Mexico City

Mexico City is the world's fifth largest city with over 21 million inhabitants. The city's pulsating energy is complemented by lush parks and lively plazas, making it an endlessly fascinating destination that caters to all types of travelers, from history buffs and art lovers to foodies and urban explorers.

Mexico City is a fascinating destination for travelers, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and modern urban life. Mexico City was originally built on the ruins of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán,

You’ll often hear Mexico City referred to as CDMX.  CDMX stands for “Ciudad de México,” which translates to “Mexico City” in English. This abbreviation became officially adopted as the city’s acronym in 2016. CDMX has become a symbol of the city’s cultural and economic significance, both within Mexico and internationally.

The city’s high altitude(7,382 feet/2000 meters)2,000 meters, as well as significant air pollution might affect some visitors. It’s advisable to allow time to acclimatize and stay hydrated.  Due to the high altitude the sun can be quite strong, so sunscreen is recommended even when temperatures are mild. Even in warm months the elevation can make the air feel cooler after sunset, it’s advisable to have layers or a light jacket

There are over 350 neighborhoods in the city (sometimes referred to as “colonias” in Spanish) to explore. Each varies greatly in character, atmosphere, and cultural offerings, ranging from historic centers and upscale residential areas to bustling marketplaces and bohemian enclaves. Each neighborhood contributes its unique flavor to the rich tapestry of the city making it one of the most diverse cities in the world.

The city boasts numerous museums and historic sites.  One of the most famous being the Museo Nacional de Antropología, showcasing vast collections of artifacts from Mexico’s ancient civilizations. The Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as Casa Azul, is another must-visit for art lovers. The Zócalo, the city’s main square in the Centro district, is home to the impressive Metropolitan Cathedral and the Palacio Nacional, which houses historic murals by Diego Rivera. Nearby, the ancient ruins of Templo Mayor offer a glimpse into the city’s pre-Hispanic past.

From street art to high culture, Mexico City is a haven for art enthusiasts. The Palacio de Bellas Artes hosts music, dance, theatre, and opera performances, while various galleries and art spaces around the city display contemporary art and installations.  It is also a paradise for food lovers, offering everything from street food to high-end dining. The city’s culinary scene is a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors with modern twists, and it’s renowned for its tacos, tamales, and local delicacies like chapulines (grasshoppers).

Amidst the urban landscape, the city has several green spaces. Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. It’s often referred to as Mexico City’s “lungs.” It is home to a zoo, several ponds, the modern art museum, Museo Tamayo and the Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec).  The castle is a significant historical and cultural landmark and holds the distinction of being the only royal castle in the Americas that was actually used as a residence for sovereigns.

The city offers a diverse shopping experience, from upscale boutiques and shopping malls to traditional markets like La Ciudadela, where you can find handmade crafts and souvenirs.  You can also find food markets throughout neighborhoods in the city.  One of the largest markets in Latin America is Mercado de La Merced in the Centro district. It is known for its extensive variety of fresh produce, meats, spices, and other goods.

The city is a great base for exploring nearby attractions.  Places such as the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán, the picturesque canals of Xochimilco, and the colonial beauty of cities like Puebla to the east and Cuernavaca to the south of the city.

Mexico City has often had a reputation as an unsafe city.  While it’s important to be aware of safety in any large city, we felt quite safe.  Safer than many US cities like New York City, Chicago, Seattle or Los Angeles.  Neighborhoods can vary and safety can vary widely, so it’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings.

English is mostly spoken in most tourist areas.  That being said, it can be difficult in some businesses only Spanish is spoke, knowing some basic Spanish phrases can be very helpful.


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