Mexico City Things to Do Tips by acemj Top 5 Page for this destination
Mexico City Things to Do: 786 reviews and 1,271 photos
The Palacio de las Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) building is one of the most impressive in Mexico City. It is the architectural achievement of an Italian, Adamo Boari and was designed in the distinctive Art Nouveau style in 1901. The grounds in front of it are impressive and its easy to reach on foot if you're staying in the historic center or by Metro (the Bellas Artes stop is literally underneath the building). The white marble was brought in from Italy and the building took over 30 years to complete finally opening in 1934. You can enter the main level for free and get an idea of the architecture, however its worth visiting the 2nd level (first floor here in Mexico) which houses the Museo del Palacio de las Bellas Artes and which contains amazing murals by Rufino Tamayo. On the next level up, you'll find the National Architecture Museum, although I didn't make it up that far.
Address: Avenida Juárez and Eje Lázaro Cárdenas
Phone: 55 12 14 10 ext 245
Mexican flag in the Zocalo
Here are a few more things that I did that will only take a few minutes out of your schedule:
Check out the raising and lowering of flag in Zocalo that happens everyday at around 6pm.
Check out the magnificent lobby of the Gran Hotel on Avenida 16 de Septiembre just off of the Zocalo.
Take a quick look at San Hipolito Church just off of the northwest corner of the Alameda at the corner of Reforma and Puente de Alvarado. It dates to 1602 and was founded by the Spanish
Check out the modern building across from Alameda on the southern edge.
San Angel is a very charming neighborhood near Coyoacan. It's very exclusive and expensive to live here and this is obvious when you do a little window shopping in the upmarket shops in the area. Adriana and I explored some of them and while it was fun to look, the prices were pretty outrageous. We enjoyed a couple drinks at the Cantina de San Angel overlooking the main square and then explored the neighborhood on foot. The colonial, cobblestone streets and flowers hanging from balconies give the place a great atmoshere. We visited the Antiguo Convento de San Angel, which is located behind the main square and is a wonderfully peaceful place and a popular place for wedding ceremonies.
Directions: Southwest of the historic center and west of Coyoacan
Laura in Plaza Central in front of the church
Coyoacan is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City. VTer Laura_Mexico (Laura) first introduced me to it by giving me a tour on a Saturday afternoon. The weekend is really the best time to visit Coyoacan because there is a great market that takes place in the main square surrounding the Jardin del Centenario a nicely manicured garden. You'll find all kinds of handicrafts and interesting things you'll probably want to buy, so bring some cash. Adjacent to the garden, you'll find Plaza Hidalgo which is also busy with people enjoying the weekend in front of the beautiful Iglesia de San Juan Bautista(pictured here). You have to visit the interior of this church which is really quite impressive. It's also worth strolling down a few blocks to the Capilla de la Concepcion, a tiny chapel where, on the night that we visited, a Quince Anos celebration was taking place.
I also visited again with my friend Adriana a couple nights later. The area has a very different feel at night with lots of cool looking restaurants in beautiful old Colonial style homes. We had a few drinks at El Hijo de Cuervo which is one of the more popular bars in Coyoacan.
Coyoacan is also home to the Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky museums and many great little shops and restaurants.
Address: Metro Coyoacan
In addition to the Anthropology Museum, there are many more sights to see at Chapultepec Park. This is an enormous public park that includes lakes, monuments, sporting fields, vendors, and vast green spaces for pleasant relaxation. The city's main zoo is located here along with the Modern Art Museum and the Rufino Tamayo Museum. You'll also find the Natural History Museum and technology museum and a children's museum as well as Maximillion's castle on top of Chapultepec Hill and the impressive Ninos Heroes monument that sits below it.
Directions: Chapultepec Metro
If you were only going to see two or three main things in Mexico City, I'd recommend including the National Anthropology Museum on your shortlist. Simply put, it's one of the greatest museums in the world and I'm not even an anthropology buff. The exhibits are really beautifully presented and educational and I found myself thinking about the fact that not all of the great art and artefacts in the world are found in Europe. I only spent about three hours here, but if you're a hardcore anthropology enthusiast, this place merits a two day visit.
I paid 38 pesos to visit the permanent exhibits which are accessed by entering the glass doors behind the ticket area in the entrance lobby and entering the large central courtyard, which is dominated by an interesting column that also acts as a fountain of sorts (click on the picture to see it). The temporary exhibit when I was there was of Medieval Spanish artefacts which I found interesting so it was worth the 30 pesos admission fee. I also paid 60 pesos for an audio guide, which I enjoyed because it was brief and easy to skip around to the exhibits that I was most interested in learning about. Be sure to look for the green numbered stickers around the museum identifying the items highlighted on the audio tour.
The museum is organized by separate rooms dedicated to periods in its history and individual cultures. For some of the highlights that I enjoyed check out my travelogue, "Highlights of the Anthropology Museum".
Address: Paseo de la Reforma and calzada Gandhi, in coloni
Directions: Chapultepec or Auditorio Metro stations
This is the only picture I have of Polanco. It's the Vips restaurant, which is the equivalent of the Denny's chain in the States. I was only here at night, so taking pictures wasn't my biggest priority. Sorry!
Polanco is definitely a ritzy, high-priced neighborhood. You'll find fancy boutiques, high-end car dealerships and the city's best dining options here. I walked mostly on the long street, Presidente Masaryk where you'll find anything from Argentine food to Sushi and you'll probably come across many upper class locals enjoying a meal or shopping along this street.
The Zona Rosa was once one of the most happening areas for dining and nightlife, but according to most of the locals I spoke with it's more known as a "gay-borhood" nowadays. There are still some nice restaurants and clubs in the area, but the area seems more geared toward tourists than some of the other more authentic-feeling neighborhoods like Coyoacan and Polanco (great dining there!). Overall, however, Zona Rosa is still worth a look for some good shops and dining.
The Paseo de la Reforma is Mexico City's grandest avenue and it was obviously modelled after the grand boulevards of Europe. Along the street, you'll find stately buildings, palaces and monuments. After visiting a museum one morning I attempted to walk all the way back from Chapultepec Park to the historic center along Reforma, but I didn't quite make it the whole way. It's a long street! Click on the picture to see some of the monuments along the way.
From the Alameda, if you continue on Juarez beyond the intersection with the Paseo de la Reforma, you'll see the large Monument of the Revolution in the Plaza de la Republica. The monument was originally intended to be a parliamentary building, but the constructions was interrupted by the Revolution and they ended up turning into the monument you see today. Some heroes of the Revolution are buried beneath it, including the famous Pancho Villa and a few Mexican presidents.
There is a museum dedicated to the Revolution beneath the monument, but I didn't visit.
Address: Plaza de la Republica
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