Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. Spanish conquistadors founded Mexico city in 1521, and it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban settlements in the Western Hemisphere. It’s ranked as one of the world most populous metropolitan areas. The capitals population constitutes for approximately one-fifth of the country’s population. The city itself lies in the inland basin called Valley of Mexico, or Mesa Central.
The airport closes to Mexico City is Mexico City International Airport (MEXA), located approximately 11 km from the center of the city. Here is further information about the airport and ground transportation.
Centro Historico – Zocalo
Don’t miss your chance to visit the city’s main square, the second largest in the world. The past and present blend together in the historic center of Mexico When the conquerors arrived in Tenochtitlan in the 16th century, the conquerors destroyed the Aztec empire built on Lake Texcoco. They constructed the “city of palaces” over the ruins, which is where the city center is today. Today many main attractions are close by the Zocalo, one of which includes the Palacio Nacional, home to the president’s offices. Don’t miss the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is home to the works of the most celebrated Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, and Jose Clemente Orzco.
In the southern part of Mexico City, a network of canals weaves through a series of man-made islands. Xochimilco means “where the flowers grow” which was appropriately named after the chinampas, or floating gardens. If you’re lucky you might visit when the trajineras, brightly colored flat-bottom boats, are carrying passengers through the canals.
This UNESCO Heritage Site is located 45 minutes north of Mexico City. Take a day trip to visit the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Many say this is an example of urbanization and city planning that guided the successive cultures.
Art & Museums
Mexico City is home to more than 150 museums and galleries. One of the most well known is the Soumaya Museum. This is home to more than 66,000 works that span over 3,000 years. Amongst their collections you will find works from pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, 19 – 20th century Mexican art, and works by European masters, such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Vincent Van Gogh.
Bosque de Chapultepec
Chapultepec is Mexico City’s largest park, and home to many of the city’s most historical sites. The Monument of Young Heroes will greet you as you enter the garden. Inside you will find the National History Museum, botanical gardens, modern art museum, Tamayo Museum, and the National Museum of Anthropology.
Cocoacan is a neighborhood home to vibrant cobblestone streets, colonial churches, and bustling markets. The main plana, Jardin Centenario, showcases a fountain honoring the coyote. The coyote is the animal that gave Coyoacan, the place of coyotes, its name. A 15-minute walk from the plaza will lead you to the Casa Azul, the former home of Frida Kahlo, which has since been converted into a museum.
Templo Mayor Museum
Beneath Mexico City lies the ruins of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The center of the capital was Templo Mayor. This religious site was discovered under the Metropolitan Cathedral, and excavated by archaeologists in the 1970’s. The museum is home to many of the artifacts that were found. The museum also allows visitors to view pyramids, ceremonial platforms, and the main temples.
Templo Mayor: Historic Center
Teotihuacan: Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon