Normally when people go to Mexico, it’s to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta so they can relax by the beach. You don’t usually think of going to the capital city for your vacation. The fact is, Mexico City has a reputation, just like a lot of mexican cities and people are scared of the criminality, the gangs and the cartels. All the bad things we hear about in movies. Of course, there are bad people in every city you visit and though Mexico can be considered dangerous, with some common sense, you’ll get around just fine. In fact, there wasn’t really a single moment when I visited that I was ever really afraid or felt in danger. If you do find yourself in Mexico City, here are a few things you should go see:
Located about 45km northeast of the City, it’s a must-see. Climb the Sun and Mood pyramids, walk through the ruins of the city and breathe in the vast amount of history here. I took a tour that starts in the City, and stopped at the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, another must-see. You get a great tour guide that will explain all the history of Teotihuacan, some of the theories of the ancient ruins and answer any other burning questions about the city.
This public square is one of the largest in the world. It’s a great central place next to a lot of museums, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Templo Mayor and all kinds of other interesting museums all within walking distance. Take some time to enjoy the weather and people watch. Make sure to check out some of the dancers!
This ancient Aztec temple was discovered in the middle of Mexico City, right next to the Zocalo as an electrical company was digging and found a monolith. Most of the temple had disappeared and no one was entirely sure of its exact location, but after that discovery, the temple was excavated and you can now visit its ruins. It’s truly amazing to see these ruins surrounded by totally modern buildings.
Frida Kahlo Museum and Leon Trotsky House
The famous painter who once said “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” lived her entire life in Mexico City with her husband, Diego Rivera, another famous Mexican artist. She had an incredibly challenging life, and her paintings reflect that perfectly. She lived in La Casa Azul, or The Blue House, which is now open to visit as a museum.
A block or two away is the house of Leon Trotsky, who was a dear friend of Frida and Diego, and had moved to Mexico City after being exiled from Russia, and where he was eventually murdered with a pickaxe. You can even still see some of his books and clothes in the closets as well as bullet holes throughout the house.
Paseo de la Reforma and Zona Rosa
I spent most of my time wandering down the Paseo de la Reforma, a great avenue that runs through the city. There are tons and tons of monuments to see, including the famous Angel of Independence, which overlooks the avenue, the Chapultepec Park and Zoo, and the National Museum of Archaeology (another must-see).
Zona Rosa is the LGBTQ* neighbourhood of the city, known for its nightlife and shopping. It’s a friendly area where you can find a lot of tourists, an incredible amount of fastfood chains and all kinds of more traditional restaurants.
-I highly recommened taking a tour with a Hop-On Hop-Off bus. Mexico City is so big, that you surely can’t see it all in one day, without this option! It will also give you a good idea of the things you’d like to see and the areas of the city that are safer for tourists.
-Take a ride in the subway! Experience the craziness of the mexican subway, though make sure to keep your valuables close.
-If you go during the summer, expect a lot of rain. In July and August, it tends to rain every single day at around 4pm.
-Do your research. Don’t go wandering alone at night in an area of the city that you don’t know. Use your common sense and stick to what you know.