With its vast diversity of natural resources, enormous cultural and historical wealth, world renowned cuisine, privileged geographical location, and exceptional climate, there are tons of reasons that make Mexico a unique and highly popular tourist destination.
Today we’re focusing our attention on the country’s capital, Mexico City, one of the largest urban areas in the world. Located in the central part of the country, this enormous capital of the Mexican Republic is home to countless attractions that range from museums, theaters, colonial buildings, old neighborhoods, modern areas and entertainment venues to archaeological sites, tree-lined parks and, one of its biggest attractions, a mouth-watering cuisine listed on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Let’s start by giving special recognition to the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a combination of the city’s colonial and pre-Hispanic past and a modern, active and bustling business center.
You can start your tour of the city here with a walk through the Alameda, a centuries-old park home to fountains and iconic monuments, making your way to one of the country’s most spectacular buildings: The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). This white marble building, which opened in 1934, is used as an exhibition center and for special events.
Other attractions worth checking out in this central area are the Palacio Postal (Postal Palace), the Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles), Palacio de Iturbide (Iturbide Palace), the Madero pedestrian street, the Museo Nacional de Arte (National Museum of Art) and the Torre Latinoamericana (Latin American Tower), which has a lookout point that you should visit. At the end of a promenade you will see a massive square with a huge Mexican flag, known as the Zócalo, where the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), the beautiful Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) and the archaeological site of the Templo Mayor (Main Temple) are located.
Walking along the well-known and elegant Paseo de la Reforma, one of the city’s major avenues, you’ll pass by some of the most popular monuments in Mexico City, including the Ángel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence) and Diana Cazadora (Diana the Hunter), as well as the entrance to the Chapultepec Forest that houses the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology), the Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art), the Museo Tamayo (Tamayo Museum), and the only castle in the country, the famous Chapultepec Castle, which has a remarkable history because it was once a warehouse, military academy and served as the residence of Maximilian and Charlotte of Hapsburg , as well as of several presidents.
This immense metropolis is also home to both historic and modern cosmopolitan neighborhoods, the latter offering the best selection of stores, restaurants and bars; and when it comes to culture, the neighborhoods of Coyoacán, San Ángel, Xochimilco and the unique Ciudad Universitaria have a unique magic.
Another attraction that is the main pilgrimage site in Mexico and the second most visited Catholic church in the world: the Basílica de Guadalupe, designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez. Here you can climb the Cerro del Tepeyac to reach the Capilla del Cerrito (Cerrito Chapel) at the top of the hill. It was here where, according to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego.
Although this is simply a handful of the countless things to do and see that Mexico City has to offer, here are 10 top attractions that you won’t want to miss:
- Plaza Garibaldi: The mariachis in Plaza Garibaldi will amaze you with their traditional costumes and their best songs. It is located in the city’s historic center, about 2 km (1.25 miles) away from the Zócalo.
- Teotihuacán: A visit to the archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan is definitely a must on any trip to Mexico because it is one of the most important pre-Hispanic cities in Mesoamerica and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Estadio Azteca: If you’re a soccer fan, you won’t want to miss one of the world’s great soccer meccas. It has room for 115,000 fans, making it one of the three largest stadiums in the world.
- La Condesa & La Roma: two of the trendiest spots around, these two adjacent neighborhoods are some of the liveliest areas in the city. Here you can admire the classic beauty of the buildings, the culinary delights served up at the many restaurants, visit galleries, boutiques and grab a cocktail in one of the neighborhoods’ renowned bars.
- The Arena México: this arena is home to Mexico’s most famous and recognized sport (or spectacle?), lucha libre. Seeing a live match is a unique experience.
- The Frida Kahlo museum: Coyoacán is home to who was arguably the most famous and internationally renowned woman in Mexico. This museum offers more than just the artist’s paintings and provides insights into the psyche of this iconic woman.
- UNAM: The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico) is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Latin America. With museums, libraries, theaters, restaurants, stadiums and more, it is also known as CU, Ciudad Universitaria (University City).
- Polanco: this cosmopolitan neighborhood is one of the best areas in the city because it is home to the renowned Avenida Presidente Masaryk, where you can find the best luxury brands, countless restaurants, shopping malls, parks and a high degree of exclusivity.
- Monumento a la Revolución (Monument to the Revolution): this architectural landmark commemorates the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution and has a museum and a viewpoint. There are also restaurants nearby that offer views of this work of art.
- Cineteca Nacional: this is the institution dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of Mexican cinema, particularly independent films. In addition to restaurants and bars, it also offers several outdoor activities.
Mexico City is unquestionably diverse, inimitable and one of the most spectacular destinations in the world, because as they say, Mexico is one of a kind!
Remember that this month, as an Exclusive Deals benefit, you have the option to book a travel package to wonderful destinations.