. Do not miss the Museum of Philately, which is located on the second floor. There are very beautiful and picturesque reproductions made with matches. It also has a great antique elevator.
National Palace (Palacio Nacional)
The National Palace (Palacio Nacional) is located in the largest square of the city known as the "Zocalo". This building is striking for its facade and looks very nice but the real beauty lies within, in the murals created by Diego Rivera that adorn the walls of the staircase and galleries on the first floor. These paintings depict the history of Mexico from the earliest times up to the revolution.
The political character of the paintings of Rivera is exciting and the first painting that you find when you enter is a compendium of Mexican history, presenting the vividness of the colors and the realism of the battle scenes and the road to independence of Mexico City.
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