Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico and one of the biggest cities in the world. Mexico city offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Bellas Artes Palace
- Chapultepec castle (and city photography)
- Metropolitan cathedral
- Historic downtown
- Day trip to Teotihuacan pyramids
- Angel of Independence
- Torre Latinoamericana (for city photography)
- Plaza Garibaldi (Mariachis)
- Azteca stadium
- Basilica of our lady of Guadelupe (metro La Villa – Basilica)
- Frida Kahlo museum
The best place for tourists to stay in Mexico City is the historic center. Why? Because in a city that’s not completely safe, the historic center is a safe area. It’s best to stay in the historic center because;
- Safe and walkable
- Lots of points of interest for tourists and photographers
- Access to metro underground train
- Tourist information
- Lots of hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and tours
- Sanborns Azulejos restaurant is fairly priced Mexican food in a beautiful colonial building
The above photo was taken from the Torre Latinoamericana in the historic centre. This is a good place to go first because it will give you an idea of how big the city is and also where you are in the city. Almost next door to this tower is one of the most beautiful buildings you’ll ever see, Bellas Artes palace. It photographs almost as well as the Taj Mahal, it’s a shame it’s in such a big city surrounded by traffic and people. If it was in the country with a garden and lake I’m sure it’d be more famous than it currently is.
The Zócalo is a must see site in Mexico City, it’s one of the largest city squares in the world. There is a huge Mexican flag in the center which as part of a ceremony is raised and lowered everyday. The Zócalo is surrounded by beautiful cathedrals, palaces and colonial buildings. Another point of interest close to the Zócalo is Tenochtitlan which dates back to 1325. The Aztecs believed this was the center of the world.
Chapultepec is one of the most popular places to see in Mexico City, you’ll find the following points of interest here;
- Chapultepec castle
- Chapultepec zoo
- National museum of anthropology
- Modern art museum
- Chapultepec park and lake
The castle was built on top of Chapultepec hill, for photographers it offers great photography opportunities of the city as well as the well maintained castle. It’s also home to the national museum of history. I visited the castle with my daughter when she was less than 1 year old, when she’s older we’ll go again and recreate this photo!
There is a Chapultepec metro station, so it’s easy to get to, just try avoid peak travel times as you’ll find it an unpleasant journey!
Another popular place to visit is the Frida Kahlo musuem, the museum is actually the house where she lived. She was a famous Mexican artist, probably one of the most famous Mexicans. To visit here you’ll require a metro journey, the General Anaya stop on the blue line is probably the most convenient if you are traveling to/from the center by metro.
Mexico’s most famous export is probably its Mariachis. In Mexico city there is a plaza full of them, you can sit there, enjoy a beer and enjoy the Mariachis playing. The going rate for a song is about 100 pesos, but if you act disinterested, they’ll offer a cheaper price. You’ll find the mariachi museum on the plaza and on the top floor, a bar. This is a good place to enjoy a few beers (or margaritas) whilst watching live mariachis.
Before I visited Mexico city, I had no idea these pyramids even existed. After visiting Teotihuacan however, I’ve decided that these pyramids should be on everyones bucket list. The the temple of Quetzalcoatl, the pyramid of the moon and the pyramid of the sun are walkable on the avenue of the dead. The above photo is a view from the Pyramid of the moon showing the pyramid of the sun in the distance. That handsome young man stood on the adjacent pyramid is me admiring the plaza of the pyramid of the moon.
It’s possible to take a direct bus to Teotihuacan from Mexico City’s north bus station. An easier and safer option would be to go on a prepaid tour, Mexico City Hostel offer daily tours to the site and you don’t have to stay with them to book a tour.
I have a more detailed blog about a day trip to Teotihuacan.
The overnight bus from Mexico City to Ciudad Juarez is very luxurious with a private entertainment system in each seat and lots of legroom. I only recommend taking the bus to the USA if you have a rule of only traveling by land like I do. At 1821 pesos, a flight would be the same price, if not cheaper!