Mexico City is one of the largest metropolitan centres in the world and it is the oldest capital city in the Americas. Home to 9-million inhabitants (26 million in the greater region), Mexico City is also the largest Spanish speaking city in the world!
Containing over 300 neighbourhoods and 16 different boroughs, Mexico City can be quite overwhelming at first. However, many of the main sites are located in the historic centre – making Mexico City a little bit easier to navigate.
Home to a cheap and extensive metro system (introduced in 1969), Mexico City can be efficiently explored via subway – linking travellers to every area of the city. Furthermore, in recent years Mexico City has phased out the use of diesel buses and a new modern rapid transit bus has been implemented into the city.
Or, you can simply choose the tried and true method of walking amongst thousands of people!
There is just so much to see in Mexico’s capital and I’ll try to outline a few of the main highlights throughout the city:
Built over the main Aztec ruins after the Spanish conquest in 1521, this impressive Cathedral stands out amongst the many incredible buildings throughout Mexico City!
Palacio de Bellas Artes:
Finished in the 1930s, the Palace is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular sites in the city and it contains epic murals from some of Mexico’s most notable artists. It costs $49 pesos to enter (about $3.50 cdn)
National Museum of Anthropology:
The largest and most visited museum in Mexico contains a staggering number of archaeological and anthropological artifacts and will consume 3-6 hours of your time. It costs $64 pesos ($4.5 cdn) to enter.
Some exhibits include:
Containing a wide range of history: pre-Columbian civilizations, former Mexican territory in the United States, Native American history in Mexico since the Spanish conquest; the Anthropology Museum is an absolute must visit!
Eclipsed only in popularity by soccer, Mexican free-style wrestling is a spectacle that needs to be seen! Taking place in the Arena Mexico, thousands of screaming fans will settle in to watch a number of wrestlers put on a show for the crowd. The main wrestling match takes place every Friday evening and tickets can be purchased at the door for $75-350 pesos ($5-50 cdn).
The famous pyramids, located about an hour from Mexico City, are another definite ‘must-see’. I elaborate more in my post here: Teotihuacan, Mexico
Originally built on an island of Lake Texoco by the Aztecs in 1325, the name Mexico City did not come to existence until 1585. As the population continued to expand, the city decided to drain and pave over Lake Texoco in the 1600s.
However, since the lakebed is clay, Mexico City continues to sink to this day. In fact, since the start of the 20th century, the city has sunk more than 30-feet in some areas! Crazy!
Once considered one of the most polluted cities in the world, Mexico City has dramatically improved to achieve 2016 rates comparable to Los Angeles! There is plenty of green space present throughout the city and cars now require strict emission controls, making Mexico City far less polluted than one would imagine.
While home to all of the standard Mexican food staples, Mexico City is becoming known for its culinary prowess as well. One can find just about any food they could possibly want for prices much more reasonable than in other major cities throughout the world.
Although, if you really want to get by on the cheap, stick to the delicious options that can be found all throughout the country!
Or, try to subside on a diet of sweets as there is a never ending supply in the Mexico City markets!
In conclusion, I found Mexico City to be a thrilling city that one could explore for weeks… and still not see it all! On top of visiting all of the main sites and museums, Mexico City is an awesome place to walk around because there are different things at every corner.
Without a doubt, Mexico City can be put in the same category as other major cities around the world. It’s safe, modern and thriving – so forget any negative misconceptions you may have had, and get to this booming capital city!
Hasta pronto !