No matter the time of year you are in town, visiting Mexico City is a guaranteed good time, From ancient Aztec ruins to modern art and history museums, you will find everything you’re looking for after a short stroll through the city.
Start your stay in Mexico City the right way with a visit the city square. Walk around the perimeter and see famous historical buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. During the day you will find festivals and markets where residents and tourists can walk through. And at night, come back and see the free concerts that draw in fun and exciting crowds. Or just sit and enjoy a drink during sunset as you watch the city turn its lights on.
Templo Mayor Ruins
Directly behind the Zocalo are the ruins of the ancient Aztec city Tenochtitlan. You can see the different phases and designs of the city’s leaders, which is not common for ancient architecture. You can even walk up to the original sculptures that are still colorful, albeit a tad less vibrant. After you’ve walked around the grounds, you can pop into the museum next door to see what artifacts have been collected during archaeological digs at the site. Digs are ongoing so the museum is constantly expanding its collection.
Head to the southern side of Mexico City to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Xochimilco and see the ancient canals and floating gardens that helped create the agricultural networks in the region. As a tourist, you can ride in the brightly color boats through the canals. You can have both a peaceful, calm experience, or an absolute party as you float down the canals, it all just depends on who you’re bringing. If you want to spook yourself, pay to go visit the storied Isle of Dolls and see the spooky fools for yourself.
Many people will head to this colonia to try and tour Frida Khalo’s home Casa Azul. But just walking around the brightly colored and historic town is satisfying for many! You can also visit the Frida Khalo Museum if you want to learn more about the artist without going into her former home. Stroll through Coyoacan and see the beautiful and colorful gardens, the courtyards and their bright homes, and stop for delicious food constantly!
This fun and hip neighborhood is the perfect off-the-beaten-path stop as you wind down your afternoon. Choose from many amazing and different restaurants and cafes and stay into the night when the vibrant and exciting nightlife begins! Many foodies and hippies will flock to this part of town where nothing is normal, and all are accepted. Visit Avenida Amsterdam and see the Art Deco homes that lead up to a lush garden. Or just browse the vendors and markers during a festival or event hosted in the area.
If you’re looking to get out of the city for a bit, head over the Chapultepec Forest, one of the world’s largest urban parks! Over 450 acres of green grass and trees, as well as botanical gardens, hiking trails, and a lake with paddle boats awaits you for an adventurous afternoon. And if you’re looking for a lookout point and a great photo to show your family, hike to the top of the park to Chapultepec Castle, where the Aztecs once occupied.
Basilica de Guadalupe
An active Catholic Church, the Basilica de Guadalupe is a national shrine and religious pilgrimage site. Here, the 16th century cloak that the Mother Mary’s face appeared on for Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin is displayed but look fast since you can only visit it on the moving sidewalk in front of it! A uniquely designed and shaped church, it is worth the visit even if you are not going on a pilgrimage to the area.
Only 30 or so minutes from the city lies the iconic and ancient Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, or Teotihuacan. The most significant historical sites in this part of Mexico, you absolutely must visit next time you are in the city. You can spend a whole day walking around the pyramids, visiting the Avenue of the Dead, or visiting the museum to learn more about the Aztecs and see the artifacts found in this area. It is recommended that you arrive early in the day to see why it’s called the Pyramid of the Sun… and because there is absolutely no shade, and you don’t want to be miserable late into the afternoon.
Paseo de la Reforma
You can easily spend an entire afternoon walking down this busy and vibrant cultural street. Walk past the many statues of Mexico's heroes of the past, from depictions of Aztec leaders to the greats of the War of Independence. Try to visit on a Sunday when the road is completely shut down to cars and you can walk freely without worrying about your children or others. If you walk to the end of the road, you will happen upon the Chapultepec Forest where you can continue your day outside.
National Anthropology Museum
Also in the Chapultepec Forest, the National Anthropology Museum is a must see when you’re in Mexico City. The largest museum in the whole country, you will find artifacts and history dating back to Mexico’s pre-Colombian days. You can see the iconic and world-renowned Aztec Sun Stone and the Olmec stone heads. There are many indigenous civilizations represented throughout the museum and the rural and urban growth is also discussed. There are even outdoor exhibits of gardens and a reconstructed Aztec temple!
Mexico City is a diverse and eclectic city that every should put on their bucket lists. Visit Mexico City on your next vacation and see for yourself!