There is just no shortage of things to do in Mexico City. The range of different architecture in the city is impressive and exciting not knowing what kind of building you will see next. When planning my trip, I had zero knowledge of what there was and once I started researching, the list grew so long I knew I wouldn’t be seeing everything. I’ve been told that you need at least 1 week to even get through half the things there are to do and they were right! Even after 4 days, I had not even brushed the surface of this dynamic and great city. Here are just 8 things that you can do in Mexico city.
The Zocalo is the main square in Mexico City and right in the middle is a giant Mexican flag which is raised and taken down every day. When it is raised and taken down by military personnel, it is accompanied with a brass and percussion band. This square is bordered by the cathedral, presidential palace and city Government offices. Often, this square also has festivals and markets. It’s such a big square and if you can find one of the surrounding cafe/bars, you can have a whole view of the square.
2. Chapultepec Park and Castle
Chapultepec Park is a short metro ride away from Mexico City. Immediately, you will notice how many families and kids are passing their time in this lovely park. There are stalls selling snacks and small good lining the paths. The site of Chapultepec Castle was a sacred space for the Aztecs and the castle built ontop has served as a gun powder store, meteorology centre and residence of previous Emperors- now it is the National Museum of History.
The park is a great place for a run, picnic or Sunday stroll and is definitely a great green space if you feel like a scenery change.
3. Museum of Anthropology
Also located in Chapultepec Park, is the Museum of Anthropology. It is the largest and most visited Museum in Mexico. Over 2 stories, the museum follows the history of Mexico and houses archeological and anthropological artefacts. This museum is HUGE! I was in there for 2.5 hours and had only seen the bottom level of the museum. I like the chronological order that the museum is presented in and it is nicely spaced. It also has a great gift shop for all the Sun Stone souvenirs you could want.
4. Palacio de Bellas Artes
The beautiful Palacio is unlike any building I’ve seen. If you’re after a dance performance, this will be the venue where you will see it. There is free entry into the foyer if you want to have a look at the grand interiors. Personally, I think the exterior is more impressive. If you’re there during the day, why not stroll into the park alongside the Palacio. Alameda Central is bustling at any time of the day. Street performers, playground equipment and water fountains means there’s something for anyone. When I was there, there was a huge book fair which I enjoyed browsing to see if there were any spanish books for my (beginner) level of Spanish.
5. Free walking tour
With many starting outside the Cathedral at the Zocolo, the free walking tour was great to see the sites and walk the streets with information. We got to see where all the main sites were, which was VERY helpful as some of these museums are on smaller streets. We walked the streets of stores selling quinceanera dresses (coming of age 15 year old party) and then suits. So organised! On this tour, we were taken to the Palacio de Correros de Mexico- the most beautiful post office you will ever see. Gold plated and a mish-mash of architectural styles, it will leave you in awe.
6. Casa de los Azulejos
If you’re walking from Zocalo to Bellas Artes, you will probably notice the House of Tiles (covered in actual tiles from Puebla). Formally a private residence, it is now a Sanborns restaurant. The interiors are just as grand as the exterior. Our group ended up eating here and I found the food and service really good.
7. Frida Kahlo Museum
One of the famous Mexican artists, Frida’s old residence is now a museum. Make sure you book tickets in advance! Tickets are timed and are in hot demand. Being her old residence, this museum is on a quiet street in the very nice suburb of Coyoacán. The area is very hip, green and young. When you arrive, you will have to line up (even with your prebooked ticket) although the staff will call out for people with certain tickets. Inside, the house is not that big when taking into account how many tourists there are and it was cramped. The museum is one way and you just had to look and move on due to the lack of space. I like the ‘feel’ that the museum gives off- authentic and some air of Frida. I didn’t find her whole life story there but enjoyed snippets of what was presented. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures as you need to pay extra for this and I was also quite sick.
8. Tacos, churros and mezcal
A trip to Mexico city is not complete without eating! Here, there are plenty of places to choose from for Tacos which are filling and delicious. The most highly rated and popular churros place is El Moro. You will need to wait if you want to dine in but luckily, you can also take away your churros and hot chocolate. I tried out a mezcal tasting session as well (mezcal’s newest fan) and tried for the first time (sadly) chapulines (grasshoppers)! Can I say, why aren’t chapulines more popular! Salty and topped with lime flavours, I quickly fell in love with the combo of mezcal and chapulines!
Gosh, still so many more things to do and see- stay tuned for my next Mexico City related post to come!