One of the largest megacities on the planet, Mexico City, is located in a picturesque high mountain valley. The city of the mighty ancient civilization of the Aztecs today impresses the imagination with its bright colors and variety of architectural forms and styles. Mexico City is not for nothing called the City of Contrasts. Here, modern skyscrapers neighbor the picturesque colonial houses, and wide well-groomed streets with the slums of the poor. Unique Aztec civilization monuments, majestic cathedrals, lush parks and sanctuaries, entertainment complexes — neither an adult nor a child will be bored in Mexico City.
Districts of Mexico City
The central and southern parts of the capital form the Federal District, which consists of sixteen districts. The rest of the city is included in different municipalities of the country.
The following districts are considered to be the most popular among tourists:
- Centro Historico (Historic Center). A real paradise for tourists, where you can see historical monuments at every step. Here you can also find inexpensive hotels and hostels.
- Coyoacán District. Cobbled streets and bright colonial-style houses, buried in the green, attract many travelers here. This is where Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera lived. Today, it is home to artists, writers, and other creative professions.
- San Angel District. An elite place where the local wealthy and creative bohemians live. The neighborhood is very quiet and peaceful. The artists' square is the only crowded place in the area, with souvenir shops and cafes.
- Zona Rosa DIstrict. The part of the city where the most popular entertainment establishments are located.
Map Mexico City
Unique monuments of Aztec and Spanish architecture, exciting museums and exhibitions, magnificent parks and reserves — even a week will not be enough to see all this. Choose from a variety of attractions that you particularly want to see. And plan your visit in advance.
A system of human-made lakes surrounded the majestic city, and many channels crossed its territory. Three dams with lifting bridges connected the center of the capital with the land.
For about two centuries, Tenochtitlan had remained to be one of the largest cities in the world. The Aztecs were known for their bellicosity, and gradually conquered all neighboring tribes, but could not resist the invasion of the Spanish conquistadors. At first, the Indians welcomed the Spaniards in a friendly manner. This was also related to one of the Aztec legends, according to which, the god Quetzalcoatl, who had previously been expelled, must return in the year of the twig of reeds. This god was light-faced and bearded, just like the leader of the conquistadors, Cortes. In addition, the year of the invasion coincided with the year of the reed twig.
But as time went by, the Aztecs were outraged by Cortés' policy, and a rebellion erupted in the city. The Spaniards left Tenochtitlán only to fill their army with men and weapons. In 1521, the Aztec capital was entirely conquered by the conquistadors and destroyed. In place of the ruined city, they founded Mexico City, the capital of the colony of New Spain.
At the beginning of the XIX century, the Mexicans rebelled against the Spanish rule. As a result, in 1821, independent Mexico was proclaimed, with Mexico City as its capital. But 26 years later, the United States took over the city.
Since 1910, for seven years, the people of Mexico had been fighting fiercely against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz Mori, and this fight ended in victory. In 1929, Mexico City was exposed to the nationalization of enterprises owned by Britain and the United States. The city was continually evolving, becoming the largest metropolis in the world.
Historical events have found their reflection in the architecture and traditions of the ancient city, making its atmosphere amazingly colorful and breathtaking.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 65 $/night||from 171 $/night||Start - 0.69 $, 1km - 0.32 $||1.09 $/liter||27 $ for 2 person|
The best time to visit Mexico City
Fans of colorful carnivals gather in Mexico City in late February and on the Day of the Dead on November 1. The city becomes a fairy-tale place: the streets are decorated with bright flowers, loud music, and everyone sings and dances. The carnival procession itself is usually held in masks, which are said to ward off evil spirits.
If you want to see an incredible feast of fireworks and salutes, come to Mexico City in early March. This is the time for the International Pyrotechnic Festival. Magnificent fire compositions, demonstrations of the wonders of modern pyrotechnics await guests.
Public transport in the city is represented by subway, buses, trolleybuses, trams. The subway here is one of the largest in the world, consisting of eleven lines. A ticket costs 2 pesos. Buses vary by class, depending on the comfort and cost: second class, first-class, and deluxe. The fare starts from 3 pesos. The same price is for trams, which run on the streets where other modes of transport are prohibited. There are also "pesero" shuttles in tourist areas.
