TOP 10 Things to do in MEXICO CITY - [2023 Travel Guide]
Welcome to our ultimate travel guide on the top 10 things to do in Mexico City! Discover the vibrant capital of Mexico and immerse yourself in its rich culture, history, and breathtaking attractions. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Mexico City offers a plethora of activities and experiences that will leave you in awe. Join us on this virtual journey as we explore the must-visit destinations and hidden gems that make Mexico City a truly unforgettable destination.
In this post , we'll show you ten best things to do in Mexico City. The suggestions are based on our fun trip to this unique historic metropolis. Sponsored by Beeyond compression packing cubes for travel. The link is in the description. Don't forget to like this post , subscribe to our channel, and enable notifications. And share your own Mexico City experience or ask a question in the comments below. And stick around until the end of this post because we have a bonus for you. Here are our top 10 picks.
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NUMBER 10: Plaza del Zócalo Officially called Plaza de la Constitución and nicknamed Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square has been a meeting place for Mexicans since the Aztec times. People gather there for ceremonies, royal proclamations, military parades, and even national protests. The site was the main ceremonial center in the pre-Columbian Mexico City called Tenochtitlan. This large and well-developed city-state was built on the island of Lake Texcoco together with another city - Tlatelolco. According to Aztec mythology, it was considered the center of the universe. The nickname Zócalo means "pedestal" or "plinth." A monument to the Mexican independence was planned to be built here but only the base to support the statue called Zócalo was built. The plinth is no longer there, but the name has lived on. You won’t, however, be able to miss a giant Mexican flag placed in the center of the square. Zócalo is home to several important buildings, including the National Palace, the seat of the Mexican government, and the largest Cathedral in Latin America – Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, built in segments from 1573 to 1813 around the original church built atop the former Aztec Templo Mayor. While you're in the area, watch Aztec dancers next to the Cathedral that uses inspiration from ancient rituals and traditional dance just outside the cathedral.
NUMBER 9: Templo Mayor Located right next to Zócalo, Templo Mayor or Greater Temple is a vast complex of ruins of religious and civic buildings from the Aztec times. Templo Mayor was the main Temple of the rulers of the Aztec Empire – the Mexica people in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, or what is today known as Mexico City. According to Aztec mythology, the Aztec God of Sun and War Huitzilopochtli ordered his people to establish a new capital in a place where an eagle sits on a cactus, devouring a snake. The seal of the Mexican government represents this legend from Aztec mythology. That legendary location turned out to be a place covered by wetlands. The Temple was built on an island in the 14th century and was destroyed after the Spanish Conquests in the 16th century. The ruins of the temple's exact location was later forgotten, and the excavations was carried out at the end of the 19th century and some parts even in the late 20th century. Visit Templo Mayor Museum, a part of UNESCO World Heritage that showcases archaeological finds and exhibits related to the Aztec civilization. Or if you don’t have time, see the temple from the street above. Don’t skip a disturbing Skull Rack displaying hundreds of stone skulls representing the sacrificial victims to honor the gods and the power of the empire.
NUMBER 8: Xochimilco Xochimilco was the most important city of the Xochimilca people, who first settled in around 900 BC up until it was conquered by the Mexica of Tenochtitlan in the 15th century. Xochimilco is best known for a vast system of around 170 kilometers or 110 mi. of canals, famous for its colorful gondola-like boats called trajineras. Canals of Xochimilco are one of the last traces of a vast water transport system built by the Aztecs. These canals were a part of a massive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements in the Valley of Mexico. Both canals and the chinampa system of Xochimilco are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The name Xochimilco means "flower field” and describes flowers and other crops grown here. The vegetables, fruits, and flowers were shipped to Tenochtitlan via the canal.
NUMBER 7: Street Food Mexico City's culinary scene offers a wide variety of food options, from affordable street food or antojitos (street snacks or appetizers) to gourmet international and local restaurants. Experience Mexican life through a variety of street food. Try some of the following options: tacos, quesadillas, tamales, chicharrón, machetes, delicious churros, or elotes - a, Mexican street corn topped with mayonnaise, chili powder and others. And if you are up to a challenge, even chapulines or grasshoppers. Don’t skip several important food and artisan markets spread throughout Mexico City, like Mercado de Coyoacán, etc.
