Mexico City is an exciting mix of distinct neighbourhoods, growing adjacent to museums and cultural landmarks that dot the city. Each area offers a completely unique experience of Mexico City. If you have time, try to stay in a few different areas - it’s like staying in different cities.
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Everything you Need to Know
Food & Drink
There’s definitely no shortage of places to eat around the city! From Michellin Star restaurants to cheap and cheerful street food, you’ll find yourself eating continuously just to try it all. Some of the best food we found was on the streets - look for locals queuing up, it’s a sure sign of good food! There are endless bars and speakeasies to discover, so ask around for the best in your neighbourhood.
Despite the coffee-to-go pace, the people of CDMX always seem to have time to make you feel welcome. Whether it’s smiling as you use your broken Spanish, or offering directions to the Museo Nacional de la Estampa. You’ll undoubtedly be told “be careful, stay safe” by family and friends, but experiencing Mexico City will definitely keep you questioning how you can possibly be in the same place that you’ve heard about in the media. Be sensible, use common sense, and you’ll be fine.
Things to Do
There’s loads to do in and around Mexico City. There are enough museums and galleries to keep you entertained for days. Walk through Alameda Park and you’ll find yourself staring up in awe at the stunning Palacio de Bellas Artes. Across the road behind this you’ll enter the city’s Historic Centre with museums on every corner.
Incredible architecture lines the streets and will leave you wandering and snapping photos all day long. Visit Frida Kahlo’s house, go shopping or take a food tour of the city. Explore one of the city’s many museums by night (they stay open late on Wednesdays).
Take a day trip to the nearby Mayan ruins of Teotihuacán, or even to the quaint town of San Miguel de Allende just north of CDMX.
Looking out onto Alameda Central it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of Mexico City. It’s closer in ambience and design to a green space in Paris or New York. Recently renovated, Latin America’s oldest public park now boasts marble walkways and is beautifully decorated with fountains and monuments. It’s the perfect place for friends to go roller-skating and couples to enjoy ice-creams in the sun.
Alameda Central is located in downtown Mexico City and neighbours the city’s historic centre. Everything you need from high street shops and quaint cafés to historical buildings and art museums are no more than a stones throw away. Despite it’s central location, the artwork studded park is pleasantly tranquil and safe, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of this outdoor museum at any time of day or night.
But Alameda Central wasn’t always the tranquil oasis it is today. Dating back to 1529 this was the first green space of it’s kind. Alameda has been home to a bustling marketplace during the Aztec period, an execution area during the Spanish Inquisition, and a space exclusively for use by the noble. The park was eventually opened for public celebrations following Mexican Independence in 1821. Alameda Central is certainly rich in history.
Where to Eat
There’s an adorable French-style panatería beside the entrance to Barrio Alameda, with amazing hot chocolate and pan o chocolait. Walk 5 minutes further and you’ll find Teikit Sushi, where you can get 2-4-1 sushi everyday after 6pm. The volcano maki is definitely worth a try!
Where to Stay
In the northern part of the city is an area that the rich and famous call home. Polanco – a place to see and be seen. Polanco offers the very best in upscale shops and dining, while maintaining a blend of European and Mexican style and aesthetic with local hospitality. Around Polanco many of the winding roads are accompanied by large palms offering shade from the midday sun. The roads seem to diverge in any and all directions, leading to roundabouts that open passageways to more alluring streets. You’ll find cafes and international cuisine, and outdoor dining on patios and in courtyards. It’s a place to get lost, both literally and figuratively.
In Polanco, shopping is a favourite pass time. Nearly every major high end fashion label resides here. If you had been blind folded and dropped on any corner of Avenida Presidente Masaryk, you’d swear you were on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. That said, with all the luxury that is abound, there is quite a bit for us common folk to indulge in. You’re within easy walking distance to everything. It’s the perfect place for a lazy day, complete with late brunch and an afternoon ice cream on a park bench. If you’re there on the weekend, chill out and watch the local children race their radio controlled toy boats in the park.
Despite Polanco’s higher than usual price tag, it’s well worth a visit. Polanco smashes stereotypes of under development. There are certainly issues with access and wealth inequality across Mexico City, but visiting Polanco can be an eye opening and indeed humbling experience. It certainly corrects the largely negative media portrayal of Mexico’s capital, and of the country as a whole.
Where to Eat
Polanco is home to some of the finest restaurants in México, Latin America and the world. With world renowned restaurants such as Pujol, Quintonil, and Biko, you can really treat yourself to a fine culinary experience.
But don’t panic, it’s not all wine and dine. There are some delicious and more affordable options such as El Farolito, serving everything from tacos, tortas and chiliquiles – this is a clear favourite among locals. And there’s no shortage of artisanal bakeries and fresh fruit stands either, with picture perfect produce that will make your mouth water.