Do not risk drinking tap water in Mexico City. Use only bottled water. If you order a strong drink in a bar, ask not to add ice to it. It can be done from tap water.
Girls should not react to loud comments from local men. It's considered to be normal here and not beyond what is allowed.
What should a tourist do in Mexico City?
- Stroll around the Plaza de la Constitución, the largest square on the continent, which is located in the historic city center. During Aztec times, this place was the Palace of Montezuma II. In the center of the square, on a large flagpole, there is a huge flag of Mexico. Along its perimeter, there are the magnificent monuments of the country's history - the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heavens.
- Take a tour of the world-famous Chapultepec Castle. For several centuries, the palace had been the residence of emperors, presidents, and governors. The majestic building impresses not only with its size but also with the beauty of architecture in the style of neoclassicism. The castle is surrounded by a large park, where the marble memorial "Altar to the Homeland" catches the eye. It recalls the heroic defense of 1847. At that time, only six cadets of the military academy were defending the palace from the American army.
- Admire the mastery and grandiose buildings of the ancient Aztecs while touring the ruins of Tenochtitlán. The Templo Mayor temple complex, which was discovered over four centuries ago, looks particularly impressive. The territory of Tenochtitlán is vast, and it's hard to explore everything. A tourist bus is an excellent way to see the complex. The vehicle runs in a circle, making stops near every attraction.
- See the magnificent Cathedral of Tenochtitlán. Its construction began in the XVI century and had lasted for 200 years. It harmoniously combines three styles — Neoclassicism, Renaissance, and Baroque. The cathedral's high nave rises to 110 m, and the two towers are about 70 m high. Sculptures of saints decorate it from the outside. The interior of the temple greets tourists with incredible luxury. Everything inside the temple is lined with marble, gold, and ivory.
- Discover the legendary Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The appearance of the main church in Mexico is associated with a beautiful legend. In the XVI century, a poor peasant saw the image of the Virgin Mary. He told the priest about it, but he didn't believe him. The next time the image of the saint appeared to the peasant, roses began to bloom on a frozen hill. The man took one flower and went to the bishop. When he entered the church, his cloak with a rose underneath it was filled with light. Then the image of the Holy Mother emerged on his cloak. After that, a basilica was erected on a hill. The same cloak of the man is the main sanctuary of the church. For 500 years, it has remained in its original state, and the image of the Virgin Mary is clearly visible on it.
- Admire one of the symbols of the capital - the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This amazingly beautiful building is constructed of Carrara marble, the most valuable rock of this stone. Thanks to the architectural styles of Art Deco and Beaux-Arts, the splendor of the decoration blends harmoniously with elegance. The palace is home to the Opera House, the National Museum, and the Museum of Architecture.
- See the rare exhibits of the National Museum of Anthropology. One of the world's most visited sights introduces the guests to the treasures of Aztec and Mayan civilizations, unusual artifacts of history. There are anthropological exhibitions on the ground floor and ethnographic displays on the second floor. If you want to visit the museum for free, come here on Sunday.
- Visit the museum of the world-famous artist Frida Kahlo. The building itself attracts the eye of passers-by: bright blue walls, Indian patterns on the outer facade. Get to know the house where the unique artist had lived almost all her life, feel its unique atmosphere.
- Enjoy the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Magical, beautiful creatures have long favored this park in Mexico City. Tree branches often break under the weight of their numerous colonies. You can admire them while walking, cycling, or riding a horse.
- Visit the amazingly colorful markets of the capital, where you can find everything you want. If you are looking for local products and traditional seasonings, you should visit the San Juan Market. Are you looking for antiques and original items? Then you can go to La Lagunilla Market. Sorcerers and shamans are welcome at the Sonora Market. Here you can buy various amulets, magic and occult objects, medicines made from herbs.
- Try the local traditional dishes that are prepared here with hot spices, chili peppers in particular. Order tortilla (corn cake with different spicy fillings), pozole (a sauce-soup from corn, meat, and various add-ons), guacamole (avocado sauce, tomato, onion, and pepper). Try real tequila, and don't forget about hot chocolate, which is considered to be originating from Mexico.