Here’s a movie about Mexico City. This movie will give you a quick impression of the destination. The movie is produced for IFLYtheworld.com by bluepig.nl.
Palacio de Bellas Artes (2 hrs)
The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is the most important cultural centre in Mexico City. The palace has a mixture of architectural styles. Art Nouveau dominates the exterior and the inside is dominated by Art Deco.
It is a combination of a theatre and a museum. The Palace has been home of many events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has hosted important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Some of the best-known groups, which regularly perform in the theatre, are the Ballet Folklórico de México, Compania Nacional de Opera and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.
The building has a huge number of wall paintings. Besides that you can visit many permanent and temporary exhibitions. If you’re not going to see a concert or performance and just want to see the building and the exhibitions, the entrance is free. The opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
The Palacio is located in the historic centre of Mexico City at Avenida Hidalgo 1, next to Almeda Central Park. The nearest metro station is Bellas Artes.
La Casa de los Azulejos (1½ hr)
La Casa de los Azulejos, or The House of Tiles, is a beautiful house in the historic centre of Mexico City. The façade is at three sides covered in azulejos (blue and white tiles) from the state of Puebla. This wonderful building was built in the 16th century and the mansion has an interesting history. In 1737 the Count and Countess of Orizaba ordered the renovation of their home and the placement of the tiles. From 1881 it functioned as a private men's club.
In 1917 it was converted into a drug store and soda fountain, which eventually evolved into Sanborn's, a chain of restaurants and department stores, which is what it is today.
This is a good place to stop for lunch, dinner or just a drink, while you enjoy the beauty of the building. Even the toilets are worth a visit.
You can enter the building from two sides. From the big shopping street Francisco Madero you can walk directly into the restaurant. If you enter from 5 de Mayo, you will see some small shops and bakeries first before you enter the restaurant.
The address is Francisco Madero Street number 4. The nearest metro station is Bellas Artes.
El Palacio Postal (½ hr)
If you have to send your postcards and like to see a beautiful place, go to ‘El Palacio Postal’ in the historic centre. It is a really beautiful old post office, which is still in use. Italian architect Adamo Boari, who also made the plans for the Palacio de Bellas Artes, designed the palace. President Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the building in 1907.
There’s also a Museo Postal, which you can visit. It’s not much, but it is for free. And the view at the building from the museum is very nice. It is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm during weekdays, and in the weekend from 9 am to 2.30 pm. The location is Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas at the side of Palacio de Bellas Artes.
El Balcon del Zócalo (1 hr)
If you like to have a great view at the Plaza de la Constitución o Zócalo, the big square in the historic centre, you should go up to have a drink or dinner at one of the roof top terraces.
A great one is El balcon del Zócalo. This is located at the 6th floor of the Holiday inn hotel. The entrance of the hotel is at Av. 5 de Mayo number 61. In the lobby you take the elevator to the 6th floor.
Gaudi Restaurant (2 hrs)
Hotel Imperial Reforma is a beautiful classic hotel at Paseo de la Reforma 64 with only 50 rooms and 15 suites. For more than 100 years important personages of the history in Mexico have been lodged in this majestic building.
One of the biggest attractions of the hotel is the Gaudi Restaurant. They serve dishes from high Spanish cuisine. You can enjoy the great service while you enjoy live music.
The restaurant is open seven days a week from 1 pm to 10 pm. Reservations can be made by phone: (55) 57054911.
Plaza Garibaldi (1 hr)
Plaza Garibaldi is best known as the home of mariachi music. This is a genre of music that originated in Guadalajara, in the State of Jalisco. The musicians wear their traditional clothes and play the music with string instruments and trumpets, while they sing the songs.
At all hours of the day, mariachi bands can be found here playing or soliciting gigs from visitors to the Plaza. However, in the afternoon there’s not much to do. There are some mariachis and if you like they will play one song for you for 100 Peso. In the evening it’s very busy there. Starting around 8 pm you will here the music everywhere.
But at night be very careful in the area. Don’t walk around alone, leave your valuables at home and watch you belongings and yourself. The nearest metro station is Garibaldi.
Mercado San Camilito (1 hr)
Just off Plaza Garibaldi you will find Mercado San Camilito. Normally a Mexican Mercado is a huge indoor and outdoor place consisting of hundreds of small stores specializing on clothes, crafts, vegetables or meats.
But Mercado San Camilito is a wonderful market with mostly restaurants. And there are really a lot of small restaurants. To help you decide, hosts quickly walk up to passersby and tell them what makes their place special or offer you discounts on the menu prizes, or both.
This is a great place to eat real local Mexican food for a very reasonable price. You can go here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The locals, including the Mariachis will have their food here as well.
Museo Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacan. Kahlo's work is remembered for its ‘pain and passion’. Perhaps she was best known for her self-portraits.
Kahlo had a stormy but passionate marriage with the prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo's work was not widely recognized until decades after her death. Often she was popularly remembered only as Diego Rivera's wife. It was not until the early 1980s, when the artistic movement in Mexico known as Neomexicanismo began, that she became very prominent. Nowadays there’s even a Museo Frida Kahlo.
Kahlo's Casa Azul (Blue House) in Coyoacan in Mexico City, where she lived and worked, was donated by Diego Rivera upon his death in 1957 and is now a museum housing artefacts of her life. Her former home is a popular destination for tourists.
The museum is located at Londres 247 in Coyoacan. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. A standard ticket costs 55 Pesos. The nearest metro station is Coyoacan.
China Bistro (1½ hr)
If you had enough Mexican food and like to try something else, go to P.F. Chang’s China Bistro at Paseo de la Reforma 222. The restaurant is part of a chain of over 200 restaurants mostly in the USA. Outside the USA are only two locations and one of them is Mexico City. The restaurant was founded by Shanghai born Philip Chiang.
The interior is very modern with classic elements. The place is decorated with copy statues of the terracotta army in Xi’an in China.
They serve food from different regions in China. If you like to check their menu first, click here.
Pyramids of Sun and Moon (1 day)
Not far from Mexico City you can see an important landmark of the history of Mexico. Teotihuacan is an enormous archaeological site, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas.
It is located approximately 40 km northeast of Mexico City. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Teotihuacan is one of the most noted archaeological attractions in Mexico.
Of course you can do an organized tour or hire a car with a driver, but you can go there easily yourself as well. Take metro line 5 to station Autobuses del Norte. That’s the bus station. From there you can take a bus, which brings you to the entrance of Teotihuacán.
A one-way ticket will cost 33 Pesos. From Terminal del Norte, walk towards Gate 8, there is a ticket booth almost at the end of the concourse. Check that your bus goes to the site entrance of Teotihuacán ruinas and not just to the town of San Juan Teotihuacán nearby. The trip will take around an hour, and the buses run until about 6pm.
There is an entrance fee of 51 Pesos. The opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.
Mercado Insurgentes is a crafts market tucked into the Zona Rosa. You will find a lot of goods there, like silver objects, jewellery, clothes, decoration and a lot of Mexican souvenirs.
Vendors in the maze of stalls are eager to bargain, and good buys aren't hard to come by. It's open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
There are several exits of the market, but the official address is Calle Londres 154, Zona Rosa. The nearest metro is Insurgentes.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Mexico City.