The Top 12 Things To Do In Mexico City
Mexico City is known for its bustling culture and beautiful architecture. The city's roots date back to 1325 when the Aztec empire was formed by the Mexica tribe. Today, Mexico City is a cultural hub with art museums, world-class cuisine and powerful politics. With a population approaching 8 million people and a location that allows for easy access from anywhere in the world, it's no wonder Mexico City is home to some of the best things to do in all of North America. Here are 12 must-see sights for travelers who want to experience the culture and beauty of Mexico City.
Twelve of the Best Things to Do in Mexico City
1) Shop at Mercado de Santa Fe
The oldest market in North America, this is a great place to go shopping for antiques, art and souvenirs. The market offers a wide variety of color and style to choose from.
2) Walk around Chapultepec Park
This park offers gorgeous city views as well as an oasis for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. The park contains ruins of ancient Mayan pyramids, an old observatory, a botanical garden and an amusement park with roller coasters.
3) Visit the Palacio Nacional
You'll find this palace on Paseo de la Reforma Avenue near the Zocalo (main square). Built in 1885, the building was originally meant to be part of President Porfirio Diaz's residence but it eventually became his office. Inside you'll find beautiful murals painted by Diego Rivera plus a collection of artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian era. The palace is open Wednesday through Sunday 9:00am - 3:00pm with more limited hours on Mondays.
4) Tour Torre Latinoamericana
This tower was once used as an observation tower that provided 360 degree views of the city but it's now open to tourists who can take the elevator to the top to see the city from above.
5) Eat Traditional Mexican Food
The national dish of Mexico is called "poc chuc" which is a pork dish marinated in chili and lime juice. Another popular dish is "mole poblano" which is chicken covered in a chocolate flavored sauce. If you want to try something different, try tacos and enchiladas in Oaxaca style or a quesadilla with huitlacoche (a type of corn fungus).
6) Visit Xochimilco
This area contains chinampas which are floating gardens on Lake Xochimilco. The gardens contain flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and other crops that can be found on the lake.
7) Watch a Lucha Libre Match
Lucha libre is a form of Mexican professional wrestling that dates back to the 1930's. If you're lucky, you can catch a match at Arena Mexico which is the world's largest lucha libre venue. Also, if you're lucky enough to be in town during one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year, you'll be able to see some lucha libre in action.
8) Go Shopping at Mercado de Artesanias de Coyoacan
This market sells traditional Mexican crafts such as handcrafted pottery, embroidered blouses and sashes and other items made by local artisans.
9) Visit Museo Frida Kahlo
This museum exhibits artwork by Frida Kahlo who was a famous Mexican artist who painted with bright colors and depicted Mexican culture through her paintings.
10) Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe
This cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that was built in 1531 and is located at the foot of the hill where the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was discovered. This image has become a very important part Mexican culture and can be found on many items such as postcards, calendars, keychains, etc.
10) Visit El Museo de Antropología
This museum is built in the former monastery of San Juan de Letran and exhibits a collection of pre Hispanic artifacts as well as art, religious objects, ceramics and other items from around Mexico.
11) Visit the Templo Mayor
This is an Aztec ruin that was discovered in 1978 when construction workers were digging a foundation for a new building. The site was then excavated by archeologists and it was found that there were over 40,000 human remains buried at this location.
12) Take a Day Trip to the Pyramids at Teotihuacan
This ancient city is located about 40 miles outside of Mexico City and is home to the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, Temple of Quetzalcoatl and other structures.
Top 10 Places to Eat in Mexico City
Mexico City was once a center of culture and cuisine and it still is! There are hundreds of restaurants in the city that serve up Mexican dishes from all regions of the country. But, as travelers know, sometimes it's fun to try something new. Here are some of the top places to eat in Mexico City for those who want to experience authentic Mexican food.
1. El Cholo - This restaurant is located in the historic center and serves traditional Mexican food. The restaurant has been around since 1924 and everything on the menu is made with fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch recipes.
2. Tacos at Tacos Morelos - With over 65 years of history, Tacos Morelos has become one of Mexico City’s most popular taco stands. They have plenty of options for tourists who want to try authentic Mexican tacos in a more casual atmosphere than most other restaurants offer.
3. La Casa De Las Nieves - This eatery is located near the Zocalo Square and specializes in traditional dishes from Michoacán, recognized for its rich heritage and complex flavors drawn from indigenous botanicals like neem tree leaves, jimson weed root, huitlacoche (corn fungus) and pechuga de puerco (pork shoulder).
4. La Esquina de Doña Rosa - This restaurant serves regional Mexican dishes using locally sourced ingredients including squash flowers from Veracruz as well as pollo en mole
Mexico City is a unique and wonderful city to explore. The food is eclectic, the people are friendly and it's a great place to visit for anyone who wants to experience a taste of the beautiful country that is Mexico. I hope you have a great trip to Mexico City and please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.