Mexico City: Mexico’s Capital – the Top Places of Interest
Summer, sun, beaches, cocktails, and tacos. Hardly any other city on this earth pulsates with life and joie de vivre as much as Mexico City. But what exactly can you do here? What makes the capital so special? The country’s wilderness sometimes eclipses Mexico’s other attractions and monuments. In this article, we’ll first give you some interesting facts about la Ciudad de México and then present our list of the best things to see. Are you ready?
Mexico City in a Nutshell
Mexico City is located in the center of Mexico, one of the largest states in the Americas. The city itself has a population of about 9 million people, and the surrounding region has more than 21 million! From political decisions to economic and social issues, Mexico City is by far the most significant region in the country.
Because of the high altitude, the climate isn’t as hot and tropical as the rest of the country. Therefore, the best time to travel here is from December to April. If you want to find out more interesting facts about the climate in Mexico City, read our climate guide.
But Mexico isn’t only known for its pleasant climate. The food here is also worth checking out. After all, many Mexican dishes are famous internationally. The next time you’re in this part of the world, you simply must try the tacos and tortillas made of corn or wheat flour.
The spicy side dishes, such as strong sauces, are what really distinguish these specialties. For example, pico de gallo is a vegetarian salsa consisting of onions, cilantro, and tomatoes. Or you could opt for a spicy pork filling. No matter what you choose, the food will be spicy! The dishes are really something to behold.
Because Mexico City is such a fast-paced city, getting from point A to point B is simple. The transportation network is the best in the country. It’s a good idea to use public transportation like buses and subways, as they are reliable and extensive.
Mexico’s festival season runs from December through March. The Festival del Centro Histórico, held in March, is one of the city’s oldest and most important cultural events. As the name suggests, this is a festival in honor of Mexico’s history. Over a period of two weeks, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the capital’s rich culture. Marvel at the traditional dances, rhythmic sounds, art, and theater performances, and experience firsthand what Mexico City is all about at the many markets.
The Vive Latino Festival is a must-see if you’re here in March. It’s a three-day event focusing on Latin American music. Good vibes are of utmost importance! You’ll watch the best and most famous Latin American artists live and dance for days!
Before we get to our top sights, here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Mexico City is home to the most museums in America and the second-most in the world? Well, we certainly didn’t think so! There are more than 150 museums to choose from. Isn’t that incredible?
The Top Places of Interest in Mexico City
The list of the best sights in Mexico City is endless, and you can see and experience so many things. However, we limited our selection to eight places, as an overview for your trip.
Frida Kahlo Museum
Frida Kahlo was one of the most important Mexican artists and a representative of Surrealism. In this museum, you won’t just admire her works, but also see her birthplace. The exhibitions are multilingual, so you don’t need to know any Spanish. Because of the cobalt-blue walls of the house, locals also call it La Casa Azul (or the Blue House).
We highly recommend booking tickets in advance because the museum is quite popular and busy. There’s still a chance you’ll have to wait a little longer, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re already in Mexico City, you can’t miss this museum!
Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
This is a seventeenth-century Roman Catholic church that also serves as the national Catholic Shrine of Mexico. Due to various misfortunes, the basilica was severely damaged. A larger one was created close to the first sanctuary, beginning in 1974. There are up to 10,000 seats available, and it has a total capacity of 40, 000 people. Every year, millions of pilgrims meet here, making it one of the top destinations for Christian pilgrimages.
Plaza de la Constitución aka the Zócalo
This central square is one of the world’s most famous city squares. The reason for this is that, on the one hand, it’s in a central location, and on the other hand, it’s surrounded by other prominent buildings. Here you’ll find the seat of the Mexican government, the Palacio Nacional. Furthermore, you can also visit the largest cathedral in the country, theCatedral Metropolitana, which we will discuss below. And last but not least, the city hall, Palacio Municipal, is also located here.
So, if you happen to be in this plaza, you’ll not only be surrounded by people and feel the pulse of the city, but you’ll also have the chance to see many major buildings. It’s the square of Mexico!
Mexico City Cathedral
We need to go over the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de Mara de la Ciudad de México in greater detail again, since it’s simply too important and beautiful to not be mentioned separately.
It’s the country’s largest cathedral, as we have already stated. But it’s also the oldest. Construction started in 1573, and the Gothic church buildings in Spain served as inspiration. Despite the large amounts of destruction caused by fires and floods, the interior will leave you speechless, as a lot of the magnificent façade and fascinating paintings are still present.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
This is one of Mexico’s most significant cultural buildings. So significant, in fact, that the UNESCO declared it a Monument of Art in 1987. It’s made up of several halls and museums dedicated to theater, dance, music, opera, and visual arts. Literature and architecture both have a presence here as well. Don’t just marvel at the exhibits, though – the building itself is also a sight to behold. With its large golden dome and imposing façade, it’s a real eye-catcher.
Monumento a la Revolución
In English, this landmark’s name is “Monument to the Revolution.” It was built in the 1930s and, as the name suggests, commemorates the Mexican Revolution and its contributors. The monument has an impressive height of 65 meters.
On each of the four pillars, on which there is a dome, there are four different figures which represent different legislation in Mexico – the Independence, the Reform Laws, the Agrarian Laws, and lastly, the Labor Laws.
Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán
This attraction lies outside of Mexico City. Nevertheless, we recommend taking the 50-kilometer road trip because the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán is one of Mexico’s oldest and most precious sights. It’s no surprise that it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
With a base area of around 225 × 225 meters and a height of 63 meters, it’s the world’s third largest pryamid! A lot of research and analysis is being done in this area in order to uncover the many mysteries surrounding this place, even to this day. What we know for certain, though, is that people settled in Teotihuacán as early as 1500 BC and that this place has been used to honor the deities since 1320 BC. So, when you’re here, be very respectful.
El Ángel de la Independencia
You’ve probably already seen El Ángel de la Independencia in pictures or on television. It’s one of Mexico’s most famous landmarks. This angel statue is located in a roundabout on the major road, Paseo de la Reforma.
In total, it measures 45 meters, with the statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, standing over 6 meters tall and weighing an incredible seven tons! She has a chain in her hand, which is a symbol of freedom. It’s worth taking a look at El Ángel, as there are many more interesting details to discover.
La Ciudad de México has a lot to offer – delicious and spicy cuisine, great live music, events, and a very pleasant climate are what you can expect when you come here. But these aren’t the only reasons to visit. There’s plenty to see and do in the capital. From the many museums to the breathtakingly beautiful buildings, you’ll find everything here. But above all, the historical aspects are what make us love it so much. What about you? If you would like to see all that Mexico City has to offer, then start packing your bags! What are you waiting for?