Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. It is the largest city in North America in terms of population and serves as the political, cultural, financial, and educational center of the country. An urban and crowded city, it also boasts fantastic historical landmarks and buildings.
Mexico city is located in the valley of Mexico, established on the dry bed of the lake Texcoco. Situated on a high plateau, the city has a high altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. It’s surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, with the city itself lying on several geographical faults that make the city vulnerable to natural disasters.
How to Reach (Modes of Transportation)
By Plane – The Benito Juarez International Airport, located east of the city center, is the primary airport that serves the city. Another airport, the Licenciado Adolfo Lopez Mateos International Airport is found 50km southwest of the city of Toluca and serves as the hub of domestic and low-cost airlines.
By Train – Mexico’s Metro rail system is one of the largest and most used in the world. It has 12 different lines and is spread across 141 miles (226.5 km) around the city. Trains run every 2 minutes, which means waiting is close to zero. The Light rail has one line with routes heading to the south of the city and back.
By Bus – Greyhound buses offer trips from the US to Mexico. There are 4 major bus stations in the city, with both public and private-run bus companies.
By Taxi – Getting a taxi is relatively easy in the city, with the abundance of over 250,000 cabs. It is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to get around.
By Turibus – For sightseeing, this mode of transportation is the best option. A double-decker bus takes passengers to the top attractions of the city, complete with tour guides.
When to Visit
The best months to visit Mexico City is from March to May. It’s the best time to enjoy the city’s most idyllic weather, and it’s perfect for sightseeing and enjoying nature. The weather in the city is pleasant all year round, except for a few storms and hurricanes during the wet months of June to November.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Traditions
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) – The most popular holiday and festival in Mexico City, this occurs every November 1st and 2nd, commemorating the lives of those who have passed. Locals visit loved ones’ graves and decorate them with ornaments, marigolds, and bright colors. Parades of people in elaborate costumes and skull masks that are brightly painted are seen all around the city.
Independence Day and Parade – On the eve of Sept. 15, the city mayor or President of Mexico salutes a crowd of thousands from the balcony of the National Palace. Locals celebrate and express patriotism and surround the Historic Downtown of Zocalo – that’s filled with elaborate decorations and lights. The morning of September 16 is celebrated with a military parade and an airshow.
Festival de Mexico – The biggest cultural and arts festival in the city, over 50 venues are filled with performances of art, dance, music, opera, and theater. It is held every March and runs for two weeks in the Historic Downtown area.
Points of Interest (Places to visit)
Zocalo – Otherwise known as Historic Downtown, it is the most ideal starting point for sightseeing in the city. One of the largest squares in the world, it is home to many historic buildings or pre-hispanic and colonial architectural styles, the City Hall, a Cathedral, and many other top attractions.
Coyoacan – This is the historic Colonial Art district where the country’s national artists, like Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, once lived. A charming area of tree-lined cobblestone streets, colonial-era mansions, churches, museums, and artisan markets make it one of the most pleasant places to spend a day in the city.
Plaza Garibaldi-Mariachi – Dubbed as the mariachi mecca of the world, this square has a number of cafes and restaurants, and groups of mariachis playing traditional folk music in traditional garb.
Chapultepec Park and Zoo – Located in the middle of the city, this park and zoo is a convenient top attraction that is considered to be the largest park in Latin America. Inside the park are a host of acclaimed museums such as the Children’s Museum, the Modern Art Museum, and a few others.
There are hundreds of places to stay in Mexico City, with hotels and sublets fitting every kind of budget. Zona Rosa is a tourist haven with midrange-priced hotels, while Polanco is the best place for high-end accommodation and Centro Historico with the best number of cheaper alternatives and backpacker hostels.