NUMBER 6: Torre Latinoamericana Torre Latinoamericana or Latin American Tower, completed in 1956, is a skyscraper in the historic city center of Mexico City. This 166 m or 545 ft high building is one of the city's important architectural attractions was the tallest structure in Mexico until it was surpassed by Torre Ejecutiva Pemex. It is the world's first major skyscraper successfully built on a highly active seismic zone. Torre Latinoamericana survived the 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City in 1985. Other buildings in downtown were severely damaged. The tower's observation area Mirador Torre Latino offers some of the best panoramic views of Mexico City. Don’t forget to explore Madero Street right below Torre Latinoamericana, a popular and crowded pedestrian area featuring bars, shops, and other attractions. Check our Mexico City 4K walking tour with closed captions to get the full experience. The link is in the description https://amzn.to/3WVsSvh
NUMBER 5: Coyoacán Coyoacán is a bohemian neighborhood located south of the city center. Covered with cobblestone streets and known for its colonial architecture, the name actually derives from the Aztec language, meaning "place of coyotes." The area was used as a headquarters during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Coyoacán was the first capital of New Spain. The areas offers many activities and attractions, such as: La Casa Azul, a historic house and an art museum where Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born and later lived with her husband, Diego Rivera. Mercado de Coyoacán: a traditional market famous for its colors and folklore, selling everything from clothing, plants to various food options and more. Plaza Hidalgo and Jardín Centenario full of colonial landmarks, bars, restaurants, Fuente de los Coyotes, Parroquia San Juan Bautista, beautiful Tranvía Coyoacán and other attractions. Or Plaza de la Conchita with the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception Church, the oldest church in Mexico. There are many other exciting neighborhoods and streets worth exploring, like Barrio China, Zona Rosa, etc. Check our travel guide for more suggestions. By the way, our mobile-friendly travel guide covers the top 20 things to do in Mexico City and things to know before you visit, including opening hours, links to buy tickets, itinerary suggestions, maps, and other information. By purchasing our travel guide, you are also helping us sustain this channel, so a big thank you for that!
NUMBER 4: Bosque de Chapultepec The Chapultepec Forest is one of the oldest urban parks in the world and one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. Chapultepec functions as the lungs providing oxygen to the Mexico Valley. In the pre-Columbian era, the forest was also a popular retreat for Aztec rulers. The most popular section of Chapultepec is home to popular attractions and activities, including the Museum of Anthropology, botanic garden, a zoo, and an artificial lake. Here, you can rent a boat and enjoy the escape from the busy city streets. There are two other lakes in the second section of the park. Don't skip Chapultepec Castle or The National Museum of History, built in the colonial period. The castle official residence of Mexican heads of state until 1940. It is located at the top of Chapultepec Hill, with amazing views towards Paseo de la Reforma and the rest of the city. Chapultepec served as an important water management system in the pre-Columbian era, featuring an Aztec-built ancient aqueduct. Did you know that the name Chapultepec derives from the Aztec language and translates as Hill of the Grasshopper. Check our travel guide for more beautiful parks suggestions, like an impressive Alameda Central right next to the Palace of the Fine Arts.
NUMBER 3: Museum of Anthropology National Museum of Anthropology is the most visited museum in Mexico, offering the world's most extensive collection of ancient Mexican art, important archaeological and anthropological objects from Mexico's pre-Columbian heritage, like the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) created in the 16th century. You can walk around the 23 permanent exhibit halls representing the colors and materials related to Teotihuacan, Olmeca, and Maya cultures. Don’t skip the stunning outdoor part of the museum. The building was designed by the architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, who also designed other important buildings in Mexico City, like Basilica de Guadalupe or Estadio Azteca. There are many other fascinating museums in Mexico City. Don't skip Voladores De Papantla or Flying Men – an ancient Mesoamerican ritual to ask God to end a severe drought in Tamayo Park close to the museum. This video is sponsored by Beeyond, helping you save space when you travel and organize your suitcase. A revolutionary new way to organize your luggage consists of a set of small and large packing cubes. Once you're done packing, just close both zippers, compress the air out of your packing cubes like this, and voila, your clothes are compressed, and your luggage is organized. We use Beeyond packing cubes on our travels, and they are even designed to fit your carry-on. Visit Beeyond's Amazon page to get your own compression packing cube set. The link is in the description https://amzn.to/3WVsSvh
NUMBER 2: Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church, basilica, and National shrine of Mexico and one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Catholicism. The present church was constructed on an earlier 16th-century church finished in 1709 due to its dangerous sinking foundation, the Old Basilica. The new basilica houses the cloak containing the images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most important symbols of Mexican faith, based on a series of Marian apparitions in 1531. The basilica is visited by millions of people every year, making it the most visited Catholic shrine in the world. Don't skip the impressive and stunningly landscaped Sagrado Recinto del Tepeyac Garden and explore other impressive sites.
NUMBER 1: Teotihuacán Located about an hour drive from Mexico City, Teotihuacan is a must-see. This ancient Mesoamerican city was probably established around 100 BC, long before the arrival of the Aztecs and its origins are still unknown. Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century AD. It was supposed to be the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with an estimated population of at least 125,000. In the 8th century AD, the city was abandoned, probably because of the extreme weather events in the centuries before. Walk along the Avenue of the Dead and admire the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, apartment compounds, and vibrant murals. Secret tunnels were discovered under the pyramids of the Moon and Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Teotihuacan was a prosperous kingdom and traded with obsidian, used for tools, weapons, and other. Close to the pyramids, you can even experience how people turn volcanic stone into a piece of art, observe the sun, how to use the entire cactus and turn it into a sewing kit, or how they ingeniously colored the sewing thread and used interior parts of the cactus as paper. And here is the bonus that we promised: Don’t leave Mexico without experiencing Mariachi, a genre of regional Mexican music and a symbol of Mexican national identity. Mariachi music as we know it today originated in Jalisco in the 19th century. You can listen to mariachi in various places around Mexico City, like Plaza Garibaldi. Whether you want to follow the footsteps of the Aztecs, experience centuries-old traditions during Día de los Muertos, admire the place where Frida Kahlo lived, immerse yourself in delicious street food, or discover artisan and other markets, there is plenty to do in Mexico City.