¡Bienvenido a Mexico!
The large sprawling area of Mexico City is a relatively unique place in North America. Mexico City was once known as Tenochtitlan, in the pre-Spanish era, and is the oldest capital city in North America. The city spans across 16 boroughs with over 8.5 million residents. Sitting in the Valley of Mexico, this old city was founded by natives and was the financial seat of Spanish colonization in the new world. Now it is there for you to discover.
Tourists flock to Mexico in droves, whether spending time near border towns or heading south to enjoy Mexico’s beautiful beaches. A worldwide local knows that Mexico City is just as fun and amazing as sipping margaritas on the beach. Mexico City has a rich and fascinating history with so much to discover. This can make it overwhelming deciding what to see and do. This guide will help you get started.
Where to Begin Your Mexico City Experience
Start your journey in the historic center of Mexico City. The main plaza is where the Spanish began to build modern Mexico City. It is also where the center of the old Aztec city Tenochtitlan once was. The plaza is huge-- it stretches far out in either direction and contains notable landmarks. Modern structures like the National Palace and the Mexico City Cathedral are here. In addition, Aztec ruins like the Templo Mayor can also be found in the area.
Worldwide Local Tip: For the traveler on a budget, it should be noted that most of these iconic landmarks can be viewed for free from the outside. Bring some good walking shoes, as the historic district is quite expansive.
Mexico City is one of the largest cities on the continent, so getting around to see it all might be a daunting task. Don’t worry, because transportation is cheap. Using the metro to get around town is probably your best option from any of the Mexico City hotels, and can be a learning experience too. Several stations display pre-Columbian artifacts that were dug up during the construction of the metro. For those who do not speak Spanish, metro stations are differentiated by the use of icons. The system has some of the lowest fares in the world, with a ride costing only about USD 0.25 cents.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Mexico City weather is fantastic all year round. If you want to feel the wind blow through your hair and tour the city, consider getting a Turibus pass. They stop at landmarks around the city, run from 9 am to 9 pm, and only cost around USD 7.00 dollars for the day.
Zona Rosa: A Must-Visit Neighborhood
Now that you’re acquainted with Mexico City’s transport system, visit the Zona Rosa. Locals know that this part of town is home to quaint cafes, the most bohemian and best restaurants in Mexico City, and some of the best nightlife. Zona Rosa is also the spiritual home of Mexico City’s LGBT community. If clubbing is not your thing, check out Pequeño Seul (Little Seoul). Perhaps one of Mexico City’s most surprising areas, this district is home to over 1000 Koreans, offering a cultural mashup unlike any other. Locals know that a pub crawl or foodie tour in this neighborhood can be one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
Worldwide Local Tip: Some streets around here may have some low-level crime, such as drug dealing or prostitution, especially later at night. Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially around the busier areas.
Mexico City After Dark
Any worldwide local knows that a trip to somewhere new isn’t complete without a little lesson in culture. If you’re looking for a wild time in Mexico City, you’re in luck--the nightlife here is some of the best in the country, so hit the dancefloor at Mama Rumba and learn to salsa. Mama Rumba is a local favorite and is very open to international guests. Seasoned salsa professionals offer dance lessons for the less experienced, and best of all--it’s free with entry.
Worldwide Local Tip: Although the dancing is free at Mama Rumba, food and drinks tend to be on the pricey side. If you enjoy your dance experience, support Mama Rumba by buying a drink or two.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Mexico City’s spicy blend of European flair and Aztec heritage make it a truly memorable place to visit. Explore the city like a worldwide local and discover its rich traditions, exciting nightlife, and friendly neighborhoods.